NO! SLEEP! TIL! ((not brooklyn))

so… if you know me, you know my schedule is, well… I don’t even have words for what my schedule is…
regardless – – i do know, that i’m exhausted.
… the time.

b/c – every six days, i have duty… no big deal you say… right, it’s not. i signed up for it yadi yada yada… blah blah blah.
what i didn’t sign up for, though, is to go over 24 hours without sleep…
i will give them credit, they changed our shifts. they used to be at least 24 hours, but more often than not, it was AT LEAST 32 hours.
and we could sleep at work.
if the section had the manning, and there weren’t trouble calls, and you could actually sleep at work…
i took to attempting to sleep in my car, but for awhile, sleep wasn’t possible due to manning issues and shit going wrong…
and then i finally did start getting between 2 to 4 hours of sleep… which really, just made me ill, so i stopped doing that… but then i couldn’t do it anymore, i had to get SOME sleep, so i was doing 3 to 4 hours, and while it was wreaking havoc on my body, i suppose it was less havoc than no sleep…
anyways, like i said, they changed our shifts. we don’t come in until 3:30 pm the day of duty, and we leave around 8:30 the next morning…
but. we can’t sleep.
that’s fine and dandy… you can say what you like, we did anyways…
until this morning when people got caught sleeping and it wasn’t a pretty situation… ((it wasn’t JUST the fact they were sleeping, i’m told))
so now, there’s a big deal about not sleeping…
but here’s the thing
here’s my example that i’m giving out while discussing this with co-workers tonight.
for duty on friday:
you want me to work monday thru thursday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. ok – no big deal.
but – at the end of the day on thursday – i’m tired, just like i am at the end of every day. i need to go to bed…
granted i go to bed a LITTTTTTTLE bit later, but i’ve been up and running all day .. . i need sleep… i sleep in until 9 or 10 on friday … and then i just can’t sleep anymore, and more often than not – that sleep is disturbed and not solid, consistent sleep… but i get up and then do whatever it is i do throughout the day, and then go to work…
do you know how difficult it is to stay up until 9ish the next morning!?!?! not to mention – not safe, and not healthy??
we have to drive home after our shift. in traffic usually, and the bright morning sun…
with. no. sleep.
which has been proven to be just as bad as driving drunk.

also… we have six sections right now. we had four when we did shift work.. .but they claim we don’t have enough people to go back to four.
isn’t four less than six?!??
seems legit.

Delicious Turkey and Kale Soup

so, the other night – as per usual when i cook… i was trying to figure out what to make…
sometimes i definitely have something in mind…
sometimes.. .((more often than not)) i don’t…
so we had just gone grocery shopping (which means i absolutely can’t go out to eat that night – right?? …sigh…)
i had some ground turkey that was ready to be used (read: not frozen like the chicken i forgot to lay out)
so i browsed some recipes and couldn’t really come up with anything worthy.. i had seen a turkey meatball and kale soup that looked interesting, but it took way to long to cook, so that was out of the question
(i use so a lot… hmmm)
i chopped up some onions and it ended up being a lot of onion (it was about half a large one) . . . and decided that was too much to throw in with some turkey,
ok… sweet potato — ok, chopped that up and threw it in with the onions that were browning up… (maybe a little olive oil also…)
and of course some garlic – because what meal is complete without garlic??
and i had the turkey going in another pan, i threw some mild smoked spanish paprika on it b/c why not!?
so, i had this stuff cooking… and i just couldn’t figure out what to do with it…
i have some fresh kale and i threw that in the potato and onion mixture…
and was just looking back and forth from pan to pan…
now what??
mix it together?
will that even be good?? or just a big old mess?
hmmm… look through the cabinets… and i have a can of coconut milk.. .
which reminds me, i need to get more… oops
threw that in with the potato mixture while the turkey continued to cook
decided that it was tooooo thick, so i filled the can that the milk was in with some chicken broth and added that to it
and then i threw my turkey in to the mix and seasoned with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of lime juice
i don’t have pictures… sorry.
it was tooooo good, and there was hardly enough for us to eat at lunch the next day and it didn’t look as pretty after it had been refrigerated ((still tasted just as good though!!!))
so – it’s definitely something you have to try!!!
if you want it less fattening – i guess you could cut the coconut milk down and increase the chicken broth…
but i’m not sure it will taste as delicious 🙂 🙂 🙂

1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large sweet potato – peeled and cubed
1/2 large onion – chopped finely
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups kale – chopped to preference
1 can coconut milk ( i don’t know how large this can is – probably 12-20 oz; i know that’s a large range, but i honestly am not sure, it is, however, the regular size can, not the little one)
the same amount of chicken broth as your coconut milk can
salt and pepper to taste

in a separate pan – cook your turkey and season with the paprika

in a different pan – heat olive oil on medium heat and throw in your onions, wait a few minutes and add potatoes and garlic
cook until potatoes are semi-firm
add kale
cook until wilted
add coconut milk
add chicken broth
stir together and let cook for about five minutes
add cooked (and drained if necessary) turkey
stir together and then add salt, pepper, and lime juice.
let simmer for 5 minutes to let the tastes meld together.

