23 July 2016

Tea Time

Oh No!  Is that the time?  Goodness, I'm so very late!  Hurry, Hurry now!  Let's get a move on!
Thank goodness, everything is ready just in time.  I'm so happy you could join me for tea today.  Please pull up a chair and have a seat. 
  Help yourself to some tea and treats.
 Cupcake?  Hmm, chocolate chip, mango, or blueberry lemon? 

 I'd offer to cut the cake but the Queen hasn't been by yet.  She insists on having the first piece. 

I hope she hurries, I would love a slice of that cake.  Oh, don't tell her I said that!  I really don't want to lose my head.

Must you go so soon?  Oh well, of course I understand, it is a busy day and there is lots to do.  I hope you've enjoyed your visit.  Please do come back to see me again. 

A huge thanks to Vanessa for her party hosting magnificence.  If you haven't already, head over to her site for her party and the blog list of those participating.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

09 July 2016

Part 3

Bullets, Bombshells and The Best Laid Plans...

I'm back today with part 3 of my round up of the events of this year, so far.  You can find part 1 at Bullets and Part 2 at Bombshells

The Best Laid Plans

If you've been reading here for a while, you'll know that I go through periods of hibernation.  Living with chronic pain every minute makes living a full life very difficult for me.  Last year, I spent most of the year in extreme hibernation and finally started to come out of it around the middle to end of summer.  

Emerging meant finding things to help me cope with the pain and finding things that I can enjoy and make me feel like I'm actually living as opposed to existing.  Activities such as drawing, painting, writing, blogging, taking pictures, baking, etc.

Sometime last August or September, I found myself with an overwhelming desire to be outside.  So I started taking walks.  When I started, I couldn't even walk a half mile.  But I kept at it, and each time I walked, I was able to go a little bit further.  Eventually, I'd built up to 3.5 miles. 

When the new year came around I was doing great.  Exercising, drawing/painting every day, knitting a lot, and in general just having a rather enjoyable time.  I became determined to keep that going and not let myself get sucked back into the deep dark pit.  I joined the local Y and signed up with a personal trainer.  I exercised at least six days a week and joined a couple of art challenges online.   I felt so good.  I was very proud of myself for my exercising (and all the weight I'd lost and stamina that I'd built up).  I was getting much better with my drawings and my art in general was much improved. 

And well...the best laid plans...

Yep, you guessed it.  With the events of part 1 and part 2, everything fell apart.  I couldn't hold a pen/pencil/paintbrush steady with all the trembling (emotional and prescription change induced), I couldn't find time to hit the gym between hospital trips and bedside tending.  Then the new prescriptions kicked in and I could barely get out of bed.  It all became a giant cluster f*%#.  So...

Here I sit, beginning AGAIN.  Sometimes I feel like all I do is try again, over and over.

I went for a walk this morning as soon as I woke up.  The sun wasn't quite above the tree line and I felt it might be safe.  I walked .86 miles and it took me almost 18 minutes.  Before I quit exercising back in March, I'd worked up to almost a 15 minute mile.  :-(

Oh well...

Now I'm moving forward.  There are lots of things to look forward to, including figuring out my new computer (which I'm currently typing on and having a bloody difficult time doing), tea parties, summer flowers and gardens, fresh fruits and veggies and more.

On to the fun!  It is once again time for the wonderful summer extravaganza that is the Mad Hatter Tea Party.  Vanessa announced the date last week and here is my formal announcement that I'll be joining in the fun.

If you'd like to join in, click the link here.  It will take you to the post on Vanessa's blog announcing the party. 

Come join us for the party, it will be loads of fun!

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

02 July 2016

Part 2

Bullets, Bombshells and the Best Laid Plans...

My last post was a round up of part 1, Bullets.  Today, I'll give another brief round up of part 2.


