Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Second, I found it interesting how many long-time readers have never caught all of my references to Lynchburg, VA on my blog...so, I thought I'd share a bit about me and my connection with the City of Seven Hills.
Lynchburg is actually my home town...yes indeed, I was born in Virginia Baptist Hospital 28 years ago, this week. At the time, my father was attending seminary at what is now Liberty University. In fact, my parents met at LU (actually, back then it was Liberty Baptist College), and a great many of my uncles and aunts and sisters and cousins have also attended LU over the years.
We lived in the Burg until I was about 3 (?), and eventually ended up on the OBX a few years later. I have almost always had family in/around Lynchburg...my grandparents and a few of my dad's brothers lived there for several years, and now one of my uncles and his family live in Forest (just outside of the city). So, as I grew up, just about every Christmas and at least a few other times every year, we could be found there hanging out with family. And, since we don't get much real snow here on the OBX, my mom would often take us up there during the winter whenever a big snow was forecast for that area, just so we could have some fun.
Contrary to popular belief, although Tricia and I did both attend LU at the same time, we did not meet there. I was a student at LU for 5 semesters, and Tricia was there for 3 semesters. I asked Tricia to marry me in Lynchburg, and we have lots of friends who are either now working/teaching at LU or living in the area. Because of that, since getting married and moving away, we have traditionally made a trip or two every year to hang out with family and friends.
But, our trip there this week was our first in over two years, so it was especially fun to see some people we haven't seen in a long while.
And, yes we did eat lunch at the Texas Inn (or "the T-Room" as most locals call it)...I usually order two cheesies (a burger topped with a fried egg, cheese and relish...I add mustard and I don't go "all the way") and a bowl (chili), in case you want to know. Gwyneth was not disappointed with her first T-Room experience....the oyster crackers were the best she's ever had...
Monday, March 30, 2009
Seriously bummed that I didn't get video of Tricia falling down in the costume and being laughed at and pointed at by a car-full of teenage boys...don't worry, she was OK and we were both laughing too.
BTW, we made nearly $200 for the CFF, which, for a last minute fund-raiser, is really good! Thanks to everyone who sponsored and helped out and donated!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
As much as we are celebrating life by remembering Tricia's transplant this coming week, a family somewhere out there will most certainly be remembering the death of a loved one...the person who gave Tricia her second chance at life more than likely passed away on the 2nd of April, the same day Tricia went into surgery.
With tears in my eyes, and a heavy weight of gratitude and compassion, I ask, with all of my heart, that you'll join us in praying for Tricia's donor's family this week.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
We are celebrating Tricia's one year anniversary of her double lung transplant (transplantiversary) with a party, and you're invited! The party is taking place this Friday evening, April 3 (exactly one year after Tricia woke up from her transplant surgery)...more details to follow ASAP (yes, this is an actual party, as in a real place with real people)...in the meantime, keep the date open if you can because EVERYONE is invited!
All moneys go directly toward supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation via the OBX Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis, taking place on September 12!
See you there!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
You might remember our friend Sally whom I asked you to pray for well over a year ago. At that point, Sally, a CF patient and mother of two, had been waiting for new lungs for over two years...
Well, Sally wrote a facebook message yesterday to say that she was going to the OR for her lung transplant at 11pm last night (in the UK). I haven't heard any updates yet, so we're praying and hoping that we'll hear some good news soon! Please, join us in hoping the best for Sally today...she has waited for so long for this.
All moneys go directly toward supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation via the OBX Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis, taking place on September 12!
I will be hanging out all afternoon at The Marketplace Shopping Center in Southern Shores (Look for the big Rita's Truck), and I'm sure Tricia and Gwyneth will swing by as well to grab something to snack on. So, please, come say "hi", enjoy some awesome treats, and help us make life a little better for CFers all around the world!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
She also has developed a cough related to the drainage and often has trouble sleeping because of the pain and coughing. Her unexpected bronch last week was the result of her doctors being a concerned about an infection...we're waiting to hear back about the lab results. She may still be dealing with an active Pseudomonas or she may have a different kind of sinus infection altogether
For her sinusitis, she'll begin a different kind of treatment today, and possibly be placed on a new antibiotic. She had a headache and sinus pain yesterday evening, was up coughing most of last night and is still in bed now.
