My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Photo Dump

I'm still dealing with extraordinary dizziness so instead of a wordy post, I thought I'd share a few photos with you.

First... my Acorn Stairlift was installed yesterday. I'm grateful to have it but hate that I have to have it. The Occupational Therapy student for whom I am a Community Partner was at the house when he was finishing up and took it for a test ride after I had taken my (very embarrassing) maiden voyage. I was afraid the seatbelt wouldn't go around me (it did). I was afraid it would groan and struggle to haul me up the stairs (it didn't, worked just fine)

(Sorry Jess... I didn't have the pictures you took of me and I'm SURE you look better than I do in it anyways!) 

It's a very bizarre feeling, like you're flying... but it's also a bizarre feeling to get to the top of the staircase and not be limping or out of breath. It's rather bland, though. I'd like to "pimp my ride" and bedazzle it or some how dress it up. I couldn't find anything under "stairlift accessories" other than extra batteries. Maybe a niche business someone could get into...

I snagged these pictures without permission but they're my two current favorites of Oliver. Little Man is walking behind a push toy, just like his older cousin... and yesterday Cody sent me a video of Ollie trying to climb the wall. He's a mess! Cody was a happy and content baby and Ollie takes after him.

Cosette continues to love scrolling through pictures of Ollie and her other baby cousin and was particularly fond of a video of Ollie opening his Easter basket from his other grandmother. Cosy loves seeing Uncle Cody and Aunt Marquee, too. She was loving the phone while watching them, putting the phone against her head like she was hugging it.

Cosy is now 11 months old. We tried to get a good picture with her 11 month sticker but she is too mobile and too curious to sit still when there was a giant sticker just waiting for her to chew on it.
Also, I accidentally left the watermark from the last set of photos I edited on Cosy's 11 month pictures. That's why they all say, "Oliver" in the bottom corner.




Lastly... some way back when photos that one of the girls I cheered with in Junior High posted last week...
 In this one I'm in the back row, second from the right.

You'll note that we are wearing the old fashioned saddle oxfords. That was pretty much the last year that school cheerleaders (at least in my area) wore saddle oxfords. After that they changed to tennis shoes which makes WAY more sense!
I think in this one I *might* be the split in the front but I used to be much better at pointing my toe so... I hope that wasn't me.
This one... I think I'm on the right side, standing with a girl on my shoulders. I look fairly miserable though...
This one... I think I'm one of the ones kneeling in the front, second row of the kneelers, right side. I think.

It's weird to look at old photos and not recognize yourself.

And that's my photo dump for the day! Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Time Flies / My Hysterectomy (more than you ever wanted to know about it!)

Time flies, even when you're NOT having fun! Ten days since my last blog post... what can I tell you about the last ten days? Hmmmm.... I've had a lot of pain, from my shoulder, my other arthritic bits, another tooth that's going bad in a bad way and giving me fits, I've had a lot of headachey / dizzy / flaring kinds of days. The "pain rash" that my primary care doctor suspected to be a symptom of lupus is with me today and it makes my face so hot and tight... even though my blood tested negative for lupus, there's definitely some kind of connection between the rash and flares of whatever - fibro or whatever.

Steroid shots are now on my list of "not worth it" because I really believe that the only pain relief I've gotten for my shoulder has come from resting it/not sewing. I have felt unwell ever since the last shot - fluish, dizzy, extremely tired. The tooth began abscessing  - it hurts down into my jaw and back to my ear and eating has been a challenge (don't worry, I'm up to the challenge!). I already had a dentist appointment scheduled for tomorrow so it will be addressed soon. I don't know if there is a direct connection between tooth decay and steroids but it seems like that shot just set off a whole new level of ick in my world.

I'm also going through a rough round of the evil gut pain. TMI BEGINS HERE, Skip down if you want to avoid it. Just to sort of recap - the evil gut pain was diagnosed last July as post ablation tubal ligation syndrome. A uterine ablation is where they go in and scar the uterus to keep it from developing the monthly lining. The intention is to eliminate heavy periods and pain that seem to plague women of a certain age - post childbirth, pre-menopause - in an effort to avoid a hysterectomy. What has happened in my case (and, it appears is happening frequently) is that the entire surface did not scar so there are places in my uterus where the normal monthly lining develops but the scar tissue from the parts that did scar correctly prevents the lining from shedding, as in a normal period. This trapped lining becomes an ever greater problem because my tubes are tied... normally, trapped blood, etc would sort of back up into the tubes toward the ovaries. So my un-shed lining is just all trapped there causing inflammation and putting pressure on the surrounding organs. The medical term is hematrometra. This post ablation syndrome could be responsible for a lot of the issues I have - everything from back pain to hip pain to cramps to migraines - or at least, the post ablation issue is exacerbating my already existing problems. There are two ways to resolve the post ablation syndrome: menopause or hysterectomy.

