Monday, September 25, 2023

September 24, 2023 Monday--5am

 Good morning!

If you see it says Monday at 5am you will know that I scheduled a post I wrote on Sunday--LOL!  That worked like a charm!  :)

This last week I stumbled upon and read up on CBT-I (Cognative Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) and watched videos, too.  Have been trying to adapt my sleep routine to see if it would help.  I set an alarm to take my melatonin and CBD oil and then have no screen time for an hour--do something quiet with the lights down low.  Then when the second alarm goes off I turn off all the lights, listen to something meditative and try to go to sleep.  I was so tired it worked okay for the first couple nights--even if I didn't sleep very long.  The third night, though, I was so very tired that it was a total crash night and I slept 12 hours!  So, of course, then last night I couldn't sleep at all--despite the routine and laying in the dark listening to meditative music for two hours.  Was up all night and only had a nap today from 11:15am till 12:45pm.  So I have no idea when I will sleep again...but I will try the evening routine again--if I am still awake--ROFL!  They suggest writing/journaling, reading a book...just some quiet time.  I'll keep trying.  

Anyways, this felt like a week off in a way.  I have puttered with the cards.  Finished the red bulbs and am about half way done with the silver bulb bases.  

I really thought I would get the coloring done this last week, but I needed more breaks (shoulders and neck sore from all the hunching over--lol!) so I didn't push it.  Took it really easy and mostly just did the usual--laundry and such.  Watched more history videos.  Yup--still down that rabbit hole.  ;)  But I did watch the new season of Only Murder In The Building on Hulu and finished The Chelsea Detective's new season on Acorn TV.  Just was a very relaxing week--albeit not the most productive.

Allie slept at her new spa...

...and on her chair.  :)
Oh, I did put up the last of the new colorful shower curtains.

I think this one is my very favorite!  Saved it for the last of the wild ones.

Although, I do have two more left--a Fall leaves one and a snowy trees one for Winter that I have been saving until it is time, I guess.  Just hanging on to them for the heck of it.  But they are the last ones and I might not be able to wait that long--lol!  Having this awesome deep, richly colored one that looks like rainbow colored clouds will be satisfying, though, for a good long while.  ;)  Just love it!

Allie has taken to lounging around on the table in the bedroom...
...or in her bed I put up there if she wants to spy on the birds in the tree outside the window.  She likes me to put the blinds up just a ways like that so she feels sneaky--lol!

The Saturday before last McFamily got up early to go to the razing of a building in town.  Not something we have happen up here very often.  I thought you might get a kick out of these two short videos.  I sure did.
When the explosion finally did happen without warning Liam bolted to run past Leah!  She grabbed him and held him next to her leg--but both the boys thought it was great!  
Remember Dagan and Leah were over to reorganize my garage back a week or so?  They got all the Valley Con furniture and decorations together on the left side.
I do see my painting easel, though, still leaning against the stacks--lol!
All the IKEA boxes and some more donations got piled on the other side.  After Chuck picks all that up then we can move all the IKEA boxes over in the left hand corner farther away from the door.  I do get a little water sometimes when the snow melts in the winter or if the rain pelts from the right direction.  Not as much now that Gerald put on a new rubber piece along the bottom of the door, but to be on the safe side I want those boxes moved to the back of the garage.
There are so many boxes because each drawer we think has its own box and the living room will be full of IKEA dressers--lol!  One whole wall and another dresser under the window.  :)
Meanwhile, they have been busy, as usual.  The boys are back at the climbing place again now that the summer sports programs are ended.
I think of it as gym time--along with the bowling.  :)

They went to see a lot of big vehicles at some local event.  The neighbor boy came with, too.  Fire truck.
Liam seems to love the huge tires!
Not sure what this is--but they would know.  Looks like it might have a scoop on the front.

Cement truck.
Looks like the boys all had a great time climbing all over and inside of these huge vehicles!  :)

Trent has been by, but since they're working on electric there isn't much to see yet.

