Friday, April 24, 2015

So ready to garden!

I'm so ready to get outside and start gardening!  Last weekend I bought several coir blocks and 4 bags of soil to add to our raised beds.  This year we are NOT doing tomatoes.  After several years of doing mostly tomatoes we're giving the soil a rest!  We're planting peas, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, lima beans and pumpkins.  I'm also doing the usual flowers zinnia's and marigolds.  I also added some calendula and plantain to the mix.  I want to expand on the lotions and salves I've been making this coming winter.  I also threw in some chamomile since we drink tons of chamomile tea.  We have 2 raised beds that are 2' x 20'.   Then I use containers for herbs, smaller plants and flowers.  Someone emailed me and asked why I use coir.  Basically it's a way to help retain moisture (we have heavy clay soil) and its more sustainable than peat.  A great article on coir can be found HEREI remember a few years ago when I first heard about coir I started calling around to the nurseries and greenhouses locally asking if they had coir blocks and they had no clue what I was talking about.  One person suggested that I just take a coir liner and rip that apart.  Nope!  Need way more than that.  I've found that Menards usually has about a dozen coir blocks in their inventory every spring.  I buy most of their inventory.  I'm just glad that I can find it locally now.  I HATE paying shipping for anything!  I'm cheap like that! :)  I've also bribed my friends kids to come over and do some heavy weeding/ prep garden work.  The kids are used to spending a ton of time on the farm and actually like weeding.  I told them if they cleaned up the raised beds they could then spend the rest of the day watching TV at our house.  They only have a very small TV and no cable at their house.  Therefore watching anything on our 55" is a big deal for them add Netflix to that and they'll weed their little hearts out! In years past I've always hit the dollar store and bought about 2 dozen sand pails to use as containers for flowers.  My dad hates it.  He thinks it looks junky.  I keep on telling him it's whimsical.  This year I went to buy the sand pails and the Dollar Tree had a big gardening section including planter pots for a buck.  I'll be thrilled to not hear my dad bitching about the sand pails!  I also bought a couple of pool noodles.  I cut the noodles into 1" slices and put a layer of that down in the pots I'm growing flowers in so I don't have to use as much soil.

I have my nephews for most of this weekend.  It's the big fundraiser at my  youngest nephews school that my sister chairs and is the treasurer for.  It's a royal pain in the butt for all of us.  I wind up getting home about 2am by the time my sister finally gets done wrapping things up each night.  I'm too dang old to be doing that anymore!  I feel it way too much!  On the upside it gives me some serious one on one with my nephews.  We always start the boys pumpkin seeds this weekend. It's so much fun to just hang out and have no really schedule.   I'll be dead tired come Monday but that's ok.

Now I need to go swap out laundry.  I swear the stuff is like Gremlins.  It totally  multiplies when you aren't looking!  We're trying to get PB's summer wardrobe figured out.  This is the first year in I don't remember how long that she might be able to actually wear some of her clothes a second year.  I'd be so excited if PB was finished with her growing.  She's almost 5'7".  It's darn hard to dress an 11 year old that is tall in an age appropriate manner!   Anyhoo- I'm off to go swap out laundry loads and get ready for an appointment.  Have  a great weekend!

Here is a pic of the Dollar Tree planters.  They aren't very deep.  My goal is adding flowers around the house will attract more bees and hummingbirds.  I think they'll work well for that.  

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Monday, April 20, 2015


So Spring came to visit.  It was lovely!  Driving around with the car windows open and  music turned up!  T-shirts and capris were dug out.  It was lovely!  The daffodils, tulips and lilacs are blooming!  It was lovely!  Alas, it was just a visit!  The saying around here is if you don't like the weather wait 10 minutes it'll change!  I'm now sitting here drinking hot tea and the heat is turned on!  Then again today's chilly and overcast is much better than yesterdays chilly and rainy so I'll take this and just enjoy looking at the daffodils and hope it warms up very soon! 

