Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The New Year Approaches

Some may be intimidated by the thought of a new year coming. Not me. MY resolution for the approaching year? NO RESOLUTIONS!!!!



Ain't gonna happen.

Granted, there are things I want to accomplish this year, goals I want to see come to fruition, but I'm not going to make a big deal out of them. I'm just going to keep working in the general direction.

I want Hubby's Botox treatments for his headache (the one he's had since 1990!!) to be approved.

I would LOVE to see the attic completed. Or at least see the plumbing put in up there? Another potty in the house would be great! I mean, come on - is that asking too much??!?!?

In the grand scheme of things, I already have more than I deserve. I have a wonderful hubby who loves me, a cozy house, and 2 snuggly kitties. Every spring I have beautiful flowers blooming in the yard (thanks to a past owner!) I can enjoy, and once in a while one of the Pygmy goats has a baby to admire and spoil.

A New Year?!?!? Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gray and rainy

But its better than snow - or worse yet, sleet!

Our furnace is acting up - it keeps blowing cold air. We had it installed in 2005 so I would think it would still be under warranty. The HVAC guy says it is a "rollout switch"?? (rollover?? durn if I know!!) anyway, Hubby has to turn off the breaker then go into the attic and re-start the whole thing later. HVAC guy came and did something to it, and said if it keeps misbehaving he will order a new switch. Needless to say, he HAS been called to get a new switch!

Good thing we kept the infrared propane heater in here when we had the central heat put in. We would have been in trouble a few times.

December 23, 7pm our HopeKeepers group is having a "footwashing" again. Last year a good time was had by all - and soft, smooth feet reigned throughout the Lindley Christian Church. Anyone who thinks they are interested in attending - drop me a line!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

There's a Chill In The Air!

I do believe Autumn is coming. I see the big black-and-yellow garden spiders have their webs built all over the property, we have even had a couple days when the furnace has been on, leaves are beginning to change.

On the other hand, my bones don't appreciate the cooler weather. Oh well, I suppose this is one of the "rewards" of getting older maybe? God's way of telling me to take it easier?

It is knitting weather - I can sit and knit for hours - when my hands don't hurt!

It is also "baking" weather. This is the time of year when all the baking I didn't do in the summer because the weather was too hot is welcome. Nothing warms the house quite as well as a batch of cookies!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

6 Years

Since I last worked. I went to work that day determined to at least stay until 1pm, because we were having a memorial prayer service for the victims of 9/11 at noon. But by 10 am it was obvious I could no longer sit up, much less walk to the service then stand for it, so I had to call Hubby to come get me.

It has been a long 6 years - mostly frustrating - but I feel like things are settling down a bit.

Now I am working on a book about Hubby's plane crash and his life with a head injury. It is coming together slowly, and it might take me a couple years - but I hope not.

6 years. It seems like a lifetime ago I was a working, productive person. I have times when I feel like I'm useless, but then I think about what I CAN do. I participated in a clinical trial for a new drug earlier this year, I lead a support group for people with chronic pain and illness, I have been doing pilot studies for Continuing Education Units for a company who makes CEU's for health care professionals. I help people with Medicare Part D problems - and really, any medical insurance problem that requires an appeal.

Maybe I'm not in the "corporate" world anymore. But I'm here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just A Bit Of An Update

The rains we have had thus far has put us more than 13 inches ahead of "normal" for the year - it seems to rain ALL the time! But that's not a complaint - our yard has managed to bloom in ways I could only imagine. It has been beautiful.

Progress has been made on the attic room. Slow progress, but progress none the less. I would LOVE to see it finished - at least enough for us to make a move to - before school starts so David can move into his (currently our) room. The guys have part of the plywood for the floor down, the insulation has been purchased, the paneling has been purchased, the wiring and plumbing has been purchased.... now the thing missing is... energy! Of the human kind. But we will get there.

