A Little Chaotic

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These past few weeks have been barely controlled chaos for our families. Heart surgery in one, broken pelvis in another, then I’m having trouble with double vision. Just a lot of medical stuff. Some of it is still up in the air, but I’m confident that we’ll get it figured out.


Sewing

I wrapped up sewing classes a couple weeks ago. My final project was doing a quilted bag with a zipper.

Quilted Zipper Bag
Outside of the zippered bag
Inside Quilted Bag
Interior of the bag

I had finally finished my four training courses. I feel like I can learn to do a lot of things, and I’ve asked the really sweet sewing teacher if we might get together some, and do informal classes. I feel very grateful to someone who has taught me a life skill. Sure I paid a class fee, but you can’t ignore a wonderful personality with a giving spirit. She called to check on me after I told her I was having some double vision. The girl that was taking classes with me had to leave early for work the week before, and the instructor wanted to know if I’d like to come work. I told her that I really wasn’t supposed to drive alone, and that I wouldn’t have a ride in on time.

At my final official sewing class I earned my own pair of scissors that I got to pick out. Earned ScissorsIt’s kind of hard to tell in the picture, but it’s basically pink and white flowers.

I also got this cute paper:Sewing Machine LicenseIf anyone in the Huntsville metro area is interested in taking classes thru her, let me know. I highly recommend her, and her price really isn’t bad at all for what you are getting out of the class. I look forward to getting together with her and sewing on our own projects.

At home I had originally decided to sell my dining room furniture that is never used, and get rid of a piece of a red sectional couch that we had as an intact piece at one time until my dog named Cisco tore it with his toenails a few years ago. BJ said he thought it would be better if I had my sewing studio in the basement. We hardly ever use the basement for anything other than tornado warnings and to store things. I have some items that I can sell, so I intend to do that.

We have a plastic folding table that I will be using which is long enough for me to put my little countertop ironing board on.

Iron
This is a Black and Decker “Classic” iron. I saw it advertised as one of the highest recommended for new sewers.

I had BJ buy some white pegboard from work. He hung it above my sewing station where I would have the best way to reach everything on it. I ordered some pegs, and after they arrived I decided I could hang my thread from the pegs. A tiny curtain rod balanced between two pegs holds my scissors, and will hold another of my rotary cutters. I bought a little lamp off of Craigslist, and got an LED lightbulb for it. It’s going to work out just fine. We’re still working out the details of how fabric is going to be stored, but we’ve got a couple of ideas.Sewing Room Progress 2

 

I have gotten a few adult coloring books, and as I was flipping thru one I happened to see a sewing machine shaped sort of like the old Singer brand machines. I decided to get out my colored pencils and make a little art work for my studio.

All my things are ready, now I just have to get some ideas of what I’d like to try to sew.


Dinner Date With My Hubby

BJ and I love to go to fun new places, especially local ones. There is a new general store/game room/restaurant/bar downtown. It is near Washington Square, which has a neat vibe about it.Washington Square

There was even a neat mural in this alleyway.IMG_2445 2

BJ and I went into a couple of boutique stores around the corner from where we parked, and then we went in the the White’s Mercantile which houses an arcade and this bar. Pints and Pixels is the name of it.IMG_2444 2

BJ was in hog heaven when we went in. There were 80’s and 90’s era video games all over the place. Music from the 80’s is being played, and on their television screens are the videos from those songs. IMG_2452The restaurant housed here is another location of a place BJ and I have been to many times over the past few years. The table decor was plastic bead “sculptures” of the flowers that come up out of the pipes in the Super Mario Brothers game. IMG_2448The waitress gave us each 3 coins to play games with. I went first. I picked out Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, and Pac Man.

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After our black bean burgers, BJ and I got up to leave, but he wanted to play NBA Jam. I indulged him, and played a little. He had fun. BJ Playing

After eating we went downstairs to the Mercantile store and looked around. They had some neat, but expensive things there. I did get silly, and try on a hat, but we didn’t buy anything.

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The Garden

My straw bales are doing very well, and before we know it, we’ll have zucchini and summer squash. Luckily if we can’t eat it all, I’m going to learn how to can it. I also have several tomatoes coming up. I put some crushed eggshells on them the other day for calcium, and I have some more to put on there today. IMG_2465

IMG_2468My poor herbs just don’t seem to be doing too well. I’m going to have to figure out a plan B on some things. Summer has sneaked upon us. I can’t wait for my first homegrown tomato sandwich. Now that’s good eating!

Parkway SunsetAs I say good evening to you, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

 

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Last Week and Memorial Day Weekend

Continuing My Exciting World of Crafting

Patriotic Pillow

I made this patriotic pillow in class this week. We worked again on buttonholes and buttons. With my Singer machine, it has a 4-part buttonhole maker. It takes a little bit of work to make it work just right, but it’s still doable. I used the same pillow insert as I did with the project last week. I picked out this beautiful blue and white striped fabric covered in stars. Luckily my sewing instructor had some great red, white, and blue buttons in her basket. It’s going to take a lot of practice to get the buttonholes down, but I think I’ll eventually become proficient in it. It’s not so hard to machine sew buttons, it’s just tedious to get it lined up just right.

