What’s going on, Ya, what’s going on….2015 Seattle Holiday edition…

I’m posting again and so soon after my last one shocking I know.  It’s an oldie but a goodie, at least for those in and around Seattle.  My list of free, cheap and fun sounding things to do this holiday season in and around Seattle noting those that are MitzieKnowsBest (MKB) approved, meaning I’ve done them in years past.  If the dates/times or links are wrong oops sorry I’m not as perfect as some people think I am.



Start End Start End Event Where

MKB Approved

11/14 12/24 9:00 AM 6:00 PM Reindeer Festival! Swansons Nursery Yes
11/20 11/20 7:00 PM 11:00 PM Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival Columbia Tower Club  
11/21 11/22 10:00 AM 5:00 PM Yulefest Nordic Heritage Museum  
11/21 12/02     Festival of Trees Fairmont Olympic Hotel Yes
11/23 12/30 11:00 AM 5:00 PM Teddy Bear Suite Fairmont Olympic Hotel Yes
11/24 01/03 12:00 AM 11:59 PM The 23rd Annual Gingerbread Village Sheraton Yes
11/27 11/27 9:00 AM   Seattle Holiday Parade Downtown Yes
11/27 11/27 4:00 PM   Westlake Center Tree Lighting Westlake Center Yes
11/27 11/27 5:25 PM   Macy’s Star Lighting & Fireworks Macy’s Yes
11/27 12/24 7:00 PM   Snowflake Lane At The Bellevue Collection Bellevue  
11/27 12/31     Winterfest 2015 Seattle Center  
11/27 01/03 5:00 PM 9:00 PM Port Defiance Zoo Lights Point Defiance Zoo  
11/27 01/03 5:30 PM 8:30 PM Wildlights Woodland Park Zoo Yes
11/27 01/03     Willy Wonka in Smell-o-vision SIFF Film Center  
11/28 11/28 10:00 AM 8:30 PM Greet the Season Lake Union Park  
11/28 11/28 1:00 PM 5:00 PM Magic in the Market Holiday Celebration Pike Place Market  
11/28 12/31 6:00 PM   Snow Showers inside Pacific Place Pacific Place Yes
11/28 01/01 11:00 AM 9:00 PM Westlake carousel Westlake Center Yes
11/28 01/02 4:30 PM 9:00 PM Garden d’Lights 2015 Bellevue Botanical Garden Yes
11/28 01/11     Magic Season Ice Arena Bellevue Downtown Park  
11/29 11/20 9:00 AM 3:00 PM Santa Train Northwest Railway Museum  
11/29 11/29 4:30 PM   Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony Downtown Edmonds  
11/30 11/30 2:00 PM 6:00 PM Kirkland Winterfest Downtown Kirkland  
11/30 11/30 4:00 PM 8:00 PM Christmas Carnival The Westin Seattle Grand Ballroom  
12/01 12/23 10:30 AM 4:30 PM Issaquah Reindeer Festival Cougar Mountain Zoo  
12/04 12/04 6:00 PM 8:30 PM The 29th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition Westlake Center  
12/04 12/05 12:00 PM 9:00 PM Winter Beer Festival Hanger 30 Mangnuson Park  
12/04 12/05 9:00 PM   The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever Columbia City Theatre  
12/04 12/06 5:00 PM 9:00 PM Fremont Festivus Fremont  
12/05 12/05 2:00 PM 5:30 PM Champagne & BubblesExtravaganza! Wine World & Spirits  
12/05 12/05 4:00 PM 8:00 PM Junction Holiday Party and Tree Lighting Junction Plaza park  
12/05 12/05 4:00 PM 8:00 PM Redmond Lights Redmond Town Center  
12/05 01/01 5:00 PM 9:00 PM Clam Lights Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park  
12/10 12/27 7:00 PM 10:30 PM Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker Triple Door Yes
12/11 12/12 9:00 PM   The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever Columbia City Theatre  
12/12 12/12 10:00 AM   CookieFest 2015 Seattle Center’s Armory Loft  
12/12 12/12 4:30 PM 7:30 PM Pathways of Lights Greenlake Park  
01/01 01/01     State Parks Free Days Washington  
01/17 01/18     State Parks Free Days Washington  

Mic check one, two ‘Cause it aint a party ’till the crew run through.

