Sunday, June 29, 2008
Hayley Grace was born on the 28th, (which happens to be my favorite #) at 11:42pm & weighed in at 9lbs 4ozs & she is 20 inches long.
Ken & I just returned from the hospital. Meeting her was as if I have known her my whole life. Her lil miniature lips, fingers & ears just melt my soul & make me so very appreciative of the miracle I held in my arms.
Hayley has an ultra fabulous, precious big 1yr old sister Madison who was chillin with her Gma & Gpa T. When my niece Madison was born last April Ken & I were in Massachusetts at Ken's Nana's house so we didn't get to meet Madison Lily until we got home...about a week after she was born. I never realized just how much I could love a lil being until I became an auntie.
My sister Elizabeth & I did not grow up together. She was adopted by our biological Mother's sister & I was adopted by my real Dad's parents. It wasn't until she was in her late teens that we started talking & we began hanging out & really getting to know each other after she was out of school.
With my two biological sisters I am just that...a sister & I am an auntie to their wunnaful fabulous kiddos. There is no step this or that...they are what they are & allow me to be what I am...a sister & auntie. Unlike in my family... I say this because there are a few members of my 'adopted' family that call me a "sneister" which is a version of sister/niece or "caunty" meaning cousin/aunt . It has to do with the whole me being adopted thing. Anyways, the saying urks me to no end & I have come to the conclusion if I am considered by others to be something that I am not, then I shall be nothing.
A few years ago my nephew & his wife announced that they were pregnant. I was beyond ecstatic to be a great auntie. I was then informed that I wouldn't be the child's auntie...but a cousin. I remember crying for hours on end. It's as if my place in the family didn't exist.
Even though Elizabeth & I weren't brought up together we have what I'd call an amazing sisterly relationship. Elizabeth is not only my sister but one of my very best friends & I could never thank her enough for everything she is & has done for me & has given me & more importantly allowed me to be!!!
I am an AUNTIE!!! And that my friends, rocks my socks bright purple!!!
Friday, June 27, 2008
The other day I was busy cleaning the house. Well usually my Buster Brown is always at my heels. He's a real Mama's boy if I do say so myself. Well that day he wasn't in my every footstep. This is where I found him all snug as a bug in a rug. We had put the kitty house upstairs because neither of our cats were intersted in it anymore & they are pretty much to big for this house. Well ever since we took it downstairs & put it in front of the window in the dining room you can catch Betsey & Buster catching some snoozes on it.
This is the lil critter I have been feeding. I think I'll call him Theodore. I spent much of today feeling like crap today with mm stuff so I sat in the back screen room & crocheted. Well once lil Theodore mozied in the yard I tossed a handful of almonds in the yard.
It kept me, I mean HIM entertained for hours. It's amazing just how many nuts they can cram in the lil pouches of their mouth.
Once all the almonds were gathered up he'd look at me as if he were saying "hey lady, where's some more"
We also have a neighborhood bunny bee boppan around that a few of us neighbors feed. I haven't been able to snap a photo of him munchin yet. In the back yard is where the hummingbirds frequent & in the front we have two lil woodpeckers that hang out in the lilac tree.
Even though our home is situated on a half a city lot we're lucky to have a quaint lil critter habitat to enjoy.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Seeing today was so awesome I decided to start on making my jams & jellies. Last weekend I bought some rhubarb at our local Farmers Market. Then today I had to go to the regular grocery store’s produce department for the rest of my fruity needs. I made a batch of rhubarb jam, one batch of strawberry/rhubarb jam, one batch of peach jam & one batch of pear jam. I ended up with 7 jars of the pear, 7 peach, 10 strawberry/rhubarb, and 5 jars of the rhubarb.
I have this thing, when I make something I have to share it with my neighbors. Mrs Rinne, my step Mom, My mom in law & my neighbor each got one of the strawberry/rhubarb, a peach & a pear. still have plenty for Ken & I. I still have cherry jelly and strawberry jam to make.
Living in Upper MI doesn’t give us much of a growing season. Hopefully strawberries will be ready next week so I can get on a roll with that. We have two local strawberry patches here where we can pick our own berries. It’s pretty much a tradition.
