Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a nice Thanksgiving, spent with my family. It seemed to be very low-key, which was just fine with me. I spent all afternoon yesterday making my strawberry banana bread, and my pecan pie, so I just relaxed this morning for awhile before getting dressed and going to my parents' house. I got over there a little after 1pm, and helped make some of the items we were eating for dinner. My mom bought a turkey breast since it was only my parents, Joanie and I eating dinner. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing (not homemade this year), green bean casserole, corn, and cranberry sauce. It was very yummy! I felt like I overate, even though I really didn't take too much. We cleaned up, and watched some tv and then Mandy called us to say they were home and we could come over for dessert.

Mandy's was nice, too. We had pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake pie, and lemon meringue pie. It was quite tasty! My niece kept making requests for Shake Your Booty, which I have on my cellphone. She is too funny with that! So when I play the song, she headbangs instead of shakes her booty. lol Then we went down in the basements, so my parents could see the Wii system and the HD channels. We played Wii for awhile, and my parents even played! I wish I had taken a picture! I will when Christmas comes along. But anyway, it was a nice day, and now I am tired!! I am not shopping tomorrow, I'm going to try putting up some decorations. I have no desire whatsoever to fight with people in the stores, to deal with the insane traffic, and to be out in the freezing cold temps here! So good luck to all the crazy people trying to go out to the stores tomorrow! I just hope everyone will be safe on the roads and in the stores!!

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Too Shabby Of A Day

I woke up tired, as usual, but I was determined to actually do a few things out and about before I had to host chat this afternoon. I finally got myself dressed and ready to go around noonish. First stop was the credit union. I chatted with Joanie for a few minutes. We compared arm soreness that we both were still experiencing from playing Wii games on Sunday! After I left, I mailed a few things at the post office, and then went to a Dollar General closer to my house. It was so incredibly nice out! We had an odd warm day, and the sun was out, and it just felt good. I got home, and hosted chat for about an hour. Seemed like people were busy today, but it is the holiday season, so it's understandable!

After that, I noticed my sister, Joan, in front of my house with a rake. Then my dad showed up with a rake and a lawnmower. I thought to myself "Well this should be entertaining!" So I went out there with my coat on, and decided to hang out and get more fresh air! It still wasn't too bad out, but the sun had decided to hide behind clouds, so it was a tad bit nippier. It was fun being out there, just chatting and laughing with Joanie and my dad. I went back in after the mailman came, got myself a sandwich, and then came back out again. I eventually went in because I started to freeze!

A little while later, Joanie, my mom and I were holding on to a piece of cording tied to my white birch stick (well tree trunk, but my dad had cut down almost all the branches last year because the tree had died, so I called it a stick) out in my front yard. We were pulling away from the electric power lines connected from my house to the street. As we were pulling, my dad was sawing near the base of the stick. He finally came over at one point and yanked on it too, and all of a suddent it came crashing down in our direction. Of course, it was supposed to do this, since we were all pulling it our way, but we all had to move quickly to make sure it didn't hit us! It came soooooo close to hitting my Joanie, though!! I'm so happy it didn't, that would NOT have been pretty! So anyway, now I am left with a white birch stump. I'm not sure how the rest of it will be taken out of the ground, but at least it's not a sorry looking stick on the lawn. I am sad that the tree died, though. The white birch reminds me of my grandpa. He used to have one in his front yard where he lived, and he is now buried near one in the cemetary. But for now, I can just remember him every time I see the stump!

The rest of my afternoon was relaxing. I finished washing my dishes, and then eventually went to lay down. I read for awhile and fell asleep. I got up to make dinner, and didn't really feel like eating anything. I finally made eggos and cottage cheese and pears. I watched my evening news and Jeopardy! Then I took a bath!

I love baths, I think it's the one thing I miss not doing during the summer. I take so many in the fall/winter. I find them so relaxing, and often feel like I'm in my own little world. I either contemplate things that have been going on, or just read a good book with the candlelight. I think the number one reason I usually take a bath, though, is because I'm so cold!! Despite wearing layers and long underwear, and double pairs of sock and even slippers, AND having a blanket on while watching tv, I still can be so cold sometimes, that the only thing warming me up is a nice hot bath! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

So that's been my day! I'm glad it wasn't too bad. Tomorrow I need to make strawberry-banana bread, and a pie crust for my pecan pie for Thursday. So I'm not really planning on going anywhere!! Yay!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Trying Not To Get Sick!!