Mic check one, two ‘Cause it aint a party ’till the crew run through.

Is this thing still on? *tap tap*

I think it’s time I wake Mitzie Knows Best from the dead.   I am going to start using it again, hopefully….well I have good intentions to at least and I might even update the site a little who knows.

So as you, the one reader I have, realize I’m not dead.  But a lot has changed; my mother is doing amazingly better which we are all thankful for.  I was laid off once again and after seven months of unemployment finally landed a job doing what I love to do in the only industry I’ve ever worked in and just past my first 90 days there so yay me!  And I got to stay in Seattle so double yay me!!

  • In those 90 days I had some amazing bus adventures that I really need to document somewhere and maybe it will be here who knows.
    • One driver stop at a normal bus stop in front of a Jack in the Box and proceeded to get out, go inside the JITB and about 4 maybe 5 minutes later came back out and continued driving the bus.
    • One morning another driver announced that he was sick and he as getting off the bus, we could stay on the bus or we could get off the bus but he was getting off the bus, so we all basically got off the bus and went looking for a new bus to finish our commute to work.
    • One evening home a man who was not 100% sober got on the bus with a lite cigarette and a passenger on the bus had to knock it out of his hand to put it out, the bus driver kicked him off at the next stop.
    • One night a construction worker getting off the bus knocked me upside the head with this helmet as he was getting off without apologizing.
    • One morning a ‘homeless’ looking person got on the bus stood in front of me with his ass to my face and proceeded to rip the loudest and nastiest fart I’ve smelt in Seattle, rated right up there with some my brother an nephew rip, it was so bad my eyes watered and I dry heaved a little.
  • I still love a bullet point and hyperlinks, that hasn’t changed.
  • I enjoyed four different restaurants that participated in Seattle Restaurant Week:
    • Orfeo where I started with their charcoal roasted mussels with garlic, rosemary, preserved lemon and black pepper where were phenomenal I must say.  For my main dish I chose the slow braised pork short rib with soft polenta, wilted greens and a Chianti reduction, it was delicious.  For dessert I went with the chocolate budino with pistachio gelato and toshi cherries and it was just meh.  I’d definitely go back for the mussels and pork short ribs.
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    • Blueacre Seafood I started with their silky pumpkin bisque with butter poached chanterelle mushroom and black truffle crème it was just ok, a little flat in flavor if you will.  After that I moved on to the red curry Neah Bay rockfish with delicata squash, sweet corn, pickled vegetable and  steamed rice again it was on the flat side when it came to flavor and definitely needed more of the curry, the curry on its own was delicious but there wasn’t enough to enjoy with the rockfish.  For dessert I went with the chocolate pecan pie with bourbon Chantilly and a cocoa nib caramel this is where they redeemed themselves sort of, it was the one highlight of the meal, well this and the happy hour oysters not part of SRW that I had before my meal.
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    • RN74 I tried lunch here so only two courses were had the Heritage bacon deviled Eggs with pickled & crispy shallots and holy deviled eggs batman they were amazing of you like deviled eggs go try them.  For my second course I went in thinking I wanted the marinated chicken “Teriyaki” salad with crispy rice, iceberg, and a sesame dressing but then I saw Roasted “Paris ” mushroom risotto with maitake Mushrooms, aged balsamic and sarvecchio I have to say this was hands down the BEST risotto I’ve ever had period point blank it was wonderful and now I am going to copy Michael Mina and put an aged balsamic reduction in all my mushroom risottos.  RN74 NAILED it for restaurant week in my book.
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    • Liam’s I started with their Penn Cove Mussels  in a spice curry cream with chili oil and grilled bread they were nice with a tiny bit of heat but Orfeo’s mussels were still better.  Next I had their Beecher’s “World’s Best” Crab Mac & Cheese with Dungeness Crab, dried tomatoes and grilled onions when it arrived it wasn’t what I thought it would be forgetting about the dried tomatoes in it but it was good, and I only ate a third so I could have room for dessert and I’m so happy I did because not only did I get a delicious dinner the next time as I had my mac & cheese for dinner but I also had room for my dessert their chocolate parfait with salted caramel and chocolate cookie crumble and OMFG this was by far the best dessert out of the whole bunch I seriously wanted to lick the dish clean but my mother raised me better than that so I refrained but it was worth every calorie it housed.
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How’s about cooking somethin’ up with me? Take II

