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Sandra’s Falafels (Chickpea burgers) and Cucumber Sauce February 28, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Back of the Fridge Recipes.
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Sandra’s Falafels (Chickpea burgers) and Cucumber Sauce

PREP TIME : 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
ready in 1 hour


  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 green or white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg (substitute lemon juice/water/or 1 T. Tahiti)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup or (6 ounce) container plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Cucumber sauce

  • 1 (6 ounce) container plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise


  1. In a large bowl mash chickpeas with fork, until thick and crumbly. Chop onion, parsley and garlic. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
  2. In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 8 balls and then flatten into patties.
  3. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides about 4-6 minutes each side.
  4. In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

TIPS: Instead of frying, you can bake them in a 450 oven, 10-15 minutes.

Place falafels on a cookie cooling rack to drain-do not place them on paper towels, they will get soggy and lose that yummy crunch.

Bon Apetite!

CJ’s Mystery Illness’s solved February 28, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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#1: Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. If severe and/or inadequately treated, it is typically associated with: * loss of greater than 5% of pre-pregnancy body weight (usually over 10%) * dehydration and production of ketones * nutritional deficiencies * metabolic imbalances * difficulty with daily activities

#2: Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the membranes (placental tissues) and amniotic fluid. It occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies, but is much more common in preterm births. Chorioamnionitis can cause bacteremia (blood infection) in the mother and may lead to preterm birth and serious infection in the newborn baby. Other terms for chorioamnionitis include intra-amniotic infection and amnionitis. The organisms usually responsible for chorioamnionitis are those that are normally present in the vagina, including Escherichia coli (E. coli). Group B streptococcus may also cause the infection. Chorioamnionitis can develop when the membranes (amniotic sac) are ruptured (broken) for an extended period. This allows the vaginal organisms to move upward into the uterus. The following are the most common symptoms of chorioamnionitis. However, each woman may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include: * fever * increased heart rate in mother and fetus * tender or painful uterus * a foul odor of the amniotic fluid

#3: Preeclampsia is a complex disorder that affects 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women. A woman is diagnosed with preeclampsia if she has high blood pressure and protein in her urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. (It’s possible to have preeclampsia before 20 weeks, but only in rare cases, such as with a molar pregnancy.) Preeclampsia most commonly shows up after 37 weeks, but it can develop at any time during the second half of pregnancy, including during labor or even after delivery — usually within the first 48 hours. Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe, and it can progress slowly or rapidly. The only way to get better is to deliver the baby.

All of these match verbatim every symptom CJ reported over the duration of her pregnancy. She is still on BP meds for the pre-eclampsia.

I still feel horrible at how mis-informed I was when she called crying that she was literally starving and sick at the same time…..

Mommy and Little One definitely are walking the Red Road.

Hinááh bee atiingóó éí naashá
On the Trail of Life, I walk in beauty
Nizhóní naashá
In Harmony I exist, I walk in beauty

Mother and Child Reunion : February 28, 2009 February 27, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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Mother and Child were reunited today for the first time since Baby Rhonda’s sudden emergence into this world a week ago!

Mother and Child together Feb 28 2009

So helpless.......

Mommy was so overcome with emotion, they figured they better get these two together NOW!So close and yet...

So close and yet...

She’s been texting me daily, it’s getting real hard for her to be home alone without her baby girl. She counts the hours until Daddy gets home from work so they can go to the hospital. Nothing can prepare you for moments like these, I am in tears as I type…….
so tiny and helpless, they have covered her eyes against the harsh institution’s lights, which seem so normal to us…

Daddy's hand comforts the tiny child

Daddy's hand comforts his tiny girl

Wee Baby Rhonda

Wee One

Daddy's Little Girl

Daddy’s Little Girl
Mother and Child Reunion Feb. 27 2009

Together Forever, at last

Hinááh bee atiingóó éí naashá
On the Trail of Life, I walk in beauty
Nizhóní naashá
In Harmony I exist, I walk in beauty

Diagonal Dishcloth February 27, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Epic Failures.
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I’m finishing up this Diagonal Dishcloth, and can’t wait to start a new one~

Diagonal Dishcloth

Diagonal Dishcloth

*(Editors note) You are not seeing the finished cloth because I chose not to show it-it turned into an Epic Failure;  I fully intend to knit a new one.

This one makes a nice slop cloth in front of the coffeemaker, in the Break room.

Moving along with Blogs February 26, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Special Announcements.
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I want to post a quick notice to anyone who has visited my Ravelry Profile and is interested in checking in periodically.