I have felt so exhausted lately. Friday, I tried exercising, and felt so tired after that I had to rest. I didn't even walk 1o minutes. I tried exercising on Saturday, too, but felt the same way. Sunday I kind of felt odd, but didn't do anything about it. Sunday night, I felt so worn out and felt like a cold was coming at any moment. I piled on the extra vitamin C, acidophilus, and Tylenol. I had some tea, too, since I was rather cold despite all my layers. I also ate some honey and lemon. I went to bed with 3 pillows, just so if I did get sick, nothing would go into my lungs. This morning I woke up feeling ok, still wondering if I was going to get something. But I kept up with the same routine as last night, and as of now, I have no cold. I'll got some rest this afternoon, and I think that helped, too. But I'll keep it up! I just don't want to get sick. I haven't had a head cold in a little over 2 years. Which is BEYOND unbelievable because I grew up having at least 2 colds a year. The last time I had a head cold, I was so miserable that I remember just crying at my kitchen table. So I'm really really hoping I won't get anything!!

Yesterday afternoon, I went over to my sister, Mandy's house, with my sister Joan. We were going to play on the Wii that they got for their Christmas present. It was sooo much fun!! I wasn't sure exactly how it all worked, but you use this remote device that you hook around your wrist (so you don't accidentally wing it at the tv, I guess that's been known to happen alot!!). We played sports games, like bowling, tennis, golf and baseball. I sooooo did not try the boxing. That would really have worn me out. lol But all the other games were really fun! My arm is incredibly sore from playing it. I think I need to pump more iron so I won't end up sore again the next time I play. lol We can't wait until Christmas when my sister, Lisa, comes home with her husband. We will be having dinner at Mandy's house, and then I think we'll have Wii competitions!! I'm so excited about it!

Well I am off to bed. I want to relax again tomorrow, maybe do my dishes, finally. And make a banana-strawberry bread. I could make the pie crust for my pecan pie, too. Of course, I have these plans, and I might end up doing something totally different. lol I guess I'll just see how I feel in the morning!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just a Quick Update Before I Nap!

I saw my gyn today. Well, really the nurse practitioner (who I just love!). She changed the pill I've been on, and it will hopefully help me with future issues I've been having. I sure hope so! I've been miserable on the pill I've been on, so I'm looking for a definite change! I also have to get bloodwork done tomorrow, to see if I'm anemic after all this. Hopefully that'll come out fine. I'm now off to take a nap, because I came home a little while ago. I went to Mandy's house on the way home, and stayed for a couple hours. It was nice! The kids are toooooo cute!! I'm beat, though, and just relieved that I don't have kids because they certainly can poop you out!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tired Of Being Tired!

I just haven't felt peppy lately, and it's driving me nuts. I was too tired earlier today, and I hadn't done anything! While in PH chat, though, I wasn't the only one who was dragging, so I guess that's good. I layed down for a nap around 3:30, and slept for an hour. It did help some, but I'm going to bed in a bit. I'm trying my best to do things around the house during the day, but I just get so tired, that I end up just taking a nap for a little while. I'm hoping this changes soon!

My weekend was alright. I went to Mandy's with Joan, and played with my niece for awhile. I was tired when I got home, but didn't really nap. I just relaxed and watched a movie in the evening, and enjoyed my nice used couch!! It's sooo comfy! Sunday, I went to church, and had my parents over for lunch. I made homemade chicken and barley soup on Saturday night, so I had plenty to share! I worked on a necklace later on, and then had to lay down. It's a never-ending story!!

I think tomorrow I'm calling my gyn. I'm having major issues, and I don't know what's going on. I'm thinking this is part of the reason I'm sooo exhausted. It's higly irritating, I tell you that much!!

Well, the bed is calling me! I'm off to la-la land!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Do You Know What November Is?

*I have sent the following to friends and family for PH Awareness Month! I wanted to post it here, too!*

Do you know what November is? The month of Thanksgiving. Yes, but..................

The month of Veterans Day. Yes, but...................................

Did you know that November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month?

Do you know what Pulmonary Hypertension is?

Pulmonary Hypertension is a disease where the blood vessels in your lungs constrict and make it harder for your heart to pump blood into your lungs to get oxygen. This causes the right side of the heart to enlarge and overwork.

Do you know the warning signs of PH? Shortness of breath, chest pain, extreme fatigue, being light-headed, fainting.

Did you know that PH is hard to diagnose? Many of the symptoms of PH can mimic other ailments and diseases.

Did you know there are many reasons for one to have PH? Some people may never find out why they have this disease. Others have it because of a congenital heart condition, or an auto-immune disease. Some have it because they took a diet pill called Phen-phen. You could have 10 PH patients in one room, and each of their causes for having PH could be totally different!