Since being back from my recent trips to San Diego I haven’t tried any new recipes just keep making myself chicken and shrimp tacos.  So I went back to review some of my past new recipes favorites to get some inspiration and motivation to try making something other than chicken or shrimp tacos or blueberry bread.

Here are some of the favorite new recipes I’ve tried since April of this year that I highly recommend to anyone looking to try something new:

04_06_Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur – I love a good Croque Monsieur and when I see it on a brunch menu it’s usually what I order or at least something I consider ordering but never tried it at home.  I finally broke down and decided to try making my own.  I tried this recipe and it was delightful even thought I couldn’t get the cheese sauce to thicken up it still tasted like a Croque Monsieur.  I was too lazy to cut off the crusts of the bread but that didn’t hurt the sandwich one bit, will definitely make again.

04_17_Oven Baked Crab Avocado Wontons

Oven Baked Crab Avocado Wontons – These were amazing, and so easy to make.  I only used 1 avocado and didn’t use the full chili powder amount but OMG they so good, I’ve already made them a few more times and even made them for my parents while in San Diego and they ate them all up.

04_20_Onion Ring Sunny-side Up Eggs

Onion Ring Sunny-side Up Eggs – Why I never thought of doing this on my own and had to see a recipe on Pinterest to give me the idea is dumb on my part.  They were super easy and I’ve made them for brunch a few times since.  I topped mine off with fresh chives, black pepper and hot sauce.

04_20_Peep S'mores

Peep S’mores – I tried the baked kinds and broiled kind, preferred baked better and enjoyed with Hershey’s special dark and Chuao Chocolatier Firecracker ChocoPod delicious these have been made multiple times for multiple people who all enjoyed them.

05_10_Baked Tomato and Egg Cups

Baked Tomato and Egg Cups – Another attempt at brunch that was a success.  A great easy brunch dish, next time I make them I’ll cook them closer to the 8 min mark vs the 10 min mark so the yolk does not get hard and stays a bit runny like I like them.  I served mine with toast and fresh strawberries, topped off with fresh Parmesan and chives.  Would be a perfect dish when inviting people over for brunch who you want to impress.

05_18_Asian-Style Chicken Soup

Asian-Style Chicken Soup – This soup was awesome, even after eating it for lunch and dinner for a week I was still excited for it.  Each day I freshened it up by adding different veggies to it, will be making again once the weather cools off some.

05_26_Spicy Dr Pepper Ribs

Spicy Dr Pepper Ribs – Holy Cow these were amazing!  The sauce was so spicy, so good and made my mouth on fire in the best way possible.  I have ribs in my freezer right now that I’ll be doing a repeat of this recipe soon.

06_08_Pickled Red Onions & Soft Boiled Egg

Pickled Red Onions – I’m officially addicted to these they are amazing, and I’m constantly remaking them and put them on anything and everything and nothing at all.

Soft Boiled Egg – You are probably thinking, soft boiled eggs Mitzie come on but see I was afraid to try them and now I’m kicking myself for never trying them myself.  They are so good, I’ve been making these and putting them on top leftovers, in soups and everything else I think they’d be good on.  I let my eggs sit out for 15-20 minutes before starting to boil the water, and I boiled them for a little over 5 minutes and perfect every time.

05_30_Turmeric prawns with kaffir lime leaves

Turmeric prawns with kaffir lime leaves – This recipe reminded me how much I love turmeric, it’s such a distinct flavor and may not be for everyone’s palate but mine sure adores it.  This dish was so spicy and flavorful but I think I used too many red chili peppers my eyes and nose wouldn’t stop running while eating it.

