I Had A Meeting. . .

 

Signing a Deal

 

Hi Everyone,

As you all know I have been doing the Melanoma Cancer thing for a long time now. The last two years have been interesting to say the very least.  Hanging out with Mel has been exhausting, distracting and quite frankly has taken up 99% of my time all while derailing my writing. Not to mention all the other things Mel has come between.

SO. . . .

I have decided that I must devote the rest of the summer exclusively to my health. It is difficult for me to keep up on this lovely blog idea of mine and concentrate on divorcing Mel all at the same time. All the surgeries, the tests, and medications have made my mind foggy soup in which it is difficult to manage words, sentences ….etc.  I struggle in thinking clearly and completing everyday tasks, so thought provoking blogs are not in the cards at the moment as these take a ton of mental power, which I have none.

However . . .

Even though I shall be departing the blog scene, I am still out and about across the internet.  I have a personal Facebook page for those who are ‘Friendly’ and of course my Twitter account for those who like concise thoughts.    I am all of these places daily, I write a little something everyday on Facebook so please join me there, as this is where I shall be until Mel and I are either divorced or at least I can get a restraining order.  :)

I appreciate your patience in advance and sincerely hope we connect within a different forum of this great thing called the Internet.

~E

My Personal Facebook Page 

My Twitter Page

Wednesday Thoughts. . .

blessing

 

“He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.”

~ Epicurus

 

In Search of Something More. . .

 

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Do you ever wonder if you are living up to your potential or simply skating by through life without ever knowing what you are capable of accomplishing?

I pose this question because I wonder this myself.  I have had the time to look into what my ancestors accomplished during their stay on this crazy planet, and if I should be so bold as they most certainly must have been to set sail across the ocean, in most likely a leaky vessel, in search of a new life, a new beginning. . . that something more.

I feel it is important to know where you have come from in order to understand where you are headed, while finding the all so important balance of not becoming fixated on the past. However, the things you learn about your family can be a fabulously enriching experience as there are, in my case, certain family traits that go back centuries.

~~~~~~~~

My 5th Great Grandfather on my father’s side – a Mr. Enoch Ward (yeah, I can’t make that name up). I do not know much about him other than he fought in the War of 1812 and because of his patriotic service; Congress gave him 160 acres of land.  How bold he must have been to fight for a new nation, to stand up for what he believed in, no matter what the cost.  I do not know where or when the vessel he chose was berthed, but I find this type of fortitude, stubbornness, if you will, runs deeply within my own veins.

Someone, I cannot recall who, ran off to live with the Cherokee tribe. Can you imagine such a daring move during a time when such things were, most definitely not politically correct.

 

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There are historical events that make me cringe, as not to long after Mr. Ward, fought for his new land, other relatives moved to the wrong side of the Mason/Dixon line and some had as many as 100 slaves. Moreover, many of them fought for this right during the Civil War.  While this is a tremendously hurtful part of my ancestry, as I wonder how in the world anyone could be so ignorant, I shall not sweep it under the rug – I shall simply pause as a deep sigh floats up from the center of my being.   It still touches upon the fact that these folks, no matter how wrong their cause, stood up for what they believed in, no matter what the cost.

 

~~~~~~

Henry Bernard Bartelsen, my great grandfather, on my mother’s side, while he did not sail across the ocean, his father Peter did.  Peter set sail from Germany in 1840, in search of that something more. How bold indeed, as even in the 1800’s the invention of whole home temperature control was merely a fantasy.   Together, in the early 1900’s both Peter, and H.B. (as apparently he was known) set out to begin what I believe is an early Wal-Mart type store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In the research I have done, I have found several photos and events tied to these two industrious men.  While they did not have to fight for the birth of a nation, they most certainly had to fight for the birth of their company; H.B. Bartelsen & Co.   Further investigation notes that when Peter made the trip across the sea, he brought with him indentured servants.  A crazy thought, but it was the practice if one could not afford the trip themselves.

 

 

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Which, brings us to my Grandmother, Pearl – H.B.’s daughter.

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At some point, my grandmother, like her grandparents, became restless and was in search of that something more, whatever that something more may have been I shall never know.  As a teenager, my grandmother hopped on a westbound train towards Los Angeles and remained there until her death nearly 80 years later.

It seems as though my family searches for the more, fights for what they believe in and oddly enough I moved, (from Los Angeles) nearly 100 years later, to Wisconsin as I found it to be the something more I was in search of.   I do ponder on occasion, as so many of my ancestors struck out on their own, whether in business or in life in general, I wonder if there is something greater than myself that I must be doing, contributing to this life as to leave something amazing for those who come after.