Did you know that PH does not discriminate? Anyone can get PH. Children are born with it. Women in their child-bearing years are more susceptible to developing it. Older people can get it. People of every race can get it. PH has no boundaries.

Most of you know my personal PH story. I was born with PH and congenital heart disease (2 holes in my heart). They were both discovered when I was 9 months old. I have been living with PH for 32 years now. I'm on 2 PH meds right now, oxygen 24/7, a variety of other meds for other issues, and I'm holding my own at the moment. It hasn't been easy, but I've always done the best I could living with PH. I am very active on the Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness website (www.phassociation.org). I host a Tuesday afternoon chat for fellow PHers, and I answer posts on the message boards. I am also a support group leader for PH in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. It's been a wonderful experience to meet real live people who have been dealing with PH, and who can totally understand what I've been through all my life.

PH is a devastating disease, but there are so many more options available for a newly diagnosed PH patient today than there was when I was born. There are several drug options to choose from, one newly approved this past summer. Combination therapies have been very successful for many PHers. There are some new drugs in trial stages, and will hopefully be approved within the next couple years as another treatment option. And there is always research being done!

My goal with this email is to spread awareness! Since November is PH Awareness month, what better way to do it than email all my friends and family? All I ask is for you to pass this email on to people you know. You won't get bad luck if you don't. However, if more people know the warning signs and more doctors learn more about the disease and more money is spent on research, perhaps more people will be diagnosed early!

What can you do? Pass this on to everybody in your email list. Go to www.phassociation.org to learn more. And go to the doctor if you have any of the warning signs.

And for those of you who are interested in doing a bit more for PH, I have had a fundraiser going on since May. My personal goal is raising $1000 for the PH Association, that will go towards research and development of new drugs and hopefully a cure one day! The money will also help the continuing task of making people in society aware of PH. I have already raised $845, so I'm very close to reaching my goal! To those of you who have already donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!! It means a great deal to me that you have supported this cause. If you have not donated, and wish to do so, please click on the link (or copy and paste) at the end of this email after my name. And if you do donate, no matter how much it is, please know that I truly appreciate your contribution! I hope that one day, the cure for PH will be found, and no one else will have to go through what I've been going through all my life!

Thank you for recognizing November as Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month! Now keep this email going all month!!

Love,
Colleen :)
Please visit my websites!
For jewelry: www.fromtheheartjewels.etsy.com
To donate to my PH fundraiser! http://www.firstgiving.com/melonlady1724

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rainbows and Final Jeopardy!

Sometimes the most unexpected things can make a person so wonderfully happy. I had two instances today in which I experienced unexpected events, and it has just made me smile for most of the day and evening!

The first occurred during my outing to several stores. The weather in Niagara Falls today was mostly wet, raining on and off. When I left one of the stores I had gone to, the sun was peeking out in one section of all the dark gray clouds. I turned into the parking lot to head to another store, when I looked out the window to my left. I had to hit the brakes. There in the sky was a huge arching rainbow. It was just such a wonderful feeling to see it, since it's been I don't know how long since I had seen one last. I find rainbows so magical and mystifying, even though there is science and logic to their existence. I took a couple pictures with my camera phone. Even though I'm sure someone who would see the pictures would say why did you take a picture of an empty storefront?, I can see that rainbow. And I'll remember how happy it made me feel seeing it today.

The second unexpected experience today may seem a little silly to some, but it still has me smiling! I love Jeopardy! I don't know what got me into watching Jeopardy! so much over the summer, but I watch it almost every night. I calculate my score to see how much I'm "winning," and I make wagers for the final question. Tonight's Final Jeopardy! category was "In the Southern Hemisphere". Thinking, OK I'm gonna lose, I wagered a measly $600, and waited for commercials to end. I must backtrack for a second first. For the next 2 weeks, the Jeopardy! contestants are former champions, and this is a Tournament of Champions. I have seen most of these players, and they are very good! They won a lot of money. That being said, the commercials were over, and the final answer was revealed. I cannot remember the exact wording, but it had to do with the bear constellation, and what the Greek term was for it. The only thing I could come up with, considering the category had to do with the Southern Hemisphere, was Antarctica. The lovely little Jeopardy! ditty finished playing, and Alex went to each of the contestants to find out their answers. None of them got it right. Two of them didn't even write down an answer! They were stumped! So I'm thinking, gee whiz, I'm sure I got it wrong. So Alex says, "The answer is Antarctica." I dropped my jaw, and was like what????? I got it right, and those champions got it wrong?? It just made me so happy! I don't usually get the last question right, either, so I'm pretty proud of myself! Now I only wish I had bet all my money! LOL

So anyway, two unexpected occurrances today made me feel pretty happy and upbeat. It's the little things like that that make me feel like someone is always watching. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Silly Tiger!

