Archives for May 2011

Back in SoCal

Today has been a fun, but very long and exhausting day! We are grateful to have had an uneventful trip so far. We even got through security with all of Jesse’s medications and machines with no problems at all. They didn’t even call us over for special inspection like they usually do, so it went faster than expected.

Jesse at the airportFamily at the airport

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly ten years since I’ve been back to visit California. I loved the mountain views as we approached San Diego. Landing in San Diego was quite an experience. First of all it’s kinda a crazy airport to approach. You fly right through downtown, like we were landing on top of the buildings. Then, just moments before the plane was about to touchdown, we went back up again. I thought the pilot had messed up his approach. Apparently there was a plane that hadn’t fully cleared the runway yet so we couldn’t land. The pilot flew way out over the ocean giving us a great view of the coast before coming back to approach again. I’ve never had a false landing before today.

Landing in San Diego

Then we had a quick ride over to our awesome hotel for the night. Dad has been staying a lot of nights in San Diego this year because of a project he is working on at work. Because of that he was able to score us free rooms with his reward points. We just love it when we get to upgrade to a king size bed.

Our roomOur kitchen

We’ve all stayed up as late as we can trying to adjust to the time change. I’ve held out just about as long as I can. I am very excited for the fun day we have planned for tomorrow. This is Jesse’s first trip ever to California, so we have lots to show him!

Cystic Fibrosis: Treatments

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month! Since I didn’t know anything about CF before I met Jesse, I’m taking some time to learn and share some information about CF.

Most CFers, including Jesse, have a pretty long list of medications that are necessary to stay healthy. We are very fortunate to have excellent medical insurance for Jesse that makes it possible for him to get all the latest treatments available. Many of these prescriptions would cost thousands each per month if it were not for insurance, but we only have to pay the co-pays!

The first treatments Jesse does each morning is a series of aerosols. These are the best type of treatments for cystic fibrosis because the medication is delivered right to the airways and lungs, which is where the problems are. The liquid medicine is poured into the cup on the aerosol head and then forced out through the mouthpiece as a vapor. Each morning he does Albuterol, Colistin, Pulmozyme, Cayston, and HyperSal. Luckily the technology in the new aerosol machine makes each of these only take a few minutes to complete.


The next treatment is the Vest. The vest machine is used to get rid of any gunky stuff that has become attached to the lungs. It straps on like a life jacket and then tubes attach to the front of jacket forcing air through. The percussion effect shakes and clears the lungs. Both aerosols and Vest are done twice each day.

Lastly, Jesse takes a variety of pills that help him get the necessary nutrients that are not absorbed properly from food. Jesse takes calcium, ADEKs (specially formulated vitamins for CFers), fish oil, bisacodyl, mephyton (vitamin K), vitamin D, acidophilus, omeprazole, and azithromycin. This is where I am able to help him with treatments. I actually kinda enjoy portioning out all the vitamins for the week on Saturdays. Plus I do my allergy pills at the same time, only my list is much shorter.


Thanks for taking the time to read and learn about cystic fibrosis this month! Don’t forget that we still have awareness bands available for purchase. If you haven’t bought yours yet it’s not too late… and they’re only $1!

You Say Tomato

Thursday I got a call from my friend Adrianne asking if I wanted to come tomato picking. She was wanting something to do to get out of the house and said that I could join her if I could be ready to go right after lunch. So we headed out to a farm in Bradenton for a great deal on tomatoes… only $0.20 per pound! I saw them in the store yesterday for $2.99 per pound. Can you tell that I am just so thrilled with picking my own produce this year? It’s just amazing to eat food that I saw growing out of the ground yesterday. It doesn’t get any better than that!

I love to cook with tomatoes and thought it would be great if I could stock up while they are so cheap. I do not believe that the tomato plants were very happy to be growing in hot Florida. They looked more than a little sad so we had to search a bit to find the good ones that were hiding.  Farmer Amelia (Adrianne’s 8 month old daughter) was less than thrilled to be out picking tomatoes so we didn’t stay too long. But it’s just as well because it was really hot and I still came away with more than enough for what I wanted. I got all of these tomatoes for only $2!!

Tomato fieldSad tomatoesTomato harvest

I sliced up a couple fresh tomatoes for us to have with our dinner. I dressed them THE best way with a little vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. It’s the perfect mixture of tangy, salty, sweet. You’ve got to try them this way.

Sliced tomatoesYummy tomatoes

I decided that today would be my tomato prep day. I helped Grandma Sipes can tomatoes once when we were visiting them, so I was feeling brave enough to give it a try. I’m freezing mine instead of canning, but the process looks pretty much the same.  The hard part was figuring out the correct timing in the boiling water for the skins to come off without making the tomato too mushy. I got better after a few tries.

Boiling tomatoes

Then I peeled them and cut out the stems.  The freezing instructions said to squeeze out most of the juice and seeds.  That was the most time consuming part.  Then I portioned my diced tomatoes into cups.  I’m used to using canned tomatoes in most recipes so I wanted my freezer bags to hold the same amount.

Peeled tomatoesMeasuring tomatoesDiced tomatoesTomato inspiration

The disappointment came when I saw how much I ended up with after so much work.  I boiled, skinned, sliced and diced a whole grocery bag of tomatoes to come away with… three little freezer bags. Now, I knew that it would make less than I was expecting, but even with that thinking it still made even less than I thought.  I’ll be going back for round two after lunch.  Hopefully it will go a little quicker now that I have a system.

Tomato bags

So far I’ve only sustained one injury, I sliced into my pinky finger while peeling the skins. Ouch! These tomatoes had better be good after all this effort.