Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Staring at the Ceiling

That's what I'm doing today.

Somewhere in our packing/loading/unloading for camp over Memorial Day (see camping posts here and here and here), I felt like I *might have* strained my back.  Until three days ago, I was still gardening and planting the vegetables, and thinking damn, my back is kind of sore.  Two days ago I took the time to look down at my belly button, which somehow was aligned more with my foot than my chin, which means my usual low back slippage has occurred.
Usually my x-rays look like this, only worse...(image from google--not my actual back)
I tried the hot tub.  I almost moved into the hot tub, I was out there so much, but it didn't help, other than feeling great because water.  I tried Motrin, but even at 800 mg, it didn't help either.  I tried different positions, but nothing relieved it.

By yesterday morning I was in close to the most severe discomfort (barring childbirth) that I've ever been in, so I called my chiropractor.  He is, of course, out of town, so I went to the doctor filling in for him, who is this awesome semi-retired chiropractor who you'd wish was your dad or at least your father-in-law, and I always end up visiting with him forever about gardens and real life stuff.  I love him.  Unfortunately I can't switch doctors, because of the loyalty code with physicians, which means that if they steal take a patient from each other, they are branded with a red letter T on their forehead and forced to walk barefoot through -- no, wait...  Anyway, he wouldn't let me switch.

So, I got out of the hot tub long enough to drive in yesterday, and he did some painful  helpful testing, and told me that yes, my low back is in its usual S-configuration, shifted over to the right, so I look like a grumpy sidewinder.  But the aching down my leg is also pointing to a pinched femoral nerve, so that's new.
Yay, new areas to hurt

I love when people cheerfully try to help, and they're all,"Just think of something else to take your mind off the pain".  When there's this much discomfort, there ISN'T ANYTHING ELSE. *scowls*  You know what would help me forget the pain? Slapping that chipper helpful smile off your face.

Ok, that was uncalled for, but damn.  If you aren't in pain, you can at least be quiet.  And I don't want to hear how "more sit-ups" would help, either.  Just-- be quiet.

Long story short, he adjusted my back and did some pressure point stuff and used an ultrasonic heat thing that I wanted to sneak in after hours and steal from him, and told me "Try to stand or lie down as much as possible.  No lifting, bending, or sitting."  Which is pretty much what I do all day--sit, lift, bend.  So I spent yesterday and today, pretty much lying on my back on the couch watching The White Queen (on Starz.com) episodes and trying to finish a cup of coffee without having to reheat it 50,000 times.  I'm still really sore, but it's bearable, so I guess I should get up and pretend to do some laundry...

It's kind of amazing how boring it can get, when you *have* to lie around, rather than when you are just being all couch potato-y for a day.  I'm typing this while lying down, and it turns out, it's not as easy as it sounds...

At least I'm not missing anything in the garden, because it's cold and rainy out, which it always is in June.  What the heck.  WHY do we live where summer is just July and August??? 


Sorry to ramble, this isn't even that interesting...but it gave me something to do, so thanks for listening.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Our Newest Get-Rich Quick Idea

Shane loves candle light and lanterns, so last night he lit our little propane Coleman camp lamp, because we just got a new base for it, so it won't tip over and burn down the ...tent...when we're camping, or possibly start a forest fire and/or leave broken glass everywhere for me to clean up, because that is SO not relaxing.

Anyway--he turned on the lamp and was trying to put it next to my chair.

Our conversation went like this:

Me:  Turn that off, it's too noisy, and it reminds me of my childhood.  All we HAD was a stupid gas light in the whole downstairs.  Turn it off.

Him:  No, it's awesome.  Turn out the other lights, and we can sit around it...

Me:  No.  I'm trying to cross stitch and I can't see, plus the noise is driving me crazy.  Take it somewhere else.

Him:  Come on...  See?  *turns on Crosby, Stills and Nash from my 70's Spotify playlist and sits by the glow of the Coleman lamp*  We ARE hippies now.

Me:  Ummm.

Him:  Well, or we're...working hippies.  Because we work.  A lot.

Me:  Uh, yeah, that wouldn't fly.  We're like...workaholic hippies.

both laughing our heads off

Him:  Yeah.  We should write a book.  Everyone would buy it because they'd be like what is THIS? I need to read it.

Me:  The Workaholic Hippie.  That could totally be a book.  We're gonna be so rich.

That's how our evenings usually go.

And, I suppose if we write it and get rich, we'll have defeated the purpose, because aren't hippies supposed to be ...not rich?

Food for thought, anyway.  Peace out, man.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Gluten-Free (ish) Life. Sort of.

