Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Night Sky

SR wanted me to take a picture of the moon the other night. The clouds were moving out and floating across the moon, and he thought it was beautiful. I would have posted it sooner, but my mouse was acting up, and I had to buy a new one before I could do any fun stuff.  Using the curser box on my laptop is not fun.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Lately, I've been driven to sew. It's like an addiction or obsession. I was so tired yesterday afternoon, I could barely function, but I could not and would not stop sewing my latest project until I finished. (Check out the newest post on Seam Rippers)

I thought about this and likened it unto the obsession SR gets when turkey season is open. He will rise at the crack of dawn to drive 30+ minutes to the woods, to sit for hours trying to call up a turkey. Day after day he does this, until he can barely put one foot in front of the other, and he nods off as soon as his bottom hits the recliner. Yet, he perseveres until the Very. Last. Day. 

I had some ideas in my head that just had to flow. I had gifts I had to create. I had accessories for Little Man's room that had to be finished.  That is all finished now, and the next thing will be a mural in his room. I will attempt to do that tomorrow and Saturday. After that, I may feel a little lost. But I will start again on J's quilt. If I don't come up with another idea for the baby.....I told you I was obsessed.

One other little item I'd like to mention.... I've lost 2 1/2 pounds this week. What?! Fast huh? IF I am able to lose weight, it comes off pretty quick at first.  In any case, it is encouraging and gives me incentive to carry on. It's a real pain writing down every thing I put in my mouth, but it will be worth it when I am able to button the capris I wore last summer....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Ok, anyone can tell you that when you are dieting trying to eat healthy, food is all you think about.  It consumes my life...well, except for Little Man's eminent arrival.  The steriods are now gone and my stomach has settle down enought that I'm not starving 24/7. Thank you Lord.  I've been walking about 30 minutes each day, when weather permits, and riding the elliptical for at least 20. I hope I can keep that up, but I have to tell you, it's exhausting.

Since last week when I decided to really buckle down and manage my eating habits, I have found a few things that are pretty healthy and low in calories and fat. I thought I'd list them here in case anyone was curious.

Special K Vanilla and Almond Cereal and milk. 
It keeps me satisfied, and gives me most of my daily vitamins. This is the only way I can take vitamins, so I've been eating this for breakfast for a couple of years now.

Lowfat Peanut Butter and Whole Wheat Tortilla
This may not sound very appetizing, but trust me, it is. And it's filling and if you only use 1 Tablespoon of PB, it's not fattening. Believe it or not, 1 tablespoon will spread over the entire tortilla and work great.

Triscuit Low Fat Crackers and Cabot's 75% Fat Free Sharp Cheddar Cheese
This is good stuff folks. The cheese has just a little rubbery consistency, but it's good.

Smart Choice Meals from Weight Watchers
These things are really good. I like them even better than Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice. And it's so easy to throw them in the microwave.

Glucerna Bars
These are made for diabetics, but they are great snack bars. I only eat one half at a time though, to cut caloric intake and the artificial sweetener tends to blow me up a bit. TMI?

Canned White Meat Chicken with Salad
The protein helps hunger and gives it a little substance. Simple salad does not stick with me long.

Microwaved Egg, Lowfat Cheese and Whole Wheat Tortilla
I spray a small plate with non-stick cooking spray and whip the egg onto the plate and into the microwave. Cook about a minute and it's nice and flat, but doesn't stick to the plate. Lay it on the tortilla, put one ounce of the Cabot's cheese on it, (cut into small pieces) and put it back in the micro for another 20 seconds or so. Roll it up and you have a simple egg burrito. This kept me satisfied much longer than I thought it would.

These are but a few of the ideas I've come up with. My only real problem is supper. If I cook a good meal for SR, even if it is low in fat, it still has too many calories for me. I don't know what I'll do about that, but I'll figure something out. Tonight I plan on Spaghetti. I'll have to cook regular pasta, and whole wheat because he won't touch the whole wheat stuff. Hates the taste. I'll have to make two difference sauces too. One with meat and the other without. Bummer.

If anyone out there has other suggestions, I'd love to hear them. After a while, the same things get old.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday was Fine

Yesterday, Friday, March 19, 2010 was about the finest day I've had in a while. My body finally shut down enough to get some good sleep Thursday night, and I woke up rested and ready to roll.....Well, after I took my new blood pressure medication and it kicked in....

I think taking the steroids for my poison ivy is the main culprit right now. I have two more days of it to take, so we'll see if it makes a difference in the days ahead. I have a love/hate relationship with the steroid dose pak right now.

