Friday, March 15, 2019

It's getting real.

I'm going to have to have major surgery in a few weeks.  After my last surgery on my parotid gland, I said I was never going to have another surgery, but here I go again.  I don't want to, but I have to do something.  My knee is so very, very, very bad.  Yesterday I went to the rheumatologist and reported that I was feeling pretty good, very little pain, then went to the grocery and my knee decided to see how bad it could be.  I barely got out of the grocery store still upright and could barely walk for the rest of the day.  Thankfully, my knee joint slid back into place or whatever it does while I was sleeping last night and I was able to work today. 

We've had a good week this week.  I enjoyed work both of the days that I worked (doing my own job, not my co-workers!) and my daughter and I went on an adventure on Wednesday to get gluten free treats for her and to a goat dairy to get some goat's milk and cheese for me.  It was fun.  She started her new very part time job this week, which I'm very happy about.  It's a good opportunity for her and will help her have something to put on her resume.  She's acting as an assistant to her art teacher, helping the kids find things and directing them to the supplies they need and showing them how to do some of the techniques.  It's right up her alley, getting to use some of her art skills.

Two more good weeks, then a bad week working for my co-worker when she goes on a vacation for spring break and then the surgery.

I'll be glad when that is all behind me.

I am still having fun with my letter board.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Countertops again.

Countertops done!

Here's the link from when we painted them brown 10 years ago.  (My daughter was 12!).  It looked good at the beginning, but 10 years of constant wear and tear and they looked like this.

Then they looked like this, smooth matte black.  We kind of actually liked it. 

The solid matte black was actually a big improvement.  But, now, after 5 hours of sponge painting, they looked like this, ready for the top clear coat. 

And now with the top coat. 

Now all that's left is the caulk.    It looks fantastic.  The top coat has glitter in it, so it's sparkly.  We love it.  I keep running my hand over it, every time I pass by.  :-)   I'll let you all know if we have problems with it chipping, etc.  We may put another top coat on in the future, to ensure that it keeps looking like this. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Life Goes On, It's March!

I'm still working at the hospital,  (Some day I may look back at this and think "Oh yeah, I was still working at the hospital then!")  but I don't know if I will forever.  I like it okay.  I really don't like having to do my co-worker's job when she is out, but I think I'm getting a little bit better at it.  There's a good team of people there and they answer questions and pitch in if I don't know how to do something and together we muddle through.   I feel like I'm saying "thank you" all day long when I work for her but it's necessary, because everyone is so helpful and I still have to ask a lot of questions.  Hopefully, it will get better.  I think this is maybe my 8th day of that job?  I've been in my position for a year and almost a half, but her job, it's really just been a few times since last August.  I hope I don't bug them all too much.  That's my main worry at this point. 

We're still working very slowly on remodeling the house.  I will share pictures of the countertops if we get them done this week.  That's the plan.  So far, we've done kitchen flooring, painted the front door, painted one of the walls that has been beat up by having boys in the house, painted the kitchen and bathroom, painted the baseboards, put a deck box on the porch to contain all of my husband's tools (making the porch look 1000% better), got new living room furniture and rug and entertainment center and pillows and finished our gallery wall.  Still to do is a huge list, including flooring in 4 more rooms  - - - it just never ends when you're a homeowner, it seems.  Renting looks more appealing sometimes but my son and daughter-in-law are renting and it seems that they have to call the landlord a lot about things, so I don't know.  I guess that's just life. 

  I'm looking at knee surgery in just a few weeks now.  I'm going to be doing some prep for that, seeing other doctors and getting lab work and stuff done.  I'm going to make a list of things I want to accomplish while I'm off work, so the time is not wasted.  I want to finish my afghan, do some reading of real books and not just social media, possibly write a book and stay on my diet and lose some more weight.  I hope this list does not all go to pot when I get home from the hospital.  :-P 

Today, I'm doing one of the doctor's appointments and I want to go to Whole Foods and get some weird flours so maybe I can do some better baking.  This week I made weird oat flour blueberry muffins that kind of tasted like pretzels.  I don't really want to repeat that!  They were really, really bad.   So far on my diet, I can have buckwheat, millet, amaranth and oat flours, and I think they need to be mixed together to come up with some kind of flour blend, so that it doesn't taste too much like any of these.   So far, I've tried the buckwheat and oat flours and I don't really care for the flavor of either.  I hope the other 2 are more bland.  Oh, also, I can have soybeans, coconut and almonds on my list, so there are 3 more flours I can try.  I can't afford to buy all of them though, these things are pricey.  I'll see what I can find.