I don't usually post pictures of my niece and nephew. But I wanted to post this pic of my niece, because you can't see her face. I just think it's so funny, a tiger on a Sit-n-Spin!

My last post has highly irritated me, by the way. Blogger, for some reason, stopped letting me do paragraphs. So near the middle to the end, it looked like I wrote one huge paragraph. I tried fixing it 6 times, but to no avail. Please, I am an English major, I know about paragraphs. So I'm sorry if it seems all jumbled, but it's not my fault!!

Saturday Clean-Up

It's been an up and down week. I started out fairly good, able to walk on the treadmill several times earlier in the week. That's always a plus! Sometimes I do ok, sometimes I just have to stop. I'm definitely not walking like I did after I started Tracleer. Back then I could walk up to 2 miles at a time. Now I'm lucky if I get to half a mile. It's very disappointing, but I guess just trying to keep walking is what counts.

Halloween was a busy day, and I wasn't home very much. I went down to my parents' for lunch, and Mandy and Ron brought the kids over. OH MY GOSH, they were adorable! My niece was a tiger, and she got her ROAR down pat! My nephew was a giraffe, and it was just funny seeing the giraffe strapped in a car seat. lol

After lunch, when the tired and cranky giraffe and tiger had had it, Mandy and Ron left, and I went back home to do a few things and rest. I was going back down to my parents' to pass out candy, and then leaving afterward to go to my friend, Dee's, house for pizza and snacks. I made haystacks, which are yummy, and brought them to my parents' and Dee's. Trick-or-treating was very slow at first, but around 4:30, suddenly kids were all over the place! My mom had gotten about 6 bags of candy, and I had 2, but a little after 6pm, we ran out. I had to have seen at least 100 kids between 4:30 and 6pm. It was crazy! It was fun, though, alot of cute costumes were worn! Quite a few parents had dressed up this year, too, and they seemed to be having fun.

I left for Dee's after driving my mom to Dairy Queen and back home. I was pretty tired by then, but I stayed at Dee's until about 9ish. I'm so glad I didn't stay later. Honestly, I don't know how I drove home. I was beyond exhausted. And very achy. My lower back and legs were killing me! I get like that every once in a while, and I hate taking anything for it, but I usually end up doing so. When I got home, I took a nice bath, and that did help the pain. It also made me sleepier. lol I struggled to stay awake until 11pm, when I had to take my last dose of Revatio, and then I went to bed. I woke up around 3am, though, barely able to move. I was just in so much pain, I finally took a Tylenol Arthritis. It did help me after awhile, but when I got up the next morning, I was just completely out of it.
So Thursday wasn't too much fun in the beginning. I felt like I never slept, I felt like a zombie. I tried getting a few things done, but I finally had to make myself lay down and try sleeping again for a bit. I got up feeling a little better. I was having my couch and loveseat taken out that afternoon, and the guys from the Community Missions came, as well as my mom. After the furniture was gone (I really hope someone who needs it can enjoy it as much as I did!), my mom stayed and helped me so much. She vacuumed, she swiffered, and put some laundry in for me. I don't know what I'd do without her sometimes. She even stayed for awhile when little Nick was dropped off for me to watch for an hour. He's such a cutie! Anyway, Thursday ended on a better note than it began. I was thankful for that.
Friday I went out shopping, hoping to get some toy ideas for my godson. I think he loves Legos, and pirates, so there's got to be some combination of the two. lol I had lunch with my mom, and after getting a birthday card, I dropped my mom off and had a nice nap back at home! It was a relaxing evening.
So far today, I've been slow moving, but getting things done that I needed to. Such as, washing my dishes (I think I used every spoon I had!), and cleaning all the fishies. Now with that done, I'm ready for a nap! I think Mittens is, too. He keeps staring at me. lol Anyway, I think I'll go do that, and then make jewelry later on.
Oh yes, and if you're wondering, I got rid of my couch and loveseat because Mandy and Ron bought new furniture for their living room. I'm getting the white couch, which will be perfect for my living room! When I'll get it is a goooood question! With my dad not allowed to lift anything heavy for a couple weeks, and Ron with an injured back, I might have to deal with an empty-looking living room for a bit. Thank goodness I kept my papasan chair!