serve and enjoy
this will probably make 6 normal size servings . . . however, i’m not quite certain my serving sizes are normal…

wait –wait — wha???

so, if you’re a wordpresser, you know that being “freshly pressed” is kind of a big deal…
or at least it used to be…
i thought they emailed you to let you know that they (or the general public) was choosing your post for a freshly pressed post ((So that you could clean it up maybe?? and make sure it was ready for the world to see it))
well — i was browsing around on freshly pressed, and didn’t really scroll too far down and lo and behold!!!

that's my turkey burger post!!

that’s my turkey burger post!!

i saw that!!!
dude!!! wasn’t i supposed to get an email or something!?!?

so i went and checked my email and found nothing…
but – hey !! i finally was freshly pressed!! and it’s an amazingly delicious recipe — so make it. enjoy it, and yay me!!

Best Turkey Burgers!! Ever!!!

so, I knew tonight I wanted to make some turkey burgers…
I browsed around the internet looking for recipes, and found one that looked pretty delicious…
but… if you know me at all – you know that no recipe is safe from my tweaking…
so here goes:
1 lb ground turkey
1 heaping cup of feta cheese (crumbled)
1 egg white
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp. greek seasoning. that I made. from another site, and of course tweaked… link to follow after this recipe.

mix it all together and make your patties and grill or cook in pan until temperature is 165
(that part is pretty straightforward and non-tweakable)

they. were. DELICIOUS.
omg I took a bite and was in food heaven.
so, the original recipe called for mint, oregano, and pepper… I don’t have any mint.
so I was like… hmmm… greek burgers?
greek seasoning…
(but, of course, I don’t have any of that either… ) SO I MADE SOME!!!
based off this recipe:
I did tweak it a bit.


1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Parsley
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Thyme

really the only thing I changed was that I used Smoked paprika and added 1 tsp of grated lemon peel
and threw it in a spice grinder
pretty yum, and DEFINITELY made the flavor stand out in the turkey burgers

I topped them with some tzatziki style sauce…
but I don’t like cucumbers.
at. all.

so I mixed:
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp. dried dill
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice

mix well and serve on top the burgers.
I also put a tomato slice, some lettuce and some sliced white onion on the bun.
oh man.
I served with a salad that I made a lemon vinaigrette to top!!
Lemon Vinaigrette
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

I put in a mason jar and shook well.
so light and delicious.
it was an amazing dinner that I wolfed down much too quickly to take a picture of the entire thing, but here’s the burgers that I had leftover!! 🙂


Help a friend out — Equine Therapy

there’s a girl I know who I met when I was stationed in Great Lakes… she’s a pretty cool girl (she helped me move when I got to Virginia!!!)  and I would love to be a fly on the wall for a majority of the things she goes through, she’s very witty, and I’d say friendly — but the stories she tells prove otherwise — to the people she doesn’t know – or that try to mess with her.

anyways, Amanda is getting out of the Navy soon (lucky) and is about to start an Equine Therapy Ranch… however, she needs funding – read about it and then go help her out!!!


Thanks! 🙂


Here’s Amanda’s story from her GoFundMe page:

Everyone has a dream. Unfortunately, when you grow up, you realize dreams cost more than just good intentions and desire. Currently, I’m serving in the military, due to get out next July or possibly earlier thanks to an injury – there goes that dream.

Now I’ve found a new dream. It’ll be a minute before I get it up and running, but I’m starting off at the bottom. Ultimately, the plan is to get a equine therapy program up and running, specializing in rehab therapy for Wounded Warrior Programs, other veterans, people with PTSD and other mental health concerns. It will also include programs for the Special Olympics, and therapy for children, including ADHD, depression, autism, etc. I’m even hoping to be able for it to be a foster home, and an work with rescue awareness with the animals I intend to have for the programs. I know that in order to succeed at this, I’ll need the right property (The second picture is the one I have my eye on in Vermont), tools and people to help out. That’s the ultimate purpose – the non-profit side of it. In order to continually support this idea, I plan on grants and business partners (I’m sure most people aren’t surprised to find lower tier enlisted military make barely minimum wage), and having what people have started calling “adult summer camp”. The business end of it that would support the charity work are things like: trail rides, riding lessons, horse boarding, vacation cabins, skiing…it will also be some place I hope groups like Venture Crew, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be able to come for space and wilderness experience. There will be home grown vegetables and fruits from the gardens and the orchards, signature foods and drinks (I’m hoping for a vineyard), etc. I have staff, trainers and even maintenance people all lined up. This is the ultimate goal – but not where I’m at now. I’m starting off low down on wish list, which is why I have this posting.

