Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 760

Happy Easter! Says who? Me.

And the cat. (At least that's what I think she is saying.)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 759

I'm not a big fan of chocolate. Yeah, I'll eat it, but it certainly isn't my go-to snack. Heath bars aren't something I care for either. But today hubby made some brownies with Heath pieces melted over the top. Oh, my. Now I can learn to like these!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 758

Looking at my front flower bed it's clear that it was a cold winter. Looking pretty bare out there.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 757

I made that call. Cancelled my books for the blind training. Made me sad to do it, but it had to be done. My health is spiraling downward and it is getting difficult to maintain even the little bit of normalcy I have. It seems like every time my health hits a low it winds up being a lower low than the time before. I've got to be hitting the illness rock bottom pretty darn soon. (Funny though, I thought all those other times were rock bottom. What little do I know!)

I managed to do two things today. Take a super long nap (didn't wake up until 7 PM) and box up things for eBay. I was able to squeeze most things into the boxes and packages I had, but I lost the battle of trying to get the orange fabric in the box.

Tomorrow is a new day and the fight will begin again. And I'm not just talking about fabric.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 756

I have a dreaded phone call to make. I've been putting it off all day, even putting it off until tomorrow morning, all because I'm hoping for a miraculous recovery.

It started with difficulty getting up out of bed. A having-to-hang-onto-the-walls kind of difficulty. Then there was the feeling of shaking on the inside. Then hands not able to grasp things. One full day of dropping everything I picked up. The culmination of all those symptoms didn't necessitate a call to the doctor, but yesterday's trip to the vet's office did.

Me, the driver. Me, the person who got carsick. (Who gets carsick when they're driving?) That's when I knew something was up. Add in the inability to focus, the hard time finding the right word, and those ceilings and walls that won't stop moving.

According to the rheumatologist I fall into the 2% of people that suffer such reactions due to the infusion medication. Like vertigo. Miserable, dizzying, nauseating, can't keep my eyes open long before getting sick vertigo. They tell me it should get better.

It better get better. That's why I haven't made that phone call yet. The one that cancels my training for my books for the blind work. Tomorrow is supposed to be my first training session. Last week's was cancelled because of the trainer and now I'm afraid I won't make this one. I can force myself through fatigue and stiffness and pain - I have lots of practice with that - but I can't force myself through nausea and dizziness.

I want to go to sleep and wake up normal. (Or at least as normal as I'll ever get.) In the meantime kitty is keeping me company.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 755

We got her in. Not easily, but kitty got in the carrier.

But leave it to me to have the little zipper at the top open, the one with an opening just big enough to put my hand in. For when I put her in the carrier, zipped her up, headed to the bathroom one last time before we headed out the door...she squeezed herself through that tiny opening. Not her whole self, just her head and front legs - and proceeded to get herself stuck. She couldn't get all the way through the opening (big ole belly) and she couldn't back herself out either. After lots of yowling on her part (and almost some tears on mine) and maneuvering of body parts it took something as simple as me blowing air on her face to get her moved back into the carrier.

Those weren't the only yowls of the day. Her crying all the way to the vet. Her terrified of all the dogs in the place. Her hissing when she got a shot. When it was all over, she was oh-so-happy to get into the carrier. Finally, after the poking and prodding she had a somewhat familiar hiding place from everyone and everything.

Despite all the howls and yowls and crying and hissing, she was a good girl. Especially since it was the first time she left the house in 10 years.

We felt quite relieved that despite our veterinarian neglect, kitty is in good shape. Other than getting a rabies shot, she's good. Her balding patches have been explained  too. It's "psychogenic alopecia". The stress of the other cats that she's recently been seeing and hearing out the window has caused her to overgroom which has led to the bald patches. Other than a bit funny looking, it isn't anything to be worried about.

In the vet's office, I found something else a bit funny looking. I might be more worried if I had this overweight one to deal with.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 754

We're getting closer...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 753

If there ever was any question about why kitty sits in the basket on my ironing board, it was answered today.

Just look at that sunshine streaming through the window!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 752

As much time and money hubby and I spend with doctor's appointments and tests and xrays and MRIs and prescription medications you'd think we'd give the cat the same treatment. But we have to fess up. We don't take the cat to the vet. We did when she was little but haven't had her back in years and years.

We know it's bad. We love her and feed her and brush her and play with her but we just haven't found our way to the vet's office. That changes next week when we finally get her there.

It's the getting there that has always been worrisome. Being that she never travels in the car I'm a bit concerned. Daughter and I bought a cat carrier this past week to give her a comfy place to hang out. Soft-sided, a long strap for me to carry it over my shoulder, a nice soft bed for kitty to rest on.

Trying to introduce her to the idea isn't going as well as I thought it would. Not that I haven't tried to get her interested! You can see the progress I've made.

 Empty cat carrier.
At least I have until Monday to get it figured out. Might be time to pull out the treats.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 751

Last night my daughter asked me if I ever get tired of taking a picture every day.

Yep. A lot. Almost every day. So many days I just don't have anything exciting going on. Nothing exciting to see, nothing exciting to do. Just the same thing, just a different year. But then there are days where I get to do something a bit different than my normal schedule and get to see things in a different way.

