Sunday, February 21, 2010

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes

Let me just start off by saying this delectable morning delight came about as an accident. One morning while preparing pancakes on the griddle, I accidently poured orange juice all over the griddle. Much to my dismay...the rest is history. They have become my family's favorite morning request. Kira's boyfriend, who doesn't even like pancakes, ate about a dozen of these one morning. I even like to eat them cold as a dessert snack!

I have been asked for the recipe so much, I decided to just plop it on here for all to enjoy. It was adapted from a Southern Living recipe. I have experimented and changed it up over the years. Without further ado....


2c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
2 lg eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4c vegetable oil
fresh orange zest

Combine the first 5 ingredients, stirring well. Combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and zest in a separate bowl. I use whatever type of organges I have on hand. Today, it was Clementine Cuties. They gave the pancakes a stronger orange flavor and it was REALLY good! If you don't have oranges, you can always add about 1/2 cup orange juice. I usually zest one orange (2 clementines) and then sqeeze some of the juice into the batter. Add this liquid to the flour mixture and stir just until all ingredients are moistened. I pour about 1/4 cup onto a hot griddle and I like to grease it with REAL butter. You can use a spray or oil, whichever you prefer. This makes about a dozen average size pancakes. I've been known to quadruple this for a family gathering.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Muted Paper Wreath

While most of you are tucked nicely away in your down filled beds, I'm determined to finish this project I started a few days ago. Why in the middle of the night? Why not? If you can't sleep, then you may as well create! Just remember that when I start to not make sense...I can hear the snickers now!

I think we all pretty much know the paper liner technique by filters, cupcake liners, candy cups, whatever size you prefer. So much can be done with these besides brewing a fresh cup of java or encasing that delectable chocolate morsal...I digress. Soooo, I chose the candy cups for this project and soaked or dipped them in brewed hot tea. Some stayed in the pot longer than others, so it gave me various shades of yum! I learned quickly that if the paper dried, it was harder to work with and glue to my form, which just happened to be pipe cleaners (not too sure I liked that...kind of flimsy to work with). They do dry quickly, so better to work with them still damp. If they dried out too much, back in the pot they went.

I just pinched and glued...pinched and glued...and pinched and glued. I also dipped the two little doves before glueing them on. Oh...I used hot glue for this project. I tied seam binding around the top for the hanger and also tied it in a couple of bows, along with some tulle for the top. I added some old millinery flowers here and there and...viola!!

The doves needed just a bit of something, so I took my Zig glue pen and just brushed it along the wings and sprinkle some Sugar Coating glitter on it and just love the way that turned out. It was one of those "awwww" moments! I hung the wreath on the frame of the bed in our guest room and just had the lamp on. Another "awww" moment when I saw how muted it came out in the pics, at least for me. It could be because it was 3am and my Lortab was kicking in...LOL!

My son is engaged and I was thinking how pretty something like this would be in a wedding...hmmmm. I have another idea for some cupcake liners...something different to use as a dye. If it works, I'll be sure to share it with you. If not...then never mind!

Nighty Night...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux...such a pretty name for such a nasty condition. It rolls off the tongue nice and sweet, but watch out because it will turn around and stab you with a hot searing knife that will bring you to your knees. I know because I have Trigeminal Neuralgia or Tic Douloureux.

TN effects the right side of my face only. I think the symptoms started about 7 months ago, but I was being treated for sinus infections and given anti-biotics, steroid packs over and over again. I have had a history of sinusitis, so who's to say these treatments weren't helpful. My primary dr. had even mentioned this crazy facial nerve that she thought could be causing some of the problem. As the pain became worse and more persisitant, she sent me to an ear, nose, throat specialist AFTER having a CT scan on both my sinuses AND my brain. He ruled out anything terrible and dismissed me with a suggestion I see an allergist. Of course, you can't just get in to see these docs within a few days. It takes weeks. So, during these weeks, more pain...debilitating pain. Back to my doc I go. She finally decides it's this tic douloureux and I should see a neurologist. While waiting for that appt., she puts me on an anti-seizure med, Tegretol, which is the most common drug of choice. The pharmacy gives it to me in a nasty tasting chewable...ugh! It will enter my system faster and in 100mg tabs, easy to adjust the dosage. I see that I am rattling on here, so maybe I should just cut to the chase...

...This says it all...

