26 January 2014

What Happens When I Write

One Pill Makes You Taller

I've been on nerve blockers for a year now.  I was very hesitant about going on them because I don't like medicine and I worry about dependency.  They were a game changer when it came to living a normal life however.  I was suddenly able to move about much more freely, sleep through the night, and have significantly less pain.
Still, I don't like taking them.  I've skipped doses from time to time and it's fine but I'm noticeably less comfortable.  I am taking the lowest possible does and only at night so the idea of being dependent upon them is considerably less than if I were taking them every day all day.  Luckily (?) they make me a special kind of stupid and that's why I take them at night then take a while to become fully awake in the mornings.

The other concern that I had was the the medicine would mask any ongoing problems.  I was told that if something went wrong, say a screw coming loose or a plate shifting that I would certainly know it, medicine or not.  But, that being said, I couldn't gauge how much discomfort I was having each day now that a significant period of time had passed.

As you've probably guessed, I went off of the meds.  I was instructed to alternate every other night and taper down from there. But you've met me and I'm a rip the bandaid off kind of person.  I simply stopped taking them.

I went two days and was happily surprised that I didn't become bedridden.  I felt okay, actually.  I have a little more movement and a little more awareness.  (my foot/leg is often kind of numb) so I thought "CAKE!"

Never, ever, think or worse say "Cake"  (as in "piece of cake".  You know that's a jinx right?)

Day four and I was all OMGOMGOMG Get me a saw.  The amount of disappointment I had was A LOT.  I don't want to be on this medicine, I don't enjoy the prospect of living the rest of my life feeling like this without it and OMG would someone hand me a chainsaw, please.

I toughed it out. I was determined not to ring the alarm bells until I passed Day Seven.  On Day Six, I went to the chiropractor as a "I'm going to cross this off the list of possible issues before I freak out".
Turns out I was in need of an adjustment.  I left, hoping that it would do the trick.

And it did, sort of. Kind of.  Now here I am on Day Nine and wondering what to do. I continue to feel a little better.  However, old symptoms have returned: numbness when sitting for long periods, not sleeping through the night, and a very unsexy limp.

Now, I'm doing the circular thinking that is unproductive at best.  Stay off of it and get used it?  No, that's silly to be miserable when something can be done.  Go back on it? No, the end goal is not to be on it at all.

The next step is to call the doctor and ask her opinion. Which, in hindsight, is probably what I should have done in the first place probably.  But here I am now.

The one thing I do like about the medicine is the sleeping through the night thing.  That is beautiful and I miss it.  It tends to slow the ADD down a bit and that's good too.  However, it does affect my memory a little bit and that is in the "Do Not Enjoy" category.

I need charts, graphs, and a laser pointer to figure this out.

This Is Ridiculous

This is a ridiculous project that I've been doing little bits at a time.  It seems that since the accident my OCD tendencies have acquired flaming, twirling batons.  I'm trying to use the powers for good and this, this ridiculous task, is one of them.

I used to have many multicolored hangers in our closet. I know: the HORRORS.  The predominate color was country blue, as was popular in the early nineties.  Well, it's now twenty-cough-something years later and I'm over it.  To be fair, there were also white, green, and navy blue hangers mixed in there as well.  This also bothered me.

Luckily, the clothing program at work generates hangers like the fate of humankind rests upon it.   I can get any kind or color of hanger that I wish every single day.  For free. Need hangers? hit me up!

Slowly, I've been taking home bundles of white hangers.  Twenty or so at a time as to not overwhelm me and make me give up on this ridiculous project.  Also, removing the offending no-longer-trendy hangers means that they have to go somewhere.  Whereas I'm good at bringing stuff home, I am not always equally as good at carting out stuff .  Thus the approximately three billion hangers in the coat closet where discarded things go to wait until their fate is decided.

Alas, I pushed on.  Finally, I have a single color, conformity aligned closet.  It's silly how soothing this is to me. 

Yes, our clothing is separated by color. This is normal, right? right?

22 January 2014

Napkins To Dye For

A project that I've been working on at work is not something you will ever guess.

Dyeing napkins.

Yep, dyeing fabric is apparently included in the "communications & social media" job skill set.

The YWCA has a horrible logo color when it comes to matching to other colors and making it look nice.  It's officially called persimmon but it is kind of a tangerine/orange color.

We recently merged with another agency and their logo is purple and sage.  Good God and Sweet Baby Jesus, how about a challenge for one of my first public relations tasks?