If you've read my prior posts about diet and exercise (or lack and distaste thereof), you know I started taking a thyroid med last fall, which hasn't made any difference that I can tell, other than...I take a pill every morning.

To make a long story slightly shorter and less mind-numbingly boring, I will update to say that the only thing that has worked for me, in terms of losing any weight (and I have lost 9 of 30 needed pounds so far, which is good, but it comes back immediately if I let up) is this:

Cut out gluten.  Cut out all processed carbs.  Cut out all carbs in general, except vegetables, but not eating much of potatoes or corn.  Cut out alcohol (umm...kind of).  Cut out sugar (except my sour patch because no). Cut out ---

Ok nevermind.

Basically what I CAN have is:  Fruit.  Vegetables.  Meat.  And of those, I have to weigh my portions and limit myself to 1200 calories a day.  THEN I lose weight.  Slowly.

Very cool.  VERY EFFING COOL.   Thanks, body.

What I have noticed, after cutting out gluten and as many sneaky ingredients that contain gluten as possible, is that if I *do* have something with gluten in it, the next day I have a headache and I feel like a useless hangover rolled up in a foggy influenza-like coma.  I've never had an alcohol hangover, but now I can say I get gluten hangovers I guess.  I literally can waste the whole day curled up on the couch reading, or alternately painting my nails and scrolling through Instagram, and then it's like (glances at clock) 2:52 p.m., and I realize "Hey, I should do something today besides nothing.  Or maybe I could just take a nap."
seems legit
Today I feel a little bit that way again.  I did manage to get rid of the headache earlier with some Motrin, but it is 2:52 p.m., and here I am, writing a blog post.  OK, I totally did do some laundry earlier, and I may or may not have painted my nails several times, which matters to a strangely large number of Instagram followers...But I have all these other things I'm supposed to be doing, like planting the garden, or hiking Nepal or solving world peace and stuff, and so far none of THAT is getting done.


But at least my NAILS look great.
My accomplishment for today.  Oh, and I totally solved world hunger.

Well, there's still time to plant today...it's supposed to rain tomorrow and Saturday so that gives me an excuse to REALLY hang out inside and play with nail polish and cross stitch, so I suppose I should go out and try and accomplish something today besides not napping.  (Yay, I didn't fall asleep? Is that a thing?)

Thanks for listening.  Love to hear how any of you have overcome the weird disconnected hungover feeling that fogs up a lot of my days lately...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Of Nail Polish, Dead Chickens, and Garden Fences

In case you recall, I mentioned in one of my last (long ago) posts that I'd fallen down the rabbit freaking HOLE that is Instagram, and into the world of indie nail polishes, so I got side tracked for like six months doing all that.  And, posting to Instagram every morning with a fun/funny caption has totally sapped my mojo for blogging, and then I realized what the heck am I doing? I should be blogging this stuff.
See? Omg, they CAN grow.
So, yeah.


Gosh, where to even start? If you've read my garden posts along the way, you might know that we started building a fence around our vegetable garden about one thousand years ago back when Lincoln was President OK NINE, NINE YEARS AGO WE STARTED ON THE FENCE.  And we screwed in the Very Last Bolt...last...night.  *clinks glass*

The view from the deck.  Finally (hopefully) NO DEER

Which means, it's time to start planting vegetables for real, even though right now, today, is the hottest day we have had in like the last 80 years of June weather, (93 degrees does not happen here in June, people, just...why).  So, I spent yesterday outside, lurking from shady spot to shady spot and pretending to rake rocks out of the new area we uncovered to plant in, and trying to pretend like a headache, dizzy spells, and cold sweats are normal for planting season.  They're not, I'm pretty sure...

I did manage to get a lot of things planted, but there is still the whole other side of the garden to plant, and THAT side doesn't get any shade at all, so maybe tomorrow I'll do that.  Because tomorrow turns out to be the best time to do a lot of things, as it turns out.

