Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The year is almost over

Maybe everyone will stop dying once the calendar changes to 2017. I know if I were famous I'd be to scared to sleep.

We had a good Christmas here although I didn't take ANY pictures. The boys are grown now so Christmas isn't so exciting. We were pretty laid back. We ended up celebrating on Christmas eve since my husband's brother and his wife were going to come over then. My sister in law ended up not showing but my brother in law did. I had my schedule turned up-side-down again since I had a few days where I was sleeping all day. I started cooking in the evening and stayed up all night. I made a couple of pies and a bunch of cookies and planned out when to start cooking the other stuff.  I figured I'd get stuff started and take a nap while someone else took over. Problem was no one did. When I finally laid down I was dog tired and then I couldn't sleep because I was worried I wouldn't hear the timer go off. I finally got a few hours of sleep and then got up and enjoyed the company and a movie. Buddy was a ball of energy and loved the attention he got.

You know, it is really hard to pick out gifts for my boys now that they are grown. They are 19 and 21 but have birthday's coming up soon..... which of course means I'll have to go through this again. My oldest is working now and if he needs something he just gets it. He is currently manning the gas station but it is part of a retail store so on his break he buys stuff he needs. My youngest doesn't have a job right now but he has money in his account still so that pretty much applies to him too. They are into computer stuff and I just don't know enough about that stuff. It was so much easier when they were little and I could buy something with flashing lights and buttons that make noise.

We had a small Christmas this year because my husband's job is kinda rocky right now so we didn't want to go too crazy and then him lose his job. I've always told my boys Christmas isn't about being greedy.  It is about the joy of giving not receiving. Even when they were little we would give them money to buy a small gift for the other people in the family. You don't have to spend a lot to find a meaningful gift. I mainly got them things they needed so they could spend their money on what they wanted.

Well, the doctors always tell me I have to make sure and get enough sleep because the Fibromyalgia flares up if I don't. I ended up sleeping most of Christmas day and the next day. I'm still trying to get my schedule turned around so I can be awake during the day. I was in a lot of pain but then I read that we are expecting a big storm here this week. They said we are going to be getting a lot of snow and wind and usually that causes power lines to go down. I'm pretty sure that is what is causing me to hurt. It started snowing during the night. I'll probably feel better once that is over and passed us.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crazy beagle puppy moments

I thought I would share a few funny moments I've had with my beagle puppy Buddy recently. He's about 8 months old now. The first thing was actually not so funny at first but I find it interesting now. I've been sitting at the kitchen table working on a cross stitch. My eyes are not the best and the fabric I'm stitching on is black so I need a bright lamp to see with. That means I have to stay there at the table.  I have Buddy in his fence area close to the kitchen table so I can talk to him while I'm working. Well I started noticing that when I let him out he goes right to the table and takes something I had. The first time I looked over and saw he had something black and went to investigate and about fainted when I realized it was my cross stitch I'd spend days working on. He didn't hurt it though; he just wanted to check it out I think. I mean, if I had it it must be something really great right? The next time I actually saw him run up to the table, poke his head up there (he stands up like a weasel) and take my reading glasses. The next time he got my pattern for the cross stitch.  He just lifts it off and after it lands on the floor he stares at it like he's trying to figure out what it says. Another time when I was filing my nails I caught him watching me and later he ran and grabbed the nail file and was holding it in his paws like he was working on his nails. He always grabs something I was previously using or holding and wants to squirrel it away so he can investigate it without me taking it away. Also, whenever I feed my fish he stands up like a weasel and watches the biggest one for a while.  He can stand up like that for a lot longer than I would have thought. It always looks so funny to see him do that and I'm hoping to get a picture of him doing it sometime.

This weekend we got about 3 inches of snow here.  Buddy is new to snow and is still getting used to it.  The first time it snowed he was scared to go outside because he didn't understand what that stuff was. We had to go outside with him before he would go out to go potty. It wasn't a lot of snow so after a while he would grab his ball and run a lap around the yard and come back inside. Before there was snow he would run a lot of laps around the yard until he was dizzy. Now it is cold so he runs one lap, comes inside to warm his feet and then goes for another lap. Well today he grabbed his ball and ran outside and when he dropped it expecting it to bounce it just disappeared. He kept staring at that spot like he was waiting for it to pop back out but it didn't so he looked at me for help.  I just used my foot to move the snow to show the red ball and he started pawing at it.  He played with it a little while before he dropped it again and once again it disappeared lol  It was so funny. Maybe you had to be there. There are so so many times I wish I could get a picture but before I can get the camera he moves.  

