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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Zombie Blog !

Wheee ! Both this here blog and me are coming back from the dead ! Whoof. What can I tell ya'll, Summer 2016 has seriously lacked !

Sorry if I made anyone worry. I hadn't been feeling good for a while, so when I got a massive stomach-ache at the end of June, I knew my hernia had come calling, just to make the misery complete. Since it'd been nearly 20 hours by the time I called for help, my primary care Doc advised us to hit the VA ER. Three days later, I had a strangulated hernia operation – it was chewing on some intestine. Ick.

Surgery went well, it didn't even really hurt much. But with all my other health complications, recovery was long and exhausting. Spent my 50th birthday and the 4th of July in Critical Care, with zero appetite and little energy. But my guys were there for me, with balloons and glow sticks and some fun little things I could enjoy from my hospital bed. I was still wiped out when I was cleared to go home nearly a week later.

To make a long story short (too late !), more complications landed me back in the ER with a massive infection and a drain tube that I still have. If you've never had a drain bulb, don't look it up. If you have, then you'll know why I reacted like I'd gotten a Christmas present when my surgeon said we'll remove that Thursday. Hooray !

I'd barely been home for three days when I started having severe, crushing headaches, massive visual distortions, and sleep-all-day weakness. Back to the ER, seems a medicine conflict rendered me life-threatening dehydrated, and I was also taking two other medicines that left me wide open to a 'bleeding event'. That, along with my remarkably low blood pressure, meant another week and a half in the VA's tender care. I was feeling much better even before I was admitted, so this most recent stay was the most boring and restless one. Ever find yourself ridiculously happy when you find an unworked Sudoku in the left-behind waiting room newspaper ? Yes, that bored. At least Beloved Hubby visited nearly every day and often brought ginger ale and small, healthy treats (with my doctors' approval).

I just got home last week, and am finally enjoying some of the good health so many people have worked so hard to give me. Got plenty of rest, double-checked all my medicines and cleared up that last misunderstanding, and gave some thought to a lot of things. I wondered if this blog was worth saving, but ultimately, I missed it too much to kill it, although I may not post as frequently as before. So, with your kind, continued indulgence, I'm back ! I drove to a flea market yesterday and two thrifts today, so you know I'm feeling better.

Hope your summer was more memorable, for better reasons !

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Change out the belt, put her hair up in earmuffs. . . yeah, that'd work.

Oh, yeah ? Well, you're no Han Solo either !
It's a beautiful day today. Warm and sunny – three days ago, we nearly turned the heat back on ! - and the cottonwoods are blooming. At least, I think that's what they're doing, there's thousands of tiny bits of white cotton twirling aloft in the light breezes. It's sort of like being in a snowglobe of Spring.

Had a nice Star Wars moment – first one since the confusion I felt over Episode VII – and I think it told me what I needed to know. That is, where I fit in the fandom. Well, 1977 was a long time ago, and so was 1999, I'm not that dazzled 11-year-old anymore, and I'm far from the dedicated adult, too. Like other things that have fallen away from me, or gone on without me, Star Wars was fun at the time, but there's too much else going on for me to be the fangirl I was. And that's fine.

(grin) My trigger was a Facebook post, oddly enough. It basically said, over a photo of several of 'em, 'The color of the shirt you're wearing plus what you just ate is the name of your new Star Destroyer'. I pity those who choose to defy the will of The Grey Cherries !

And, as a bonus, I watched The Philadelphia Story, presented by our PBS affiliate, and noticed how much Katherine Hepburn's 'Pool' dress resembled Leia's. Wonder if John Mollo was inspired. . . his first job as a costume designer was for Star Wars, and he also did Alien, Ghandi, and Chaplin. One day, I'll snag that 'original trilogy' costuming book, it's a bit pricey.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sushi for supper !

Umm. . .did this doll eat her right arm or something ?
Well, perhaps going shopping at Mal-Wart isn't exactly 'making things happen', but it's better than sitting at home with huge Law & Order characters on the flat-screen, just watching. For the first time since getting out of the hospital, I used a regular cart instead of a motorized riding one – I felt stable enough. We toured pretty much the whole store and if I can outlast that, I'm doing all right.

Nothing new in Fabric, not much in Toys, but I found two sets of Barbie props I liked. Here's the first one, a nice tray of sushi, served with two Barbie Head plates, two sets of chopsticks, and two green sodas. Not bad at all for $2.44 – and the food's not all one color, or the same color as the bowl ! There's one of cleaning supplies, in case the Dream Bathtub needs a good scrubbing with a Dream Brush, and the stairs in the Dream House can certainly use a few minutes with the Dream Portable Vacuum. Or you might want it for another packet that comes with a brown pet puppy and a few coordinated puppy supplies. Hand vacuums come in handy for a lot of pretend doll activities !