Both of my parents had birthdays this week. I made my mom a little bookmark with a white and yellow polka dot fabric. It had a brown button on the top. Then I made her a rice pack that she can use either warm or cold depending on the need. I made my dad a houndstooth rice pack accented with red and white thread to pay homage to his love of University of Alabama football. He’s been using it for shoulder pain.

Daddy's Rice Pack Cropped

Yesterday afternoon I decided to make a cool pack for myself with some brightly colored flannel I have. It ended up longer than I intended it to, but it’s ok. I added peppermint essential oil to the rice. After I finished stitching it up, I put it in the freezer to use on my head when I get headaches.My Rice Pack

I’m saving a lot of patterns on Pinterest that I’d like to try. I’m on the search for buttons and thread to accent my pieces.


Health

This has not been the best week for health for both family and myself. I personally suddenly started having vision problems a few weeks ago. I had also started having trouble when walking with my right foot dragging.

My right foot was dragging initially when I had a spinal cord illness called Transverse Myelitis in 2012. It’s not doing it all the time, and I thought it may be a problem with my low back. I went to the neurologist who ordered an MRI of my low back.

A little over a week and a half ago, I noticed my eyes were hurting and having some dryness. I made an appointment with my eye doctor. He seemed to think I might have some thyroid troubles and that it was what was causing the eye pain, blurred vision, and double vision. He mentioned a thyroid disease, so I contacted my primary doctor. Before I went to him, I found some information showing a condition that can occur with those who’ve had transverse myelitis, and I want to rule it out. I have an MRI of my brain this coming week, and if it doesn’t show a neurological problem, I’ll be going to an endocrinologist to see if there is a problem with my thyroid.

 

 

A Slice of This Week’s Activity

Improvements Day by Day

I’m happy to report that I’m basically migraine-free at this point. After trying everything under the sun to get them under control, and living with a daily migraine for a solid year, it appears that the secret to my success has been traditional Chinese medicine.

I’ve been getting acupuncture for a little while now, and at first I was desperate for anything to work. I have tried medications, massage, herbal supplements, and Botox. None of them provided lasting relief until I started acupuncture with Dr. Ly. I was trained in Western medicine, so I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I am so happy that I can now function without chronic headaches.

To assist with the acupuncture I was instructed to eat as few processed foods as possible, eliminate most of the oils from my diet, and I was given Chinese herbs to take before and after meals. I am also supposed to eat a fruit before every meal.

I’m a believer in alternative healthcare, and I have plans to learn a lot more about herbs, aromatherapy, and using nutrition to heal the body.

My New Exercise Routine

Garmin

I have started walking at least 5 days per week. I usually walk in my neighborhood, but if BJ is fishing somewhere, I usually try to walk wherever we are.

I got a new fitness tracker. It’s the Garmin Vivofit 1. I measures activity, sleep, calories burned, and works with my MyFitnessPal app to monitor how many calories I’m consuming.

I bought it off of eBay. It is a refurbished model, but it has a 1-year warranty. I wear it all the time, except in the shower, even thought it’s water resistant. I’m also getting some cute wristbands to change it up every once in a while.

I have an internet streaming device attached to my TV called a Roku. I found out that I can stream Youtube videos onto my TV, so I’ve added a ton of different exercise videos on there. Yoga and walking indoors are some of the things I’m using. This way I can keep finding new videos, and won’t get bored. I’m thinking I’ll cancel my subscription to Gaia which is what I have been using for yoga videos. I do want to watch a couple documentaries before I cancel though.

Ready to Sew

I’ve been so excited about my upcoming sewing classes that I’ve been looking everywhere for beginner patterns for me to try. I finally got my new sewing machine delivered.Sewing machine1I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening up that Amazon box. Does it mean that I’m getting old that I find something such as a sewing machine so exciting?

My Pinterest account is now filling up with patterns and tips for sewing. Wednesday I begin my one-on-one classes with a lady who lives here locally. I couldn’t contain my excitement, so I took it out of the box to look at it more.Sewing machineSlowly Getting the House in Order

I’m by nature a very messy person. Wherever I sit in the living room, or anywhere really, I develop a debris field around me. I feel like Pigpin from Peanuts. If there’s a flat surface, I will lay something on it. It actually drives me nuts, but when I start trying to clean I get a feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.

In an effort to declutter, I’m starting to sell a few things online. I have a bit of a magazine collection problem, so I’m going thru the magazines and using my flatbed scanner to scan articles that are interesting to me. I am putting them into my computer, and I’m digitally organizing them. I’m not only trying to declutter my physical space, but my digital things as well. I have an external hard drive that I put all my pictures and files on. I totally organized the files/pictures in a way that made more sense. Deep down I am an organizer, which is true to my virgo astrological sign.

It will take a long time to get the house the way I want it, but I must remember that I’ve been cluttered for a very long time. I realize it won’t happen overnight.

