Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 819

Shrimp, mussels, and squid. Garlic and olive oil pasta in a red sauce with finely shredded Parmesan. Sea scallops topped with whipped potatoes. Princess Love Boat Dream dessert. Add in a beautiful day in Juneau, Alaska and all is good with the world.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 818

My Scooter has been having some fun. She's been zooming up and down the halls and making the rounds on deck.

Scooter's fear of heights (guess that was my fear of heights) that was conquered on the last cruise has still been conquered. I (we) can stand at the edge and look down into the water with no fear. Even though I can't swim anymore because of my lung thing, she still liked checking out the pools. Even though there is no wedding date set it didn't stop Scooter from checking out the ship's wedding chapel.

She even had a grand time getting up and down the steep skybridge to the night club. She may have wanted to try it out at night but I convinced her I would only attempt it during the day.

(Please excuse all the misplaced pictures and late - and possibly absent - postings. I'm using free wireless when I can and it is spotty. We are traveling only with an iPad and I'm having difficulty getting things to format properly or at all. If you don't hear from me for a day or so, don't worry. I'll get you up to date when I can!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 817

Seattle was where we started on this adventure. We're headed back to Alaska. On a cruise ship.

With today being the first at sea day, we've been partaking in the fine dining. Between hubby, me, my daughter, and her boyfriend we've had lots of delicious items. We've been voting on who has the prettiest or most interesting food.

Here are some winners:
An appetizer of duck with blueberry sauce. A cold pina colada soup served in a glass. Mango cheesecake. A too big for me piece of prime rib.

But the most interesting and pretty was what daughter had for dessert tonight. See anything out of the ordinary here?

Yep, can't refer to her companion as boyfriend anymore. It's fiance now. When she discovered the shiny object on the dessert he dropped to one knee and proposed. And she said yes. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 816

Crazy, marrow-sucking lady here. (Help me out - I need a better slogan for what I'm trying to accomplish here than marrow-sucking!)

Sitting on a balcony, taking pictures. But from where?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 815

It started out as a way to get hubby back up on that horse that bucked him off (metaphorically speaking). Unfortunately, even after these past few weeks of physical therapy he still isn't strong enough to follow through on what he originally set out to do. But he's still calling it his Redemption Tour.

Then it became about our daughter who turns 25 in a little over a week from now. Big, grown birthday girl, another semester of college and another year of work (and another raise) under her belt.

Then her boyfriend asked us if he could marry her. Although there is no engagement yet, it became a family thing that included the boyfriend. Probably a last chance to do it all together before an engagement, a marriage, and a baby or two.

Then it became about me. A direct order from the doctor not to do it. But now that I have scooter and won't be hiking and walking like I did last time, he has okayed it. (I'd like to call it my suck-the-marrow-out-of-life-tour but that sounds gross.)

There is a reason I bought a scooter called Travelscoot. And that reason begins today. Stay tuned to see what all the fuss is about.

Before it starts, a picture of one of our miniature roses ready to bloom.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 814

I don't necessarily want to admit it, but this blog is important to me. It isn't so much the blog, but the comments people post. Every day I look forward to seeing if anyone responded to my picture or what I wrote. I'm not good about posting back, but rest assured I read every single one. That might be a sign of insecurity, looking for approval/validation from others. I tell myself it isn't important - what people think - but it is.

But the comments about my photos (particularly on the flower ones) have stirred something else in me. I've been thinking about all these pictures I take. Some aren't so great, but some are pretty darn good. So scrap the whole, It's Sew Idaho thing, at least temporarily. Time to focus on the photographs. (Not like I haven't already. 814 days in a row of pictures should count for something.) But I want it to count for something bigger. So for the second time in the history of this blog, I have a new camera.

Crazy, right? This new digital camera will allow me to use my lenses I purchased ages ago when I used a film camera. Better quality, sharper images. Can't wait to show you what I'm about to do with it.

You'll have to wait just a bit more. In the meantime, take a look at the upgrade. Looks like they're in a standoff.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 813

(I write this with my daughter's permission.)

I wasn't all that happy when I saw my daughter's college report card.

Intro to Sociology  D
Law of Arrest Search and Seizure D
Music Appreciation  F
Environmental Science  F

But that was five years ago.

Now that daughter, the one who decided to take a semester of classes this spring, has a transcript that isn't quite the same. Maturity, time, and the working world has changed our little girl into a mature woman. How do we know? Check out her grade report for this semester of college.

Same classes

Different outcome.

Way to go Miss 4.0 kiddo! We couldn't be any prouder!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 812

Ever heard of Basque nachos? Well, you have now. Instead of ground beef or chicken, we have chorizo on top. From Moxie Java (not Alejandra's).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 811

Hello my good friend. I've sure missed you.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 810

Another poppy popped.