For now, though, at least we can answer the question most fans have had since 2013- while Elsa can stomp up a whole ice castle from will and magic, what did she eat all that time ? It's assumed she had WiFi and Netflix, with good reception, too. Still, who would have guessed Marshmallow was an expert sushi chef ? It's true !

Saw my first lightening bug of the year tonight. So pretty !

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Slowly getting back to dolls, not diet. . .

What I thought of when the Dr said 'AFlutter,not AFib'.
Yaay, lost another pound ! If I can get to the next goal, just two pounds away – and keep it down there for at least a week – I get to pick out a new shirt. It's hard to set non-food rewards when you don't know of any dolls, fabric, or sewing tools ya want ! Can use some new clothes, though. I already need a belt for the jeans we bought me last month.

Oh, forgot to mention – part of why I went to the health food store was to check on their soups. The rest was sale cherries and cauliflower – both so tasty ! The VA nutritionist told me that canned or prepared soup was right out unless I was ill, the salt content was simply too high. I've checked darn near every soup there is, some I wouldn't have eaten even if it had been within tolerances, and yeah, she was right. So I wanted to check 'healthy' food options. I found one brand of no salt added soup, and it was tolerably low – too bad it was on sale for $3. a can and even the photo on the can made it look like someone had already eaten it once and didn't like it. I may get desperate enough to try it, but it may be easier to just blow my sodium budget for a day on stuff I know I like. Plus, I've fallen in love with the local Chinese place's Hot and Sour poured over steamed rice. . . oh, it's so good ! Definitely an indulgence.

I'm actually doing fairly well on my diet, but there's a 'dead zone' after dinner and before bedtime that is prime diet fail / snack time. I've decided to fill those hours with some sewing, to keep busy. That way, I can get the housework done in the afternoon, knowing I still have 'me' time in the evening, if my guys don't need me, or if we don't have other plans. Hopefully that'll work out better. While I didn't sew yesterday, I did get the kitchen clean, which felt great ! So I should soon start reporting on dolls instead of diets – gosh knows the dolls are more interesting than my food issues !

With that goal in mind, I found some patterns for ya, freebies, if you bought one of the new 'Curvy' Barbies. Chellywood has a pretty high-low evening gown, along with shorts and a crop top patterns, ready to download and print, on her site – start here for photos and descriptions, and a video on how to design your own patterns for this doll. She has several for the 'Tall' Barbie, too. And dozens for your regular Barbie and Ken !

Now, I just gotta get off my butt and start making things happen again. . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Let's try this again. . .

Sorry to vanish again ! Between all the VA appointments and the 'white coat / doctor visit anxiety' I got giving me no sleep before, and crashing hard afterward, my head's barely been up this month ! But things are finally slowing down, and I feel a lot better - darn near normal ! - so here we go again ! I really appreciate your patience. 

Also this'll probably look different - we had an in-house computer swap, so I'm now on a desktop that used to be Dearest Son's, with darn near all new-to-me software on a really old (Vista !) OS. Bit of a learning curve, ya know. 

This week, the VA sent me a MedicAlert bracelet. Not sure how I feel about that. It's nice though, I keep forgetting I'm wearing it until it clanks against something, like my desk. Had to decode it - I hope whoever finds me in an emergency knows what "HFREF, DM" means ! I do, it's 'Heart Failure Reduced Ejection Factor' and 'Diabetes Mellitus'. Believe me, you don't want me to get into exactly what 'mellitus' means. Ick. Reduced Ejection Factor I always saw as a symptom, but I guess it's more important than that - yours is probably 40 to 55 as a normal adult human. Mine is between 12 and 14. It really is amazing I'm still alive.

In other news at Chez Insanity, we upgraded our gaming systems - we now have a used PS4. That wouldn't matter much to me, since I've never been much of a gamer, even waaaaaay back when 'Pong' was big, when I was half Dearest's age, but we also upgraded the TVs. Dearest got the 'old' flatscreen, the one we just upgraded at Christmas, to play his favorite games on the PS3 he prefers, and I got a H-U-G-E new 40" flatscreen on sale for $150. ! Beloved Hubby totally surprised me, I thought we were getting it for Dearest, but it's now in the Playroom. Half the characters on TV now are life-size ! We even got the switcher so I have the Wii back. I'll be back on the Wii Fit platform this week - yaaay ! 

