Monday, December 06, 2010

Home again, home again

Three days post-surgery, and everything is finally getting back to normal, or at least what passes for normal around here. 

vintage image
It's Owl Right & thankfully, so am I

We got home Friday a bit after lunchtime, and it wasn't long before I was drowsing off, physically needing to lay down and sleep. I was (and am) in more pain than I expected, but I'm trying not to dwell on it, because it can only get better from this point on, right? 

The surgery went well. One thing I learned is that I probably don't hide fear as well as I'd like to think. The surgical nurse, Olga, could apparently tell that I was terrified, because at one point, just as I was about to be put under (I was watching the anesthesiologist putting the first drug in my IV line), she came up to me, grasped my hand, and told me that everything would be ok.

And it was ok. I came out of anesthesia quickly, and wasn't sick at all afterwards. I was a little disoriented, but it passed quickly. The procedure was an obvious immediate success, but they don't consider it a true success until 3 months post-surgery, when they'll better be able to tell if the procedure "took" long term or not.

So, it's a date. February 3rd, 2011, I'm looking at you.
used with permission, by clarita, at Morguefile^
I would have been able to come home sooner than I did, but they had trouble getting an acceptable blood oxygen reading. It wasn't until they tested my ear that they got the (normal) 97% measurement that they wanted.

used with permission, from Morguefile^
My fingers never show the proper levels of blood oxygen due to the fact that I have mild primary Reynaud's phenomenon^ (pops to a National Institutes of Health page). In other words, I have poor circulation in my fingers and toes, and always have. Secondary Reynaud's (which I totally do not have) is caused by other factors, often serious diseases - it's not a diagnosis anyone wants.

To be honest, I always thought that everyone had the same experience (cold extremities indoors, actual pain in the cold) and that it was entirely normal. At least  until I was pregnant in 2005 with Clementine. My doctor, who was trying to get a blood oxygen reading at the time, grabbed my hands, held them palm up, gestured toward the splotchy, pale skin, then said, "Has anyone ever told you why your hands are cold and blue? Because you have Reynaud's".She seemed quite pleased to be the one to tell me.

So, I have Reynaud's. Really, though, the only time it comes up is when I'm out playing in the snow or when I need to give a blood oxygen level, which is almost never. By the way: you can try to tell the nurses that they won't be able to get a blood oxygen reading from your fingers, but about half the time, they'll take it as a personal challenge. At least it isn't painful, though. Nothing like the nurses who are entirely sure that they'll be the one to tame my rolling, collapsing veins with half-a-dozen jabs in the arm rather than taking it out of the back of my hand as I request. In the past I've come close to fainting before they were willing to give up. Now I just insist on the back of my hand.

As mentioned above, I'm still in quite a bit of pain, but determined to get some work done this week. I've had it up to here with my own kvetching, and feel the need to be productive. I'm tired of being sick. I'm sick of being tired. So, I'm planning on working on Christmas gifts, putting up the Christmas tree with Dan and Clementine, and doing all of the other things one is supposed to do in December.
vintage image

Speaking of Clementine: She handled Mommy being in surgery both better and worse than I would have expected. 

Better in the sense that she's been all over me, giving me hugs and kisses, which is very sweet. She wanted to be reassured that everything was ok, and she spent a lot of the weekend right next to me, checking on me. She asked a lot of questions, all of which we answered, all of which seemed to satisfy her sense of curiosity. She knows that I'm ok and at this point, she's back to her sweet self.

But worse in the sense that Clementine decided on Saturday to give herself a haircut. She seems to like to change things up whenever she feels stress, and told me quite plainly that she wanted shorter hair, which is why she cut it. We didn't scold her - there was no point. I simply told her that we'd have to go to the salon and get it evened up, which we did, and she's now the proud owner of a darling pixie cut. 
Until later...
vintage image

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday morning (early)

I hope you are enjoying the blessings of Winter and of Advent on this beautiful Sunday morning. Here are a few of my favorite quotes about my favorite season.