This morning I decided to chuck any pretense of gardening and spent the morning painting my nails (which have, yes, survived for six month, due to my finally learning that oil is the secret--more on that some other time), making laundry soap, paying bills, and disposing of dead chicken bodies.  Wait--you didn't have dead chicken bodies in your morning routine?  You should totally try it.  I don't even know why this one died...she was acting all "I'm not feeling too hot" yesterday, which is probably a bad pun, because it was effing HOT yesterday, and I kept moving her into the shade because she was being all wilty and lethargic.  I knew this morning that she'd probably not have made it, and sadly, she hadn't, so I had a little ceremony where I grimace a lot and use gloves and several garbage bags and a lot of wishing there was someone else to do this right now, and removed the body.   ewww

Actually, we had some unknown mystery predator break into our main hen coop about a week ago and violently kill three of my favorite hens, including Pearl, my white Americauna, who was like a pet, so possibly this one yesterday had been injured then, and only just now died?  They weren't eaten, just had their necks stretched to oblivion and left lying around the pen, and there was a fairly small opening pushed up on the roof line wire where whatever it was, climbed UP the fence and pushed out through the top. I had ten, and now I'm suddenly down to six hens in that coop... wah...
Wondering who's next? Hopefully no one...

So, now I'm inside waiting for it to finish getting all the way hot for the day, so I can go outside and pretend to rake rocks and plant more vegetables again while trying not to pass out in the garden.  Or possibly not.  I could just be going to take a nap or work on my latest giant undertaking, which is a 3 x 4' cross-stitched tapestry replica of an actual giant medieval tapestry that I hope to have finished before I die retire.
What the finished product will be...

Where I'm at right now...

So there you have it.  And I promise or pinkie swear or whatever, to try to write more often than every four or six months, because you KNOW so many stupid/interesting/funny/randomly awkward things happen around here way more often than that...I just forget to write them down.

Or you could just get on Instagram and see what I've actually been up to...  *sorry*!

Ok, go back to whatever you were doing.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

So...Spring and Stuff

Whoa...I keep remembering that I haven't written anything since like November, and then I'm all you're such a dork.  You better write something.  People will think this blog is dead.

Well it's not (dead), and I am (kind of a dork) most of the time, but I thought I'd pop in and say hi and yes, I'm still here.  A lot has happened this winter that was decidedly NOT funny, ranging from the truly seriously bad, to some semi-bad/karma-ish "so THAT just happened" events, but most of it was not funny or interesting enough to write about for complete strangers to read.  I should clarify by saying that yes, we have TOTALLY LAUGHED at a LOT of stuff this winter, because we basically don't take anything too seriously.  It's just that most of it is completely inappropriate, and we'd probably get banned from both our families if I wrote it all down, so just never-you-mind about all that.  Besides, you probably wouldn't get any of it.

So I'll just stick to the fun stuff, k?


On the bright side, we have had some very good times since Thanksgiving, like hosting about 60 family members here for our Christmas party, which was a blast, and totally proved that you can put pretty much as many people as you want in any house, as long as no one needs a chair.   It just..works.

And hey, I *do* still know how to MAKE ALL THE THINGS

Aaaaand because we saved some yard sale money from a giant downsizing we did last July, we were able to go on a Disney cruise BY OURSELVES for our 25th anniversary in February.  First time we've been away alone together on an actual airplane in 21 years, so it was totally worth it to get rid of all that random household stuff filling all the closets!   And Shane finally got a window seat.

Best. Trip. Ever.  If you ever consider cruising, go Disney.  Even without kids, it's the most magical way to go.  Maybe espECially without kids...heehee
Disney's private island adults-only beach,  Wish I was still *there* 

We did NOT want to come home.  Not even kidding.

Guys.  After 3 years, 3 months, 4 days and a tax refund, WE FINALLY GOT A CAR AGAIN.  O.M.G.  I may or may not have actually sat in the garage and cried a little.  And possibly drank a bottle of champagne in the front seat.  

Anyhoo...several very nice friends have emailed me separately to see how I'm doing, because the blog's been so quiet.  By which they kind of meant WRITE SOMETHING ALREADY, WE'RE BORED, which is totally sweet.  I'm all about making everyone happy, and it's nice to have responsibilities and stuff, so here you go.

You're welcome.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Nothing (Much) To Report

I'm still here, just not around online as much (as I explained here).  Not that it hasn't been a little slice of heaven (because it hasn't), but I guess you should know what's new here.  So...let's see.

I finally was started on two thyroid medications, which did...nothing.  I took them for two months, and when the nurse called to see how I was feeling, I was like, "I don't feel any better.  In fact...I think I feel worse, because now I just sit around my house watching it rain and listening to the clock tick while I wait to grow old and die."  No, wait.  I did play endless games of Solitaire on my phone, too.

So...yeah.  Not an improvement.

They immediately took me off those (I feel a little better now, and a lot less like I should just move to a retirement home and take up bingo), and they called in a different prescription, which my pharmacy has taken 10 days to get right.  The first two times I drove the 15 minutes over there, just to get the prescription, they "didn't have it" (in the building?), even though when I CALLED them beforehand, they were like, "Yep, we're working on it; it will be ready in 30 minutes". Then they finally DID have it this week, but when I went in yesterday after 10 days, the line was so long, I'd have had time to grow old and die anyway, so I left.  Maybe today I'll try again.

