the hyphens that define my life

Support Me Support Them August 25, 2013

Booming loud thunder.  Lightening flashing in the night sky.  House lights flickering.  Rain pouring down. The air cools and smells fresh and clean. I am in a melancholy mood.

Earlier tonight I spoke with my younger sister who filled me in on the details of her trip to Seattle last week while I was in Orange County, CA on a work trip.  My younger sister lives in Flagstaff, AZ and spent last week in Seattle as she volunteered to have her bone marrow harvested in a few weeks to help our ailing older sister who suffers from rare, complicated diseases, from which she has no hope of recovering. 

Our older sister, at the young age of 47, has been offered a glimmer of hope to renewed health through a bone marrow transplant that is scheduled to occur on September 18 with the University of Washington and the Seattle Cancer Center.  She has been sick, in a sickly sense, for a very long time, more than 15 years at my best recollection.  Though I am the worst to ask what is wrong with her because of the complexity of her illness, I do know that she has an immune deficiency that inhibits her ability to fight disease.  In addition, of the 5 IGG levels we all have (did you know that?), my sister lacks A, E & M. She also has a diseased liver, not liver disease, a diseased liver, that is causing all types of issues. At one point, I learned there were only 6 similar cases on the planet. Her prognosis is bleak.  As is, on the medication she is forced to take in order to maintain her current state, she will develop non-hodgkins lymphoma very soon.  A bone marrow transplant is her only hope.

Last spring, we three siblings, my younger brother and sister and I, were screened as viable candidates for bone marrow transplant.  Siblings, I learned through the process, are the best possible source for match.  Who knew.  I was immediately ruled out within 5 minutes of the initial phone call due to my previous cancer history.  My brother was tested but was not a match.  My younger sister turns out to be a perfect match for which we are all thrilled.

Last week, health screenings and additional tests were completed to further ensure that my sisters are an identical match. 

In three weeks, my younger sister will return to Seattle to undergo harvesting of her bone marrow and my older sister will receive the bone marrow via transfusion later that same day. I will be in Seattle at that time, for three days, to help and keep my mom calm and aid in the care of both of my sisters as they recover.  I will stay with my older sister primarily as her body’s reaction to the foreign bone marrow is of biggest concern.  Her body’s reaction to rejection could simply be nausea or it could kill her.

Yikes.  Heavy stuff.

I need you for support.  Please keep my sisters in your prayers and in your thoughts through the next month.  Though the critical time won’t begin until September 18,  emotions, stress and anxiety are already running high.

Thank you.


Beau Monde July 20, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — multihyphenatedme @ 10:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

I had a good day.

Nothing exciting happened.  I escaped my house cleaning chores to go to the grocery store.

As I walked past an elderly woman muttering to herself in the baking and spice aisle, I heard her say that she couldn’t read the spice jar labels.  I stopped and asked if she needed any help.  She stared at me and asked if I worked at the store.  “No, I don’t work here, I’m just offering to help you find the spice you’re looking for”, I told her.  She was wearing a slate blue sweat suit.  Today the temperatures were 97 degrees in Spokane.  Her eyes were the exact same color as her outfit.  Her white hair was brushed back over the top of her head which reminded me of the way my Grandma, Eula Mae, wore her hair.

Without missing a beat she told me she was looking for dried minced onion.  I gave her a couple of size options for the minced onion.  She then needed dill which I found for her quickly.  She then said she needed Beau Monde seasoning.  What?  I have never heard of Beau Monde seasoning.  Sure enough, it was there on the shelf.  She told me that she used these three ingredients, and because she appreciated my help, she told me the recipe that she said “would make the best dip you ever tasted”.

All the basic ingredients for dip – mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper, plus the three herbs and spicesshe just purchased:  dill, minced onion and beau monde seasoning.  She stressed that you should not whip the ingredients together but slowly stir until combined.  She recommended eating the dip with carrots or other vegetables.  She always keeps the dip in her fridge in case company comes over.

I wanted to hang out with her all day eating dip and swapping recipes.

It is not unusual for me to help people in grocery stores.  There are plenty of short people that can’t reach the top shelf and need my height and long arms.  I offer to help almost every time I’m in the store. This was the first time I learned about a new product and got a recipe out of the deal too!  Good trade!

I should say it isn’t unusal for me to eat dip either.  I didn’t buy any Beau Monde seasoning but I will have to check it out.  Have you tried it?  How do you use it?

I found this online recipe to make your own Beau Monde Seasoning Salt:

Beau Monde Seasoning Salt:

1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground bay leaf
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon celery seed

Sounds interesting. Salty for sure.  I love trying new things.  I should have bought some today while I was there.  Maybe I’ll make some dip and have some company over.


My Daily Blog T-13 Act of Kindness June 6, 2013

Filed under: Life — multihyphenatedme @ 8:28 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday, in response to tweeting my blog post T-14, I received a tweet reply from a local Spokane guy that describes himself as an “Aspiring Coffee Geek – Hashtag Enthusiast – Photobomb Artist – I’m taller than I look in my bio photo! What do I really do? …”.  Turns out he’s a well-connected New Media Marketing Strategist (whatever that is) that is kind enough to reach out and connect me with other Spokane tweeps. YES!

After connecting with a few people, I told my husband that I’m already making friends in Spokane. He gave me a raised eyebrow look so I told him of my twitter action.  My husband is not a fan of social media as he believes it to be a total time suck.  Keep in mind he doesn’t do in person “social” much, he has his core group of friends but social only happens when he has to, thanks to his chatty well-connected wife.  He is completely capable, a very nice man, intelligent with big ideas and lots to say with no tolerance for small talk and inability for remembering anyone’s name. I, on the other hand, my husband quickly reminds me after I tell my story, am a freak magnet. Maybe just a people magnet with a strong pull toward the bizarre. In all fairness, I repel people too typically because I overwhelm them but that’s a discussion for another blog post. My husband goes back to whatever he was doing with the advice to proceed with caution.

He knows better.  Caution and I are not the best of friends.  Jumping in with both feet is more my style. It is Twitter, 140 characters or less, I’m safe, jump.  I conversed with Mr. Spokane a bit and followed all the Spokane people and joined the Spokane groups he recommended.  It took all of ten minutes.

A simple act of kindness, a short tweet exchange was just so NICE.  I tried to remember the last random act of kindness I had given or done for someone. I can honestly report that while in moving mode, it hasn’t been recently.  Note to self:  get back on track with giving.

@DoyleWheeler, thank you for your act of kindness, for connecting me with Spokane and for reminding me the importance of reaching out and helping others.

Go out and give!

Follow me on Twitter @BethBakulich