Dagan being silly with Blink.
The shower pieces are there now!
My new shower floor!
Leah sends me little drawings sometimes to explain what she is texting me about.  This one was about shelving and where it will go.  Honey oak wood shelves with black brackets.  Looked really nice to me and I agreed with all the places they will go.  :)
Lastly, across the street from them somebody is finally building a house on that empty lot.
They get a good view from upstairs.
Cement being poured for the foundation.  Exciting!
Well, a quiet week for me and Miss Allie.  Lovely fall weather on the whole.  One day we hit 80, I think, but otherwise it has been a lot cooler and even chilly at night.  Had some sweet rain and thunder yesterday off and on.  I do love the sound of rain and thunder!  I miss my sound machine that finally bit the dust quite a while back.  I bet I can get my Hey, Google contraption or Alexa (yes, I have them both) to play me a thunderstorm if I tried.  Might try that tonight.

I'm having my port removed on Tuesday.  Leah is coming with me.  I told her she could drop me off (hate to be a burden) but I didn't fight her when she said--no, I'm coming with you.  (I do love her so much!)  Going to take 5-6 hours.  Call me a wuss, Connie, but they gave me a choice and I'd rather wake up and have it all over with.  I wasn't awake when they put it in and I'd prefer it be the same when they take it out--lol!  Honestly, I'm tired of volunteering for extra pain. I have lived with constant pain and exhaustion for over 20 years with the fibro and arthritis and the rest--and then to have it ratchet way up the past two years with all of this cancer stuff--well, I am just plain sore and tired. Maybe also getting restless for it to be over and done with--even though I know it won't be and I'll have extra visits probably forever--lol!  But you know what I mean.    

Well, Dagan totally agreed with me.  Any time they can put him out for something that is what he chooses, too.  He's been through a lot more than I have, that's for sure.  And now I am much less stressed about having it taken out.  Sit around, get an IV like I do every time I get a CT scan--and wake up later on when it is all done, lay around a little while, and go home.  That's the way I like it.  Out patient surgery is so much easier when you don't have to be awake--lol!  I'll take the pain afterwards.  That's fine.  I am used to that kind of pain--the endurance kind.  ;) 

Plus, my body has been known to over-react.  When I was in my 20s I tried birth control and my body totally believed I was pregnant--no periods, boobs, nausea, stomach, the whole bit.  Couldn't take them.  So then I tried an IUD.  Within a month I was doubled over in pain--totally inflamed--and when the doctor went to remove the IUD, my body had grown actual tissue over and around it--like an oyster would do to sand--and the doctor couldn't believe it--even drug other doctors and nurses in to see it.  So I am always a little leery of what my body may have done to any foreign object.  It looks kind of blue under my skin.  So, I do have some logical reasons to be wondering what it has done being left alone since December when my body hadn't been crazy about it in the first place.  But it hasn't gone berserk or anything over it--lol!  So it might be just absolutely fine.  True.  

Anyways, I should be celebrating I am so lucky a human, right?  Should be feeling so much better by now.  Well, I am--in a more subtle and gradual kind of way.  I truly enjoyed having a week where I didn't need to do much and could just hang out with a little of this and a little of some shows & videos and not feel guilty--lol!  Speaking of--sent back the last of the DVDs from Netflix!  As of Friday they aren't sending out any more.  

My very first rental on 5/9/2005 was Sideways with Paul Giamatti!  I downloaded my DVD history--but I'll never print it off because it was 98 pages!  Rented over 3,060 DVDs in 18 years.  No wonder I can't remember them all--lol!  But what a blessing for this housebound woman!!  Absolutely a godsend!!  The perfect pain escape!  

