Thursday, 31 January 2008

Oh my - more luscious goodness and a quilt update.

Look what arrived in the mail the other day!

I ordered them off eBay a week or so ago. They are SO yummy! I love to look at them. There are six 6" squares of six different patterns.

Now I have to get working on what to do with them. A quilt I am sure - thinking of a nice deep wine colour or light green or even a nice earthy beige for a wide sashing. Thinking maybe to make it a wall hanging for my staircase. What colour do you think will work best?

We shall see - I really need to get moving on all these projects!

Also, I finished the antique rose quilt top awhile back and have started machine quilting it, something that I have never done before - my gosh this is hard! I have simply been following straight lines on the quilt. Not doing anything fancy this time.

I plan to use this quilt as a wall hanging, so the back isn't that important - good thing because it has several pinches and pleats that should not be there!

Speaking of wall hangings - what is the best way to do this? Simple curtain rod with finials? Is there an easier way? The rose quilt is quite light so it really doesn't need the structure of a curtain rod if there is a simpler method.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Works for me Wednesday - Prewriting posts

Oh no it is Wednesday again and I don't have a good idea for a post!

This ever happen to you?

And I can never for the life of me, think of a useful tip when I need one.

During the week when I am doing other things I think of stuff and say (in my head - not outloud:)) "That would make a great Works for me Wednesday tip" but then I finish the dishes or the laundry or whatever task I am doing, and completely forget about my great tip.

So now what I have been doing - when I think of a good idea for a post - any post - I write it down in a little notebook I have next to my laptop. Later when I have time, I write up a post on my idea but then I don't post it - I just save it as a draft (as I am doing with this one - written a week before I need it).

When Wednesday comes around or any day that I have need for a post and have no solid ideas. I grab one of my draft posts and click Publish (don't forget to change the date on it!)

And Viola! I have a post - this really helps with trying to post daily - sometimes you just don't have time to write something or anything to write about.

I have only a few draft posts in reserves right now but hope to get a few more socked away for busy days.

Anyway, this really Works for Me! Check out Rocks in my dryer for more great ideas!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Prescription Eyeglasses

Well I am in the market for some new eyeglasses.

My prescription, I am sure has changed - I think I may need (URG!) bifocals!

I like my current frames but they are about 5 yrs old and I think I would like some new ones.

I checked out Zenni Optical: Sell Rx Glasses $8 with case! to see what they had to offer.

Looks pretty good! - note the bifocals cost a bit more.

They are able to offer such low prices because they manufacture their own frames and sell direct to the customer, cutting out the middlemen.

I think I would like to try these -

It looks pretty simple to order - you do need a current prescription of course. You just fill out a detailed form, selecting your choices of colour and add-ons as you go.

The amazingness (is that a word?) of the Internet! Check them out -

Bloggy Giveaway!

REMEMBER to turn your email on in your profile or leave your email in the comments in the following format: bob dot smith at gmail dot com, otherwise I have no way to reach you! If you forgot to do this and have already left a comment, please email me (look in my profile) with the subject line "email address" and I will take note of them in case you win.

Ok so I slacked off again - I knew about this giveaway for weeks but still couldn't think of something to give - so I am going with my old standby - a box of goodies.

It will probably contain tea of some sort. It WILL contain chocolate of some sort. Maybe some pampering products - bubble bath, lip balm.... you get the idea.

If you are interested in entering this draw, please leave me a comment - oh and let me know what kind of chocolate you DON'T like-if any :D

This contest will be open until Friday Feb 1st at 9pm.

Please only enter once!

And make sure there is an email I can reach you at!

For hundreds more great giveaways - check out Rocks in my Dryer!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Post-holiday party & Hair Dying

So today I will be colouring my hair - it is long overdue - my grays are really getting out of control. My 10 yr old son wants me to colour his hair as well - I have short hair so there is always enough left to do his as well. We both have dark hair and the colour I use is a medium warm brown with added highlights. So that is what we will be doing this morning - I will take and add pictures. It shouldn't be too radical for him - we let him do this last summer ->

with no ill effects. :)

The reason I have to dye my hair today is because tonight I am going to my sister's work's Holiday party - they do it in January because everyone is so busy and most venues booked in December. It will be nice to have something like this in the middle of the Jan/Feb blahs.

I used to work at her company so I still know many of the people there - it is always fun to see them again and touch base.

