Friday, June 29, 2012

Summertime! (And the livin' is easy?)

Not so much!  For me anyway.  Been super busy, both at work and at home.  I've been working nearly 50 hours a week and commuting, so you know that I'm not home too much.  When I am home, I am trying to catch up with the cleaning, the laundry and the other every day things that a working woman does.  I'm also trying to get some time in with Bella whenever I can.  Yesterday I had the chance to pick her up at school, not something I get to do too often.  When I got there she held up her pool pass and gave me a big hug.
I got the hint and took her to the pool when we got home.  It was horribly hot outside, so we stayed in the water cooling off the whole time.  We were only there for an hour, but it was good for both of us!
The water has an extremely good effect on my muscles and I can totally relax in the water.  Pain free.  Though it isn't a lasting effect, it feels good none the less!
Today the temperatures are supposed to reach 100 again and there is a weather advisory out for the day again.  Not supposed to spend much time outside.  With the heat index it will feel like 115 I'm told and I can understand it.  It is already humid and hot, Hot, HOT out there.  Yuck! 

I started Physical Therapy again this week.  I know it is what I need, I just have to get my head wrapped around the fact that I'll be doing this for the rest of my life.  Seems daunting when I think about it in those terms!  My new doctor/therapist is a very sweet young woman.  As we were talking we realized that she graduated with my son Timmy.  Boy do I feel old!  She's only been out of school for a little over a year, after 8 years of college.  Wow!  Anyway, she recommended a combination of land and water therapy.  I will be going back again today and have 2 appointments scheduled a week for the next 2 weeks out.  We'll concentrate on getting me back some flexibility, as my muscles are extremely taught and make movement rather difficult at this time.  She will use a combination of exercise and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS.  TENS uses gel-covered pads attached to a box from which a current is emitted. The pads are placed over the painful area. The current can be high or low frequency and its strength can also be altered using dials. If TENS does work for a patient then they often find that the longer it is used the greater the effect (at least 2 hours each day). 
For me the frequency is turned up as high as I can take it and is healthy, with the hope that stimulating the muscles so much will then force them to relax.  TENS is my favorite part of PT!  It feels so good and sometimes I am allowed to lay on the pads and just rest while it is on.  (I've been known to fall asleep during the process!) 

Traffic has been pretty heavy lately, so I have been using an alternate route to go to and from work.  It is more scenic for one, less traveled and more relaxing.  So on the way to work the other day I noticed a Consignment Shop that I had never seen before.  On my way home that day I noticed that it was open, so I stopped in.  Great move on my part!  I got a couple of items for my craft room, but saw lots of good stuff.  The store is relatively small, but it is jammed packed with all kinds of neat stuff.  They opened in February, shows how much I pay attention, and initially their inventory was about 50% home goods and 50% clothing.  Since then they have been phasing out the clothing items because they have found that the home goods and purses are among their best sellers.  They also host a Flea Market 3 Saturdays a month on a grassy area next to their parking lot.  The Flea Market is a time when people can come and set up their things and sell them.  Some vendors show up as well from time to time.  Consultants for companies like: thirty-one, Scentsy, etc.  I can assure you that I'll be making my way to one of those sometime soon! 

I have been searching for a wooden chair that I can paint and use as a prop for photo shoots.  So far I haven't found anything that I like, but I'm sure something will pop up.  I have really been hoping to try my hand at furniture painting and think that this might be a great way to start.  Consequently, I have been hunting Goodwill, the Habitat for Humanity store, yard sales and the like, to no avail.  Though I haven't found anything yet, I haven't bought anything that I don't need either.  When Mr. Wonderful and I went to Luckett's a few weeks ago I stumbled across a booth that sold Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Swoon!  Lucky for me they had just gotten in a large order of their Tester Pots and I picked up a few.  Chalk Paint™ is a unique paint in 30 decorative and historical colours made specifically for painting furniture, painting floors, and for giving walls a completely matt velvety finish.
I got Duck Egg Blue, Emerpor's Silk and Old White.  I have been dieing to use them!  A while back I found an old Sewing Table that was being thrown out.  The machine had been removed and the top was marked up, but other than that it was in good shape.  I threw it in the back of the car and took it home.  I thought this would be a great project for me to use the paint on, right?  Wrong!  At least according to Mr.W.  He took the table and put it downstairs in his 'man cave' and says that it's fine and I shouldn't touch it.  (I may have to grab it one day while he's at work and start working away on it.)  So my search continues.