New paragraph. Same story. Last Summer when I was diagnosed I was under charity care through the local hospital. My situation was not potentially life threatening so I could not get approved for a hysterectomy at that time. Not long after that I was approved for social security and I became covered under Medicare in September. Theoretically I could have gone back then and requested the hysterectomy but ... by that time we were working on my massive dental issues and then my mom got sick and... well, it just hasn't happened. There was supposed to be some coordination between the gyn and my pain doctor where I received additional pain meds / stronger pain meds to deal with the post ablation syndrome but those dots never connected. And honestly... I really don't want to take more pain meds. I want to have less pain. So I finally summoned up the courage to make an appointment with the gyn and saw him last week. He agrees that it's time for a hysterectomy, there's no reason to put it off and it will make a big difference in the amount of pain I'm in.

Because I carry a little extra weight around my middle (aka the Buddha Belly) they can't do a laparoscopic hysterectomy on me but also, because I'm heavy there's a greater risk in doing the abdominal hysterectomy. The gyn thinks I'll do best with a robotic hysterectomy because the incisions are higher up, at the thinner part of me. My gyn doesn't do the robotic kind but another doctor in his practice does. I'm set for a consultation with him on April 21st to determine a date for the surgery. We're doing Cosette's First Birthday Party in my house so I wanted to postpone the surgery until at least May. So sometime in May - or possibly later - I'll go in for the big snip.

I'm happy to have the prospect of less pain in my life but really anxious about the post surgery pain. More pain to be able to have less pain... just got to get through the more pain part. I've been watching youtube videos of this particular surgery and in a way, it helps to see what they do but what I really want to see are testimonials of women who have had as much pain as I have with this post ablation syndrome and are basking in the afterglow of their hysterectomy.

And that was way more than I thought I had to share!  TMI ENDS HERE

My mom is currently in New York loving on her 14th grandchild. It's kinda funny that my new nephew is the first grandchild on his mom's side and the 14th on his dad's! It's surreal to see my brother - who we always thought would be the bachelor uncle - being a doting dad. #meltsmyheart  They are not putting baby boy on social media but I think I can tell you that he has red hair- and we all know how partial I am to my redheaded nieces- so I am thrilled to have a little redheaded nephew!

Mom is having trouble with her blood sugar, which we expected since they took most of her pancreas. The started her on insulin injections on Friday and she left for New York on Saturday morning. I was really anxious about her having a blood sugar issue while she was traveling alone and threatened to pin a note to her shirt that said, "mawmaw has diabetes" but she made it fine. I'm getting lots of extra Oscar love since he needs constant contact with a human to survive and Pop doesn't sit still for long. Still glad I made the investment in a wider recliner so I can accommodate a passenger. Little Kitty is NOT appreciating the extra Oscar time. He even made the clicking sound he makes when he's hunting toward Oscar yesterday. He's seriously ready to eliminate the little doggie from his mommy's chair.

Cosette took  a few steps last week -I posted a video on my facebook. Tasha and I have been consulting Pinterest quite a bit for ideas for her first birthday party. You are all invited to her party (well, most of you... as most of my readers are people I know in real life and/or people who I've known for many many years via the interwebs) if you're in the area or want to make a trip to our beautiful corner of the world. The theme of the party is "Castle On A Cloud" which is the first song that young Cosette sings in Les Miserables. Google it if you'd like... it's a sweet song. Uncle Cody says that young Cosette is dreaming of Heaven then, which means that Castle On A Cloud is a song of a suicidal young Cosette... of course I disagree!  But his perspective is amusing, of course. It just hardly seems possible that 11 months (tomorrow) have gone by in her little life already! Ollie is now 8 months! I love every single day with them and I wouldn't give back a single one to have them babies for longer. Time just goes by SO FAST!

I had a rough night one night last week and got inspired to fix Easter baskets for the babies. I dragged my mom along with me Thursday afternoon to Walmart to get all the goods for the baskets. Mawmaw contributed as well. We also got our hair cut last week - it only took 11 months for us to manage to find a day where we both felt like doing it and Gail was available. My cut was mostly a trim with the same hairstyle but Gail "texturized" my hair, thinning it out a bit. When I was done it looked like someone had shaved a caveman. Mom's hair had not grown much, which turns out to be a side effect of being so terribly unwell with the cancer. I had never thought about it but it makes sense.

I snagged a picture of my nieces with their bestie, Jorjanne from yesterday. I thought I'd show you another picture of the three to give you some perspective of how quickly they grow - how time flies. The second picture was from 2012, just four years ago! And the last one is Jorjanne and Sarabeth at Christmastime in 2008. Time has flown!


I guess that's enough of an update for now... hope you had a lovely Easter and are enjoying the same beautiful Spring weather that we are! Let me know if you would like to come to Cosette's birthday party! Love and hugs!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tuesday thru Friday - March 15, 16, 17, 18

Tuesday, March 15

Birthday of the Lovely Lady Sara who is my daughter-in-law to be. Mailed her card on her actual birthday despite having purchased it in early February. Because, you know, I have so much to do... *eyeroll*

Woke up with a nasty migraine at three am. Advil helped.