I haven't yet decided what I will wear - I don't have a lot of evening clothes. I have my old stand-by that I wore to my husband's Christmas party - but that is what I wore last year - not sure if anyone would remember, but I would still feel strange. Will figure it out.

Update: Here are J's during and after pictures of the hair dying and my after picture. I ended up wearing the same outfit that I did to K's Christmas party.

Here is J during the second step - highlights.

And tonight - I disturbed his bedtime reading to take his picture and show you his highlights - his hair didn't get as light as mine - he has darker hair.And me after colouring my hair and getting all dolled up for the party. J took this picture of me.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Frugal Friday - Little things add up

My tips today will not save you big bucks but will over the long haul, save pennies and the environment.

I am sure you are familiar with most if not all of them.

A few things I do (that my DH thinks I am nuts for doing :))

  • I save the inserts from magazines and use them as bookmarks for the books I am reading - I usually have at least 4 different books I am reading at any one time and can never seem to find my actual book marks. Oh I also use paint chips as bookmarks :)
  • I save old desk flip calendar (you know the ones with saying for each day and you just rip them off or flip them back?) sheets to use as note pads - I am still working on an old Dr Phil one from 2004 :) They are ruled on the back and make great note pads.
  • I save my samples of shampoo and the like to add to stockings at Christmas time.
  • I reuse bread bags for homemade bread.
  • I always use less laundry soap, dishwasher soap then the directions call for - so far so good.
  • I add water to the dish soap once there is room in the bottle. I have done this with shampoo before too with varying results - I think it depends on the quality of the shampoo.
  • I don't reuse plastic containers from sour cream and the like but I do make sure they get put in the recycling bin.
  • I wear my clothes more than once (as long as they are clean and don't smell) - longer life for the clothes and less laundry. I have to work on this with my son - he is in the habit of tossing everything into the dirty hamper once he takes it off, even if he only had it one for a couple hours.
  • I hang all dress clothes (mine & DH's) up as soon as soon as they come out of the dryer. I never iron if I can help it :) Again it saves wear and tear on the clothes and the life of the iron I guess - plus I am just lazy.
  • I only wash full loads of laundry now- I used to just toss in whatever I need to wear that day and would end up doing several more loads than necessary. Now I have to work on my FIL who washes only 2 shirts and 2 pair of pants on HOT per load.
  • I save drips and dregs - only 2 tbsps left of pizza sauce? Into a small ziptop bag and into the freezer - do that enough times and you have enough for an entire pizza. Same goes for bits of cheese or even leftovere meat - they all end up on a pizza one day.
That's all I can think of right now - hope at least one of them helps someone - have a lovely frugal day!

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Fake Crab Dip

Ok this is a made up recipe - so please be aware that you may have to play with it a bit to make it how YOU like it.

You know that fake crab stuff? Sometimes called Sea legs or something like that? It is actually made from a fish called Pollock and just has crab flavoring and some food colouring added - anyway, back to the recipe.

Feel free to use real crab if you want, but I really hate that mushy stuff in the can so I just used this instead and since it is usually for a crowd, it is cheaper too.

  • A package of fake crab - chop finely or just give it a whiz in the food processor - you want fine chop - not puree.
  • 2 oz cream cheese - I have used flavored before - nuke it for about 15 sec to soften.
  • 1 oz seafood sauce - you know the red sauce you dip your shrimp in? That stuff.
  • Green onions - chopped fine - at least one - more if you like - oh and use ALL the white part - that is were the flavor is.
  • 2-3 tbsp - mayo - I use Miracle whip because that is all I buy but I am sure your mayo will work just as well.
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne - whatever floats your boat.
  • Couple shakes Worcestershire sauce.
  • Couple shakes hot sauce - I use Frank's.
  • Cooked salad shrimp - optional - I have used this if I had it on hand - chopped small

- So chop the fake crab (and shrimp if using)
- Nuke the cream cheese and then stir the seafood sauce into it
- add that to the chopped crab (or vise versa) and then add the remaining ingredients
- taste and see what it needs - if anything - be creative.

I serve this with crackers - I set a small dip knife in the dip and an assortment of crackers around the dip - I have never had leftovers so I guess it is a hit.

For more great recipes go to Overwhelmed With Joy!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Pure luxury!

Oh my gosh – I SO want one of these!

