This is Farewelll....

Posted by Cassandra

But just to Blogger!

Check out my new home at:

Everything from Blogger is there, the only thing that's changed is the look (obviously) and the url!

Wok This Way...

Posted by Cassandra

Using this recipe, Pat and I created Orange Chicken for dinner yesterday. While Pat cut the chicken into cubes, I whisked the eggs, mixed the flour, salt and pepper, and made the orange sauce, which turned out really tangy, thanks to my additions to the recipe (hello extra oj!). After Pat had finished cutting up the chicken, he dunked each piece into the egg, then the flour mixture, and built a little chicken igloo out of the entire thing. It was like a really slow assembly line. Then, he used the wok to fry everything, begging me every few minutes to "add more oil! It's sticking!"

I also made a really yummy smoothie with fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apple and orange and the rest of the oj I didn't use in the orange sauce. I blended all the fruits with the juice, and then when it was nice and smooth, I poured it through a strainer to get rid of all the seeds. I put the newly smooth mixture back into the blender and added a few (huge) scoops of vanilla ice cream and blended until everything was mixed. It was really refreshing after eating the chicken (which I put rice and soy sauce on. I didn't eat the actual orange sauce.) and yesterday it was about 90 degrees outside, so the smoothie was cool and thick, and absolutely delicious.

While we ate the chicken (we even fried up the fat in the leftover egg and flour mixture for the dog), we watched "The Blind Side" which I hadn't seen. Both the chicken and the movie were really good.

This morning, I made pancakes with fresh blueberries. The blueberries oozed while the batter cooked, and every bite had a blueberry in it. I ate those while I watched "Tooth Fairy" with Dwayne Johnson. I love Dwayne Johnson.


Posted by Cassandra

So yesterday, I had an appointment to get my meningitis shot for college. I was okay with doing one shot, even though I am so scared of needles. Seriously just thinking about needles makes my stomach quiver with fear, as does the rest of my body. I walked into the office out of the pouring rain, and sat down, waiting for the nurses at the counter to be free. Finally, they say my name, and I stand up and walk over to the counter. I give them my insurance card, and the nurse looks at me and says, "You're due for about 4 shots today."

I wanted to run away.

I cleared my throat, and tried to smile as I asked what shots I needed.
"Well, you need Tetanus, because your last one was 6 years ago. You should get Hepatitis A, I recommend HPV, and also, your meningitis. Come into the back, and we'll talk."
I nodded, and followed her dumbly, like a sheep being led to slaughter. I was calming myself down in my head, making my feet go forward, and not back.

We get to the room, and I sit down on the table, covered with white paper with little blue flowers. It crinkles when I sit. I watch her open the fridge where the medication is, and then she opens a drawer. Filled with syringes. My stomach revolts, and my legs automatically stand up. I make myself sit back down. The conversation in my head goes something like this, "You're 18 years old. You can get shots. Look how tiny the needles are. NEEDLES?!" Then I shut myself up.

The nurse asks me if I want to do Hepatitis A. I ask her about it. She tells me that it's needed to travel, and she recommends getting it before I leave the state. It's a series of shots; one today, the second in 6 months.

"I'm going to be moving to college in a few months, so I don't think I want that one today." She nods, and then starts to talk about HPV. I told her that I decided a few years ago that I didn't want it, and she launches into my sexual history. I decide (again) that I don't want the shot. Come on, you have to have three of them within a year, and I'd heard horror stories about how much they hurt.

"Tetanus in the right arm, meningitis in the left, okay?" I nod.

Then she lifts up the tiny glass bottles that hold the medicine for the shots I'm going to get. Its barely half an inch of liquid in the syringe. My vision goes blurry when she turns around with a syringe in her hand. "Make your arm floppy, like a noodle. Pretend it doesn't belong to you." She tells me. But I'm thinking, "Crap! It DOES belong to me! It's my arm! Please don't hurt me!" I squeeze my eyes closed, I feel the needle break the skin, the click of the syringe and then seconds later, the burn of the medicine.

