Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

If there's anything more excellent than this time of year, I don't know what it is.

I'm more excited about the holidays this year than I've been in ages.  I'm delighted to find this is the case. Sure, it'll be hard to afford and the family drama will shred some of it when we visit, but I'm remembering all that this season means and it's buoying my spirit nicely. I'll do some handmade gifts this year and take pride in them, regardless of the recipient's reactions.

The roll dough is rising and I'll start the pie soon; the gratin will be last. Les is smoking a turkey breast and we'll go to Mom's around 2ish. Lil Bro and new wifey will be there too.

I'm thankful every day of the year, so you'd think this day isn't a big deal, but I adore Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my husband, who is the most solid source of love. I'm thankful for my health and intelligence, because it keeps a roof over our heads and food sometimes on the table. Living in a city like Jax, it's easy to look at what I have and think, well, it certainly could be worse. I take a certain pride in my strength.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. Stuff yourselves and hug your families :)

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Starting the Thankful Stuff

Jenna recommends writing down goals and putting them in your pocket, to serve as a reminder and motivational tool. I think this picture needs to accompany my's a little grander than what I hope for, but def nails my desires. Image from here.

Mom's ever-so-slowly rallying...the doc visit confirmed our concerns, that it was likely that a decrease in spinal fluid was causing her symptoms. They set her up with anti-nausea meds, an OK to use the Percocet for the headaches, and direction to load her up on caffeine (the stuff may be addictive and sleep-depriving, but it also creates spinal fluid! My back must be seriously strong then! ::wink::). She's not feeling the Black Friday shopping idea right now, so that's on the back burner, but her headaches and lightheadedness are s...l...o...w...l...y...dissipating, and we're getting more solid food into her. Relief.

Work's busy lately, not a huge pick-up of business, but I'm on a new project as a result of the merger that is a nice distraction.

Spent too much time on the computer last night, and haven't been to the Y yet this week, but I'm recharging and def feeling like me again. Thinking about timing for Thanksgiving day...I want to do a cauliflower gratin side dish, apple butter pumpkin pie, and rolls from scratch from Chiot's Run's recipe...which means cleaning tonight, prob working dough tomorrow night, pie first on Thursday, then gratin. I'd like to actually watch the parade this year, instead of always being back-and-forth, especially with K's boys's going to be a nice, relaxed day and I'm looking forward to it. Weather isn't going to cooperate, high of 80F expected, but I'll make the best of it. By the gods as my witness, I WILL have Thanksgiving in Charlotte next year!

With the MIL socks done, I need to make a list of what-all is going into holiday gifts this year. I'd still like to do some handmades.

And the apartment is getting a thorough cleaning this weekend.....anyone who lives in Florida knows that it doesn't matter how clean you keep your place; if the roaches want in, they'll find a way.....however, keeping your place clean can't hurt either. Had to have my big, strong man take care of one today that could've given the cat a run for her money...seriously the biggest damn roach we've seen in ages...had to have gotten in from outside, because if we're growing 'em that big in our walls, I ain't gonna make it to next October! It's one of the few creatures on this planet that I can't handle...just writing about 'em gives me the willies, and when I see them, I know I need to be elsewhere as quickly as possible. So in between helping out with Mom, we'll be tearing apart our house and really getting started on organizing/cleaning/purging. The place is practically a fire hazard anyway.

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's almost a relief to be back at work. Very weird feeling. Love my cutewarmfuzzymommie to pieces, have no problem taking care of her, would drop everything in a heartbeat...but getting back to work lends a stability to my day that I've come to rely on. Interesting.

Yesterday, Sunday, was much better. The doc's office called Mom/Lil Sis first thing this morning to set up a follow-up for today, thank the gods, and they are headed that way this afternoon. So frickin' grateful that at least the doc's office is diligent, because this weekend was hard, a little scary, and we need to be sure we're doing everything necessary to assist in her recovery. The only reason I didn't drive her ass back to the hospital Saturday night is because she remained coherent/not altered, and we didn't want to deal with the hassle of a weekend crew treating her without knowing her sitch.

One of the hard things is understanding the things I understand about the body and the practice of medicine and communicating these things in a way that doesn't make the medical professionals roll their eyes and think, oh great, another Internet junkie who thinks they know my job. It's got me thinking...I sometimes say I'll be a doctor in my next life, because I obviously have a penchant for retention of that material now. But what if I tried to get into that field in this life? I don't have the temperment for significant patient/family contact, but something in research maybe? What I would give to get into the field of cardiothoracics and try to invent a means of reducing the 90% mortality rate on aortic dissections.....just gets me thinking.....I could be raveling a thread, or......