Take Idaho's State Capitol building. Back on Day 170 , after over 30 years of living in Idaho, I first stepped into the building. Got a picture, even.

Then today I had another meeting right next to the Capitol. Seemed like a good day to take some additional pictures of the outside. How can I not feel important being able to see this before and after meetings?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 750

Still hanging out in Boise, keeping quiet. And organizing all that fabric from last week. Thanks to my mom and daughter and their help some is ready to head to eBay, some to Marsing, and some will stay put right here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 749

Being that the rheumatologist's office is a lot closer to our place in Boise than our place in Marsing I'm hanging out in Boise for a couple days. Just in case. According to the nurse I could have a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction up to 48 hours after the infusion. Better safe than sorry!

It did give me a chance to get late afternoon pictures of the thunderstorm rolling through.
That's black sky behind the tree, not blue sky.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 748

I never blog at the exact moment something is happening but today is different.

First of all, I thought I'd be able to talk about my first training session - as an editor - on my uphill climb to being a narrator for the books for the blind. But the gal training me had to cancel so here I am writing about the next scheduled appointment of the day.

I sit in this room.

I sit here in this row of chairs.

Hooked up to this machine. Feet up, blanket covering me, blood pressure cuff on one arm, IV in the other.

Other than the nurse sitting at her computer and the folks, mostly staff members, walking by the room and glancing at with me with a look of pity and forced smiles on their faces, I'm alone. Yet it's not quiet. The noise of the machine pumping the multiple vials of medicine that was injected in the IV compete with the conversations of doctors and nurses and patients in the hallway.

I crossed one of those last lines I drew in the sand. I'm running out of options. I've crossed the steroid line, the chemotherapy line, the pre-filled syringe line, the measuring the medicine and then injecting myself line, the anti-malaria drug line.

Today I crossed the infusion line. I sit here with thousands of dollars entering my veins in the hope of gaining some relief in the rheumatoid arthritis battle. It's a battle I've been losing. But maybe, just maybe...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 747

It seemed exciting, it seemed a fun way to keep myself busy. Patterns, patterns, patterns. Except when I hit that imaginary wall today, that one caused by the chemotherapy drugs, it didn't seem so fun and exciting. Seemed like nothing but work. Time to refocus my mind, to concentrate on trying to find some energy. And time to organize patterns.

It will get better! (If I tell myself that enough it eventually will.) Just not today.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 746

I started out buying some cheap patterns to get an idea of styles. It's now turned into a little obsession.

Okay, big obsession.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 745

My question was going to be moth or butterfly?

I think the more fitting question should be are my blinds dusty or dust-free?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 744

My daughter gets on me a lot about her car. She has my old car but it seems every time I see it I keep referring to it as my car. So it was no surprise when I dropped her off that she made a remark about her car. I thought it was her attempt to remind of whose name is on the title.

Nope. It was an attempt to show me that someone else was trying to possess her car.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 743

Me + estate sale leftovers from a lady who sewed = the floor of my bedroom in Boise.
What was I thinking?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 742

I could have kicked myself this morning for not taking a picture. There I was, driving down a busy Boise street on my way to a meeting and came to a dead stop for a couple crossing the road.

A couple of ducks, that it. A male and female, crossing five lanes of traffic at 8:30 in the morning. I should have grabbed my camera then. But the conscientious driver in me decided against it.

No worries, though. As soon as I got back to our house in Boise, guess who was walking down the middle of the street?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 741

This afternoon was too important not to get it right. This afternoon, next week, and the week after that and the week after that and the one after that and the one after that. Just too important. I want it too bad. That recording booth is calling my name and I'm going to have to work darn hard to get there.

When I was in elementary school I used to get to help at the school next door. This was when students with special needs were placed in a separate school. Me, the good ole' smart girl, the one who finished my work early - with few mistakes - and always needed more got to go next door to the school and work with deaf students and blind students. I learned sign language; I learned braille.

It was that experience that made me want to teach the deaf when I grew up.

I headed to college, took my undergraduate classes, took sign language classes, all the time knowing I would be a teacher of the deaf. I took a job teaching second grade, knowing someday I would be teaching the deaf. After several years I moved onto teaching fourth grade, knowing someday I would be teaching the deaf. I moved to a position outside the classroom, thinking someday I might teach the deaf.

And now here I am, forty years later since that first thought of what I wanted to be when I grew up and twenty years since I started teaching. I've just recently come to the realization that I won't be teaching the deaf.

But I found a way to bring things full circle and make sure I don't give up on my dream completely.

The Idaho Commission for the Libraries was looking for volunteers for their talking book program. This is a program where written materials are recorded and then distributed to the blind, kind of like a book on tape program.

So today I had my first interview. Being I'm totally inexperienced in a recording booth I'm going to be working my way up the ranks. I will start by editing the recorded materials for a few weeks (or months). Then I get to move up and work with the narrator, editing their spoken word as they go. And then, and only then - and after a voice "audition" - will I be in that booth. Alone in front of the microphone.

Narrating books for the blind.