I will be posting updates on my decluttering progress as I go along.

 

Miscellany

The Beauty of Nature

Relaxing
Relaxing at Madison County Nature Trail

BJ and I have been making treks up Green Mountain to the Madison County Nature Trail for many years. It is a wonderful spot to view nature and relax. Once you enter the park, you really don’t have any cell phone signal, although I have seen some people using their phones there. There is a 1.5 mile nature trail that you can walk along. I am not in good enough shape yet to do it, but I have walked it in the past. I hope to be able to do it again this year as I build up my stamina.

If you go during the day in the middle of the week, you will find it almost empty. You will sometimes see cars, but no one at the entrance and pavilion of the park. A lot of people go there to walk the trail. I like to sit at the pavilion in a wooden rocking chair, looking out over the manmade lake and seeing the covered walking bridge.

This week, BJ and I decided to make a trip up there on a Friday afternoon after he got off work. There were a few people milling around. There was a large family having a picnic and doing some fishing in the lake, there were some people dressed in prom dresses and tuxes having their pictures taken. Overall the park was quiet, and the weather was gorgeous. Sunny, and not too hot with a slight breeze. We decided to walk along the trail to the covered bridge.

MCNT
Water feature near the start of the trail.

BJ was of course fascinated by the lake and the fish he could see in it. I was busy looking at the plant life, and there is plenty of it to be seen. I’m including some pictures of some of the plants we saw. My mom helped me identify some of these.

Yellow Wild Azaleas
Yellow Wild Azalea Tree
Pink Wild Azaleas
Pink Wild Azalea Tree

We walked across the covered bridge while BJ looked out every window opening to catch glimpses of the fish below in the lake. We walked back toward the entrance, and BJ almost stepped on a poisonous snake.

Wild Red Magnolia
Wild Red Magnolia

It was an Earth Day treat to go visit the trail.


Weight Loss and Exercise

A major issue for most of my life has been my weight. I have yo-yo’d up and down over the years. I got a gastric bypass in 2008, and because I wasn’t truly ready for the surgery, I gained the 90lbs that I lost back over the course of several years. I’ve never been really good at sticking with exercise. I have joined a couple of gyms in the past. I joined a gym at the local Wellness Center back in 2014. I decided to hit the gym hard, and work as fast and as hard as I could. In the end, I ended up injuring my left foot badly enough that in June of 2015 I had to have foot surgery.

I felt discouraged, but I’ve never given up hope that I can get to a healthy weight. In January of 2015 I joined Weight Watchers to start the process of losing weight. As of today I am down 74 pounds. I stopped WW a few months ago, because $20/mo was just too much to pay for something I already know how to do. I downloaded the app “MyFitnessPal” on my iPhone, and I’ve been tracking calories ever since.

I’ve recently started exercising again. I’m starting out slow with walking and doing some yoga. I am keeping a record of my steps on my phone.

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup with mashed baked potatoes.

Although I don’t always eat healthy, I do try to most of the time. It is possible to be a vegetarian, and still not eat as healthy as you are supposed to.

I Haven’t Forgotten

 

Rose
Rose from our front flowerbed

I really haven’t forgotten about the blog. I’ve just neglected it. We’ve had a whirlwind of activity around here in the past few weeks. There have been many changes in our family’s lives in both scary and exciting ways. My father-in-law had a massive heart attack, and after several scary days of waiting, his body healed enough for the doctors to put a stent in an artery that was 99% occluded. He is on the mend, but he has two more arteries that need stents. Those will be done after more healing occurs.


 

Princess

Princess2

When I was 18-years old, I moved into BJ’s parent’s home. I lived in the basement. One Saturday I came home, and there was a little fluffball of a puppy. BJ had gotten this sweet little dog for me from the local flea market. We named her Princess, and she was so much fun. She slept in the bed with me at night while she was little. When BJ and I moved into an apartment in 2000, I had to leave Princess with BJ’s parents. Before long they moved further out into the country and Princess had plenty of room to run and play. She was so fast and smart. She was part border collie, and part jack russell. She would run beside your car as you drove up the long driveway, and she could keep up with us while we were going as fast as 25mph. She lived a very long and happy life. She always recognized us when we came to visit my in-laws, and would try to “talk” to us with little noises. As she aged she finally lost her sight to cataracts and appeared to have lost her hearing. A couple weeks ago we went to my in-law’s house, and I noticed I didn’t see her sitting in her normal spot by the kitchen door. My mother-in-law didn’t want me to know, but Princess was missing. Apparently she wandered off, perhaps to cross the rainbow bridge on her own. It is so hard to believe after so many years that I won’t see that sweet pup when I go to my in-law’s. She was one of the first major gifts BJ got for me, and it was like the end of a chapter or our lives to realize she is now gone forever. We searched for her in the dark, and the family had searched the day before. She will forever hold a piece of my heart as my Princess, the thing BJ calls me each night as we say goodnight.

Princess
Princess a few months ago with a coat my mother-in-law got her.

 

Plants and Spring

Bluebells
Bluebell flowers BJ got me.