Can you imagine coming home from a long hard day at work and climbing into a comfortable luxurious chair, oh time to relax – and the added bonus? It massages you! Oh yes!

Check out Human Touch Massage Chairs. They have several chair models in their product line at several price points and most come in a variety of colours that you chose. They also carry other massage products, such as massaging chair pads and ottomans that massage your lower legs.

Click on the videos for the chair of your choice to see it in action.

Their patented massage systems mimic techniques used by massage professionals to help reduce muscle tension, back pain and stress. Who couldn’t use that?

I know what’s going on my Christmas wish list!

Works for me Wednesday - Making tea by the pot

I am not a big coffee drinker - usually only one in the morning.

I do however, like to drink tea during the day - helps me stay warm.

I make both regular tea and green tea. I used to just make a cup of tea when I wanted one but found I often wanted a second cup and would have to repeat the process. And even though the tea bags are rated as two-cup bags, the 2nd cup never comes out strong enough for me.

I do have a large tea pot, so I started making a pot of tea at a time. Two tea bags per pot (when I make green tea I use 2 green tea bags and one raspberry tea bag).

If it is there I tend to drink more of it - a good thing when I am trying to get 3 cups of green tea in a day and if I happen to have leftover tea?

I just pour it into a container in the fridge and drink it cold the next day. Never any waste.

Works for me - for more great tips - head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Making Money blogging! - I joined PayPerPost

Guess what? I signed up for payperpost!

If you are not familiar with PayPerPost, it is a website that pays you to post content for their advertisers on your blog.

I read about it on someone else’s blog, who is also a member.

It is so easy to join too! You register your blog – get approved and then check out the opportunities available to write about.

Their clients post what they need written about, how many words the post has to be and what the payment is – payment varies but starts at $5. I’ve seen some listed at $45 for a 200-word post!

Since I am a writer by trade, trying my best to post on my blog daily and wanting to increase traffic, I thought this would be a good way to go – plus I get paid – can’t beat that right?

I like the fact that I get to chose what I write about. If there is a topic/client that I am not interested in writing about, I just don’t submit for that opportunity.

I think it will be really cool to research and learn about different products as well.

I have started to browse the site and see where one member has made over $18K! Not sure how long it took her, but that is still pretty impressive. Wouldn’t it be great if I could make some decent money off this and not have to look for a real job? LOL.

Check it out – PayPerPost – you can make some easy money too!

Kitchen tip Tuesday - Freezer/Pantry Inventory

I know many of you already do this but many don't so here it is - take stock of what you have.

A couple times a year (really should be more often) I do a freezer & pantry inventory. I am always surprised at the amount of food I have amassed. There are always several items I have completely forgotten about.

I did an inventory a few weeks ago - with the items I found, I came up with 29 meals. 29!

I have been grocery shopping each week and I really didn't need to be.

I have created a spread sheet listing all the food I have and the possible meal combinations - as I use something up, I scratch it off the list. At a glance I can see what we have and what my meal choices are.

I am now doing a grocery exile - I only buy what I need each week, such as milk and fresh veggies. The plan is to use up much if not all of what I have.

If you are like me - you like to stock up when prices are good - problem is you end up forgetting all the food you actually have on hand.

As of today, I still have 20 meals to chose from.

Happy inventorying! (?)

Monday, 21 January 2008

Update on gallbladder tests

I had an appt with my doctor this morning at 9:15am - I got called into the office at 9:30am - not bad actually, it is usually closer to an hour later.

Doctor comes in about 10 mins later - he has no idea why I am there - he has not yet received the test results. Great!

So he says he will look into it and call me with results later in the day since he is a 40 minute drive from where I live and I wasn't keen on going back for another appt.

Around 2pm this afternoon I get a call "This is Sarah from Dr XYZ's office, we have your test results, can you come in one day this week?" "Um I was there this morning and the results were not!" "Oh they were here" she says, but in the "to call" pile. Great. She said she would give the results to the doctor and have him call me.

Around 3:30pm he called - after about 5 minutes of medical jargon, I was told that there is no sign of gall stones. However, there is a small growth on my left adrenal gland they want to keep an eye on - I will have another CT scan (without dye this time YAH!) in about 2-3 months - but it is probably nothing to worry about.

Ok so the New Years day attack was a fluke or something - who knows - don't care as long as it doesn't happen again.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Fabulous frugal fabric finds!

