Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Months fly by



Greetings my friends!  I will never understand why I let so much time go by without coming in to post something.  Believe me my life has just enough going on where I could share something every few weeks but, I just get caught up in things.  Any way, Last November I ended up having a 2nd intestinal surgery.  Initially it was supposed to be putting me back together and getting rid of the Ostomy.  Did not work out really well, my intestinal disease is too far gone and I ended up losing some more of my large intestine and having the temporary colostomy remade into a permanent one.  Well, I guess I don't have to wonder any more, this is my life.  Recovery has been a very slow process this time, I think that is a big part of the reason I am not getting much done.  I am extremely fatigued all the time.  I often can not even work up the energy to pick up my needle and play with my beads.  Now that is bad.  So obviously, I am not getting much work done.  The worst part is that I can't stand not being active and involved in things so to seemingly watch myself not able to do anything is very frustrating.  I am doing a lot of reading and everything tells me to just be patient because recovery from this surgery at my age takes a long time.  Okay I will try but my patience is growing short.  Then we deal with the eating issues.  I am on a high protein, low residue, low carb, low fiber diet.  I have a long list of things I can not eat.  Some of them are forever, things like my absolute favorite foods such as nuts and seeds.  I cannot have any meat that cannot be cooked to the point of falling apart so I can have a Hamburg because it is already ground up but a steak is too fibrous.  I cannot have any fruit or vegetable that has skin or seeds.  Almost all my fruit and vegetables have to be cooked to mush.  I walk into the store and pick up a tomato and just stare at , maybe smell it and my mouth waters.  Of course I can take that tomato home and blanche it to remove the skin and scoop out the seeds.  But does that make you want a beautiful tomato sandwich?  Nope !  There are many things I can try adding into my diet slowly, one at a time.  Of course the things I love most aren't being accepted well.  I love the oddball stuff.  The Lima Beans and Brussels Sprouts. I love broccoli and I love beans.  Last week I found a recipe using grated cauliflower and I had to try it because I love cauliflower.  Grated...right down to tiny little specks and within half hour of eating the tasty outcome my intestines let me know we cannot have our cauliflower back.  One of the highlights of my day....a smoothie.  My daughter gave me a nutribullet about a year ago.  It does a great job of disintegrating my fruit into pure liquid so every day at some point I make a big, satisfying smoothie.  Lots of fruit, my daily yogurt, some good juice or almond milk.  Sounds great right?  Yeah..it's putting pounds on me.  natural sugar be damned the sugars in the fruit and juice are making me fat. 

This journey is not going to be easy.  The only thing I have on my side is that I am tough.  I will not give in.  Once our winter weather breaks I can do a little more to help myself and sooner or later I will defeat the fatigue, the hunger, the bad mood.  Hope everyone is doing well, I promise to try and come back sooner than 4 months from now.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Daily Life



Happy Day before Halloween!  My great grandbaby is sporting her first witches hat !  Time has been flying by while I have been in recovery from May's surgery.  I am just now starting to feel like a normal person, getting around, eating a little bit of real food, starting to work on my beading.  I have gotten used to the ostomy, really good about caring for it.  Well guess what?  Next Monday we start all over again.  I am going into the hospital for the 1st of 2 surgeries.  The ultimate goal being this time next year I will have all my insides hooked back together again just being a normal person.  We don't really know for sure if it will work.  My surgeon is very confident but there are issues.  I am going to go for it though.  I would love to return to a normal life.  Let's face it, this has just restricted me in so many more areas again just at a time that I thought things would go back to normal for me as far as going where I want, eating what I want, being very active with my little's.  If the surgeries work I can get back there.  If it does not work...well a new colostomy will be permanently reintroduced.  It's okay, now that I know how to handle it , if it is what I have to do to live then I will do it.   In the meantime, I am getting ready to put the Etsy shop into vacation mode.  Not that any one would notice these days, LOL!  My daughter and I are doing some house rearranging.  I have been using a hospital bed since my dad passed. obviously spending a lot of time in it since last May.  We are rearranging the living room a bit so my bed can be out there, with bookshelves lined up on one side with all my beading supplies so I can sit and work and have all my television channels.  We will be able to put my recliner right next to the bed with an end table between them for my beading lamp.  I know it seems a bit strange to have a bed in the living room but when people come to visit, which only seems to happen when I am really sick, it will be much more comfortable than fitting them into my tiny bedroom. 
My kids are making me Thanksgiving dinner in a few day's because I will still be on liquid , soft diet when Thanksgiving rolls around.  Oh my ! This will be the first Thanksgiving I have not cooked in probably 37 years.  Not quite sure how I will handle that.  I am staying optimistic that I will be feeling a bit better by the time Christmas gets here but who knows!  Any way, I just wanted to check in because I know I only get here every few months as it is and just maybe I will be up to doing it a bit more while I am recovering.  Would love to have a whole new bunch of beading projects in progress to show you but I truly wish for wonderful Holiday times for everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Months passing