Spring has now made it’s appearance after a rather mild winter. All the seeds I’ve been looking at for months, are close to being ready to plant. We should be getting a truck bed full of dirt soon to fill the large cinderblock flowerbed. That will be filled with different flower seeds. I’m ready to fill the holes of the cinder blocks with herbs. We have started this year’s straw bales. You prepare them for 12 days before putting down a layer of soil on top, and then you are ready to plant your vegetable seeds. I had originally wanted to do 10 bales, but the bales are slightly expensive so we decided on 8. To prevent the avalanche of straw during the middle of the growing season like last year, BJ cut up some wooden pallets, and held them in place with pieces of rebar.

Straw Bales 2016

There will be T-posts on each end, and several levels of wire strung across to each T-post to use as a trellis. We’re also planning on putting something on the ends of the straw bales. Side of Straw Bales

I will be growing some things in buckets too. This past weekend I planted dahlia bulbs in medium size flower pots. I stuck them on either side of the patio paver walkway near the main flowerbed. I repotted some plants I had in the kitchen. BJ had gotten me a couple of beautiful pots that I used.

I put my jade an aloe in the pots, and I had another pot with an overgrown mother-in-law tongue that had a lot of dead leaves. I dumped it out, and sorted out the green growth, and then centered it in the pot.


Moving Forward

As long as I can remember in my life I have always looked towards the future, and what my plans and goals are. It catapulted me thru college so quickly that I had a master’s degree in nursing by the time I was 23. Many things in my life have changed over the years, just like they do in everyone’s lives. I am looking at life in a different way than what I had planned for years. Although things will be very different than what I had envisioned before, I’m still hopeful. On April 4th, BJ and I celebrated the 18th anniversary of us becoming a couple. It has been wonderful having him in my life, and the vision of us spending our lives together remains the same. Our ability to grow and change together as time goes on keeps us strong.

My thoughts about my personal future is that I’ll be taking time to learn many things and devoting time to my health. I will be studying things that will improve our self-sufficiency like gardening, sewing, herbalism, homemaking, and maximizing our finances. There are many things I am interested in, and of course there isn’t time for everything, but I’m dedicated to doing the most that I can. Like the quote in my craft room says, “Bloom where you are planted”. I want to make the most of each day ahead of BJ and I both.

 

Catching Up

Purple

The weekend after I visited my mom I spent mostly hanging out in the craft room. I was feeling a little down, so Saturday night BJ took me to Big Spring Park to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful night.

Gorgeous Night

This park is always pretty, but that night it was especially magical looking. The spring is full of koi fish, some are absolutely huge. There are lots of ducks to feed. We walked some so I could get a little exercise. I stopped to take in how pretty the city looks at night.

Big Spring Park 1

Night Out


The week started out with BJ working closing shifts. I went for a walk in the neighborhood Monday afternoon. I had gone to get acupuncture and then some groceries. I hung out in my craft room listening to music.

Tuesday night we found out that my father-in-law had had a massive heart attack. I had actually been the one to talk him into going to the hospital. He thought it was just heartburn. I had missed a few days earlier and his family doctor also thought it was something like heartburn.

Wednesday morning we found out how serious my father-in-law’s heart attack had been, and we drove to see him in the ICU. It was a very scary time with a lot of worried family members. Since I have a medical background I did a some translation of what the doctor and nurses were saying to the family. We stayed at the ICU waiting room with the family until the last visiting hours. We came home to let Joey out and to feed Denver.

Thursday morning the rain was pouring. A few days earlier I had noticed a spot on the ceiling of my craft room that looked like it had some water damage. BJ went into the attic, and didn’t see any signs of a leak. He figures that the rain at another time had blown under the soffit. While he was up in the attic he found a box of wedding momentos that I had been looking for. I’m so excited, because some of the things in there will be used in my shadowbox displaying some items from our wedding.

Tiara Later in the day we went back to see BJ’s dad. We got to see our nephews that live part of the time in Boston. One of my nephews I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. We didn’t stay too long because the weather was going to get bad. I have a phobia of tornadoes, and as we were leaving the hospital the tornado sirens started sounding. I found the radar on my phone, and then pulled up a live stream from television of the weather. It was just north of us as we travelled home. The sky was so ominous looking. We finally made it home safely, and I was feeling less anxious.

Friday morning BJ went fishing with my stepdad, and I worked on some product reviews. I began having a headache, so I fell asleep a couple of times in my recliner. In the afternoon my dad came to visit. I stayed home while BJ went to visit his dad who had been moved to a regular room, because he was slowly improving. My dad and I went out to eat, and I had some vegetarian chili with cornbread, and my dad had a different kind of chili.Doggie BookendsI had requested that my dad bring these doggie bookends from my grandmother’s house to me. I don’t know exactly how old they are, but I know for sure that there are pictures from the 50’s of them in my grandmother’s house. I’m so excited to be able to use them in my craft room. I’ve always loved them. My bookcase is full, so this will hold books on top of a plastic shelving unit. I have too many books.