This past weekend was spent running lots of errands and watching Princess Bear (PB) try to dig out of her room.  To be honest after returning from Florida in December we were all sick and then life just got busy.  I really just didn't give a rats patooty what her room looked like.  Not a good thing because she really didn't care either.  Consequently her room looks like a dump.  Tomorrow is picture day at school and she's desperately looking for her Essie base coat and Sally Hansen quick dry since I told her I wasn't doing her nails until she found bit.  I'm such a mean mom!  On Saturday we spent some time putzing around Menards with my friend Susie and her kids.  I love that PB gets along so well with Susie's kiddos.  I grabbed several bags of organic dirt to top off the raised beds as well as several coir blocks to use.  I don't get why more people don't use coir instead of peat.  The price is right and it's sustainable.  Winner winner!   Yesterday after Sunday school and Church we got home and my mom opens the garage door and tells me to put on my ankle brace and that PB has to go to the bathroom.  We wound up running all over G-ds green earth!  The grocery store, dropping off a couple of meals for one of my mom's friends that had surgery and then we hit Farm and Fleet.  We tend to buy a lot of PBs clothes there.  Since she's completely out of kids sizes now its even harder to find stuff that is ok for her.  Doesn't look too old, isn't too low or too tight.   Basically it's a total pain in the a$$.  I do think I will finally break out the sewing machine this summer.  After about an hour of trying on various clothes we found several pairs of shorts and capris that work.  We're lacking in the t-shirt department.  PB kept on picking out John Deere, Carrhart, and Browning.  She was literally begging for a Browning sweatshirt that was on clearance.  My mom just kept on saying she refuses to dress her granddaughter like a redneck.  I'm going this weekend to see if the sweatshirt is still there.  If so it will be part of her birthday gift. 

We wrapped up the weekend watching the ACM awards.  It was great that the Oklahoma bombing was honored on the anniversary.  PB had a ball watching Luke Bryan.  So all in all it was a nice weekend!   Now for it to warm up enough to get the garden ready to go!  We're trying some new stuff this year and I'm really looking forward to it! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Living with Hashimoto's Sucks!

This past week has just been a bitch mentally.  My Hashimoto’s is kicking my rear and Princess Bear (PB) has been in rare form.  I had an appointment with my endocrinologist this week which is a good thing since I have been feeling so crappy.  The bad thing is that in general he is a very by the numbers kind of Dr.  From many things I’ve read about thyroid issues it seems as though treating straight by the numbers is not always the best idea.  Treating by symptoms seems to make more sense.  My Dr. isn’t big on that school of thought.  I’d had symptoms of Hashi’s for years.  I’m not exaggerating either.  Haven’t talked to my former BFF in over 6 years and she swore something was wrong with my thyroid and had been saying it for several years.  Actually when I went to the Physicians Assistant for something else about a year ago she said that she was going to test my thyroid.   I actually told her not to bother that it had been done many times and my numbers are always in the normal range.  She said that she was going to dig a little deeper.  One of the tests she ran was for thyroid antibodies.  My numbers were off the charts.  As in several thousand times what would be considered normal.  That finally was enough to send me to the Endocrinologist.  I went with the one my sister had seen for her post partum thyroiditis.  As I mentioned he’s a good Dr just very by the numbers.  That was almost 2 years ago.  He started me on Synthroid a T4 hormone.  While it did get the racing heart issue to stop there was very little gain.  I kept on telling him that I am still exhausted like can’t function at times exhausted and still experiencing a lot of joint pain.  Every 3 months I would mention the same thing.  Finally he decided to add a T3 hormone into the mix.  I’ve only been on it for a couple of days.  I’m also not falling asleep and napping at the drop of a hat.  I’m feeling very hopeful!  Living with any autoimmune disease sucks but having life pass you by because you’re too damn tired sucks even more!  So here I am keeping my fingers crossed that this really does work! 

Below is something that is in the archives of a Hashimoto's group I'm part of online.  If you know someone that just generally feels very run down and blood work isn't showing anything encourage them to have a test done to check their thyroid antibodies.  Getting well takes time (as you can see I still have good days and bad but I'm way better than I was before my diagnosis.). 

I am Hashimoto's Disease ~ A letter for patients, family and friends

This got a huge response from TS members, so I decided to make it a "Note" ~
I thought it would be helpful to have it available for patients, but also for family and friends to read to understand the gravity of how this illness can and does, impact the lives of Hashimoto's/hypothyroid patients.
Wellness is possible and IS the goal! It often takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and a good Dr. (who you may have to do some searching for) to guide you.
So please don't feel defeated by this, make it empower you to learn everything you can about this disease, find the right doctor, ASK family and friends for help, and fight for your health! 