He sure does make me smile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm feeling better today

I had a rough day yesterday with this new pain on my outer left thigh and couldn't focus enough to read or even follow a TV show.  This is why I love the internet and I can try to figure out what is wrong myself if possible.  I know a lot of doctors don't like that but if I can help myself than I just don't care.  I looked up all the causes of thigh pain and then went to images.  I clicked on the graphics that showed where the pain was located and then went to read the info on that site. I read and eliminated some other causes and the decided it was probably something called Meralgia paresthetica.  I read that one of the causes is being overweight and that is certainly true for me.  I know I need to lose weight and I'm currently on a diet.  Anyway, I also read that one of the treatments is Gabapentin and I have that. I only take it right before going to bed because it makes me fall to sleep.  I took it and it did work!  I was actually able to watch a full TV show before falling asleep and I woke up feeling great this morning around 5 am.  Lyrica is also used to treat it.  Today I found a website that has some stretches that help so I'm going to start doing those and continue to diet and lose weight.

It also helps that I've found some support in an online group called MyFibroTeam. I am so glad I took the time to check it out because it really helps to talk to someone that really understands what you are dealing with. People who don't have fibromyalgia may try to understand but they usually don't really get it and say things that can be hurtful even if they don't mean to. I'm so grateful for my fibro team of friends who are so ready and willing to rally behind me when I need them.

I plan on making the best of the day while I am feeling better without pushing myself too far and causing a flare up. I want to clean in the fridge and I'll make sure and have my son pull out the drawers for me and put them back. I also have a simple cross stitch kit I want to work on. I enjoy working on cross stitch during the holidays for some reason. I only started doing it last year when I did a few Christmas kits. I bought some more larger projects to work on but I was more interested in knitting and crochet until now.

The kit I'm working on is a simple chalk board look design so it is white stitches on black fabric and it says "share joy" and has a butterfly and some scroll designs. It is a 4x6" design that comes with a pretty white frame. It is a kit by Design Works and I got it for a great price on ebay. I am going to make this for my newest sister in law who's name is JOY!  I thought it would be funny to have that in her office where it can have a double meaning. Share joy with everyone you meet but also please be patient and share this lady because she's really busy. I love it.

Okay, I'm going to go get started on something and not waist my day sitting on the couch parked on the computer.  I hope everyone has a good day and if you have pain of any kind I pray you find relief.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy birthday to me - I don't count zeros

Currently reading: Secret in the Stitches (Patchwork #8)

My birthday was Sunday.  I wasn't feeling well so I spent the day watching NCIS, reading or sleeping.  My husband got called into work and was gone all day but when he came home he brought me some pretty pink roses and a yummy salad.  He'd asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner and I told him I wanted a salad from the deli salad bar so that's what he did.  I was sleeping when he came in so he but the roses in a vase for me and put them by my bed.  He had planned on getting me a gift at the store but since he worked so long he decided to wait.  He didn't want to rush and get something I might not like.  He said if I felt good enough next weekend I can go with him shopping and pick something out.  I don't really want anything right now.  I just want to rest. I really wish I could get in to see the doctor that does Myofascial Release because my shoulders are hurting so bad. I know she can fix it but I couldn't get in soon enough.

Hmm, I'm 4.5 years old now so maybe I should tell him I want a big lollipop and a teddy bear.  Really though, I'm thinking I want new rocks in my fish tank.  I've been thinking it would look really cool with black rocks.  The rocks I have are green and I have this big castle.  The green rocks get dirty looking (probably algae on them) and it looks gross.  I think black would look neat with the castle and I saw this dragon on Amazon I am thinking about getting.  The dragon is also a cave for the fish.  The inside of the castle is a huge cave but my plecostomus doesn't like to share that space. The last time I cleaned my tank I took out all the fake plants and soaked them to clean them and never put them back because I like how clean it looks now.  Maybe I'll put a few back in but not many.  Whenever I'm in a lot of pain I lay on the couch and watch my fish.  That is why my husband bought it.  My bala shark, Sidney, is about 9" long and my pleco, Raymond, is a few inches longer than that.  I love to watch those guys.  I only have 4 other fish now in my 55 gal tank because the other's have died.  It has been a long time since I've bought any new fish.  I should get some colorful fish to watch.  I've got lots of room.

One of my favorite fish is rarely seen.  He's an upside-down catfish and he likes to hide in the open areas in the very top of the castle, the inside of the pointy roofs.  His name is Waldo for obvious reasons.  I also have Squidly, a cory catfish who is white with black polka-dots and the last two fish don't have names.  I have a black skirt tetra and a pristella tetra.  All of my fish are either black, black and white or black & silver or almost transparent silver.  Well, except Waldo who is mottled browns. I think maybe, since I seem to be going blind now that I should get some fish I can see better.

Okay, I think it's time to eat some Thanksgiving left overs.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ups and downs

I'm still waiting for the ups but I'm sure they are coming.