Our hearts grow tender
with childhood memories
and love of kindred,
and we are better
throughout the year
for having,
in spirit,
become a child again
at Christmas time.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui, vanish, - all duties even.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson  

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors: The north is thine; there hast thou build thy dark, Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs, Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
~ William Blake 
 used with permission, by ren, at Morguefile^
The frost performs its secret ministry, 
Unhelped by any wind.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

used with permission, by missyredboots, at Morguefile^
On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence.
~ John Keats

used with permission, by slone, at Morguefile^

Friday, December 03, 2010

Friday Morning (early)

 vintage image

I am writing this Thursday evening just before bed, scheduling it to auto-post Friday morning at 8:15. If everything goes as planned, I'll be in the operating room as this posts, in for some long-overdue surgery.
used with permission, by imelenchon at Morguefile^

If everything goes well (and there is no reason to think that it won't), we'll be home Friday afternoon sometime, where I hope to sleep pain-free for the first time in pretty much forever.

 Yay, sleep.
 used with permission, by alvimann at Morguefile^
I'm going to ask Dan to send an update to Facebook from my phone as soon as he hears anything, and I'll post here as soon as I possibly can. 

The whole thing makes me very nervous, even though I logically know that things will be fine ,and that in a day or two, I'll feel lots better.

Still, wish me luck, and if you are so inclined, I'd deeply appreciate being remembered in your prayers.
used with permission, by hamstersphere at Morguefile^
Thank you.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Am Thankful For...

I am thankful for
... being in a beautiful world with so many wonderful people
... darling, beautiful, gifted, funny, accomplished talented daughters
... a brilliant, handsome, funny talented loving husband
... amazing, loving, smart, funny family and friends 
... my sweet kitty who cuddles and sleeps with me at night 
... my big goofy dog, so protective and loyal
... my health and the good health of my beloved family
... my warm, cozy, (often messy) home
... my community and town, full of good people
... all of the natural wonders surrounding us, living in Colorado
... living in the United States, with our blessings and freedoms
... the men and women who selflessly sacrifice to maintain those freedoms

 Thanksgiving Dinner 2010 consisted of: 
Roast Turkey with garlic-peppered skin
Homemade Montina Bread Stuffing with raisins and pecans (Montina is a type of wild grass used in gluten-free cooking)
Homemade Sourdough Rolls (gluten-free)
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with toasted coconut, cardamom, and pecans
Cranberry Relish
Pumpkin Custard seasoned with Indian spices for dessert


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday Five, Birthday Edition

Sitting up late tonight, listening to a hard rock on the radio (All Along the Watch Tower by Jimmy Hendrix, at the moment), waiting until Dan is deeply asleep to join him, because my coughing keeps him up. He's very kind and sweet about it, and he insists it doesn't bother him. But it does, and he needs his rest.

Jimmy Hendrix, All Along the Watch Tower  

I'm still pretty darned sick (but slowly getting better). I had plans (characters developed, plot outlines, everything) to take part in NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month^), which encompasses the entire month of November, but I've been too sick to hold my head up for most of the month so far, much less write anything coherent. So instead, I'll be postponing NANOWRIMO until I feel better and trying to blog more often during the month of November.

Today's Birthday-themed blog assist (my addled brain needs it) comes from:

The Friday Five^
  1. Do you really make wishes when you blow out the candles on your cake?

    Always. I don't know why, because I'm not superstitious, but I always do.
    The cats love this stuff whenever anyone has a birthday.
    Used with permission, by cohdra, from Morguefile^

  2. Have any of the wishes ever come true, if yes?
    I can't think of any that have. Ever since I was a kid, I've mostly wished for intangible things like "world peace". Maybe I'd have a better chance if I wished for more material things? I probably won't, though. How awesome would it be if some of the intangible wishes actually happened?

    My cake has waaaaay more candles than this.
    Used with permission, by lorettaflame from Morguefile^

  3. How do you feel about birthdays? (e.g. love the attention, just another day, don't want anyone to know my real age, etc.)

    As long as people continue to tell me that I don't look my age, I'm okay with my age. As soon as that changes, I'll probably be more sensitive about it. Although honestly, when you look at the alternative to aging, all of a sudden another birthday sounds pretty good.
    As for attention, it's okay as long as its from people I know... I don't ever want to go out to a restaurant where the staff sings to you or anything like that.
    Time marches on, doesn't it? 
    It's better than the alternative, I guess.
    used with permission, by grafixar from Morguefile^

  4. Tell us a favorite gift you've received, or something you'd really like for your next birthday.

    Three things I've received over the years really stand out.

    My oldest daughter spilled all of my favorite perfume once, and I was really disappointed and a bit angry. The next Christmas, there was a bottle under the tree from her to me. She paid for it herself and I've never forgotten how she remembered, long after I'd forgotten. I felt so privileged to have such a wonderful daughter (and I still do). 