Yes, it is easier to just stream--if you can find what you are looking for with so many choices--lol!  But I will still miss the red envelopes in the mail just because they have been a part of my life for soooo long.  And you could watch the specials and outtakes and all of those things you can't get when you stream.  End of an era.  Netflix added streaming in 2007.  Such a new idea.  Blockbuster was not happy, that's for sure.  Now there are so many streaming services--it is like when they first came out with cable.  Suddenly sooo many to choose from, but you still have to search to find the good stuff.  I'm trying out a few and when I move I will get rid of the ones I don't watch enough to keep.  :)

Life is good.  And this wussy lady is glad to not be as stressed about Tuesday--lol!  I'm just tired...hurtin'...plan to gradually work on the Christmas cards, take it easy again this week, and try to get my sleep pattern back to my old normal.  I'll keep trying to establish a sleep routine, regardless of whether it is working or not.  It might start to make a difference, right?  Maybe I could end up like Pavlov's sleep-dog if I keep at it--LOL!  Instead of salivating maybe I'll snore--ROFL!  ;)

Been thinking a lot about days gone by.  We had our 55th high school reunion this fall.  Just got a photo of the class members who went.  Where did all that time go so quickly?!  I feel truly blessed I haven't ended up listed as deceased yet.  A close call with a very happy ending!!  One sweet lady from school is taking memoir classes.  She told me a couple other people in class have written books.  How cool is that!  Makes me think about writing a memoir again.  Dagan has told me many times he thought I should take my stories and put them in some kind of order and make a memoir out of them.  They're on my other blog--kind of randomly stored there.  Poems that have been published in literary journals, things I've written in detail on the blog years ago when people wanted to know about parts of my life I had mentioned in passing, all memories.  Some polished--some not.  

The ones that were published were Soft Breaths (four lit mags), God on the Bus, (lit mag), and I Miss My Body Past (first place in a local contest for over 50 yr olds).  Baby Girl won first place in a national contest ($2,000--bought the only Mac laptop I've ever owned).  My fifteen minutes of fame--lol!  Even got interviewed for the local paper in a little paragraph or two and did a local radio live interview.  Anyways, those are the only published ones.  

There are others I wrote for college creative writing classes and poetry classes.  Mommy and That Baby was an assignment to write a first memory, for example.  I wrote a series about Me, GA (my guardian angel), and SC (soulcomfort)--kind of my spiritual life--for my blogger friends who didn't know me well.  And another series called Flowers and Garbage because they asked about that reference from GA.  Goodness!  Been years since I've been back reading in there.  

I started sticking the memory writings and contemplations in that separate blog because people complained they couldn't find them again if they wanted to read them because I started my blog every time like I start my letters--just date, day, and time.  I had moved away from Minneapolis and all my friends and family--and was quite ill--so it was easier to write one letter to all of those who actually had a personal computer back then.  Less letters to write at the time, you know.  That is why I started blogging.  I would try to remember to add big things on the post title once in a while, but I am a creature of habit.  Anyways, they are in the stories blog.

Sorry--rambling and pondering.  Life is just that, isn't it?  A rambling and pondering trip--lo!

I'll let you go--till next week, my friends.  You all mean so much to me.  Even those who have never spoken or just have for the first time recently.  I feel all that positive energy coming to me.  It is so uplifting.  I still believe there is more good in the world and you all are the proof of that goodness and kindness.  Thank you so much!  And backatcha!!!!  :) :) :)

Monday, September 18, 2023

September 18, 2023 Monday--5am

Good morning!

Well, first of all--this is my first time trying to schedule a post ahead of time.  I know--hard to believe that in 17 years I have never written a post ahead of time.  Actually writing this on Sunday.  I hope it works!  ;)

Last week I did some calling around, got an appointment with Dr. Kessler at Essentia in December, and thought I had my blood pressure pills lined up to be mailed...but no pills yet and nothing taken out of my bank account.  So if they don't arrive soon I will have to do some calling again.  At least I have about 10 days of pills left.

Anyways, I am excited I get to keep going to Dr. Kessler!  That is wonderful--even if it will be a little confusing going to both Essentia and Sanford.  She is worth it.

I decided to take the week off of the P&P or doing anything physical more than I have to.  So, all week I have been working on coloring the fronts of some Christmas cards I started so long ago it was when Leah and I still made cards together--lol!  In other words, there are over 100 cards to make.  Enough now for two years for me.  (You may remember Leah decided to go with the photo Christmas cards.)  So those of you who get my Christmas cards will get this same card again down the road in a few years--LOL!

They had already been stamped, embossed, and I had finished coloring all the green bulbs.  So, I knew they would be easy to be able to do sitting in my chair watching shows.