Hi.  My name is Hashimoto's.  I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid.
I am now velcroed to you for life.  If you have hypothyroidism, you probably have me. I am the number one cause of it in the U.S. and many other places around the world.
I'm so sneaky--I don't always show up in your blood work.
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed.  I can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood swings? That's me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That's probably me too.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me.
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh.  Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Shortness of breath or "air hunger?" Yep, probably me.
Liver enzymes elevated? Yep, probably me.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ?
Hives? Yep, probably me.
I told you the list was endless. 
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and exhausted you really feel.  In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding'  (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll  also say things like,  "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
They will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every body system and organ requires the proper amount and the right kind of of thyroid hormone medication for YOU.
Not what works for someone else.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's just beginning and I'm dreading the next Presidential election!

This is something I posted on Facebook today.

 Is it too much to ask that people vote for someone based on their politics and not what their status is? The last time this country voted on status we managed to take race relations back a good 20 years or more. Voting for Killary because she's a woman makes you an idiot. I don't care if our next President is white, black, brown, blue, purple, pink spotted. Man, woman, transgender or whatever other label there is to slap on them. I'd just like someone that honestly gave a shit about the country and seriously cared about bettering it and our relationship with other countries.

 Honestly wasn't expecting much but it was just my response to Hillary announcing that she was indeed going to run.  No surprise there but seriously?  I know we've had politicians with blood on their hands before.  The Chappaquiddick incident comes to mind instantly.   Hillary's hands aren't quite that bloody but how are people forgetting Benghazi and her response?  If you don't recall you can go HERE at start watching at 1:30 mark.  The difference is that she was instrumental in lying to the American people about what happened at Benghazi.  She was instrumental in them not getting the help they needed.  She was instrumental in this:

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I won't even go into the complete absurdity of her email situation and the lengths that she'll go to so she doesn't have to turn over her documents on Benghazi and be held truly responsible for what she's done. 

I've ranted about it before and I'm sure I'll rant about it again.  Voting for someone based on their status, IE race, religion, sex, sexual orientation (just a few examples), makes the person casting that vote a down right idiot.  Last month Obama actually mentioned the concept of mandatory voting?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????????  We have a$$hole, low information voters voting for someone because they are black instead of what they stand for and we're supposed to think it's a grand thing?  Let's take it to the other extreme which would be someone testing a voters knowledge on each candidate before allowing them to vote.  How about we try it on for size.  Equally preposterous but at least a move in the right direction!  

We are so very blessed to live in a country that we get to have some say in who the President is.  If you're not sure why we don't have the bottom line decision in the matter take some time to educate yourself in the fact that the US is actually a republic not a democracy and the electoral college is the deciding factor. Winning the popular vote does not guarantee that candidate will be the next President.  It goes with who gets the most votes from the electoral college.  It has happened 4 times in the history of our country.   I digress.  We still live in a country that is governed by our Constitution.  One of the most amazing documents EVER written.  Think about it we're talking about a set of laws essential that is 226 years old!  It's only got 33 Amendments.  You can find some cool facts about our Constitution HERE

 It really pisses me off that people are willing to essentially sell or give away their vote on something as important as who the President of our country will be based about the persons race, sex or anything else so freaking petty!  I remember after Obama was elected Bill Cosby was on the Tonight Show with Leno discussing voting for Obama and how he took a picture of his parents into the ballot booth with him so they could see him voting for a black man.  Really Bill?  You (and so many countless other people) just sold yourself and your vote out.  What happened to voting for a person because they believed in the same thing you did and promoted policies that you felt were important?  When did it become "You're a 

situation so I'm voting for you?  When did it become the richest candidate or the one with the best fundraising was going to come out on top?  One of the worse things the Supreme Court has done to this country was to decide that corporations could financially back any candidate without limits.  I personally think that campaign contribution laws need to really be examined and rewritten.  It should no be a matter of he who raises the most wins the election because they can afford the most media coverage and marketing.  That is not how campaign contributions should work.  There should be a cap and corporations and PACs/ Super PACs should be abolished so citizens can get back to hearing  from all candidates and making a decision based on what the candidate believes in.  