I am so looking forward to the weekend.  Since we had no plans I scheduled a little 'me' time at a local spa.  Yeah!  Beginning at 9:00 I will be treated to a massage, mani and pedi, lunch and a deep conditioning, shampoo and style.  Can't wait!  I'll be cashing in a Gift Certificate that Mr. Wonderful presented me with for Mother's Day. 

Hope you all enjoy your weekend! 


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend in Review

Yesterday Mr. Wonderful and I had a wedding to go to in the afternoon.  The Groom is a friend of his from the golf course.  It was the second marriage for both the bride and groom and it was lovely.  The bride wore a short white, sleeveless dress made of lace and the groom was dapper in his tux.  The bride's two grandsons were in the wedding and were as cute as can be.  The happy couple had met when both were part of the police department and began dating quite a number of years ago.  The groom has since retired from his job as a police officer but when  news of the wedding got around, the chaplain for the department expressed an interest in performing the ceremony.  He was very good and had the guests and the bride and groom laughing as he spoke of having had the chance to get to know them pretty well as a couple over the last 9 or so years! 
The reception was lots of fun and I danced quite a bit.  Having been in high heels for several hours has left me a bit sore today though! 
This morning I finished up a project that I've been working on for a while now, staining the playset in the backyard.  It's been quite a job and I really glad to have finally completed it.  I had hoped to be able to finish it before it got too hot outside, but going out at ten o'clock proved to be too lae for that.  It was pretty hot already and by the time I had finished I was soaked in sweat.  I swear that thing was growing as I was staining it!  Took so long to finish it because we had to wait until it wasn't raining, wasn't going to rain, we didn't have plans for something else going on, etc.  But it's done, that's the most important thing and I won't have to do it again for a while.  I hope.

We had gotten some fresh blueberries in and I can only eat so many of them, so this afternoon I made a loaf of blueberry bread.  Yum!                                                                                     

Fresh from the oven....
Here's the recipe I use-it's really good.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup oil
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Add berries and nuts, mix to distribute evenly.
Add eggs and oil and mix only until ingredients are moistened.
Pour nto a well-greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

I wanted to share one more picture with you.
I picked these from my garden this afternoon. I just love Hydrangeas and we planted two bushes on the one side of our house several years ago.  Both bushes we planted we blue and the first couple of years they really didn't produce much and the only flowers that bloomed were pink.  In the last couple of ears though, htey have really taken off and now as you can see, I have both pink and blue blooms.  Copious amounts of blooms at that!  I think they are just beautiful and love cutting some to bring inside.  My neighbor next door like them as well as they have a birds' eye view of them. 
We also discovered that the bee balm that we plantd a few years ago has finally bloomed.  Bright red flowers.  So pretty!  We have a butterfly garden in the rear of the yard, behind the playset and it is really looking good this year.  Gotta give the props to the ole hubby on that, he is the gardener of the family now.
I've given it up in recent years because of the difficulty I have n bending over and getting up, but it's just as well-he does a great job.
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Day at the Beach

On Monday I took the day off siting my mental health as the reason.  I have been working extremely hard and keeping long hours and I just needed a day to play.  Mr. Wonderful was off and so we decided to take Bella to the beach.  We got up early and hit the road-just the three of us.  Bella was excited as she had only been to the beach once and it was very crowded, and because it was a side trip we weren't prepared to go and she didn't have her bathing suit on and we were only there briefly.  A whole day at the beach!