Saturday my dad went to buy us breakfast. I’m not supposed to be eating anything processed, but I do good the majority of the time. I had an egg and cheese biscuit. BJ woke up after some well deserved sleep. After eating and hanging out a little while he went to go buy a few of the straw bales for this year’s garden. We had originally planned on doing 10 bales, but due to costs and the fact that we have other projects going, we decided on doing 8 bales this year instead. We had 5 bales last year. I’m going to be growing some things in buckets and flower pots, plus we’ll have the big “H” shaped flowerbed of cinderblock. All the holes will be filled with edible herbs and maybe some vegetables.

We went to Jason’s Deli for lunch. We all ended up eating salads. When I started acupuncture the Dr told me to cut out as much oil as possible. I asked his staff what kind of dressing to put on my salads, because I usually put high fat ranch on them. They told me to use honey mustard instead. I found out that I really like the taste of it on a salad. I have made a couple this week using soy “chicken” strips that I cooked from frozen in a skillet.

Big Salad

My dad stayed for a while in the afternoon with us. He loves his grand-doggies and he took this picture of Denver getting one of his natural beef stick treats.

Happy Denver

 

We went out for a little dinner at Which Wich and drove thru downtown before heading home. BJ mostly watched basketball on tv while I looked at things online. I was sleepy by 8:30. So I went ahead and went to bed.

 

Beginning of the Week

The beginning of the week definitely started on a high note. Monday mornings are when I weigh-in each week. I had lost 3.5lbs last week, bringing me to a total lost since January of last week to 70 pounds.

70

I couldn’t be more thrilled! It’s truly been thru eating better, because I haven’t started exercising yet. My plan is to start exercising by walking in my neighborhood on the nice days, and also doing yoga.

Also my headaches are almost totally gone. Since I started the acupuncture, it’s been nothing short of miraculous. The strict diet given to me by the acupuncturist has helped me lose weight as well, but has been very difficult to follow. I think that eating a diet that has been very low in fats, sugars, and processed food has helped my brain begin to heal. I went to get my acupuncture in the afternoon.

After my acupuncture, I met BJ at Jason’s Deli for some dinner. I tried honey mustard dressing on a salad for the first time, and really liked it.

Monday was a rather quiet day overall. It was a nice start to the week.


 

Tuesday started out as quietly as Monday was. I watched my favorite tv show, and then headed to the sanctuary of my craft room.

Lap Joey

I was treated to Joey visiting with me while I sat in my comfy chair in the craft room. I read some, and worked on some product reviews. I am always on the search for different review opportunities.

I ended up falling asleep in my chair, I was awakened by a phone call. I was supposed to meet with someone for an appointment, and I mistakenly thought it was for Wednesday instead. I rescheduled for the next day.

I went for my acupuncture, and BJ got home not long after I got there. We didn’t want to watch the news, because it is just too depressing. Ever the fisherman, BJ suggested we get out of the house.

We headed to Madison County Lake, which is a peaceful manmade lake out in the country. BJ’s stress relieving, soul soothing activity is fishing. Somewhere, anywhere. Just fishing. A lady that works for him made this funny shirt for him.

Fishing Shirt

This shirt is so appropriate for him. It cracks me up.

BJFishing

Madison County Lake is state owned, so you have to buy a permit to go fishing. We’ve been coming here for fishing and picnics for about 7 1/2 years now. You really don’t have any cell phone signal, so it’s truly a getaway.

Lake 1The lake is surrounded by some beautiful mountains. All kinds of neat birds can be seen there including kingfishers and bald eagles. It’s such a delight to watch nature. I still wish I would’ve brought a book to read or something. BJ fished and fished, until before we knew it, it was getting dark.

 

Lake2

The lake closes at dusk, so they were ready to come run us off. BJ caught two fish, and decided he’d better go.


Wednesday I woke up rather early. I enjoyed some coffee and spent some time with BJ. We left about the same time, with him going to work, and I going to get acupuncture.

I have only had a few mild headaches over the past week. My acupuncturist started to work on my weight. He place mini-acupuncture needles into my abdomen. They don’t hurt, and if he thinks it’ll help me lose weight then I’ll try it.

After acupuncture I went to Hobby Lobby. I browsed the yarn aisle and got this.

Chunky Yarn

This yarn will be used on my Zippy Loom more than likely to make something interesting like a scarf. I also bought some beautiful buttons that are wooden and printed with beautiful things on them. I’m not sure what I want to use them in, but i thought I’d start a button box like my grandmother had when I was a child. I used to get the black metal box filled with buttons from a shelf over the refrigerator. I would go thru those buttons all the time as I was growing up.

After Hobby Lobby I went to Hancock Fabric where I found a few things on sale. I bought a pair of earrings, and I found a couple more buttons I wanted. Here is my favorite.

Pretty Button

I went to an appointment after shopping, and then I went to Garden Cove produce store. I found some yummy strawberries, and a few other goodies. Then I headed home.

