Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Making a Dent...

  Today marks the end of the traveling road.  We took the Uhaul back this morning.  Seeing it in my yard made me want to jump in it and travel somewhere, anywhere, great and exciting.

I have the travel bug in my veins.

  When my sweety and I rented our Uhaul to travel from Texas to Florida; the Uhaul leaked and all the boxes we placed in the little cab overhang area; were soaked.  This trip with the Uhaul, went smoothly.  There weren't any leaks inside the truck at all.  Still, I am a documentation type of person, better to be safe than sorry.  So before we turned this bad boy in, my sweety snapped a few photographs of the exterior and the interior.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making My Sister at Home ~ With Us.

The part of moving that takes the longest... is unpacking.  Maybe.  

While in Tennessee my mother and I helped my sister and niece pack their apartment.  The packing part wasn't to bad.  There was a lot of stuff in the two bedroom apartment.

Brian moving the deep freeze into the Office/Computer room.  
Now that we are back in Florida, the unpacking begins... Oh what fun.  My mother, niece and myself are making our house a home for my sister.

My brothers Mark and Freddie help with the unloading
 It was all hands on deck when we arrived.  There were 8 people unloading the Uhaul.  Hey, that's what family is for.  Lending a helping hand.

Cassie takes a breather while enjoying the attention from my sweety

 The biggest part of unloading, was putting things right in their places.  Christina's bed and stuff went right into her room as well as with my sisters belongings.  Each bedroom was fully set up as things were unloaded.  This made it easier for Marry Ann to take a weeks vacation.  She is spending time at her eldest daughters house.

 While Patricia and her hubby Brian were here, they worked on the pantry room.  And what a super job they did.  See, my sister is an extreme couponer.  She has load and loads of stuff.  Just take a look...
The Pantry
 On Monday morning, with lots of help from my mother, all of my food was added to the pile.  Plus some more boxes of food she found in the pantry.

Other side of the pantry
 Next to the boxes on the right, is the deep freezer.  We plan on stocking it full next week, and adding to the pantry shelves.  Hum, better make it a point to get more shelves.

Paul and Christina taking a breather
 I am not to worry about where everything will go, because there is plenty of room.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

My sisters big T.V. fits perfectly in the living room
 All the boxes to the left, are empty.  I just need to cut them down.  If it will ever quit raining I will put them out for the trash.

Putting things away each and every day
 It is slower than my OCD would like, but things are moving right along.  Christina and I will have it all done this week.

Cassie making her self right at home
 Cassie sure does enjoy sleeping in our room.  Anyone who knows Paul and I, knows we like it cold.  Our room is the coldest place in the house, and at bed time, Cassie can be found sleeping on our bedroom floor.

My sisters dining room table
 No matter what we placed in the house, it fit perfectly.  I am just glad my sister is home.  With family. 

 We're getting there.   


Florida or Bust...

  Have you ever had the dream about the long hallway?  You know, while you are running down the hallway it gets longer and longer and longer.  Seems like you will never reach the end until POW, and it is right there at the tip of your toes.   

That was my weekend!!

  We loaded the Uhaul in Chattanooga on Saturday.  Pulled the utility trucks up the steep steps that sat off the side of the mountain stacked with boxes, rolled them to the Uhaul and loaded up.  We had an assembly line going on in side my sisters apartment.  First we would load the two utility truck {also know as hand trucks} with boxes, then get them out the door to the bottom of the steps, then my sister and I would pull one of utility trucks up the stairs, while my mother help push the truck from the bottom... up each of the 15 steps.  We did this over and over and over again.  Once my sisters neighbors, George and Tabatha joined in, things seemed to take off.  They are younger.  Stronger.  Powerful.  Plus, they had more energy.  George brought one of his friends to the moving party.   I can't remember his name, except for some reason it sounded like pa-toe-son.  I don't know, it's an age thing, I forgot his name soon after he told it to us.

A box filled living room

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cassie ~ the Sleeping Giant...

 When I first met my sisters dog, I fell in love.   She has the nicest loving dog you will ever come across...  Hmm, or is she???