The day was absolutely gorgeous and I opened several windows. I've been bird watching behind the glass door, but there is nothing in the world like hearing all the bird song through the window. I got a lot accomplished through the day and even surprised myself a little.

Walked for 30 minutes
Stripped beds, washed sheets and remade beds.
Finished window treatments and dust ruffle for Little Man's room.
Rode Elliptical for over 20 minutes.
Started counting calories in a feeble attempt to lose 10 pounds and lower my triglycerides.

Those few things may not look like much, but to me it was an almost perfect day. I felt good, I had energy, I was in a good mood, I was in no hurry, I didn't have to dress up or put on any makeup, and I did exactly_what_I_wanted. Ahhhhhh....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sleep Cycle......Or

No Sleep Cycle....

Imagine a large round gauge, similar to a temperature gauge, hanging on your bedroom wall. But instead of numbers for the temperature, there are numbers for sleep patterns. They might read like this...

1. A full eight hours. Rested and ready to roll.
In a perfect world, or if you are a young'un.

2. A good five to six hours. All systems functioning.
A happy thought.

3. Fall asleep easily. Sleep for two or three hours and wake up. After a drink of water and bathroom break, you go back to sleep.

4. Fall asleep eventually. Wake up every little while, turn over and go back to sleep to repeat the process.
If you are lucky.

5. Doze off, then wake up. Toss and turn. Doze off, then wake up. Toss and Turn. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Becoming alarmed.

6. Doze off, sleep for an hour or so, wake up. Toss and turn trying to go back to sleep. Finally get up and read for an hour. Lay back down and try to sleep. Finally get up and get on computer for an hour or so. Lay back down, and try to sleep.....At around 5:30, fall into a light doze.
Ding Ding Ding....folks, we have a winner!

7. Give up.
Contemplating this option.

Needless to say, I am having trouble sleeping. It runs in cycles, or has in the past. This time it seems to be in a holding pattern. I can't remember the last good night's sleep I got. Oh wait, it was one night last week when I took a Zyrtec trying to dry up the poison ivy.  Every great once in a while, a medication I've not taken in a very long time will work....once. The second attempt fails.

OTC meds work for a couple of hours then I'm wired.
Benadryl works for about an hour, then the RLS is kicked into overdrive.
Prescription meds work for maybe three hours, then again the RLS is kicked into high gear or I wake up with a severe headache.
Muscle relaxers help with musle aches, but no sleep. Well, they used to anyway.
Exercise hasn't helped.
Limiting caffeine and sugar intake hasn't helped.
I may have to go to a sleep center, but I don't know what they can do if none of the above works.

So, it's 3:43 in the a.m. and instead of sleeping, I'm blogging. That can't be a good thing.

It Would Have Been Nice....

Yesterday was Mom’s fourth chemo treatment out of six. It had been postponed due to low blood counts and an unexpected transfusion last Friday, but we finally got the deed done. There shouldn’t be a need for any more transfusions, as the med causing her low counts has been discontinued.

Three months ago, a port was installed because the pain of digging in her arm for a good IV vein was extremely painful. We all thought it was a good idea at the time and for most folks it is. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good idea for Mom. The pain when they access the port is excruciating. I’m talking about a come out of the chair yelling kind of pain. Before the third treatment, the oncology nurse called a prescription in for a numbing cream to be used one hour before the stick. It didn’t help. This time we started early, rubbing it in every thirty minutes all morning, in hopes it would work better. Nope.

A nurse we’d never seen before cared for Mom in the chemo lab yesterday. She told us that rubbing the cream in doesn’t work. You have to blob it on the area, and cover the blob with plastic, as in Glad wrap or a plastic bandage like they use in the chemo lab. It would have been nice if someone had told us sooner. We are really hoping it helps next time.

One piece of good news yesterday was the oncology doctor is so pleased with Mom’s response to the chemo, she is going to delete the sixth treatment. After the next one, there will be a CT scan ordered to rule out any lingering cancer. Mom and I have discussed asking the doctor if future routine doses of chemo might help stop any recurrence. We don’t know if that will make a difference, if it’s an option, or even if insurance will pay for it. But we intend to bring up the subject.

After we finished at UAMS, we of course went to eat, and I took Mom out to Shackleford Crossing Shopping Center to let her look around. You don’t take her to Little Rock without eating and shopping..... unless you want to be on her list. ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Decision Made

I haven't posted lately, due to various other demands.  I've been doing a lot of sewing, which will be posted on Seam Rippers shortly. I've also been nursing a severe case of Poison Ivy, that you don't want a photo of. (Trust me) Not to mention my mother needed an emergency transfusion last Friday, due to extreme fatigue and lightheadedness. She spent Friday night in the hospital, but was fit as a fiddle when she was released the next day.