BJ was working a closing shift so it was just me and the doggies. I spent some time doing a little work on a loom knit hat, and looking at some seed catalogs. I also got my new walking shoes in the mail.

New Walking Shoes

When it was time to feed Denver, I took his water and food with me along with some salmon oil that I squirt on top of the food. I also put a beef tendon in my pocket. He was ready to scarf down the food until I held the beef tendon up. He stared wide-eyed at it, and when I gave it to him, he ran out into the yard and wouldn’t even look back at me. He was totally focused. I went to bed about 9. A good start to the week.

 

Look Back at the Weekend

Joey Stick
Joey with a “Bully Stick” that I’m product testing.

Friday was a quiet day at home. I didn’t have any acupuncture visit, but I think I am starting to see the benefits of it. I only had a mild headache for part of the day. I spent time doing some loom knitting, and a little light housework. I made a pot of black eyed peas for our supper. When BJ got home from work, we got out of the house for a little while. We went to Ditto Landing where BJ could do some fishing. It was pretty much dark by the time we got there, but there are a lot of lights around so he could still see.


Saturday morning I woke up early to start some food in the crockpot so that we could have lunch together before BJ had to go to work. I got the recipe off the internet. It was quinoa, kale, great northern beans, and diced tomatoes. It also had vegetable broth and a few spices. It turned out really great even though I accidentally used the tomatoes with chilis in them. It was a little spicy, but we both enjoyed it. BJ had enough to take with him for his lunch at work.

I spent the evening mostly in my craft room. I listened to some music and worke on various projects. When I got the mail, I received a couple of product test items. One was the “Bully Stick” and beef tendon mix for the doggies. Joey chewed on his for a little bit, and then gave up on it. I brought Denver in the basement for the evening since it was supposed to get chilly. He absolutely loves rawhides and any kind of treat like that. You could hear him all the way upstairs gnawing on his.

Denver ChewsI headed off to bed before BJ even got off work. I have been getting sleepy earlier and earlier.


Sunday morning I woke up way before BJ, because he didn’t get home until after midnight. I’ve been doing really well on the plan to eat fruit before each meal. I had some honeydew before eating my scrambled eggs.

Later after BJ was up and about we went to Whole Foods and ate a little brunch. I am in love with their mock chicken salad. I could eat that every day, really. They had some great rosemary potatoes and pasta salad. I’m not supposed to be eating any processed food right now, so I sort of didn’t do too good with that. We picked up some more fruit there, and then headed to Ditto for BJ to fish some. He tried  to fish, but wasn’t out there very long. It was just too windy and cold.

For a late lunch we went to one of our favorite local restaurants. I had vegetarian chili and cornbread (I know, I know, it’s processed), and BJ had a black bean patty burger.

After eating we went to find some shoes for me to try on. I am about to start walking in my neighborhood, and I don’t have the best feet. I had researched some of the best shoes to buy for my feet. One of the most affordable choices was Sketchers Go Walk 3. I found some in Shoe Carnival, and they fit fine. I’m buying them online, because they’re cheaper that way. I should have my shoes by the middle of the week.

All in all the weekend was pretty quiet and uneventful. I’m looking forward to working on some projects this week.

 

 

Week in Review

Joey begging for real

Monday was an interesting day. I woke up early, and did my normal routine. I have been having migraines every single day in some form for about a year now. I’ve tried medication, massage, a chiropractor, and finally Botox. None of them giving me lasting relief. After seeing the bill for two Botox treatments, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to continue those. I decided I was going to try something different. I looked up acupuncturists in my area. I found a guy named Dr. Ly who has been practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine for decades. I made an appointment with him, and on Monday afternoon I went to see him. I took a list of all the medications, vitamins, and supplements I take. They put me in a room and I waited to see him. He is a very nice man, and said that migraines are one of the main things he treats. He pushes on certain points along your body, and asks which is the most tender. He places a acupuncture needle in a spot, and then pushes on that tender spot again. Every time he pushed on a spot after the needle had beeen inserted, I didn’t feel any tenderness in that spot anymore. After I had all the needles in place I rested on the table for about 10 minutes. I was given Chinese herbs to take before and after meals. Then there is a specific diet I must follow for a little while. It is basically a “clean eating” diet. I am supposed to eat a piece of fruit before every meal, no processed food, no sugar, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and no oils. I’ve been a vegetarian now for about 3 1/2 years, and it’s still going to be difficult to follow a diet like this.

After my session, BJ and I went to Whole Foods to eat some dinner. They have sort of a buffet at one end of the store where you can get different things to eat. I did the best I could, but there was a quinoa salad that still had some oil on it. While I finished eating, BJ went to the produce section to buy some fresh fruits for me. He picked apples, tangerines, and strawberries.

After we got home I prepared to cook a meal to take to my mom’s house the next day. I decided to make one of BJ’s favorites Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. It’s very easy to make, and tastes delicious.


Tuesday morning I woke up around 4:30 to get ready to go to my mom’s house. I ate some cantaloupe for breakfast, and stopped along the way and got a plain biscuit. I know that’s not on the diet, but I was really hungry. I arrived at my mom’s house, and we sat and worked on our craft projects. I was working on a hat, and she had started a scarf. She had a hat made for me out of some yarn she had made a scarf for me earlier in the winter with.