I had a very bad flare up about a week ago when we had snow one day and then it rained the next.  I can't even remember what day that was now.  I was in so much pain I couldn't get out of bed and I couldn't even read or focus on anything.  It was bad.  Well, usually I just have to wait it out and when the flare up is over I start to feel better.  This time that didn't happen.  I kept having pain all over in my joins and also migraine headaches.  The last headache may not have been a true migraine and it just wouldn't let up.  I had that one for 3 days straight with no relief from meds.  I finally talked to my Rheumatologist and he prescribed some new meds - a steroid to get things under control and then a med that is used for RA (methotrexate) along with a folic acid supplement.

I started them yesterday.  I started the steroid pack first and after half a day my headache faded away to nothing.  I am so so glad.  I'm still really achy all over but so relieved to be headache free.  I really hope this new drug helps and that I don't have any bad side effects from it.

I really want to read or knit but I just can't.  I also don't have the patience I need to spend with my 6 month old beagle puppy.  We have a fence thing that makes a circle to keep him in that is in the living room.  I have been trying to let him out more and opening the fence to make a wall to block off areas I don't want him to go.  He gets very hyper at times and he wants to chew on everything but he has to learn.  It just takes a lot of energy because he is always getting into things or chewing on something he shouldn't.  I got him a bed and I've been trying to teach him to go lay down on his bed like my other beagle did.  She understood when I said that and would go lay down. I just can't do it right now though.  I don't have the patience and get too frustrated.  He really is like a toddler who gets out of control and fussy when he's tired and fights sleep.  Sometime I just have to stick him in his crate to get him to take a nap when he's like that.  I would just rather he learn to lay down on his bed or anywhere and take a nap.

Today Buddy will have play in his "cage."  The temperature has obviously dropped outside and I can feel the chill in the house.  I am still waiting for the house to warm up.  I think I am going to stay in my pajamas today and lounge in bed under the covers and hope for my brain to come back so I can at least read some.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Color Trends

I know there are color trends for every year and season etc but have you ever noticed your own color trends? For me they just happen and it takes me a while to notice. It usually starts with me seeing something in a store in a different color than I usually get and I have to get it.... then I keep seeing that color everywhere, in earrings, necklaces, jewelry, even deodorant bottles and want it. Sometimes it gets so silly that I realize I don't even really need the thing but I'm just attracted by the color and so I make myself put it back. The kicker is usually when I look at my nail polish and realize I have several bottles of the same or similar color.

Last year I started liking lavender and this year it gradually changed to darker purple. Everything I own now has turned purple. I even put purple highlights in my hair. Well, now I'm starting to add teal. I've been looking all over for a certain nail polish I used on my anniversary when I got my nails done. It is a fine lavender glitter polish by China Glaze in color "Don't Mesh With Me." I live in a small town and I wasn't finding it. I wasn't feeling well though so I hadn't been to some stores. I finally went to Ulta and found it. The thing is I picked up several other colors too and that is when I realized there was a definite color tend happening in the Teal direction.

When I'm in a lot of pain I like to paint my nails if I can. It helps me to feel better about myself and helps my mood. That is how I rationalize getting this many nail polishes.... I'm also tossing some others that are old so you know the saying, "out with the old, gotta get some new." I'm sure that's the way it goes.

The one I was looking for is on the bottom row, second from the left. The light wasn't so good when I took this picture. The two neutrals on the bottom look really off. The one all the way to the right, bottom row is Dope Taupe by China Glaze and the next one over is Steel Waters Run Deep.  I really like them both but they look gross in this picture.

I can't wait to try layering the purple glitter on of some different colors, especially that blue one! That one is an oldie but a goodie - though that bottle is new.  It's OPI in Blue My Mind.

I think it is kinda funny that the project that I'm knitting now is also purple, teal and gray.  The blue color is actually teal but the camera refuses to show it correctly.  It is definitely more greenish-blue.

So I'm sitting here covered with 3 large ice packs in various hurtful places and I'm going to paint my sad little nails. I broke a few so they are all very short now. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beautiful pain

How can something so beautiful cause so much pain?

I look outside and I see the most beautiful fall colored carpet surrounding the trees. It is almost as if the trees are dancers dressed for a autumnal ball in golden, russet, amber and scarlet gowns flowing in gleaming satin circles around them. The men, standing straight and tall in their evergreen suits and matching pocket squares, guiding them around the room in elegant patterns. Then, as if the scene wasn't glorious enough, large flakes of snow catch the light as it ever-so-slowly drifts to the ground like feathers from angel's wings.  Can you see it too?

I woke up in the most pain I've had in a long time. After the snow melted it started to rain and that is when my pain shot through the roof. The doctor's would ask me what number I'd give it on a scale of 1-10. The numbers all start to blur together at some point and I can't even think straight to think about it. I do know though, that it is the most beautiful pain. Who knew, changing weather could do that?

I've been trying to do things this week but I can't. I can't think. I can't read. I can't do any of the things I like to do. It is so strange for me to go a whole week without cracking open a book or 3. I also have a knitting project I'm anxious to work on but it is a challenging one and I'm so afraid to mess it up. I started to watch this week's episodes of The Voice on Hulu but I couldn't focus on it. I keep spacing out so I decided to watch it later. Now I'm watching some old episodes of Bones, which I love.

