Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Space, B Space

Today I spent most of the afternoon typing. I don't often use my laptop for another purpose other than being on the internet, but I've been doing some typing for a friend of mine at rehab. She is a sweet person, a Sister at a school my best friend's daughter happens to attend. The school is less than 2 minutes (driving) from the hospital, and for the last several weeks after rehab, Sister has asked me to stop by for more work, or to give her the work I've done already. Most of it I've already done, and it's for the Kindergarten graduation program. But last week she handed me a pile of papers that included more Halloween songs and poems, Christmas songs and poems, and some sort of play about the Passion of Christ. I have to be honest, as I type this stuff up, some of it just doesn't make sense. lol But, she's incredibly happy with my work, and I'm just happy I could help her. She's been paying a little here and there, as much as a nun could possibly afford, but when she gives me chocolates, I think I enjoy that the most! Typing so much reminds me of how I started to learn to type, back in high school. The teacher we had was almost like a typing Nazi. She was very strict. If you attempted to look at any of the keys while practicing, she would make you do more work. Or she would cover the keys. I used to be so nervous when it came to doing tests. She would come over to each of our desks, one at a time, and slap her hip with her hand as she yelled out what she wanted us to be typing. And then we'd have timed tests, which also made me feel on the verge of a breakdown. As much as I couldn't stand the class, I guess it did me some good. I barely ever look at the keys while I'm typing, and I can sometimes type pretty fast, even if I'm making mistakes. I just backspace really quickly to fix it, and keep moving on. So I guess the typing Nazi's methods, as crazy as they seemed all those years ago, really made an impact!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Already Monday

I'm not sure where the weekend went, but it zipped by quickly. I had another business class to go to with Mandy. There were a ton of people there as compared to last week's class. It was all about record keeping. Sounds rather boring, but it was actually very interesting. And also a bit intimidating. If you don't keep track of things just right, you can be audited, and then you REALLY need to make sure you've got all your records and such for proof! Anyway, after the class, I hung out at Mandy's with her family for awhile. We had lunch, and I watched the kids play various computer games as I chatted with Mandy and Ron. Eventually I got back home, and took a much needed nap. Getting up at 7am two Saturdays in a row is rather exhausting! The evening was spent just hanging out online! Yesterday, I went to our newly redesigned Targét. They added a fresh grocery section, and freezer section, and put other sections in other areas. It was kinda fun to walk around and see the store a bit differently, but I do not think their fresh produce area is any cheaper than other places I already shop. I might buy food from there if I have a coupon and it's on sale, but other than that, I don't think it'll become a place where I get most of my food. I don't go to Targét too often, anyway. I did buy a pair of white capri pants for the summer, and 2 sweaters on sale for $5 each. Ca-ching! Love deals!! Today I spent doing easy stuff around the house, like the dishes, and finishing a necklace. Once again I was tired for much of the day. I did take a nap, but somehow the rest didn't last too long. I'll be going to bed pretty soon. I do want to make it rehab tomorrow (I didn't on Thursday, the extreme fatigue was RIDICULOUS), so I need to get enough sleep to make it through the hour of exercise! lol

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter Still Hangs On

Although I was expecting it from the weather reports in the last few days, this morning I woke up to a white wonderland yet again. And although I have seen snow even in April, somehow today's snow just seemed so utterly foreign. It didn't feel as if it should've been out there. The calendar SAYS spring, so it SHOULDN'T snow anymore, right?? Well, tell that to Mother Nature. She apparently didn't get that memo!

I spent my day cleaning and putting things away that I haven't gotten around to doing yet. I also spent the day on my phone, whether it was a long (or short) phone call, or texting. Some unsettling news from a dear friend had gotten the best of me in the afternoon, and I shed some tears for the entire situation (which I may write about in a future post). Just when you think your health situation is the worst, there is always someone out there who has it harder than you.

The aroma of saucy pork chops in the crockpot filled the apartment for most of the day. I couldn't wait for dinner tonight!! I had those chops in the crockpot for around seventeen hours, and they were awesome. If you feel like trying them yourself, you can click here.

