Tag Archives: sick

Sometimes You Need A Muffin

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I woke up this morning with a case of the sniffles. I refuse to call it a full-blown cold, because I need denial to function. After a sudden three-inch snowfall, I also needed a muffin. Not just any muffin- I needed a donut pretending to be a muffin.

In a Pinterest frenzy one day, I came across this delicious looking gluten-free banana chocolate chip donut recipe from Janie’s Kitchen. Since we can have gluten and I don’t own a donut baking pan (yet), I whipped up the slightly altered, lazy, sloppy, less healthy recipe below into some heavenly warm muffins in a jiffy and knocked back two with a milk chaser before bed. Take that snow and sniffles!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


  • 1 cup Mashed Ripe Banana (Roughly 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Butter (Melted)
  • 2 Eggs (Room Temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips (I used a bag with half peanut butter chips, because YUM)


1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. In a large bowl, stir mashed banana, sugar and greek yogurt with a fork.

Mix until incorporated.

3. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla extra and mix.
4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the batter and mix

until just incorporated. Do not over mix!

5. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Grease muffin tins or use liners (I only had six

liners, so I did half of each- so fancy around here).

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes- they should start to get a

little golden on top and a sharp knife will come out clean

if you poke them in a non-chips region; they look a little

lumpy on top, but that’s what makes them delicious.

8. Makes 12 muffins- I filled the tins all the way to the top-

they only rise a little bit.

9. If you end up with some spare batter and can’t wait 15-20

minutes, put on your flannel pajamas and throw it in a mug

in the microwave for five minutes, then eat that with a fork.

I am not recommending this lifestyle, but you have to do what

you have to do when you have the sniffles.


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Filed under At Home, Daily Life, Recipes

What’s Up, Doc?

Halloween may have ended where you are, but we still have trick-or-treaters to expect tomorrow. I stayed home with a cold today, sipping hot tea and hot chocolate and hot soup and losing the willpower battle to dip into the peanut butter cups. I’m not sick often. In fact, I’m smug about how healthy I am most of the time. It’s one of my more irritating qualities. When the Lady moved in, all the medicine in the house had expiration dates sometime in 2010. So, of course, when I do get sick, I insist on putting on a full homebound routine, with flannel and a stack of tissues nearby.

I’m sure there is a study somewhere showing that our mothers were wrong and you don’t get colds from being outside in cold weather or rain. I’m no medical professional. But I did head out to celebrate Halloween last weekend without a coat. Some friends of mine throw an annual bash with around 350 guests in costume and an open bar. It’s notorious. There’s a secret recipe punch, a dj, and enough “slutty ______” costumes to make a girl blind.

In my twenties, I tried for “sexy,” I suppose. But I’m a settled-down ladyperson of a certain age now, and there is no way I’m going to wear a costume that makes me cold or painful heels that I can’t dance in. Instead, on a last-minute shopping spree, I found a bargain on giant sweatshirts. It started with The Lady’s idea. She wanted to dress up as a well-known book character.

Easy peasy- one giant white sweatshirt, some rabbit ears and a bunny tail, and some vampire fangs. So, what does Bunnicula’s date wear?

Yep. That’s me. A Bunnicula victim/ carrot.

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Google is No WebMD

All of a sudden, after running errands around town yesterday in the rain with a coat, but no umbrella, I started to feel a chill. And a headache. Followed by a fever, which left me waking every 30 minutes drenched in sweat, or alternatively frozen to the bone while my face felt like it was on fire. My throat was rubbed raw. All food (and even ginger ale) made me feel queasy.

Nonetheless, I’m off for vacation next week and had to drag myself in to the office, or risk using leave I don’t have to spare on being sick instead of being on the beach in the sunshine.

In an effort to track down some homeopathic solutions to the flu-ish symptoms, I googled the whole list. And what should pop up as the first hit? “West Nile Virus.”

I think I have bigger problems than planning my vacation and trying to bundle up in my office if I’ve contracted West Nile.


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No news is no news

Still no results from the doctors, so I’ll have to leave you with a conversation between BC and I:

BC: So, they did a biopsy?

E: Yep.

BC: So…. could this be bad news?

E: Well, it could be cancer, I guess. Apparently stomach cancer is one of those things that gives you a year or so…

BC: Well, darlin’. I love you. I say if it’s the big C, you move to New Orleans for the duration.

E: I may do that anyway. Wanna come?

BC: Why not? We can’t work though. It’ll get in the way of our cocktails.

E: Speaking of, work is getting in the way of my cocktails right now. What are you doing later?

BC: Say the word.

E: Bourbon.

BC: Ooooooh. Chills….



Filed under Daily Life, Friends, New Orleans, Travel, Working for a Living

Back to Work, Back to Waiting

I’m feeling a little random today (maybe it’s the after-effects of the anesthesia from yesterday?) so you’ll have to forgive me if I ramble between topics a bit.

Health updates: Yesterday’s endoscopy was over before I knew it started (thanks to my being unconscious) and I feel pretty good today except for a sore throat. However, the doctor popped his head in briefly while I was in recovery and mentioned that they didn’t see any ulcers, but had done “a quick biopsy of some tissue” and would get back to me later in the week. Then he left. Um. I was a little out of it at the time, but the word “biopsy” and the implication that there was something unusual has me a little on pins and needles. I’m hoping they’re just being extra-cautious and it’s nothing, but I have to admit I’m a little more nervous about the biopsy results than any other test. Nothing to be done until they call with the results, so I’m truckin’ on with the best case scenarios as best as possible while trying not to freak out those who love me.