 

~E

 

 

Mother’s Day….

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~My favorite words for Mother’s Day, by Erma Bombeck but first a few of my own.
Blessed are those who have mother’s fully engaged in their lives, those willing to put their dreams aside to inspire the dreams of their children.

~E

“When God Created Mothers”
by Erma Bombeck

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

Can it think?”

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

What’s it for?”

It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

You are a genius, ” said the angel.

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.

No Ordinary Girl . . .

Skyline-Los-Angeles-Night

Hello My Lovely, Loyal Readers.

First, I would like to thank you for your patience with my not so punctual performance here, as I deal with the Cancer Conundrum and thus my inefficient postings.  I do believe, as of this morning, I may be seeing some light at the end of this very long tunnel.  (No, not that light, just a bright spot on figuring out my ‘new normal’.)

While it is important to speak of Melanoma Cancer, the fact that it is not ‘just skin cancer’ and ‘not a big deal’ and that 1 American dies from melanoma every hour, I must move on for my own sake.  I shall share updates as I go along, for example I have another PET scan on the 15th and with any luck at all, as luck has been on my side, I shall be ‘pet’ free.  Yes, humor makes this entire situation a bit more bearable.  As for my humor, it seems to me, and those around me the more pain I am in, the more jokes I crack.  I wonder sometimes were these jokes come from as I have always been so serious, so focused on doing work — I am was a work-a-holic.  The last note I would like to mention about my Cancer Conundrum is that Monday May 5, 2014 is Melanoma Monday and I would suggest you check your spots, as may no spot be unturned. Here is a link to vital information on what to look for in order to avoid your own Conundrum.  For those wishing more information about my life with cancer, my door is always open, feel free to send an email and let’s chat.

 

So what shall you write about, you may be wondering.   Well, I have the answer, I have decided to write an installment series on who I am, where I have been, and how I ended up where I am today, as I certainly know that being a voyeur into another’s world can be quite hypnotic.   I do, however, still struggle with stringing words along in a sensible order, as always will be a perfectionist and thus poetic thoughts are difficult to come by lately, but I shall give it a whirl and see what comes of it.  I simply ask for your patience and understanding.

 

Let the frivolity commence!

 

In a galaxy far, far away….  Oh, wait that opening has already been taken.

 

We shall begin with an overview, a synopsis if you will.

 

I have spent a half century on this planet, and growing up in the 70’s in Southern California is an experience in its own. I was brought up in such a fashion that women should be women, while men should be men and I honestly believe in the convention of women’s work and there is nothing feminine about feminists.  I believe in Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates as my guides to understanding the big why of it all, as grasping this concept is what drives me forward.  I am fascinating in understanding why American society no longer dresses to go outside, as in many of us feel that pajama’s and looking disheveled is acceptable. Have we lost all pride? I still, at the tender age of 49 and 3/4′s have difficulty entering a bar as it is not a place for ‘ladies’. I believe women should take care of their men in order for their men to take care of them. My views on intimacy are different from most women I know — but alas, this is what makes life so wonderful — different perspectives. I have never been a so called ‘girly-girl’ and find the whole shopping phenomenon mind-boggling.

My father’s life story, as far as I know it, is an amazing journey in itself. Sadly, I did not appreciate his wealth of knowledge until after his death, in so much as he was rarely around during my childhood.  He is a fine example of hard work will get you where you need to be, with nothing but an 8th grade education and a ton of determination he went from errand boy at RKO to an executive at Tri-Star Pictures.  There are times I wish I knew that guy, and not the guy I knew as my father.  (note I use the word father, not dad..it says a lot.)

As a child, I was taught that children should be seen and not heard, and preferably not seen either, which was the standard protocol of child rearing during the 60’s/70’s.  I was brought up in such a fashion as young ladies were to be taught to be delightful housewives. Yet, in the same respect, upon my father’s insistence, and necessity, I also learned everything there is know about ‘the department of the exterior’ as he would refer to house maintenance, as my mother was in charge of ‘the department of interior’. In so much I can fix most anything that comes my way. I am pretty self sufficient — as every woman should be.

As a teenager I was, most certainly, a rebel without a cause.