 OK, so this isn't her dog but, she comes pretty close to looking just like this....

 See what I mean?  I am pretty sure Cassie is from the Lion family.  There has to be lion in there somewhere.

The Gift of Giving Life...

 One of the greatest gifts ever given to a woman, is the gift of bearing children.  The gift of carrying and caring for your child as it grows inside of you.  The feeling of just knowing this tiny life, was placed in your care deep inside of you.  Planted with the most care.  Feeding and living off of your life.  Until one day when your body, God and the baby, decide it is time to show you the true meaning of life... and after much effort {long or short labor] you are holding the greatest gift ever.  

I wouldn't want to go through labor again, even though carrying my children inside of me was the best feeling I have ever had, and I wouldn't want to turn the clock back to change any second of my life.  It has made me the woman I am today.  It has brought me the most wonderful three children any mother could ask for.  It has gifted me with the greatest five grandchildren any Nana could dream of.  

Nope.  I wouldn't change one thing about my life.  Not one thing about any of my experiences on The gift of Giving Life...

This is the newest expected member of our family.  My sisters fourth grand baby.  My sisters youngest daughter Christina is expecting her first child.  These moments.. are the moments of a life time.  Seeing your child clearly for the first time.  Watching them move, even when you can't yet feel it.  Knowing that from the second of conception, you and you alone are fully responsible for another life.  

Doesn't that just warm your heart?  Look at the little arm resting next to the side of the baby.  See the little arm straight up?  You can see the tiny nose, and where the eyes are forming.  The tiny chin.  This little baby, is 12 weeks and 4 days growing.

 Isn't it something?   Medical Technology has advanced so much through out life, that even ultrasounds can show the littlest parts of a baby while it is in the mother womb.  You can even see the darkened areas where the heart and lungs are forming.  All of that God given gift giving ~ called Life.  A gift only given to women.

 My children are older. I have grandchildren.  And I am still amazed at what women can do.  Only us.  It is mind blowing, don't you think?  The bond between a mother and her children, is a bond started before the hint of even pregnancy.  It is formed before any physician office pregnancy test.  Before her unborn child is placed carefully in her arms.  

A bond that can never be broken.  

 Just look how detailed this ultrasound snap shot is.  The facial structure is visible, where the skull will fuse {after the baby is born} is clearly visible.  It is ten time easier, with today's Technology, for parents and physicians to keep on top off any future medical problem the baby may encounter. 

This is wonderful, because in my child bearing years; things like that weren't as up to date.  In fact, as I have been typing this a few things have crossed my mind.  If I had my children in today's times, I would change a few things.  I would have moved into a more family orientated neighborhood, where block parties are held and all the parents knew each other and friends hung out at each others house.  A place where worrying about my children was just a nightmare.   I would have home schooled my children, and made sure they were well out of reach from, shady teachers, touchy coaches.

You know what I mean.  The news is pretty much the same in every city.  Every State.  Every Country.

Such a small cute tinny hinny end.  See the legs?  The bone in the right leg can be seen, and ... wait a minute.  Could that mean it is a boy, or could that be the umbilical cord?

When we receive gifts from our family or loved ones on Christmas, our birthdays, valentines day, or just because gifts; we show our excitement with laughter, tears, and/or screams of joy.   We keep the gifts close to our heart, care for the gifts, and even boast {or show off} the gifts.  A child is a Gift.  Planted just for us, molded to suite the ever growing family tree.  

Shout out in Joy about your gift.  Boast and show him/her off.  Care for the gift you carried and nurtured in your womb.  

It is the only Gift that we will ever love like no other.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Made for Travel...

 I tend to be all over the place when I am working on home projects.  I might even be all over the place in conversations.  But yesterday when my sister and I were sitting here....

For the relaxation of it all

enjoying a relaxing moment from the endless packing.  And watching the birds fly in and out of the woods filled mountain side.  We talked about traveling.

And it hit me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Spinal Tap and my Sister...

It all started with a simple phone call. 

  I can spend hours talking to my sister on the phone, and I have.  I had spoken to Marry Ann on Friday morning, we always talked before she had to work, catching up on daily life, how my niece was feeling {she is pregnant with her first child}, how work was going; you know ~ the daily ins and outs of life.

