Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Mardi Gras Party!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

My forum will be hosting a Mardi Gras Party February 17 – 21.  Members of the forum will be “throwing out” tubes, brushes, layer styles, props, mats, and other graphic files to be used with Paintshop Pro, Photoshop, Poser, and DAZ Studio.  All of the files will be based on the Mardi Gras theme.  You are invited to drop by the Dragon’s Breath forum to join in the fun and catch some of the throws.  You do not need to register to become a member.  And remember to shout:  “Throw me something, Mister!”

To read about Mardi Gras:
Most everyone has seen what Mardi Gras is like in New Orleans, but the smaller older towns in Louisiana celebrate Mardi Gras in a more traditional manner — the Courir de Mardi Gras.  Here are some videos to help familiarize you with that.  I used to live in Church Point, so I was happy when I found a few from my old home town:

And here’s some Mardi Gras music to listen to:

And during Mardi Gras, we eat alot of King Cake.  Here’s a site that explains the history of King Cakes:

I’ve included a simple recipe for king cakes in our Dragon’s Kitchen, if you want to make some:

Simple But Delicious King Cake
Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 10–12 Servings


Traditional king cakes are made with yeast and take hours to make and bake. This simple and quick recipe delivers great flavor and looks as if it took all day to make.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese

½ cup light brown sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ cup raisins, soaked in hot water 15 minutes, drained

½ cup pecan halves, (¼-inch) chopped

Ingredients for Cake:

2 (8-count) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

Ingredients for Icing:

1½ cups powdered sugar

2–3 tbsps milk

1 tsp vanilla

purple, green and gold sugar crystals

purple, green and gold food coloring


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 15-inch pizza pan with cooking spray and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor with metal blade, place cream cheese, light brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Pulse 1–2 minutes, blending ingredients well. Add pecans and pulse 30 seconds. Set the filling aside. Unroll crescent rolls into triangles. Position triangles on prepared pizza pan, next to each other with the points towards the middle. The long sides must overlap about ¼-inch forming a large round circle. Where the pieces overlap, press the seams together only in the center of each seam, leaving both points and outer ends of the seams unsealed so that you can fold them over the filling. Spread the filling in the center of the sealed seam of each triangle to create a ring of filling. Fold the outer side of each triangle over the filling towards the center to cover. Pull the point end of the triangle toward the outer rim of the pan to fully enclose the filling, tucking the points under to create a ring. Lightly press the seams. Bake 20–25 minutes or until golden brown then remove to cool completely. While cake is cooling, continue with icing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. The mixture should be fairly thick but still able to run down cake when drizzled or poured. Spoon plain icing over cooled cake and top with colored sugar, or you may wish to place icing in three cups adding purple, green and gold food coloring then apply to cake. Colored sugar may be sprinkled over colored icing when fairly dried.

Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Please Hear What I’m Not Saying


Don’t be fooled by me.

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear

For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,

Masks that I’m afraid to take off

And none of them is me.


Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,

but don’t be fooled,

for God’s sake don’t be fooled.

I give you the impression that I’m secure,

that all is sunny and unruffled with me,

within as well as without,

that confidence is my name and coolness my game,

that the water’s calm and I’m in command

and that I need no one,

but don’t believe me.


My surface may be smooth but

my surface is my mask,

ever-varying and ever-concealing.

Beneath lies no complacence.

Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.

But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.

That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,

a nonchalant sophisticated facade,

to help me pretend,

to shield me from the glance that knows.


But such a glance is precisely my salvation,

my only hope, and I know it.

That is, if it is followed by acceptance,

If it is followed by love.

It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself

from my own self-built prison walls

from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.

It’s the only thing that will assure me

of what I can’t assure myself,

that I’m really worth something.

But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare to. I’m afraid to.


I’m afraid you’ll think less of me,

that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.

I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing

and that you will see this and reject me.


So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game

With a façade of assurance without

And a trembling child within.

So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,

And my life becomes a front.

I tell you everything that’s really nothing,

and nothing of what’s everything,

of what’s crying within me.