Took Austin to get his haircut. Tasha, Cosy and I had breakfast at the Corner Grill next door while he had his haircut. I had crispy hashbrowns with an egg fried over medium on top. It was good but not as good as the crispy corned beef hash with a fried egg on top that Austin made me last week. Tasha also had an egg fried over medium and hers had runny whites so... she didn't enjoy hers as much.

Went to Rite Aid to pick up meds. Bought two more books for Cosy (ninety cents each) and a new toy for Oscar (also ninety cents). Thought I bought Starburst Jelly Beans (my second favorite to Jellie Bellies) but bought regular starbursts instead. I can't eat the regular starbursts.

The Amish Bakery (formally known as The Country Bake Shoppe) reopened. They close between the beginning of January and the middle of March every year. The bakery opening is a sure sign of Spring. Although we really didn't need anything we stopped by so Austin could introduce Cosy to the lady who manages the shop. She always asks about Austin if he isn't with me. She remembers him from when we first moved here so she was tickled to meet his little girl. Bought a pound cake to celebrate Mawmaw and Pop's 50th anniversary and a frozen lasagna for us to eat while the parents are out celebrating their anniversary.

The nasty migraine kept returning every time the advil wore off.

Pop fixed pancakes and sausage for dinner. It was good but my reflux has returned with an ugly vengeance and I'm afraid it may be because I reintroduced coffee into my life. *sad face*

March 16 - Wednesday

It's my parents 50th anniversary! So proud of their lasting love and the example they live for all of us Gants.

Again with the headache.

Had a day that felt unproductive. Didn't manage to sew for long because my shoulder(s) are killing me. Anxious about the steroid injection in my shoulder on Friday, especially since my hip has felt worse and I've had more trouble walking since that injection.

Reflux continues. Swallowing tums by the handful. I mean, after I chew them.

It's been nice and warm outside. I've been keeping the door to my screened porch open all day and the cats are loving it! Little Kitty has been terrorizing all the local birds and lizards.

Picked Austin up from work and took advantage of the trip into town to stock my fridge again. I'm trying really hard to eat healthier which means more frequent shopping.

My parents went out for dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. I am hoping to do some sort of gathering/cook out/open house things for their anniversary while Bryan, Helen and their baby boy are here this summer.

Thursday, March 17

I'm 42% Irish so... I guess today is my day.

Fighting depression today because I'm just not able to do the things I want or need to do. Most of the time I just accept it but there are times that it makes me feel claustrophobic and unproductive.

I got some great Cosy time this morning since I'm having the shoulder injection thing tomorrow and won't be able to hold her for a few days. I seriously enjoy my time with her SO MUCH! We watched a couple of episodes of The Cat in the Hat. We have a ratty old stuffed one that was somebody's - don't know whose - but it ended up in my stuffed animal zoo. She understood (I think) that the stuffed version and the tv version were the same. She tries to sing along with the theme song. She's just a little sponge of knowledge. Pop always points at his eye, makes a letter C with his hands and points at her to say, "I see you" and now... she points at everyone when she first sees them. And sometimes she will point at Pop and very clearly say, "Pop".

Despite the occasional challenges of living in a four generation household, there are far more blessings than challenges. Think about it... Cosette has daily/weekly contact with her Nana, Mawmaw and Pop, Grandma and Grandpa and of course, two very devoted parents. So many kids have just one parent raising them with maybe a part-time, occasional someone else.

This week some of the things I've bought for her birthday party arrived. I got this huge window cling sort of thing that looks like a medieval castle. I bought a pink table cloth with white polka dots. I bought twinkle lights (even though it's a day time party). I bought a black foam board last week and this week I got the chalk marker set. We'll do a sort of first birthday stats on the foam board, along with photos of her monthly updates. It's coming together. There's a lot of work that will need to be done to turn my Whine Cellar into Party Central but I'm very excited to do it.

Friday, March 18th

Steroid injection in the shoulder. Not terrible but it's about seven hours later and the numbing meds are wearing off and I'm starting to feel some major discomfort.

Pop hung a shelf for me over my kitchen table. It's currently holding my lamp (for that end of the room) (I use lamps for lighting because the overhead lights are fluorescent and give me headaches) some less used canisters, my paper towel roll... cleared up a lot of space on my table/counter/work space. There's another shelf to be hung over my refrigerator. I need to organize my pantry shelf better. These things... projects I want to do and can't complete in one sitting... frustrates me.

Ok... typing hurts. That's the rest of the week for you! Have a great weekend, love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Reasons To Love Monday

I just feel covered by this big puffy cloud of peace right now... like... it was Monday... the worst Monday of the year after the shortest weekend of the year and I feel so much at peace and content and... I even feel productive today!

March 14, Monday
I think my sleep schedule is still basically the same as before the time change. Last night I took my night time meds at 6-ish-pm as usual, had a little light dinner... had my Luigi's Italian Ice - mango flavor... then some popcorn... and I fell asleep at a reasonable hour. I slept like usual... I get two or three hours of good, solid, deep sleep and then wake up off and on the rest of the night until I give up on sleep altogether. Today I gave up around 7-ish which is fairly normal. Washed my face... brushed my teeth... got dressed... did something to my frizzy mop of hair that I didn't flatiron after my last shower so it's pretty much a hopeless cause...