I will be dropping my Yahoo! 360 Blog in the near future. I am not happy with the limitations Yahoo imposes on it’s registered members. It also requires user registration in order to view my blogs, and I need more control over who can and who cannot see my posts.

I have enjoyed a wider variety of preferences in this blog. WordPress is more flexible, it allows me to create categories, upload pictures , add links to favorite sites, and welcomes comments from its readers~

Dealing with OCD makes life challenging enough, I need more organization and WordPress provides those small needed perks.

Please bookmark my blog and visit often as I update my projects, musings, and life in general!

Happy Hooking! Sandra, aka manyhorsesmane (Ravelry.com)

From China with Love: Letter to Baby Rhonda : Entry for February 24, 2009 February 24, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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A letter from a friend in Jiangsu,China.

We started out as business associates, and been corresponding for about a year. Her name is Linda, but her birth-name is Xiao Yin. She is 23 yrs old and a very sweet girl who works hard and seldom sees her family from where she lives, only taking the train on holidays for 4 days at a time. We have become great penpals in the past year, celebrating our respective holidays and sending each other e-greetings to go with our holidays. It’s been a wonderful experience, and helps to make the world a more tolerable place to live, knowing that we are not hated so much by people of various parts of the world. It has taught me that we are all in this together and I hope we never lose that One-ness that is so important to us, if we are to survive.

Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:01 PM
To: Sandra Schwab
Subject: baby

Dear Sandra.
Congratulations to you! I am very happy to hear that…Wish they all ok!
I will looking forward to hearing more about your little grandchild.Last weekend, I went to attend Japanese Class in our downtown, now I have few time to spend with my bf. Hehe…Maybe several months later when I finish classes. I will conside to marry maybe in 2-4years.Hehe…But all will be depending on the reality.
Best regards for you!


Hello Linda! thank you dear Friend!
I have pictures of Tiny One, her name is Rhonda Renee Ryan.
She was taken off the respirator on Monday, is breathing on her own. She will be in hospital until mid-April when she is fully developed. She requires daily blood transfusions until her tiny body starts to produce their own blood cells. She is so fragile and helpless!
The New mom, CJ, went home on Sunday and is feeling much better! I will pass your well -wishes along to her and tell her someone in China cares, that will make her smile! 🙂
My daughter CJ is so lucky to have a good hospital and insurance. I am hurting so much that she has to go through this, but I feel that Baby Rhonda is in a good place and will be in the care of good people.

I don’t pray much, but if you have a prayer for tiny babies, can you send one for Rhonda, please? I don’t know what her role in life will be, only a Higher Power knows that – we just need to see that her journey is a safe one.
I’ll send more pictures and news when I have more. I hope you get to see your BF again soon and I hope the time goes by fast. You have your whole life ahead of you, so there is no hurry, only today and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Hugs to you!

Pictures of Baby Rhonda at Last!! February 23, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Pictures of Baby Rhonda at Last!!

CJ called today!

She came home Sunday afternoon-they stopped at BabyWorld to pick up the crib mattress, and she called while waiting in the car~ SHE SOUNDS GREAT!

Today she is walking on Clouds, she sounds sooooo good and her mood is elevated. So good to hear, after her ordeal. The last 4 months have been rough on her, the pregnancy just didn’t agree with her.

They have her on BP meds, for pre-eclampsia, which is normal from what I read. She may only need them for a few days, until her body returns to normal.  Her appetite has also returned to normal, almost immediately after they removed baby and closed Mommy back up. Surprisingly, Daddy remained for the entire proceedure and didn’t even pass out, but was actually facinated by the whole episode while they put Mommy back together!! whataguy~!

She’s had one blood transfusion already as she is too small to produce her own blood cells, I don’t know for how long they will need to do this. There’s so much going on, at least she is in good hands~

In other news, new Daddy (the keyword being NEW) built the crib, in the living room. Can you guess where this one is going?? Def. not through the bedroom doorway. Daddy Dearest has to disassemble and re-assemble in the actual room it’s to be residing in..Needless to say, Mommy thought it was hilarious..

We appreciate all your comments, please post them here for the Proud Parents to read!! Thanks for all your support!!!
Without further ado, here are the first Pictures of Rhonda!

Baby Rhonda Updates~Sandra’s Babyblather : February 20, 2009 February 20, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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I got a call from Mommy today!!! They got hers and the baby’s infection under control and think they will send Mommy home tomorrow (Sat).
CJ said her appetite, which had been a roller-coaster since the onset of her pregnancy, literally returned to normal as soon as they took the baby and closed her up. She couldn’t wait to get back to her room and get something to eat!

