Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Cake

This past Saturday, Brother C, the Daddy, and Pappaw went fishing in a nearby lake about 45 minutes away.  Brother C lives for the days he can fish.  Brother B on the other hand doesn't have much interest in fishing.  So, he and I decided it was as good a time as any to try a new recipe. 

Let me introduce you to the newest cake added to our recipes. Cinnamon Bun Cake, it's, oh so very rich but worth it...add in a glass of milk and it's melt in your mouth heavenly!

3 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c butter, melted

1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cinnamon

2 c icing sugar
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan (buttered).

Mix all of the base ingredients together, with the exception of the butter.  Add the melted butter last, and then pour into your prepared pan,

Mix all of the topping ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Mix well.  Drop by teaspoonful over the base, as evenly as you can over the entire base.  Take a butter knife and swirl the topping into the base.  Pop into the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze and set aside.

Remove from oven and glaze the cake while still warm.

***I cannot take credit for creating the recipe.  I found it on Pinterest so the source is unknown to me.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Back Among the Living

To my minimal followers, you can tell I've been absent from my blog.  The following blog may be "too much information" for some.  You've been forewarned.

Well, I actually have a better reason than just failing to blog.  November 7th, I had surgery.  I finally had a long awaited hysterectomy along with some other issues dealt with.

For the past 4 years of my annual pap smears, they have all come back abnormal.  And during those four years my periods have become increasingly worse with severe cramping.  (I'll just leave it at that).  And within the past 2 years, my C-section scar had begun to stretch vertically causing pain, inflammation and bleeding under the skin. 

My GYN has been offering to do a hysterectomy or other procedures during these past few years to help correct the bleeding issue but after the 4th abnormal pap smear, he highly recommended a hysterectomy.  "It's best to do the hysterectomy now before we are dealing with more than just 'abnormal' pap smears."  And I fully agreed.  However, there were issues that prevented the routine hysterectomy.  Scar tissue from my C-section had attached itself to my uterus. This is what was causing the issues with my scar. It had gotten to where if I did any length of walking or mild exercising, it would become inflamed and blood to pool under the skin.  The scar tissue was being pulled and, yes, I could feel it. I didn't know what it was but I knew it hurt, kind of like sharp pains. 

In order to fix this, my C-section scar was going to have to be completely removed and then the tissue under it was going to have to be cut out and removed from my uterus before they could remove it.  And then I would have to be closed back up making a new scar. 

Because of my C-section and the size my stomach became carrying twins to a full 37 weeks, my abdomen was a wreck with rolls over my C-section scar.  These rolls had to be removed in order to make the new scar and to successfully remove the scar tissue for the uterus to be removed.

My GYN told me he could do this but that I might want to seek the opinion of a plastic surgeon.  I was so very appreciate of my GYN being honest with me.  "We GYN's are the one who made the C-section scar, we don't have much training in removing them and dealing with all the scar tissue.  I've done it before and I can do it again. But if you would like the opinion of a PS, I'd support you on this."  To which I took his suggestions.  After consulting with the PS, he read and talked to my GYN and agreed that he would be best at fixing the scar, removing the scar tissue and fixing me a new scar. 

So the surgery went as follows:  My GYN wanted the PS to open me up.  The PS then shaved and cut away the scar tissue and removed what needed to be removed in order for my GYN to do the hysterectomy.  What happened next is a confirmation that getting the PS to do this was the right choice.  His skills were so good that he was able to remove the scar tissue from the uterus so precisely that my GYN was able to remove my uterus laproscopically.  It was questionable going into it if that would be possible or if it would have to be removed abdominally.  This is one reason my GYN suggested the possibility of a PS dealing with the scar tissue. 

My GYN removed my cervix, uterus and tubes.  (I'll explain the tubes later in a following paragraph.) After my GYN did his thing, the PS removed my C-section scar and then had to repair the muscles and other tissue that had been cut from removing the scar tissue.  He did remove the lower "roll" of my stomach to aid in making a better scar.  One issue that had been a possibility that I had hoped wouldn't be was having to move my belly button.  It did, in fact, have to be moved.  With the amount of scar tissue that had to be removed, which had also attached itself to my umbilical tissue, he felt removing it and replacing it would prevent a future umbilical hernia.  Yet, another reason I'm grateful I sought a PS to do this.  When researching the option of a PS doing all this, I had read several testimonies of umbilical hernias happening if it wasn't done correctly.  This gave me more confidence in my GYN...I guess in the years he's been doing this, his experience with outcomes was valuable. 

So, with all that done, my recovery has been harder, longer and slower than a routine hysterectomy.  Not that a routine hysterectomy is an easy surgery required more than a conventional approach to a hysterectomy. 

If you have had hysterectomy, you may not have had your tubes removed.  Keeping your tubes was the standard if there was no reason to remove them.  That's not the case these days.  My GYN had already planned to remove my tubes, especially if they were damaged from the scar tissue but also because he does this with the routine hysterectomy.  He said that in the recent years, studies have shown that ovarian cancer may actually start in the fallopian tubes so removing them has shown fewer cases of ovarian cancer.  But this doesn't come without a trade off.  Removing the tubes can cause ovarian failure because it cuts off the blood supply to the ovaries.  There is a high chance that I will go into early menopause.  I guess early menopause is a better case than ovarian cancer.  Removing my tubes would have most likely been the case anyway just due to the damage they had from the scar tissue wrapping around them. 