Now say that five times fast!

This is the bounty from my trip to Walmart today.

This fabric is pretty heavy - would make good cushion covers - $1.75 for 0.9 metres.
This fabric is light and stretchy - I am thinking to make a skirt out of it - $1.87 for 1.9 metres.
This fabric is medium weight - again good for pillows or even to incorporate into crazy quilts - $1.75 for 0.9 metres.
Light-weight jacquard - to include in a cream-coloured crazy quilt project I will be starting soon - $1.76 for 2 metres (but it is only 15 in wide)
Cotton - will use for quilts - $5.96 for 2 metres.
This photo doesn't do the colour justice - it is a pale lemon yellow - see the scalloped edge on the left? Only 0.97 a metre - I bought one metre - will include in my cream-theme crazy quilt - I know it is not cream but I think it will work and I just love it!

Fabric with embroidery - for cream crazy quilt project - $3.30 for 1.7 metres - only about 16 in wide.
Another small piece - again for cream crazy quilt - $0.18 for 0.4 metres.
A kind of blah piecec compared to the others - plain light beige- for the cream crazy quilt - $0.30 for 0.3 of a metre.
Light weight jacquard-like (?) cream fabric - cream crazy quilt - $1.36 for 0.7 of a metre.
I also bought myself a new iron - the one I have is about 20 yrs old - it works fine but does not have an auto shut-off - I forgot it on last week for a few hours - no damage done - but if I keep doing things like that I will burn the house down - so I got one with auto shut-off - a Black & Decker one for $27 - I will freecycle my old one as it is still good.

Ok off to get started!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Frugal Friday - Five Frugal Things

This is my first time participating in Frugal Friday's over at Biblical Womanhood. Pop over for more great tips!

This is my first Frugal Friday tip of the New year I am going to post five frugal things I will start/continue to do this year.

  • Keep heat to 18C during the day in the winter - I have been wearing slippers, sweaters and occasionally a knit hat to stay warm. So far so good. In the summer we will not set the AC lower than 22C (let's hope DH can handle that LOL)
  • Keep track of what we have in the fridge/pantry/freezer and only buy what we really need - I used to throw away far too many things that spoiled. Plan meals around what we do have.
  • Cook from scratch most days - have a leftover night to use stuff up. There are times when all we really feel like is a bowl of cereal anyway - why cook if we don't feel like eating.
  • Don't buy any new clothes unless I get down a size - I really don't need anything anyway.
  • Really think about things before I buy them - do I really need this? Can it wait? Can I do without?
Right now my goal is not to save money but to stretch what I currently have as far as possible - I am looking for work but so far, there isn't much in my line of work right now - so I have to pinch pennies until I have an income again.

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Hummus

I can't claim this as my own - I got it from my online friend Jean at the Frugal Foyer.

I love this stuff - I could eat it all day! I usually eat it with celery - my DH likes it with crackers.

Fat Free Hummus
  • 3 c. cooked garbanzoa (chickpeas - I use one lg tin - rinsed)
  • 3 cl. garlic or more
  • 6 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayeene
  • 3 tsp. cumin
Blend it all together in food processor or blender. Add water/bean liquid as needed to make right consistency. Like a dip. Adjust seasonings to taste. If you want you can add some tahini or sesame oil (I never have).

For more Favorite Ingredients - pop over to Overwhelmed With Joy!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Making Money Blogging

As some of you may know - I am not currently working. I am on a quest to find work, save money and make money.

One of the ways I have decided to try making money is via Blogsvertize.

How Blogsvertize works is that once you sign-up and are approved, you are periodically sent assignments.

These assignments contain a URL for a product or service. You then visit the URL, check it out and then write a post about the product or service. You have to mention the website and post at least 3 links to the URL. You do not have to endorse the product or service - just write about it.

And the best part - you get paid! Hey it also generates traffic to your blog which isn't bad either right? :)

For detailed instructions, check out the this page.

If you think this is something that will work for you, head over to Blogsvertize and register your blog!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Works for me Wednesday - Sewer's tip

My tip this week is for people who sew - I can't remember where I first heard to do this but it definitely Works For Me!

You know when you sew and then cut all the stray little bits of thread off and they just attach themselves to your clothes or you try to be neat and make a lil pile but before you know it they are all over you and the floor again?! (Not just me is it?)