For the past couple of weeks my fibromyalgia has flared and I am having a hard time just walking around. I missed church last week, then yesterday I did not have coffee - it slipped my mind I guess because I just wasn't up to getting into the kitchen all day - and today I am on the leading edge of a migraine. Then this morning I had my telephone pacemaker check and I couldn't get a reading with the magnet on the pacer so we have to make a trip to Springfield on Friday for them to check it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I love this color!

Okay - I love this color too!

I have never seen "this" peony before! Apparently all the rain we have had this year has brought it out. The darker pink ones are budding but not bloomed yet.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Dentist...

Not one of my favorite things to do - going to the dentist.

I know... It's a totally unreasonable fear. But it's there.

Not that my dentist is a bad guy - actually, he's a very nice guy and he has never hurt me. But a childhood trauma has left deep scars.

So - I will hit the Xanax and go. And sleep.... And get through it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I waited all winter!

I love this yard! The peonies and several other things aren't even bloomed yet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Electronic Meltdown

No, not just today. I saw the signs well ahead of time and it is just now catching up with me.

It started a few weeks ago with, of all things, my sewing machine. The Singer my ex-husband begrudgingly bought for me at Wal-Mart in 1996. The bobbin case broke and when I took things apart I saw the nylon gears were worn and pretty much stripped so not worth the effort/cost to repair.

Then Roomba went nuts... Poor Roomba. The faithful little vacuuming robot that keeps the living room and hallway free of the worst of the Hector hair. It now goes just a few feet before playing the "I'm full" song. Not to be confused with the "I'm stuck" song or the "my battery is low" song. I have cleaned Roomba inside and out. Poor baby.... Maybe it's an "I'm tired of cat hair" song.

Well, the last straw came Wednesday when I discovered I could not send out e-mail. I mean, really!!!!

For me, that's serious stuff. It's the way I stay in touch with my friends and family. By yesterday the condition had turned serious enough that both sisters actually called me.

I hoped, really hoped, the situation would fix itself - that maybe one of the squirrels running on the wheel that makes my computer run was back from vacation or whatever the problem was. But at 4am I turned on Toshi the Toshiba and sure enough, my e-mail still would not send. It kept sending me a "message undeliverable" note. Not really a note - an annoying e-mail.

So, I called Centurytel. As much as I hated to, I did it. I expected to spend at least an hour on the phone,but the problem was taken care of quit quickly. YAAY!!! Now I'm back in business. The techs there that I have dealt with have been very nice.

As to the sewing machine and Roomba, I am debating. The sewing machine might not get replaced. Roomba.... Well... I'll think a while longer on that one!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some things

just don't make sense.

Take, for example, fast food restaurants.

A few days ago Hubby and I went to Dairy Queen. What, I ask you, is THE main item Dairy Queen sells? ICE CREAM!

Not exactly a diet food. But Hubby and I went there for breakfast. He placed our order then went to a booth - I was lagging behind because I stopped to fill my coffee cup, then I went to join him.

THIS is where one of my greatest pet peeves comes in. I cannot fit into the booth. Okay. I will fit, kind of. It is a squeeze and my tummy is rubbing against and hanging over the table top which makes me think I do not fit.

Okay. I do call myself "Fat Lady".... and I'm not trying to hide the fact I am a fat lady. But let's be realistic - at 270 pounds I am far from being the largest woman around. Indeed - at a size 24 jeans, MY 270 is rather... well.... trim.

I mean, I know other large ladies who weigh in at 250 and wear a 34 or so.... (Uhmmm.... I wonder if they go to Dairy Queen?)

I don't want to pick just on Dairy Queen, I mean, I have the same problem at Hardee's, McDonalds, Wendy's (but I must say, the Wendy's I have been in have far more table and chair set-ups than booths).

So are they trying to, maybe "help" us? Are they sending a message?

"If you no longer fit in the booth, you aren't welcome"....

Hmmm..... And Hubby wonders why I usually want to take the food to go or eat in the car!

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's Monday

Feels like it's Monday times three.

I go back to the doctor today. My blood pressure goes up (yeah - TOO high!) when I lie down and since I tend to pass out when I sit upright too long that is a problem.

