Wednesday, July 21, 2010
(Said in a hushed whisper: "This (dinner) was the extent of our 4th of July celebration this year as I ended up sick later this night, all day on the 4th and in the hospital on the 5th. Photo taken before dinner with our neighbors.")
Head over to New Jersey Through My Eyes for "Catching Up - Summer 2010," a new slide show of photo's.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
As most of you who read my blog know, I love love love Halloween and these delightfully spooky treasures stay up, year round, above our living room windows. (As does that snow man actually!)
Another thing most of you know about me is that I love love love snow and this is my collection of snowy paintings & pictures which hang above our computer desk in our room, most of which are set in the country. Most of these I've picked up in thrift shops over time or framed myself.
This is Hubbs, at the tender age of 19, within his first year of being in the United Stated Marine Corps. He looks Nothing like this now and sometimes it's hard for me to believe it's really him, but I've been assured by his parents and siblings it is, lol! This hangs in our living room with some other Marine Corps items of his by our front door.
In that tiny fishbowl looking vase at the top are the dried flowers from our symbolic wedding ceremony which we had down in FL for Hubbs' parents before our wedding here in NJ and before his Mom passed away in 2005. Underneath the dried flowers are shells and sand from Madeira Beach FL, a day trip we took during that visit to his parents. This sits atop our entertainment center in the living room.
My all time favorite books! Need I say more? (On the "hers" shelf of the matching "his & hers" book cases on either side of the mantle in the living room).
Some how I've managed to hold onto this quote for many, many years now and recently framed it to make sure it sticks around for a long time to come. I love this quote and couldn't agree more with it. (And, of course, I love that snowy tree too!)
This is Hubbs' family cabin in The Endless Mountains of PA, a place we sadly can't get too very often anymore (it's been 2 years since our last visit) and a place where I've never felt more peaceful, content and happy in my life. When it's time to lock the door behind us to come home, I cry every time, like my heart's breaking. It's truly "God's Country" up there. It's glorious there any season of the year, but I think Autumn is my favorite because of the gorgeous foliage colors and the scents of wood smoke & apple cinnamon in the air.
Now let's see, who's "it" next? I think...
~H over at Rainbows Of Faith.
~B over at The Nabors Baby.
~G over at I Hate Writing.
~K over at Butterfly Confidential.
~L over at fever.
(No worries and no pressure gals! Thought this was fun and that you might think the same).
Sunday, July 18, 2010
In an attempt to keep myself from sliding further into a funk that started yesterday, (I've had it with being sick and tired, being stuck w/needles, iv's & tubes, having tests, taking meds and feeling like crap - Had It!) I'm taking a few moments to appreciate some of the simple pleasures I'm enjoying this Sunday (via another list):
-Watching CBS News Sunday Morning, something I've done and enjoyed for many years now on Sunday mornings when I'm home.
-Laying around with Hubbs, watching bad movies and laughing.
-Seeing the smallest Carolina Wren I've ever seen in my garden out back when I got up to get myself some lunch. What a sweet looking little bird!
-My pumpkin spice candle from last Autumn, such a yummy and comforting scent. (Walmart's Mainstays candle collection).
-Catching up on my magazines; Country Living, Country Living British Edition, Starting From Seed and Artful Blogging.
-Watching my new guilty pleasure show, The Fabulous Beakman Boys online. (Hopefully they'll put the full ghost episode on Planet Green's site soon since Hubbs flipped channels so much yesterday I missed the end of it! Gr!) *Update: This episode (The Haunting Of Beakman Farm) aired again this evening and I got to watch it, beginning to end. A dose of Autumn & Halloween is just what I needed to lift my Spirits!
-Giving myself a home pedi yesterday which I touched up today & having my metallic blue-green polish back - my signature happy toes color has been some kind of metallic blue for many years now. Seems to go well with my skin tone and when I'm tan. (Before yesterday they were a dark maroon color which was nice but not me).