So when I’m going through my routine

do not be fooled by what I’m saying.

Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,

what I’d like to be able to say,

what for survival I need to say,

but what I can’t say.


I don’t like hiding.

I don’t like playing superficial phony games.

I want to stop playing them.

I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me

but you’ve got to help me.

You’ve got to hold out your hand

even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.

Only you can wipe away from my eyes

the blank stare of the breathing dead.

Only you can call me into aliveness.

Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging,

each time you try to understand because you really care,

my heart begins to grow wings –

very small wings,

but wings!


With your power to touch me into feeling

you can breathe life into me.

I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me,

how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator –

of the person that is me

if you choose to.

You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,

you alone can remove my mask,

you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,

from my lonely prison,

if you choose to.

Please choose to.


Do not pass me by.

It will not be easy for you.

A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.

The nearer you approach me

the blinder I may strike back.

It’s irrational, but despite what the books may say about man

often I am irrational.

I fight against the very thing I cry out for.

But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls

and in this lies my hope.

Please try to beat down those walls

with firm hands but with gentle hands

for a child is very sensitive.


Who am I, you may wonder?

I am someone you know very well.

For I am every man you meet

and I am every woman you meet.

author’s website:

South Beach Diet

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Daily tip from South Beach Diet:

I Want to Be a Man

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Well,  my husband and I are beginning our summer vacation by taking care of some doctor’s visits–getting them out of the way, so that the rest of summer can be ours to do with as we please.  Yesterday was my husband’s turn.  He had his physical.  And I, being the dutiful wife, got up early with him to go with him.  Actually, I had an ulterior motive.  Since my doctor told me I needed to lose weight two days ago,  I decided I was going to get my body moving, and not just sit around the house.  But I went.

He had to go early to have blood work drawn after fasting the night before.  So we were rushing to move in the morning.  I had not had breakfast, so it was not good for me.  We were going to eat after his blood work.  His blood work didn’t take long, and we left the clinic to go eat breakfast.  He took me to McDonald’s.  I was good and tried to eat healthy.  I skipped all the bread products like I was supposed to, just eating the eggs, sausage and some yogurt.  He gulped down his sausage Mcmuffin, and ate my biscuit, and drank his coffee full of sugar.  Then we returned to the clinic to wait out his appointment.

The waiting wasn’t long.  I actually did some reading, which I hadn’t done much in a long time.  When he came out, I asked what the doc had to say.

He lost 6 freaking pounds!

He eats the same foods I do, actually eating more quantity than I do.  He snacks.  He eats unhealthy.  He sits in bed at night eating peanut M&M’s by the handful almost every night.  He does not exercise.  He sleeps in his recliner every day after school.  I’m consciously watching what I eat, and he’s consciously shoveling his food in.  He loses 6 pounds over the year, and I gain 40!  What the hell!

I want to be a man!

Pam’s Law

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Well, I can tell you in retrospect, 2010 was an interesting year. It seemed like it was going to start off slow but that was only a misconception.  

I’ve been suffering with ongoing back problems, which I’ve learned to manage around the pain.   But the migraines that come now and then are getting worse. Perhaps they are related, but my latest doctor doesn’t seem to be too concerned on the migraines, other than relieving my pain. I went from having one doctor to having 5 doctors.

We won’t delve much into school.   School is always an interesting place.   But it is growing more interesting– much more interesting that I’m dreaming of retirement.  8 years and counting.   Too bad I didn’t win the lottery.

But I guess the most nerve-wracking events have been the hospital visits.   5 out of 8 immediate family members have had some kind of ER/hospital stay .   My mother-in-law had fallen and broke her hip.   Now she has alzheimer’s and since October, her faculties have quickly diminished.   My father had emergency visit to the hospital for what turned out to be gout.   My sister passed out and her son had to call the ambulance, for dehydration from flu.  Oh, and my husband, who tried to operate on the vaccuum cleaner with a knife, stabbed himself, and I found myself driving him to ER to get some stitches.  And my son spent a week in the hospital at the end of October. 

