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Monday, October 1, 2012

Mindless Monday, Over-the-Moon Banana Pudding, Blog Linkage, Fun Fall Rides, What I Have Learned About Ovarian Cancer

Good Monday morning!

I hope you and yours had a great weekend... and an even better week ahead.

It's the first day of October. The first day of my favorite month. And today's high is only 74 degrees. It's a great start.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Roxie went to homecoming with a friend this past weekend. Our homecoming is this week, but Austin goes to a different school, so Roxie wore high, high heels, a pretty yellow dress and a lovely wrist corsage a little early this year... and she looked wonderful.


If you told me I had to wear 3" heels walking up and down stadium bleachers for three hours any given Friday night, I would vehemently disagree with you. (That's only one of the differences between a 16 year-old and a 51 year-old chick.)


She almost looks 16 in this picture, doesn't she? Heavy, heavy sigh.


The black and yellow worked for these two. They looked great. Austin and Roxie.

RANDOMNESS #2 - You'll be happy to know, Mikie took me to breakfast Saturday morning (Another Broken Egg), and then bought me a little gray pumpkin at Leafs N Petals... with only minor prompting on my part.



Now all I need is a few burlap bows and one more giant mum. Dark purple, I think. (And the sooner, the better.)

RANDOMNESS #3 - Someone loaned me Southern Living's Tailgating Cookbook this past weekend. If I was going to buy one new cookbook this year, I think this would be my pick.

I'm going to share The 10 Commandments of College Football Fandom with you this morning... as pointed out in the beginning of this cookbook.

1. Thou shalt wear team colors.

2. Thou shalt mind your manners, and act with class.

3. Thou shalt be respectful to visiting teams.

4. Thou shalt know - and sing - your team's fight song from beginning to end.

5. Thou shalt support the coach.

6. Thou shalt set up a tailgate no fewer than three hours before kickoff (six if it's a night game).

7. Thou shalt stay through the fourth quarter - rain or shine.

8. Thou shalt theme your tailgate food around the visiting rival.

9. Thou shalt respect the solemnity of game day by planning weddings, births and other life events around the football schedule.

10. Thou shalt not covet other teams' bowl games, national championships or Heisman Trophy wins. There's always next year.

Number 9 is my favorite. Especially since I had not one, but TWO, football season babies. (What was I thinking?)

RANDOMNESS #4 - We celebrated yet another birthday this past Sunday. Josh's birthday is actually October 4 (Thursday), but I was on a roll, and I don't like to celebrate the birthday AFTER the fact if I can possibly help it.


Josh got exactly what he wanted... CDs, DVDs, a new reel and money. It isn't hard to shop for Josh. Never has been.


And then Grandma gave him a little surprise. Homemade biscuits...


And pear preserves. His new favorite.


Grandpa, Josh and Grandma.


The past few years, Josh's birthday cake of choice has been a Cream Cheese Pound Cake FRESH out of the oven... so the vanilla ice cream could melt all over it.

As I stated on numerous occasions, this caused me great discomfort, because I do not like baking a dessert which must be served immediately upon the arrival of the guests. What if I leave something out of the recipe? What if I cook it too long? What if I don't cook it long enough? What if it falls and looks hideous?

It's a lot of pressure.

So imagine my delight when Josh walked by while I was thumbing through the Southern Living's Tailgating Cookbook and saw the Over-the-Moon Banana Pudding... made with Moon Pies instead Vanilla Wafers... and said, "That looks great. Can you make it for my birthday?"

"Yes. Yes, I can!"

And I did. And it was good. And you'll find the recipe later in the post.

In case you don't want to count all of the candles... there are 19 total. (How did that even happen?)


Josh, Brad and Stephanie.


I love this guy, but the photobombing has got to stop. (I may have to shoot him with an airsoft gun the next time he jumps in front of a picture. That would be fun, AND it would teach him a valuable lesson!)


This is how the above picture was supposed to look. Josh and Katie.


And here's a picture of our family photobomber. Except for this one little annoying habit, this kid is perfect. And I'm his Aunt. I should know. Josh and Zac.


Josh and Austin.


I know I said there wouldn't be many of pictures of Roxie this post, but you have to admit this is a good one. Roxie and Josh.

RANDOMNESS #5 - What I Have Learned About Ovarian Cancer - Today I'm going to share the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer with you one more time, a reader's comment and the website addresses of two fine organizations which are helping earn money for Ovarian Cancer Research.