I also am trying out wine making. I found a recipe a week or so ago. I wish I knew where I got it from. Anyways, I’ve never tried doing this & haven’t a clue how it will turn out. Funny thing is, neither Ken or I are wine drinkers much. My first batch is apple wine. I figure I can cook pork in it if I don’t feel like drinking. I’m not very patient & this recipe requires patience…not one of my strong points. It’ll take 30 days to do it’s fermenting process. Each of those days I have to stir the water, sugar, fruit mixture. After 30 days I can bottle it up & then let it sit on the shelf for up to 6 months. I reckon by the time it’s done I’ll be ready for a drink!!
My friend Sammi stopped by today on her way to a rummage sale. I haven’t been to a sale in a long time. It was just up the street so we walked there. She found a couple things & I found this stinkan adorable kitty toilet paper holder thingy for a buck & I had to have it for my bathroom!! Doesn't it look sooo fartan adorable in there!!
Last summer this neighborhood went to pot...literally. Who knows what else they were cultivating in their garage. But ever since they were evicted this spring our whole neighborhood has been rather swellacious!! We are able to put our patio furniture outside this year without worrying about it coming through our window, my flowers are growing, and it's been so awesome letting the dogs out & not having some scum bum on my back steps. I don't think I have seen the cops around either. Which was a common sight before.
My algebra teacher from High School lives across the alley from us. I go over there often & visit & give their adorable doggie treats. We always exchange Christmas cards & when I bake I bring over a plate of goodies to a few of my neighbors. Well yesterday I saw my algebra teachers wife outside so I grabbed a few doggie biscuits for Sammy & bee bopped over to say hello. She handed me two lil boxes that she had bought for me. It's not my birthday or anything I told her. She then went on to say she wanted to get something for me for our anniversary but we were always on the road. In one of the boxes was lil tubes of lipstick/gloss. Now those that really know me I am a lipgloss whore if you will. If I could only wear one thing it would be lipgloss. I know...silly. In the other box was a tropical smelling candle. Ohhh how I love candles!!!!
I kept telling her she didn't have to do that & was very thankful. She went on to tell me that seeing her daughter lives so far away she thinks of me as the daughter she never had & decided to adopt not only me but my Kenny as well. I left there with tears in my eyes that someone could be so nice.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
We arrived at the Relay For Life just as the Survivor Ceremony was about to begin. They announced oodles & oodles of Cancer Survivors by name & gave them each a balloon. While the names were being announced a middle aged woman that was seated next to me got up & got her balloon. She then came back & began talking to her friend who sat next to her. She told her friend how just the day before she found out some bad news...what the docs thought would be ovarian cancer is actually colon cancer. My eyes kept welling up & Ken was all choked up. Two years ago we lost Grandpa Woodbury to this evil disease.
So anyways, the ceremony continued. It really opened my eyes that people can & do survive. After all the names were announced the Survivors then took their victory lap around the track. The color guard led them & music was playing. It was such an awesome sight & when they got back around the crowd was cheering them on. The second lap was for the Survivors & their family/caregivers. That was sumthin else too. I didn't even realize two of my friends had cancer years ago. Mary & Amy have been cancer free for 5 & 6 years now. It's truly amazing.
After that lap the survivors then let their ballooons go & float away. For me it was awesome to see that & gave me hope that one day we'll kick cancers arse to the moon.
I'm a bit bummed with myself & mother nature... I had the original goal of 5 miles but hoped to do 10 miles. I ended up only being able to finish 4 miles & had to call it a night because of the rain.
Becky & Janice's bag....
Doing this was really awesome, more than I could ever express or find the words for. It really opened my eyes & put some of my unfinished emotions I had with cancer & my Dad's death to rest. This will definately be an event we'll attend for years to come!!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Below is the NY Yankees set I came up with.....
Below is the green wedding ring patterned afghan I am currently working on.
I hope to have it done soon so I can box it up & send it to someone special I have in mind!! =)
I had intended to have this afghan below done in time for Ken's aunt's wedding a few years back but it was my first one of this pattern & I didn't have it completed until way after the wedding.
I have a few other crochet projects & sewing projects in mind that I'd like to finish in time for Christmas.
I have always wanted to do this but this year I have vowed to try to craft all of my gifts & stay out of the hustle bustle of it all in hopes of creating treasured goodies for my family & fantabulastic friends!!
I'm also doing this for other inspirational people as well.