Thanks for your prayers as we learn to deal with this new part of Tricia's journey...yes, her health issues will never end, but that is something we accepted a long time ago. Also, if you haven't yet, please stop by MckMama's Blog today and pray for Stellan who is back in the hospital.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers last night. Gwyneth is taking a nap and I'm getting some work done...then, she and I will head out for a while and run some errands, including a stop at Kill Devil's for some frozen custard...they open for the season today, and are giving away free custard to anyone who brings an item for the local food bank!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
If you could pray for miserable Tricia tonight, we'd appreciate it. Gwyneth went down without a fuss tonight, and I'll be sleeping on the couch between their bedrooms.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tricia's appointments all went well...I'll share details later. We did have to reschedule Gwyneth's appointment for April, so nothing new on her to report.
Hopefully we'll be home tomorrow evening!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
People across the country are starting to buzz about Great Strides for CF, the largest national fund-raiser for Cystic Fibrosis. Although our OBX Walk takes place in the fall, most walks will happen in the next few months.
Here is your opportunity promote your participation in this awesome event by posting a link to your Great Strides related blog or Great Strides home page! Or, just give a shout out and let us know where you're walking and who you're walking for!
Thanks to everyone who supports Cystic Fibrosis by participating in or donating to Great Strides!
Mama Kwans - The Pork Plate is one of the best meals ever. Tricia loves the Jawaiian Spiced Chicken. Great family atmosphere, although ask to sit away from the bar if you don't like smoke. Dinner and lunch are the same, except lunch is smaller and cheaper.
Grits Grill - Best breakfast and friendliest staff on the beach. Fun diner atmosphere (which you don't find very often down south). Not open after mid-afternoon. Tell Patrick I said "hi".
Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe - Best southern cooking and great seafood. Call ahead as they're not open some days for lunch. You'll leave full. Best club sandwich ever, and the mashed potatoes are excellent. Tricia loves the sweet potato crunch) Great view of the sound...ask for a seat with a view.
John's - The local favorite. Best milkshakes in the world (peanutbutter chocolate is our fav), and located right on the beach. Try the dolphin (mahi mahi) boat for a local taste. Only open in the summer, never open on Wednesdays. (they open this weekend for the first time since last fall!!!)
Kill Devil's - Great frozen custard (a yankee import)...try the coffee flavor if it's available. If you like food from the Jersey boardwalk, this is the place to go.
Rita's - Gilati are the ONLY thing I get here...not because nothing else is good, but because they are the best. Unless, of course, the Bahama Mama Mysto is available... *drool*
Orange Blossom Bakery - The BEST Apple Uglies you'll ever eat in your life...I've been eating them since I was young. If you're ever down near Hatteras (in Buxton), stop by for breakfast or brunch.
You can't go wrong if you pick a local restaurant that's been around for more than a few years (and there are plenty of options). Try the NC BBQ at least once (one of my favorite things to eat, ever), and stay away from all-you-can-eat seafood places (unless you enjoy waiting in line for an hour to eat in a loud, messy, cramped environment). The weekends are the busiest time for local restaurants in the summer, so I highly recommend you plan on eating out during the middle of the week.
And, if you're planning on bringing your own food so that you can save some money by not eating out every meal, don't wait until you arrive on Saturday or Sunday afternoon to go to the grocery store. Especially if you're arriving on the weekend, it's probably cheaper and guaranteed to be a lot less stressful if you bring your groceries with you instead of joining every other tourist waiting in line at Food Lion.
Although none of our beaches are incredibly crowded, the further south you go, the fewer people you'll see. Nags Head beaches are our favorites because of this. Kill Devil Hills are typically the most crowded and smallest. For a full day at the beach, a drive north to Corolla (don't attempt this on the weekends) or a drive south to Coquina Beach or Hatteras are the best...very few people and lots of big open spaces.
The great thing about beaches here is you'll never have to pay for parking, never have to pay to be on the beach, never have to deal with people telling you where exactly to swim (unless the red flag is up), never have to deal with a lot of trash. Parking can be hard to find at times, but you'll find it eventually, and it will probably never be more than 50 yards from the sand. The beach is the busiest between 11am and 3pm, so go early or late if you want to easily find parking and avoid the biggest crowds.
If you're looking for the good surf spots, ask around in the local surf shops (although, we'll never tell you where the best spots are). Because our surf is dictated by the ever-shifting sandbars and other factors, good surfing can literally change from one week to the next.
The Outer Banks is full of great history and unique attractions, including several national parks. Here are a few of my favorites.