I am not tired tonight, which is weird since I never did get a nap. But I suppose I will try to read for awhile before getting some sleep. I know I need it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Goals

There are some days when I actually know what my plans are for the day, but I always wonder if I can actually complete them. Sometimes I wake up with no energy for anything, and sometimes I get up all ready to go, and somewhere along the way, the energy levels dissipate. This morning I knew I wanted to take a shower, get 3 loads of laundry done, and do some typing for a friend of mine, since she wants it tomorrow, and also go to a wake in the evening. I got off to an ok start, but my upstairs neighbor got up at the same time as me, and put a load of laundry in first when I had wanted to take a shower. UGH! However, as soon as I knew her machine stopped filling up with water, I hopped into the shower. I knew it was a race against time before the machine went into the rinse cycle! LOL Luckily it wasn't as horrendous as I thought it would be, and I got the shower off my list.

I started the laundry after I had eaten breakfast and dried my hair. The lady upstairs was in the basement taking care of her stuff, so we chatted for awhile. For the rest of the afternoon, I spent time going back down to do another load and typing away on the laptop, listening to music. I had a ton of stuff to type (it's for the Kindergarten graduation program at my friend's school), so I kept plugging away. Eventually when some of my laundry was put into the dryer, I knew I needed a nap or my evening wasn't going to be so pleasant!

I slept for an hour before getting up to make leftovers for dinner. I decided to keep working on more typing while waiting for my parents' and Joanie to pick me up to go to the wake. We went there for awhile, said our condolences to the family, talked to some people we recognized, and then they dropped me off back home. I finally finished up the rest of the typing, and then I had to print it all out. That should've been an easy task, except I used the wrong paper at first and when I tried to print everything out again, my printer had a fit and said the job was done after it spit out 4 out of 11 pages. UGH! I got it all to work out after I turned the printer off and on, but it was aggravating at that moment. Not to mention that Mittens was trying to step on the stuff I had just printed out! But, when it was finally all done, I was happy!! I was able to accomplish all my goals for today!! Even though I'm exhausted from doing everything, at least I got it all done! And now, I'm off to bed!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great First Day Of Spring!

I got up this morning around 9:30, and did my morning routine. I was just pulling stuff out of the fridge to make pork chops in my crockpot, when Joanie called me to see if I still wanted to go to the bead show. YES!! I put the pork chops back and got ready to go, and she picked me up about half an hour later. We got to the show, and it was significantly smaller than last year's bead show. The entire room was filled with vendors last year, but this year they only had half the room filled. Still, we spent time going around to the tables and looking at the lovely beads! And some not so lovely beads! I did buy some beads, but not like I did last year. Even though it was a smaller event, I'm glad I got to go!

Joanie had a birthday/retirement party at The Brickyard to go to around 3:30, and she asked if I wanted to come. I said sure, and we stopped at Rite Aid for a card and gift card before heading to Lewiston. We were at the restaurant with some of her other fellow coworkers for almost an hour before the guest of honor even arrived. I lost track of how many people were celebrating, but I would say maybe 15. It was a fun evening! We all had great food, and then yummy cake, and a good time. I think we left around 7ish to head back home.

It was nice to have a weekend with 2 of my sistores. I just wish Lisa was close enough to spend time with her, too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Keeping Busy Without The Internet!

I've kept myself busy the last couple of days doing things around the house, and being out for most of the morning and afternoon today. It's amazing at how much can get down and the things I'm getting accomplished when I'm not glued to the internet most of the day.

Yesterday after the o2 guy left, I went to the basement to bring up my storage box for all my snowman and winter decorations that I keep up after Christmas. Considering that I was able to turn the heat off for a couple days (during the day at least), and I knew spring was officially arriving on Sunday, I just had to put those things away! I was so tired of looking at them, even though I love snowmen! I got the box, and before I went back upstairs, I finally put the towels I washed about 2 weeks ago into the dryer to fluff them a bit. I got the box to the living room, and began putting things away. Now, most of my figurines and such are glass, so some of them were wrapped up. I filled the box, and it was heavy, but not unmanageable. If I had to guess it probably was close to 10lbs? Maybe not even. I wasn't about to weight it. But, I did carry it back down into the basement. I was ok doing so! Then I got my towels, and put them away when I got back into the apartment. After having some lunch, I cleaned the glass coffee table, dusted, and started putting things back out that have been hibernating for the winter. I have a lot of pics of my niece and nephews, and some family pics, so it's nice to have them out again!