On the upside - I have managed to move my computer back to my laundry room where I have my big "birdwatching window" and that is an improvement.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Pain Wall

It's 4:30am, I have been up since 3. Sir Hector came in to check on me about 2:30am probably because I quit snoring and he wanted to see if mom was all right. He snuggled and purred a while then I decided there was no use tossing and turning and waking up Hubby so I got up, did some stretching (it didn't help), unloaded the dishwasher and made some tea.

Easter morning and I have hit the pain wall.... The point between "I can handle this" - that's about a 6-7 on a pain scale of 1- 10 - and "I can't do this!" which is 8 or above... The point where you will find me in the fetal position on the couch or bed.

I really need to go to church this morning - it is, after all, Easter. And I also need to just medicate myself enough to just sleep the worst of the pain off. What to do??

More than likely I will go to church and just end up laying on the floor of one of the Sunday School rooms for the majority of the service. But then, again, I might go ahead and medicate myself and crawl back in bed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Here I am, barely half way through March and it ranks high on my list of months-that-are-not-my favorites.

First of all I seem to have been struck with the dreaded gastroparesis. Not unusual for someone with autonomic issues and so far I have considered myself very fortunate to have escaped issues of that nature. Uncomfortable to put it mildly. But I am trying to handle it. I figure I will get through it; or not.

Of course, gastroparesis is aggravated by narcotic pain meds and I can't take NSAID's so that has left me trying to manage pain with hot packs and hot baths. Not good. When you wake up in the morning with pain of 5-6 on a 10-scale and it progresses to a 7 as the day goes on, it is difficult to manage simple day-to-day things like just getting up to go to the bathroom, much less a daunting task like cooking. Cleaning is out of the question and if it were not for a nice lady from church coming by a couple times a week we would undoubtedly be living in a real pig sty!

Then there is the weather. At least we have escaped the severe ice storms we had last year. I know I am spoiled first of all by the Montana Banana Belt winters - where ice was unheard of and the snow was so light and fluffy it would all be blown away within a couple hours - then the first few winters we were back here the winters were mild. I know this one is "average" for us but it seems like it is lasting forever.

I have missed church a couple of times, and I am cutting back on the few things I participate in there. The HopeKeepers group now has one meeting a month at the church and we go out to eat for the other meeting.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to make a presentation at the DAR meeting, and this time the ladies are going to get me ... reading out of a book. It is Women's History month and I have an excellent book I will take, then pass around. This is my last DAR meeting. This is something else I can't deal with. For the moment I will maintain my membership but not attend meetings.

I feel like I am slipping down the hill. A hill where I have never reached the top, a hill where I know I cannot reach the top. But now I feel like the hill has had an avalanche!

Friday, March 7, 2008

What sibling rivalry?

Hector and Callie...

What sibling rivalry?

Hector and Callie...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's a bad sign

The gas man backed into the driveway this afternoon - which is rare because he usually shows up early in the morning. But, anyway, here he is - at 1pm...

He first went to the backyard and looked at the tank then he came to the kitchen door. He told us our tank was 40% full right now - since we weren't needing gas now, instead of topping it off he thought we should wait. Because the price has gone WAY high (no, he didn't say how high!) and maybe by next time the price would be down. So I hope the price doesn't continue to go UP!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Painful Truth

The first painful truth is this. We watch "American Idol". So those of you who were watching last night saw each contestant reaval something personal about themselves. One plays tennis, another is a gymnast, etc.

One young man, from Blue Springs, MO, revealed he is a "Word Nerd". He loves words, he loves to do crossword puzzles, he can sit and contently read a dictionary. He sang his song - very well, as far as I am concerned, and Simon told him his singing was boring. HE was boring, His interest in words was... boring.

I commented to Hubby that I did not find his video boring, I thought he was interesting.

Hubby's response?? "Of course you thought he was interesting! You ARE a Word Nerd too!"

Uhmmm..... Oh.