I also brought my wristlets that she had made me, and had her sew on the buttons I bought last week. They turned out beautifully. Wristlets with ButtonsI ate steamed vegetables for lunch while my mom and stepfather ate the casserole I made. I really wanted to eat some of it, but I’m not supposed to have the cheese.

After lunch, I worked on my hat that I’ve been very slowly loom knitting for a couple weeks. I was almost finished with it, and was pulling the yarn tightly to cinch the top of the hat, and the yarn broke. I’ve never had that happen before, and I didn’t know what to do. Mama looked at it, and really couldn’t think of what to do either. So I turned it inside out, and stitched up the bottom part of it as best I could. It looks like a little handbag, and I will probably just store little things in it. That particular yarn is hard to work with anyway.

I left my mom’s a little early because I had to get back to another acupuncture appointment. I got to the office early, and was able to get right back. This time they taped 3 seeds on the inside of my ear. They are on acupressure points, and I’m supposed to squeeze each one for 30 seconds before eating. I also got a shot of B complex in my leg.


I had to go back for more acupuncture on Wednesday morning. I ate some cantaloupe before I went. I was having a bit of a headache as I woke up. During the acupuncture I felt not too bad. I got another B complex shot in my leg. After I left I went to Panera Bread and had an egg white, spinach, avocado, and whole grain sandwich. It had some cheese on it, so it wasn’t perfect.

After eating there, I did some shopping. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a 16×20″ frame for a picture that will be featured on the back wall of my craft room. The more I shopped, the worse my head began to feel. I slowly started heading to eat lunch with BJ. I stopped in a vintage/thrift store, and browsed around for a while. I ended up finding a cute little bracelet that I liked. I keep wanting to buy this little dog planter that I saw last time I was there, but I didn’t. I also saw a teacup I’d like to buy to plant a succulent in, but I didn’t buy that either.

I stopped at UPS to drop off a package, and there was a restaurant called Atlanta Bread Company a couple doors down. I wanted some coffee, so I ran over there. I slowly enjoyed a latte while passing the time.

Latte

I drove to wait on BJ to come eat lunch. I was feeling worse by the minute. We went to eat lunch at an Asian restaurant called Bento Box. It has some really good steamed vegetables, including something called lily flower. It is so good! I had steamed cabbage, steamed broccoli, and lily flower. I really wanted a spring roll, but that wouldn’t be on my diet, so I just stuck with what I had. I was hurting so badly that I really just ate the broccoli and a little of the rest of it. I took the rest home with me.

After lunch I had an appointment, and it was in a new location. Thanks to m phone I found it rather easily. We did some guided meditation/breathing exercises to help ease my headache. It did help a good bit.

After my appointment I did a little more shopping. I went to a thrift store, and didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without. I do think it will be a good source for more picture frames for my craft room, once I get pictures printed and BJ makes more of the photo ledges.

Close to home I decided to go into a little antique store that I’ve noticed for years, but have never been in. I immediately found this cute little fish bead for $1, and I had to buy it. I don’t know what I’ll use it for. It’ll be in some sort of craft project I know, or it will be used to make a piece of jewelry.

Fish Bead

After I went there, I decided to go home. My head was still hurting, so I took a nap. I ate leftovers from lunch for my dinner.

I got my African violet repotted into a pot made specifically for those plants that my mom gave to me. It will live in our bathroom where it will get filtered light and humidity. Potted African Violets

 


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I do have some Irish blood running thru my veins, and I love St. Patrick’s Day. The hat in the picture is one my mom made for me, and has a beautiful scarf to go with it. It was cool outside, but I chose not to wear the scarf.

I had acupuncture early in the day, and then came home for a little while to visit with BJ before he went to work. After he left I had an appointment to weigh at one of my doctor’s offices at noon. I went in a little early, and they got me back fairly quickly. Of course the weight on their scales never goes with what my scales at home say, but the important thing is that I’ve lost weight. I had lost 3 pounds by their scale. Since last year I’ve lost 66 pounds so far. I was doing Weight Watchers, and then I thought I might be able to do it without counting the points. Right now I’m using an app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal. I’ve been doing pretty well with it so far.

After being weighed I went to Juice Bar nearby. I was hoping to get some fruit and a salad. They didn’t have any fruit cups, so I hoped my juice with pineapple in it would be enough to count as my fruit. I had a salad with kale, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, sesame seeds, and olive oil/vinegar dressing. I souldn’t have had the dressing, but I’m continuing to find this diet very hard to do. The pineapple juice also had various vegetables in it. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t like it at all. I had to force myself to drink it, and it wasn’t cheap. I’d rather have had a smoothie with some different things in it.