This morning I went to a free business seminar with Mandy, to learn about the types of businesses there are, and forms that need to be filed along with it. It was interesting, and I'm glad we went. We go to another one next weekend that'll be even more important since it's on record keeping and things to make sure one pays attention to when owning a business. I'm hoping that'll be helpful to both of us. In the afternoon, my mom and I went to Aldis, which was really crowded when we first got there. But we trudged through and got all the stuff we wanted and needed (and didn't need), and filled the cart up like we usually do! lol I think we were there for about an hour or so. I drove back to my house so my mom could bring my things inside, and then I dropped her off at her house. After putting all my stuff away when I got home, I was tired and in need of a nap! The evening has been pretty low key. For some reason, I was antsy and kinda wanted to go out and do something, but none of my friends were available, and neither were my sisters. So, I just took a bath and then opened up a margarita. lol I'll be going to bed soon, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be going to a bead exposition. Eeeeeek!!! A convention center conference room full of beads is like putting a crack addict into a room full of crack! LOL!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Calm Day

I wasn't sure what today would bring or how I'd be feeling. A year ago, Euan died. It was the worst emotional rollercoaster I'd been on in a long time, somehow even worse than when Mason died. Emotions soared so high when I found out he was having his heart transplant that I was crying with elation and happiness and disbelief that he finally was getting his 2nd chance. By the end of the night the grief and devastation of his unexpected loss was crushing, and the tears were constant. I'm not sure I'll ever forget that day.

I never stopped thinking about Euan for the entire year after he left us. He's always been on my mind, and from time to time, I still shed a tear because I miss him so much. But today, I don't know. Today wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got a little emotional a couple times, but I didn't feel overwhelming sadness. I know that Euan's in a better place, and I know that one day I will see him again. I know I will carry him in my heart forever. I just think that because I've been remembering him all year, today wasn't unbearable, being that it was a year since he's been gone.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sucking Up

I was trying to think of what to do today during my prohibited online hours, and I remembered I hadn't tried out my new vacuum yet! My mom bought it for me and brought it over last Friday, but I just hadn't tried to see how well it works. My 2 bedroom rugs haven't been vacuumed since I don't know when, and were quite disgusting, so I thought I'd tackle those first. My new vacuum is a Dirt Devil, and looks exactly like my old Dirt Devil. The major difference is the weight of the vacuum. Even though my old DD says Featherlite, the new one probably weighs 8 pounds less?? I'm not going to attempt putting the vacuums on my bathroom scale to see, so I'm only guessing. lol I got it all ready to start cleaning the crappy looking rugs, and pushed the button to turn it on. It roared to life, and wow! It's sooo much easier to push around than my old DD! And it did a great job in sucking up all the fur and hair and other things accumulating on the rugs! I was very impressed! So I took it into the jewelry room and did some of the carpet in there that was collecting fur and such. When I was done, I proceeded to figure out how to clean it out. Well, that process wasn't as easy as I thought. First of all, I didn't realize the unit had a Maximum Fill Line, and I went waaaaaay past that after doing both rooms. I must remember not to do that again! You are supposed to be able to just detach the container holding whatever you sucked up, turn it upside down, press a button on the bottom to open the flap, and all the junk falls into the garbage. Well, that doesn't exactly work if you've filled the entire container past the Maximum Fill Line, and the container is mostly cat fur! I dumped a lot out, but then I had to reach in with my hand to pull all the rest of the stuff out of there. So, I really must remember to vacuum a room, empty out the contents, and vacuum another one, etc, so I don't fill the container to the top and have to empty it by hand! All in all, though, I like the new vacuum, and it doesn't get my completely whipped after using it like the old one did!