In memory of my Dad. Dad lost his battle with colon cancer in 1986. I was only 10yrs old at the time when Dad passed away so I don't have too many memories of him not being sick. I do remember his strength though & he fought his cancer till the very end.
I also do this in Memory of Ken's Grandpa Woodbury who died 2yrs ago from Cancer. The man was a genius & an amazing man...one of my heros.
I also do this in memory of my friend Shana's brother Brian who lost his life just a few years ago due to cancer. Brian was a fun loving amazing kiddo & he will never be forgotten.
I do this in honor of Ken's Nana Woodbury who is a breast cancer survivor of 31yrs.
Also my friend Becky is who is a 15yr survivor of the blood cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Most importantly I do this for my friend's beautiful Mom who has been & still is battling this horrible disease.
I hope for a cure everyday. I think if we all just do a little bit we can make a huge difference & hopefully kick Cancer's arse!! Won't you come join us in the Relay For Life?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I used to go to tanning beds & apply just oil with no SPF & I’ve burned myself a few times. Not to mention the headaches & fits of dizziness that too much heat gives me. I now use this “fake bake” stuff when my natural ghost like appearance needs a hint of color. I’ve found great results with the Clinique’ line & the Neutrogena line as well. It was on a live & learn basis however. I don’t know how many off the wall products I’ve tried to only turn out with what I’d call an “oompaLoompa” type complexion.
What really makes me giggle is when I see these sun-lords soaking in oodles of damaging UV rays in hopes to achieve an even darker shade of skin. Instead they carve deeper wrinkles & achieve a more leathery appearance. These same sun lords are apt to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in hopes to achieve younger looking skin… Where is the sense in that?
While I’m on the topic of looks allow me to elaborate a bit…
What ever happened to “It’s what’s on the inside that matters?” Too often people judge others based on their outwardly appearances. I believe that is why so many people are vain & embarrassed about certain things with their appearances. I have had my own issues with this but have gotten much better since I learned to accept I have faults & it’s out of my control.
I am blessed to have beautiful people in my life. Some have glasses, some are dark skinned & some are light, some have crooked noses, some have fuzzy unruly hair like myself, some are dislexic, some are deaf, some are chubby & some are unable to gain weight, some have gray hair, and some are bald or going bald, some have MM & walk like a drunkan sailor, some have small eyes & some have bright wide eyes, some can’t afford to be up with the fashion scene & wear second hand clothes, some have a stutter. These are just a handful of outwardly things the BEAUTIFUL people in my life possess... and I wouldn't have it any other way!!
Let me back up to the past few years…feeling sick & dizzy all the time wasn’t working for me. I figured it had to do with me being anemic years prior. I’d take my iron as instructed but it would never help. The world still had me on a not so fun amusement ride & I wanted off!!! My ears would ring & feel pressurized all the time. This was surely not a case of anemia!
About 6yrs ago I went to an ENT downtown & told him my symptoms & he did a hearing test & a word test. He went on to explain I had hearing loss. I then asked him what next. He looked at my chart & saw my age & saw that we didn’t have insurance. He then lit up a cigarette & proceeded to tell me that I am too young to have hearing loss & that it’s all in my head. I KNEW for certain it was not in my head. I left there disgusted & felt so betrayed. This person was supposed to help me out.
A few years passed & the dizzies got worse & my hearing was good one day & messed up another. I was sick & tired of being sick! FINALLY this past January I was diagnosed. I have meniere’s disease & I am bilateral, meaning both ears are affected.
I found the following article on Meniere’s at http://www.medicinenet.com/meniere_disease/index.htm It explains what Meniere’s is & what happens.
What is Meniere disease?Meniere disease, also called idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear. Although the cause of Meniere disease is unknown, it probably results from an abnormality in the way fluid of the inner ear is regulated. In most cases only one ear is involved, but both ears may be affected in about 15% of patients. Meniere disease typically starts between the ages of 20 and 50 years of age. Men and women are equally affected. The symptoms may be only a minor nuisance, or can become disabling, especially if the attacks of vertigo are severe, frequent, and occur without warning.
What are the symptoms of Meniere disease?The symptoms of Meniere disease typically include at least several of the following:
Episodic rotational vertigo: Attacks of a spinning sensation accompanied by disequilibrium (an off-balanced sensation), nausea, and sometimes vomiting. This is usually the most troublesome symptom. The vertigo usually last 20 minutes to two hours or even longer. During attacks, patients are very disabled, and sleepiness may follow. An off-balanced sensation may last for several days.