Our first stop was Assatique Island.  We thought that since it was early it might be a little less crowded and maybe the horses would be more active.  We found out though that the horses are more active later in the day for some reason.  So, we were just hoping to get a glimpse or two.  As we were driving down the road this is what we saw:
There were actually 4 of them one of which was a little fawn, so cute.
As we continued down the road a bit we encountered these two:

Just taking a stroll and stopping for a bite to eat.
About now Bella was pretty excited but that was nothing compared to what came next.
We parked the car and got out and went for a walk on the beach.  She could barely contain herself!
This is her happy dance.
Once she gets those hips going there's no stopping her! 
She was thrilled. 
The beach that was on the island was so nice and not crowded at all, so we stayed there. 
This was a little 8 month old pony and she was not bashfull at all. 

Here she is again, Bella gave her the name of Buttercup.

We took a hike on one of the nature trails that are marked.  We saw lots of birds, but no othere wildlife.
After Bella had had enough of the beach we cleaned up and she wanted to change into her clothes (which were sand free!).  I brought a couple containers of water and used it to clean the sticky sand from her.  There was a pump there so I could refill as needed, it worked out well. 
Then we headed up to Ocean City to stroll on the boardwalk and have some lunch.  Afterwards we went to Fisher's Popcorn, a must if you're in the area! 

We still had plenty of daylight left, so we let our girl pick a miniture golf course (of the dozen or so there on the strip) and we played a round of putt-putt. 

She choose the course with dinosaurs all around, and Big Foot.  Not sure where he fits in, but that was okay with her.
It was a great day. 
We got back in the car and headed for home, Bella slept the whole way.  We figured that she'd be tired from all the playing in the ocean, walking and excitement.  Since Grandaddy was going to be watching her the next day, she spent the night at our house so she could sleep in.  That turned out to be a great idea as she didn't get up until 10:15!! 
Love me a great beach day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Birthday Party Fun! Part 2

Sorry that it's taken so long to get back with more pictures from the party, but I've been waiting for Shawn to get me his pictures. I was hoping that his pictures may have been better than mine, but they were about the same though he had a few more.  

On to the party!

From the top left: Guests were greeted at the front door with bright balloons, tulle ribbon,a birthday sign and a rag wreath that I had made just for the birthday girl.  Next up is a close up of the sign.  Then on to the table, more balloons and a plethora of pink!  The Eiffel Tower was just a cardboard cutout that I found on Celebrate Express.  Each place had a little placemate with a poodle on it and underneath is said 'Bon Apetite'.  Little coffee drink bottles were washed, had the labels  removed and re-labeled with birthday labels made especially for Bella, the topes were painted black and they were filled with fruit punch and a striped straw tied on to the bottle with twine.  Maribou trimmed cutlery caddy.  I picked that caddy up at Michael's for next to nothing last year and have gotten lots of use from it.

Little pink poodles also came from Celebrate Express and were given to each of the party guests.  Though I had planned on having activities and games for the kids, once we decided on the bounce house I though they'd be too busy to care about games and such. Pink and White Poodle cookies that I made and which Bella and Aiden helped me to decorate.  The platter trio holds Chocolate covered Strawberries, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Bon Bons (also known as Buckeyes).  Finally a flower pot full of fluffy puppy tails - marshmallow pops!  Everything was labeled with pink labels and the table was decked out with lots of balloons on either side. 
That's all for now, I'll finish  up in another post.  This one has taken me a long time as I lost the whole thing once and had to redo the entire post!
Enjoy for now!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Poodles, Paris, Packages and lots of Pink!

Our Bella turned eight on Sunday, I can hardly believe that eight years have passed since that day when I saw her take her first breath.  She has been a blessing to all of us every single day though, and I am so glad to have been able to share so many happy memories with my darling grandaughter. She has brought so much life and love into our lives!
Like every year, I was going to do her birthday party.  This year it was rather difficult to choose a theme for her party and we were kind of all over the map.  We had finally narrowed it down to a doggie theme of some sort, but nothing definitive.  She loved the idea of a puppy party, but it just wasn't 'glittery' enough for her.  So, we came up with the idea of Pink Poodles in Paris.  Not terrible orignal, but she was thrilled with the whole idea.  I started to make the invitation and was looking online for paper goods to go with the theme and found a beautiful party set at Paper Glitter that could be personalized, it was perfect!  I worked on the party for quite a while and used lots of recipes that I found on Pinterest
We decided to have her party with her friends on Saturday morning and then go right on to have a family party after that.  Mr. Wonderful had decided to rent a Princess bouncey house and we wanted all the kids to get to play in it and get our $$ worth.  I got up at 5:30 that morning and started the preparations, since I sometimes move somewhat slower than usual, I wanted to allow myself enough time to get everything done.