The days of this week have all gotten muddled together and I have spent a lot of time sleeping or snuggled deep in a pile of blankets. Music helps. Sometimes I like slow, sad music and other times I need angry, rock music.

I'm just glad that this will pass and the pain will decrease to more tolerable levels again. Then, I'll be back to "I CAN" and I will.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Day dreamer, night time reader

Currently Reading: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar children by Ransom Riggs

I'm kind of bouncing back from being sick now and my sleeping schedule is completely turned around. I really hate it when that happens. Now I'm trying to correct it but I keep waking up after 4 or 5 pm. How backwards is that? Well, it is kind of nice to have all of that quiet time to myself to read and knit. No one is asking for things or saying "mom?" but then again I don't get to see the sunshine and the beautiful fall colors outside right now.

Meandering Rib Scarf by Lion Brand Yarn
I've been knitting a scarf for my husband and I'm pretty proud of myself since I'm almost finished now. I initially decided to make this scarf for my husband 2 years ago! I was having so much trouble and getting mixed up in the pattern since it was written in such a confusing way (I think).  It is a free pattern so I guess I shouldn't complain. I've seen patterns that say for row # X repeat row A or something like that but this one really does a lot of repeating like that and gets really confusing. Normally I just use a sticky note to keep track of where I am in a pattern but with this one I get to row 9 and it says "repeat row 6" so I need another sticky note to put at row 6. Then I get to Rows 15 and 16 and it says "Repeat rows 11 and 12".... I go to Row 11 and it says "Rep row 4" and then row 12 says repeat row 3. I finally just took the pattern and copied it into a word processor and whenever it said to repeat another row I just pasted in those directions instead. Then I can just move down the list and not have to jump all over the place. Now I am almost finished and I will be so happy when I can give it to my wonderful husband.

I just started reading a new book that my husband bought me. I just saw the preview for the movie coming out at the end of the month and told my husband I'd like to go see it. Later, when we stopped at the store to pick up a few things he picked up this book for me while I was in the restroom. He was being sneaky. He knows I like to read the books before seeing the movies based on them. I haven't gotten far but so far it is interesting and funny.

Also, while I was headed to the restroom I just happened to run into a girl I went to school with. I know that probably happens a lot to people but not to me. I went to a small private school and did not have a very good experience there. Those kids were really mean and I spent most of my time there alone. It was the same for her but she is older and not in the same class I was. Really, if it were just about anyone else I'd probably duck and hide but I was actually happy to see her and we talked a while and exchanged phone numbers. She has a beautiful daughter of about 7 or 8 I think and she was the sweetest girl! I said something to her mom and she said "That is so sweet!" and she gave me a big hug.

Okay, there is one more thing to mention. I have decided to get back into tatting. I taught myself how to tat with a shuttle using the internet and then I was taking an online class to learn how to needle tat. I enjoy it so I really should have kept up with it. I just started having such bad pain from my fibromyalgia and other problems and I tend to only want to crochet when I feel like that. I have been crocheting since I was a kid so I can do that without much thought. If I am really hurting I'll sometimes just start crocheting a swatch and take it out later. It just gives me something else to focus on and usually my stitches are way too tight when I'm in pain. It gets me through it though. Anyway, I am going to go back to using the shuttles and start learning again and hopefully make some pretty things. I think it will be fun. I just happened to find my 3 ring binder I put together for tatting patterns and learning material. I even put a zippered pencil pouch in there (that clips onto the metal rings) to hold my shuttles and current project. I just hope I haven't forgotten what I learned.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Slow day

Today is a very slow day.  I have been sleeping in later and later since it rained on Monday.  My fibromyalgia always flares up when it rains or when the pressure changes drastically. It rained the entire day and night and it is still wet outside today (Wed).  My back started to hurt last night and I'm not sure if I pulled something or if it is my kidneys. I'm drinking a lot of water just in case and just sitting with my back firmly supported and trying not to move. Because of that I've been doing a lot of reading lately which is something I enjoy.

Right now I am reading a book on Spirituality.  It is called The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. I am really enjoying this book and I know it will be one I will go back to a lot. I've highlighted several passages and bookmarked pages. I believe in God but I have had many bad experiences with churches and pastors etc. Essentially, I lost my faith in people but not in God. It took me a long time to get it into my head that people are fallible and no matter what they preach they can still make mistakes. I have also been intrigued by different religions and how many of them overlap in some beliefs or ideals. I never felt comfortable when a religion/church organization instructs people to go out and convert people to their faith. I really am not completely sure myself which faith/belief system is completely 100% correct. What if I'm the one who is wrong?

