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I don't remember the last time I posted, maybe it was right after Christmas. So much has happened that I can't even keep track of it all. The fun news is that I got a Keurig coffee maker from Zyoh our daughter and I have been enjoying the heck out of my cups of coffee. Today at the grocery store I got bread pudding flavored coffee from Community Coffee. I can't wait until I have a cup of it. I love that flavor of coffee and it is only available at Christmas time.

On a more serious note my daddy had open heart surgery on Monday, December 30th. It felt like the surgery took forever but daddy did well during his surgery and is continuing to do well. He was moved to a step down unit from the CVICU today. So many people have been praying for him and I am so grateful for every prayer, good thought and positive intention. I keep praying for mama too. This has been hard on her as well. She loves daddy so much and wants him well. She has also been having trouble with her back and has been in a lot of pain with all of the sitting at the hospital. My brother Nick is staying with daddy tonight. I had offered but my baby brother beat me to it. Nick is such a good son and a wonderful brother. I know he will take good care of daddy.

Funny story, as all of us were leaving the hospital on Monday after daddy's surgery Nick was pushing Steffie in a wheelchair as I was toddling along with my walker. When we got to the elevator I got in first and thought that the sensors on the elevator would keep the doors open until Nick got Steffie pushed in. I thought wrong and Nick asked if I would please push the door open button. He had "that" tone in his voice but they were getting smashed. Well, there was not a "door open" button so I took a guess and pushed that button while they got on the elevator. As they got on the elevator Nick looked at the button I was pushing. He rolled his eyes at me then he pointed at a button with arrows pointing outward and said, "This is the door OPEN button. The button you were pushing had the arrows pointing inward...that was the door CLOSE button." I felt like a doofus but then just as the elevator button opened I told him he didn't have to be such a smart ass. I was just teasing and he knew it but he looked at a guy who was waiting to get on the elevator who HEARD my remark, then my brother said, "Would your sister talk to you like that?" The other guy said that his sister would have said something much worse. We all laughed all though I was so embarrassed. Sigh!

Even after I called Nick a smart ass and tried to smash he and Steffie, my sweet baby brother still insisted on waiting with us for the valet to get our mini-van and then he helped us to get into the car. What a good brother! I love him so very, very much.

This week we have been very busy. Next week won't be quite as busy unless I spend the night at the hospital with daddy. I am more than glad to do that to help out. I know mom needs some downtime before daddy comes home. I am worried about her too.

Yesterday was New Year's Day! I made Hoppin' John for Steffie and I. Let me tell you it was some kind of delicious. We certainly need the good luck from the black eyed peas too. This has been a difficult year at times but we lead blessed lives. We have family who love us, a roof over our heads and food to eat. We have clean water to drink, a vehicle so we can run our errands and indoor plumbing. Like I said, we are blessed. Who can ask for anything more?

I send New Year's love to you all!



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh, a coffee maker for Christmas! What a wonderful gift. It's nice to have a daughter who understands your need for coffee, isn't it? :) I've never even had bread pudding so I can't imagine what coffee flavored that way tastes. Must be yummy! (I admit to being a purist nowadays. The closet I come to a flavored coffee is a rare fix via cafe mocha.)

I'm glad you have your mom and dad as your FB avatar thingy, as it reminds me to pray for both of them. :) I'm also glad to hear your dad is doing so well. I'm also glad he's still in the hospital. I think Roomie got out after three days or four days, or something insane like that. (She had open heart surgery to repair a leaky mitral valve.) I had been expecting her to stay in the hospital for at least a week.

Love your story about Nick and the elevator! Too funny. I have a confession: when I need to keep an elevator door open for someone I sometimes get flustered trying to find the door open button. Like you, I might have tried to crush someone. I don't remember, though. Does that mean I might have been successful and the incident caused amnesia? ;)

I made Hoppin' John for New Year's, too. Did you read Elizabeth's friend's recipe? The one with collard greens in it? Is that unusual or are there a great many variations for Hoppin' John?

I hope 2014 is much better for all of us! <3
Jan. 4th, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
Mer, it is nice to have my addiction to coffee understood, especially by someone who knows I like to make one cup of coffee at a time. I have had some pod coffee makers that I have killed and I just don't do a good job with measuring coffee for regular coffee makers. I do have a regular measuring scoop and do fine when using the French Press but that can get very involved even though IMHO it makes the BEST coffee.

Bread Pudding is often similar to rice pudding but made with bread instead of rice. Imagine the taste of brown sugar and caramel in your coffee...the flavor is light and not at all over powering. That is what I like about the pre-flavored coffees that you brew, the flavor is usually very subtle. It isn't like the coffees with the syrups added to them although I do really like Mocha Lattes. I do admit to liking the "International" instant coffees too(only some of the flavors) but do NOT like flavored creamer at all.

I used to be a real purist who bought locally roasted coffee beans and ground them myself. Not so much any longer I like it easy, one cup at a time! Just call me lazy!