I seem to be at a loss for words.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our Anniversary

We went to Branson to celebrate our anniversary - 8 years! Wow, it doesn't seem like that long. They have been 8 great years. Maybe not from all points of view - but the bad times I have been through, it has been wonderful to have someone beside me to share the burden.

This man has stood by me and supported me, held my hand during some dark times, and never complained.

Love you, Hubby!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Allow me to go back to Monday; I felt bad to begin with, I had been up all night with the baby goats, and Hubby and I went to town to pick up stuff for the babies and make a very quick trip to Wal-Mart. I picked up some children's chewable vitamins.

I just can't take vitamins - but I am always hearing that I should. But they upset my stomach and I don't feel any "better" when I take them. I decided I would try some children's chewable vitamins since I seem to have better luck with things that are chewable.

Wally World's vitamin selection had an Equate brand of children's chewable so I got a bottle of them - when I got home I ate one and I broke a second one in half and crushed up one part of it to mix with the baby goat's milk.

By 2pm I started to feel like I had tendonitis - all over my body.

Okay - I had spent the whole night pretty sleepless; and getting up and down from the floor while dealing with the goats. So if my hip and back were hurting that would probably explain it. But then my knees started to hurt; and my skin was starting to hurt. At 4pm I found myself just sitting huddled on the couch crying. I had taken Vicodin twice, 50 mg of Phenergan by then and some Excedrin Migraine. For a few minutes I debated going in to soak in a warm bathtub but I wasn't sure if I could get myself out of it once I got in. I ate 4 (81 mg) children's aspirin and waited. I thought maybe the inflammed feeling I had in my skin would surely subside at least. Or maybe the Phenergan would put me to sleep. This went on until around 6 or so.

I sat and wondered what I had done to myself to bring this on. Then I remembered the vitamins...

Sure enough - they contained aspartame!

As someone who has fibromyalgia, I cannot blame anyone but myself - I should have read the label more carefully. But who, WHO in the world would have thought about an artificial sweetener in a children's vitamin?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

30 pounds!

Yaay!! That is a milestone.

Sunday our young nanny goat had triplets - again, she rejected her babies. Last time she had a single and rejected it, and we lost it, this time by the time we took the babies one of them had managed to find her way into the neighbors back yard. It died of pneumonia overnight. I worked and worked all day Monday on the second one. Antibiotics and warmth didn't help, though and it died. The third one is quite healthy.

But I told Hubby I am not up to this and neither is he. We called a neighbor who had been wanting goats and I told her of this nanny's history of rejecting her kids - and I offered her both the nanny and the remaining kid. She was thrilled to get the goats and I was thrilled to be rid of them.

Tuesday she brought the kid over for me to kid-sit while she took her MIL to the doctor and the kid is SO healthy! She followed me around the house, slept and is very heartily eating from a bottle. I know I made the right decision for the goats, for me, and for the neighbor.

I still feel as though I am in a downward spiral. A lot of days I barely have the energy to fix my morning oatmeal - in the microwave!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

28 pounds!

269 - YAAY!!!!

It's slow, but it is coming off.

Today I polished the silver at church in anticipation of Tuesday's dinner. I also let it be known I will NOT be doing this dinner next year. It is just too much for me.

I hope I will have the energy to do pictures Tuesday night like I did last year. I also hope and pray the weather will cooperate! Ice storm expected tomorrow - but it is supposed to end Monday afternoon then have a bit of a warm up.

Tomorrow I need to bake a couple of cakes for Tuesday. I also need to make Rick's bow tie.... It never ends!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Supposed to be a day of rest

But it wasn't. We have been entirely too busy for the past few weeks and it is just too much for me. After spending the majority of yesterday in the ER with a friend of ours we resolved for today to be a day of rest.

I have had a really rough time lately and I feel like I am at about 50% of my "new" normal... Which is not much! Believe me, I have been a slug for the past several years. At my worst was 2002 - 2003 in Montana when I was stuck in bed for months. I had days when making it the 5 steps to the bathroom was an issue and self-care, even washing my face or brushing my teeth was out of the question. I can, at least keep up THAT much now!