Here's our birthday girl!

My goodness, she was soooo excited!  She could not wait for this day. We had not told her about the bouncey house and she got to our house just as they showed up with it in the truck and she walked right by them and said hello but never paused at all.  I said to Michelle that she didn't seem to be too excited about it and Michelle said she didn't think Bella knew what it was.  While I was showing them to the backyard Bella stopped and looked at the side of the truck and all of the sudden she came running up to me and jumped up on me and wrapped herself around me and said "Oh, Thank you, thank you, thank you!"  It was cute.

This is the bouncey house, resplendent with Disney Princesses and flowers and even a bright pink extension cord!  So very girly.  She was thrilled and jumped in it right away and bounced about for a while before the party began.  She wore herself out it as it got very hot in there very fast.  It was a beautiful day though-we totally lucked out!  You just never know what you're going to get weather wise here in June. 

I had my son in law Shawn take pictures for me so that I could be more dedicated to the party and I haven't gotten his photos yet.  I'm hoping that he got some good ones!  
For now I will leave you with this picture of the goody table.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

When There's Nothing Left To Do

Sometimes you just have to wine.:(  Sorry, but I'm in a bit of a winey mood today.  It hasn't been a bad day, nothing has gone wrong.  In fact, I've had quite a nice day.  I saw the Grandkids for a while and made cookies with them.  Got my car washed which I've been wanting to do for a long time, inside and out.  Yeah!  And I ended the day in the hot tub-Ahhhhh!  Soothing my aching muscles. 
Which brings me to the point of this post.  I am often asked to describe what it feels like this Muscular Dystrophy that I have.  Many people confuse it with MS, due in part to my age and my sex and in part to the fact that I am ambulatory.  It is difficult to describe, especially because I have come to realize that everyone doesn't feel things the way that I do and have felt things for most of my life, so I have nothing to compare it to.
Recently though, I saw a commercial on TV for a lung disease\(COPD, I think) where a man is walkin around with an elephant beside him.  It illustrates two things, one that he feels like he has an elephant on his chest and two, that it is difficult to breathe.  It is a good illustration as it is descriptive without being too graphic but it clearly gets the point across.  I've tried to come up with a similar illustration and the best that I've been able to come up with is that of someone moving throughout their day with rocks strapped to their limbs, bottom and head.  Try to imagine what that might feel like if you will. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to walk up a flight of stairs, to reach for something above your head, dress yourself, sit in a chair?  In the most simplist terms, my muscles turn on and become 'hot' as though they are active and they don't know how to turn off.  So I can become quite stiff, sore and extremely tired.  Have you ever started a new exercise routine after not having worked out in quite a while and gotten up the next day feeling like you can't get out of bed?  Even your hair hurts!?  Yeah!  That's what it's like.  Some days its better than others.
This disease is also systemic and progressive, meaning that it can and does effective different systems of the body and that it can progress with time.  There is also some debate and there are studies going on right now trying to prove whether or not it effects the cognitive function.  I can tell yoou without a doubt that it does!  That is what bothers me the most.  I often find myself at a loss for words that have always come easily for me. Words, both written and spoken are like magic for me.  I love to be able to use them, to read them and to write them and to speak them.  Often I struggle to find words that for everyday things, my mind gets tangled and I can't get my mouth and my brain to coordinate.  It is inordinately frustrating.
Yet, I have hope.  I know that there is work being done every day, research that is constant.  Breakthroughs keep happening new technology will help further the fight.  And my biggest hope lies in my faith, as I know that I am not alone and that in my darkest hours, I will be carried through it.  So, there is always a light that shines bright for me.  I know that with Him I am strong.
I have really learned so much about myself since my diagnosis.  I've learned that I am strong that I had imagined.  I've learned that it's okay to ask for help when I need it and there is no shame in it.  And so much more!  I may not be able to beat this disease, but I can live with it.