Work: My new “good” boss is starting to get a little tense about getting the department perfect after a few weeks. I’m doing my best to take her concerns seriously while actually knowing that perfection is going to take a while around here. I nod very grimly and assure her we will improve as quickly as possible, while knowing that may be another fiscal quarter in the works. It seems to be working.  Well, that and working for comp time on Saturdays.  

Stephanie Klein: I now have dreams about bloggers. Last night I dreamt that Stephanie Klein  had been pregnant again (since the adorable twins) and had 14 additional babies (at once) but never mentioned them on her blog.  In the dream, I was writing her emails asking for updates about the other babies since she only ever wrote about Lucas and Abigail. It was such a realistic dream that it took a serious conversation with myself this morning to explain that there was no chance anyone had given birth to 14 babies and was at home blogging. Period. My brain is a very strange place to be.

Football: Go Georgia Bulldogs! Steelers … sigh… better luck next week. That is all.

Ridiculously Geeky New Hobby: OK, I am a postal mail junkie. I actually write letters and put stamps on them and mail them out. I own stamps of different denominations for different sized mail. So, when I discovered PostCrossing  where I can send out and receive postcards from all over the world, I swore to send and receive one. Except now that I got a little hooked, I’m sending like ten a month. So far, I’ve gotten cards from Dracula’s Castle in Romania, exotic Cleveland, and Canada. And I have cards out to all over Europe and the US. I love getting mail. It’s the little things in life….

Reading: I’ve had tons of time to read in waiting rooms lately, so right now I have four or five books going at the same time. I need to quit my job so I can read books full-time. Now that would be a dream job. Except even if I were a professional editor or publisher, I’d have to read my share of crappy books instead of what I want to read. What job would that be?



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Tomorrow I will be unconscious in an operating room for thirty minutes. While an endoscopy is hardly major surgery, it will also be the first non-dental “surgery” of my life. And I have to admit I’m a little nervous. The doctor asked me to view a “what to expect” video online, skip out on food and drink after midnight, and show up with a ride. Good enough.

But the video also ran through all of the what could go wrong scenarios. Things like bad reactions to anesthesia, tears and bleeding that lead to emergency surgery, samples of “unknown tissue” taken, etc. And all of a sudden I feel very far away from my family in Atlanta, a little alone up here in Pittsburgh in case of emergency. The questionnaire asks about health care powers of attorney and advance directives, which I always meant to get around to, but never did. My local emergency support consists of BC, the ex future mother-in-law, and the ex in a pinch. I have plenty of friends who would visit from work if I were in the hospital, but the numbers of who would sit with me after surgery while I recover on my couch is pretty short.

So, in addition to a scrub-and-shave in the shower, finding the comfortable underwear and the sweatpants I want to come home in, I’m making preparations. Lists of emergency numbers for the family back home in case someone needs to reach them, my supervisor’s direct number in case I’m unconscious when I should be working, a pile of account numbers and where the money stuff is kept.

I am definitely over-preparing for what my doctor views as just another test on our way to discover what is upsetting my stomach so badly. But, my Girl Scout motto has always been “be prepared.” And it seems like when I’m prepared for the worst it never happens. Fingers crossed.

I’ll see you all when I wake up.



Filed under Daily Life, Soul Searching

Giving Up Dinner

Dinner is the best meal of the day, hands down. All the must-do’s of the day are done. There’s time to make something a little more special, or join friends to eat out. Unless, of course, you are me.

Thanks to the ol’ stomach problems, if I eat dinner lately, I am up all night with my face in a trash can. Glamorous, no? The meds are useless so far and the test results from my x-rays, upper GI scan, and blood work won’t be in until the end of the week. Until they figure this all out, I have to make the choice every night between dinner and sleep (without the two hours hurling until I moan and beg the baby Jesus to take me home).

Choosing between major life functions makes for some interesting prioritizing. Some days, the temptation of good friends and good food wins out. Some days I wake up as the bus reaches my street and crawl off and back to bed. And in general, I’m a bit of a delirious disaster- always hungry or tired or both. The best eat/ sleep combo I have found so far was the two days I lived on 2 chocolate Pop Tarts sticks for lunch and nothing else. I actually didn’t feel hungry and I went to bed and slept through the night flat on my stomach like I used to before the doctor insisted on propping myself up on my back or my side at a 30 degree angle. But a woman cannot live on Pop Tart sticks alone.

Last night I had steak dinner plans. Complete with good conversation, a floaty skirt, and a sweet potato on the side with butter and cinnamon. I followed steak dinner with a pint of ice cream each and a Tivo’d documentary on the couch. And at 11 pm, I followed a lovely evening with the trash can. Until after 2 am.

I understand that these things take time. Really I do. And that acid reflux is not the worst possible scenario. But hours of pain and vomiting every night is starting to make me wonder whether this will ever end. Until they figure this all out, it looks like I’ll only be taking invitations for lunch dates.



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