Fortunately we have friends who will come and help once in a while with the heavy cleaning, and my Roomba is once again running so that saves me a lot.

Dusting I can't keep up with. Kitchen floor, cleaning the bathroom, laundry....

Some weeks I can't function well enough to make it to church; sometimes I make it but I end up lying on the floor of one of the Sunday school rooms.

Cooking - oh boy - there's a challenge! But I manage once a week or so to make a big enough batch of something to eat on it all week. Maybe whole-wheat pasta, perhaps brown rice and veggies.

I suppose in time this, too, shall pass.

But I am EXTREMELY frustrated in the meantime!

I have more important things to do.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A White-Out

Yes, a white-out! As in, blizzard conditions! It was 61 degrees at 11am then, by 1pm it was 20 degrees and visibility was very bad.
Fortunately, Hector weathered the storm just fine.... As you see!
The wind was so bad our swing in the front yard blew over.
For tomorrow -we are forecast to get 10 - 12 inches of new snow.
Hurry, Spring!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yay!! 25 pounds!

272 - yes, indeed, I am 25 pounds lighter and it isn't quite the end of January.

I know the weight will be harder to get rid of the longer I go, but I believe if I just hang in there I WILL be able to lose 100 pounds.

I am impressed by the fact the Abs Diet stresses healthy eating habits - not just certain things you can and can't eat. Nothing is off limits.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just Not Myself

I have been struggling with fatigue for a couple of months. Not my usual fatigue, but something all-consuming that knocks me down so bad I can't get past it.

On my last visit with my doctor he did an extensive blood panel, all was normal. Apparently I am feeling the effects of the normal chronologic progress of NMS. The exhaustion is all-consuming.

I went off of my diet for a little over a week thinking that perhaps it would help. But no. So, at approximately 276 pounds, I resume my diet.

But I'll be open with the fact I am greatly bummed out with the fact my energy is slipping away more. I feel that I am treading water and I just can't stay up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Size 24

Yes, my size 24 jeans FIT. Not just barely - not squeezing into them - they comfortably fit.


I put a batch of brown rice i the steamer this morning, along with some frozen peas and carrots. I froze several small containers of them. I can microwave them then add a bit of olive oil and some sliced almonds - YUM! My version of a TV dinner.

Of course, I can also stir-fry some cubed beef with mushrooms and onions to put on top and make a bigger meal.


Yesterday we had an exciting time trying to get a tiny pill down Hector. I finally got it encased in peanut butter so it wouldn't be so hard to evade and accomplished my mission.

Problem with him is he does not like anything except his dry kibble. What cat doesn't like tuna???

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Scales!

So - starting point: 279.4

The old ones had so much variation in the readings I could never really tell what was going on.

Had some snow today but not enough to even cover the ground and it left as quick as it fell.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Planning is underway for our annual HopeKeepers Banquet. This year the main course is Baked Ziti.

Last year I was too frazzled trying to do too much so I believe I will ask someone else to speak.

Right now I'm getting invitations ready to go in the mail.

Monday, January 14, 2008

276 this morning - doctor visit this afternoon. Wonder what the doctor's scales will read?

It was cold. I'm talking really, really, cold. 8 degrees cold. Late at night I woke up and thought I heard the sound of a goat in distress.

"Maaaahhh... Maaaahhhhh.... Maaaahhhhh...."

I envisioned coyotes - those sneaky varmints I hear yipping back in the woods sometimes - going after the adorable baby goats and I could just picture Nanny being distressed by such a thing, and of course, being a mom myself I couldn't let anything happen to the babies so I jumped out of bed, threw on my big thick terry cloth robe, ran to the back room and slipped on a pair of shoes, opened the door and ran out.

Silence. No goat noises.

I walked a little ways toward the barn. Still silence.

Cold, cold, silence. (REALLY cold...)

I waited a couple minutes. Freezing.