(edited: I DID go over today, and the girl was like, "Uhh, yeah, I don't show anything for that name".  I had a small meltdown.  Right there at the counter.  THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE STOOD HERE AND HAD SOMEONE TELL ME THAT YOU DON'T HAVE THIS MEDICATION THAT I DON'T KNOW THE NAME OF AFTER YOU SAID IT WAS READY FOR PICKUP AND WHY IN THE NAME OF EVER LOVING EFF *claps hand over mouth*    She said they had it yesterday, but they had put it BACK on the shelf because they said it'd been out for 9 days.  Waiting to be picked up..  I just...what.  the. heck.   

This makes no sense.

I smiled and said I would WAIT and tried to remind myself through gritted teeth that it was in no way this particular cashier's fault that I have done this FOUR times.  Not at all her fault.  Zip it.  shhhhhh

All I could think was Well, it's a good thing I'm not dying of some disease while waiting for this med.  *eye roll* Because hello, Wal-Mart, you could have just killed me and I'm pretty sure I'd have a case if I had the energy to be annoyed.

Actually, that's about the only energy I *do* have lately.  Every sentence lately seems to start with "WHY IN THE NAME OF EVER-LOVING EFF ..."   *insert whatever detail here*.

I did lose 5 pounds in a month, but I counted that as due to the fact that we went on the South Beach Diet, which means NO carbs of any kind, and NO sugar.  But yes...cheese.  So I've been living on mozarella and tomatoes and actually some pretty yummy dinners.  Shane lost 24 pounds.  I lost 5.  I'd say that sounds about right.

 Plus, I've been busy because you GUYS.

Nail polish.

Nail polish has taken over my life, and I blame Instagram.  Once a year, when I give up on stop working outside, my nails actually grow, and I go a little crazy.  So I gave myself permission to get on Instagram to look at nail art inspiration, and then I found out about indie nail polishes, so I also gave myself permission to BUY ALL THE POLISHES, which I pretty much did.  So now I paint my nails every day, which gives me something to look forward to while I wait for my prescription to be ready.

If you love nail polish and you haven't heard of "indie polish", buckle up and go check out my new obsession:  Delush polish,   A-England polish,  Live-Love-Polish,  Cupcake PolishZoya polish, Frenzy polish.  I die.  

Oh, and in other news--The other day, I looked out at the pond and I was SURE there was something floating in it, but I couldn't really tell, so I ignored it. Because, why not? My coffee was getting cold, so, whatever it was, it could wait.  Unfortunately, later that day, I went outside, and yes there WAS something floating in the pond.

It was..(ready?) a dead deer with an arrow sticking out of its back.  Floating.  In our pond.  *gags*  I called Fish and Game and was like, "Guys.  There's a dead deer floating in our pond. You should probably come get it."  And the helpful girl on the other end of the phone was like, "Oh, we don't do that sort of thing, but I'll let the officer-in-charge know."  Which was totally not helpful.  She did mention that it IS hunting season, so it's legal for there to be dead deer right now, even if they're floating in your pond, which I guess is good, because I didn't get put on a new list of possible criminals or anything.

(I did take a picture, but it's just too icky, so you'll have to just imagine it, because EW).

Sorry if this sounds more...down than usual.  I'm not really that down, just having a downish month, but coming back UP, so it's all good.

I have to go run some errands now, get my prescription, and come back and paint my nails because I have like 20 new colors that I haven't tried yet.  And there is a guy coming here this afternoon with parts that will fix a basically-still-new dishwasher that we quit using when it broke 8 years ago (just one month out of warranty, sorry), so I won't have to wash dishes by hand anymore every day, which means my life is probably as close to perfect, with some weeds, as it has been in a long time.  Like 8 years.


Friday, October 16, 2015

My "Disconnected" Life

Guys.  I have a confession to make.  Well, more like a statement to make.  Or maybe it's just like a memo that you didn't get yet, which totally hasn't mattered, because you're sitting there all living your life and not really knowing that I've been over here going through all kinds of epiphanies and stuff.  And since I may or may not have lots of words to say about all of it, I also compiled a bunch of fun photos to make this more like a photographic memo, which should make it more fun for me for you.  