Fixed my coffee (thank you again, Cody and Marquee, for the Keurig. You can count that as my birthday / Mother's Day gift this year. Unless you just really wanted to get me some more of those Shari's Berries. They were UH-mazing! But seriously... having coffee in the morning is nice. It's a luxury!) Fixed the coffee, mixed up my gatorade for the day (I buy powdered and fix about four bottles at a time. I usually drink two a day but it's not full strength gatorade... it's watered down).

I tucked up in my nest to start my Italian lesson. I'm really beginning to believe that I can actually do this! I can actually learn a new language at (almost) 48!  I had a great lesson, feeling more confident in my pronunciation. Then I decided to clean out my craft bins because I have been struggling to find pens that are dark enough to read but not so dark that they bleed through the pages of my Italian notebook. Writing stuff down has taken this to the next level. So I tossed out all the markers that were dried out and no good... made one bin with markers that work great but aren't great for my notebook, and created a bin with lots of sharpies and markers that will look nice in my notebook - soon to become notebooks... as I'm quickly filling pages of words that I'm using.

Next up I called in the refills that I need this week... need to find time tomorrow to pick up prescriptions.

Once I got those little projects done I got a SOS text from Tasha asking if me or Mawmaw could take Cosy for a little while. Tasha had been up sick during the night. I said, "sure... meet you on the main floor". Here's the thing... it's an Evil Gut Pain day. I've had nasty muscle spasms that wrap around and make it feel like your body is being ripped in two. But I had taken the meds that counteract those issues and I actually, at that point, felt better than I was going to feel all day - it was as good as it was going to get today (week/month - however long this round of gut pain sticks around). Cosy was quite content to sit beside me in my big cozy recliner and read books... watch Cat in the Hat on Netflix... play with our matching pocketbooks, sip apple juice from a juice box, put on sunglasses, pretend to put on lipstick (chapstick with the top on)... we sat on the porch swing with the cat and Cosy even patted the kitty GENTLY. She figured out that a hair band makes a great bracelet - she has been wanting Cousin Jamie's bracelets -Then we curled back up in the recliner and grabbed a little nap. Nothing beats having my precious granddaughter sleeping on my shoulder. While she slept I prayed over her... and other family members... and those who come in contact with my loved ones. It was a sweet time for me.

The meds wore off and I'm moving slowly now but it was worth it. Totally worth every ache or pain that comes from picking up /holding /cuddling her sweet little soul.

Then my nieces came over this afternoon after school. We're watching through a Disney show - Jessie - (at a loud volume... kids these days!) and caught up on things happening in their lives. When I am not up to getting out and about, having these people I love come to share my space completely eradicates any possible loneliness. I'm so blessed. So. So. Blessed.

Tomorrow Austin has a haircut scheduled. I've got to pick up some prescriptions...
Friday I'm having the steroid shot into my shoulder. Not looking forward to THAT.
Next Tuesday my mom and I are due for a visit to the local Beauty Shop to get things under control. She's going to New York at the end of the month so she's got to have her hair didz!

I skipped breakfast today... wasn't ready before Cosy came down... didn't want to bother with it while she was here. For lunch I had a bowl of Chunky Sirloin Burger with veggies soup. Had a handful of jelly beans for a snack. Dinner was tuna casserole (made with rice and cream of something soup and lots of cheese) with fresh from frozn corn and beans.

Life has been good today. I'm going to go ahead and post just this one day instead of saving up for a couple of days. Loving Monday here... and hoping to find Reasons To Love Tuesday, too! Love and hugs, y'all!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Venerdi, Sabato, Dominica

Friday, March 11

I watched Nancy Reagan's funeral. It was really moving and emotional for me, not that I was particularly fond of Nancy Reagan. I mean, I didn't think I had any strong feelings one way or another. The Reagan years were my teen years and I was leaning Conservative even then - small government, pro-life, that sort of thing. I thought the whole astrology thing was kind of weird at the time. But I gained respect for her during his battle with Alzheimer's and I was really empathetic with her while watching his funeral. Watching the coverage of her funeral I had a feeling like I was watching the end of the world as I knew it... the last of the Reagan years... the end of my generation's Camelot. There were many familiar faces, albeit aged. Hillary looked so ridiculously awkward sitting between the Bushes and Rosalyn Carter. Hillary was not their kind of First Lady, having none of their grace and sincerity. I found it interesting to watch the reactions of Nancy's son Ron, a noted atheist, during the pointedly religious funeral. He smirked a lot. In a way, he epitomized the difference between his parents' generation and his (mine)... the lack of respect for things that should matter, like God and patriotism. It was poignant.