I’m sick of hospitals.

 I’m sick of sitting in waiting rooms for hours before being brought into an examining room.  And then waiting in there before being seen by a doctor.  I have much better things to do. 

 And so, in keeping with the spirit of New Year’s and resolutions and making changes and such, I have proscribed Pam’s Law.

Pam’s Law:  No one –  absolutely no one – will go to the hospital this year.

January 3, 2011 — Mrs. Broussard, my wonderful MIL, slipped and fell, dislocating her thumb, and spent the morning …..

 in the hospital!

 I can tell that 2011 is not going to be a quiet year!

A Toast to the New!

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Welcome 2011!

May the fortunes of 2010 continue to bless you in 2011, and may the misfortunes stay in the past.  Party Safely!

Exercise Tubes

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Vicky wants to get in shape.  Here are some exercise tubes.  My Tou:  These tubes were created by me, Dragon’s Breath.  You have free use of the tube, just do not claim it as your own.  If your group requires a copyright notice (I do not), please write:  copyright:  Dragon’s Breath.



A Long Week

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Well,  it’s actually been longer than a week.  This run began a week ago, Thursday, on Feb. 18.  I received a phone call from my daughter who had come home from school and answered the phone.  My mom explained that she had taken my dad to the ER.  I knew it was coming.  Just a few days before I had ordered her to get Dad to ER or at least his doctor’s office.  Apparently, six days before that he had been confined to his bed, unable to walk because one of his knees  and legs was badly swollen, and both legs and feet were in bad pain that he could not stand on them.  He wasnt even able to get up to use the restroom.  My father has diabetes, among other things, and so I insisted that my mom get him to go or take him to ER.

You have to understand my parents.  They’re both in their 70s and very old fashioned, and very independent and proud.  To say that they needed help would be very hard for them to ask.  So,  I have to order them.  Anyway,  my mom began to worry about my dad, and cut her dialysis short Thursday morning to go home and tell him that she was calling the doctor.  The doctor told her to get him to the hospital, so she called the ambulance.  And there I was getting this message from my daughter who did not know something was wrong with her Paw Paw because she had been busy either at school or work the past few days.

He was still in ER when I got home from school that day.  They had run blood tests and taken Xrays and really was not sure, but suggested Gout or something else.  Finally, they wanted to admit him but they couldn’t.  There were no vacant rooms at their hospital.  So he chose a hospital in a nearby city, a bigger city, and that hospital had no rooms either.  Flu season and pneumonia.  So  he chose another hospital in another city,  and this one had room, so my parents hospital sent Dad to the new hospital.  And he had to go alone because my mom had to get some rest so she could do her dialysis in the morning.

My sister that lives in the same town as my parents is a single parent with a child still in high school.  She manages a shoe store that only has 3 other employees than herself.  She was currently suffering from a bad sinus infection and had missed a district store meeting to go to the doctor.   Her assistant manager had a family emergency out of state.  She had stayed long enough for my sister to go to the doctor, and then she took leave to go out of state, and there was my sister who was supposed to be at home under doctor care filling in for her assistant worker, and unable to help my mom and dad out.  I live 2 hours away and they wouldn’t even bother me while I was at school.  My daughter had to call me.   My other sister lives 5 hours away and her work does not provide much time or leave for emergencies without being a pain in the a**, so my husband and I both took off from work on Friday and drove over to my parents’.

It was a long night, and long drive over there for only 2 hours.  But I worry.  I know my parents.  They are always too proud to ask for help and I know they waited a long time to tell us that Dad was having problems.  In the meanwhile, my godfather/uncle and his children called me and offer their assistance,  fussing at me to fuss at my mother to tell her to be sure to ask them for help when she needs it.  That is what they’re there for.  So, of course, I berate my mother about that offer when I see her.

After she rested from her dialysis, we drove my mom to the hospital to go see how my dad is doing.  My mom didn’t even know what room he had been placed into.  My dad had been alone in the hospital since the ambulance transfered him there. 