Let's just say I've been to hell and back, at least in my mind. I have a high pain tolerance and have had to endure some nasty ankle surgeries that ended up in a fused ankle, which I thought was the worst pain of my life. I'd take it any day over this. This pain is relentless. The trigeminal nerve is the 5th cranial nerve and it branches out in 3 directions, from the ear area, up to your eye area, you cheek area and finally you jaw area. My pain is a burning, stabbing pain. The pain can be triggered by the simplest of things...brushing your teeth, chewing, putting on make up, touching your face, a breeze on your face, talking, smiling, you name it! It's completely insane if you ask me.

This is an illustration of the MVD surgical procedure (skull cracking!)

I have now seen the neurologist, whom I really like. He spent a lot of time with me and explained all of my options. Medication is the best way to go, as the surgical procedures are very invasive and carry risks that I really don't want to take. As for now, I have my good days and my bad. When it's bad, it's bad. I've had my pitty parties, my nights of tears, sleepless nights too numerous to count. But, all in all, I do not have any brain tumors, I do not have cancer, I do not have MS, I do not have Parkinson's, to name just a few. I do have a neurological condition that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. Big Whoop! We all have our cross to bare.

I am learning as I go. I am not a good patient. I tend to curl up into my own space and want to be left alone. I am a much better care giver than receiver. My husband deserves a medal for dealing with me. I have learned that laughter IS the BEST medicine for me. It may hurt my face like hell to laugh, but it's so worth it. There are friends who do this on a daily basis and I hope they know who they are and how grateful I am for it. Love you guys!

This has taken me away from my job on various occassions, but I am blessed to have such an understanding and caring boss daughter, Kira. Although, she does have the best neurosurgeon lined up to crack my skull open at any given moment! lol I have missed the time with my girls doing what I love to do the most...creating with my hands. But, I know, I will have many many more opportunities with know who your are and I adore and love each and every one of you...what would we do without Paper Crown?

So, when I disappear for awhile or you don't see me on fb or don't show up for class, it's because the beast has reared it's ugly head. I am sharpening my sword and ready to fight back. I have always considered myself a compassionate gal, but now I really "feel" for people who suffer from pain on a daily basis. My heart goes out to them.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. Thank you for your support and love and well wishes. It means more than you know. I don't want to be pittied in any way. I just want to bring awareness to something I had never heard of before and yet it is more common than we know.

Oh, one more's 3:30am, not so uncommon anymore for me. The medication causes some confusion, fuzziness, loss of concentration, etc. I'm not taking the time to spell check or's the rough draft your getting! It's who I am, afterall! lol

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Collective Hearts

Three days til Valentine's Day. Never really been a fan of the actual day in the past. Not crazy about the Kay's Jeweler's heart necklances or the insanity at the card counter in Target. I think it goes back to the day, many moons ago, when it fell on the same Sunday as the Daytona 500. My husband could not be torn away from that race, so I took our kids and went to a movie...huffin and puffin the whole way!

Well...guess what? It's that year all over again! lol I've grown up a lot since then and I'm over it. Now, I just enjoy the beauty of the celebration. Miss the days of sharing valentine's with kids at school and those nasty tasting candy hearts hoping I'd get the "love" heart from the cute boy who sat two rows over. It seems those days are gone forever, unfortunately, but I have found a new sense of creativity and so I share my Collective Hearts with you.

I actually made this a few years ago. This year I've had some health issues, so was not up to par. As I look at this collage, I chuckle at how far I've come since then in my crafting/artistic approach. The new techniques I've learned. But, it's always fun to look back, so we can appreciate the creative path we're on.

I made this collage from wool felt. It is all hand stitched. You really can't read the words, "Be Mine", very well. I was going to go back and do something to make it stand out, but just never did. I added bits of old hankies, lace pieces, and doilies. I love the french knots I did in the center of the flowers. There are silk ribbon flowers and even a cheesy looking fake cameo that I picked up somewhere that I could not resist! The buttons are from my grandmother's old button jar that my sister got, but she shared some with me. It's just filled with little doo dads I've picked up and pinned on. If you look closely, you'll see hearts scattered to and fro and within the hankies and lace. I left enough space so that I can add more along the way.

However you choose to spend your Valentine's Day, I hope you enjoy every minute of it. I will be hearing the roar of the engines in the background while I get lost in something I love to do...maybe eating brownies!