So, I would take one from the stack on the right side of my chair, color the same one or two bulbs...
...and then pile it on the stack on the left side of my chair.
In this picture the one on the left is the sample I had made up.  The only thing I decided to change was to make the very upper left hand corner one green instead of blue so the colors were more balanced.
Eventually I finished all the blues and then the yellows.
That took me five days--lol!  There are a lot of them.
Meanwhile...Leah dropped off the round organizer that wouldn't spin at UPS,I got my refund from Amazon, and ordered the octagonal one.  

This is how it arrived.  *sigh*  I wouldn't recommend this company.  I am sticking with what I have.
Meanwhile, I have gotten started on the fourth color.  Just endless grabbing from the pile on my right...
...and adding to the pile on my left.  But this color is taking longer because red is the only color I have left so I can color them all at the same time--tada!  Don't have to worry about coloring the wrong ones.  ;)
I am about halfway done with the reds.  Then the last color is silver for all the bulb bases.  Once I have all the coloring done then I will have to move to a table to work on these.  I have the inside pieces cut and the bases cut & folded but I still have to stamp the inside card pieces, add double sided tape to all the front and inside pieces, and finally tape them all together.  (And there are still a couple of optional steps I could do as well if things are moving along really smoothly.)  I'd like them to be done early October, I hope.

Friday I went to see Dr. Failing with Leah.  I had already seen my results online.  Still cancer free!!  Was a good visit!  But I had forgotten I was supposed to see the bladder viewing doctor again in 6 months--which is now.  Nobody called me or anything.  If I recall the computers were down or something at the time I left his office.  Anyways, I will probably get a call about scheduling that appointment this week.  At least I am more prepared this time.  Not pleasant, but at least not a surprise this time.

Also, I had asked about getting my port out.  Had psyched myself up for having it done right there in the office because I had read online they can do that right in the office with novocaine shots and a few stitches.  (Like when I had that lump cut off my head, I guess.)  But Dr Failing doesn't do it and they don't apparently do that in the office at Sanford.  I need to schedule to have it removed...but he wasn't sure they would want to do it at Sanford because they don't like to remove ports other places have put in, I guess.  So I might have to have it removed at Essentia.  He put in for a removal at Sanford anyways to see if they would do it.  I'll likely get a call about scheduling that this week, too.

I was really relieved not to have him cut it out in his office, though!  I had issues with my port getting plugged up several times when it was being used regularly, you may recall.  And it hasn't been touched since last December.  When they pull something out of a vein like that you would think it might bleed quite a bit--or maybe even been in there so long it is a bit stuck?  Those were the things I was nervous about.

Also, when I was searching online about port removal I read that they should be flushed at least every 12 weeks!  Really!?  And Dr. Failing hadn't realized it wasn't being flushed.  I suppose people are usually on a schedule for that at Sanford and he assumed it was being done.  Since I told him about having issues with it being difficult back then he thought it was a good idea to get it out, too.  

Frankly, I very seriously doubt it is working anymore anyways.  And even though some people have them in for years with no problems, they can cause clots or infections, I guess.  To me, though, it is mainly just an uncomfortable cancer remnant sticking up on my chest (likely useless now) that I would like to say goodbye to. ;)

Dr. Failing talked about how lucky I am to be cancer free.  How bladder cancer does not always go well...especially when I had bloody urine several times for over a year before I got diagnosed--and it had metastasized.  Plus he said liver cancer doesn't usually respond well to immunotherapy (couldn't do chemo either).  I told him I read online that the chances of me getting rid of both the cancers altogether was .6 %.  He nodded and seemed almost amazed at my good fortune and quite happy for me.  I do really like him.  I like doctors who are honest with you.  He's got a good sense of humor, too.

Well, I go through the whole double-checking routine again end of Nov/beginning of Dec--but then if all is still well, I can probably go six months!  Nice!