She didn’t think things were going so bad that she’d need any morphine, so she restrained herself all day yesterday while she was laying in bed. Today when they got her up to go see her baby, she said she instantly regretted not having took her meds. So she’s on mild pain relief for now, but she sounded sooooo good! Her bounce was back in her voice, and I hope she is over the worst for this ordeal. She’s going to need to be strong in the coming days and weeks, so she can truck back and forth to the hospital to see her new Little One~

Baby Rhonda will have to stay for about 8 more weeks until she’s fully developed, but CJ says she looks great and is even trying to pull her monitor wires and tummy tube out, and is kicking and flopping around like a tadpole out of water!

They have a naval tube in her tummy to feed her for now. CJ decided not to pursue breast-feeding, in light of the fact she would have to run back and forth, pump apparatus, collecting milk, etc, and doesn’t think she’s up to all that and would rather they start her on a bottle when the time is right.

I was going to pack DD18 in the car and head down middle of next week but CJ said to wait, and unless she gets sick or something changes, she’d rather I wait until the baby shower in April, so I’ll have to content myself with waiting on news between now and then.

I’ll post pictures as soon as I get anything from down there~ wish us luck!!!

This is the pattern thus far on the baby blanket I’m working on. I’m on repeat #2 and most likely will need more yarn-I made it bigger than the original pattern called for, that last one I did for Hunter was a doll blanket when I got done, pffffffffft.

Hopefully I’ll have photos soon, DIL said she got something but it was fuzzy and too many hands in the way, so I’ll wait until someone else sneaks a shot from the Neonatal Unit.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and well-wishes, they are much appreciated!!!

Sandra Flies Away

Baby Rhonda is here~ February 18, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Baby Talk.
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Posted Today at 02:39 PM

Hey Guys,
I’m a grandma again (#3). Baby Rhonda was born today by emergency C-section at approx 1:08pm- she weighted in at 2 lb, 15 oz. 14 3/4″ long.CJ called me this morning saying they were going to do an amniocentesis to see if her mystery infection had reached baby. For reasons I’m not clear on, they canceled the procedure and decided to go ahead and deliver.They said she has an infection of the uterus and its spread through her blood to her whole body and its infected the baby as well. The baby’s heart rate is fine right now and the doctors don’t seem to worried but shes only at 31.5 weeks and that’s just dangerously early.

Mom and baby are on antibiotics. Baby was coughing up infected amniotic fluid. Mom may get to go home in 4-5 days, Baby will remain until Mid April.

Baby Blanket in progress

I’ll update as I get more news. CJ did indicate early on in this pregnancy, she does not intend to have any more children, this will be her one Miracle.

Thank you for your thoughts, and keep them coming! We’re gonna need all the help we can get.

Time in a Bottle…or it’s 3:33am, do you know where your ID is? February 18, 2009

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Random Musings, Weirdness in Wisconsin.
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Skull Manor by Michael Schwab

Skull Manor by Michael Schwab

Id, ego, and super-ego:

Do you notice a certain time of the day/night that repeatedly comes to the forefront of your Awareness Radar?

For me, it’s 3:33. usually pm. If I’m still awake at 3:33am, I’m not a Happy Camper. For me, that time of the night, that which I call the Twilight, is a deeply disturbing time for me, and I don’t like being there….

There’s only one thing that sticks in my mind. Someone once told me, that if the same numbers keep appearing to you, in one form or another, then, “things are right in your universe.” whatever that means?

Tonight, Igor went up stairs by himself, and DH and I looked at each other and said at the same time, “What is he doing up there?” He NEVER goes upstairs by himsel. He hangs with us all day, and only goes when it’s time for bed and both of us head upstairs with Igor’s Bed Bundle, Igor in tow.

We have a special Guest there sometimes. We don’t usually speak of “her” aloud, but when a certain friend brought it up out of the clear blue, we perked up.

As I said before, Igor never goes upstairs, unless it’s to dig some long-forgotten chew-bone out of his picnic basket. Tonight, when I went to see what he was doing, I crept up silently as I could. Dogs’ ears pick up sounds we 4-leggeds cannot detect, so I knew I would likely be detected before I could see what it was he was up to.
When I reached the top of the stairs and looked over to the right into the livingroom, he was nowhere to be seen… that was odd, since his Toy Basket (the Picnic Basket) sits right at the top of the stairs leading into the livingroom….

As I turned and looked down the hall in the other direction, he came trotting out of the Guest Bedroom, with nothing more on his mind than to look at me as if to say, “What?”

I wonder if our Guest has taken a liking to Igor now….I’ll have to keep my eyes and ears open more, but my radar has not picked up on anything recently…

Beats me with a stick. I’m goin’ to bed.

g’night~ Me