Anyhoo, busy week ahead, assisting Lil Sis with Mom where needed and Thanksgiving and all that entails...

I FINISHED the MIL SOCKS! Woohoo! And they fit me, so they'll def fit her :)

Still a little addlepated from the weekend, but trolling my fave blogs appears to be settling the ole noggin...Mom's computer is downright uncomfortable to use (the angles of the desk are weird), and her Internet connection blows...I got home last night in tech withdrawal, but didn't have the energy to do anything about it, so today at work, it's all I can do to edit sites when my goof-off side wants to catch up on my interests. Jenna's had some really interesting posts the last couple of days, and the blogs are rife with Thanksgiving food and decor ideas.

As y'all know, Thanksgiving is my absolute fave holiday, and though the dinero is seriously thin this year, I hope to make apple butter pumpkin pie and a side dish, and Les is smoking a turkey breast, to take to my fam's potluck at Mom's this year. My high school alma mater, Seminole High, is representing FL in the Macy's parade and all three of my friend K's kids are marching, so I'll be straining my eyes in between cooking for a glimpse of my pals (they come on TV around 10:35ish cool that they can know that ahead of time!). I love catching the dog show on right after the parade, and then we meander over to Mom's. If Mom's up to it, she, LS, and I will hit the Avenues or St Johns Town Center on Black Friday for a little sale trolling, people watching, and general merriment. We may be dirt-poor this holiday season, but I feel pretty rich going into it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Things I'm Learning

1. I'm taking much better care of myself lately. I'm more centered and stronger physically and mentally.

2. I know this because when life happens to throw things out of whack, I feel it distinctly. It may not totally throw me off my game, but it's evident in how I feel after I take the time to take care of me.

3. They don't keep people in hospitals long enough after procedures.

It appears that Mom's surgery was a success. However, the doctor and hospital absolutely should've told us more about potential complications. They assumed that we'd understand/remember that all the complications they've mentioned before, during her trials and tests, also applied to her actual surgery. The discharge instructions are irresponsibly generalized, and IMO, they did not leave her flat nearly long enough after her surgery; she was given free rein to move the bed up and down by degrees as much as she liked. The headache kicked in the evening after her surgery, but because there was no Tylenol ordered on her records by the doctor, they couldn't give her any. (Tylenol! I should've just run to a convenience store, but I was more concerned with always being there for her.) Post-surgery, all the meds in her system, morphine or otherwise, caused her BP and respiration to drop enough where they weren't crazy about giving her anything for pain. The morphine made her itch to high heaven, and her head was killing her...they gave her a Percocet around 4AM that only dropped the pain about halfway, and they loaded her up with Benadryl. Also, she has a really sensitive system when it comes to medications; breakfast came back up the next day, but lunch stayed down, so we got her home in the late afternoon, because the itching and headaches were making her miserable and she just wanted to be in her own bed.

However, getting her home brings with it a false sense of recovery. We tried soup last night, and she was moving around from bed to john to dining room and living room, when she should've been staying flat (which is nowhere in the discharge orders). Nothing, medication or otherwise, stayed down last night and her head was killing her. Lil Sis, bless her heart, did what I usually do, got on the Internet and found an article about the surgery, with specific information about the complications that could result. As she was reading this stuff to me, the lightbulbs were going off in my head big-time, because when they did the discogram especially, the docs warned that she would have to stay flat for X period of time, because when you puncture the spinal cord at all, to place leads, wires, medications, whatever, the patient then needs to stay flat for X amount of time, because weeping of spinal fluid around the puncture sites means a decrease of spinal fluid going up and down the cord, which causes blinding headaches and a host of other complications if you're not careful. For her procedure, they would've placed a catheter into her cord, then the leads which administer the medication from the pump, and then removed the catheter and left the leads. The gap left around the leads closes on its own, so long as that area's given the correct convalescence. Yesterday's upright movement put the kibash on that.

Through all this, she has NO pain in her back and legs, thanks be to the gods!