I had to record part of the funeral because my mom sent me a text to let me know that she was on her way home with Cody and Marquee and Oliver. We expected them on Saturday and I really needed a shower so I set the funeral to record while I grabbed a quick shower. After giving my "community partner" a very detailed explanation of how I modify the act of showering to make it less painful... I took a fast, abrupt, rather painful shower. Worth it, of course, to get a few Ollie cuddles. I wish I had more time with him. Between my doctor visits and my mom's Grandchild Tour of 2016 it's going to be April before I can get away to stay a few days with him. He's so solid and strong physically in comparison to Cosette's petite and delicate structure. She's louder and more "outspoken", if a baby can be outspoken, while he's more reserved and observant. I wish they had been able to play together. I want my grandbabies to be buddies in the same way that I always wanted my kids to. Photos in this blog post are of Oliver on Friday.

Saturday, March 12

Donald Trump. I don't know what to say. If our choices are Hillary and Trump then I seriously worry about this country. Not that I want to move to Canada... although that Prime Minister is much easier on the eye than anyone we've had in office... but I just feel that we in no way are the nation we used to be / ought to be. I don't want to build huge fences at every border but I do think we need to have a closer watch on who comes into our country. I don't think we should ban Muslims any more than Hitler should have banned the Jews but I do think we need to be aware that in the eyes of Islam "we" - Christians/Americans/Westerners are the "infidel" and they are commanded to eliminate the infidel. It's not "hate speech" to be aware of your enemy or to be pragmatic about our security as a nation. I appreciate our country as a melting pot but I believe there should be a definitive path to citizenship which encourages legal immigration for those who want to pay taxes and become contributing members of society. Trump is harsh and rude and... weird... I don't trust his politics. I believe him to be a liberal in conservative clothing but I don't know that the Republican Party has anyone more likely to win versus Hillary and there is no limit to the amount of dislike I have for Hillary.

Sunday, March 13

Yesterday was the most beautiful Spring day you could ever imagine! Cosette went to the park for the first time and loved the swing. Not so much a fan of the slide, however. Tasha posted some cute short videos on her FB page, you can check those out if you're Facebook capable, I don't think they're private. My parents did a big burn of all the accumulated brush and debris from over the Winter. I'm terribly afraid of fire so I had to just stay away from the windows and pretend it was just somebody cooking on the grill. After sitting on the back porch for a bit later on with Little Kitty I think I know why my allergies are bothering me more this year. Little Kitty loves rolling on his back on the porch in the sunshine. He was covered in dust/pollen but his fur is so thick that you could barely tell. He sleeps with me... even for a lot of his many "catnaps" during the day. I think he is pollinating me.

Cosette came downstairs to Nana's for a visit when she and her mom returned from hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa all day yesterday. We were waiting on Austin to get home from work to have dinner and Cosy was a little fussy. She had a busy day. We went out on the porch for a bit and she enjoyed swinging on the porch swing. Then we came inside and she was just a hot, whiny mess... I picked her up and walked her over to my china hutch and opened the doors so she could see all "Nana's Treasures". I have a lot of teacups and teapots and a few treasured heirlooms. I did have my last remaining Smurfs in there until she saw them during our last visit to Nana's Treasures. I let her pick out a tiny teapot that I got from Avon. It's sort of a hard plastic material. It's not completely unbreakable but it wasn't all that fragile either. She chewed on that teapot and totally chilled out looking at all the other special things. I only mention it here because that was such a special snapshot of why it's unique for me to have a granddaughter... especially after having all brothers and only sons... Baby Girls are so different!

Of course, I am also just as impressed by how strong and sturdy and FAST Oliver is... and how adorable my new baby nephew is... there will always be much love for boy babies in our family, too.

For breakfast today I had one of those premade packs of sliced apples with caramel. You pay more for prepared produce but I am more likely to use it if it isn't labor intensive. My weight is crazy out of control. I swear that steroid shot added ten pounds! The more produce I eat / less processed foods I eat, the better I do. So I had the apples and then bagel chips with hummus. I bought the Boar's Head hummus this time... much like the Boar's Head pickles, I find their hummus to be superior to my usual brand - Sabre. It's creamier.

Going to try to sew a bit today. My shoulder wouldn't let me do much yesterday and I did a lot of bending over holding Cosy's hands while she practiced walking yesterday so I don't think it's improved much. I've got a dozen "learn Italian" videos qued up on my Youtube because PBS is having their fundraising this week (aka - nothing decent to watch) and I'm dog sitting while my parents are at church. Thinking about ways to make use of that extra hour of daylight... and I guess that's all for now. Love and hugs, y'all!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Giving A New Blogging Method A Try

