A few weeks ago, we met with my dad for quick dinner/gift exchange.  Never being one to hold back on "how he really feels"- after pointing out that my toenails needed a little "attention" (In all honesty, that last week of school- I'm a disheveled wreck), he blatently asked, "What's that spot on your face?"  

What it was was an eyesore... an annoying "blemish" that came out of nowhere and decided to stay put- right on my forehead.  It started as a red bump, and slowly (but surely) morphed into a what appeared to be a shiny, somewhat bumpy (but partly indented, if that makes any sense) scar.  That's what I assumed it was anyhow.  I always heard that along with "old age" comes all sorts of "beauty marks".  

Assuming this was the case, and hoping it would leave as suddenly as it arrived, I ignored it...  for about a year.

My dad wasn't about to let me ignore it any longer.  He {blatantly} said that it looks like it could be skin cancer (which he and his wife have both had, multiple times)~ and that he didn't want to "scare me" but he wanted to scare me enough to have it checked out.  Well, he did.  And I did.

I went in the following Tuesday, and on Thursday, had a biopsy.  Friday, I was told that is was in fact skin cancer.  Basil Cell Carcinoma.  The good news is that this form of cancer "can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow, but almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site."  

This afternoon, I'm going in to have it treated/removed with an outpatient surgery (Mohs surgery).  My mom's husband has undergone this procedure and was able to explain the process, which was highly comforting.

This was a definite wake-up call.  A call to wear sunscreen (no less than 30 spf) on a daily basis... A call to be more aware/respondent (45% chance of recurrence)... To see a dermatologist on a regular basis (they recommend every six months from this point forward)... And last but not least, [when it comes to your loved ones] a call to set formalities aside, and be blatant

Just like my dad was.

Spanish sangria {quick & slow}.

{i will spare you the reasons as to "why i haven't been blogging [again]"~
because really, it's all the same reasons i've mentioned in the past.
i will just say [again] that i'm happy to be back.}

as of thursday, at 12:31pm...
summer has officially commenced.
the list has been written.
patio {& dog} cleaned. 

sangria sipped.

{one of the easiest "cocktails" to make, and oh so pretty}
spanish sangria
{2 ways}

*slightly adapted from 101 sangrias & pitcher drinks                             

serves 8 
1 bottle spanish red wine* 
1/4 c cognac
1/4 c citronge (recipe called for orange curacao; could use grand marnier or cointreau)
1/4 c simple syrup
2 oranges, cut into half-wheels
2 peaches, cut into cubes
2 lemons, cut into half-wheels
Place all of the ingredients in a large glass or ceramic container and stir well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (up to overnight).  Serve over ice.  Garnish with additional fruit if desired.  
*I used two buck chuck, based a recommendation from a tapas cooking class in which we made the "quick" version (recipe below).

*hipcooks version 
serves 8 
2 bottles of red wine (i.e. two buck chuck) 
3 oranges, cut into half-wheels
3 limes, cut into half-wheels
½ a bottle of mango passionfruit juice (from tj's, or other tropical juice)

dash of citronge (or grand marnier, or cointreau)
Place all of the ingredients in a large glass or ceramic container and muddle*.  Serve over ice.

*This can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time, but the muddling releases some of the juices into the sangria, eliminating the need to infuse on their own, over time (in other words, a good way to "cheat" when you need instant gratification, or simply don't have time to wait).

{p.s. somewhere along the line, in my extended break- for reasons completely unbeknownst to me, my anonymous comments (aka SPAM) have SKYROCKETED. every single day, "they" inundate my posts. 
i've held off on reinstalling word verification, but enough is enough.} 

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