Ok so what I have been doing is to tape a small bag, grocery, Ziploc, whatever is available, to the front of your sewing table - I put mine to the right as I am right-handed and it is easier for me - I tend to hold my work to the right, I snip off the threads and brush them into the bag.

Sew much neater! Get it? Ha ok bad joke :)

When the bag is full and sagging (like mine is now) just pull it off and tape on another.

For more great tips - head over to Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Quilting update

Whew I finally finished the pink quilt top. These pics aren't the best - the dark colour isn't really that red looking - it is more of a wine/burgundy colour. I was aiming to make it for a single bed, but it seems to fit a double just fine.

I have several of the assorted center pink squares - I think I will be making a matching or at least similar lap quilt.

Below is my second crazy quilt block - I haven't yet finished the embelishments - but I have done most of the embroidery.

I am really enjoying this!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - batch cooking soups

This is my first posting to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays over at Tammy's Recipes, but I have been reading them for ages.

My tip is probably not new to most of you but if bears repeating anyway.

I make a large batch of soup - I can never manage to make a small batch - even though it is often only me eating it (DH & DS aren't big soup eaters).

But now instead of trying to eat soup for four days running until it is finished or gets thrown out, I package the soup into individual sized tupperware-like containers and freeze.

When I am working, I grab one of these out of the freezer int he morning and pop it into my lunch bag - it serves as an icepack and the soup is mostly thawed by lunch time- of course I have access to a mircowave to warm it up.

These are also good for those - don't know what we want-don't feel like cooking nights.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Crazy quilt update

I have finished my 1st crazy quilt block and started another - they will be two wall hangings - I do not have enough of the same fabrics to make an entire quilt.

Here is the first one finished - with decorative stitching, laces added, ribbons, buttons etc... (I made a quick trip to Dollarama today for bits & bobs.

Various close-ups

I'll add pictures of the the 2nd block when I finish it - probably tomorrow.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, 11 January 2008

My latest addiction - oh my!

I recently found Allie's blog all about Crazy quilting - I honestly don't remember how I found her - but I spent a couple days perusing her site and checking out all the beautiful work she has done.

It got my creative juices flowing. I decided to try crazy quilting.

I created this in about 3 hours last night - I really didn't want to stop.

Set on my black chair for contrast.

This type of quilting is just my style - no rules! Anything goes! I am definitely a "No rules" kindo gal.

I can be messy and it works - the seams can be uneven and it works!

Oh I love crazy quilting I tell you!

I have now started adding some embroidery to my crazy quilt block - I haven't really done any embroidery before but that is ok - because with crazy quilts - Anything goes!

I can see this really becoming a problem for me - oh and did I mention - it uses scraps! Yes! Because I have put myself on a fabric diet - no more buying until I use up some of my stash. (I have a fabric stash - how cool is that!)

Oh and buttons - which I have a bunch of - oh and remember all that lace I got at Value Village? I can use that too - oh and beads - which I don't have, but can get a wide assortment of at Dollarama (so not to expensive).

I can add all kinds of things. Silk flowers. All types of fabrics.

I mostly have only cotton right now - I think another trip to Value Village to get some cheap old silk type clothes to cut up.

I think I will turn this block into a wall hanging for my office/sewing room.

I had so many ideas last night - I just couldn't sleep! I will make crazy quilt blocks and then cut them down to 2 inch by 5 inch strips, add a back and quilt them - Bookmarks!

I have a bunch of canvas totes that I would love to recover with crazy quilt blocks! So many ideas!

Can I make a living at this? Anyone know how? Because I can't see myself stopping any time soon. This is way too much fun - it is torture just to put it down to write this post.

Ok back to it - I will post more pictures as I progress. Fun fun fun! At least it is not fattening right?!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Warranty has expired

Don't turn 40! unless you already have...

Hmmm I turned 40 this summer and everything is just going to hell!

Just before Christmas one night I went to bed and got this pain in my lower left back - near where my kidney should be - it hurt pretty bad all night but I was able to get some sleep.

In the morning I took a couple Aspirin and it helped. Then when I went to the bathroom I noticed my pee was pink - just a little. So I did what I always do when I don't know something - I checked the Internet!

It sounds very much like I had a kidney stone and managed to pass it on my own, which is good because if I hadn't I would still be in pain and would have had to go to the hospital.