Let me know what you think...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
picked Austin up from work
bought fried chicken and macaroni and cheese for dinner
picked up juice boxes for Cosy - orange and apple
also got Cosy some fresh berries to try and these crunchy baby snack cheeto looking things. I normally just give her cheese for a snack but I'm branching out. Snack time at Nana's should always be fun and healthy.
bought four new boxes of Luigi's Italian Ice. The price has gone down from $4.18 a box to 2 boxes for $6. Still too high but it's my thing. I don't drink, smoke, gamble or participate in other immoral activities. Just give me my Luigis.
My legs were hurting really bad by the time I got home and got everything put away. Austin carried my groceries downstairs for me which helped.
I took "the good stuff" to help with the leg pain. I rarely take those meds for anything other than the evil gut pain or the worst of the worst back pain but my legs are swollen and hot and they hurt to the bone. If that makes sense.
Chatted with a former co-worker via Facebook just a little while ago. We have walked this road to disability together and are forever bonded by the experience. She is one of the many reasons that I know God intended for me to be here, in the mountains, despite not being able to live up to my ambitions for life here. There were people God knew I would need to know. She was one of them. I take those "divine appointments" seriously.
The light bulb burned out in the little lamp that sits on my kitchen table/counter. It takes a 40watt bulb but the base needs to be the average size. I bought 40watt with the small bulb base. Makes half of the basement pitch black dark unless I turn on the blindingly bright overhead fluorescent lights.
It's 7pm.

Now it's 10:13am on Thursday. 
I slept ok last night. Woke up with a headache around 3am and took some advil. Got up at six to get ready to take Pop to the eye dr in Gainesville. We dropped Austin off at work on the way. I ate a sweet and salty nut bar on the way and now that we're home I'm having homemade pimento cheese on bagel crisps with some Boar's Head pickles on the side. Boar's Head has the BEST pickles! Closest thing I've found to the half sours that they put on the table at Ted's Montana Grill - which I LOVE! I entertained myself with an hour or so of playing Yahtzee on my phone at the Dr.s' office. It's a huge office with several waiting rooms. I found a quite corner with a comfy couch and kicked my shoes off and sat sideways with my feet on the couch... . so I basically spent my morning doing the same thing I would have been doing at home.

Almost 1pm on Thursday and the headache is back. I'm contemplating sewing for a bit but think maybe I should give my head a break. Tasha ordered pizza for lunch so I had a piece. Not doing great as far as healthy eating is concerned today, am I? Cosy has finally started drinking from a sippy cup. She has been drinking through straws for a while now but wouldn't drink from her sippy cup straw. When I went up to get a piece of pizza she was happily sipping away on some watered down grape juice.

It's almost 7pm. I'm allergic to something that is blooming right now because my eyes started itching and burning like fire this afternoon. I couldn't find any benadryl in my drug stash and I didn't want to take daytime sudafed that close to bedtime meds so I just suffered. Cosy came down and we read books and played and she scooted around on her bum... her current method of mobilization... and walked between her mom and me. I bought her this book called "Peekaboo" that has a little mirror so the baby can see themselves on one side of the page while comparing herself with baby animals. She kept kissing the mirror and then when we got to the lamb she kissed the lamb. Not the other animals... just the baby and the lamb. It was pretty cute! Cody posted a video of Ollie crawling around and thinking about standing up. I posted a picture of Cosy scooting around on her butt. Both are on facebook.

I have an assignment (not really) for my "community partner"... the girl who is in graduate school to be an occupational therapist who is observing me as part of an assignment. She needs to have specific details about how I modify something based on my pain/disability. I think I'm going to describe how showering is different. I think I might share it here... because even though it involves showering I don't think it's going to be TMI. I read an article about fibromyalgia and showering the other day and the details are really more about temperature and fatigue than about being naked and wet. That's the hard part, I think... being wet means temperature change and temperature change makes your muscles contract and that hurts. But that's just part of it. The bending and ... moving... and then all the wiggling around to get dry... that's all expended energy. My shower has about a millimeter between freezing cold water and water poured off the face of the sun so finding the right temperature is tricky. The whole being in the basement which is colder than the rest of the house is great for everything except showering. I run a space heater in the bathroom when I shower but even so... that time period between turning the water off and getting dry... which is a longer time period when you move slowly... is always cold, no matter what I do. I told her I'd try to get it done tomorrow. Today I just feel drained. This has been a much more active than usual week for me and I'm really wiped out.

Now it's Friday morning. I spent a long time on my Italian lesson because I didn't get all the way through it yesterday. I'm coughing like crazy and took some meds so I have medicine head. Cody and Marquee are bringing my mom home tomorrow so I'll get to see my little jolly Ollie. I'm resting up as much as possible today so that I'll have more energy for playing with my babies. I found a dead baby snake in my room this morning. Apparently one of my kitties killed it. Where there are babies there are mamas so I'm anxiously on snake watch today.

I'm going to go ahead and post this... hope you have a great weekend! Love and hugs!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Where Did The Past Week Go?

photo credit: Julie Pearch of Unicorn Photography
I was doing such a good job of blogging and then... BOOM! Done!

I can't even remember what has happened over the past week. There was snow... that was bizarre... I'm posting pictures that I snagged off of Facebook last week when it snowed. Photo credit to Julie Pearce of Unicor.n Photography. I think I live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth and the snow just made it more beautiful. I believe all of the attached photos were taken here in White County.

and I've had two naps because my mom and Oscar (the vocal doxie) are down visiting Cody and Marquee and helping with Ollie... I couldn't go because I had two doctor visits scheduled this week for myself and one that I need to drive Pop to (eye doctor, can't drive afterwards)... so the naps were great but I'm bummed that I couldn't be the one to go visit Ollie...