06_08_Mexican Chicken-Hominy Soup

Mexican Chicken-Hominy Soup – The soup base was pretty weak in flavor, but after adding some of the homemade blender salsa I made and some pickled red onions it was delicious.  I’ve made it a second time and just kicked up the broth a bit and it was incredible will be making again many times this fall and winter.

06_09_Double Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

Double Dark Chocolate Banana Bread – Safeway gave me free bananas and I honestly hate eating bananas but I got them anyway because they were free and I knew I could possibly make banana bread or muffins.  It was my first time baking something from scratch after 10+ years or avoiding baking and it was a big success, very enjoyable and perfect quick weekday breakfast.

06_14_Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs – This is probably my favorite brunch recipe.  I’ve made it with Spanish chorizo, green onions, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and they were delicious, though the cook time needed to be longer than 10 minutes because the whites weren’t cooked all the way through.  Each time I make it I mix it up with whatever I have in the fridge crack two eggs on top and in a little over 10 minutes my mouth is in heaven.

06_15_Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup – Another mouthwatering soup.  This was lovely; I added some chicken, spinach and extra Thai red chilies it was a more flavorful tom ka gai.  The leftovers were incredible as well and this will definitely make it on my fall and winter soup rotation.

07_23_crispy asian drumsticks

Crispy Asian Drumsticks – Hands down one of the best chicken dishes I made in a long time.  Will be baking more chicken like this; using thighs because I love thighs more.  The chicken was crispy yet not greasy and tasted like fried chicken to me.

07_24_Blueberry Lemon Bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread – My second baking attempt and yes another bread.  Blueberries and lemons area beautiful combination.  This too was a perfect and quick weekday breakfast.

07_25_Pasta with Bacon, Jalapenos, Sweet and Spicy Pickled Onions and a Fried Egg

Pasta with Bacon, Jalapenos, Sweet and Spicy Pickled Onions and a Fried Egg – So many components to this dish but each was necessary and made it what it is.  The combination of everything was like a party in my mouth can’t wait to make it again.

08_16_Garlicky Goat Cheese Grits

Garlicky Goat Cheese Grits – I think I used more garlic then the recipe called for because I LOVE garlic and I didn’t regret that one bit.  They were good but a little on the thick side and I couldn’t thin them out but they worked, I served them with some shrimp, blistered cherry tomatoes, jalapenos and a fried egg the leftovers were just as tasty.

Writing this post worked last night I finally tried a new recipe and it felt good and tasted good as well!

But when the makeup occur, I don’t see it, all I see is a blur

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Things I’m currently in love with in no particular order:

Arnica gel a few years ago one of my trainers suggested I use arnica gel on my knees after working out for my arthritis; finally a few months ago I picked some up and am kicking myself for not buying it sooner the stuff is amazing and it also works on burns.

My new XFINITY cable box/DVR that operates on the new “X1 Entertainment Operating System™” I can record 4 shows at once! And it’s so much easier to navigate and use though it is contributing greatly to my couch potato status.  I typically have nothing nice to say about Comcast but I like this, at least today I do.

Arnold Palmers, I love ice tea and recently fell in love with lemonade and Arnold Palmer’s have become my drink of choice, well behind my beloved Diet Coke that is.  The funny thing is in high school I loved my dad’s Arnold Palmer cardigans and stole them all from him.  Apparently I like things associated with old golfers.

San Diego brunches, since they are all new to me I love them and want to put them ALL.IN.MY.MOUTH.NOW.  I wasn’t a big brunch fan until I moved to Seattle and discovering all the great brunches in San Diego has been delicious.  If you’re in San Diego feel free to leave me your favorite brunch spot in the comments.  Some of my favorites so far are: Hash House A Go Go, Tractor Room, Great Maple, Snooze AM Eatery, R Gang Eatery, Waypoint Public
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The fact that Fall is just around the corner!  I heart Fall so hard!  The weather is cooler, there are less people driving and parking on my street, the sunsets are earlier, the leaves change colors, its perfect soup making weather, burning candles is appropriate, wrapping up in a blanket on the couch is acceptable, wearing all kinds of layers is necessary, the list goes on and on, it just makes me happy.

Tacos, while I was in San Diego and now that I’m back in Seattle all I want are tacos, tacos and more tacos.  They are just tasty little treats that I want to “poner en mi boca.”