This is just a kind of a "stream of consciousness" post, isn't it?  Sorry, that's just how my crazy brain works (or doesn't). 

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Still dieting.

I've lost 12 pounds, which seems like only a little, but really, it's pretty good for a little over 3 weeks.  I want to lose as much weight as I can to help with my recovery after surgery.   I talked to the nutritionist on the phone yesterday and she added in more foods to my list of foods.  So this week, I'll get to eat peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cherries, yogurt and apparently a ton of seafood, which I don't usually eat, but maybe this week.  I've been living on the same few foods for 3 weeks, so any change kind of seems welcome.  My symptom index has gone down from a score of 65 down to 41, so my symptoms in all kinds of areas have improved.   That's pretty good.  I'd like to go to the doctor and get blood work done and see if my inflammation markers have gone down.  I'll be having a bunch of that kind of stuff done in a month to prep for my knee surgery, so maybe I'll just ask about it then.  Since my mom passed away from Alzheimer's, I'm trying to get my inflammation down, because that's one of the factors, maybe.  (We hear something new every day)  But, my mom had inflammation and fibromyalgia and I suspect she had a gluten intolerance like the kids and I do, so it is a pretty decent theory in my case.   Once I get my knees done, I'm also going to start walking, walking, walking, to try and lower my risks in another way. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

It's still February.

I'm hanging in here.  I'm still doing the diet and I've only added 4 foods back in.  I was able to add grapefruit, carrots, celery, and rosemary.  Only 4 things, but the last 3 of them helped me make a really good turkey pot pie like dish.  I dropped some rosemary on the floor and found out that rosemary is apparently like crack to Freckles.  She kept licking the floor in front of the stove no matter how many times we would clean it.  This is what she chooses to do with her new-found freedom.  (She spent a month in a crate and a cone after her surgery in December).  I've lost a little weight on the diet, but not as much as I want to.   Nothing ever goes as fast as I want it to - especially weight loss.  I wish it was like the old Sims 3, when they would exercise a couple of times and suddenly be skinny and fit!  :-P

The young people are getting into a routine here with D&D at our house on Mondays, Tuesday nights board game nights at a restaurant and Saturday night D&D at a friend's house.  It's not as excessive as it was last semester when they were out 4 nights a week playing games. One less night and it makes a huge difference.  That's good because my son has a much higher course-load in college this semester.  This is his last semester, he's already applied to graduate in May.  I can't believe it.  Of course, it's only a 2-year degree, but it has seemed so incredibly fast.  Soon, he'll be working full time and on his way to pursuing his dreams.   It will be another change, another new normal.   I'm trying to prepare myself because it won't be long after that and he'll be moving out, I'm sure.  I'm not sure how to do an empty nest after all this time.   I'm not sure what my daughter will be doing in a couple of years, but I think there may be a young man in her life by that time, so we'll see.   Several of her friends are already married, one expecting a baby next month and one of their friends who was here last night announced his impending engagement and showed us the ring he's buying!   The 20s are exciting times!

I got a new sign board for Valentine's day and am excited about putting up different signs each week or each month and then eventually, maybe each year as I get tired of it.  But for right now, I'm excited. Here's my first quote.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

It's still February, but it's half gone.

It's funny, January seemed like it lasted about a year this time, but February seems to be zipping by.  I've been focused on this diet and I've also been actively distracting myself from some of the things I'm anxious about.  I'm nervous in advance about my co-worker taking a week off in April because I have to do her job and I'm not good at it.  It's hard and it's stressful.  Then, the following week is the knee surgery.  I'm very worried about that. 