There are about seventy-five, white, linen napkins at work.  We came up with the brilliant idea of dyeing them to the logo color.  How difficult can it be?

The first store I went to had all the colors of the rainbow EXCEPT orange.  I used my smart phone to look up the dye website to make sure that orange was an available color. It was BUT there are also formulas for shades of colors.

Because: of course there are.

I then went to a fabric store, where I should have gone firstly anyway.  They had Even More Colors, including orange AND tangerine.   Now we have not only orange but tangerine plus the shading technique that included using a dose of black.  So I bought all of them.

The first batch I used tangerine.  It turned out a coral color and I wasn't happy with it.  I took one of them into work and two other coworkers disagreed.  One liked it, one did not.

The second batch I used orange.  I really liked this color and was a little excited about it.  I took it into work and sure enough: one coworker liked it, one didn't.  AND the tangerine matched closer to the logo color. Ding dong dammit.

Now, I have to exchange one box of orange and one box of black for two more boxes of tangerine.  I am hoping that the orange napkins will dye to the tangerine color without any unnecessary drama. That being said, looking at this post hints to me that I am wrong to hope.

Dyeing fabric isn't difficult at all and now I'm wondering what else I can dye.  All you need is your washer set on hot water, a cup of salt, a box of dye and time.  It's fun to think about.

14 January 2014

The Cool Part About Being Stranded in the Great White North

As I told you about in the previous post, we went to North Vancouver.  I've been to Vancouver as a child, as had Kevin, and I've been to the airport and all around the Lower Mainland but not to what they call "North Van".

We traveled over the largest bridge that I've ever been across.  I thought that the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was big but I was so very wrong.   The Alex Fraser is.  It's 500 feet high from the Fraser River, at it's tallest.  It feels like you go steeply uphill only to then go steeply downhill.  It's the second largest cable suspension bridge in North America.

It actually made me nervous and I'm not usually afraid of heights.  Of course, our friends use it often and would totally call us wusses for being hesitant. It's 8,000 feet long, which is about two miles. It feels like forever.

It looks at the mountains and in this picture they don't have snow, but they did and it was gorgeous.  The Fraser is always pretty but is a working river so you always see barges, tugboats, and fishing boats. 

I would recommend adding visiting Vancouver on your bucket list and to travel over the Alex Fraser.  There are bike & pedestrian crossings and I'm thinking of walking over it. I'm sure there are other fun and beautiful things in Vancouver. I just dig bridges.

That's an eagle lifting off from the first beam...Photo from The Province newspaper

Looking south from North Van toward the bridge. Picture from Google Images
This is the Tacoma Narrow Bridge, it's about half the size of Alex Fraser

Stranded in the Great White North

This was how our last Saturday went. Sadly, ours is the white truck.

This is a testament of how wonderful our Canadian friends are. We broke down in North Vancouver, while getting on the #1 highway.  (basically on the way to Whistler, where the Winter Olympics were held)

Luckily (?) We were following a friend so we weren't totally hooped. ("screwed" in Canadianese) The conversation on the phone went like this:
"How much further?"
"Did you just gak your truck?"
"Piece of..."
"Well, your brake lights are out so zip it."

We pulled off of the highway to assess the damage. This is where I say that our friend has bronchitis so he's leaning heavily on the truck at any given moment, trying to catch his breath.  Because SIDE OF HIGHWAY 1, I didn't get out.  Every once in a while, one of the boys would look at me and nod encouragingly even though I knew it was a total lie.

Eventually, we towed our truck with the truck (with no brake lights) which is ILLEGAL in Canada off of the highway and onto a Dept of Transportation turn-off.  Then we rode in our friends truck to the machine shop (our original destination)

Oh, not before transferring a 200 lb. engine block from the broken truck to our friends truck. Difficulty Level 3000

Our other friend showed up with his truck and trailer to rescue us.  The plan was to take us to the border, where Kevin's dad would meet us with our truck and trailer.  "Where did you leave the truck?" he asked.
 "On top of the tunnel" our friend replies.
Yes, on top of the tunnel.  The day kept getting stranger.

This is also where I mention that our friend brought an acquaintance with him that we aren't particularly fond of.  Not enough fun was being had, clearly.  The clearest description I can give you is a chatty, Canadian, Howard Wolowitz.

We finally headed home, or the border as it were.   We were on the road about fifteen minutes when our friend offered to take us all the way home (30+ minutes south of the border) so that Kevin's dad didn't have to come rescue us and we weren't stranded at the border.  SO NICE.

