Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Caking

I had about a million cakes to make (and cupcakes to make!) Between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of them turned out okay, other's not so much. Sure, they tasted good, but when it come to decorating, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist....making me way harder on myself than I probably need to be.

However, I have one that I was kind of proud of. It tasted great and I thought it looked pretty cool, even though it didn't exactly turn out like I wanted it to.

I started with a recipe called Midnight Chocolate Cake. It was in one of my Cake Mix Doctor books that I got from my D-OC Secret Santa last year, the lovely Kathy. It was described as a dark chocolate cake. A co-worker of mine described it as tasting kind of like an Oreo Cakester.

It really was a great tasting cake. All of the recipes I have used from any of the Cake Mix Doctor books has been great. And easy. They've become my "fall back" recipe books for a fail proof, great tasting cake (or cupcake).

I wanted something Christmas-y. So I went with holly. I had bought a set of Christmas mini cookie cutters and it had the perfect holly leaf cutter. I iced my cake cake with buttercreme icing, but all my details were made from marshmallow fondant. I tried to make a fondant rope with two strands of red and green fondant, but they wouldn't stay, so instead I mashed them together and make a kind of tie-dyed looking border on the bottom.

To finish it all up, we know that everyone loves sparkly things, so I dusted the accents with some luster dust.

I think it turned out pretty good, although, like most of the cakes I do, it didn't really look like anything in my head. But, I think most artists must have that problem. Does it EVER turn out like we think it will? I think not. Enjoy!

Monday, December 28, 2009


I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post on what I found out when I picked up my medical records. For the first couple of days I was so shocked that I didn't know what to post. Then Christmas snuck up on me and I spent the holidays busy and crazy all at the same time.

I'm hoping that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. My Christmas was different this year. I spent the normal Christmas Eve with my dad and his family. We had a great meal, thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law. Things have been different with holidays in general this year because we lost my grandmother in May. But Christmas turned out good in spite of that. Christmas day, however, was a different story. Early in the week of Christmas, my little sister got sick. Within a couple of days, my mom and step-dad were also sick. Official diagnosis: FLU!

Thankfully, I hadn't been around them in a few days, so I had not been exposed. But I have not had my flu shot and had no desire to risk the flu. So, all of their Christmas presents still sit under my tree. And we are waiting, probably until this weekend, to exchange gifts.

But, I have wonderful friends who stepped right in. I had Christmas dinner at the home of one of my oldest friends (we met the first day of kindergarten!) with her husband, son, and both sets of parents. It was very nice and very wonderful. They are like my substitute family anyway, so it wasn't great to be able to see them on Christmas Day.

I also went with another friend of mine to see The Blind Side Christmas night. Personal recommendation from me: SEE IT! Fantastic family movie.

Now, back to the date. I picked up my medical records on my way to my endo appointment. At first glance the date says 6/15. June. Exactly when I thought. Not really paying attention to anything else, I was feeling kind of happy that I knew the date. Then I took the time to look at the doctor's name. It wasn't my childhood endo. Which made me start reading a little closer. These records were dated 06-15-86. A year after I originally thought my date was. And then on the final diagnosis, I realized it was the records from my tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Which I remember vividly as being AFTER I was diagnosed with diabetes. Mostly cause the Popsicles I got after the surgery were of the sugar free variety.

I started reading my records closer. On the second page it states "This patient is a 5 year old white female who has been a known diabetic for the past 4 months."

The past 4 months.

Four months from June is February, 1986. Nearly a year after when I thought my diagnosis date was. Apparently I was closer to 5 than 4. At first I thought the actual date wasn't on the papers. But in the upper corner of the first page there is a box that had been filled in that listed "prev adm date 2/05/86" and "prev dis date 2/13/86". I know that 2/5/86 is my diagnosis date. I was in the hospital for a week, according to my mother, and since the note that say "known diabetic for the past 4 months" narrows it down to February, that leaves 2/5/86 as my diagnosis date.

On one hand, I can't apply for my Joslin medal until next year. On the other, I have 8 months LESS diabetic damage and wear and tear on my body. I'll take the good over the bad any day.

Also, a few funny notes on my medical records:

"The patient was scheduled for T&A until the diabetes was found, and it was cancelled until this could be brought under control."

Urinalysis: 2+ (this might not mean anything to you newer diabetics, but us old schoolers know that's BAD!)

Hemaglobin 12.6 (Ekkkkk!!!!! This is what they considered "brought under control"????)

"The patient takes 17 units of NPH Insulin in the morning" (Wow. That's it.)

So, now you guys know my crazy story. I know my date. And I fully plan on throwing myself a diaversary party! :) Anyone wanna come?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Date

Since I joined the D-OC, I've noticed that most of you know your exact diagnosis date. Right down to the day. A lot of you even "celebrate" it. I think that is so cool. For years, I've always claimed June of 1985 as my diagnosis month. But to be honest, I'm not sure. I was only 4 years old. And part of me thinks my mom blocked out the horrible experience the best she could. As for an exact day, I have no clue.