Way back in December, at my quarterly check-in with my Endo, he seemed concerned that my throat felt swollen.  He sent me off for an ultrasound of my thyroid.  I had also noticed that my throat felt larger and harder (weird to explain) and my usual difficulty swallowing was getting worse.  As I constantly feel like a hypochondriac with all my health issues, I didn't say anything to him about it. 

The ultrasound procedure was quick and she said they'd have the results to the doctor in a few days.  So, I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Two weeks later and I get a call that there are some growths on my thyroid and they want to do a biopsy.  Of course, the use of the "b" word completely freaked me out.  But I stayed calm and said, okay.  I expected when the call came to schedule the procedure it would be set for maybe a week or soon as this isn't something you wait around on.  Well...you know what happens when one assumes.

So, first week in January they call to schedule the biopsy.  For the END of February.  That's right.  Make a person who is already freaked out about needing a freaking biopsy to wait almost two months before doing the actual test.  But...I held it together and then was distracted by Bullets

(Now a little aside here, I'd not told anyone, including my family, what was going on up until just before the procedure.  I'd also been very specific to ask those that I did tell to not share the information with anyone at all. I had my reasons, part of which have to do with that hyprochondriacness and other things.)

Come to the end of February, off to the doctors I go.   I was able to see my thyroid as he did the biopsy.  Seeing the growths he was talking about I made the comment that they didn't look small to me.  To which I got silence.  Complete crickets.  So, even more freaked out I stayed quiet so we could proceed.  The procedure was nerve wracking but I'd been through biopsies before so I did okay.  Although, having to hold my throat so very still was extremely difficult for some reason.

Afterwards, the doctor said he should have the results in about week.  A week goes by, my mum calls asking if I've heard.  Nope, I say.  She says to call the doctor.  Another week goes by, another call from my mum (of course by that point I was getting a call from her just to ask about this every other day).  Not only is she asking about it, but she's telling me about her friends asking her about it.  Huh?  Yeah, so much for my request for privacy.

I continue to be patient and wait.  

I am not known for my patience.  In fact, I'm know for being completely impatient especially when it comes to medical things.  I've been down this strange growths, biopsy road a number of times and it NEVER gets easier.  So, by the time I received a call from my doctor at the END of MARCH, I was completely undone.  Turns out he thought he'd already talked to me.  I'd sent him emails about it a few times asking for the results and he never replied to those.  Bottom line, the one growth he biopsied was not malignant.  However, he doesn't know what it is.  The lab couldn't identify it.  O....Kay.  

Somehow, I wasn't suprised.  I have strange, unknown growths inside me that the doctors can't figure out what it is.  Yeah, been there, done that.  At least this time they didn't just cut it out of me. 

So, basically the bombshell is that I have these unidentified growths on my thyroid and I get to just wait and see what they become.  The doctor said we'll do another ultrasound and possibly another biopsy in a year.   

Every once in a while, when my throat feels especially swollen or I'm having a hard time swallowing, I get an image in my head of the growths on my thyroid.  They look like the eggs from the Aliens movies and I keep waiting for one of those f&*kers to explode out of it.

Thus concludes my sort of brief round up of part 2 of why I've been silent since the beginning of the year.  Next up...The Best Laid Plans.

love & blessings

ps...thanks for sticking with me.  I promise to get to more fun stuff soon.  :-)


30 June 2016

Bullets, Bombshells and the Best Laid Plans... part 1

I've been trying to write this post for the past four months.  Between a combination of things listed in the title of this post, fighting with my demons and my old computer deciding it is ready for that long sleep, it just hasn't happened until now.

I've added that part 1 to the title as it may take a deal of writing to sum up what's been going on.  I shall try to explain as best I can without putting you to sleep with boredom.  Let's start at the beginning shall we...


It's 2nd February and my world crashes with these four words, "Your brother's been shot."  What followed that night was a mad dash for clothes and shoes, a speedy drive to pick up my mum and then a crazy speedy dash downtown to the hospital where he had been taken.  