  It was Friday night when my niece took my sister to the local hospital, Erlanger, in Chattanooga.  While in the Emergency Room my sisters Blood Pressure was 192/108, she told the physician it felt like she hit a brick wall.  Her head was pounding, her fingers/lips/hand were tingling, and she had to wear sunglasses {even in the hospital room} because the light was causing her more pain. 

A Trip to Chattanooga Tennessee...

  I am so sorry I have not posted recently.  Currently, I am in Chattanooga Tennessee.  My sister became very ill.  She had a Spinal Tap, that went terribly wrong, and required a Blood Patch {more about those in a up and coming post}.    It took one phone call from her before I was on the road, traveling from Florida on a mission to get to her.   

  I hope you enjoy the pictures I have taken while visiting and assisting my sister.  Chattanooga is such a beautiful place.

  This is my sisters dog.  Such a wonderful protector and the joy of my sisters house.  I love this dog and was so excited, when I caught her airing out her belly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Winds of Travel...

  The winds of travel have taken me to Tennessee.  My sister Marry Ann was going through a medical crisis.  It took one phone call and the words she spoke before I was in the car and traveling to her;  "Jos, I need you."   I only stopped for fuel three times, and by 11:30 pm we were pulling into her apartment complex.   CT Scan with contrast and a CT without contrast did not show any brain bleeds, so an aneurysm was ruled out.  Neither test showed signs of stroke.  The next option the physicians suggested was a spinal tap.  If by doing the spinal tap and drawing spinal fluid there was blood, than that would suggest a cranial bleed.  Two syringes were drawn.  The first one showed a small amount of blood so a second syringe was drawn to double check.  The second draw was clear. 

 There was no cranial bleed.  

   The massive headache she is feeling leaves her with dark shades on while she is awake, and sleeping in the darkest of spaces.  The lumbar puncture, better know as the spinal tap, has left her crying out in pain and at times, her legs unable to support her weight. 

 We have an appointment with a physician in the morning. 

  I hope someone can shed some light on what is going on.  I hate seeing my sister like this.  It pains me.  

Thank you so much for listening.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Raging Wildfires...

  I follow a few bloggers like myself.  Two of them right now, are experiencing the wildfire outbreak.  I really feel for them both.  Their plates are pretty full right now.  The worry of themselves and their families.  The stress of keeping family and personal items safe.  The fear of losing it all. 

  The images in the news and online, haunts me nightly.  All I can think of is "What if that was my home?"  or "My family?" and "What if we had to leave it all behind?"   I didn't take any of these photos nor are they the photos of the two bloggers I spoke of.   

Colorado Wildfire

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sisters ~ And Very Exciting News....

I have to share some very exciting news with you.  Ready?!??  My Sister is coming!!!

I am so excited, I can barely stand it!!

  My sister and her daughter Christina {Momma to be} are moving back to Florida.  YAY!!! I can not wait!! 

  I talk to my sister every day.  If for some odd chance we miss speaking to each other for a day, I am worrying and wondering  what is going on with her.

Did I mention how excited I am?!?

When she arrives I am going to purchase a Willow Tree Sister Figurine for each of us.  Have you seen it?

Willow Tree ~ My Sister  My Friend
  Isn't it the prettiest thing you have ever saw?  It shows the true bond of sisters.  The love of having her close.  The way sisters can just get lost in each other.

  What I love most, outside of the unbreakable bond, is that one sister is slightly shorter than the other.  My sister is shorter than me.  And the way one sister has shorter hair than the other.  My sisters hair is shorter than mine.  

  It is perfect.  The best part about the news... she is going to be staying with us!!!!  I am just beside myself in awe, excitement, joy, and anticipation.  It just can not get here fast enough.   I can not wait to sit up with her all night, just catching up.

Don't you just love having a sister?  How many sisters do you have?

Back Porch Make Over...

 The wall has been moved.  I am so excited!!!