I've wondered. I contemplated searching for medical records. But I put it off. Time and time again. I've changed primary care physicians several times over my life. And I had to think that the doctor who cared for me when I was diagnosed had probably gotten rid of my records. It was, after all, nearly 25 years ago.

About a week ago I had an idea. I was taken immediately from my doctor's office to a hospital in a neighboring town to be admitted when I was diagnosed. Hospitals are much better about keeping medical records on file. So, I picked up my phone and called the hospital. I was transferred to the records department and no one answered. I was able to leave a message and I just figured that they'd get to me when they could. In all honesty, I didn't think I'd even get a call back.

Within two days, I had a return call from a very nice lady. I told her the approximate time frame for my records (May thru September of 1985). She pulled me up on the computer and there was nothing in the computer from those dates. But, she said they often kept medical records on file and had most of the 80's still at the hospital. She took my information and said she'd call me back.

Again, I had my doubts. Twenty-five years is a long time to keep medical records. But, yesterday I got a phone call stating they had found my records and I could come pick them up anytime!

So, as of tomorrow (ironically, on my way to my endo appointment in Nashville), I will be stopping to pick up my records. And I'll know my official diagnosis date. And, I plan on applying for my 25 year Joslin Medal.

This gives me a sense of satisfaction, that I'll know when I was diagnosed exactly. And that I'll have a date to "celebrate".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My First Music Monday

Well, today I post my first Music post. Christmas is coming quickly and I am getting into the mood for Christmas with lots of Christmas music, baking, and Christmas movies. And, I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite bands. I listen to all types of music. There's very little I won't at least try to like. Being from Tennessee, a lot of country comes into my playlist. And one of the best bands I've ever seen live or heard on the radio is a country band.

Meet Sugarland.

I didn't jump on the Sugarland band wagon right away. Their debut CD had been out for a while before I bought it, at my friend's suggestion. I fell in love with Jennifer Nettles' vocals from day one. In my opinion, she has one of the most distinctive voices in music.

In October of 2006, I was lucky enough to win tickets to their sophomore album CD release party in Nashville. I stood feet from the stage. If I wasn't hooked before then, the live show did me in.

In March of 2007, I was able, thanks to a friend of mine, to see them in concert again.

I've seen a lot of concerts in my life. Not all of them country. But I have to say, Sugarland is one I'd pay full price to see EVERY TIME I HAD A CHANCE. They are just that good live.

And they have such an eclectic sound. Some of their music is totally country, other times you hear pop or folk.

On their live album, they even covered songs by bands like Kings of Leon (I'd never even HEARD of them until Sugarland covered Sex on Fire, now they are one of my current favorite bands), R.E.M., and Beyonce.

Most recently, however, they have a new Christmas CD. I've not purchased it yet (shame on me! I'm such a bad fan.), but have listened to it on the internet. I love it. They even performed one of their songs at the Grammy nomination concert. And were kind enough to post it on their website, so I could share it with all of you.

Let me say just one thing, if you say you don't like country music, I encourage you to give Sugarland a try.

p.s. If you get a chance to see them in concert, TAKE IT!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've decided that I MISS blogging. I miss my d-friends. I miss chatting with you. I miss reading your comments. Lately I've felt very much like the community it so large that I can no longer keep up with all the blogs I want to read. But, I am determined to try. And I am determined to make an effort to blog on a regular basis. Maybe not daily, but at least a couple of times per week.

So, this means changes. And I am very much going to need YOUR help. Yep, YOU. Whomever you are reading this. Yeah, I'm talking about you.

First off, I've decided to change how I blog. Diabetes is such a major part of my life. Of all of our lives. But, it's not all I am. I have interests and hobbies and a life that doesn't always deal with diabetes. I love music (though I'm not talented), theatre (though I don't act), reading, baking and cake decorating. Just like we all do. So, I am going to actively start blogging about things besides diabetes. I will blog about diabetes too, but I am going to blog about other things as well. I even have a semi-schedule set up. Although I probably won't blog daily, I plan on having days marked off for certain topics.

Mondays -Music. It may be what I'm listening to, what I've bought, or something I've read.

Tuesdays - Diabetes. You guys all know this one. ;)

Wednesdays - Cakes and baking

Thursdays - Theatre

Friday - Whatever I feel like! :)

Secondly, I need to update my blog itself. I want a new design. I am open to suggestions. If anyone has any tips, websites, etc. I want my blog to reflect me. Not just my diabetes, but every aspect of my life. And my personality.

Third - I need to update my blogroll. Badly. Many of the blogs I have listed don't blog anymore, or have moved sites. Or I have a name wrong. Or something. So if you blog, please drop me a comment w/ your blog address and name of your blog. Even if I've never commented on your blog before, I am looking to get back to the community and that means "meeting" the newer bloggers.

So, fellow bloggers, I'm asking for your help. Help me out! I miss you guys. :)