"I barely felt that." I say in disbelief.
"You rarely feel the first. But you'll feel the second."

Come on, lady! Don't tell me that! I'm thinking about bolting to the door.

She gets the other syringe, and tells me to make my arm floppy and breathe. I breathe dramatically. When the needle breaks the skin, my eyes get wet, and I flinch. "Ow!" I say, and look down; and she's mopping up the blood. "Do you get woozy when you see blood?" She asks. "Not mine." I say in a half whisper. "Use your arms a lot, and if you want, take Tylenol for the pain. Oh, and if you get a fever or swelling, go to the E.R." Gulp.

I'm done. With the needles, but not the pain.

I head home, driving through the rain, and when I get there, I fall down onto the couch, hold my arms, and whimper. I feel my head every few seconds, waiting for the fever. My body is freezing, and I wrap myself into a blanket. I don't get warm. Later, my dad gets home from work, and we make pizzas. I eat quite a bit.

At 8, Kyle calls.

At 9, I go to bed.

At 4, I wake up and throw up so hard it hurts. I rush to the bathroom in time to throw up into the toilet; dry vomit that hurts to cough up. I almost choke. I wish for someone to hold my hair back. I go back to bed, after drinking a little water and getting a mint. Peppermint helps with upset stomach, right?

At 5.27, I'm up again. The mint isn't dissolved, and I reach into my mouth to grab it, gagging in the process. I don't even have time to roll out of bed before I'm throwing up. Huge, loud heaves that make me gasp for breath in between. At least this time I had more liquid to throw up. Good thing the trash can was beside my bed. Bad thing some graduation presents were beside it. Good thing I have aim, because they didn't get wet.

I try to go back to sleep, but the smell of vomit (pizza, yum) makes me throw up again. I empty the trash, turn on my scentsy, put a drop of "Purification" in the trash on second thought and crawl back into bed. I can't go back to sleep even with the cleaner smelling room, because I can't fall asleep on my back or belly, and my arms hurt too much to lay on them. I do it anyways, and cry out everytime I shift my weight. I fall back asleep. I dream the world is ending.

My stomach is still weak now, and I'm drinking 7-up to try and calm it down. On the way home from dropping Pat off at work, I almost had to pull over because I got so nauseous.

I hate shots.

Silent Saturday 1

Posted by Cassandra

I've seen this done before on other blogs, under different names; Wordless Wednesdays anyone? So I've decided to put Silent Saturdays into effect.

Without further ado, I give you the Silent Saturday photo.


Posted by Cassandra


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 can almond filling (12 oz) ((Use any flavor you like, match extract you're using))
2 cups all-purpose flour


Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Beat in extract and filling until well blended. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until dough is stiff. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until dough is no longer sticky.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Using a teaspoon, scoop out balls of dough and put on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes (you may need to cook them longer; test a cookie to make sure they're cooked inside.)
Cool on sheets, then transfer slightly warm cookies to wire racks.
Enjoy! (or store in an airtight container.)

Makes about 64 cookies.


Posted by Cassandra

Because I am not working this entire week, I've become a lazy log, lying on the couch, watching rented movies, and snacking on whatever is in the house that passes for food. (Yesterday, I consumed five hard-boiled eggs, and more than two pounds of cherries in about an hour. Today, it was nachos, and pizza in quick succession. Yum.)

Yesterday the movies were: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, He's Just Not That Into You, and 2012. Today, The Silence of the Lambs, Sex and the City (number one, now I really want to see number two...) and soon, Valentine's Day.

I also made cookies. Delicious, bite-size almond cookies. The first batch of 16 was a tiny bit over-cooked; the bottoms were darker (and crunchier) than I like. But the next batch turned out awesome! I still have the extra dough in the fridge...Enough for about three more batches of 16.