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography
I had blood work on Monday and a doctor visit today. All my lab stuff was improved, so that was good. Still lots of issues that require monitoring so I go back in three months. For so many things it's just a matter of ... "yeah... that's pretty much what we expect to happen..." see you next time. Not that I expect medical miracles or anything but sometimes it all seems so pointless/redundant.

I got a prescription for the stair lift which keeps us from having to pay sales tax on it. Good to not have to pay the sales tax. Sucks to need it.

While leaving the doctor today I bumped into my brother who was the next appointment after me. Small town and all that.

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography
I took Austin to get his hair cut yesterday - couldn't get in so he'll go back next week. Then we all went to Walmart. Cosette in the toy department is HILARIOUS! All stuffed animals and dolls are "bobos" just like Cousin Ollie is "bobo". I handed her a little baby doll and she immediately kissed it on it's little mouth. She's such a little mother! My boys weren't like that.

After Walmart we went to the Vape Shop. Mixed feelings on that. Austin sees it as a way to cut back on smoking. I see it as a great big unknown risk. Visiting the vape shop takes for-blooming-ever so I was quite the grumpy mum by the time he was finished. I spent a little time in the thrift store beside the vape shop and picked up a few little items for Cosy and Ollie.

Cosette is also really enjoying books. We're sticking with the board books because she can sometimes be a little overly enthusiastic about turning pages. I bought a little Frozen board book and she laughs at the page where Elsa freezes everything. She's got a little mischief in her, that girl. Laughs at that page every time. And then at the back of the book she says, "Bobo"... because we have the Elsa and Anna "bobos" that she plays with. She is also still really loving her little pocketbook. She is a girly girl!

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography
What else can I tell you? Oh, Downton Abbey. I have recorded this last season of episodes but haven't watched any. I wanted to wait until I had the full final season to binge watch. I watched half of the season on Monday and finished it yesterday. I had seen complaints that the story lines didn't wrap up but I felt like it was all hemmed up neatly. Happily ever after and all that.

Now I'm binge-watching Switched At Birth. I wasn't sure that I would like it but Tasha encouraged me to keep going and I'm glad I did. It's no Downton Abbey but it's interesting. I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of my Netflix membership.

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography
I've taken my efforts to learn Italian a step further in the past week. I have been doing the Duolingo app every morning for the past two months straight! I fix a cup of coffee and do all the reviews and the try to go through a few new sections every day while I drink my coffee. I've been doing good but I thought it would be better for me to keep a list of phrases and words to practice on beyond just the app. I've started doing a little review in the afternoon or evening. While I'm using the app if I come across a word I've never seen before or don't remember, I list it to review later. Writing also helps me commit it to memory. I mean, honestly, I will probably never have a need to use any other language, especially Italian, but just like with sewing it gives me a feeling of being productive and ... well, it gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Duolingo is free, by the way, and they aren't paying me to say this but I find it a really user friendly way to learn a new language.

So we went from snow to 70 degrees in a week... Spring time in Georgia... Hope you're all doing well! Thanks for stopping by! Love and hugs, y'all!

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography

photo credit: Julie Pearce, Unicorn Photography

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Another Cosy Dump - Random Wednesday Stuff

Yesterday was Austin's birthday. He bought the best steaks in their meat counter and Tasha did an amazing job of cooking them, along with her special garlic rice - which is awesome. STUFFED.

Today is Tasha's birthday. She requested take out chinese so we picked up beef lo mein, plain lo mein (Tasha's pick) chicken and rice soup, crab rangoons, teriyaki chicken skewers, pot stickers (for me!) mongolian beef (for me) and chicken fried rice (for mama). We ate to the point of STUFFED again. Oh my belly!

Working backwards... I watched Cosette for a few hours this morning so Tasha could sleep in. I love LOVE LOVE every minute with my sweet Cosy. She's inquisitive and curious. She loves playing and she includes us in her play. She's developing an advanced vocabulary for her age because we do use play time to teach language. I am also giving her the word in Italian (if I know it) and English and teach her how to sign the word (if I know the sign). Her communication skills are awesome for a little ten month old girl. She was drinking juice yesterday and I thought she was finished so I pulled the juice box away from her. She made the sign for "eat" and then "more"so I gave her another sip of juice. Paying attention and responding to their primitive communication attempts makes a huge difference in their ability to grasp language as she grows. Their confidence to attempt to communicate grows in leaps and bounds when they know you are reacting to the words they use.

Yesterday the word was "open" and today it was "up"... as in "pick me up". We played today until she crashed in my lap and I spent the next thirty minutes sniffing her head. I love her so much!