Finally went back into the house, turned the heater up to 9 on the electric mattress pad, stood by the heater for a few minutes, then, still shivering, went back to bed.

Again I heard the distressed goat. This time I raised up on one elbow and leaned over near Rick.
It was HIM!

Okay - sometimes he makes a noise like a cat in a distant room who has its tail caught in a lawn mower (yes, I have been known to get up and count kitties!) but the distressed goat noise is new.

THEN it occurred to me. I just went out coyote-chasing in my nightgown.

Well, any coyote in his right mind would have been running scared of an (almost) 300 pound redheaded woman, wouldn't it?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

275 - 22 pounds!! Woo Hoo!!!

The goats escaped yesteday. Fortunately they will come running if they see you heading to the barn because they think you will give them more corn. Yes, they got more corn! Spoiled goats.

Miss Calley got a bath yesteray then her Daddy turned on the heater in the living room so she could lounge in front of it and dry off. He washed her in Garnier Fruictis so she smells nice!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back to 279 - so the pesky pound went away again. I have a goal of losing 2 more pounds by Sunday, which would make a total of 20.

Phew!! I hope to lose 100 pounds this year. ONLY 82 to go!! LOL!

BTW, Hector this morning decided skim milk was better than no milk, so now he has milk again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

280 today - and that's okay. Last night was my weekly "splurge" meal - the one where you eat anything you want. Especially things you have been craving. So I ate a pork tenderloin sandwich with fries and for dessert Hubby took me to Sonic and I got a Butterfinger Sonic Blast.

The Butterfinger Blast was well worth the pound!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Still going down

Which I find amazing; 279 today - YAY!

On Jan 1 Hubby and I both went on The Abs Diet - but a couple days into it he was staying the same and I was (hee hee!) losing so he went back to Adkins. He has now lost 4 pounds.

Hector the cat has lost 6. Hmm... Probably due to my giving up (*sob*) half and half in my coffee! As you can see - poor Hector isn't too happy about this weight loss business.
Coffee without half and half is sad. Okay - in years past I have convinced myself it is better... but not really! So, many times now I drink tea. It so happens I bought myself a pretty teapot at a yard sale a while back - now I actually use it.
So I have cut out half and half, I no longer eat potato chips by the bowls every night while I watch TV, I no longer eat huge bowls of ice cream - but I DO still eat ice cream. Full fat, full sugar, real-thing ice cream - just not as much or as often.
I eat brown rice, oatmeal, sliced almonds, whole wheat anything-I-can-get-my-hands-on.
This IS, most definitely a lifestyle change. It is doing what I knew was right all along but just didn't want to do.
High fructose corn sweeteners - a lot of cautions in this book about this insidious ingredient which seems to be everywhere in our food. Even in the spaghetti sauce I have been using!
Well, okay. I now do a lot of my food shopping in the nearby Amish Bulk Store. That's okay, the Miller family are all very nice people!

Monday, January 7, 2008


I am typing in green today because that is how I have felt for the past 4 days.... Tummy trouble - it's been going around!

On the upside, I got on the scale this morning and weighed in at 281. Okay - I know it will come back because weight you lose while you are ill always does. But I will enjoy it while I can!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


11 degrees out this morning; 5 yesterday. Too cold! I would normally stay in and keep warm but since Hubby sleeps late I take the dog out first thing when I get up. Glad the cats "go" inside!

290 today - 7 pounds!!!! Can that be right?? WOW!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day #2

Down 2 pounds! 295 this morning.

I am actually eating 6 times a day. Last night before bed I was a bit hungry so I had some cereal with skim milk and sliced almonds.

Yesterday for lunch I fixed some whole wheat high-fiber pasta with spaghetti sauce and extra-lean ground beef - not bad! Easy to make. Hopefully I can keep this up.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

January 1, 2008

I got on the scales and it said 297.

For breakfast I had a bowl of oatmeal with sliced almonds and skim milk.

Took Dawg for a walk. Hubby is still trying to come up with a name for him.