I went to get my nails done this one time at a new salon that was having a grand opening. As I talked to the Asian man doing my nails I learned that his girlfriend had recently died of cancer. He was deeply spiritual and I could feel it. When he spoke of her his face glowed. I could literally feel his pain and his love as he spoke. He told me she was there "walking around us." He was so sure of that and he said he could feel her presence. I was thinking to myself, "how could anyone tell this man that his beliefs were wrong?" I certainly wasn't going to. I found myself wanting what he had, even with his grief. He had something powerful that was keeping him going - keeping him living through sadness and difficulty.

Anyway, in this book Richard Haight tells several stories about his spiritual experiences and they truly are amazing. I am usually very skeptical of people with stories like these but that is because they come with palm extended for money. I found myself not finding that usual skepticism bubbling to the surface but faith.  I really think this book is full of promise and the more I read the more hope I have. With any book like this, when I come to parts or stories I'm unsure of, I just set them on a back burner and keep going. I don't put them completely out of mind because I want to keep an open mind. I am marking parts that really draw me so I can go back and study them more and put the ideas into action. I have never tried meditation but I've heard of other people that do. I just never knew how to go about it. This book describes the process of what he calls Observation Meditation. I'm going to work on putting this into practice and see what happens. It can't hurt - and certainly not more than I already do with my fibromyaglia pain.  Who knows, maybe this can help with that.

Richard Haight has recently joined the community as a goodreads author. I was very glad to see that. He also has a website;

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Rainy Day

I've been so achy today and didn't get out of bed till late.  I did drag myself up though (with the help of my friend Excedrin Extra Strength) and I'm working on a crochet project while Buddy is busy with a rawhide bone.  Buddy the Beagle Baby doesn't like to go out to go to the bathroom when it's wet out so I've been cleaning up accidents today.  He does have good days though and he let me know he needed to go outside once for the previous 2 days in a row.  I'm pretty sure he is teething now so there are bound to be accidents during that time.  I guess it is a good thing he is so cute!  My main goal is keeping him away from my crochet project which has a lot of work into it.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a good day tomorrow.  I'm planning to cook some salmon that my son and his friend got in Valdez, Alaska.  I'm going to try this recipe for Asian Salmon in Foil.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

There is a perfect time for everything
Buddy is 3 months old now and managed to survive a shot and micro-chipping. 
The vet also gave us some great advice on training a puppy.  

Currently Reading: The Wake-Up Call of the Wild

I remember, a long time ago at the Tanana Valley Fair, I was walking though the big building with all the art and poetry exhibits and booths for everything imaginable.  I was mostly saying, "No thanks.......sorry, not interested" (not interested in filling out a slip for a drawing so you can call me and pester me about buying what you sell later).  Anyway, I walked by this table where a "nice" looking woman sat with some books.  I always stop when I see books.  One of the books said something about chocolate on the back so I decided to get that one.  The woman was the author, Nita Nettleton, and she was this instantly likable person that somehow felt more REAL than most people. I chatted with her a bit and then she signed my book.  She spelled out my full name and then wrote "I hope you enjoy this story - (never strand yourself without enough chocolate!) and then signed it and left her email address.  hmmmm I wonder if it is still a good email for her.  This book isn't that long but I've found myself savoring it.... just like I used to do with life-savers when I was a kid and chocolate now that I'm older.  I read a section and then I like to stop and think about it for a bit, imagining myself in her place.

This is a book about a woman that wakes up bruised and battered with a bandage around her head at a remote cabin in Alaska.  She doesn't remember anything, not her name or how she came to be out in the middle of Nowhere, Alaska.  But, she does find an unlikely friend in a young female badger and realizes she likes being there and spending time with her own thoughts.  

I can't tell you more than that because I'm still reading.  I'll probably be done with it tomorrow.

I've been feeling better since sometime yesterday.  I made myself a hair appointment for yesterday
afternoon and really hoped I would feel better by then.  I just had a two week long horrible fibro flare up that left me so tired I couldn't get out of bed most of the time.  I had decided to lose a ton of hair weight if I could get my butt out of bed to get there.  It has been WAY too hot for long, thick hair. I looked through tons of pictures and printed out a handful of similar cuts but wasn't totally feeling any of them. I decided to show them all to my stylist and let her work her magic.  I've also been wanting to get some highlights in my hair in this electric purple color that reminds me of the innards of a blueberry.  I just needed to make sure my husband didn't freak about the cost of it so I only scheduled for a haircut.  On the way I mentioned the color to him and after I was sitting in the chair he texted me a "go ahead" message.  I was surprised when she said she could do it AND she looked totally thrilled to do it too.  I guess she doesn't get to use that color much.

