Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hoarding like a squirrel hoards nuts

A squirrel hoards nuts. Like a squirrel, I hoard. Not nuts though. Some might argue I hoard shoes (up to 91 pars not counting flip flops), but I consider that building a collection of beautiful art that makes me feel good and confident about myself when I wear them. No, I apparently hoard recipes. 

See?! 



I counted them. 39 not including the binders of recipes photocopied from books, printed from the Internet and handwritten recipe cards. Also, notice the stack of Food Network magazines on the top shelf. And two recipe card boxes. This hoard doesn't even include the stack of cookbooks I have in my spare room. I'm guessing approximately 20 in that stack. I obviously have a problem. 

The cookbooks in my spare room will eventually be gone. Hopefully sooner than later. They are cookbooks I just never look at. For example, there is a cookbook all about smoothies. I find yogurt disgusting so why do I have a smoothie book? I went through and found about five recipes that appealed to me. I wrote them down and now that book is in a pile to be donated. Either to the library (do they accept them?) or to Goodwill. I have a couple others that I've gone through that I'll be sending to my sister. Like the smoothie cookbook, I've copied the few recipes that I'm interested in. 

As I work on that, I need to go through all the recipes I've torn out from magazines, printed from the Internet and copied from books. I need to realistically look at them and consider if I will ever attempt them. I'm confident I probably have a half dozen different macaroni and cheese recipes. Too many? Most likely. After I do that, I need to get them organized. Do you have any suggestions? I'm all ears so please, please share. Maybe I'll send you a cookbook or collection of recipes I don't need. Ha. :) 

It makes sense that I have this small hoard. Yes, I consider it small because I do NOT qualify for Hoarders on A&E. I love to cook and bake. In a strange way, it helps me relax and I enjoy feeding people and making them happy with delicious foods. There are cookbooks I have made nothing from. It is a shame. I mentioned in The Nitty Gritty that I love to cook and bake and thought I might share a recipe or two. It will get boring if I only blog about diabetes so I've decided to challenge myself. It will be a long challenge but beneficial. My goal is to at least twice a month make something I haven't made from one of my cookbooks. My basis of twice a month is that I am single so it is pretty much only me eating whatever I make. A simple recipe of taco meat feeds me dinner for an entire week. And yes, I feel guilty throwing out the last serving or two because I'm just sick of eating taco meat. Also, I'm a ridiculously picky eater. I refuse to touch anything tomato related with a 10-foot pole. 

Here's the list of cookbooks on my shelf:
  • Hello, Cupcake!
  • What's New, Cupcake?
  • KitchenAid Baking Basics -- Used it
  • The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook --Used it
  • Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
  • Martha Stewart's Cupcakes -- Used it
  • Martha Stewart's Cookies -- Used it
  • Fondue
  • The Magic of Jelly
  • The Magic of Peanut Butter
  • Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
  • Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries & Sauces
  • Chevy's Fresh Mex Cookbook
  • Just Tasting Desserts
  • Just Tasting Appetizers
  • Top Secret Restaurant Recipes
  • Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2
  • Grilled cheese, please!
  • Weber's Real Grilling
  • Williams-Sonoma Starters
  • Williams-Sonoma Main Dishes
  • Williams-Sonoma Desserts 
  • Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone
  • Morton's the Cookbook -- Used it
  • The Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook
  • Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking -- Used it
  • KitchenAid Best-Loved Recipes -- Used it
  • Food Made Fast: Grilling
  • Food Made Fast: Desserts
  • New Flavors for Chicken
  • The Everything Chinese Cookbook
  • The Produce Bible -- Used it
  • The Weeknight Cook -- Used it
  • Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook
  • Betty Crocker's Cookbook
  • Cakepops
  • Crock-Pot Made Simple
  • Williams-Sonoma Tools & Techniques -- Used it

If there is a recipe in one of these books you know of and you think I should try, let me know. It can be overwhelming looking through these cookbooks because there are so many options. 

In the meantime, I promise I'll do my best not to add to my hoarding. Full disclosure, I did just check out a fondue book from the library.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The day my pancreas quit

Behind every diabetic is their story. The story of the day their world completely changed. My story started on March 28, 1990. It may have been the 27th though. The 28th was a Wednesday and I know I had been in the hospital to insist on taking my weekly Friday spelling test on that Friday even though I was in the hospital. I remember leaving the hospital on April 1. So, we'll go with the 28th.

In 1990, I was in second grade. I was eight years old. That day in school I remember spending as much time as possible at the water fountain consuming as much water as possible. I was so tired and didn't feel well so the teachers kept sending me to the nurse's office. The school would not let me go home because I did not have a temperature. I would nap on the cot and then be sent back to class. The cycle continued to repeat the entire day. Finally at 3 p.m. The school decided I could leave early to go home. An entire 15 minutes early! 