-Fresh brewed (yesterday) decaf white & green Sun Tea. Fresh brewed iced tea is on my list of allowed fluids. I've reached my tolerance for water (after drinking 7 bottles of it a day since getting home from the hospital - roughly 49 bottles - thankfully we can get back to using filtered tap water once this is over, the bottled water was just easier given my circumstances) and can't stand the thought of drinking another drop of it!
-Having a salad made of greens from my own garden along with a yellow beefsteak tomato from a local market with Italian dressing & craisins. My first salad since last month!
What simple Sunday pleasures are you enjoying today?
Saturday, July 17, 2010
For interview/partial transcript, click here.
The parts about gardening and how some feel while they're in the garden are how I feel when I'm gardening and it's the first time I've heard it put into words other than in my own mind and journal. It felt good to hear!
Friday, July 16, 2010
-Love and prayer.
-My husband, my hero (yet again). Words cannot describe the love and appreciation in my heart. Had he not acted when he did, knowing something was seriously wrong with me (when I didn't know), I would not be here and that's no exaggeration.
-Being home instead of in the hospital. I always appreciate our home after being away, but I never wanted to be home more than I did after Hubbs would leave when visiting hours were over in the evening at the hospital.
-My mom. She's driving me crazy by literally following me around the house when ever I move around, lol! I'm thankful for her help since getting home. (Though it makes me feel bad to be 35 and having my 70 year old mother taking care of me!)
-My friends. My bff's and all of you out there in cyberspace; Your kind, loving & supportive words, cards and gifts mean the world to me and are helping me get better each day. I especially couldn't have gotten through the nights in the hospital without your texts. (The nights were so hard this time around - I don't know why).
-My kitties. Their sweet little faces & personalities bring a smile to my face and heart. It seems as soon as I start feeling down, one of them is by my side, purring & lifting my spirits.
-My garden. I'm sad that during the last heat wave, while I was in the hospital, my Pacino Sunflowers, 'Oranges & Lemons' Blanketflowers and Zucchini vines became casualties of the extreme heat & direct sunlight. I missed my Butterfly Bush in full bloom and the first two Early Girl Tomato's. My Lavender isn't doing so hot but should hopefully survive this heat wave. I know it's all part of gardening but it still makes me sad. But, my Autumn Joy Sedum is beginning to bloom and there's a flurry of bee activity as a result which makes me happy.
-Simple yet fresh food. I'm not eating a lot by any means yet (and I've lost over 11lbs since this began - don't worry, that's a good thing, I need to lose at least 30 more) but the food at the hospital was either so bland it had no taste or it was disgusting. At home Hubbs has been making dinner every night and the man can Cook!
-Reading. I can't focus for too long as of yet but books are always such a comfort to me. Even my favorite magazines are a comfort. (Artful Blogging, Country Living, Country Living British Edition).
-Using this down time to learn. However, I'm trying to learn Photoshop 7 and it's making me quite cranky, lol! (What a process just to get rounded corners on a cropped photo! Sheesh).
I hope you're all having a great Friday!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Leaving the hospital and coming home was a little overwhelming, a feeling I've had before after leaving the hospital and it's difficult to explain. I'm a little afraid being home (after what I've been through this last week I'm surprised I'm not in a terrified stupor, lol!) and I'm prone to crying at the drop of a dime, but I'm so glad to be home!
I'm also so thankful for my husband, mom and friends! You've all been so wonderful throughout this with me and your loving support means more than I could ever begin to tell you so I want to thank you. Words across the internet or to a cell phone are the same to me as being wrapped in a comforting hug. Thank you!
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Without going into too much horrifying detail, I've had a drain tube inserted into my left kidney through my back to help it function because coincidentally when the infection kicked in & things swelled, a kidney stone was passing and got trapped, blocking flow. (The stone or stones apparently are not what's caused the infection). They couldn't knock me out for this proceedure because my fever when I arrived here was 103.6 and it was too dangerous. They gave me enough to take away "80%" of the pain. I was terrified (scared out of my every living mind and soul by this point) but thankfully it went quick and there were no complications.