I currently need, and will need in the future, a horse trailer. One, for people who plan on boarding at the facility. Two, to take people to various trail heads at the National Parks in the area (like the Green Mountains and White Mountains). The third reason is so I can use my time now to getting money together for the property, employees, and horses by renting it out to people in the area who can’t afford one on their own. I live near highly horse populated areas – Gloucester County and Virginia Beach, and I know from experience there’s only two people who rent trailers nearby (and by nearby, I mean within 50 miles), and they charge $100 a day, plus gas. I’m hoping to start off with less than that and build a customer base that will start me towards the farm.

Amanda has some great plans already and though this is in the early stages, I’m sure those plans will become a reality with time and some financial help. If you’d like to learn more about some of the specific plans she has, and see some pictures of what she has in mind, check out the White Cardinal Farm Facebook Page. If this seems like something you’d like to support, please ‘like’ the Facebook page and head over to the GoFundMe webpage and donate what you can, every little bit helps get her closer to making this dream a reality.

Doenjang-jjigae – Fermented Soybean Paste Soup — MODIFIED… Deliciously

so a few weeks ago, we made this soup.
it was pretty good.
last night i decided to make it again — with some modifications…
you know how i like to modify things…
so . . . . that’s what i did…


1 sweet potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large chicken breast – cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup snow peas ((these are the flat peas normally used in asian dishes…not to be confused with snap peas, which are delicious too… but i don’t know if they’d work here))
1 red chili pepper chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced ((roughly 4 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups water
1 – 20 oz can pineapple chunks
5 tbsp soybean paste
1 green onion stalk – chopped
1/2 cup cashew pieces (dry roasted, not salted)
2 inch bundle of rice noodles… i know that’s not very specific, but honestly – i just grabbed a handful, i think it was 2 inches in diameter and then i broke them in half…
1/2 cup chicken broth – or water

combine first 8 ingredients in large pot.
make sure that the water only just covers the ingredients. (if it takes less than 2 1/2 cups that’s fine…)

bring to a boil (should take about 10-15 minutes), add in the soybean paste, green onion, pineapples, and cashews and stir well. cook for another 10-15 minutes… stir occasionally. . . and then add in the rice noodles and broth (or water)… the rice noodles don’t take too long to cook – so let it go for about another 10 minutes so the flavors mix together well

serve and ENJOY!!!

Doenjang-jjigae – Fermented Soybean Paste Soup

^^^ this is where i got my inspiration for dinner tonight…

actually … husband found it last night but it was after we had already eaten … he was just still hungry and he actually almost made it last night… but it was too late and he didn’t feel like cooking…

so we had it tonight.

except. of course. with modifications…

b/c — anchovies and shrimp are just not my thing… no way . .  . no how…

and while i’d be willing to try the tofu – we don’t have any in the house…

but – we do have soybean paste and we have to figure out how to use it … before it goes bad…

so here’s what we did –

1 large chicken breast – cut into small pieces (ours weighed in probably around 12 oz)
1 med/large potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red chili pepper – chopped
1/2 large onion – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 garlic cloves – minced or put through your garlic press
2 1/2 cups water
5 tbsp soybean paste
1 green onion stalk – sliced



put all of the ingredients except the soybean paste & green onions into a large pot – make sure that the water only just covers the ingredients. (if it takes less than 2 1/2 cups that’s fine…)

bring to a boil (should take about 10-15 minutes), add in the soybean paste and stir well. cook for another 20-25 minutes… stir occasionally. . .  ((it might not take this long — ours didn’t and our chicken was cooked all the way through … keep in mind the bites were very small though))

stir in the chopped green onion and serve with rice ! 🙂

it was pretty good.. husband didn’t like the zucchini aspect — but then again – he never likes zucchini in the first place…

it was kind of mushy.. so next time we make it we were thinking about the following modifications –
it definitely would work with cashews… and we were thinking of adding carrots, snap peas, and possibly pineapple. . .

i’ll let you know how it goes next time!!  but until then — enjoy!!


Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

growing up – brussel sprouts were definitely on my list of most hated foods…

they were usually boiled or steamed (i think) and generally disgusting…

as you get older – things change, and you begin to explore different ways of cooking things…

brussel sprouts came back into light a few years ago… with all these sites saying — i know you hated them growing up by try them this way!!!

and so we did … a couple years ago… tried them roasted and then tried them grilled… no.

still. no.

then i thought i would give them another try…

i found a few recipes and modified/combined them…

and …. it’s SO good!!! husband doesn’t like it so much — but i’m totally in love!!!

here goes:


1 lb of brussel sprouts – bottoms cut off and cut in half
4 pieces of bacon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup — REAL maple syrup none of that HFCS crap
enough garlic for your liking
salt to taste

(see super simple list!)

pan fry up your bacon and save most of the grease… you’ll know if you have too much… but don’t get rid of it all (I never said this was a healthy recipe)
set bacon aside to drain
throw in your cut up brussel sprouts and stir around a bit to coat them in that deliciously unhealthy grease… let it cook for about 10 minutes… maybe longer depending on how green your brussels are – (how hard they are)
throw in the cranberries and stir around some more
cut up your bacon and throw that in with the garlic and then pour in your maple syrup
taste it… you know you want to — add some salt if you like…
now… this tastes REALLLY good… it really does… but i was thinking ya know… it needs a little kick… something to sass it up a bit…

on my counter i happen to have a bottle of Bragg Organic Unfiltered Raw Apple Cider Vinegar…
it’s zingy… i thought it might give it the kick i was looking for
BEST DECISION EVER!!! i know it’s not listed in the ingredients — b/c the first time i made this – i didn’t use it… you could also probably throw in some balsamic vinegar or another flavored vinegar and have it taste just as good…

stir around and continue to let the flavors meld together and possibly even brown some of the brussels…
cook until desired doneness





ACV & Me


so, a couple weeks ago i read a post that a friend had put on her facebook page touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
everyone knows that acv is good for so many different things…
i’m all for trying new things now and again…
i happen to have tried some acv in orange juice a couple times…
it gives it a KICK… but it never really did anything for me…
this friend said that she puts it in her tea…
hmmmmm. i drink tea.
so i decided to start doing that…
unfortunately it wasn’t doing much for me… ((read: anything))
i looked more into it and found that i should be using unfiltered, raw acv… which definitely is NOT the heinz brand that i have a gallon of… so i saw some at the store and picked it up ((see pic above))
and i’ve been drinking it almost every day in tea and today i tried it in some water with a dash of agave nectar & some cinnamon … that is actually pretty damn tasty!!!
and here’s my rundown – i can’t vouch for it boosting your energy levels b/c mine are so wonky b/c of my stupid schedule…
what i CAN vouch for is that it suppresses my appetite…
now any one who knows me knows that i get hungry at ridiculous times … and i’m hungry more often than i’m not… ((which DOES NOT make sense cuz i eat all the damn time!!)) well, since i’ve started this- i’ve noticed that i’m not nearly as hungry as often!! and when i DO eat – i eat considerably less than normal…
this weekend i skipped out on it and both days i was a lot hungrier than normal…
this hasn’t contributed to any significant weight loss as of yet, but… i only got it mid week last week…
so here’s hoping!!! and here’s also hoping that when i’m back on days it definitely boosts my energy!!

if you’re going to try it – make sure you try the unfiltered type – the Bragg’s brand that I got was not very expensive — i’m pretty sure it was less than $4…

good luck!!

9 Years Ago Today…

it’s been 9 years…
9 years since a tragedy happened …
9 years since something that you only see on the news … happened in real life…
9 years ago my best friend was killed in an act of senseless violence.
senseless domestic violence…
a reminder – domestic violence is not always limited to between a husband and a wife (or couple of any sorts)
my best friend was an innocent bystander trying to help a friend out in her time of need.
they both suffered for it.
i’d like to say that i think about you every day, April,
but unfortunately, time has gone on, and life has happened, and so much has changed between the me of then and the me of now…
I do, however, think of you occasionally…
and i wonder how life would be for you and for me…
would i have moved to Florida? (i like to believe so…if only for the fact that if i never did, i never would have met the love of my life)
i really would like to believe that we’d still be great friends.
you helped me through so much in my times of need, and we became quick friends . . . i do sometimes check in with Mark and say hi… your boys have gotten so big, and Jacob looks so much like you… more than he did in earlier years (my opinion) i wonder if they think of you… I know they are happy, and I hope you are looking down and smiling on them from above… and then sometimes I wonder if they remember me… but more than likely they don’t… that isn’t important… it’s important that they remember you and all the great things you did and were…
i hope that someone can visit your grave and put white roses on your grave… i know you didn’t approve of getting flowers, you were always so frugal and the money could have been used for other things that lasted (i came to adopt this sentiment)… but i think it’s the thought that counts… and i am sorry that i can’t do that any longer… and although i honor your memory – i don’t intend to ever inhabit St. Charles again, so i will never be able to continue that tradition (albeit one that i created for myself) …
i want you to know that i kept the coat you bought me for the longest time.. and on it – the ribbon that i made to support you and Kelly… i still have the ribbon, although i don’t wear it, but no longer do i own the coat… sometimes you just have to let go… but it was very hard for me to do…
you will always be in my heart even if i don’t realize it…
Rest In Peace always April Christine Wheeler…

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