There you have it.  This has been the reason for my absence the past month.  I have a one month post op appointment with my PS next Monday.  At my one week post op, I had my drain tubes removed and he was very pleased with my progress.  I already feel better without the sharp pains shooting through my lower abdomen.  While I have pain from the surgery, the sharp pains aren't there anymore.  And the best thing....neither are my periods!!!  This is the best aspect of this surgery.

And I can't end this blog without mentioning God's humor...I started my period the day of my surgery.  It made for a great laugh when going into surgery. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Devil Dogs

For this tasty sweet treat, head over to  Taste and See for the recipe.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Recent Reading Adventures

* * * * stars

You could say this book is about good people making bad choices and the consequences of those choices. Many people were hurt by their decisions, including themselves.

The characters are well developed and so is the plot. The story builds for a heart wrenching end. I found myself asking what I would do in their position and I guess for some the answer would be easier but I can... see for others how the lines of right or wrong can be blurred when isolation and grief become a part of life as it did for Izzy.

This is the most recent book I've read. I finished it yesterday.

The first 60% can drag a bit but it's not until the end do you appreciate it.

It's set in Australia just after WW I.

I loved Izzy until I didn't. Even upon finishing the book, I still felt some disdain for her even though I realize why she did what she did. But my love for Tom never wavered.

The last 2 chapters had me ugly crying. We were actually arriving at our vacation destination, beach, when I finished the book. I was a mess. My husband told me to get it together before we approach the front desk to get our keys. "It's just wrong to be crying when arriving at the beach."

This book has been made into a movie.

* * * stars out of 5.

I wish the story of this book was as beautiful as the cover.

This book was chosen by a member of my book club. I didn't have this book prior to the choosing but happened up on it while pilfering through a bin of books at a local Gateway. I paid a total of .10 for this hardcover edition.
While this book isn't a terrible story, I find it to be average. 3 stars out of 5.

The two main characters introduce each other with white lies about themselves that continue to grow because they don't like who they really are. Their relationship is built on who they want to be until they are finally exposed as who they really are.

Ella is struggling with her husband's infidelity, resulting in denying the truth about him. Her husband, Sims, vacillates his feelings between his mistress and Ella.

Hunter/Blake uses Ella's vulnerability to get a good love story for his next romantic comedy movie. Unbeknownst to him, the story Ella is sharing with him are partial lies. He believes he's getting the perfect, small town love story while she thinks he's a struggling author looking to write a book on the history of the town Ella lives in.

It's all too soap opera-ish to me, with predictable outcomes.

There are no sexual scenes or but there is mild cursing.

If you like romance "When Harry Met Sally" or "While You Were Sleeping" type books, this book may appeal to you. It's not a serious read being suitable for the more casual reader.

* * * stars of out 5

I chose this book to read while on our vacation at the beach. It's the only "beach" book I could find in my library (notice I didn't call it my hoarding stacks) and I wanted something light and relaxing.
Hatteras Girl is a chic-lit, contemporary Christian fiction set in Hatteras, North Carolina.

Jackie has a dream of owning the once prosperous bed and breakfast in her town of Hatteras. But for most of the book, she's a writer for a local magazine. Her best friend, Minnie, and Minnie's young son are living with her as they grieve the lost of Minnie's husband.

Jackie meets the real estate agent who is selling the bed and breakfast and a relationship ensues. She eventually finds out he's not who he appears to be, exposing his deceptive tactics in his real estate business. Meanwhile, a lifelong friend, Buck, knows Jackie's heart and uses his charm to win it.

This book, like most chic lit books is predictable but like those of Christian fiction, there is an innocent, sweet charm to it. Minnie's character and life was actually more realistic then the main character, Jackie. Minnie's grief of losing her husband and how she is moving on with her life is well developed. I enjoyed the more realistic storyline of Minnie than the predictable one of Jackie.

I give it 3 stars. It's not that I dislike this book, I just prefer books with more depth. But true to Christian fiction, it's clean and wholesome.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Parental Awareness

This is random, I know.

But parents, please, please, please be intentional and diligent to know what your child is being taught. Discuss with them what is said by their teachers and fellow classmates in the classroom. Goodness, at church, also, if you attend.

This isn't to incite distrust of their teachers but rather to be aware of what and how your child is being influenced. When you aren't with your child 8 hours of the day, someone else is influencing them. Make it top priority to know how they are being influenced and how it effects them now and how it will in the future.

(This is not school vs homeschool). I'm just saddened and burdened by parents who have no idea what is going on nor do they care.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Life With Boys...Size Matters

Size really does matter...

"Boys, you can each cut yourself 1 brownie"

Bigger is Better.

(Please note, I cut what was left as meager attempt of better portion control.)