So that was that - it hasn't happened again since.

And then on New Year's day I had my attack.

Today I had my abdominal CT scan to see if the attack really was caused by gallstones.

So I got up early and ready to go - we left the house at around 8am - my appt was for 10:30am but I had to arrive 2 hours early to have dye injected or something. So K drops me off at 8ish.
I have been fasting since the night before - only had a couple sips of water this morning. My stomach is growling.
I get checked in to the CT scan place - there is a sign stating if you have a cough you must use the hand sanitizer and wear a mask - I immediately start to fight the urge to cough.

Two other people waiting - guy who checked us in comes out after about 20 mins and says that the tech is having a bit of difficulty with the machine this morning - there may be a delay. But then 10 min later all is fine and the lady before me gets called in. 5 mins late I too am called in.

I have to drink 1.5 litres (6 glasses) of this orange tangish liquid. First taste isn't too bad but it has a horrible aftertaste. The lady brought in before me is in the same little waiting room with me also drinking this vile mixture. She offers that she has just been diagnosed with lung cancer - I don't know what to say - I lost my mother to lung cancer but it doesn't seem a good idea to mention that. She doesn't look like a smoker.

Luckily, while drinking the tang-crap we are allowed to go to the washroom - the lady and I take turns, as soon as she is back I need to go, as soon as I get back she has to go again and so on.

On one of my trips to the bathroom, I get up wrong or something, I pull something in my lower left back - just above my butt - a muscle I guess - hurts like hell! How do you pull a muscle getting up to pee?

After we have finished the vile-tang and have had at least 20 trips to the washroom - she is called away. About 5 mins later it is my turn. I am asked to remove my bra as it has metal in it.

They insert an IV into my arm - I have to first sign a waiver that I understand that there is the possibility of complications from the dye they inject - including stroke or death - nice - love how they leave that info until you are minutes from having the procedure. The nurse assures me it is only people with severe food allergies who ever have reactions. I don't have any food allergies - So I feel a bit better. But I will feel a warming sensation and have a strange taste in my mouth. Great.

I am asked to drink yet another cup of tang-crap. Then I am taken into the CT scan room. I am told to lie down facing the machine - last time I was here for a head CT scan I faced the opposite direction. I lie down then they move me into position, I close my eyes, I am more comfortable this way - the table moving me feels strange - kind of like being on a swaying ship - I don't want to get seasick. They are going to take a scan before they insert the dye - the machine tells me to take a deep breath and hold it - a few seconds later it tells me to breathe.

The tech then asks me if my pants have a zipper - umm sure does. I am told to pull my pants down out of the way - they bring me a sheet to cover up with - lovely.

They redo the scan. All is well now.

The tech then comes in and insert the tube with the dye into the IV in my arm - she again tells me that I will have an odd taste in my mouth and a warm feeling all over, kind of like a hot flash (haven't had one of those yet - knock on wood!), this warm feeling will go all the way down to my nether regions - I may feel like I am peeing she tells me - oh more loveliness.

Recap - I am lying on a CT scan table with my pants around my knees and I am about to feel like I have wet myself - can this get any better?

So away we go - yup there is the weird taste and yup warm feeling starting, I haven't recently peed myself so not sure that this is what is feels like but definitely warm. She tells me to take a deep breathe and the feeling starts to recede. She then does the scan again - the machine again tells me when to hold my breathe and when I can breathe again.

I am done - I gracefully (ya right) hike my drawers up and do them up. I sit up and am told to have a seat in the hall.

After a few minutes, the nurse who inserted the IV comes to ask how I am - I am fine - have to pee again though - she removes the IV and I am told I can redress (my bra) and leave. It is now 11am.

It is blisteringly windy and cold today so I called a cab to take me the 3km drive home.

Once home, I am starving so I cook up an egg, some ham and a piece of toast. I feel better now.

I have however ...TMI (too much info) coming...had diarrhea and a bubbly stomach the rest of the day - I guess from having my stomach completely empty for so long or maybe from the dye, who knows.

I still have to endure the ultrasound on Saturday.

Everything is just falling to pieces I tell ya! Don't get old! (writing this as I sit with a heating pad against my pulled muscle) Blah.

Friday, 4 January 2008

2008 goals

Man doncha just hate this time of year? It is a great time to wipe the slate clean and plan your goals for the coming year - but then if they are the same goals as last year - well that can be a downer.