Even the border guard was sympathetic to our plight.  He even complimented our friends for being so wonderful. I know, right?

The trip was actually pleasant, even with Howard Wolowitz riding shotgun.  (he offered to ride in back with me...Kevin plainly told him NO.)

We were about fifteen minutes from home when our friend asked how far further our mechanic shop was.  We said about thirty minutes south of our house.  "Well, I was thinking, I'll just take you there and then it's just done."

Kevin and I were stunned silent for a minute.  He had given up most of his day to help us and now was even volunteering to do more.  In such an unlucky circumstance: how lucky are we?

Gosh, I love our Canadian friends.  When I posted later on the facebook, another one of our friends replied wondering why we hadn't phoned him.  He was truthfully next on our list if our original plan didn't work out.

There's always a shiny side, a person just sometimes has to squint to see it.

03 January 2014

Thankfulness List

PUBLISH...CLICK PUBLISH...How difficult is this!?!?!

Thankful this morning for:

Facebook.  I love the instant connection with friends & family.  It allows us to be more involved and aware of others around us.  (even though, sometimes, we'd rather not)

Kevin...who suddenly is in the mood to put up Christmas lights.  Highly unusual behavior.

The kids...we get to see all the kids today.  Santa lists are to be made, rolls are to be thrown (true story) and games played.

The puppy...she's brought us such happiness in a really difficult year.

Monica's Closet...as I'm rooting through it to get out my mother-in-law's Christmas decorations, I am thankful to be muttering "We have too much stuff" when others have none.

Turning 45...my birthday is in a few weeks.  Although 45 is still considered young, I already have
"grand" nephews and nieces and am continually astonished with this fact.

A good job...when I return on Monday, it will be a completely different job, working with different people although in the same building.

Seasons...it's supposed to be in the thirties next week and a chance of snow.  After being in Vegas for a week, I'm welcoming the change of seasons.

End of the Year Recap

It’s back! The New Years Meme!   I still think it’s a fun way to look back on the year.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Massage therapy.  I'm still undecided about it.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes, I believe I did or at the very least looked each of them in the eye:

My resolutions for 2013:
1. Continue cooking more.
2. Continue to simplify, in every way.
3. Try to remember not to enter into melodrama of any kind. I believe Swistle referred to it as jackassery.

My resolutions for 2014:
1. Replace three major appliances. This is a resolution & not task because I keep putting it off.
2. Write Daily...be it an email, a tweet, a post, something.  Facebook & to-do lists don't count
3. Deal with the three million obsolete cd's that we have, which means learning to convert them. (see #1)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, my niece! Welcome to the world Baby Freddie!  (named after my dad & brother)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, death didn’t visit us this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

"Oh Canada, our home and native land.."

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Healthy Family Members 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Whatever date The Nephew had his last surgery

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping myself on a more relaxed schedule.  I never thought I could make it happen.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not writing.  There just wasn't the motivation to do it. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No! A resounding No!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane tickets

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Nephew. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The media. I'm over the melodramatics.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Same as every year: Bills, Racecar, Vegas trip. Books. Amazon. Mochas!

15. What did you get really excited about?
Officially not working full-time

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Soft Kitty...singing it to my grown-ass-man of a nephew in the hospital

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, in the grand scheme of things.
– thinner or fatter? Same somehow.
– richer or poorer? About the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being outside.  This is unusual for me.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Hang out in hospitals.  Eat out.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Eve - at my parents with baby Freddie & Young Niece's boyfriend as new additions
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I always have a difficult time choosing favorites. Castle, Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Scandal, Long Island Medium, Project Runway. Greys Anatomy

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. I'm not a hater. It's a waste of time

24. What was the best book you read?
I'm not sure...Whiskey Beach or The Witness by Nora Roberts

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


26. What did you want and get?

27. What did you want and not get?
A CPSA championship (same as last year)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Just watched it: Beautiful Creatures.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
45 and I had lunch with Kevin, went Christmas shopping with my mom (!?!?!) and had take-out Italian dinner with Kevin. The next day was a snow day and then the weekend so it was kind of a birthday week.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The health & well-being of family members

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Hoodies. New sneakers.  Purple.

32. What kept you sane?

Mochas. Kevin. Television.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Good Morning America, still.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Legalization of gay marriage. I'm loving watch the number of states increase.

35. Who did you miss?


36. Who was the best new person you met?

Mandy, fellow drag racer.  She's a bad ass.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

It sounds contrived and worn but value your family. Even when they make you batsh*t crazy