It takes 5 to 7 days for this kind of infection to run it's course. Aside from the drain tube, I'm constanly hooked up to a fluids iv and in addition have a daily anitbiotics iv treatment and what ever else is necessary in addtion to pain meds & tylenol as needed. I have to be here for 24 hours without a fever before they can CT me again to see if that "very very tiny" stone has been able to pass on its' own or not. (If not they will then remove it but only if I don't have a fever). Please pray with me that this stone passes on its' own without complications and that I don't require a second surgery! (I really really appreciate it, thank you).
I had no idea I was "life or death" sick on the verge of death. I really didn't. I've lived with illness for so many years and there wasn't anything different, to me, going on that signaled to me that I needed to get here. I've felt that way before and it's passed in a day or so which is what I thought would happen this time. Obviously not!
We were up at our little lakeside retreat for the 4th of July holiday weekend. Hubbs wanted to pack up, get back down near home and bring me here on Sunday but I just wanted to rest. Monday he woke me early and told me he was packing us up, we were heading home and he was calling my doctor's answering service on the way because heat was radiating off me, heating up the bedroom. I didn't argue. I believe we got home in record time. Shortly after, my doctor's partner returned his call and told him it sounded like I had an infection and to get me to an emergency room "now, don't wait." He didn't. And so here I've been since 11am Monday morning.
I'm improving (slowly) but it's hard once Hubbs leaves when visiting hours end at 8p. (He had to go back to work yesterday so I'm only seeing him for a few hours a day now). I miss him and being home with him so much it brings me to tears. But I'm trying the best I can overall and not get upset. I've had other visitors, get well care packages & oddles of phone calls which helps me to keep my Spirits up. And of course Mom's taken the 'day shift' now that Hubbs is back at work.
And so I leave you now as I continue my sabbatical towards recovery and getting home. Take care until next time friends!
Thursday, July 01, 2010
I've been journaling a lot again and feeling better. I feel totally scattered when I'm not journaling on a regular basis for an extended period of time.
I didn't even place in that photo contest I entered last month and no lie, I'm a little disappointed, but if 'at first you don't succeed, try try again!' and I will.
No, I make zucchini bread!
(I march to the beat of my own drum baby!)
Our heat wave broke yesterday, it's been breezy with temps in the 70's and I couldn't resist the urge any longer. When I mentioned on Twitter earlier this afternoon that I was baking the first loaves of zucchini bread of the season, friend Lisa (of Lit and Life) said I should sell them at a local farmer's market. That stuck with me through the afternoon. Inspired me.
I don't do a lot of baking (breads, cakes & brownies mostly) but I have a lot of fun with what I do bake, especially my zucchini breads and spice cakes. I've decided to work on my different zucchini bread recipes this Summer and Fall, 'prefect' them as well as try a couple of new ones I've had my mind on and prepare for next year's farmer's market!
Now, Hubbs has been telling me for a few years now that I should make prints of my local photo's and flower shots to sell at the farmer's market so I just might do both!
Despite a Cat Bird feasting on my (Brandywine) Raspberries all day long, I was able to get quite a few for myself. There's nothing quite like eating a fresh picked berry warm from the sun that you've grown yourself.
Hey now, who says Raspberries and containers don't mix?! It's definitely a lesson in patience but I can assure you it can be done. To date I've harvested 220 berries, the most I've ever (ever!) had. The number of berries I've harvested from 2006 through last year last year wouldn't even come close to that number. There's roughly 100 more forming now which will begin to ripen over the next couple of week's.
And Now it's time for the "Tidbit" portion of our program this evening. Er, I mean, my post:
If you have Woolly Aphids in your garden, to get rid of them, you can use 1 teaspoon of dish soap (not dish detergent!), less than an 1/8th teaspoon of cayenne pepper (like a "dash") and a quart of water, mixed well and put into a spray bottle. Spray where ever you see the Aphids. (Do your best not to spray fruits and veggies directly, just their foliage). You will most likely have to keep doing this every few days throughout the rest of the season but it's a safe way to dispose of them.
(This year's infestation out back is Much worse than last year's).
Another tidbit: If you have to spray flower heads themselves, please make sure it's not at a time when bees of any kind are active and pollinating your flowers as they may become victims of the spray if they go to the flowers before they've completely dried.