Tinnitus: A roaring, buzzing, machine-like, or ringing sound in the ear. It may be episodic with an attack of vertigo or it may be constant. Usually the tinnitus gets worse or will appear just before the onset of the vertigo.
Hearing loss: It may be intermittent early in the onset of the disease, but overtime it may become a fixed hearing loss. It may involve all frequencies, but most commonly occurs in the lower frequencies. Loud sounds may be uncomfortable and appear distorted in the affected ear.
Ear fullness: Usually this full feeling occurs just before the onset of an attack of vertigo.
How is Meniere disease diagnosed?
Other tests such as the auditory brain stem response (ABR), a computerized test of the hearing nerves and brain pathways, computer tomography (CT) or, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to rule out a tumor occurring on the hearing or balance nerve. These tumors are rare, but they can cause symptoms similar to Meniere's disease.
How can Meniere disease be treated?
Diet & Life Style: A low salt diet is very helpful to reduce the attacks of vertigo. In fact, a meal high in salt, may induce an attack. Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol. Regular sleep and remaining physically active, while avoiding stress and excessive fatigue may decrease the frequency of attacks and tinnitus.
Medications: A diuretic (water pill) such as dyazide, combined with a low salt diet, is the primary treatment of Meniere disease. Anti-vertigo medications such as Antiver (meclizine) or Valium (diazepam) may provide temporary relief during the attacks of vertigo. Anti-nausea medications (phenergan) is sometimes also prescribed. Both anti-vertigo and anti-nausea medications may cause drowsiness.
Surgery: If vertigo attacks are not controlled medically and are disabling, one of the following surgical procedures may be recommended depending on the patient's situation: (a) Endolymphatic Shunt (b) Selective vestibular neurectomy (c) Labyrinthectomy and eighth nerve section.
Although there is no real cure for Meniere disease, the attacks of vertigo can be controlled in nearly all cases. If you have vertigo without warning, you should not drive, because failure to control the vehicle may be hazardous to yourself and to others. Safety may require you to forego ladders, scaffolds, and swimming.
So back to my friend….I met her in a Meniere’s support group awhile ago. Like I said, she’s been my rock & a true inspiration in fighting this disease & hopefully one day kicking it’s arse.
It’s not easy to go about every day feeling as though I am going to fall over or puke from dizzies & vertigo. Some days my hearing is so faduckled & understanding speech is a royal PITA! Luckilly I have the amazing support of my loving husband. For the most part he’s very patient with me on my bad days.
I’ve lost many friends through this whole thing but I have also met many & some friendships have become closer. Some people don’t “get it” when I can’t just hop in the truck & go hang out. I will not & don’t drive when I have the dizzies. Not that I was ever a drinker but for the most part I am the only sober one at parties. No, I don’t get trashed on one drink…the alcohol sends me into a vertigo attack.
So far I have only had several wham bam knock me on my arse attacks. They are a major pain but I am fortunate so far to have only had to deal with them that much. I’ve broken my toe from a fall during a dizzy attack & I’ve even ripped my most favoritist pair of jeans from a drop attack I had this past winter on my driveway. The fall sucked but what bugged me at the time was my favorite comfy fitting Levi’s had been ruined. I’m not one to fashion ripped up bloody jeans. I have also had a few occasions of having to crawl to the couch or bed during a bad vertigo attack.
I think I am finally to a place of acceptance with my Meniere’s. I know my balance will always be messed up, I know there will be ignorant dare I say “asshats” who only know ignorance, there will always be people tell me what they think the cure for MM is, most likely my hearing will continue to dwindle & someday I may go deaf. I will always have tinnitus & meclazine will forever be carried with me for attacks. I have a wicked odd sense of humor & I have the ability to laugh at myself . I rest on the not too swellacious days & I treasure the feel good days much more now.
So that’s Meniere’s in a nutshell. Thanks to the courage & inspiration Shash (my internet friend) has given me & the continual support from my hubby & some very fantastic friends & a few family members I am A-OK with whatever Meniere’s decides to throw at me. I’ve overcome far worse things in life!! =)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Those are just a few of the bizarre inventions I encounter on a daily bases while on the road with my hubby that make me think…who is watching me?
