Friday, March 30, 2012

The update -- It's been one month since my operation. I am happy to report that I no longer feel like I've been hit by a freight train, more like a couple semis in a row. The recovery process has been slow and entirely lacking in enjoyableness, but every day is a little better.

The plea -- I am gearing up to start I Need Friends Friday again. *cue applause* However, I need volunteers to be interviewed. As things sit now, INFF will come back and disappear again alarmingly fast. So, if you are willing to give me an hour of your time and let me ask you pointless and often ridiculous questions, I would love to feature you on an upcoming Friday. Please, please, please, shoot me off an email: friends --at-- sarahmeden --dot-- com, or use the "Contact Me" tab at the top of the page!!

((And an extra plea -- If you live in the Orem, UT area, I will be signing books at the Deseret Bookstore at the University Mall tomorrow, March 31 from 6-8. I'll be the vaguely pale one sitting at the table because standing for any length of time is still too uncomfortable. And bonus points for bringing me ibuprofen!))

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Éirinn go Brách!

Today is March 17th. Do you realize how huge this is??
It's St. Patrick's Day, known around this blog as The Holiday of Coolness, known around my house as My Birthday! Around here we celebrate our Irish heritage, cook traditional Irish meals, dance exceptionally awkward jigs, and all in all thoroughly enjoy ourselves.
Whilst I Go Green in a very literal way, sit back, relax and enjoy this year's installment of "Irish Things I Love!"

1--The Music
Fun, traditional music:
(This is the group The High Kings. They specialize in fun arrangements of great traditional Irish music.)
Beautiful, Gaelic music:  (This is the fabulous Cara Dillon. Check out her music, she's amazing.)  
Modern music:

(This is The Script. I posted a song of theirs last year as well. "Live Like We're Dying" was written by Danny O'Donoghue (he's the one in the middle), but most people in the US would be more familiar with Kris Allen's cover of it. [I prefer The Script's version.])

2--The Food
Last year I posted the recipe for Irish soda bread. This year, I'm going with an absolute staple of homespun Irish cuisine, Brown Bread.

Irish Brown Bread
    •    1 cup all-purpose flour
    •    2 cups whole-wheat flour
    •    1/4 cup rolled oats
    •    2 tbsp sugar
    •    1 tsp baking powder
    •    1 tsp baking soda
    •    1/2 tsp salt
    •    1 1/2 tbsp cold butter
    •    1 1/4 cups buttermilk -OR- 1 1/2 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.   
  2. Mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumb-y. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.   
  3. Stir in yogurt. If mixture is too dry to hold together, add more buttermilk a little at a time until the dough just barely holds together. (if using yogurt instead of buttermilk, add milk a little at a time to achieve the same result)
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead 5 or 6 times. Shape into a ball. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a circle (about 6 or 7 inches across). With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf, cutting about 1/2 way through to the bottom.
  5. Bake until well browned, about 40 minutes

3--The Language
My daughter and I are learning Gaelic. It is a slow process and we can't pronounce it correctly to save our lives, but we're enjoying ourselves. I asked her which of the sentences we worked on this week I should put in the annual It's The Holiday of Coolness/Today is My Birthday post. This was her suggestion:
Tá mé sean.
I didn't know whether to laugh or ground her. (Here's the translation if you're interested.)

4--Irish Blessings
I will close out this year's Holiday of Coolness post with the same Irish blessing I post every year (because it's that good!)

May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can not turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.

Happy Holiday of Coolness, everyone!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Today's INFF is far from traditional. This week has been far from traditional.

I had a pretty major surgical procedure done on Tuesday and spent a couple days in the hospital. I'm still in some pain and sick to my stomach and generally kind of miserable, but things are looking better a little at a time.

So, while I don't have an INFF interview to post, and likely won't for the rest of the month--recovery time, ya know--I do need to make some thank yous.

Thank you to...

  • Janelle, my pre-op nurse who figured out really quickly that I get excessively goofy when I'm scared and joked right along with me through the IV and other preparations for surgery 
  • Jake, the circulating surgical nurse, who thought the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man impression I did with the huge surgical gown they gave me was pretty darn hilarious, and who also searched around the hospital and found a blood pressure cuff small enough for my teeny arms
  • Dr. Johnson, the anesthesiologist, & Malcolm, the anesthesia tech, who not only listened all 627 times I told them how sick anesthesia always makes me, but reassured me every time that they would take care of that; and they did. 
  • Dr. Thorpe, the surgeon, who is friendly and straightforward and has some super-mad skills on the daVinci robot; (If you've never heard of the daVinci Surgical System, go read about it, it's kind of science fictiony and cool)
  •  The post-op recovery nurses, whose names I never caught because, quite frankly, I was barely conscious while we were together.
  • The night-shift nursing staff who looked out for me the night I was at Timpanogos Regional Hospital: Denise, who did her best to draw the blood she was supposed to even though my veins were being uncooperative, and who brought me massive amounts of water; Matt, who didn't totally freak out when my blood pressure dropped to ridiculously low levels, but took care of it calmly; and Jodi, who talked with me about families and life and her decision to go back to school to get her nursing degree and just all around helped me feel a little more human again
  • The day-shift nursing staff: Melanie, whose speedy delivery of morphine during a horrendous few minutes was life-saving as was her hilarious sense of humor; Melissa, who answered every question I had and reassured me at necessary and regular intervals; and Karly, a nursing student who I know will one day make an exceptional nurse. 
A million thank yous to everyone!

It's been a rough week, but things are looking up. I will try to post on the Holiday of Coolness (March 17th, for those of you who might be new around here), but will likely be AWOL for most of the month. Have a great one everyone. See you on the flip side!


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