The book Where’d You Go Bernadette?  This was a great airplane book, light, funny and it was based in Seattle with some Antarctica thrown in.

bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 by bareMinerals for years and I mean years I used liquid foundations, I had my own blend made for me by Prescriptives that I loved but once Nordstrom stopped carrying the Prescriptive line I had to find something new.  I tried many different brands and formulas and hated them all until one day I discovered bareMinerals I was reluctant to do the whole powder thing but ended up loving it and using it for the past 5/6 years and thought I’d never go back to liquid.  I recently tried their new bareSkin liquid foundation and fell in love with liquid foundation all over again, the stuff is amazing, very light weight and provides just the right amount of coverage I’m looking for.  I LOVE.LOVE.LOVE it.

LORAC ‘Unzipped’ Shimmer & Matte Eyeshadow Palette I had some Nordstrom rewards to use up and decided to splurge on this eye shadow palette and OMG I’m glad I did, it’s beautiful.   Every shade is usable and the pigmentation is insane.  And even if I don’t use a primer they stay and don’t crease, when traveling it will be the only eye shadows I bring with me.

My Sonicare Essence Rechargeable sonic toothbrush and my Clarasonic Mia 2 when I travel I don’t take either of these with me, I’d rather save the ‘weight’ of them for another pair of shoes or more clothes.  So when I come home after being gone for 2 or 3 weeks it’s like a spa treatment to my teeth and my face and I fall in love with them all over again.

LUSH Seanik solid shampoo bar, I’m always looking for new hair products and now that I don’t wash my hair everyday anymore, yay for dry shampoo, I wanted something different than what I was using before to get my hair squeaky clean on the days I washed it.  This Seanik did the trip, squeaky clean without drying, striping and no conditioner needed, thanks to the shampoo and my Wet Brush and to top it off it is super easy to travel with no size limit since it’s not a liquid!

New underwear I have a habit of putting my thumbnail through my underwear, weird I know but it happens and about 50% of my underwear all had thumb holes on their sides so I recently purchased some replacements and there’s nothing better than putting on a new clean pair of panties that have no little thumb holes in them.

The fact that MAC will be at the 32nd Street Navy Exchange the next time I’m in San Diego!  I’ve been holding out on repurchasing a few items I’m running low on because I know I can get it there for cheaper, well basically free because I can get my dad to buy it for me than forget to pay him back because I’m still a spoiled daddy’s girl at my age.

There’s such a distance between you and your family

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I learned a few more things this past trip to San Diego:

  • The power of prayer and positive thoughts is an amazing thing.
  • Driving in the car with my father driving is like an E-ticket attraction at Disneyland and I’m too young to ever have experienced one.
  • People in San Diego use umbrellas to block the sun where as in Seattle tourist use them to block the rain.
  • Clean cut men > beaded hipster.
  • San Diego has so many options for French fries, and I attempted to try them all.   mobile 015 mobile 002 mobile 002 mobile 079

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  • I’m beginning to think I’m not my father’s daughter after all he LOVES Denver omelet they have bell peppers in them. Seriously WTF?!?!  Gross!
  • 87% humidity is about 80% too much for me.
  • Who puts mayo in their guacamole? Oh my father does that’s who. WTF?!??
  • Dad’s make great Slurpee delivery service. mobile 004
  • Communion “wine” still tastes disgusting and I had to ‘pay’ to take communion, so strange.
  • Elrose Ct has an amazing barter system going on. Bacon for avocados and onions for beans.
  • San Diego’s rush hour traffic has NOTHING on Seattle hour traffic.
  • Cops love to pull people over in SD saw at least two a day, no I did not get pulled over.
  • A yellow stop light means speed up, a red stop light means 2 or 3 more cars can go.
  • Per my dad in the early/mid 70’s you didn’t go into a bar in IB without a gun.
  • BC plates in Seattle are much better drives than BC plates in San Diego.
  • I really like 65 mph speed limits.
  • You can get jet lag without changing time zones.

I’m the guy that dies at the beginning of the movie

During my self-imposed West Seattle pretend bear hibernation due to 99 being closed, I watched a lot (to me) movies I kept thinking the next one would be better, it kind of did but not so much, all thanks to my new cable box, free STARZ and free ENCORE.