So there you have it.  My political rant for the day! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

As I've mentioned before I was raised in a bi-religious household.  My dad is Catholic and my mom is Jewish.  My parents raised my sister and I Catholic because it was a much more important issue to my dad than my mom. I was sent to Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school.  I hated it.  I hated the structure and rigidness.  I hated being told what to wear.  Once I left home my attendance to Church left something to be desired.  A big part of it was the fact that I never felt comfortable at the Churches near where I lived.  After I had Princess Bear (PB) I started attending church on a more regular basis.  When PB was little this was no easy feat.  No only kids require X amount of gear to just schlep them from one place  to another but PB was also on an heart and apnea monitor.  That required planning.  I had to make sure the battery was charged enough to make it through the church service without setting off the low battery alarm.  She was also on special formula that had to be thickened.  There were all kinds of guidelines to making sure I could make a bottle and have it at the ready but hopefully not waste it either.  All in all it worked fairly well and I was back to attending Church regularly when PB was a baby.  There was another gap when she was bigger but since starting kindergarten we've been back to attending Church regularly and PB has been in Faith Formation (Sunday School/ CCD) classes.  There have been years where I thought that the classes weren't teaching her much.  Then there are years that I'm sure she's understanding what they're teaching her.  A few weeks ago we were all sitting around in the family room discussing Easter plans.  My dad said something like "Easter?  What are you talking about?" since he hadn't been paying attention at the beginning of the conversation.  Before my mom or I could say a word PB looks at him and said "Yes!  Easter!  You know Jesus dying for you so he can be raised again on Easter?  To wipe out your sins! Yes that's Easter!".  It was pretty comical to hear her school my dad who is Joe Catholic on Easter. 

Where am I going with this?  My dad and I always go to the Tenebrae service at our Church on Good Friday.  It's a service steeped in tradition and always makes me think. It's a service that goes back to the ninth century.  That is a long time ago.  I'm sure if Catholics from the ninth century were to time travel to modern times the service now would be very similar to the services in their time.  There is something very calming and comforting about that.  I know that organized religion isn't for everybody and that's fine.  For me there is something very comforting about saying the same prayers my grandparents did and their grandparents did and my great grandchildren will say as well.  One of my friends and I were talking about the rituals in the Church and of mass itself.  She made the comment that she could walk into a Catholic mass anywhere in the world and while she wouldn't understand the language she'd still know what was happening because of the ritual nature of the Catholic Church.  As I get older I appreciate and find reassurance in those rituals and traditions. 

 We attended the Easter vigil Mass on Saturday night.  Again this is a ceremony full of traditions.  One side of my loves it.  Especially the part starting off in candlelight.  The downside of this particular service is that it is very, very long.  It is when the people that having been studying to come into the church through baptism or continue their journey in faith through confirmation are welcomed into the parish.  The upside of attending this service is that it leaves Easter morning wide open for PB to get on her egg hunt and have fun just being a kid.  The downside is that is a very, very, very long service.  Like just shy of  2 and a half hours.  This was the first year that PB attended this service and she really handled it like a champ.  I was very proud of her.  

After the vigil mass we got home a bit after 10:30pm and it was a choir to get PB settled enough to go to sleep.  We finally compromised and I told her that she could stay up and read as long as she didn't come out of her room.  I just wanted to eat dinner and then hide eggs and get her Easter gifts ready. It worked fairly well.  Also PB is old enough to know that getting me up at the butt crack of down to watch her hunt to her Easter eggs is NOT going to fly.  Same thing with Christmas.  The day before we pick a time that she can feel free to rouse the rest of the family out of bed and let the festivities begin.  We agreed that 9am was a good time to start off Easter.  She did wake up at 6:30 am and after being reminded once she chilled until 9am.  Definitely one of the perks of having an older kiddo!  

She had a ball doing all her Easter morning stuff.  The Easter bunny as usual was very good to her.  Then there were gifts from me and my parents.  The kid had a serious haul.  It got better when we arrived at my sisters house.  She had gifts from my sister, my sisters brother in law and sister in law and my sisters in laws.  The kid seriously made out.  At one point she looked at me and asked if Jesus was already raised.  I was proud of her for putting some thought into and remembering what the day was really about! 

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