Lost another pound, bought several pounds of sale cherries (learned that it's hard to find a Subaru in a health-food store parking lot, thank Everything we haven't replaced Subie-doo's bright red hood yet !), still trying to stay on the 'healthy' side of sodium and sugar and fluids. It's a challenge, but it does make a body appreciate the good stuff when she gets it !

Well, I've sadly neglected the kitchen with all these appointments, so guess what I'm up to today ? Hope your Spring has given you some spring in  your step - I want a nap sooo bad. . .

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Happy Star Wars Day ! I hope the fourth was with you !

I'm only here to drive teh Star Wars purists insane !

Sorry I’m late. By the time my VA appointments were over, I was so exhausted, I fell asleep on the Playroom sofa soon as I got home. But it was a successful meeting. I had a blood test before, and all the stuff they tested – sodium, potassium, chlorides, magnesium, and BNP – were all within normal levels. My sodium was even on the low side of the scale. BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) can even reveal how bad heart failure is, and mine tested ‘moderate’. So, not bad. My doc trusted me with just the numbers, knowing I’d look ‘em up once I was home and rested. She’s very good !

I also successfully completed a six-minute walk with good recovery time as part of the appointment, and got some great news. I was sort-of joking that I’m not on the transplant list ‘cause I’m fat. She corrected me – I’m not on the transplant list ‘cause I’m too healthy. I’d have to be much worse to get a slot on it, she said, and that was like a tsunami of relief. Still, I’m kinda addicted to my current regimens (which she agreed with me, the fluid one is nearly impossible to meet, but she said I’m doing well so far) and want to see if I can be healthier at 50 than I was at 35. Shoot, that won’t even be difficult !

So I sort of rested a while. Did you know you can type your name and the word 'meme', and some will pop up on a Google image search ? Once I got through the Dory ones, this was my fave. Then, Beloved Hubby was home ! We’re slowly getting back to normal, and he was even more tired than me, so we made a quick dinner of generic Manwiches with a sprinkle of cheese served in need-to-eat-‘em hot dog buns. They’re much easier to eat that way ! And I even did dishes. Nothing can be more normal than washing dishes again.

I’m also the proud owner of a slightly used slow cooker / crock pot. FIL dropped it off today, since they already have one, and this one came from an abandoned apartment in their complex that they got permission to clean out /claim what they wanted. It’s spotless – but I’ll scrub it up anyway, just in case. Inside was a card labelled How To Use with the simple directions ‘If you want to eat in 12 hrs, use low setting. If you want to eat in 6hrs, use high setting’. That may be all I need to know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Seashell fabric and drawer knobs !

Had enough energy to take Dearest Son to a Game Day – first time since I ‘went down’ back in March. He and his friend O. had lots to catch up on ! O’s sister K. still refuses to acknowledge much less talk to me, and her mom S. noticed it today. We both just shrugged. I’m not gonna correct someone else’s kid if they’re aware and not doing it themselves.

Still felt good after the coffee-klatch – the other moms hadn’t seen me in so long, I was somewhat of novelty, so they actually talked to me – and afterward felt charged enough to take Dearest to the craft store as he requested, to spend his allowance. With a coupon, we were able to get what he wanted for the funds he had, yaaay ! I also found some glittery star-shaped buttons on clearance, a seashell print remnant, and the three remaining drawer pulls my rolling cabinet needed, on half price. Unfortunately, I started to crash at the register, so I bought a vintage style Neapolitan coconut stripe bar. Ate half of it in the parking lot and on the way home and felt better. I’m on a very restrictive diet these days that’s difficult to keep, but I try, and I’ve even lost some weight, so I feel a bit bad about the unexpected candy. I’ll probably carry the rest on tomorrow’s VA appointment, just in case.

I’ve almost completely given up soda and coffee, except for occasional decaf coffee. I’d rather eat my calories than drink them, so most of my limited fluids are ice water, occasionally with a jolt of liquid Crystal Lite flavor. Never thought I could do that, two years ago, I’d tell you I hate water, and it’d be true. It’s always amazed me how fast things can change. Beloved Hubby and Dearest can go out for Big Gulps and Slushies, and even chips, seeing them enjoy 'em doesn’t make me yearn. I’m just glad Sevvy (7-11) has fruit now.

My reward for getting out of the hospital and losing weight was the Hasbro ‘Coronation Change’ Elsa doll. You’ll see photos of her soon, she’s just lovely ! And her shoes almost look large enough to fit at MH doll. Hmmm. . .