It was so liberating to watch the chunks of hair fall to the floor.  This other lady came up and was sitting close to me waiting her turn for a haircut while the stylist was painting my head purple. She looked familiar but I couldn't place her. I talk to everyone though so that was okay.  I was just startled when she suddenly said my name.  I realized it was a friend of ours and I just hadn't seen her in a long time.  I haven't seen anyone in a long time unless they live with me actually. Well, she usually has really short hair so seeing her with shoulder length hair was really strange and I'm sure that is why I couldn't place her.  It was really good to talk to other people for a change and it was so fun getting my hair done. Since I was sitting there for quite a while steeping in purple I talked to everyone who came in for a haircut.  It was a good day for me.

I was really tired today (Wednesday) so I took a nice long nap but so far not having bad pain.  I'm so glad since I really needed a break from that for a while.  I really enjoyed reading outside in my chair parked in the sunshine this afternoon while Buddy played in the shade.  It is such a beautiful summer day!  I just love the days when I can get out and enjoy the beauty of my world and warmth of the sunshine.  Life is good and I'm loving my Buddy Boy!

Buddy sleeping by me on the couch

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Getting back to blogging

It seems like so much has happened since I posted here.  I was kept pretty busy taking care of my elderly beagle Blue who was going down hill fast.  I loved her so much and had her so long that it was so hard to lose her.  I knew the time was coming but just hoped it wouldn't some how.  She was my shadow, always at my feet.  When I realized the time had come all I could do was go to my husband and cry and cry.  He knew.  He took care of everything for me because he knew I couldn't do THAT.  I still step over shadows in the hall thinking it is her laying there like she used to.  

This is a picture of her last attempted walk.  She didn't really walk much though.  She seemed lost and just stood there and stared out into space.  I let her over to the park where the spruce trees are.  She always loved sniffing and following the trails of the squirrels but she must have forgotten about them. 

She squatted to pee and there was blood in it because of the cancer.  It always bled when she had an infection and she got a lot of them.  This time though, the antibiotics didn't help her to feel better and didn't stop the bleeding.  I also had medicine to help shrink the tumor and keep down the inflammation but it wasn't helping anymore.  Going back to the house she couldn't remember how to go up the steps to get to the door.  She just stood there looking at the door and cried.  I had to carry her up.  

I knew the time was coming faster than I wanted it to.  

She started to cry one night after that and I gave her extra medicine and it only helped a little.  She was still very uncomfortable and I knew she was suffering. My husband called his brother and he came to visit with Blue.  Then, he drove my husband and my youngest son to the vet to let her go.  I stayed home and just cried.  I was so so hard watching them drive away.  I wanted so bad to make them stop and take her back but I knew that wasn't the best thing for her.  That is what I selfishly wanted - I wanted to keep my friend forever.  So I let her go.  

For several days after that I dreamed about her and then when I woke up I would think I needed to get up and take care of her.  Then as I remembered I would just lay there and cry.  My husband would put his arm around me. He is a really good man.  He bought me a new beagle puppy and even though he can't replace my Blue girl he does bring up my spirits.  He makes me smile when it was impossible before.  

This is Buddy.  That is the name he came with and it just seemed to suit him so we kept it.  He is so sweet and he loves the toy fox we got him with squeakers in both ends.  When he gets tired he will grab his fox and jump up on the couch beside me to go to sleep like in the picture.  Most of the pictures I have are of him sleeping because otherwise they come out blurry since he is always in motion.  

I am working on house-training him and teaching him not to bite us or our clothes.  We just took him for his first vet visit and our vet told us a lot of helpful information.  I'm also reading a lot online.  So far he is pretty good at sitting and sorta understands "lay down" but usually needs prompting at first.  

Below is a picture of Buddy with the bone I crocheted for him.  (You can find the pattern I used here.)

Okay, I'll post more later but for now I really should be sleeping while the baby is sleeping.  


p.s. comments let me know people actually read what I write.  I'd love a few of those <3

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is there such a thing as happy pain?


I am laying down right now with ice on both feet and shoulders.  Trying to rest.

I've been in so much pain for so long now.  The pain keeps me from being able to do anything.  I can't lose weight because it hurts so bad to exercise.  Over the years it's only gotten worse.  Then in early January this year I found a new doctor.  I just felt that he was going to be able to help me some how. I think maybe because he seemed like he wanted to.  He seemed to care.  Maybe he is a younger doctor who isn't burnt out yet.  My last doctor knew I had fibromyalgia so she just said every problem I had was that and she didn't try to figure it out or if it could be something else that is treatable.  I had horrible pain in my left shoulder that was also starting to affect the left side of my neck.  It was so bad I didn't want to move.  Exercise made it worse.  The new doctor examined my shoulder and referred me to a doctor that does myofascial release therapy.