I am surprised that your roommate got out of the hospital that soon after open heart surgery. We had been told that daddy would be in the step down unit at least 4 to 7 days and then today mom was told that daddy would probably be coming home this evening. Well, let me just start with the fact that daddy has only been up to walk ONCE since his surgery and there is NO WAY on god's green earth that mom would have been able to take care of him at home right now. I don't know if I have mentioned that she has pretty significant back issues. When she mentioned to the surgeon that daddy couldn't even really walk at this point he said, "You'll manage somehow." Oh Mer, he better be glad that I was not there because I would have torn him a new a**hole in a New York minute. Fortunately daddy's cardiologist had a very different point of view and said no, daddy was NOT coming home tonight. He got the situation handled and daddy is still in the hospital with my brother watching him tonight. I hope mom is getting some rest and I hope that staff help daddy get some walking done tomorrow. I am very upset with the surgeon because quite frankly we may need him to do surgery on mom for another issue. I don't need him to be an(wait for it) ASS CLOWN right now.

Anyway, the prayers are so very appreciated. Daddy is doing pretty darned good but he still needs to do some healing(a few days) before he comes home. I just don't know what we are going to do because there is no where for anyone else to sleep at mom's and dad's for when daddy does come home except on the floor and there is no way I can get up and down off of the floor so I can help them. I guess I will just attempt to sleep in daddy's recliner but mama is going to need help I am sure. This is a bit of a pickle. :-P

I am glad I am not the only person to try to crush someone in an elevator door. I am sure that Nick will rib me about this for years to come.

I did not see Elizabeth's friend's recipe. I have heard of putting collards in one's Hoppin' John but that will NEVER happen with my Hoppin' John. I detest collards. There are lots of variations of Hoppin' John. Mine was different than usual this year. Steph had read a recipe using smoked sausage in the Hoppin' John and requested same. It was very good. We used turkey sausage because Steffie is allergic to beef but regular smoked sausage would have been even better IMHO. For years I made my Hoppin' John vegetarian style using Ro-tel in it and let me tell you that it good stuff.(Can you tell that I like my own cooking? LOL!!!! Does that mean I am conceited?)

I am with you. I am hoping for a wonderful 2014. We all need our lives to "simmer down now, simmer down."

Hugs and Love,

Jan. 5th, 2014 01:18 am (UTC)
I've had a French Press for a long, long time. See, I had so many coffee pots bite the dust that I figured a French Press wouldn't ever give out on me in the same way and I'd get more use out of it. I don't really care that it's so labor intensive to use a French Press. I love the taste of coffee untainted by paper filters. I'll never go back! YUM!

Your dad got out of the hospital after all! (I read that on FB, natch) How do you feel about that? Did they convince you it would be OK?

Panthera used to sleep in her recliner. It might have had something to do with her sleep apnea and her weight, but I think that was the place she was most comfortable before she had her weight loss surgery. So it can be done...

I don't really like collards so much that I want them in my Hoppin' John. If I even had collards, they'd have to be on the side. The next day I had my HJ with Swiss chard. I know it wasn't Southern, but the contrast between the salty HJ and the golden raisins in the chard dish was pretty nifty.

The guy with the collards put pecans in his HJ, too. I didn't know what to think of that, either. What about you?

My HJ was really simple. I did not stint on the fatty goodness, either. ;) I used a pound of bacon, a fresh smoked ham hock (CA ham hocks are different than the ones in SC; we refrigerate ours) and chicken broth. Of course, there were the rice and peas, and some red pepper flakes, and an onion. I like mine a little spicy so I add Tabasco sauce when I'm serving it. More YUM!

Can you tell I like my own cooking, too? :D
Jan. 5th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
Mer, I do understand about you preferring the French Press for coffee. It leaves drip coffee in the dust. It probably leaves K-cups in the dust too but K-cups are easier to clean up after. Corralling all of those coffee grounds can wear me out. LOL!!!!

Dad got out of the hospital today. By last night he was walking and doing great so as long as he was ambulatory(he is using my walker) then I am okay with him being home. When he was not really able to walk I did not feel he needed to be going home. It is all good, he is just a little cranky from being tired and hurting.

Steffie slept in a recliner for almost 2 years after her surgeries(when her appendectomy went bad)because she could not lie down flat. My dad has spent lots of time "napping" in his recliners over the years so I think he will be fine if he decides to sleep there for a while.

I did go find the recipe for Hoppin' John that you told me about. I thought the toasted pecans sounded like a wonderful addition but the greens cooked in with the HJ would be a NO for me even with greens that I really like. As I said before, collards will not pass through these lips. :shudder:

The Swiss chard sounds really good. The urban farm across the street from me grows lots of Swiss Chard and they make "pseudo-dolmas" with it as part of their local food project. I haven't tried the "pseudo-dolmas" because they look like an awful lot of work. I am into quick and easy cooking.

We refrigerate our ham hocks in Arkansas too. I wonder why they are not refrigerated in SC? Maybe it is the way they smoke them.

Steffie has some mild pepper allergies/reactions/whatever you want to call them so my days of having pepper flakes in my HJ are long gone but I do use Tony Chachere's on my serving. I used to use Tabasco sauce all of the time but for the past several years I have been hooked on Tony Chachere's. When Sean was growing up I would cook with Tony Chachere's and then we'd add Tabasco sauce to our servings. Sean and I like to "spice it up."

Sounds like your HJ was delish. It is one of my favorite meals.

Cheers, Ardee-ann
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