So, today's a little better. She's stuck in bed, trying out crackers, soda, etc., her head's a little better, the itching is subsiding (thank goodness!), and we're taking care of her every need. I don't want her up for more than john visits until Monday, and we'll call the doc first thing on Monday to schedule a follow-up, confirm our diagnosis, complain, etc., provided she doesn't go any further south in the meantime.

Those first 2 points at the beginning were my usual self-centered ah-ha! moments. When you're charged with the 24/7 care of a loved one, you go on auto-pilot. I drove her to the hospital Thursday morning, armed with knitting, books, snacks, and coffee and stayed with her. Her surgery ran 12 noon to 2ish, another hour-ish in recovery (that should've been longer too, IMO), and then she got a room. A nice one, thank the gods, with a recliner and fold-out couch, so I stayed all night, only escaping when Les came by to spell me off so I could grab some real food and fresh air. Also, we were blessed with friendly nurses...probably could've been a pinch more attentive in spots, but I'm sure they relax a bit when there's a family member there to take the heat off them a bit. The CNAs were drones, but the RNs were pros.

Lil Sis was scheduled to come home Friday for a week's vacay...she surprised Mom by heading out from Charlotte in the wee hours and getting to the hospital early afternoon, which raised Mom's spirits nicely. I was going to head home last night, but Lil Sis had a deer-in-headlights look, so I regrouped and stayed overnight at Mom's last night. LS had a day trip planned for months to check in with pals in Orlando, so I'm at Mom's tonight and then she'll take over tomorrow night....thank goodness, because getting time off this week proved kind of impossible. I'm working Monday thru Wednesday, but Les will be available during the day too if anything goes down.

This morning I got outta Mom's place early to go home, rest, reconnoiter...crashed for 2 hours, showered, ate, had coffee...I'd woken up with a headache that finally cleared out early this afternoon, and I'm feeling 100% better after that little bit of "me" time. I'm doing laundry, keeping an ear out for Mom, and looking forward to some more knitting and reading.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pensive contentment

Sent this one to my Lil Sis and she thought they were moose antlers, not angel wings :) I like her idea better.

I'm taking a fresh look at the holidays this year. I don't know if we'll put up the's been years since we've done that (too much trouble, going to SC anyway, blah, blah...) and we don't really have the room unless some serious purging occurs in the next few weeks. But then again, why shouldn't some serious purging occur? No point in using Mom's surgery as an excuse, as Lil Sis is going to be home during quite a bit of her key recovery time. That's a blessing I haven't even fully grasped's going to keep my head screwed on a bit straighter as we plow into Thanksgiving.

But I actually want to put up the tree this year. I want to make construction paper garland (because I have that on hand, whereas popcorn/cranberries would cost money) and sift through our ornaments, see if what we have in any way translates to how I/we wish to view the holiday.

Did buy the new belt and it fits perfectly, but Sunday's bad eating choices mean I need a day or two for it to fit comfortably. My tummy muscles are still pissed at me about Sunday's workout...did a full circuit of weights, plus a cross-training program on the elliptical that was a little hilarious...I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and telling me mid-workout to pedal backwards had me giggling before the endorphins even kicked in. I'm loving the elliptical though...I don't run out of breath, I sweat a ton, and feel fantastic during and afterward. Took last night off b/c my bod needed it, and there's no way I'll work out Thursday (Mom's surgery), but it's a habit that gets a slot in my busy days whenever possible now, and damn, that feels good!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Such gifts

I need to buy a new belt this weekend. The old one's almost too big.

There aren't enough cool adjectives for how I feel about that.

It's a two-notcher, so would be kind of a pain in the arse to modify it myself. It was an $8 cheapee from evil big box store, so I'm not bent about it...won't be spending money on leather belts until my waist is more the size of 1 person. Still, damn fine predicament to find myself in.

Hoping to swim tonight...going to pop home, clean the kitchen, throw some chicken in the oven, and then hit the then, the class in the pool should be done, and the lap lanes hopefully light, people-wise.

If that's not feasible, I'll bring workout clothes and hit the elliptical again...been exercising pain management (taking Advil before bed), and the lack of pain I'm experiencing in the mornings is empowering as hell.

The weekend stretches before me, full of promise as usual. Mom's been given the go-ahead for next week's surgery (she was afraid it would be a no-go because she's had a cold this week), and Thanksgiving is creeping up on us. I haven't done a lot of thinking about the holidays yet, other than to appreciate the sentiment, so hoping to start some projects this weekend.