I endured an abusive marriage, crazy boyfriends, and had to reach rock bottom to realize that I did not deserve such treatment, thus finding the courage to re-invent myself. I’ve had a mid-life crisis, a complete mental breakdown, and recovered from it all — learning tremendous lessons.  I broke the cycle of abuse but it was not easy, as I come from a long line of alcoholics and serious dysfunction.

I spent the first half of my life working in office/financial management and at some-point, I decided that I needed a college education as years earlier my life as a teenage rebel had no room for such nonsense. At forty, I began the college degree journey. I have two degrees now, Law and Management. The law degree was so I could understand the legal process — being embroiled in Los Angeles family court and not understanding how to play the game was unacceptable. If it was only unacceptable before I lost everything that would have been good. Oh Captain Hindsight, you are so brilliant.  I earned a management degree in Hospitality because I had a vision of lovely retreat for those who struggle in life, (walk a similar path as to my own) as a way to guide them towards happiness. I honestly do not know if this will ever happen, due to the cancer deal, but one never knows. I have authored a book and contributed to several others. For more information about these just email me and I shall direct you towards them, as I am not one to toot my own horn, so many do not know about my writing.

After losing it all, except the clothes on my back, I moved from Los Angeles, to the Midwest, where I knew one person — in essence, I hit the Ctrl-Alt-Delete button and began anew.

I shall expand upon these points as learning how ‘not to conduct life’ from someone who did everything backwards, may indeed be useful to someone else.

 

Have a tremendous day, knowing that if I could certainly walk through the fire of dysfunction and out the other side, so can you. Life only holds drama as long as you let it, as soon as you no longer find it acceptable, it stops.

~E

 

A Journey with A Purpose. . . Part II

Journey

In our last episode, of what I now would like to call, Does this Lymphedema Make me Look Fat?  (ha-ha, you’ve got to laugh at yourself or this whole life thing wouldn’t be any fun.) we learned about three lovely characters that you will get to hang out with if you don’t catch your Freckle Gone Wild fast enough. 

I love my puns, don’t you?

If you missed the first installment please read it here.  

Your life changes, in an instant, when your physician tells you, you have cancer and the first thing that comes to mind, (my mind anyway) is “Get it the heck out of me already! What are we waiting for!” and so they do –remove it. Which brings me to another thing you must become accustom to when you have Melanoma – surgery.  You must be prepared for surgery and a bunch of them – it not a one and done scenario – No Siree’ Bob.  You have entered the world of multiple surgery land and once you enter there is no going back.

Why? You may indeed be wondering.  Well, I will tell you.   Contrary to popular belief, it is not as simple as removing the afflicted spot, it’s more of a let’s take a chunk out of you, and because it is such a large chunk we need to replace it with a skin graft.  Therefore, you get the 2 for 1 deal the first go around, skin removal for your skin graft as well as removing the afflicted spot, plus or minus 3 or so inches.  Yeehaw!  

Are you still with me? 

This surgery requires a few months of strict bed rest in order for the skin graft to take.  I must admit that my thought process was along the lines of that I would finally get a vacation, albeit not the vacation I really wanted, but a vacation nonetheless.  I, until this moment in time, worked 60+ hours a week, I am a A-Type person, so keeping me down is a bit difficult but in a crazy way I thought laying in bed would afford me the time to do things I had been neglecting – my creative side.    Oh Boy was I wrong.

Six months into trying to get my darn leg to heal, I was ready for another surgery, as is the standard procedure. A series of surgeries to remove the skin graft so that, because mine was sitting directly on my nerves pinching them.  My point is, now that I have rambled is you get to have a bunch of surgeries, a half a dozen or so.   Sounds fun right?  Thus bringing us to yet another new change in your life –you get to finally have ‘people’.  Yes, that’s right your own entourage, only yours consists of not body guards and manic fans, yours consists of physicians, surgeons, and therapists.

Photo as my leg is today, two years and a half a dozen surgeries later.  The original freckle gone wild was the average size, nothing spectacular, nothing to write home about. It was on the lower portion of my leg, the smaller chunk missing. The upper chunk is my most recent surgery, in which a small, pea sized lump reoccurred underneath my skin.  The point being, a small thing becomes a large thing in an instant.  (Yes, it hurts like hell, 24/7.)   I cannot, for the sake of vanity, and the fact I am just one person, show you the large chunk missing from my inner upper thigh – but let us just say it is resembles the lower portion – it could be it’s twin.