Back porch in January 2012
   I have had this project in my head for months.  From the second my sweety and I walked through our place, I had a vision of moving the back porch wall.  I wanted to open the space up, and give plenty of sitting room for family and friends to visit.

   I pictured holiday dinners here.  Birthday parties.  Coffee gatherings.  Women catching up.  Men BBQing. Families getting together and telling stories of the old days.  Laughter reaching the roof top and children running around in the back yard.  I had a dream to make our place a Family Place.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The HDL of the LDL of Cholesterol...

   Taking the journey to lower my LDL {Bad Cholesterol} has brought me on a web search mission.  I wake up in the morning searching, I spend the afternoon searching, and I relax on the sofa in the evening with my laptop in tow, searching.

  So much information out there, so much to learn and absorb.  So many dos and don'ts  It is leaving my head spinning at times.  No matter what, a high LDL is not a good thing.

  I have learned over the years, each physician has their own range for 'high' and 'lows' of lab work.  The results I have are from the lab the research clinic uses.  I am going by their 'high' and 'low' range, and by the advice of my Research Nurse and Physicians.  I feel comfortable with their guidance and knowledge.   I might add, it is a good thing to request a copy of your labs.  Why?  Why not??   I want to physically see the results, read them, see what the lab calls high and low.  I want to be active in my health care.  I mean, you know that commercial of the Dr playing in the performance while the violin player buys her own heartburn medication? It rings true.  The Lab knows blood work.  They do it for a living, day in and day out.  So why not trust them with the highs and lows of your blood results?

  While my blood pressure has always been out of control, sort of, I cut out all added salt a long time ago, so it is not a big deal to me not to add salt in my cooking or at the table.  I have been doing it for so long already that at the slightest bit of added salt in food, I can taste it in the first bite.  My lips feel chapped right away, and my mouth becomes very dry.  Later on in the evening, my ankles and calves begin to swell.  My hands feel tight when I close them.  My face swells and my eyes become heavy.  That doesn't even include the massive headache I get and the seeing things through goggles while underwater vision I have.  Not a good feeling.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changing the Cards I'm Dealt....

While going through my research Study, it is important to remain calm.  Relaxed.  Stress free.

Tell that to someone who doesn't deal with OCD and Anxiety issues.  

While I was at visit 1, 2, and 3 a slide show would play in my head.  It would relax me, and at one time it even made me chuckle.  A Picture Video of my grand children would dance in my head.  Very relaxing and extremely comforting.

On Friday, after my third Research Visit and after I came home, a shopping spree was in order.  I needed to go to Publix and pick up a few things.  With my new goal of lowering my LDL, I realized there was nothing I could eat in my house.  

I drove to Publix with no problem.  Parked my car, simple enough right?  Walked through the electric door on a mission.  I wanted to get Yogurt and fruit.  A snack I was looking forward to diving into.  

I maneuvered my way around Publix without a single problem, picked up more than I had on my mental list; and headed to the check out.  While at the register, I felt an anxiety attack come on.  The cashier was wonderful, she spoke softly and was very respectful; so I knew she wasn't the cause of my unwanted attack.  My items were placed in plastic bags, and at that time I felt that tention pinch in my neck.  The attack was getting closer to the surface and coming on strong.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The LDL of Cholesterol ...

   In my Blog   ME ~ The Time Bomb, I talked about my Research Study.  I remember telling you I wasn't going to attend the Clinical Study any longer because the physician felt I would be a wash at the study and in his words "People have dropped dead walking down the street with an uncontrollable blood pressure condition like yours."  I remember like it was yesterday, the fear I felt as I was walking out of the medical building.

 I was expecting to drop dead right then and there.

   This past Friday, I went for my third visit.  Against my better judgement.  Against the fear I had been facing all week long.  I took the bull by the horns, and drove to the Research Clinic to continue on with my Study.

  During this visit I saw a new physician, was given the first round of medication, and the results of my lab work.  It was a busy and informative visit.  My nurse took my Blood Pressure 4 times, as she has done every visit so far.  The readings stayed pretty close to each other, 144/96  144/94  147/97  144/93.  I was happy to see the systolic number staying below 100.  That is the reading while my heart is at rest.