I've been waiting impatiently for Lowe's or Home Depot to put out their spring bushes and bedding plants. Finally, yesterday I purchased four.....

and a Heather plant. It smelled so wonderful when we walked by it, that I simply had to get one. I plan to place it in a pot on the front porch. I'm afraid it may not bloom after the weather gets really warm, but we'll see. 

SR and I looked and looked at what was offered at Lowe's, and we both agreed on this bush. I purchased some good gardening soil to add to the bed, in hopes that they will flourish and look as nice as the cedar trees did.  At the very least, the ice won't threaten to topple them over, since they will be much lower to the ground.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


SR and I were able to transplant the cedar trees that were in the front yard to the back yard. We moved two on Sunday afternoon, and two yesterday afternoon. It was quite a job.  Even though we feared they would topple over if the ground stayed wet enough in the front, and the ice was heavy enough, it was still a chore to get them out of the ground.

I also gathered some more jonquils from the area just beyond the thicket  trees and bushes you see behind the cedar. I thought it would look pretty in the springtime between everything. There is a hydrangea plant on the right that I hope will flourish now that it in a protected spot. It didn't do well where I had it last year.

We planted things that would grow tall in front of the thicket trees and bushes that border the back line, because Farm Bureau purchased the land behind us, and we feared they would cut all the shade and noise buffer down.  It's the only thing right now that blocks hwy 167 noise and keeps folks from looking straight into our back yard.

These are three of the four we moved. No, it doesn't look like much in these photos, but from my back door, it looks really nice. Slowly, my backyard is beginning to look like someone actually planned out the garden. Oh, it will never look like a photo in a magazine, but eventually, it will look nice enough that I won't be embarrassed for family to sit out there.

Now this is what my front looks like....

PITIFUL.  This is the third THIRD shrub I've tried in this spot. Nothing thrives, it just exists and I just don't know what to put there.

I'm going to give it one more summer to see if it perks up, and then if nothing changes, I'll be trying yet another type of shrub.  And now, since the cedars are gone, it looks pretty sad. I have no idea what to put in their place. I thought about holly bushes, but just don't know. And I even thought about boxwood. After taking the tall trees out, I wondered if I didn't like the low straight line of it better.  Any suggestions?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kickin' It

Folks, I have to tell you. This thing is kicking my bootay.

As I said before, it's not as smooth as the expensive ones at the gym. It's more like standing up on a bicycle while you are going up a small hill. Or like walking up countless flights of shallow stairs. Monday I was only able to stay on it for 10 minutes. Yesterday, I'd worked up to 20 at one time, and then after supper 10 more. This morning I could only stick with it for 15 and I was done. Winded, worn out, exhausted.  I'll get back on it around lunchtime and try for 10 or 15 more, then again after supper. I am determined to win the battle. Eventually, it has to get easier......right?

I do have to admit, my thighs and bottom feel stronger. I was squatting yesterday, transplanting some azaleas, and I didn't feel the burn I normally would. So I must be doing some good..... I hope I hope I hope...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's going on this week.

I'm still having trouble with my neck and shoulders, and will probably call the doctor if it feels the same when I get out of bed tomorrow. Getting still, as in sleeping or watching tv seems to make it worse. I suppose it gets stiff or something.

I bought an elliptical yesterday. It's not as smooth as the ones at the gym, but considering it probably cost only a fraction of what those do, I am happy with it. It works me harder, and that is a good thing. I hope to shape up some even if I can't lose any weight.

I took Mom to see the oncologist yesterday for her half-way point visit. Her platelets are just not cooperating so, we had to put her chemo off another week. The doctor is going to delete the chemo med that is causing the problem, and just give her the one she must have. Doc was optimistic it would all be ok. And of course, Mom feels fine. The only problem she has is that the chemo makes her back and hips ache. And that is a normal side effect.

I finally spent my Hobby Lobby gift card yesterday. I bought a rotary cutting mat, and three pieces of fabric. Never mind that the fabric is for J and for Little Man. It was my card to spend any_way_ I_want.

Mom and I ate at Applebee's for lunch and ordered the Three Cheese Chicken Penne. Talk about good. OH MY WORD.  I heart Applebee's.

I helped LeLe do some purging and rearranging for Little Man's room last Saturday. It felt good to help her get some of that done. I'm going to paint his mural while she is gone on a little trip in a couple of weeks. Cousin is giving her a shower next Saturday. We are all looking forward to that.