Leg

I went from one primary doctor, once a year, “Gee your fine” visit to, 1 Surgeon, 2 Oncologists, 1 Dermatologist, and 1 Physical Therapist.  I also enjoy hanging out, on a regular basis, with a plethora of technicians, lab personnel, nurses, and various and sundry others who all know me by my first name. In visiting your entourage, you will need assistance, especially for those long days of waiting in between lab visits and oncologists visits as they schedule them all at once.

 

Chair

 

I, for the sake of having to be driven to my appointments (Did I mention that driving long distances is out of the question?) I schedule nearly every appointment back-to-back.  I still streamline everything I do.  I cannot help it, it’s what I do – streamlining, efficiency, work smarter, not harder attitude.  Do it right the first time and there is no need to do it over.  A lifetime of streamlining organizations still sings loudly in my heart.    In as much as you need to get around, I use either my wheelchair (NASCAR has nothing on me!) or my cane.  Both use to disturb my soul, as there is something inside of me that refuses to be put down, set aside or be told that I cannot do something, but then I realize these are simply tools in which I use now to get something accomplished.  I use the wheelchair for sitting at the stove for cooking long meals, since standing is not an option. Someday, when my ship comes in,you know the one with the boatload of cash on it, I will redo the kitchen so that it is more user friendly, but for now, I shall simply, Improvise, Adapt and Overcome any obstacles that stand in my way.

Therefore, my lovely readers please do not dismiss the power of the sun, the damage that even the loveliest of tans can bring. Take care of yourselves, inside and out.  Feed you soul delicious food, exercise to feed your spirit, meditate to feed your mind and live in gratitude.  Despite my limitations I find joy in everything I do, every breathe I take and am truly grateful for this life of mine.  

Bloom Where You Are Planted, and Watch Your Life Flourish.

~E

 

PS. For those still waiting for my 101 First Last Date’s book to be completed, I recently received it back from my editor and so it I shall write my little heart out to make it a memorable read.  I do believe, the cancer is behind me now, as it certainly is no longer welcome in my home. And for those who are also following along with my goal of getting back to being in shape before I turn the Big Five-O, this past surgery threw me for a loop but I am back on it and with a bit of due-diligence the scale will stop saying One at a time in no time at all.  Yes, I will post photos when I reach my goal, but for now, I shall just guide you here to what my goal is – a long ago photo.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch. . .

Locks of Love

 

Last November I decided to grow my hair for those who have to suffer through the horrors of chemo, as I have been blessed to not have to endure such sufferings.  Since November, I have had three more surgeries and in as much my attention has been elsewhere and not focused on the length of my locks.  It is most definitely longer, significantly so, the bottles of shampoo and conditioner I run through vouch for such things, but I really had no idea, until this photo. . . November on the left, yesterday on the right. It speaks for itself.   The lingering question is, shall I continue to grow it until the end of summer first thought, or shall I keep going until the end of the year as the more I can give the better it shall be?

Thoughts?

Remember, even though it may seem as though you have nothing to give, the smallest of gestures will lift your spirit and fill you heart with warmth as giving is far better than receiving.

~E

A Journey With A Purpose. . .

Spring

Spring has arrived and so with it the sun.  The sun beckons us to bath in all its glory, to soak up its warmth in order to shed the harsh winter from our souls and for millions this is precisely what they shall do – bask in its glow.

While the sun is beneficial and replenishes our bodies with the vital nutrient Vitamin D, there are ways to be smart about your time spent under the clear blue sky.  All I ask is that you think before you head outside for the day at the beach, at the lake, lounging poolside or simply being outside for any long duration, as you can get too much of a good thing.

My journey with cancer has been something one doesn’t really hear about, breast cancer takes center stage as the mainstream cancer issue and rightfully so as 1 in 4 women will encounter this disease.   Melanoma however is a giant, silent killer and ironically enough, preventable, easily detectable and curable if caught early.

If however you, like myself, choose to ignore all that is said about frolicking in the sunshine, then the greatest hurdle you shall face, isn’t the cancer itself, but your life after multiple surgeries, and procedures.

The spot on your leg isn’t that bad, it’s always been there.  It’s just a freckle.  It’s only a mole.  One sunburn is no big deal.   I thought that too, and you may indeed be correct in your thinking that it is only a freckle, a mole, and it is harmless, but don’t take your word for it, as unless you have a medical degree in such subjects go to your physician and ask – that is painless.

What happens when you don’t? You can expect to become tremendous friends a new way  of living.

The Shower Chair:

Bath

It’s a lovely thing, provoking images of senior citizens who have lost their stability.  The simple fact is that once your lymph nodes are removed your body has no way of removing the ‘lymph fluid’ and so it pools up where ever these are lost.  The lympatic system is pretty remarkable as it is “an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections.”[1]   Your ability to stand for even the briefest of showers will cease as the swelling that occurs is tremendous, of course if you are in love with shades of purple and red then you have nothing to worry about.  However, I do not care for the pain that accompanies the shades of purple and red so I sit, with leg extension as downward is no longer an option – ever.

The lymph system as remarkable as it may be, is a one way street, and the only way to get it flowing is to actually move. Gravity is no longer your friend.   So you must move, which then leads to swelling and lovely purple and red hues.   AH, but there is a solution…

The Compression Garment:

Stockings

Again, reminiscent of someone’s grandmother, this lovely accessory is a must as it keeps the pressure on to keep the swelling down.   Simple moving from one area to another requires forethought as without some sort of pressure garment ( I have several) you won’t be moving very far without tremendous pain, and of course your new friends purple and red.   Which leads me to your other new friends.

Mr. & Mrs. Multiple Pillows.

Pillows

You must, for the majority of the day, keep your leg elevated, as downward is no longer an option. Sitting at a desk is no longer an option. Driving a car any distance is no longer an option.   Mr. & Mrs. Multiple Pillows go where you go.   Dining out must be thought out as finding a spot to rest your leg on is a priority (when I go, I choose a booth as I can rest my leg either sideways or stretch underneath the table and rest it on the other side.)  The thought process to going anywhere is more than I had thought – I no longer venture anywhere.   Mr. & Mrs. Multiple Pillow will become your sleeping companion as well – as elevated (above your heart)  is where your leg shall always remain.

 

Think lounging is a good thing?  It may indeed sound tempting especially if you are typical and have a hectic work schedule but lounging for more than an hour, does not work either, as the lymph becomes stagnant and therefore you limb becomes tight as it fills with fluid and has nowhere to go.  So you move, and move you must. Walking works, to a degree, riding a stationary bike works too, to a degree…what really helps is manual lymph massage in which you spend a half hour working to drain the lymph into other regions of your body.  I have found that hanging upside down for a half hour, every few hours or so, three to four times a day, helps manage the pain, the swelling and the most fascinating aspect is I can feel the fluid move – the lymph nodes in my neck take the brunt of the excess which causes pain but this subsides.

Can you imagine how you could get work done like this?  Every few hours having to move, adjust, elevate, hang upside down, readjust and begin the process all over.  The compression garments work, to a point, but when the system is overloaded it simply overflows to other regions and thus the cycle begins again . . .

I shall stop there, but will write again on the other best friends you will have if you ignore moles, freckles, spots, or believe that one or two sunburns isn’t a big deal.  It may or may not happen to you. I do not, in anyway believe for a moment that everyone who gets a tan, or a sunburn will end up with cancer but for crying out loud heed my words and be smart in the sun.

If you do that, then my journey will have been for something.

 

~E

 

[1] http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/body_basics/spleen.html

Time is Money, or Lack Thereof

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“There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to increase its profits.”  Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman was the 20th Century’s most prominent American economist and frankly, if you have taken a business class you will know his viewpoints on business, economics, and capitalism.  I would like to tell you that this line of thinking is no longer prevalent in 21st Century society.  I would like to tell you that Corporate American has figured out that how they conduct business, how they treat society as a whole, not merely their individual consumers is their first line to ‘increasing profits’, but alas I cannot.

Example: 

I filed for Social Security Disability insurance (a system in which I paid into for nearly thirty years) in 2012.  Under their own definition I qualify as it has been nearly two years from the date of my first application (May 25, 2012) and I have subsequently undergone six surgeries and thus meeting all three definition criterion.

 

“Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work.  We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.  (emphasis added)

 

Bogged down with those who intend to defraud the system, Social Security Disability is subsequently overburdened, thus leaving those of us who play by the rules out in the cold, as we wait for some sense of decency from those in charge.  I continue to wait for a hearing, which I am told can take up to 15 months, it has been 9 since I appealed their denial of benefits and will be a total of 2 full years in May.  Nearly three years is a long time to wait for the money I paid into the system in case such a calamity occurred.

Unfortunately, while I wait, (tick, tock, tick) I have bills to pay.

Which brings me to. . .

PNC Bank has, as of the first of the year, put into place a $7.00 a month charge to keep a checking account, unless one meets certain requirements.  According to PNC Bank:

“There are several options to fulfill requirements to avoid the monthly service charge of $7.00:

  • $500 average monthly balance in Spend and/or Reserve
  • $500.00 aggregate direct deposit per statement period into SPEND account
  • Use only ATM, online banking, mobile banking or other self-serve electronic methods to make withdrawals, deposits or cash checks
  • Proof of active enrollment in a qualifying educational institution (expires 6 years after the account is enrolled in the PNC Student Banking program).”  (https://www.pnc.com)

When I realized this is a new rule, (as of 2014) I first emailed PNC Bank to see what they could do to temporarily wave this monthly fee as I am stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  Through email I received, the above-mentioned rules to abide by in order avoid the monthly fee.  I then spoke with the manager at my local branch as was again told that I must meet the above-mentioned rules in order to avoid the monthly fee.

So, my friends, this is how Corporate America works, I continue to wait for a hearing for disability which could take place as early as September, all while PNC Bank will continue to withdraw  $7.00 a month from my account as their hands are tied in acting as a social responsible entity.

Milton Friedman was indeed correct “There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to increase its profits.”

 

The Facts: I have stage three melanoma cancer, I have had six surgeries to remove said cancer since February 2012.  I can no longer walk, sit or stand without tremendous pain, which subsequently leaves me with periods of cognitive impairment.   As of this moment, my goal is go an entire year without surgery.  It’s good to have goals.

 

~E

The Humble Waffle – A Love Story

no egg waffle

Love has occurred in stranger places; this love story begins in a hospital and ends in the kitchen.

We all know my last go around with surgeons, scalpels and hospitals was not fun, as no surgery is ever fun, but six to remove recurrent cancer is no shindig.  This last surgery left me with the sense of impending doom, oddly my first diagnosis two years ago did not as death never crossed my mind.  Apparently, six surgeries and a host of physicians stating that cancer has come back changes one’s life perspective.  Who Knew?

As I recovered from the horrific surgery I knew I could no longer ‘cheat’ on my diet as there is an entire section of science devoted to nutrition and disease — eggs, cheese, dairy and animal protein of any kind had to go.  All animal protein and sugar make cancer grow.  Most people will scoff, shake their head and refer to any study that suggests such things as ‘junk science’ and they are free to do so, but understanding the research and the money that drives the cancer business (and all other diseases) is an eye opener and all I would suggest is one read scientific white papers, research studies, not websites that lean one way or the other.  College libraries are where you go to read such things.  Anyway, back to our love story.

My lover and best friend clearly stated that he was not going to lose the best thing that has ever happened to him and so he proceeded to create the no-egg waffle.   Waffles have always been a part of my Sunday mornings, ( I would make them for my children), and  most Sunday mornings are spent lingering over the newspaper, coffee, and waffles.  The dynamic of our relationship is based upon taking care of each other, we understand what the other needs, and so it works.  It is simple really; a woman must take care of her man in order for her man to take care of her — no rocket science going on.  I highly recommend the book His Needs, Her Needs, to grasp this concept of mutual understanding and commitment.

His need to create a new version of our beloved waffle was, in my opinion, truly romantic, as it is a gesture of love — straight from the heart. Most Sunday mornings are still spent lingering over waffles, coffee and the paper, but the waffle making has changed a bit, he now makes them as I can no longer stand that long to create delicious things, and this is fine with me as it reminds me that love stories can happen just about anywhere.

Here is his recipe. They are the best tasting waffles I have ever had and because I no longer eat straight out sugar I heat some strawberries until soft and use that as my ‘syrup’. (Yes, that is the waffle I ate this morning and yes, it was delicious.)  Also, please take into account he is an engineer when reading.

Waffles with No Eggs

  • 2 cups flour

  • 4 tsp baking powder

  • 3 tsp sugar

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 2-¼ cups almond milk

  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil (for the good fats, moisture, & waffle release) or vegetable oil

  • ¼ to ⅓ cup of silky tofu (to smooth it out, add protein, structure)

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • ¼ tsp of yeast

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  1. Combine the dry ingredients

  2. In a separate bowl mix together the milk, oil, water, vanilla, tofu.

  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix together gently.  Use whisk to break up clumps

  4. Let the batter sit for a 10 minutes to give it time to puff up.

  5. Once your waffle maker is *fully* hot & ready to go, depending on the size of your maker, scoop the batter in and enjoy!

Recommend you use a little spray on olive oil on waffle maker to release easy.

Enjoy!

~E

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