Captain Phillips – I had wanted to see this movie for the story but didn’t want to pay to see Tom Hanks because I don’t care for him.  I can say I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to watch it and could entertain myself with my laptop while watching it because it did nothing for me.  Plus it reconfirmed that I still don’t like Tom Hanks.  I now know why it didn’t win any Emmy’s or Golden Globes.

Before Midnight – Another one I wanted to see in the theater this time because I wanted to finish out the trilogy.  I have to say this was my least favorite with Before Sunrise being my favorite of the three.  I guess I’d rather see them fall in love than bicker and argue.

Frozen – I finally watched Frozen and I can tell you that no I do not want to build a snowman nope sure don’t and I have no desire to let it go. I still don’t get the hype over it but then again I’ve never been a fan of animated movies.

The Lone Ranger – Johnny Depp once again fully committed to his role and he was awesome.  I don’t understand why it was deemed one of the biggest box office disasters of 2013 it wasn’t that bad, better than Frozen and Captain Phillips.

I did more than spend all day on the couch watching movies, I walked to brunch, went to Bartell’s, got a pedicure, saw Balconies at Annex Theatre which was really kind of funny, and rewarded myself with some Molly Moon’s ice cream.

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Mama said knock you out – my mama refuses to be knocked out

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What my family has been though the past week in my professional world would be considered a Disaster Recovery Drill.  Thankfully we all passed and my mom’s OK.  She has been through the ringer during her life and for my own state of mind I decided to document all know medical related issues she’s had.

  • It all started February 20th of 1942 the day she was born. She was born at home; back than it was normal what wasn’t normal is she was born breach at home.  To top that all off she was born breach at home and weighed over 11 lbs, my poor nana.
  • In 1949 when she was 7 years old they noticed her right arm was shorter than her left arm and were never able to figure out what caused that.
  • In 1953 at age 11 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and spent two years and in out of the hospital for that.
  • In June 1968 she was pregnant with my brother Scott and the birth was placenta previa so she had to have an emergency C-section or they both could have died, the doctor who preformed the surgery first name was Eugene and that’s how Scott got his middle name Eugene.
  • In March 1972 she was pregnant with me and since Scott’s birth was a C-section my birth also a C-section.
  • In November of 1979 she had the left side of her thyroid removed, as a 7 year old I was shocked to see her neck bandaged and her walking I assumed her thyroid was in her thigh, little did I know.
  • In December of 1984 she had a hysterectomy.
  • In January of 1989 she had surgery on a herniated cerruical disc.
  • In May 1996 she had her left hip replaced.
  • Also in May of 1996 she had to have and emergency colonoscopy because her intestines shut down and wouldn’t wake up after her hip replacement surgery, this is when it was identified she was allergic to morphine.
  • In June of 2005 she had 3 stents implanted at the same time.
  • In August of 2005 she had 9 more stents implanted at the same time.
  • In April of 2007 she had 1 more stent implanted.
  • In May 2007 she had 3 more stents implanted at the same time bring her total number of stents in her heart to 16, yes 16 all in her heart.
  • In May of 2005 she had a colonoscopy to have a polyp removed and due to blood loss had to have a blood transfusion 2 pints of blood.
  • In June 2008 she had her gallbladder removed.
  • In March of 2009 she had a right partial mastectomy.
  • In May of 2009 she decided to have a bilateral breast mastectomy.
  • In August of 2010 she had her right hip replaced.
  • In April 2013 she fell, hit her head and had bleeding on the brain.
  • In June of 2014 she had a vitrectomy on her right eye.
  • Also in June 2014 she fell due to pain in her hip and right knee.
  • In July of 2014 she was having issues breathing, low oxygen levels, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and a high temperature and admitted to ICU where they put her in an induced coma and on life support.  It was also identified she she has a meniscus tear in her right knee.

At some point she was also diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, and a few other issues that aren’t on her handy list she keeps in her purse.  She also has macular degeneration in her left eye, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

I won’t list all the medication she’s been on because that’s almost as long as this one.