Image from here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking Stock/Things I'm Liking Right Now...

Image from here

Outside: Supposed to hit high 70s today, but not minding it quite so much since the early mornings and late evenings are's a delicious respite.

Inside: Way too much energy in this bod to be sitting on my butt...a delightful byproduct of regular exercise, I'm guessing. I'll take it.

Wearing: black highwaters, short-sleeved sweater (not the most flattering, but really comfy), black half back, bangs framing face.

Creating: the ever-present MIL sock and lists for the holidays.

Reading: Animal Dreams has half my attention...kind of busy-distracted right now...

Going: Sticking to home this weekend, plenty to do.....maybe get some early holiday baking done, those "quick" breads freeze beautifully...we'll see.

Hoping: Mom's cold doesn't delay her surgery and I can get apartment stuff accomplished this weekend.


My renewed motivation at the Y is giving me energy and a fresh outlook. Weird, because I didn't think I was in a slump or plateau...tend to think of plateau as being when you stop losing weight for a pinch, but since I hadn't lost any weight yet.....anyhoo, realizing that I do have the strength and energy to handle the elliptical at the Y has been a huge shot in the arm for my fitness regimen. Funny how you can let a machine intimidate you...but then again, back in June I wouldn't have lasted 3 minutes on the thing...had to do some building-up first. Yay, me!


Things I'm liking right now:
  • Coffee
  • The possibility that I've outgrown my aspartame allergy...yea, yea, it's another processed-to-death chemical food, but if it'll keep me off regular Coke and other junk foods while I transition to healthy, it's a plus.
  • The elliptical
  • Tumblr
  • Kashi Chewy Granola Bars
  • Law & Order: UK.....totally filling the hole left by L&O Original
  • Thinking about the holidays...not the where-the-hell's-the-money-gonna-come-from holidays, but rather the holly-berries-snow-on-the-ground-crisp-air-hot-cocoa-warm-fire-giving-of-yourself holidays...
Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday rally

Image from: here

I seriously dig photoblogging...

The weather has warmed a bit, but the mornings and evenings are heaven...

I kicked my own arse quite handily on the elliptical last night at the Y, and look forward to doing more of the same this evening...

I lost 3 pounds...

I'm drinking Coke Zero and it's not making me nauseous...

Haven't really started gift planning yet, but am getting in a holiday mood...

Working the gusset on the MIL sock...

Husby's been helping out more around the house...

Life is good.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday musings

seriously, what was thinking when they published this one?

I'd like to try not to be bitter, but where in the hell did that weekend go?

Saturday I got up at "a decent hour" and went and did laundry at Mom's.....3 hours later, I got home, hung up almost everything, because I don't have the patience to wait for her dryer and besides, I'm reducing the ole carbon footprint by hanging stuff.....cleaned the kitchen, got cooking, cleaned some more.....made chicken pot pie and Toll Houses to take to C and A.....chauffeured a bottle of wine from Mom's to their place and then hit Starbucks on the way back because Mom was getting a cold and needed something warm, fuzzy, and containing zero nutritional home, went on computer, burned dinner, watched Street Kings and was quite disappointed to discover that "uncut" doesn't mean "we kept the cuss words in".......

Sunday, got enough sleep thanks to not changing the clock the night before, at up and puttered....did some computer stuff of little redeeming value.....made pancakes, sorted a large pile of crap.....went shopping w/Mom because wanted to help since she's getting said back and was completely at loose ends, restless, not wanting to knit, read, clean.....eventually grabbed nap.....puttered rest of evening away, but did turn the heel on the MIL sock.....will tuck into gusset tonight.....

I hate whining...actually, loathe is a more accurate word.....but there's a couple of orneries in my personality jockeying for attention at present.....I chipped a bottom front tooth over the weekend, which was completely random.....pretty sure it's not even noticeable and won't turn into a problem, so long as I can stop f**king with it!.....i'm addicted to tumblr (seriously, somebody find me a 12-step program!), and suddenly there aren't enough hours in the day, never mind that Mom's sitch is solidifying itself this month (thank goodness), the holidays are sneaking ever-so-stealthily up on us, my best friend really needs to find the strength to leave her sig other, DH's grandma is still in the hospital, and I can't take ANY time off at xmas.....and there I go again, whining......this post feels like the first page of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad that book.....

