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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April round up: Scotch eggs, neighborhood mischief, and surgery

The end of April has certainly been eventful around here!

Easter, besides being very late this year, was extremely wet. The trip to the park I had hoped to have was out of the question. I still cooked a big meal, ham and fresh new potatoes, green beans, and strawberries for dessert. And I finally made (and got to taste) Scotch eggs. Somehow I didn't expect them to be as big as they were:

Scotch eggs!




The verdict? I thought they were very tasty. My husband loved them, and finished them off one by one over the next few days. I used a super-mild sausage, and next time will try a spicier one. (I thought they were just a tad bland). They're too much trouble to make very often, and it's really just as well. It's not exactly health food. I only ate one, because I've been having stomach issues for months now and a big chunk of meat and egg like that could really cause me some pain (more about that later).

Easter would have been a fun, cozy day spent at home with good food and movies--except we had and incident in the neighborhood that soured the rest of the afternoon. A sweet lady that lives across the street from us had her house broken into while she was at church Easter morning. Someone kicked open her door, ransacked her house, and stole some valuables. This occurred in broad daylight! If we (or any of the other close neighbors) had happened to look out of a window at the right time, we would have seen it happening. It makes me so angry. The lady is a widow and lives alone, and she's now afraid to stay in her house. She's been staying with one of her adult daughters since it happened, and I don't really blame her. Seeing her house swarming with police cars, and then finding out what had happened, was a real downer on a holiday morning. I surely hope it was only an isolated incident.

Back to the stomach pain I mentioned earlier. In March I had an upper GI endoscopy which revealed a hiatal hernia and acid reflux. I also had an ultrasound of my gallbladder. The ultrasound revealed lots of gallstones and apparently that's responsible for the intense pain I would have from time to time. Both the ultrasound technician and the surgeon noted that I have extreme tenderness on my right side directly under my ribcage. This indicated some inflammation of the gallbladder, due to the stones inside.

So, lucky me. I have to have my gallbladder removed on May 14th. This will be the first surgery of my life, and while I'm not scared, I dread the inconvenience of it all. Not to mention the added medical expenses. But there's one silver lining to the cloud: my work will pay me short-term disability while I'm out, and the surgeon says that even though it will the easier form of the surgery, that he prefers that I stay out of work for 3 to 4 weeks. So I will get a bit of a vacation from work, without having to use up vacation or sick hours.

That's it for April!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of my blog friends out there! I hope everyone is enjoying the arrival of spring and all the wonderful things that go along with it.

I'll be cooking a big meal tomorrow, even though it's just the two of us. Hams were on sale at the grocery store this week, so I'm cooking a small one. It's going to have the Coca-Cola/brown sugar glaze I used on the Christmas ham. I'll also be cooking fresh little red new potatoes and green beans purchased at the market yesterday, and there will be deviled eggs, as always. (It's not Easter without deviled eggs). Speaking of eggs....

I'm finally going to attempt to make Scotch Eggs! Are you reading this, John Gray?! I've never had one, and no one around here has ever heard of them, so I had to find a recipe online. I'm quite excited to see how they turn out. Photos and a recipe review will be forthcoming early next week!

To finish off our holiday meal, I picked up some of the first local strawberries and a coconut cake from the bakery down the road. Perfect festive spring desserts!

The best part of Easter, for me, will be spending time with my husband. Our days off don't align very often, and it's going to be nice to spend the holiday hanging out together.

Wishing everyone a joyous day!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Still around!

I quick hi and an update before I dash off to work this afternoon.

I interviewed for the job I mentioned in my last post, and although the interview went well and I was offered the job, I turned it down.

The funding for my potential salary would come from a grant that must be renewed every third year. It has one year left before it must be renewed again, and the last time they cut the salary and hours some, so who knows if--and for how much money--it would be renewed next time. I'm looking for a more stable situation than that.

Another reason I declined the offer was my potential new boss. She gave the interview, and I saw right away there would be problems. She kept fishing to find out what church I might attend, for one thing. That made me extremely uncomfortable. After the second "hint" I dodged, she admitted religion is a personal topic, but said that I could "recruit volunteers from among your church family" so that's why she was bringing it up. Sheesh.  Surely she knows that it's illegal to ask questions about religious affiliations in a job interview...but we're overrun with evangelical Baptists around here and there would be no consequences for her if anyone were offended enough to report it. I'm used to this sort of thing, sadly. Another thing-- Ms. Church Lady Executive Director kept receiving (and sending!) text messages during the interview! Unbelievable.

So the job search is back on. I'm disappointed, but imagine I will have to sit through a few more interviews before the right job appears.

Meanwhile, the whole world outside my window is exploding with soft Easter-egg colors. A thousand shades of green, as well as purple, pink, yellow, white mark the arrival of full-on, wonderful spring. I'm enjoying every minute of being outdoors right now!