The second batch is just perfect! I may end up eating them all before anyone else can try them. Recipe later...I may end up making little apricot cookies as well! These little things are awesome! :)

Flowers, Nephews, Boyfriends & Books...

Posted by Cassandra

As you might have noticed, I was gone for about a week, spending time with my sister and nephew. John is 2 years old, and so much fun; when he listens, of course. I spent a lot of the time playing with John, eating (yogurt was on sale at the grocery store, so I ate a lot), watching the Food Network, and reading. On the book list, you might have seen the new additions; threes new books. Before I go into them, we'll start on the visit.

Kim was gone for the week, and she asked me to come up and help, and I would leave on Friday to go home and see Kyle, because he was at the ranch for the weekend with some family. John and I played outside a lot; in the sandbox, in the grass, or just running around. I got some great photos of him playing with dandelions.

When I got back on Friday night, I went to bed, excited to wake up and go to see Kyle. We rode around the ranch on four-wheelers, watched T.V., made s'mores (with peanut butter-yum.), had a big fish fry, doctored cows, saw one get castrated and went out to dinner with the family. I regret to say I only got one picture of us together, and it isn't even a very good one. Last night, saying goodbye was so hard. First of all, I was exhausted, and made the mistake of falling asleep on his bed. By the time I finally got ready to leave, everyone was sleeping, (except his brother) and he walked me to my car. Because it was so cold outside, we sat inside and talked. I couldn't make myself let go of him, and when he got out of the car, the lights came on, and the waterworks began. All the way home, on the dark, winding gravel road, I composed poems in my head about how hard our relationship was. This morning I couldn't remember them. Good? I would think so.

I also received my North Central Orientation date, and I'm getting ready to take my math placement test online. (Maybe tomorrow; it's getting late..) I'm so ready to head off for college, and move-in is September 8th. Before I go, though, I need to get my meningitis shot because I'll be living in the dorms. I also need to find insurance...

Now onto the reading.

When Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett came out on Oprah's list, I was on a road trip, and I bought it because it was a HUGE book and I get extremely bored sitting in the car. I loved it. L-O-V-E-D it. I read it several times, and suggested that Kyle read it. When I was in the library, I was looking through Ken Follett's books, and I saw one that looked pretty new, and I picked it up, dreading finding another thriller/mystery. What I found was a pleasant surprise. World Without End is the follow-up of Pillars of the Earth, and just as long! I was so excited to take it home and start it. I read outside sitting in the grass, propped up in bed until 1.30, and when I woke up, first thing I did was reach for it, and read for an hour or so until I "woke up". It isn't the same characters, I was at first disappointed to find, but equally dimensional ones, who capture your interest in the first pages. An ugly girl who thieves to support her family, a smart boy who is older, yet smaller than his younger brother (who is, by the way, a bully) and a girl who wants to be a doctor, even though women aren't allowed into the profession. What they witness playing in the forest follows them all of their lives, hovering over their heads like a dark cloud. Definitely a must-read for anyone.

The next book, I'd read before, but I was still caught up in the tangled web that The Best Laid Plans describes. Power-hungry men and revenge seeking women dominate the storyline, pulling you through until you reach the last page, eager for more.

And finally, I finished this one last night, Think Twice features identical twins seperated at birth; one a powerful lawyer, the other fresh from prison (with the help of her sister) on the run from a boyfriend/drug dealer. Bennie (the lawyer) goes to her sister's house for a seemingly innocent dinner, and hours later, wakes up in the box underground. While she fights for her life, Alice, the evil twin, (forgive the cliché.) becomes Bennie, driving her car, sleeping in her bed, and stealing her money. Will Bennie be able to get out of the box, or will Alice steal her $3 million dollars and disappear into thin air? Again, it's a recommended read for anyone who likes thrillers that go fast.

While at the library this morning, I got a few more books (The Other Queen, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and look forward to a lazy week spent reading them.