Before vacuuming, I decided to walk a bit on the treadmill. I got to 6 minutes and had to make myself stop because I was rather short of breath for some reason. After calming down, I wanted to finish out the last 4 minutes to get to 10 minutes, which I did. And then I kept going a little more and ended up stopping at 12 minutes. I didn't want to overdo it since I knew I also wanted to vacuum. However, I really shouldn't do walking and vacuuming on the same day. I was rather tired in the afternoon! I didn't think I would be, but well, sometimes I just DON'T think!! lol

Disaster

I am saddened by what has happened in Japan. The terrifying 8.9 earthquake, which then led to a huge tsunami, has been so tragic. Watching the pictures and seeing cities just completey wiped out in less than a minute is so sadly mesmerizing. The dangers that lie ahead, the desparation that will be felt by so many, and the sorrow and grief of those who lost loved ones is more than one can bear. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan, and to those who will help in the recovery process. They have a tremendously long and arduous journey ahead of them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Giving Up

I was raised Catholic, and up until the past couple of years, I would go to church every Sunday and on the religious holidays with my family, and later on usually just with my Mom. I have found myself drifting from the Catholic church for years, totally not agreeing with some of their rules and beliefs, yet still going to church since I thought it was what I should do. I haven't gone in the past couple of years because quite honestly, I just don't feel comfortable. Does this mean I don't believe in God? Absolutely not! I know for sure I would never be where I am today had it not been my faith in Him, and I continue to pray daily, often multiple times a day. I am finding that I am more spiritual, and at this point of my life, I am not sure about the need to go to a building to worship when I can do that whever I am.

Today was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season for Catholics. It's a time when people can pray and reflect on the biggest sacrifice Jesus made for the world. During Lent, many Catholics give up something during the 40 days before Jesus died and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. While I may not be a practicing Catholic at this point, I still partcipate in this ritual, since I do strongly believe in Jesus and what he gave up in order to save so many. Last year I gave up my farm on Facebook, which sounds ridiculous, but I was seriously too addicted and had the break the habit somehow. lol This year, I've decided to give up much of my daytime online hours. Again, this may sound crazy to some people, but I truly need to be doing something else with my time besides spending hours playing games on Facebook and doing pretty much nothing else. I'm allowing time online in the mornings when I eat breakfast and read the news and emails and such, but by noon I need to shut down the laptop and find other things to occupy my time until around 7:30 or 8 at night. Trust me, it is NOT easy. lol The only reason I did alright today was because I wasn't really feeling that great and I spent several hours in the afternoon sleeping. But I'm already wondering what I'm going to do tomorrow and especially on weekends. This is almost like giving up a drug!! I definitely know this is a sacrifice, and if I actually make it through 40 days, I'm a strong person for sure!!!

And on that note, I need to get off the laptop! I've also told myself I need to shut everything down by 11:30 at night since I've been going to bed way too late and not getting enough sleep!!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Nothing Much

My weekend was filled with nothing much. I slept in very late on Saturday, I think mostly because it was raining, and the sound was so calming. I just couldn't get myself out of bed, and when I finally did, I saw it was just after 11am. Ooops! I spent my day doing nothing but playing online, and then napping. I did put a necklace layout on my board, but that was the extent of my day.

Today was pretty much the same, except I got up earlier than I did Saturday. I heard my upstairs neighbor using her kitchen sink for a long time, and her washer going, so I didn't take my shower right away because I knew I wouldn't have much time with hot water. She took her own shower and eventually left the house, so I finally got a shower around 2:30. All that time I spent online, chatting with a friend and playing games. Another hour on the phone with another friend, and then I finally dried my hair. I made dinner and spent the evening online while watching tv. Soon I'll head to bed.