Wright Brothers National Memorial - If you're into history, you can easily spend the better part of a day in the museum and walking around the park. (hint - wear shoes and socks to make the short hike up the monument hill easier and to avoid getting pricked by the dense cactus that cover most of the lawn)
Jockey's Ridge - The tallest, natural sand dune system on the East Coast. One of my favorite places in the world. (hint - park in the national park parking lot to visit the museum, park at Kitty Hawk Kites to visit the kite store, or visit the park in the morning or evening so that the sand is cool)
Fort Raleigh / The Lost Colony - The first English colony in the New World. A large national park as well as a great live show. (hint - bring a few extra bucks and schedule a few extra hours to walk through the adjacent Elizabethan Gardens)
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum - If you're into shipwrecks (the coast of NC has thousands of shipwrecks), ghost stories and pirates, check it out!
Chicamacomico Life Saving Station - One of the old lifesaving stations set up along the coast to rescue victims of shipwrecks...one of the coolest reenactments you'll ever see. (hint - check the website for daily/weekly schedule of events)
Lighthouses - NC is famous for it's lighthouses, and there are no less than four within driving distance. The Hatteras Lighthouse is the most famous and interesting. (hint - plan for a full day if you're going to try and see more than one lighthouse)
Downtown Manteo - This is Tricia's favorite spot to get away and walk and shop. A small, "quaint" little area directly on the water, with bookstores, art galleries and coffee shops and more. (hint - park near the water and make the short walk over to the Roanoke Island Festival Park for some history, and eat at Poor Richard's for lunch)
There is so much more to see and do, especially if you love history and the outdoors, so make sure you do your research and find out all that the OBX has to offer.
A Few Other Things
> Lodging - No, I can't tell you what hotel or condo or beach house is the best and cheapest place to stay...I live here, which means I don't pay attention to those kinds of things... If you can read this blog, you can also do a quick search on the internet to determine your options...and there are plenty of options, but not so much if you wait until you arrive to book a room.
> Please, always swim near a lifeguard, ask about red flags and rip currents, and respect the ocean. My dad is the chaplain for Nags Head, which means he hears about any emergency situation that takes place up and down the beach. Nearly every day, people (almost always tourists) are seriously injured or killed here because they don't respect the power of the ocean. The ocean is always dangerous, but risks can be reduced if you know what you're doing and heed the advice of those who know. (and, don't try skimboarding if you're old and overweight...I promise it won't end well)
> Please, don't leave your trash on our beaches. If you really must litter, take it home with you and throw it in YOUR lawn. Enough said.
> Please, know where you're going and how to get there before you get in your car... The number one cause of the daily traffic accidents here are tourists who get confused and do something stupid out on the roads. There are FREE local maps available in just about every shop and restaurant. I'm tempted to say a lot more here, but I'll be nice.
As a side not, Tricia had to pull out her PICC Line a few days ago when it started leaking...no pain or anything, but it will be a hassle to place a new one if she needs it (she will need another one at some point...just, hopefully not this week).
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A few thoughts about fish tacos...
I've had them two basic ways:
1) Much like a Mexican taco with beans and rice, salsa, onions, tomatoes, etc.
2) With fruit and without the traditional spicy Mexican ingredients.
Both are good, but Tricia's is with fruit, which I especially like.
Also, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and/or Tilapia make the best fish tacos, IMO (I don't like fishy fish, if you know what I mean). Grilled, broiled or fried are my favorite ways to go. Fish usually does not do well as leftovers (or maybe I'm just spoiled on fresh fish), so eat it all up the first go around!
And, having eaten 8 of them, I can tell you that there are many different ways to stuff your tacos...I decided that the messy stuff (fruit, sour cream) works better on the bottom. But, tacos are made to be messy, and licking your fingers at the end is the best part!
Enjoy! Don't knock it until you've tried it!
MAMA TRISHY’S FISHY TACOS:
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus (1 hr for marinade)
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
-TUNA steak (not the tuna fish in a can) 1 pound can easily feed two people. 2 pounds four, ect. (Mahi Mahi or Tilapia is also good) We get ours fresh, but frozen would work as well.
-World Harbour Island Mango Marinade (or a tropical fruit marinade)
-1-2 Cups Veggie oil
-1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
-1 Cup Sour Cream
-1 Can of Pineapple tidbits (drained)
-1 Can Mangos (diced and drained)
-1 Can Diced Pears (drained)
-1 Cup Chopped Lettuce
-Rice, I used one bag of ten minute rice
*change servings to your preference, and add whatever you may enjoy in your tacos!