    My middle daughter once gave me a figure from my favorite video game. It struck me as incredibly thoughtful. She'd gotten me something she'd observed that I enjoyed. I still have it on a shelf and smile every time I see it.

    Again, I felt privileged to be a part of such a wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful person's life. I'm endlessly and happily amazed at what wonderful daughters I have. I don't know what I ever did to deserve them, but I am humbled to be in their presence.

    Finally, my husband gave me a very pretty  fáinne Chladaigh (a Claddagh ring) a few years ago. I love it. I should wear it more.
    A Claddagh symbol

    If I could have any one thing, it would be a Blythe doll^, which is totally silly and frivolous and not like me at all, yet... A full sized Blythe is about a foot tall (minis are much smaller), frighteningly thin, with huge heads, and their eyes change colors when you pull a string. Pretty in an ugly way. Or maybe ugly in a pretty way. I have no idea why I want one, since I don't collect dolls. I've just always wanted one (like, since the 1970's).

    I want a full-sized Blythe^, and it would almost certainly have to be a reproduction. Reproductions aren't that much, but originals are outlandishly expensive.

    Used with permission, by cohdra, from Morguefile^

    Like I said, silly and frivolous.

    Speaking of which, Blue Öyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper is playing on the radio now. It's not a frivolous song - it's rather depressing when you get right down to it. But the Saturday Night Live skit about the making of the song totally ruined it for me and now all I can thing of is Christopher Walken. And every time I hear it, I hear cowbell. Nothing but cowbell. They took a perfectly depressing song and made it silly and frivolous. 

    Blue Öyster Cult, Don't Fear the Reaper

  5. See? Nothing but cowbell now.
  6. What flavor cake?

    Gluten-free cake tends to be a bit dry, so I prefer cupcakes because they have a smaller surface area when cooking and don't dry out as much. As for flavor, a basic white or yellow cake with lots of pure vanilla and butter-cream icing.
    What a cupcake might look like
    Used with permission, by mconnors from Morguefile^
    Finally, and speaking of birthdays, Dan's birthday is in a little less than two weeks. I've made plans, which I can't share here for obvious reasons, but I'm really pleased with what I've managed to come up with so far. I have an awesome cake planned and two spiffy gifts I know he'll love. I'm usually so bad with this sort of thing, but I've put a lot of thought into this and I'm so excited!

    Until later...


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Thank you

    A heartfelt thank you to veterans everywhere.
    Thank you for bravely protecting us and our great nation.
    Thank you for your sacrifices. 
    Thank you for everything you've done to preserve our freedoms.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    In Flanders Fields
    by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.
     used with permission, attributed to Palmiped at en.wikipedia


    Friday, November 05, 2010

    The Friday Five from The Women's Colony...

    ...coming to you live, on Saturday morning. 

    We had a pretty quiet week after a bustling, super-busy Halloween weekend. As soon as I'm feeling a bit better, I'll post photos of the costume I made for Clementine. It took much longer than normal to make, the better part of a week, mostly because I felt so icky. October 31st is Clementine's birthday as well as Halloween, and this was the first year we've let her go to more than just the two or three houses in our immediate neighborhood. For the first time, we allowed her (with Dan as her brave escort, of course) to trick or treat at a few dozen houses. For all those reasons, I really wanted to make her costume special.

    Used with permission, by seiyastock, from Morguefile^

    I've been sick for about a month, with coughing, a sinus infection, an earache; just feeling terrible. I've gone to bed early most nights, exhausted. I ended up going in to the doctor on Thursday morning after I just couldn't justify trying to say that "it'll get better" when it wasn't. Turns out, it's a sinus/bronchial infection. I'm now on antibiotics, and feel some better already. I need to remind myself that when I'm sick, the doctor is my friend.

     Used with permission, by ppdigital, from Morguefile^

    Tonight, after dinner, Dan and I watched a movie on Netflix streaming. In the last few months, we've developed a habit of watching bad sci-fi/monster movies on Friday night. Tonight's feature film was Snake Island^, starring William Katt ( the actor from the awesome 1981 series, Greatest American Hero). People stranded on island full of snakes, snakes pick people off one by one. In the end, only the few people who seemed to be decent folk are left. It was pretty much ok as those things go, unless you're ophidiophobic (hate snakes). 'Cause this movie had snakes. Lots and lots of snakes. And lots and lots of bad acting. Sssssss.