One way I've been distracting myself is by playing the Sims 4 and trying (and failing) at the 100 baby challenge.   I am pretty hopeless because I get attached to the Sims and don't want my other Sim to dump them, so they end up married, pretty much every time.  It's funny how bad I am at it.  Still, it's fun and it's distracting, which is the point.  I've also been watching some movies and reading some books and cooking a lot and doing some cleaning.  I'm only working 2 days a week right now, which is good for my knee, but bad for my paycheck and it leaves me with a bit too much time left to my own devices.

I'm in that stage of life where I do a lot of things alone.  For many, many years, it was me and my kids, going to the library, doing homeschool, watching shows together, doing read-alouds, going everywhere and doing pretty much everything during the day together and now I'm trying to adjust back to doing things on my own all the time.  I kind of hate it, but I'm trying to make the best of it.  They still go with me occasionally to church and one of them has been going to the grocery with me the last few weeks since my knee has been so bad.  It's hard to adjust to the solitude. 

Speaking of reading aloud, this article came up on Facebook today.  It's cool.  Reading Aloud to Your Kids makes them Smarter and Kinder.    If you have kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews, read to them as much as they will let you!  We need a smarter and kinder world.  Here's a link to my personal read-aloud suggestions, every one of which I read to my kids over the years (or listened to on audiobook together).
List of Read Alouds for Teens and Tweens

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Hanging in there, February.

The weather's up and down, raining, snow flurrying, warm, then cold, etc.   Typical February stuff.  It kind of makes it hard to stay in a good mood, at least for me.  But, I'm hanging in here with work and home and preparing for knee surgery (mostly mental prep at this point, but also doing my physical therapy exercises) and I'm sticking to the diet and starting to be a bit more creative with the recipes.  That's giving me something to focus on besides my fear of surgery and my distress at having to spend all the money for surgery and miss all the work and pay while I'm off for a couple of months.
The basics (for me) of this diet, broccoli ... 

On the personalized diet I'm on (LEAP protocol) I have 50 foods that I can eat.  Some of them I haven't even considered eating, mostly the fish.  I'm doing well though.  I think this weekend, I'm going to make bread and cake and try to figure out a salad dressing.  I have made a couple of personal sized microwave cakes this week and it has helped a lot with the feeling of deprivation.  Because sugar ended up on my list this time, I'm not suffering from any carb flu or sugar withdrawal, which helps.   Despite being able to eat sugar, I've lost 7 or 8 pounds and I want that to continue.  I eat a lot of broccoli, cabbage and meat, so I guess that's helping with the weight loss but I definitely need to be careful with the amount of cake I eat.

navy beans ... 
I'm also going to make plans for my 2 months of recuperation.  I plan to try and finally work on the book about homeschooling/parenting I've been planning for a long time, maybe work on my Spanish with Duolingo and maybe I'll even work on the afghan I started about 3 years ago.  I'll have to do something to keep from going crazy!

and beef. 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Made it one week.

Okay, it will be a week this afternoon that I've been on this diet.  Some of my cooking, of course, has been hit and miss as I learn to bake without eggs and with buckwheat flour and goats milk.  I made some passable buckwheat bread and some mediocre cream of broccoli soup.   I'm keeping a food journal and a symptom log.  I think that my sleep quality is improving.  A couple of my joints, my shoulder, and elbow, are not as sore this morning.  Of course, my knees are still horrible and I'm going to have a total knee replacement on the left side (makes me feel so old!) in April, and then on the right knee sometime in the nebulous future.  (I'm going to try to be brave and actually schedule it).   I've been having a lot of nasal congestion this week.  The nutritionist said that some of my symptoms would get worse the first week and then at the end of the second week, I should feel a lot better.  We'll see.

Broccoli soup, made with goats milk, thickened with buckwheat, with buckwheat bread on the side.  It's not really very good, but I can get it down.   One more week and I get to add in more foods.  
No other real news here, other than the surgery news, which I'm still trying to come to terms with.


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