My dad is lying in the bed, in alot of pain.  He had taken more blood work and XRays that morning since he had gotten there.  He had seen one doctor, but again no idea what was wrong.  He was on antibiotics.  We stayed with my dad for 2 days, until the doctors figured out that he had Gout definitely.  By then the antibiotics were helping his knee and leg swelling to go down. 

I wasn’t too happy about the hospital.  They never refilled his pitchers of water.  They would fuss at him that he needed to sit up, rather than lie down, but when the nurses would bring him back for tests, they would transfer him into a lying position onto his bed, and didn’t even help him to lie correctly, let alone sit up the bed.  The back of the bed did sit up, after all!

But we stayed until we were certain they had identified what the problem was, and start treatment.

So on Sunday we returned home, knowing that my dad probably would not receive any visit from my mom, who was completely worn out from dialysis and all this stress, and my sister who was still covering for her assistant manager at the store.

I actually returned to work on Tuesday after having missed school Friday for my dad and missed school Monday for a workshop.  I found out that while I was out, my 2 substitutes did not give the assignments I had left.  My students just sat there.  They did not even check roll for me.  In addition, QST was coming next week, so I had to get my department teachers in shape for that evaluation.  It was a busy week at school, nonetheless.

My sister was able to visit my dad Monday morning at the hospital.  Then while she was updating me through chat that night, she was called by dad.  He was being released.  The medicine was helping.  He was able to walk around with a walker.  Still some pain, but it was decreasing.

So my sister had to turn around and go get my dad.

On Tuesday I checked in with my parents to learn from my mom that my cousins who had promised their undying aid, had refused to help my dad.  When one visited him Sunday morning, my dad was ready to start walking to the restroom rather than using a bed pan, and my cousin refused to help him out of the bed and walk to the bathroom that was in my dad’s hospital room.  That same cousin refused to come to my sister’s aid Monday night, to help my dad get out of the car.  Instead, she had to drive to go get her son, and between my sister, her son, and my mom (a dialysis/heart patient), they were able to get him in the house and in bed.

My dad is getting better with the medication and is walking around with his walker.

My sister never quite got over her sinus infection.  On Wednesday night, my nephew calls me to tell me he had to call the ambulance on her.  She had almost passed out in the shower.  The hospital doctor told her she was dehydrated (from vomiting) and that it was probably food poisoning. 

My nephew was my lifeline to the hospital.  He drove to the hospital to check up on his mom and wait with her.  I got in touch with my mom, and she got a ride to the hospital and waited with my nephew.

My sister got out of the hospital after midnight, and had to open her store the next morning.  She could not get in touch with her assistant manager.  One of the other workers would be in at 1:00, but came in earlier when Jeanne got in touch with her.  That worker cannot open or close the store because she’s new and not made a key carrier yet.  And the fourth  employee is a student, so would not be an opener.

My sister had called her district manager and left several messages about what was up, but he finally returned the call and told her to get herself to work or else– even though she had been in the hospital and was supposed to be at home recuperating. 

Payless ShoeSource has a bad employee plan.

The district manager should have told her:  give me the assistant manager’s number, I’ll call.  Or at the very least:  would you open, and I  am coming right over to relieve you.  Instead, he tells her to violate doctors order or she might lose her job.  So there’s my sister pale and weak as can be sitting in the store, barely able to move– worried about her job, and her welfare, and her son’s

I was ticked.

I spent Thursday making that district manager ticked, too.  I called PayLess’s customer service and placed a complaint against him directly.  Then I got my other sister to do the same.  And my husband.  In fact, my husband received a call back from Human Resources saying they had received other complaints — including a customer who called in worried that the worker in the Jenning store might pass out because she was so pale, and alone in the store.

They must have jumped on the District Manager, because he called the store later (after my sister had gone home when relieved by the worker) and made the girl a key carrier so that she could close and my sister would not have to return that night.  He then demanded the Asst. Manager’s number. 

You only get this kind of response when their job is on the line.  I wonder how he feels to be on that end?