I went to the first appointment feeling a little apprehensive.  They told me it really hurts but that it would probably help in the long run.  It did really hurt.  I almost passed out the first time.  I had some bruising on my shoulder where they worked and was told to ice it and drink a lot of water.  It took longer than I expected to heal but when it did my shoulder was so much better - amazingly better. They worked on my neck pain and it was gone before I left the office.  They said that was a triggerband and I also had many triggerpoints.  The triggerpoints are herniated fascia so there is an opening and some tissue is pushing through and getting strangulated.  That is what is causing the pain.  The triggerbands, from what I understand, are a twisted muscle.  I went back today and they worked on more areas.  The doctor had a student with her and I really liked him.  He was answering my questions.  Some doctors don't want to answer my questions or give really vague answers meant to appease someone who they think can't understand.  I like to look things up on the internet afterwards and learn more about what they are doing so I want some real answers.

This time I told them about the pain in my feet.  I have been having pain in my feet for so long.  It hurts to walk or stand for very long.  I want to get out when I can and exercise so I can lose weight. During the summer I want to walk but last summer it just hurt too much.  Every step I took was painful.  I noticed the pain got worse with each consecutive day that I walked until I just couldn't do it anymore.  None of the doctor's I'd seen knew what was wrong.  The Rheumatologist x-rayed my feet and hands but didn't see anything.  Other doctors said it was probably planter fasciitis and that exercise and stretches would help it.  I already knew exercise did not help it and the stretches did nothing.  Plus, I looked it up on the internet and the pain from that is usually on the bottom of the feet or the back of the heal.  My pain is on the top and outer sides of my feet.  These new doctors worked over my feet and they knew exactly what I was talking about.  I could tell before I left that they had already helped.  Now I just have to wait for the soreness to go away to see how much it really helped. I am very optimistic.

I am laying here looking at the sunshine streaming through my window and thinking about summer. It is spring and the snow is melting.  I can't wait to see green grass and flowers in my yard.

This year is the first time in many years that I've been excited about summer.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Yo no hablo español.

But I'm going to learn!

I've been interested in the Spanish language since I was really young.  I remember learning some words like "agua" and how to count to 10 in Spanish on Sesame Street and wishing they would teach more Spanish on each show.  I've always looked at the Spanish words on store products and tried to learn which word meant what by comparing them to the English words.  I've been learning some Spanish words using free apps and the internet but now I'm going to take a free class from MIT.  It is an older class that they have made available for free for home study.  There are several classes available. Here is a link for anyone interested.  I went to a private school that used a self-study based curriculum so I'm used to learning from books.  My husband actually found out about the free classes they offered and shared it with me thinking I would like to take some history classes.  I didn't learn a lot of things in school that kids in public schools learn. Just from reading books I've learned things that I found really interesting and when I tell my husband or my boys about them they are not surprised because they learned that in school.  Mostly it is history and geography that I missed.  I also want to learn more about politics but I know that was a subject that I was reluctant to learn when I was in school so I can't be sure just how much they did teach (when I wasn't ready to learn) and how much I really missed out on learning.  I will definitely take advantage of this opportunity and take as many classes as I can.

I found the text books online on and I can't wait to get them.  I bought a used copy to save money.  These textbooks are from 2002 but they are still expensive to me.  The textbook for the class I'm taking comes with a CD when it is new. Most people must have lost their CD since the used copies all seem to be missing them.  I did find out that the audio and video files are available online for free and also I could get them at my local library.  My library just doesn't have the book for some reason. There is also a study guide that is needed which has the assignments in it and a Spanish/English dictionary. I found a Spanish/English dictionary website that I'll be using.  So it is only going to end up costing me around $62 total counting shipping.  That's not bad.

The apps I've found most useful are duolingo and Mimrise.  These also have websites so you don't have to have a smartphone to use them.

I can't wait to get my books!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dear Life,

This is me, trying to get back to you.

I've been so out of it for so long and I'd like to feel normal again, or even just a little bit.  The long Alaskan winter has been hard for me but the sun has been shining more and more.  I've been opening the curtains and watching my plants green up and reach for the sun.

I didn't start any seeds this year.  I was just too tired and fighting some crud that kept coming back. I'll probably buy my plants this year.  I'll take it easy though and not take on too much so I can hopefully keep up with the watering better.

The last few weeks I've been so so tired.  I just have no energy at all.  I've been taking vitamins, especially vitamin D and trying to eat healthy even when I'm too tired to make something.  I need to get back to exercising again.  I stopped when I was sick.  I think I'm going to start doing 10 minutes each day on the stationary bike and then slowly increase so I don't over do it.  I know 10 minutes seems like nothing but it is a mountain when you feel like I do.

I haven't even been reading lately.  I want to but I just can't get into anything.  I even have some new books I got from  I love that site!  Jared also gave me a book he wants me to read.  He remembered a fantasy book I read that I liked and he is sure I'll like this one too.  It is Inkheart.  So I really should read that one first since he really wants to know what I think of it.

My mother in law sent me an adult coloring book for my birthday and I just started using it.  I got some crayola colored pencils and markers because I didn't want to use up my Prismacolor pencils in coloring books and then have nothing to draw with.  The crayola pencils are nice too.  I found that I enjoy coloring more than I expected and it is making me want to play with different colors.  I am so thinking of drawing some more.  I haven't done any real art is so long.