The big news of the day is that I had almost no headache at all. I came home from eating and took a long nap. For dinner I started with a kiwi, and then ate some frozen corn. I sat in my craft room, and worked on a new hat. I listened to music on a little bluetooth speaker, streaming it from my phone. Every day my craft room becomes better and better. BJ hung up our picture on the back wall. The rest of this wall will be covered in pictures of my family including lots of pictures of my ancestors who came before me. I’m going to get BJ to build some more photo ledges right away. Picture on the Wall

 

 

Weekend Roundup

BJ and I enjoyed the end of the week of his vacation. Friday I woke up early and enjoyed some coffee. Around 8 I woke BJ up, and he slowly got up. We’re pretty much the exact opposite when it comes to waking up. As soon as I’m awake, my feet usually hit the floor. BJ, however, stays in bed for a little while. If I did that I’d fall back asleep.

We went to eat lunch at a different Mexican restaurant than the ones we’ve been to before. It was really good. I had a vegetarian tamale, and something cool I’ve never had before, avocado mac ‘n cheese. It sounds kind of gross, but it was really good.

After eating we went into a Hancock Fabrics that was a couple doors down. I had seen clearance signs in the window, and I couldn’t pass it up. I saw a lot of things I really wanted, but found this Owl Planter

It’s a perfect planter for my succulents that will live in my craft room before too long. I also found these beautiful buttons for my wristlets that my mom crocheted for me.Buttons

BJ dropped me off at Hobby Lobby to shop while he went to get a haircut. I found a couple of photo frames I wanted, but couldn’t find an item I’m looking out for which is a lucky elephant. I looked at quiet a few things, and BJ still hadn’t called to tell me his haircut was done, so I bought my frames then started walking toward the barber shop. I stopped in Kirkland’s to see if they had any neat decorating ideas. I couldn’t stay in there long, because the smell of the candles and potpourri were triggering an even worse migraine than the one I already had.

We then headed to Lowe’s to get a few supplies for our garden. BJ got t-posts, wire, and rebar to create the trellis and support structure for our straw bale garden. I picked up this beauty:African Violets

I’ve had African violets before, but they died a long time ago, and I want to get one. I have special little pots that are made especially for them. I will be buying another one soon. I just loved the color of this little guy. I’m still sort of holding out for some succulents.

We went home after that, and I fell asleep because of fatigue from these never ending migraines. BJ did some great work in the front flowerbed. He also cut down some pallets to use as reinforcement for the straw bale garden.

Flowerbed2
The green plants are stonecrops and there’s a couple of salvias in there. I have 3 of the solar dragonflies that change color at night.

After I got up, BJ wanted to get back out of the house. We had some dinner, and then drove downtown to the courthouse square. We parked and walked to a little cafe/coffee shop.

Cafe

They serve a wide selection of coffee, tea, and tasty treats. They also have meals, including some that are vegetarian. I got a large latte and BJ got a mocha. They have a little spot to sit outside, but we decided to sit in the cafe for the ambiance. I really enjoyed it, and I’m definitely going to be going back.

Cafe 2


BJ decided to try another round of fishing on Saturday morning. I want no part of the water right now. I woke up at the same time as he was getting ready to go out. I hung out around the house. I spent some time hanging out in my craft room. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas of things I’d like to do with the room. I

I struggled most of the morning with a migraine, and slept off and on for most of the morning. After BJ got home from fishing we decided to get out of the house. We headed to Jason’s Deli where we both had the salad bar.

After we ate, we drove to one of my favorite places in town. It’s called Lowe Mill and in its beginnings it was a cotton mill, one of a few in town. It is three stories tall, and is shaped like an “L”. Lowe Mill is filled with artist studios that you can walk by and watch people working at or selling their art. The first floor is mostly studios for full time artists. There are a vast array of things to see from paintings, to jewelry making, pottery, and sculpture. One the second floor is what is called the “artist’s market”. People set up tables and small booths to sell their arts and crafts. There’s always so many cool and interesting products for sale. The people watching is awesome too. You never know what kinds of things you will see. We went from floor to floor in one of those old industrial elevators. I was a little nervous of it, but wanted to try it. I actually got out of the market without spending any money. I’m pretty sure if BJ hadn’t been with me that I would’ve bought a few things.


 

Sunday morning I woke up early, even though we were springing forward. I spent part of the morning “window shopping” online. BJ got up at 8.

We spent most of the morning just hanging around the house. I printed off an organized list of the seeds that I currently have to see if there are any more that I might want to order. I probably have a dozen seed catalogs, and I love it! I just love seeing the many different things available.

Later in the day BJ wanted to get out of the house. First we went to Garden Cove, which is a local produce/health food store. I love their selection and prices on produce. Their prices on frozen foods and supplements are rather high, but the produce is priced really great. I bought some bananas, onions, and spinach. I was able to use the produce bag that my mom crocheted for me. It worked really well.

We then drove down to Madison County Lake. This has been one of our favorite spots to ride around since we first moved to the area. It is a manmade lake that is a decent size. We always drive from one end to the other taking in the sights. Yesterday we were blessed to see a bald eagle flying over the lake. So beautiful!

We spent the rest of the night hanging out at home. It’s been a great week having BJ on vacation.