General abdominal discomfort or pain (gas, indigestion, pressure, swelling, bloating, cramps)
Bloating and/or a feeling of fullness, even after a light meal
Nausea, diarrhea, constipation or frequent urination
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Loss of appetite
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Unusual fatigue
Back pain
Pain during sex
Menstrual changes

These symptoms do not always mean you have ovarian cancer. But it is a good idea to discuss them with your health care provider if they are new symptoms, last more than a few weeks and/or occur more than 12 times a month.

My cousin, Myra, talked about the importance of REGULAR CHECK-UPS.

"In regard to your blog comments about ovarian cancer, I would like to add one thing about regular check-ups and early detection. If you have a close relative who has been diagnosed, you should mention this to your doctor. I did so at my appointment a few months ago, and he sent me to Radiology for an ultra sound. It was negative!! I don't know how often he will want me to do this, but he told me you can never be too cautious. The same applies if you have a close relative who has breast cancer. DO NOT fail to get mammograms!"

Since Mom has been diagnosed, there are two organizations I have become familiar with in the Birmingham area.

1. The Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation is multi-faceted with its primary purpose of finding an early detection diagnostic test. They also vow to reach out to our community through awareness, education and support.

You can learn more about this organization at www.thinkoflaura.org.

2. The Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer by raising awareness and promoting education about ovarian cancer. They also raise money through various events that help fund research.

You can learn more about this organization at www.nlovca.org.

Both of these websites have opportunities to help listed each and every month. Please... visit them often.

Mom goes for her second (out of six) chemo treatments this Wednesday. Although she has already been through this, because the doctors are using a different chemo drug, the side effects are not exactly the same as before.

In fact, there are many unknowns as she enters the beginning of this round of treatments. And it is frightening... and discouraging... and very, very difficult.

Remember...

Early detection is vital.

NEVER skipping annual check-ups is vital.

Having conversations with your doctor about any of the above-mentioned symptoms is vital.

Talking to your friends and your daughters and your granddaughters is vital.

Participating in awareness programs is vital.

But most of all, NOT BEING SILENT is vital.

Blog Linkage - Please go to www.kellehampton.com (AGAIN), and read Friday's post entitled "Falling Into October." I love how she brings Fall to Southern Florida.

I just know we would be best friends in real life.

Over-the-Moon Banana Pudding

This particular recipe came from the Vanderbilt section of the Tailgating Cookbook. And it is good.

You will need the following:

2 (4.6 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding
4 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
8 Chocolate Moon Pies (cut into eighths)
3 to 4 bananas (sliced)
1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping

1. Prepare the pudding according to package instructions.

2. Whisk in sour cream.

3. Pour half of pudding into a 2-quart baking dish.

4. Layer about 40 Chocolate Moon Pie wedges over pudding.

5. Top with bananas and remaining half of pudding.

6. Top with whipped topping.

7. Arrange remaining sandwich wedges around outer edge of dish. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Easy and very, very good.

I went to bed knowing Josh's birthday dessert was in the refrigerator ready to go for the next day's festivities! YEA!

NOTE - The original recipe calls for Cook and Serve Pudding. Josh's pudding didn't set as hard as I would have liked, so from now on, I am going to use the Instant Pudding.



As you can tell, in the middle of preparing the banana pudding I opted for more bananas than the recipe called for. (As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many bananas or Chocolate Moon Pies in any banana pudding.)

Fun Fall Rides

I got this idea last year after reading Stephanie Nielson's blog. She's been doing this for years with her family, and she calls them Fall Colors Rides. Of course, she lives in Utah, so she gets to start her tradition a little earlier than we Alabamians, but Mike, Austin, Melia and I enjoyed it very much last year. (Josh and Roxie were good for one outing, but bowed out of the last four... and that's okay.)

We're going on our FIRST official 2012 Fun Fall Ride this Sunday afternoon. We're going to Trussville... my hometown. We are going to meander through the streets, walk along creeks and take pictures anywhere and everywhere.

At the end of the ride, I think we might stop at Gigi's Cupcakes. Yes. I think that will most definitely happen.

I haven't planned all of the Rides, but I don't think it will be hard.

Except for the price of gas (which is a major consideration when planning these Rides), it is a pretty inexpensive seasonal tradition.

Have a lovely, gray Monday. I'll be back Friday with anything and everything. It's Homecoming Week in our community, so I know I'll have some pictures of all of the Homecoming Prep!

Take care, and I'll talk to you in a few days.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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