So, all in all it has been a very good week (if I can also get my BP pills renewed--lol!).  I got to cancel that new lady doctor who ruptured the cyst on my head without warning and get to go back to Dr. Kessler!  No cancer.  Dr. Failing is so nice.  It feels good to have two doctors I know are on my side, you know?  And somehow, somewhere I am going to get this port out of me pretty soon.  (Notice I'm not adding any excitement about the bladder jab and search routine--rofl!)  I'm finally making progress on the Christmas cards Leah and I started so long ago.  Feels good to get a lot done on an old project that was started and left way too long.  

Some kind of bummer news was Chuck (D&L's BIL) changed his mind on picking up the Valley Con furniture this past weekend.  Mentioned "before the snow flies".  Well, we have a lot to deal with in there, too, before the snow flies and that ValleyCon furniture takes up at least a third of my garage.  Lots to move about in not much room so that we can get pictures in order to sell stuff before it's really cold.  I hope he can come sooner than later.  But we'll get pictures somehow--regardless.  Might take a heck of a lot of shuffling about--but it can be done.  Where there's a will there's a way.

Oh, I picked out the perfect bathroom faucet and sent a link to Leah--but I'm not sure she is won over.  I never knew there was such a thing as a bathroom sink with a sprayer!  I love that!  Would use it a lot!  Let's see if I can get a picture of it. 

Nope.  It's from Home Depot and you can't copy pictures from their website, I guess.  But it's a Delta black, of course.  I don't know about you, but I am always splashing water around on the sides of the sink to clean it off, so I know I would love having a little sprayer in there--whoohoo!!  Could it be more fancy!  Would you use one?

My hours are still off, (Hence the scheduled posting as I've been up for two days with only two 2 1/2 hour naps.)  The weather has been glorious, though!!  I love fall when it is in the 60s-70s during the day and chilly at night.  It came on quite fast, but I'll take it.  Keanna comes on Tuesday to clean.  I also have another apartment inspection on Tuesday.  Leah said she'd come by this week and bring in the bins of winter clothes for me from the garage.  Yup!  It's been that chilly--even during the day sometimes when it's windy.  Rather than close it up I'd like to add layers...but they're mostly in the garage...even my warm socks--LOL! ;)  I have a few items, of course, but only a couple of long-sleeve tops and a couple of button-down sweaters.  You can't live up north and not figure you will need a little bit of "other season" clothing around at all times.  Especially when winter can last a good eight months of the year--lol!  

No specific plans for the week.  Just try to get as much done as I can on the Christmas cards and possibly continue filling up these boxes I've had all over the place since the week before--lol!  It's been good for that creative piece of my soul to be doing these artsy projects lately, though...the Inchie Challenge and the coloring on the cards.  I've been quite content to be just coloring this last week.

I hope you all have a happy week behind and ahead of you, too.  Does it feel like your seasons are changing quickly, too?  Do you have any fun plans?  Till next week!  :) :)

Monday, September 11, 2023

September 11, 2023 Monday--12:05am


It is technically Monday--LOL!  ;)

A new rainbow shower curtain started the week. :)

Wednesday: Keanna came to clean.  She said every time she comes it looks different in here--lol!  Later in the day two guys delivered the new wall shelf unit box to my door and even put it inside the door for me.
So, it is here!  Heavier than I expected, but I got it over and up against the wall for now.  Probably either move it to the bedroom or to the garage eventually.  No hurry.  Boxes are my new decor.  ;)
Most of the week was spent searching online for sinks, faucets, and organizers for my lazy susans by my chair and on the kitchen table.  I would sleep 3-5 hours a day for two or three days and then crash for maybe10-11 hours one night--and repeat.  So, pretty tired on the whole.  I discovered HOW tired and foggy brained on Friday morning when the two girls from the office came to my door because I had forgotten to sign my rent check!!  I've never forgotten to sign a check in my entire life!!  That proved to me that I need to just calm down on the P&P--quit pushing myself--and just focus on trying to get some normal sleep back for now.  Rest, you know?

Which I kind of had to do this week because I was too tired to do much else.  