Doesn't matter - I'm going to make my goals anyway.

In no particular order.

Lose weight - ya ya I know - this one has been on the list for several years running now - but with the latest development of a gallbladder attack (or at least that is what we think it was - will know more after U/S and CT), I really need to get working on this one seriously.

Get a job - or win the lottery, that is always a possibility. Funds are beginning to run low and I had expected to be back to work by now. Submitted to a few jobs this morning.

Get debt down - really only a Visa and the mortgage but still - need to get as much as possible paid to both.

Keep regular expenses down - utilities, food costs the electric bill for the past 3 months - wasn't quite as bad as I expected ($340 for 3 mths) but it could be better (if FIL turned off lights!) and when I get back to work it will be even lower.

Spend more time on my many craft/sewing/art projects and actually finish some of them. I have been doing better at this actually.

Spend more quality time with K & J - we need to plan more family activities - we spend too much time on our own PCs or doing our own things that we don't talk too much - need to think on this one more.

Cooking from scratch and cooking ahead - both tie into the weight loss and food budget too. I am home now - it is the time to get things int he freezer for those busy nights when I don't feel like doing anything but order pizza.

I think that is good enough for now - I am sure there are several other areas I could improve on - but I think keeping things simple will make them more attainable.

What are your goals for the new year?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

What a way to start the new year!

So we had friends over on New Years eve to play cards and eat junk food and have a generally good time - which we did.

I was determined to rid the house of all junk type food so I cooked up chicken nuggets, chicken wings, sausage rolls, made plates of cheese & crackers, had lots of bowls of chips and brought out every single chocolate or cookie I could find in the house (and there were plenty!). I also put out baby carrots and dip to make it seem like we had veggies too but I don't think anyone even ate them.

Well....the next day when I dragged my butt out of bed around 10am - I didn't much feel like eating (since I had only stopped eating a few hours before!).

Around noon, my stomach started hurting so I figured maybe I was hungry - I grabbed a piece of deli ham from the fridge. It didn't sit well with me - I didn't feel hungry but I was still getting cramps. This went on for several hours - I would get intermittent cramps high in my stomach, some quite bad, most lasting a couple seconds to a minute or two then they would go away. I also had diarrhea. I had a bit of yogurt later in the day and 2 soda biscuits.

We had had plans to go to friends for dinner - I called them and let them know that only K & J would be coming. I sent them off at around 4pm.

At about 5:30pm the cramps got so bad and started to creep up my chest that I called K to take me to the hospital (luckily he was just down the street). He came and drove me there.

Once there the Dr said it sounded like gallbladder problems and ordered blood-work to be done. Once it was done, I sent K home as they told me it would be about an hour until results would be back and I was feeling better.

That didn't last - about 15 mins after K left I suddenly felt very dizzy and nauseous, I grabbed the bedpan thingie and then as I began to feel like I may pass out, I asked a man there with his wife to get me a nurse. I vomited a couple times and clung to the bed rail, sure I was going to faint.

The nurse came in, I told her my hands were starting to go numb, she told me it was because I was hyperventilating and I had to calm my breathing down.

My hands began to spasm and twist into unnatural shapes - I couldn't move them, unclench them at all. They hurt like H$ll! I told her this and she kept telling me to slow my breathing down - they way my hands were killing me it was difficult to do. This pain was worst then anything I had experienced that day. After about 5 minutes (that felt like hours) I managed to get my breathing under control and the vice -like grip on my hands released.

Around that time the Dr came back to say the blood-work all came back normal - but that it was still probably my gallbladder and he would order an ultrasound (update: scheduled for Jan 12th) and an abdominal CT scan (no appt yet) for me. The nurse gave me a shot of Gravol for the nausea they said I could call K to come get me. I didn't have many more cramps after that but was so tired and weak from not eating all day.

K drove me to our friend's to pick up J and then we came home - I came home and went to bed.

I haven't had any cramps since - I have been being careful about what I do eat - I researched gallbladder diets online and got conflicting info - but all say lowfat - so I will be avoiding fat as much as possible, some say high-fibre, others say low-fibre. I will play around and see what happens - hopefully without triggering another attack.

The only good thing to come out of all that was I lost 5 lbs! Way to start a diet!

So how did you spend New Years day?