A few day's ago, in a conversation on Facebook, someone brought up that I should blog.  Well obviously they don't know me well enough to know I am not great with words but I have enjoyed sharing my everyday life with everyone here and all at once I realized I have not posted in many months.  Well...let me tell you...a whole lot of stuff has gone on since my last post in April.  Starting with emergency surgery.  Yup!  Last post I was sharing that I still wasn't feeling good and getting ready to find out why.  I was scheduled for a colonoscopy that actually ended with me in the emergency room and I spent 3 weeks during the month of May in the hospital after having a large section of my large intestine removed and a colectomy.  This was horrible but I am spending each night sending thanks out to the powers that be because I was days away from sepsis from a total intestinal blockage which would have ended my life if not discovered when it was.  I also have to have my gall bladder removed.  During tests for the colon a ultra sound showed the problems with the gall bladder.  The ER doctor looked me straight in the eye and said "you have so many stones in there it should have been removed 10 years ago"  but..the surgeon does not agree so we still have that equipment LOL.  The healing process has been long and slow so I am not getting much of anything in my life accomplished but I guess I don't really mind, I take it one day at a time.  I think the hardest part of healing is eating.  I have to follow guidelines for diabetes, then I have to follow guidelines for the Colectomy.  Then I have to follow guidelines for the gall bladder.  So each diet conflicts with the other and I spend more time finding something I can eat that is ok on all 3 diet plans, I often wonder if I shall starve to death before I find an ok food!  On the upside, I have lost 25 lbs. to date.

The hardest part of this whole mess is of course the financial devastation.  Between problems with what my insurance will and will not cover, money taken for my Medicare, the cost of daily supplies that no insurance will pay for ....yes I am in a mess.  I am always in a mess and that has never been a secret but this one is far beyond my coping skills so I spend a great deal of my time just researching what I can do to begin to fix things.  Nothing works so far but I keep keeping on.  Chin up , optimism in place , I just keep looking for that miracle.  I have a friend taking my beadwork to some public events and some is on consignment at a spa.  I am working on ornaments for the shop until I am cross eyed and my grand daughter and I just reactivated my Avon business.  Oh and just to make sure I am covering all the bases I faithfully enter my numbers in the Publishers Clearing house sweepstakes.
Putting my name in for the DIY Blog Cabin and Woman's Day Magazine giveaways is giving a way a big chunk of money in January of 2018...think I can wait that long?   As you can see they have not yet managed to remove my sense of humor.  I hope to be showing some new work soon but can't promise much.  If your ready to start decorating, my sequined ornaments are popping up in the Etsy shop.  If you need back to school makeup or some new perfume check out our online Avon store: www.youravon.com/vhatlee.
Enjoy the last little bit of summer!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Spring!




Hi everyone!  This is my newest bead embroidered painting, it was a lot of fun!!  Every once in a while I like to go through the list of blogs I follow.  Today I realized it has been quite a while since I went through and deleted the ones that are no longer active.  Holy Cow!  I deleted over 100 blogs that have been sitting covered in dust for a long time.  I think it is time I get on the stick and keep up with things...Yes I am dreaming again. 

A lot of normal every day life going on, enjoying my grandbabies as much as I can while I finally, finally deal with some of my own health issues.  Beading steadily, just still having a hard time deciding what I want to do.  I get more discouraged with Etsy every single day and don't feel a lot of motivation to get work listed.  Yet I don't have it in me to try any other sites.  I haven't wanted to do that right along.  So I sit and ponder...I would love to start doing some in person shows like I did when I was younger and felt good but I just don't know if I am up to sitting all day at a public show even if I only do a few a year.  Still toying with the idea of a few trunk shows this summer in places I am familiar with.  I hate it when I can not make decisions.  Just think it to death!! 

Right now I am working on piles of little quick things like bracelets that I can sell really cheap to use up mountains of beads that are not good enough quality to use in my Amulet bags or my paintings.  My daughter and I are making plans for a big lawn sale where she is living, they have a town wide one every mothers day weekend.  So I am working on that , even if we don't get this accomplished during the town wide, we will still hold one during the summer months so it will be worth the effort.