The outside.

The inside.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 809

I wonder how poppies got their names? I think it might be because the pods are closed one day and it seems like just the next day they've started to pop.

The plain red poppies are popping out. I went with two views of the same one. A regular view and a very close up view.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 808

What does Alejandra's call the meal that includes two tacos, two enchiladas, two chile rellenos, a tostada, a tamale, a zope, beans, and rice? They call it Happy Family.

I call it Too Much Food for Two People.
Can you believe all of it only cost $14.99?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 807

Recently I was thinking about stopping my blog at Day 1000. I was getting tired, I felt like my pictures were getting old, my writing getting stale, my life getting boring.

But then this lung thing happened. And then I realized how much of a gift this blog has been to me. Only by looking back on my last 800 days can I truly appreciate my life. While appreciating what I've done is great and all, I'm not done living. I want to live and I want it to be big.

I know sitting with my feet up might not seem like it would contribute to living big, but knowing they're up while I'm sitting through my infusion makes it so.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 806

As I sit here typing in my recliner with my feet up, a thought occurs to me. Is there anything cuter or more peaceful than a sleeping baby?

Yep. A sleeping cat that keeps changing positions every few minutes or so.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 805

It could be one of those how many _______ does it take to change a lightbulb? kind of jokes. But it's my life and it's not funny. But it was a hoop I had to jump through to get the insurance to pay for oxygen.

How many wires attached to Deb's head, all night long, does it take to determine her breathing patterns?
A lot.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 804

While my pictures are changing every day, there is one scene that reappears every single day. And not just once. Dozens of times.

Here's how it works...
I'm sitting somewhere - at my desk, my chair, or maybe my dining room table. Minding my business, doing my thing. At some point I need something from another room. Maybe a folder, a glass of water, maybe I need to go to the bathroom. I jump up, feeling great (still no pain), and head to where ever that other thing might be. Once I get to that other room is when it happens. The same conversation with myself. (FYI- the H-H-H in the conversation is me panting and gasping for air.)

Oh my H-H-H goodness H-H-H why H-H-H can't I H-H-H remember H-H-H to H-H-H move H-H-H slowly H-H-H?

Every single time.

The doctor told me to do everything very, very slowly. But geez whiz, I feel great and I want to move. So I keep forgetting. Again and again and again. Guess I'm going to have to take my time if I'm wanting to live deliberately to suck all the marrow out of life.

But I'll be letting someone else worry about the bulbs, strawberries, daisies, and peonies. Just today I sent out the all-call for folks from work to come and dig what they want out of my garden. I gotta keep a few of my peonies, but there are plenty to go around.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 803

I am so embarrassed about my rose garden. My untended, neglected, sorry-looking rose garden. The poor thing. The only time I stepped into the garden this year was to count rose bushes that needed to be dug up because of the too-cold winter temperatures.

Until today. I first took this picture. Embarrassing.

But thanks to my daughter and her boyfriend it looked like this by day's end. Not embarrassing.

The pile of rosebushes and weeds, stuffed in boxes and bags and trash cans. 16 rosebushes had to be dug out in all. Sad.

Then tonight, something sort of embarrassing. An award for me at the school board meeting. It's nice to hear nice things said about you. It was also nice to have hubby and daughter and her boyfriend along for the presentation. My boss took a picture and told me it could be the picture for the blog. Me, in a picture?

Nah, don't think so. But thanks to everyone I work with for making me feel so appreciated!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 802

This could be my picture for the day. Grilled hot dogs with grilled red pepper and onion relish, eaten out of the back of our car in the driveway. I'm not a big hot dog fan, but hubby's concoction tasted pretty darn good.

But this picture of something landing on me while I was sitting outside is more Mother's Day appropriate.
Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 801

I haven't even had my new scooter for 24 hours and hubby has found a new use for it.

Spray truck.

Quite the sight with me driving and him spraying. Can't imagine what the neighbors might be thinking!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 800

How appropriate that on a milestone day - Day 800 - that a quote is on my mind. A quote from Thoreau, but also a line from the movie Dead's Poet Society.

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

As I've been coming to terms with this new diagnosis, I've decided to have a much better attitude than I've had with the arthritis. It's not all that hard. If I can handle 10 years of constant pain, I can certainly handle this. Yes, my life will revolve around a scooter. But it is time to swallow my pride and just do it.

I'm ready to live deliberately and suck out all the marrow of life. I have some more responsibilities at work next year and am excited about it. I'm clearing things out of the house like crazy and am excited about it. I have quilts planned and new books planned and am excited about it. I have a trip planned with hubby, daughter, and boyfriend and am excited about it.