I feel as if I'm stuck in a rut. I wish it were warmer out so I could spend time outside instead of online for a day. Of course, I could set limits on myself and not use my laptop so much. I mean, there are things I could do around here that doesn't involve me sitting on my butt all day in the kitchen staring at a screen. I am hoping that when the weather does get warmer, I can do some sort of other crafty project outside in the fresh air and sun. I might look around for a paint by number, since it's been so long since I've done one, and it would be time consuming. But in the meantime, I need to figure out what I need to do to get myself off the internet more often before that warmer weather gets here (and it sure better get here!!! lol).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

March On

I'd like to know where the time goes. It's already the 3rd month of 2011, and it just keeps moving progressively and rather quickly toward the end of the year. Maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but seriously, the older I get, the faster the days seem to blow away.

I cannot really explain what it is about the month of March that I don't like. I think it's an unsettling month, especially with the weather. Although Spring starts in March, it never really feels like it. One day it may rain (like today), and another day it might snow (like tomorrow). It's still not warm in March, and I still can't take down any of the plastic surrounding my windows. I don't know, I just find March very blah. Sorry to those of you who like this month!

Perhaps March reminds me of when my Grandpa S. died in 1994. He spent almost the entire month in the hospital after falling down the stairs at his apartment. He was beyond unhappy to be there, constantly ripping out IVs and trying to get out of bed until they had to strap him down. My parents were trying to figure out a place for him to go after he would be released from the hospital, and I remember going to a place with them to check it out. Grandpa would've never been happy there because all he wanted to do was to go home. So on March 24th, he went home alright. He passed away peacefully in the hospital. He was the first person I was close to who had died. I was 18 at the time. It was devastating to me, and it took me many years to finally be ok with his loss.

Last year in March, the 16th to be exact, was a day that I thought would've made the month so much better when Euan got his call for a heart transplant in the wee hours of that day. By the evening, he was gone. It's hard to believe that it's almost been a year, because I still feel as if it happened just yesterday. The emotional roller coaster of that day still haunts me, and I still cry once in awhile because I know he isn't here. It certainly didn't make March a more appealing month for me.

Of course, I do recognize that I have 2 good friends who look forward to this month because they celebrate another year of life. One of them has a birthday on the same day Euan died, so it's a bittersweet day, I suppose. Their days are special to them, so I try to keep that in mind!

Maybe one day March won't feel so blah to me. Maybe it'll just be another month to celebrate for different reasons, and on the days my Grandpa and Euan died, I can just remember the good times and special memories we once shared. I hope to think positively about the month at some point in my life!!

A Holey Affair

When I was 9 months old, I was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (atrioventricular canal, to be exact, and pulmonary hypertension. I was most likely born with the 2 holes in my heart, and the PH developed very soon after, or I could've had both at the same time and it was missed until I was 9 months. Who knows really? I guess it doesn't really matter at this point! Anyway, for my entire childhood and young adulthood, the main focus was always on my heart. I had plenty of appointments with my pediatric cardiologist, and if I had to guess, over 150 echoes in my life so far. My heart has been in pretty stable condition for a very long time, and I'm so thankful for that!

I find it ironic that after we started focusing on the pulmonary hypertension part of my condition in 2002, I sometimes forget about the congenital heart disease I've got going on. When I talk to people, I always describe PH, the symptoms, the treatments, etc, but I forget to say WHY I have PH in the first place. It's almost as if I forgot it existed! But of course, it is not corrected, and I'm still going for echoes every year, and now seeing an adult congenital heart doctor. And so far, my heart is still tolerating everything I'm dealing with on a daily basis!

Last month was Congenital Heart Disease Awareness month, something I completely failed to blog about, and I'm almost ashamed of myself. How the heck could I forget to write about it when it has been a part of me for over 35 years now?? Well, I guess it's better late than never!! CHD affects 40,000 babies every year, and some heart defects are not caught until later in the child's life. Some defects are easily repairable, some are not. And unfortunately, some defects not caught until much later can cause pulmonary hypertension.

A friend of mine recently had an article about CHD in our local newspaper. She has 2 daughters who were both affected with CHDs, but thankfully they are doing well now. If you'd like to read the article, you can do so by clicking here! There needs to be more awareness about congenital heart defects, and every small piece of news shared is a step towards progress in making that happen!