We met up with my SIL and her mum and spent hours and hours sitting in the waiting area to find out if he would live.  Turned out the universe wasn't ready to let him go.  He came through surgery minus several feet of small intestine, as well as his apendix.  The surgeon said that he was extremely lucky.  The bullet barely missed his liver and kidneys.  We were told he would be kept sedated and on a ventilator for a few days until they were sure how his body was healing.  They let us in to see him once he was settled in the lockdown ICU.  (Due to the violent nature of his assault the unit he was in was put on lock-down, requiring anyone entering to have a password to get in and if anyone called looking for him they would say there was no patient there with that name.)

The next morning, I walked into the ICU to check on him and reassure myself that he was still breathing (even if on a ventilator), to have him turn his head and look at me with those beautiful blue eyes.  He was already off the ventilator and recovering well, if extremely uncomfortably.

He was in hospital for nine days.  I spent a lot of that time going back and forth between the hospital, keeping him company and keeping an eye on my mum.  Once he was home, I spent several days going over and sitting with him.  I was mostly there to fetch and carry if he needed something he wasn't supposed to lift but also to help with the dogs (they had three) and keep him company. 

He is still healing and the incision on his belly is finally closed up completely.  (The doctors couldn't close it in case they needed to get back in quickly, I think.)  He still has a lot of issues and is still healing on the inside, but he is alive and he is a changed man. 

I think he sometimes still has nightmares about it.  Hell, I still have nightmares about it.  But he gets a little better every day and that is all I can ask for.

As far as why he was shot, the only explanation is that the guy who shot him is a nut job.  He'd had no prior contact with my brother, they didn't know each other at all.  He followed my brother out of a restaurant and physically assaulted him from behind.  When my brother fought back, the guy went to his car and my brother thought that he was leaving.  When he turned back he saw the guy had a gun and was coming toward him so he took off running.  The guy caught up to him as my brother was trying to find a car to hide behind or in and the guy shot him then took off.  He was arrested (and released that night - don't get me started on our judicial system!) and his case is pending.  This creep is a habitual felon.  He's been in and out of jail since early 2000, I think and is currently charged not just with my brothers assault, but a hit and run, a driving without a license, failure to stop, failure to maintain lane control, possession of a firearm by a felon and some other things I can't remember right now.  Some of those charges occurred AFTER he shot my brother.

When all of this happened back in February, it hit me really hard.  I held it together in front of my family, because they needed me to be strong.  But at home, I was a basket case.  Whenever I tried to sketch, I would find my hands so shaky that I could barely hold the pencil.  Same for knitting and any art work.  Reading couldn't hold my interest and TV was too violent.  Everything just fell apart.  I fell apart and couldn't figure out how to put myself back together.  So, down my little dark hole I plunged, where I pretty much shut everything out.

I've been working my way out of it for a while now, but it hasn't been without a price.

This is it for part 1.  Next time we'll talk bombshells....

love & blessings



24 January 2016

Creative Everyday check in

Despite feeling like I do nothing but exercise, drive back and forth to the Y, and fix/eat food all day long, I have managed to do something creative every single day.  Some days it is more than one thing.
The above mixed media piece is inspired from a dream I had.  The last words I saw/heard in the dream and the feelings they invoked.  I'm still working on my a face a day project, sometimes using photos as guides.
 Day 15, 16 (first time playing with watercolor) and 17.
 Day 18, 19 and 20 (from a photo I took of an actor on TV).
 Day 21 (another from a photo), 22 and 23.  I haven't done the one for today yet.
After finishing the shrug, I was ready to start something that I've had in my queue for a few years. The Lake Country Throw looks like it isn't too complicated but has some new stitches for me to learn.  A bonus is that I love this yarn (James C. Brett Marble Chunky), it is amazingly soft for a 100% acrylic yarn.

Well, that is what I've been up to.  How has your creative week been?