Oh and I'm crocheting a pretty baby dress for someone cute and it is taking me forever.  I'm close to done though and then I want to make some baby shoes to go with it and add something to make the dress just a little unique.

Okay, time to get up and move around.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I go through these phases where I only want to do a certain thing.  I've been into crocheting for a long time and just wasn't interested in doing anything else.  I know how to knit and have a nice set of interchangeable knitting needles but I just couldn't get into it.  Then this last year I couldn't get into anything at all.  I didn't do anything with yarn except start something and then never go back to it.  I guess my thing last year was reading and whenever I was awake that was what I did.  I did pick up cross stitching at the end of the year and I definitely caught the bug but right now I don't really feel like doing that.  All of a sudden I'm interested in knitting again.  I wonder what causes this switching of interests like that.

It has been some years since I've knit anything now and I'm out of practice.  My knitting isn't very even so I'm been practicing a lot just making swatches.  My knitting isn't as even as it used to be.  Of course I want to tackle something difficult right away (because that's how I am).  I want to knit something with two colors.  It is a beautiful afghan made of about 35 blocks.  It's called the Nordic Afghan by (Mr.) Jody Long Knits.  It is beautiful in the red/white theme they made it in but I really want to make it in royal blue and white.  I've been watching youtube videos to learn helpful things and just practicing changing colors and trying to keep the tension even.  It is not so easy.  I did get half of the first block done and it was neat to see how my colors would look but I took it out because it wasn't very even.  I need to practice more and then try it again.

I've decided to try something a little easier to get some practice in.  There is a new pattern out by called the Deerfield V-neck Pullover.  I have some yarn I recently bought because I really love it so I'm going to use it to make this pullover.  Instead of the fuzzy yarn they used I'll use Caron's simply soft Party in Silver sparkle.  It isn't fuzzy at all and I think it will be cooler.  It is a light gray and has metallic strands in light pink, blue and gold I think.  Maybe silver too.  It is hard to tell in this light.

I do have a cold though and I've been making extra mistakes but that's okay.  It gives me something to focus on.  I'm still trying to get used to the new drug the doctor put me on and I've been so tired. I'm trying so hard to stay awake right now.  I might be losing the battle but I'll keep fighting as long as I can.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!

I just killed all the dust bunnies on this blog and shined it up so I can start posting again.  Okay, I don't kill things, not even dust bunnies.  I just set them free in the wild.

So last year was a bit rough on me even though I had some good things happen as far as my health.  I started seeing a new Rheumatologist in Jan and he's helped me some.  Then just recently I got a new primary doctor and he's already helped me too.  Now if I can just stay awake I might be able to live a little more like normal.  It seems that all drugs that help me make me sleep forever.  Now I'm like a vampire who never sees the daylight.  Hmmm, maybe it would be cool to have a cape.

I'm hoping 2016 will be a better year for me as I get a better balance with the drugs.  I want to be able to get more exercise and lose weight.  Pain makes it so hard to exercise.  I started a program in September I think it was and I lost 8 lbs but I had so much trouble with pain and sleeping so much.  I really want to do better, exercise more, keep eating healthy food and build back some of the muscle that I've lost.

In 2015 I read 44 books.  I'd been having such a hard time focusing that I barely read any books.  In 2014 I only managed to read 5.  On I set my reading goal for 2015 at 12 books (which is pretty sad but much better than 5)  Then in January 2015 the Rheumatologist I saw in Anchorage put me on a drug called Plaquenil to bring down inflammation.  That helped a lot with my pain but I had to start at a really low dose and slowly build up to the dose I needed because it really made me feel drugged.  I totally understand the meaning of the word psychedelic now.  Anyway, around March I suddenly felt like reading and for a while I didn't do anything else.  I was rarely on the computer or facebook and didn't crochet or knit anything (which is very strange for me).  For Christmas my husband bought me a book light I wanted that is rechargeable.  That is something I put to use that same night and it is the best gift ever.

So this year I set my reading goal at 24.  That is low but I'm hoping to be outside more this summer. I have a new bike and want to use it.

I started a new hobby at the end of the year too.  I started cross stitching.  I was always buying little kits to try but never got far with them.  Sadly, I have a few kits that I started and ended up losing the pattern or other things to them.  When I started pulling out Christmas decorations I found a few ornament kits and actually made them and finished them and even hung them on my tree!  It was not even hard since I read the instructions.  Now I'm addicted.  My husband even bought me a few kits since the ones I had where mostly Christmas kits.  One of my doctors told me I needed to sit in a straight back chair instead of the couch because a muscle in my back was really tight so I started sitting at the kitchen table and cross stitching.  Now my back is fine.  I actually enjoy sitting at the table to work on cross stitching, especially when the sun is shining in the window.

Well, that's enough for now.

Here's too good health in the new year!