-Thaw out fish if frozen
-Marinade in World Harbour ISLAND MANGO. I found this at our local Food Lion. 1 HR
-Broil Fish in oven. 5 Minutes one side, flip and brush with more marinade, broil 7 more minutes or until done. (our 1.7 Ib tuna cooked perfectly at this temp/time...undercooked fish is good, overcooked fish is not good)
-Cut up Tuna into bite size pieces (small is good)
-8 corn tortillas
-frying oil of choice, I used good old veggie oil
-This will take you about 20 minutes
-Heat up Oil in pan to almost boiling (very hot) and fry tortillas about 1 minute each side...I had to experiment to get it right. The longer you have them sit in the oil, the crunchier the shells come out (we like them kind of soft). Remove from pan, towel dry and shape immediately to a taco shape.
(This is the hardest part of cooking m.t.f taco’s, so feel free to buy your own crunchy one’s but Nathan and I find these to be much more tastier and easier to eat)
-Boil rice (duh).
-Drain and Cut up the fruit. I only chopped up the mangos which were a little mushy but I didn’t have an alternative. Mix with the hot rice (how I like it!), or serve fruit separately (how Nate likes it).
Veggies, cheese, sour cream:
-Chop veggies, grate cheese, and pour sour cream in separate bowls
Serve Taco’s with all the ingredients, but feel to choose what you like for you taco. Nate and I had the works (everything in the taco shell), although you could also serve the rice and fruit and cheese, etc on the side. You might not like sour cream and/or cheese on this sweeter tasting dinner, but we liked it and thought the cheese and sour cream balanced the fruit.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Tricia just made the best fish tacos I have ever eaten...quite probably the best meal she has ever prepared in our nearly five years of marriage.
"Fish Tacos?" you say...why yes...fish tacos are a very popular menu item around here, and having eaten just about every quality fish taco that local restaurants have to offer, I can proudly say that Mama Tricia's are da best!
"How good are they?" you ask...well...they're good enough to have made me eat no less than 8 of them.
If enough people beg, I might be able to talk her into posting the directions/recipe on her blog...I'll be digesting on our couch for the next 4 hours if you need me.
If you think our story is incredible, you should check out what's happening down in Florida with a couple of young CFers who have both received double lung transplants. Make sure you read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 (in that order and have your tissues ready), and pray/hope that Part 4 of Brian and Samantha's story is a good one.
Tricia had something similar last week, sick to her stomach for about 12 hours and then fine. Hopefully, I'm not next...there are few things in this world I'd rather avoid than throwing up.
Thanks for your prayers.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Already, her right eye is nearly clear (from the bruising and bloodshot), and her left eye is beginning to clear. We no longer need to put the ointment in her eyes as we have been doing twice a day.
We are very hopeful that this will be the last of her eye problems, until her nearsightedness (from her retinopathy of prematurity) requires glasses in a year or two.
Thanks again for your encouragement and prayers about this!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Although she was a little grumpy about not eating this morning, as long as we kept her engaged she really didn't cause a big fuss. We left home on time, arrived on time, and they came to take her into surgery right on time, which is not something we were expecting (having a lot of hospital/surgical experience). The doctor ended up working on both of her eyes, which we knew was a possibility. The inside half of each eye is very red, and she was very fussy for about the first hour out of surgery (especially when we pulled the large bottle of apple juice out of her mouth).
But, we were in our car by noon, and she slept all the way home and all the way until 4 this afternoon (Tricia and I caught a nap as well when we got home). She downed a big bottle a formula when she woke up, and I just left home to head down to the church for the evening...mommy and baby were talking and playing like normal, although baby is definitely still very groggy.
We've been told not to expect to see a difference in her eyes (the crossing and dipping of her right eye) or behavior for at least a few days, but I can already tell that her two eyes are much more aligned with each other. So, we'll just pray that they stay that way and that she won't need another surgery. All in all, it was a good experience, and, if what we've been told is true, she'll be back to "normal" by tomorrow, although her eyes will remain red for possibly several weeks.
Thank you all for your prayer and encouragement. We both felt very at peace (although very tired) all day, and are very grateful for your support! Check back in later tonight for some very cute pics of tiny Gwyneth in her tiny hospital gown...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Thanks for your prayers.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Click Here to check out the fund-raiser!