It might not be teaching the deaf, but I can sure live with it. As close to a dream come true as I will probably ever get. Makes me want to work even harder to get to that booth!

Today's unrelated pic is another quilt top I'm working on for charity. (Obviously for a girl.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 740

Gigante. Spanish for gigantic. Synonyms include giant, huge, enormous, colossal, gargantuan, titanic.

Or we could use my synonyms. Holy moley. Geez whiz. Oh my gosh.

Or as hubby discovered tonight, fork-bender.

The Gigante Burrito on Alejandra's menu. Just compare the size of that burrito to the regular-sized fork in the background. Such a big burrito stuffed full of ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, beans and rice that the fork bent when hubby was tackling it.

Our second menu item was a freebie from the lunch menu, a cheese enchilada. How do you get a freebie from the lunch menu? It just so happens that Alejandra's has punch cards. Eat nine meals and you get a free item off the lunch menu. Yeah, we never have to pay for lunch menu items.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day 739

Making a bit more progress on a charity quilt.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 738

Wanted: Cat who thinks she deserves to breathe the fresh air on the first day I opened a window.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 737

I feel a bit guilty that we haven't even started thinking about the garden. Haven't thought about pruning, haven't thought about planting. Haven't thought about the grass or the patio. Haven't even thought about starting to get things out of the shed.

It's a good thing, though. Otherwise the windstorm we had might have carried something high up into one of our trees. Kind of like the big blue tarp way up in the neighbor's tree.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 736

I'm typically a keep-it-neat person at work. My desk is organized, my files are color coded. But when I have a gazillion projects going on all at once, my desk reflects that.
Make that a gazillion plus one.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 735

I don't know why all the criss-crossing branches in our backyard tree struck my fancy today, but they did.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 734

Just when I thought all burritos looked alike and tasted alike, Alejandra's proved me wrong.

Their veggie burrito

Their beef fajita burrito

The combination of the two were as close to burrito heaven as I'll ever get.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 733

Why, oh, why do I shop on ebay? Because I can get great kids fabrics for a very cheap price. Just look at the batch that came in the mail today. Cost me less than a dollar a yard. Can't beat that!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 732 - Hello Year Three

Today begins Year Three.

Last year when I started Year Two of the blog I had this grand plan that I'd be riding my exercise bike miles every day. Enough miles to add up to a "trip" across the country. Somehow that fizzled out without me even realizing it (or doing much about it).

So here I am beginning another year. No grand plans this years, just some things I know will happen, some things I suspect will happen, some I hope will happen and some I fear will happen.

This year I know I will:
  • continue to make more quilts for charity, turtle pillows for charity, and stockings for soldiers.
  • begin infusions treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. (Finally approved by insurance, my first one is coming up is March 19.)
  • publish at least two more books.
I suspect:
  • my daughter will be getting engaged.
  • I will move from a part-time worker to a full-time worker.
I hope:
  • hubby and I can do some traveling.
  • I can get some of this extra weight off.
  • I'm able to get my It's Sew Idaho business off the ground - and that it becomes successful.
I fear:
  • I am in for a year of additional health problems. I don't know what they are, but I'm starting the year not feeling too good about things. Could be me, could be hubby. Crossing my fingers for everyone to be healthy.

I started on my "I know I will" list today. Have a bit more of a charity quilt together.

Happy beginning of Year Three to us all!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 731

I am bummed about what I just realized.

Today is the end of year two of this blog. If you remember, the plan was just to go for 365 days (which turned into 366 because of leap year). Which then turned into year two.

But the bummer part is that after two years - two years of sewing and baking and crafting and going back to work. Of tutorials and coupon shopping and roses and snow. Of a cruise to Alaska and buying a new house in Boise. Of multiple injections and prescription medications and doctors appointments for me. Of hubby losing his mom, of hubby having kidney failure. Of me publishing my first book and our daughter going back to college. And if that wasn't enough - and I wasn't overweight enough - of gaining even more weight with the last several months of steroids.

With all those highs and lows, I feel back to where I started. The doggone rheumatoid arthritis is getting the best of me. Add in flu and sinus infection and bronchitis and a third set of antibiotics that hasn't made me feel much better.

Thank goodness I've documented my life over these last two years because if I hadn't, I could swear I've done nothing and seen nothing. I know my life is better today than two years ago, but right now it sure doesn't feel like it.

Sleep is my number one priority right now. I can't keep my eyes open but for a couple hours or so. I've got to get over this bug so I can get moving on these pieces of quilts tops that need to be put together for charity.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 730

Still a sicko here. I was hoping tonight's picture was going to be from the ice hockey game hubby and I were going to. But I had to cancel my attendance, and thankfully daughter's boyfriend is able to go and is taking my spot.

So how do you find something exciting when you feel like a blob of icky-ness? It's hard. My life is being lived in short chunks of time right now. Nap. Get up for a couple of hours. Nap again. Up again. All day long.

So today's picture winds up being of something I see a lot. The curtains I made the other day for the new bedroom in Boise. (I still haven't figured out the whole picture upload so the picture was taken with the iPad, but then I had to take a picture of that picture with my phone!)