I treasure these times with Cosy and wish I could spend as much time with Ollie... although we do *kinda* spend time with him... Cosy loves to watch videos of Ollie and will watch them over and over and over saying, "Ohhhh....bobo...." "bobo" is her word for baby. She also wants to look at her brand new baby cousin (first cousin, once removed) and uses a different tone for him, as if she realizes he's brand new and delicate. Ollie is BamBam. Not delicate.

Anyways... the main reason I wanted to blog tonight was to share something that I look forward to each year and really enjoy and I think some of you might enjoy it as well. Rick Steves (you know, the guy from Seattle that does these great tours, is all over public broadcasting and likes to smoke pot) he holds a tour scrapbook contest every year for participants in the tours that occurred the previous year. He posts all the entries online so for someone like me with wanderlust and a deep love of anthropology - basically I just want to know how other people do stuff, so for me, this contest is great, GREAT fun. I go through every scrapbook. They're just basically websites created specifically for their tour. Here's the link   if you might like to check them out. It's a rabbit hole for me... I go down and don't want to climb back out! For those of us who like to travel or wish we could travel... it's fun. So... enjoy! 

I've had lots of Nana/Cosy bonding time this week and am taking tomorrow to rest and let the aches and pains and inflammation settle down. Right now... I hurt so much! But I got to have some great one on one time with Cosette. She has napped in my lap twice this week. I've changed two diapers (my first two diapers on her... her mom is always here!)

Now I've got to work things out so I can go down and spend time with Ollie. We have so many doctor appointments this month... I'm having the steroid shot in my shoulder - which... if it goes like my hip shot - will make things worse. My parents are going to NYC so I'll be dog-sitting / Austin's transportation to/from work / etc while they're gone. Honestly, for not doing much of nothing, I do a lot.

My nighttime meds are kicking in so I'm gonna end here before I start dragging skeletons out of the closet. Thanks for stopping by! Love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cosy Photo Dump - Pictures Not on Facebook

Nana bought this dress - and two others like it
Dumping some recent Cosy photos... she's ten months old now!

I was so excited about my renewed interest in blogging that I started writing a very detailed blog post and... haven't finished it. It's not time sensitive so I'll return to it. So this is an update on life since I last blogged... last Thursday, I think. Also, I should point out that I have my laptop on my right side and am stretching out my injured shoulder so that the CAT can sit right in the middle of my lap. #catlady

I had a quiet weekend... stayed in and binge watched Nurse Jackie. Started binge-watching Switched At Birth which... eh... nowhere near as interesting as Nurse Jackie. Not sure I'm going to make it through Switched At Birth.

Yesterday I had more dental work. This time instead of taking things out they filled two of my bottom front teeth that were really in bad shape. Four hundred dollars later... I'm closer to feeling like I can smile again. The dental anxiety is getting worse with every visit and I'm having trouble with the numbing medicine. It gives me the jitters and makes my heart race. The hygienist says it's probably the epinephrine (ephedrine? I can't remember which one she said) along with my anxiety and tachycardia. Also... I got a keurig machine last week (thank you Cody!) and I am drinking a cup of coffee every morning. So... cup of coffee + anxiety + tachycardia + numbing meds = feeling pretty rotten. I was really, really feeling ill after I left the dentist and it didn't really get better until late afternoon.

Once I was feeling better Cosette and Tasha came down and we went out on my screened porch - the weather was so nice yesterday! My mom cleaned all the accumulated junk off of the porch so it was nice and tidy and Cosy loved being out there! We took her 10 month pictures and then Tasha went upstairs to clean up their room and bathroom. Cosy had a little juice box of apple juice and some veggie melts and then wanted to cuddle. She went through a period of time where when she was tired she would ONLY go to her mama but yesterday she cuddled Nana and I rocked her to sleep. MELT MY HEART! She slept for about 45 minutes while I held her.

Today is Austin's 22nd birthday and tomorrow is Tasha's 22nd birthday. I gave him money to buy "the best" steaks for dinner tonight, since he's becoming an expert on meat and Tasha does a great job cooking steak. Tasha wants take out Chinese for her birthday on Wednesday so we'll pick that up when I pick Austin up from work.

I woke up today to the worst pain day I've had in awhile. Gut pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, stuffy nose AGAIN/STILL... I took all the "feel better" things I have, things that are prescribed but things that make me kinda sluggish. I'm not sure I'm going to make it to the polling place today which makes me nuts. I knew I should have done the advance voting. Cody was the first in line at his polling place so he got to do the official check of all the machines, to show that they were all at zero. I thought that was pretty cool.

Last bit of news... my parents welcomed their fourteenth grandchild last week, a redhead who is not going to have much of a social media presence. He is adorable, fearfully and wonderfully made and we all love him SO much already! At Christmas this year we'll have three toddlers - 20 month old Cosy, 17 month old Ollie and 10 month old baby red! Life is so different... beautifully different... and I feel so blessed!

Have a great day, Love and HUGS, y'all!

Notice Cosy's favorite things in these pictures... her purse, bottle of gatorade, bobo (baby) that Aunt Helen and Uncle Bryan gave her