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

16 January 2016

taking steps for change...

As you know, I started walking back in September (I think).  I started out slow and built up until I was walking just over 3 miles several times a week.  I was trying to go for every day and some weeks I made that goal and some weeks I didn't.  A lot of time it was due to very cold temps and/or lots of rain.  At first, I didn't let the rain stop me.  Then it turned cold and well...I got sick.  

Keeping all that in mind, and what I would like to continue to accomplish with moving my body, I decided to take advantage of a perk that came with my new health insurance.  (Actually, I made the decision to change it just so I could use this perk, as my old insurance didn't offer it.)  
 The perk being a free fitness center membership.  I investigated several neighboring centers and settled on the local YMCA.  I'm very happy with it so far.

After spending a few days using the treadmill and wanting to use other equipment but not having any sense of how or when or to what purpose, I broke out my courage and signed up for a personal trainer.  

At our first meeting she made a few suggestions that have already made a big impact.  
I must record every bite of food and drink I put in my body.  I'll be honest, this is hard.  See, despite my size, I'm not one to eat much.  I rarely eat more than one meal a day and maybe a little bit of snacking.  I'm just not hungry most of the time.  

I must also eat at least three meals a day although she wants me to eat 4-5 small meals.  Well, all my meals are small.  I already eat smallish servings.  I've been eating like this for four days and I can't tell you how much food I'm eating.
Well, actually I can.  In order to record it accurately I have to measure everything!  Even if something is a single serving (like that yogurt cup down there) I have to measure it to make sure it is accurate.  Mentally, it seems like a lot of food, but when it is measured it really isn't, I guess.
It seems like I spend a good portion of my day on this.  I'm usually gone to the Y for a couple of hours (that includes the drive to and from).  I feel like it is taking over my life and yet, it doesn't feel like a bad thing.

G (my trainer) says I won't always have to measure. Once my eyes/brain adjust to seeing the sizes it will come naturally.  

I like the Y.  I like the people, the setting, the pool (yes I've swum (swam?) a couple of times and plan to do more.  But... I miss my outside walks.  When I signed up I was only planning to go to the Y when the weather was not conducive to my walking outside.  So far, that hasn't really happened. 

Yesterday, I did my treadmill for 1.5 miles then switched to the bike.  As I neared completion of my 30 minutes (it ended up being 2.54 miles) I almost broke into tears.  There were extra pains in my head (in addition to the viciously monstrous lovely pains I always have) and it all just seemed too much.  I managed to hold it together until I finished and made it to the locker room where I hid in the toilet stall and let the tears silently fall for a few minutes.  I kept thinking it was all just too much and I couldn't do it anymore.
I guess it is a constant battle, this personal war I have with myself and things I can and can't do.  These are all good changes I'm making and they should have been done a long, long time ago.  No one pushed me into this (and I've been pushed a lot over my life) and no one said I had to do this.  This was my choice, my decision and I need to stand my it.  Even if I have to spend every minute of my time arguing with myself, I think it will be worth it.

Time to get my shoes on and head to the Y.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

ps...I know!  Two posts in two days!  Shocker!  :-P  teehee

15 January 2016

Creative Everyday check in

I thought it was time for a Creative Everyday check in post.  Above you can see days 5 through 14 of my A Face A Day endeavor.  I post the individual photo on Instagram each day, but I wanted to share them here, as well.

I've also been doing a lot of knitting.  I finally sat down with my shrug to seam it and finish it off.
 Here it is, all finished.  Please excuse the lighting and the model's expression, she was really tired and she hates having her picture taken.  teehee

I'm working hard on getting caught up on my Scoreboard knit.  I've almost finished week 14.  So I'm only 4 games behind.  Once I'm caught up, I plan to start this throw.  I've been wanting to make it for a few years and finally feel like I can do it.  

That's about it for what I've been doing creatively every day.  What creative things have you been up to this week?

Thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings