The End is Near!

My title isn't in reference to End Times... it's about this CRUD (aka Pneumonia) that's consumed my life since January 18th. That's SIX WEEKS, people. Since coming home from the hospital, I've felt like I've improved each day..just a tiny bit, but enough to notice and be hopeful. Then after a couple consistent days of that, I'd have a HORRIBLE day. Then improve...then take a step or two backward feeling horrible. Then a couple good days. Back and forth, back and forth.. It's been driving me CRAZY. The last two days were bad days. Very achey. Tons of coughing. Extremely tired. Yesterday morning I coughed and coughed, nonstop until I got physically ill. After that, I felt a bit spent but much, much better. I spent the rest of the day coughing like crazy, but I felt different..a better kind of different. This morning I woke up feeling more like myself than I have in SO very long. I felt giddy! My voice sounds more like ME than it has in weeks. My head feels clearer. My lungs feel clearer (despite the incessant coughing still). Today I feel SO good!!! I'm going to be cautious in exerting myself, but I haven't felt such a marked change until now. VERY exciting!

You should be excited too- because now you won't hear much about my being sick. A couple posts about it and numerous FB status updates and *I* am sick of reading about it! 

To celebrate this... I brewed myself coffee for the first time in over SEVEN weeks. I've had a few Starbucks since being out of the hospital..but I haven't made coffee at home. Just haven't wanted it. But this morning it was the first thing I thought about. So see??! I *AM* more like myself today!

Do you have a French Press? 
Oh my goodness....if not, you need to get one, so you don't feel left out.
Because you ARE missing out.

Not only is it deliciously rich, but there's something about the process that's to be savored.

Don't know how it's done?
First, put a kettle of water on to boil. While you're doing that, put a rounded Tablespoon of freshly ground coffee (coarse vs. fine is better with a press) per 4oz. of liquid. My press is 12 oz. So I toss in 3 heaping Tablespoons (A. I'm slightly rebellious. B. I like my coffee STRONG), sometimes even an extra one, into my empty press. Once the kettle has come to a boil, pour in the water- almost to the top (you have to leave room for the lid/press to do it's thing!). Take a chopstick and give it a few stirs and this is what you'll see....


Beautiful, right?!
Now, place the lid/press on top. Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Then carefully (and slowly), push the plunger down. Be sure to keep it straight and steady or the grounds will sneak out and into your brew!


Here's what it looks like before you press the grounds down to the bottom. See the pretty bloom on top?? Then the layer of grounds, then the brew.


Once you've pressed the plunger all the way to the bottom, pull out your favorite coffee cup and carefully pour yourself a bit o' happiness. Adorn with creamer, should you feel so inclined.


One positive thing about the last few weeks of being stuck in bed is that I've read a number of books. Here's a few that I just finished. The "Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins is SO good! I read "Catching Fire" in a few hours and once I realized I only had a few chapters left before I finished it, I hopped online and put a request in for the final book. I hope I don't have to wait too long!


So here I sit, this morning... at the table. Laptop whirring. My first cup of home-brewed coffee in seven weeks, listening to my favorite Pastor online (James Macdonald), a bit of blog surfing and watching SNOW fall outside. It's not sticking, but it's certainly pretty to look at. 


Hope YOU are having a WONDERFUL day!!!
Remember to savor the little things in your day that bring you joy!



Happy Valentine's Day!

Two years ago, I found this cute idea on the internet while blog hopping..but since we were homeschooling, we didn't really do a bunch of Valentine's. This year, the littles are attending a Christian school and in a typical classroom environment- so I sifted through the miles of "favorites" (seriously. it's out. of. control.) and we re-created it. I quickly discovered that cutting a slit in the photo above/under the hand didn't have enough give to push the lollipop through. So I grabbed a mini paper-punch and it was the perfect solution. The lollipops slipped through with no problem (ie: tearing/puckering of photo).  I took the pics of the Valentine's late at night so the coloring is a bit off- but you get the idea.



Things have been a bit NUTS around here the last few weeks. About three weeks ago, I picked up a cough somewhere. It sounded wet/gross almost from the get-go and then I started feeling flu type symptoms. After a week, I was getting worse- and having difficulty breathing and moving around. So I went to the ER and they took one look at me and whisked me away and the rest was pretty surreal...I landed in the ICU for a couple days and then was able to be in a regular room for a couple days after that with a pretty killer case of pneumonia. My left lung was almost entirely solid white on the chest x-rays, which apparently is really bad. ANYway- that was an experience I do not care to go through again. And if I ever have to receive shots in the stomach (to prevent blood clots) again, boy howdy.... those HURT!! I'm STILL coughing, STILL sore from all that coughing, STILL relying on an inhaler several times a day, STILL spending a lot of time in bed. I am getting better but it's slow going and driving me a bit crazy. I have so many things I want to do!!

The first day I was admitted, my poor hubby went home to take care of the kids and was going to clean up the house for me (remember- I was sick for a week prior to going into the hospital, thus NO housework was done. No dishes. No laundry. Yeah..nasty) and after a load of dishes were run in the dishwasher, the dishwasher started making odd noises. He went to investigate and found the kitchen floor flooded with water. He tried to turn the dishwasher off and it wouldn't..it wasn't hooked up to the breaker either! The landlord showed up and was able to get it turned off (some obscure button under the sink- totally WEIRD) but Bob and Matthew had a ton of water to clean up. Poor guys. We finally got a new one installed the day after I got home from the hospital.

My kids and hubby were total champs while I was in the hospital.. they kept up on homework, taking care of the dogs, and surprised me with a new bedding set when I came home. I felt blessed!

AND..I was incredibly blessed by my family and friends- all the texts, calls, emails, facebook messages,etc. of concern and prayers made my heart swell!
I'm eager to get back into the swing of things but still having to take it easy. As long as I keep improving, I'll have to just be patient. The control freak in me has a hard time with that though!

In the meantime, I've been reading and looking at TONS of magazines (my sister, my bff and the mail have all kept me in supply..there must be 40 lb. of 'em by my bedstand!), watching tv and movies on Netflix, blog surfing, haunting Pinterest, Ebay, and Facebook and enjoying time with my family.

Here's to a lovely Valentine's Day for you all!