Can't wait to burn off these grumblies on the elliptical tonight :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday ... it's a good thing ...

snitched from

Normally don't like channeling Martha, but dang, this friday thing feels good!

The day dawned crisp here for the first time in oh, about 11 months, seems like...I'm sure we had some cool days in February and March here, but it's been a LONG summer and nonexistent autumn, so I'm in heaven. It's staying in the 60s the next couple of days...I'll take it. We had the windows open last night. I hope to work on the porch this weekend.

Been a hard month hormonally, but I'm rallying...made it to the Y last night finally; glad to be back on track with that. Trying out some new machines and exercises, and bracing my right knee to be safe. Switching from treadmill to elliptical. Expecting a sore couple of weeks ahead, but with the right mindset, I feel more alive when I'm sore, because I know I'm doing good things for the ole bod.

I have the usual crazy amount of projects lining up for space in my head as the weekend draws near. Laundry and cooking take priority first thing; my SIL here in town had surgery this week, so I'm cooking comfort food for easy chicken pot pie, some cookies, maybe some homemade applesauce. Then there's the usual cleaning and planning, punctuated by the possible scheduling of my mom's stuff next week and the distinct need for organization so I won't be completely scattered during that time.

There's the MIL sock and other holiday ideas forming...there will be some surreptitious regifting occuring again this year, I fear. I'm not a fan of doing that, but it really can't be helped. I'm also thinking about some simple candle sets, sewing some simple throws.....need to see what I have in my stashes.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Taking Stock

Outside: Muggy, overcast, not cool enough...supposed to get down into high 30s at night this weekend...I'll believe it when I feel it. Kind of tired of being so grumbly about the weather, but when half the nation is able to start wearing their handknits and I can't, it makes me pissy...

Kind of can't decide if I'm the cat or the dog this week...

Inside: Distraction...quite scattered...too much energy to be sitting on arse...

Wearing: noisy paisley pants, green top, tree necklace and earrings...

Creating: ideas for holiday gifts, the ever-present MIL sock, and potential meal plans in my head...Mom's surgery could happen as early as next week, so some organizing needs to occur.

Reading: Pagan stuff.....the turn of the year has me thinking...flew through the high points of Fifth Sacred Thing, and am turning to other Starhawk tomes, like The Pagan Book of Living & Dying. I bought that after Dad, but haven't had the strength to read it until now. Also planning to unearth Evolutionary's buried in a box somewhere...

Going: to the Y tonight, thank goodness...been resting on my laurels a bit, first because I restrained my knee, and then this week, because my hormones were in overdrive and I was seriously mood-swingy. Only one of those excuses really flies, but the upshot is I'm a little better educated about how to treat my knees and I'm finally back in a place mentally where doing the necessary exercises (on a daily basis) to strengthen my knees can occur. Still not eating healthy enough, but baby steps are occuring...otherwise, sticking to home except for laundry at Mom's, because if they do schedule her next week, it's gonna be a busy rest of the month...

Hoping: My surrogate dad's doing OK (I'll call C tomorrow for her b'day and get an update), my SIL recovers quickly from her surgery, my Mom's surgery questions are resolved today (we're waiting to hear about scheduling), and that I can get started on some cleaning and projects now that my mood-swingyness is calming down....hey, it could happen!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pagan after all

snitched from

It was a contemplative weekend.

Rode Mom's couch Friday night, almost more for the companionship than for the nursing necessity...she was doing too well; the med wore off quickly Saturday morning, bringing back her pain. This trial was much better though, and we both hope it means moving forward quickly on installing the pain pump.

Went home and puttered, napped, did pizza and a movie at Mom's that night. Sunday, we had some errands to run, and Husby's been missing me enough where it got him outta the house to run them with me. That was such a treat, and while it's likely kicking his arse today, I'm going to start encouraging him to do more around the house. Did a little cleaning, a little knitting, and a lot of reading, and found myself back in Reclaiming witch territory, totally at home with the five sacred things. It was a nice way to spend Samhain/Halloween. I did some thinking, dug out some old/new books, and am embracing an old perspective that had gotten quite dusty.

Will be bearing down on the home stretch of that blankety-blank MIL sock...started the heel flap last night. Then I'll be able to actually focus on potential holiday gifts for others. Reassessing my Y workouts this week, adding some more leg work, and should be back to that tomorrow. Altering my food intake too. Feeling good.