We spent this past weekend back at my parents, checking up on all of them.  My dad is slowly getting better.  He’s walking around the house with and without the aid of a walker, and feeling less pain.  My mom is getting over her exhaustion, but she still has dialysis 3 times a week.  She has been driving herself to dialysis for about a year now.  See how stubborn she is!  My sister still looked a little pale.  She managed to keep her Saturday off.  (I don’t know how. :lol: )  And my nephew is slowly turning into a man.

Throughout all of this, I have been dealing with my own health  issues and pain.  In fact, when I took off Friday to go help my dad, I had to reschedule my doctor appointment that was planned that day.  I saw the doctor on Tuesday, who ordered blood work and XRays.  He believes I have arthritis.  The blood work showed ok.  I definitely don’t have Gout or diabetes.  My Xrays were good, except for my lower back.  There’s a problem with a disk.  It could be arthritis or something else.  I’m being referred to a rheumatologist.

So that should catch you all up to what has been distracting me from my forum and my hobbies.

Someone once told me that she didn’t believe I was in so much pain because I continued to teach.  Believe me, that member is no longer a member of this forum.  I teach  because I must.  It’s something I love to do.  And what am I supposed to do?  Stay home, give in to the pain, and whine all day — like that former member does?

I must admit, there are days that the pain is so much, I want to just close the curtains and never see daylight.  But…  I have been teaching for 21 years.  It’s in my blood.  And it’s what will pay the bills.  Besides,  even though I love my husband’s cooking,  I like my cajun cooking better.

Please understand that even though you may not see me post, I do check the forum daily for  problems.  Thank you, Shane and Ebs, for moderating in my absence.  I knew you two were perfect for the jobs.  Thanks to other members who PM me when they notice a problem, like spammers.  And thanks to all of you who are participating and holding up the fort.

No Room at the Inn

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

How can a hospital run out of rooms?  That hospital isn’t the largest, but neither is the community.  And then a second hospital with no vacancies?  What’s the odds?

Finally my mom had some sense and called the ambulance.  My father had not been able to get out of bed for about 6 days. His leg was swollen, and in a lot of pain.  He couldn’t walk on them, and his foot was hurting.  He barely ate–mostly because of the pain, but also because he couldn’t move around to get food when my mom wasn’t home.

My mom couldn’t finish her dialysis.  My dad was worrying her, so she went home early, and called an ambulance.  He was taken to the ER at the hospital, where they ran preliminary blood work and Xrays, but he had to wait in ER.  There were no vacancies in the hospital. 

What if he was in a more dire state?  What if he needed some emergency surgery, and then where would they put him afterwards?  In the hall?  I just cannot fathom how there could be that many people taking up hospital beds at one time. 

So he tried for a hospital in a nearby, larger town.  And it was full up too.

So, he tried another hospital in another nearby, larger city, and they had an opening.  And thus began a journey.

My dad would be traveling to a hospital 40 miles away–alone.  My mom couldn’t go.  She had to do her dialysis in the morning.  And I was in the other direction.  I could only imagine how scared and lonely he would be, going to a strange place, in pain, and having to worry by himself.

We were going in the morning, but that wouldn’t be soon enough.  I would worry all night, too.  After all, he was my dad.  Big, tall, strong.  If he would fall, then what would happen to me?

Sea Scallops with Lemony Butter Sauce

Monday, January 4th, 2010


  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) wine, dry white
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, flat-leaf, fresh chopped
  • 6 cup(s) pasta, angel hair, six cups cooked or 12 ounces uncooked


1. Sprinkle scallops with paprika, pepper, and garlic.

 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan; add half of scallops. Cook scallops 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving platter; keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter and scallops.

3. Add wine, lemon juice, and salt to pan; let simmer 30 seconds or until liquid is reduced to a glaze. Pour over scallops; sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately on pasta. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (approximately 4 scallops and 1 cup pasta).

South Beach Diet, phase 2

Nutritional Info (Per serving):

Calories: 336, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 322mg, Dietary Fiber: 2.5g, Total Fat: 5.5g, Carbs: 43.5g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Protein: 26g

Carb Choices: 3