Not a whole lot else going on in my world other than I am adjusting to the many changes of this past few years and while I have a lot of work to do with my health issues, I am making progress.  Hope everyone has an enjoyable spring and summer, I know I am looking forward to a few months of nice weather. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Looking up



The start of my newest bead embroidered painting.  Not sure why but I seem to lean toward doing a painting more than a Amulet bag right now, maybe I am just a bit burnt out and not feeling so good I seem to be lacking the energy to even pick out the beads for a bag.  The good news is the sun is out today!  Still very cold but the wind has dried up a lot of water so we don't have ice covered roads and the snow is down to just an icy coating in the yard.  I am praying for spring because I have thing's to do and need to be able to be outdoors in the sheds a bit so I hope this sunshine is not just another tease before our next snow storm. 

Things have been quiet, the new baby is doing wonderful.  Sadly I am not feeling much better than I was 2 months ago.  But I am working hard on learning how to eat a diabetic diet, really not that hard for me for the most part because I am happy eating a bowl of vegetables.  What I do have a hard time with is not having something more satisfying that I can crunch on late at night,  I always feel just a tiny bit hungry because that big bowl of veggies just did not stick around long.  And boy or boy do I miss my ice cream.  Ice cream has always been my big downfall and I do know I can get frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream but getting to the store is not easy so I sit weeks at a time with an ever growing grocery list waiting for someone to find time to take me shopping.  The good news is I have lost 5 pounds.  Took me almost a month but it is happening ounce by ounce!

I am spending some time brainstorming.  I just did a month long experiment (again) putting my bags up for auction on Ebay.  I sold one bag for the starting bid price!  One bag.....Less money than it cost me in supplies.  Each time I do this I say I will not go back yet after a few months I am drawn to trying again.  It is really time to face the fact that my day's of selling decently on Ebay are done. 
Etsy?  Again,  extreme disappointment and time to make changes.  I am playing with the idea of doing a few trunk shows in town this summer.  I worry about that because you never know when my health is going to throw me a curve ball but still, I am just not ready to sit in my chair and give up.  Sooner or later I will come up with some answers.

Okay folks, everyone have a great weekend and pray for spring!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Day



Good morning and Happy February 1st!  I have had a busy few day's and we are still in the middle of it.  Last week I went to the doctor because I have just not been feeling well since I came down with my usual Christmas flu.  Nothing very specific just a general all over feeling of exhaustion and lethargy.  Lots of muscle aches and even though I was too tired to do anything I am not sleeping well.
I know and the doctor agrees a great deal of my problems are neurological dealing with nerve damage and the tumor floating around in my head.  But just to be on the safe side he decided to do a bunch of labs every thing from a normal cbc to thyroid and glucose specifics.  On Friday morning I had to return to the lab for fasting tests because I have diabetes.  Not earth shaking news because it runs heavily in both sides of my family and I have been very careful about yearly testing and darn I have been lucky right up to this point.  That said, yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 60 years old and I am so very okay with that.  I have earned every grey hair and every last ache and pain.  But the good thing here is changing my diet because of the diabetes means I will start feeling better in a lot of way's soon.  Getting rid of the bad food will help me take off this very stubborn extra weight.  Getting out to walk as soon as our weather breaks will help my muscles feel better,  I have been having a great time joking with my grand daughter.  She has a lot of baby weight to lose and I keep telling her getting out and walking together will make us both slim and sexy again LOL. 

This morning my daughter is having exploratory surgery, well did have, just was recently messaged that she did fine in surgery and is in recovery.  It will never cease to amaze me how one misdiagnosed illness can cause so many other illnesses and raise total havoc in someone's body.  But the fact is Chronic Lyme has caused my daughter a whole laundry list of illnesses and it grows longer every day.  I fear what news we will get from todays exploration.  What is worse if feeling like your hands are always tied when it comes to way's to help someone who is facing so much.  But I cannot allow my thoughts to get out of control and have to just sit and wait for news. 

In the meantime it seems like winter always makes me want to pull out crystal clear seed beads and drops and make things that remind of icicles so here we are with this weeks work.

I hope your February is mild, I won't say speedy because it just seems like our months and weeks already go by too fast!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Heart's full of Happiness



On Thursday evening (1-7-16)  my first GREAT grandchild was born.  Her name is Catherine Elaine and she was born at 7lbs 11oz.  A record in my family because we have 5 and 6 lb babies.  Obviously this one takes after dad's side of the family. 

I just have to tell you, I don't care how many bad things happen in my life, I don't care how much time I spend trying to fix a crisis.  My grandbabies give me every reason in the world to keep moving forward.  My heart is so full to overflowing right now I am waiting for it to rip in half because it just can't hold all this love and happiness at one time. 

I know we all feel this way when we have children of our own but none of us realize how much stronger it is when our grandchildren come along.  Our baby had a baby and sometimes that baby had a baby,  each one down the line just makes the love of our family stronger. 

My only reason to post today is to share my joy with everyone that will listen.  Hope your Sunday is amazing!