Mom picked me up at school and took me home. As soon as we walked in the house she was in the kitchen and on the phone. I had no clue who she was talking to. I grabbed myself a glass of water and gulped it down. It was March and, well that means Girl Scout cookies recently arrived. I climbed up on the cabinet to get to the top shelf of the corner cabinet to get down the box of Samoa cookies. As I reached for the box I heard a very loud "NO!" Mom told me that I couldn't have any cookies. 

The next thing I knew we were at the clinic and soon the doctor, our neighbor, was telling Mom that I indeed had juvenile diabetes. Mom and the doctor spoke for awhile and then Mom told me we were headed to the hospital. Um, say what? I don't remember much from the day. I don't remember if they told me I had diabetes at the clinic or at the hospital. Because of that I don't remember my reaction to the news. I'll have to ask my parents one of these days. 

**Side note: I spoke with my Mom and apparently my memories are not quite accurate. Dad actually picked me up from school and brought me home early but no one told Mom so she waited quite awhile in the school parking lot for me. Eventually she asked the school where I was and they told her Dad had picked me up. From there they took me to the clinic and then to the hospital. She doesn't remember what I do about the cookies, so who knows on that part. 

While in the hospital I learned how to poke my finger to test my blood sugars. I learned how to give myself my shots of insulin but until I went to summer camp (a camp for diabetics - it was like Disney World!) I never gave my own shots. They explained my new diet and how to count calories. 1800 calories a day. My sisters and parents spent a lot of time at the hospital with me. My grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin came to see me too. Some classmates visited me. My teacher did as well -- to give me my spelling test. Full disclosure, spelling was never my best subject and I remember doing horribly on that test. At least I tried though. My teacher brought me a packet of letters all my classmates wrote me telling me to get better. Dad brought me several presents which, oh my goodness, I could never have ever dreamed of owning. He brought me a Paula Abdul 'Forever Your Girl' poster. He also bought me that cassette. Best of all, he bought me my very own cassette tape player. He probably should have waited until after I got discharged from the hospital to give all that to me because I may or may not have played the tape a little too loudly in my room. The loud music may or may not have been accompanied by some dancing on my bed. Hey. Who said a hospital has to be boring? 

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, life changes. It changes A LOT. Some things become better. Some things become worse. There are hurdles you have to jump over and times when you have  to make adjustments. With a chronic illness you learn to pray and hope each day that a cure will be found. That it will be found sooner rather than later. But with a chronic illness, guess what, you aren't dead. You are able to continue living. Yes, you change things, but if you do what you need to, you are alive. It is a pain in the butt. It is annoying. It is not fun. But it is doable. You just have to find a way to make it doable. 

So, yes, on March 28, 1990, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes but nearly 24 years later I am still kicking. I may be a diabetic but it doesn't define me. Rather it is just a part of me. Just like my crazy curly hair. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The nitty gritty

Without a solid foundation, a house will eventually collapse. A sports team will likely be unsuccessful without a solid plan. For this blog to be successful, at least successful to me, it needs to have a plan. Yet, my plan isn't really a plan. Not in the sense of all the strategic plans I've created in my professional career. I have a plan but there is a lot of wiggle room to it. 

My plan for this blog you ask? Simple. I plan to blog about life in general. More specifically, my life. Even more specific -- my life as a Type 1 diabetic (T1D). Here is the catch though, diabetes does not define me. It is just a part of who I am, just like my curly hair. Realistically, it is a large part of me. And every aspect of my daily life impacts it. A day that is filled with stress or excitement can wreck havoc on my blood sugars. I've had diabetes since 1990 when I was 8. In the nearly 24 years, I still battle with myself on accepting it. Everything is finally clicking together in my mind finally though and that is a good thing. I'm hitting the reset button on my diabetes and I'm excited about it. I hope this blog will, in someway, help me on this journey. Perhaps it will help educate others about diabetes. Perhaps connections will be made with other diabetics that I can learn from. 

Back to the blog though, I mentioned blogging about my life. What does that entail? Well, I am an avid fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Chicago Bears. There is a chance during the fall you'll see a post or two about the Cornhuskers, Bears or football in general. For the record, I prefer college over professional. I enjoy cooking and baking. I don't eat much of it but I find the process to be relaxing. My friends enjoy reaping the rewards of this. I have a hunch there will be several posts on my attempts at new recipes. I have more cookbooks than I should and some I've never made a single recipe from. Perhaps as I attempt to tackle a new recipe or cookbook, I'll share the recipe and results with you. I have a long hair chihuahua named Rocky who is my entire world. There may be a post or two about him. Other life stuff -- family, holidays, my professional career (in small doses). 

As I said, there is a lot of wiggle room here. There will probably be quite a few posts without a single mention of diabetes but that is the thing, you don't always have to mention it, but it is always, always there. Maybe no one will read this blog, which would make me a little sad, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. This is selfish, but this blog will help me hold myself accountable. Even if there are no readers, I'm putting this stuff out there so there is no option for not following through on things. 

There you have it. The nitty gritty of Mischievous Kristin. I'm sure I'll share a story or two of my mischief. It would only be fair.