For instance, I go into a rest room, place one of those paper toilet seat protector things on the seat as I am terrified to catch some Smurf Village on my keester! Even though I have that protective barrier I still hover above the toilet careful not to touch the seat. Then the darn toilet's "eyeball" somehow recognizes movement & flushes! Which in turns sends a whoosh of water up my ass! I frantically try to remain balanced , which is not easy for my dizzy birdness, I grab for the toilet paper to wipe the geyser that just blew up in my butt. The toilet paper is tiny little sheets no bigger than 2 inches! I know my neine is not that small & face it, most Americans carry a booty. How in the sand hill is a little piece of TP going to ever suffice? So I'm gathering as many sheets as I possibly can by now & the toilet's "eye" decides to flush yet again! Once again a geyser rushes to my ass cheeks! I want to scream at this "eye" & say, "listen @*@* (insert your own colorful word here), I'll flush you when I'm done doing my business!" I then proceed to wipe, feeling disgusted about the water spraying up my butt!
Of course after that gross ordeal I have to wash my hands. The "eye" in the faucet decides when to give me water by my movements. Even then the water is cold, but it will do. Great, then the damn soap is automatic. After waving my hand a couple times under it's "eye" I get disgusted & wave at it frantically & gobs of slimey liquid goes into my hand. Great, now I can clean my hands with cold water! That is if it recognizes me again, the lady waving her crazy sudsy hands!
Ok, that chore being done I have to dry & even the damn paper towel dispenser has a "eye"! Out comes a little piece of brown paper. Of course my hands are still sopping wet not to mention slightly sudsy. If these "eye's" on these units were so good ya think they would have saw my sudsy hands!
What is up with these "eye's" anyways & who tarnation is watching me while I take care of Mother Nature? Can they see my bare butt & my eliminations?
I dunno, but it creeps me out a bit!
I met Beck when I was around 10 years old. She was a good friend of my cousin Brenda. Anyways, Becky was always a nice gal & didn't make my young childish self seem like a burden to be around. Awhile ago I was having a not too swellacious day with my meniere's crappolla & was really down & out. I had had been talking to Brenda and she informed me of Becky & her health problems. I hadn't seen or heard from becky in eons but I often wondered what ever became of her. Brenda went on to tell me Becky has brain tumors & is completely deaf & has no remaining balance. She also told me that she is a cancer survivor & said I should check out her blog sometime. Only thing, Brenda didn't give me an addy to Beck's blog.
A couple months passed & I got in an MM funk again & I feverishly searched the web for this blog of Becky's that Brenda had told me about. My hope was to get out of "oh poor poor Kathy" mode I was slipping into. Low & behold I found it & I think I pulled an all nighter catching up with Beck's past several years via her web page. Some entries had me laughing, some had me wanting to bop ignorant people in the butt & others had me bawling my eyes out.
See, Becky has a genetic disorder called Neufibromatosis Type 2.
It is defined as : NF2 is Neurofibromatosis, Type II. It is a genetic disorder that causes benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the brain and/or throughout the central nervous system, often accompanied by peripheral tumors. These tumors are called either neurofibromas or schwannomas. They grow on nerves and put pressure on the nerves that eventually causes damage to the nerves. Symptoms vary depending on which nerves are involved and the size of the tumors. NF2 is caused by a defect in a gene on chromosome 22. The affected gene has been identified, but at this time there is no cure for NF2. Surgical removal of the tumors is the main treatment at this time, but attempting to treat the tumors with several types of radiation surgery is becoming more common.
Some good sources for additional NF2 background are AdvoCureNF2, Children's Tumor Foundation, Neurofibromatosis, Inc., and Wikipedia. There are several other good NF2 related resources on our Links page.
NF2 has taken her hearing & her balance & has paralized part of her face just to name a few things. But ya know, Beck continues to go on each & every day. In my opinion she does far more than any "healthy" person has ever accomplished. She has a beautiful soul & is an amazing advocate for NF2 & deafness & participates in numerous fundraisers. She will kick off her upcoming quest for NF with not one but TWO 5K races this June & will complete her fundraising mission with a 31.5 mile hike on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (SVT) in Washington on September 7th, 2008. I have added a link to her fundraising page on my main page. Feel free to donate if at all possible. Every penny helps to find Beck along with many other sufferers of NF2a cure!!!