So here goes-

I don't remember what the date was, but it was maybe two weeks ago now, when I turned on the internet news and saw that there had been a(nother) college campus shooting by a(nother) demented...I don't even know the word.  For the sake of clarity, we'll just call him a terrorist.  He doesn't deserve any attention.  Anyway, of course I read the story, because the whole entire world drops everything and reads these stories.  And something in me just snapped.

This happened in Oregon, where I have lived before.  I adore Oregon.  Roseburg is one of the towns we always drove through and said "Hey, we should totally MOVE here, because it's gorgeous and quiet".  So, for this to happen there, really just got me.  Plus, he targeted Christians.  Blatantly.  Executed.  Christians.  Which is what I am.  Which means, if we'd moved to Roseburg and sent our oldest to that college (could happen), our family could have been living through this nightmare right now, with all those other families who are living through it.  

I won't try to wax eloquent on that, but I read the first day's worth of news on that story, and I just...cracked.  I'm done.  I don't want to know what's going on out there any more.  I don't want to hear how evil people can be.  I don't want to see the endless debates about whether this was or was not a terrorist attack or how it revolves around gun control or not.  I don't want to see a constant stream of photos of loved ones grieving the sudden loss of a child/husband/fiance/friend.  I'm just...done.

I turned off the internet and walked away from my desk.  I spent a solid week avoiding my desk, except to work.  I had to use the internet connection to run customer credit card transactions and answer emails, but other than that, when I opened the Google main page with that search bar and all my saved page tabs at the top of the screen, I just stared at it for a minute, then clicked it *off* and walked away.

Actually, it gave me kind of a satisfyingly wicked sense of control to decline the invitation of that blinking mouse cursor, waiting for me to click my way back into the harsh reality that is the world today.  Kind of like that feeling you get when you really want a piece of cake but you're on a diet so you grab a carrot stick instead, and you feel all strong and grown up and girl power-ish.

So, I read more books.  I worked on a crochet Christmas gift.  I played with the dog.  I got re-obsessed with nail polish because why not?  I adore nail polish.  I continued with our South Beach diet, which is working and is a story for another post because yay, weight loss!

We went camping, even further from the world of internet and terrorists and in-your-face angst and online trolls (what is with the comments online? Are they even people?).  No cell service for 3 days was heaven.  I sat by the lake with the dog.  We sat around campfires with our large extended family of in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces, and parents and just enjoyed each other and the mountains.  I read some more.  On the way up, I had to call a sister-in-law to ask her why all the flags were at half-mast, because I hadn't heard any news for over a week, and God forbid...what's happened now?  She wasn't sure, so I took that as a good sign that hopefully nothing earth-shattering had happened.  (I think it was for the funerals from the above event).

When we got home, I did get back online to keep my French lessons current, because that's just a goal I want to accomplish.  I  have enjoyed my Instagram account just for nail art and nail polish because, again, why not?  I haven't checked Twitter.  I haven't checked Facebook.  No, wait--I did log on accidentally and see my feed once, and the first thing I saw was a comment by a loved one that just made me want to scream "REALLY??!? You're saying that? ONLINE?"  I composed a message to elaborate my point, then deleted it and logged out. Walked away shaking my head.  I went back outside with my coffee and shook it off by listening to the waterfall and the birds, watched the yellow leaves rain down from our birch tree, and enjoyed that only-in-the-fall juxtaposition of sun on my face and cool nip in the breeze.

Ahh, much better.

OK, in all fairness to the internet and the goodness thereof, I do have a few blogs that I still read, because they show up in my email in box, and this morning I *did* have to Google "how to get the smell of dirty socks out of clean dried laundry" (which is probably self-explanatory, and also gives you a peek into my laundry life that is possibly TMI).

Other than that, I haven't been back online.  I just don't even care any more.  If any good news comes along, I'd be happy to hear about it.  Other than that, I'm just done.  Not hiding from reality, just...blocking it out of our house, which is our haven from the world, and I'm going to keep it that way.

Wow, that was a lot of words.  But then, if you're reading this, you're probably not surprised.

In case you skimmed this just to look at the pictures, here's a pictorial essay that says the same thing, but with less words.

So I turned off my internet...


Yo.     Stop.
My friends, when I tell them I haven't been online for 10 DAYS..."Whaaat?"
Them:  "Doesn't that feel like you're living in a CAVE? How can you TURN OFF THE INTERNET?"
Me:  I already explained this.  WITH PICTURES.

It feels kind of like this...

...And THIS.  But with more laundry and dishes.  And less  beach

Still.  No internet = Very little negative crap in my life.


Still need more?

Hold my calls.  I'll be outside painting my nails.