As to quote another movie line from Dead Poet's Society, carpe diem! (Which means "seize the day", but should mean "my scooter arrived today.")

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 799

Have you ever had a doctor call you personally to tell you test results? My pulmonary specialist did today. So yes, paralyzed diaphragm, yes there will be a significant lifestyle impact, no it will never get better, yes the oxygen monitor I wore the other night show my oxygen level drops way too low, no the insurance won't cover the oxygen machine I need unless I have a sleep study and then use a CPAP machine first. No, no problems with bloodwork. Oh, and would you like me to call you with the results of the sleep study or would you like to come in and visit about them?


After months of trying to get answers, months of doctors and physician assistants and nurses and secretaries dismissing my concerns about not being able to breathe, of not returning calls, and in some cases never letting me know how test results turned out, it sure is a breath of fresh air. (Pun intended!)

Fresh like tulips.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 798

I don't know if anyone is in their right mind to make smart decisions at 5 AM, but I went for it. I woke up and decided to kill the garden.

We bought seeds months ago. We had high school kids plant them in the greenhouse. And we waited for me to feel well enough to clean up last year's garden. Clean it up and plant it.

But that "feel well enough" day hasn't appeared. Actually, that's inaccurate. I feel great. Better than I've felt in years. Those infusions have knocked that darn arthritis right out of my system and there is no pain in my body. It has been replaced with a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eye. Every day I'm up early excited for the day.

But I can't move much without losing my air. Heck, I can't even walk to the garden space let alone work in it. Knowing I won't ever be able to catch my breath is what lead me to the decision. The killing of the garden decision.

Although right now it's more of a killing the weeds decision.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 797

On a stop at Sonic for lunch (Did you know they had grilled cheese? Yum.) before I headed to another appointment at the hospital I came across this gorgeous tree in bloom. I can't believe now, with almost 800 consecutive days of taking pictures behind me, that things are still awe-inspiring to me.

Life is good, ya know?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 796

The fluroscopy test I had on my lungs today confirmed the pulmonary specialist's preliminary diagnosis.

My diaphragm, that muscle that pushes air into and out of my lungs, is paralyzed.

I left the hospital, thinking about life and looking up at the clouds. What else is there to do when you know life will never be the same?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 795

Taking close up pictures of the tulips has gotten me thinking about how much things look different close up. I could go on about how it applies to my life right now, but I will restrain myself.

But I'm not restraining from (trying) to take a close up picture of something else, my hand after painting the steps at the Boise place. Yep, I over did it but yep, they look good. (My hand? Not so pretty.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 794

There's no keeping me down. I just can't sit still all day. Case in point, this mess from the estate sale I went to in Boise. The one where I put everything on the floor of the bedroom. On Day 743 it looked like this:

Now look at it today. Most went to eBay but I saved a few pieces for myself. With the addition of the cubby shelves things are coming together nicely.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 793

Let's have a lesson on lungs today. More of a lesson on the diaphragm. 

The diaphragm sits below the lungs and is the major muscle involved in breathing. It contracts and relaxes, forcing air in and out of your lungs. When you breath in, the diaphragm flattens out and lets air in your lungs. When you breathe out, it expands and forces air out of your lungs. A diaphragm also acts as a barrier between the chest cavity and abdominal cavity.

There is also a nerve that runs through your chest that makes those diaphragms work. That nerve can be damaged by a virus. That nerve damage can cause the diaphragm to be pretty much be stuck in the expanded state, pushing into the lungs permanently. No contracting in and out, no air in and out. That diaphragm can also lose its job as chest/abdominal cavity barrier and wind up carrying the liver and other abdominal organs into the lung cavity with it.

So thus is the lesson of the diaphragm. And the preliminary diagnosis from the pulmonary specialist. I have a few more tests lined up next week to confirm.

The good news? It shouldn't get worse. The bad news? It won't get better. There are some treatments, but nothing guaranteed. I've been told to do everything very slowly. Keep the walking down to a minimum, stick close to home. Even suggested a scooter to get around. Not what I had in mind.

Also what I didn't have in mind? A CT scan of my lungs that looked like this. You can see that doggone diaphragm clogging up the lungs. No wonder I can't breathe!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 792

Hubby has been lamenting the state of our roses. With the coldest winter in years occurring this past season he has reason to be worried. I finally took myself a little stroll through the rose garden.

Pretty ugly. Looks like close to a dozen rose bushes have bit the dust. So sad.

At least I still have gorgeous tulips. I love the stripes in this one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 791

I like mustard on my hot dogs and hot mustard with Chinese food. As much mustard seed growing around here I won't be going without anytime soon.