    Used with permission, by penywise from Morguefile^

    Luckily, neither of us fear snakes. I fear clowns (coulrophobia), so I avoid circuses, and try to live a life that doesn't include day-to-day contact with brightly painted creepy people :)

     Used with permission, by mconnors from Morguefile^

    Giant from the Unknown^ was our second movie of the evening. Filmed in 1958, in black and white,, it was about an archaeologist father and his daughter who were looking for the bodies of a evil giant who had been part of a Spanish conquistador expedition into California in the 1600's. They're joined by another man, I think he was a scientist of some sort. They eventually dig up the skeleton of the giant, who is then promptly reanimated by a lightening bolt. The giant rants and raves, kills a couple of people, and generally terrorizes the tiny mountain town until they kill it. It was about what you'd expect, i.e., I loved it. 

     Used with permission, by ladyheart from Morguefile^

    Mostly, I love it because it gives us a chance to sit together, chat, and just "be" with each other. It's nice to have a weekly date to spend special time with my love. I can't wait until next week.

    Without further adieu, the Friday Five from the Women's Colony^:

    Used with permission, by alvimann, from Morguefile^

    1. Are you a morning or a night person?

    Night person. But I bet you guessed that, since I'm writing this at 3:49 AM. Actually, this is late even for me. I wouldn't be up now normally, but I feel better sitting up than laying down.

    Used with permission, by wax115, from Morguefile^

    2. You’re having dinner with friends. They all start gossiping about another friend of yours. What do you do?

    Ask them to stop, possibly correcting anything said that I know to be wrong.

    Used with permission, by clarita, from Morguefile^

    3. What is the worst job you've ever had?

    I don't know. I don't think I've ever really hated a job insofar as my bosses have been nice enough and most co-workers have been fine. I guess I'd have to say "waitressing" because people in general don't really treat waitresses very well. If you feel the need to cure yourself of your love for Humanity, wait tables for six months or so. It'll fix you right up. 

    Used with permission, by duboix, from Morguefile^

    4. What magazines do you subscribe to? 

    Only one, Living Crafts^, a crafting magazine featuring natural handcrafts. I used to subscribe to Reason^, a magazine for libertarians; &; Skeptical Inquirer^, a science magazine for skeptics. I stopped a few years ago when the subscriptions ran out, but I'd like to resubscribe to both someday when I have more time to read them. 

     Used with permission, by Alvimann, from Morguefile^
    5. What is your favorite restaurant in your area?

    Eating out when you don't eat gluten is really hard, and I'm always concerned that I'm going to get "wheated". A couple of restaurants stand out as places that are easier than most. Thankfully, they're delicious, too. Arharn Thai^ has a really well-labeled menu, is very careful about gluten, and hands-down, has the best Thai in town.
     used with permission, by dantada, from Morguefile^
    My other favorite place is Bird Dog BBQ^; they have some of the best BBQ I've ever had (and I lived in the South), and are very mindful of gluten.

    Either place, any time.

    Until later.


    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Autumn Finally Arrives

    Nature didn't seem to want to let go of summer this year. 

    September felt like August, and we had very warm weather well into October. 

    But finally, Nature yielded, and Autumn seems to be truly and finally here. 

    Here are a few photos we've taken over the past few weeks. 

    Abandoned house east of town 
    on the ranch where we hunt

    The prairie looks flat, doesn't it? But it isn't. 
    There are dips, ditches, and holes. Animal burrows and trails.
    Deep channels where rain water runs off. 
    Yucca plants so big that you have to walk around them.
    Its anything but flat, and walking across it in heavy boots, 
    carrying hunting gear means you're going to stumble. 

    Thinking about how incredibly difficult it must have been for 
    pioneers, who walked hundreds of miles over land like this,
    makes my back ache in sympathy.

    Dan on the Prairie. 
    The weather was cool and breezy, 
    and the clouds were lofty and gray. 
     An out building, or what's left of it.
     The Front Range of the Rockies on an autumn afternoon. 
    Its probably impossible to tell here, 
    but the mountains above the tree line
    had already received plenty of snow when this was taken.
    A outcropping of rock near Kremmling, Colorado 
    (about 9250 feet above sea level)
    Downed pine trees, 
    and an outcropping of rocks.
    A meadow shortly before sunrise near Kremmling
     Day break
    The meadow as the sun comes up.
    Peaceful meadow.
    In the distance, three moose have overnighted in the meadow. 
    They had layers of frost in their coats as the sun came up.
     Snow in the foreground, 
    a taste of things soon to come.
     Welcome, Autumn!