Friday afternoon I had my CT scans.  Leah picked me up.  It is plural scans now since I moved to Sanford.  I get two separate scans.  Have to lie there for seven minutes in-between them, too.  So I am in extra back pain for a couple days afterwards.  Better today than I was.  I'll probably be feeling back to my normal by tomorrow.  :)

Anyways, Leah came in afterwards.  We discussed the shower hardware possibilities and made some final decisions on the choices I had made over the week.  So exciting!  I picked out a black bathroom sink.  Still need to pick out a faucet.
A black kitchen sink.  Since I had to go smaller I picked out a workstation type of sink with a strainer and a cutting board.  I am so excited about this sink.  It is just perfect for me!
Then a black kitchen faucet to go with the black sink.  Even has power surge.  Fancy!
Leah had been to the cabinet makers again and we got the plans with all the measurements!  The kitchen--front view...
...and even a top view!
A front view of the bathroom.
Saturday Trent was over there to work with Dagan and Leah more on the electrical system.  So much!  All the ceiling lights, outlets, kitchen and laundry room...lots to do.  :)

Speaking of!  This lamp was up on the folding table and shown right on the TV at night so I put it down on the floor behind my chair...and apparently opened up a new luxury cat spa!!
Every time I turn around I find Miss Allie sleeping under the warm light.

Sunday: Decided to change the shower curtain--
---which has a more fall look to me--
--because I ordered a new liner.  Easier to remove them both and start afresh--lol!
I've always had the big stiff clear plastic liners you can get for like 5 or 6 dollars.  I splurged and got this new kind for 12 dollars.  Probably not "new"--just new to me.  OMGosh!  It is so light and soft!!  I wonder how well it repels water?  I'll find out.
While I finished up--Allie took a moment to check out the toilet before she knew I was going to leave and turn the light off.  Why do cats have a fascination with toilets?  Is it just the water?
Sunday afternoon the organizers arrived!  I at least managed to remove everything from all the lazy susans (four of them) and clean them up, even though I only plan to use the organizers on two of them.  Turned out there was a small round one that didn't spin.  Didn't work at all.  So I have to return it.  But I liked this bigger octagon one, anyways.  I'll order another one of these once I get my refund.
It's tall enough it works even when it is hanging a little over the edge like that.  But I don't know that is where it will stay.  

Then there are two of these non-spinning types on the kitchen lazy susan.
Don't they look like that beautiful ink drop paper I got for my bookcard covers?  
Anyways, they are far from figured out.  Have to wait until I get the other octagonal one later on, but at least they are dust free, scrubbed down, and clean.  I did purge a little, too, as I cleaned them--but the serious reorganization will come after the final organizer arrives.  They are still in need of a bit more purging--lol!  You can't say I don't use them all, that's for sure!  They're a big part of my life actually.

So, besides laundry, doing dead heads & watering on the patio, cooking, dishes, and the rest...what else did I do this past week?  I squeezed all those acrylic tubes of paint and they were all soft and not hard.  Hurray!  I tried the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha coffee and I can't even drink it without cream.  Not a fan.  And yet I tried the Caramel one and it was really good just plain black.  Haven't tried the Kicking Horse brand yet--LOL!  Been watching Netflix DVDs while I still can this month--lol!  Just taking it easier than I have been...well, for a while, at least.  ;)

This week I have my appointment with my nice, new oncologist, Dr. Failing, on Friday.

Leah told me that I don't have to give up my regular doctor/osteopath I had at Essentia because their computer information is connected.  So I am planning to call today to ask if that's okay--and make an appointment to see her.  Maybe she will renew my BP medication this next time for me.  I always really, really liked Dr. Kessler!  She is the one who caught the cancer, too.  Other doctors just kept telling me I had a bladder infection and gave me antibiotics.  I didn't care that much for the new lady dr that I tried out at Sanford (not that they don't have a whole lot of drs at Sanford) but I would like to see if I can actually stick with Dr. Kessler!  I know she's really booked up ahead of time, but she is worth waiting for. :) :)

The weather has cooled down considerably and I LOVE it!  Having the place open again--both Allie and I are very happy.  With everything going on in the world I am so grateful to have my ordinary, boring (to others) life with a cat purring loudly on my lap.  
Bless you all!!  
See you next week!  :)