My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Whether to Continue Blogging

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love blogging and may continue, but very infrequently. And I have been remiss lately due to some health issues. You can view the story here. No one would guess by looking at me I'm so sick. I am on oxygen now and that's the only way to tell there is something the matter. When I sheepishly asked the doctor, a pulmonologist, if I could now get a handicapped sticker he said I qualify more than just about anyone he's seen. How's that for cheering up? I have not let this get me down and out. I still shop and go to lunch with the girls, my support group. One of them actually has a degree in grief counseling. I couldn't have picked a better friend! I'm also going to counseling simply because of depression. I love counseling!

And now for an update.

I have a date with a thoracic surgeon in a week to set a date for a biopsy. We've determined I have interstitial lung disease. If interested I've provided a link to the Mayo Clinic about this disease so you can see what I'm going through. I'm optimistic by nature but I'm also realistic. I'm scared and have shed enough tears to fill a sink. But I have a good support system. Anyway, here's something else.

Last Friday my hubby had a meeting in Boise he went to about model trains. He loves anything regarding trains. In fact, as I sit here composing this post he's watching an hour long video on the history of trains and how people love them.

When he got home he came to me here in the computer room and said there was a car in our driveway. Baffled, I followed him to the garage and looked and told him I had no idea who it belonged to and I had no one in the house visiting me. It was parked behind my Camry when we opened the garage door. I looked at him and he said, "It's yours. I bought you a Lexus." I was absolutely and I mean absolutely stunned and immediately started bawling. He hauled me out to see it and then took our old Camry to the dealer to turn it in. We've bought our last 2 cars from them so they're familiar with us and a friend is the Sales Manager there.

He said, "I know this is your dream car and you're worth it." This is a phrase I use with him when I'm buying perfume, makeup and sheets. "I'm worth it." He made a dream come true. I'd never, ever have guessed he'd do something like this. Here I am with a relatively short expiration date and he does this!

This truly is my dream car. My kids have luxury cars also—Mercedes, BMWs. I love the feeling riding in them, to say nothing of how we are treated when we drive up to a restaurant or hotel valet service! Of course, now that our daughter and her husband are planning on moving to Oregon, she's interested in trucks! I hate trucks!

Anyway, this sweet surprise is fully loaded. Wide angle video screen on the console for backing up, Sirius radio, heated and air-conditioned seats front and back, "no key" entry, just carry a little piece of electronic metal in my pocket, GPS, heated side mirrors, cherry red wood (bamboo! Toyota is innovative in using things that don't disturb the ecosystem too much) on the console, doors and steering wheel, windshield wipers that automatically come on when it rains, sun roof, automatic seats adjustable for the 2 primary drivers, auto-detection for tailgating, and so much more. Hands-free phone system, which I probably can't use since I don't have and don't want a smart phone. Hubby said it was fully loaded. I believe him. It'll take us several days to get used to it and can program every single thing that can be programmed and familiarize ourselves with its features. Lexus has been known for getting 500,000 miles easily on their cars so this is my forever car.

This is the Lexus. I am absolutely loving it!


Back view.


Side view.


The interior. It looks very red but it's a cherry red wood. It is absolutely stunning.


Here shows it on the console, steering wheel and the doors.


Now you can see my storage in the garage. ;-)


Here it is in our garage.


I'd love to have this roominess in my kitchen. I might cook more...maybe.


Don't you love the red toile and white dining chairs? My granddaughter just bought a new breakfast set and it has light chairs. Light chairs with a 5- and 3-year old?! She had towels over it. I explained plastic would be better. She could just wipe the spaghetti off of it instead of washing towels. She quickly agreed and found plastic. Gotta love a granddaughter that listens to her Nana!


I like those 2 chairs and ottoman. Those kind of chairs are very good for the body, too. I sit erect now because of spine and leg problems. This was a requirement from my chiropractor. Recliners are the worst thing for a body.


I'd make one but I have no idea where I'd hang it. Those little striped bulbs are adorable. I'd like to find some of those.


My kind of evening bag.


One of the cheeriest kitchens I've ever seen. All pink and red.


A beautiful entrance to a lovely home. Elegant.


I love how some people combine antiques and glitz/glam together. It's what I do and I love the look.
~*~

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Life Has Changed Dramatically

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted but there are reasons. I doubt I'll be a high-volume blogger ever again but I hope to post a few once in a while perhaps. I've had to explain to so many relatives and friends what happened that I wrote a Word document to just send around instead of trying to tell several different people. Here is that explanation and that's why the font and spacing are askew. I'm NOT typing this story again in here so it'll just have to be "off":

In November I started coughing, a gut wrenching cough that just wouldn’t let up. I went to our local quickcare for help finally after realizing it wouldn’t give up. I went there twice and then finally made an appointment with my doctor with no satisfaction either. There were x-rays taken and 3 rounds of antibiotics with no success at all. Friends kept telling me to do some “natural” things and I did that, also, to no avail.

Then one day I had a friend drop by and asked how my oxygen levels were. They’ve been low whenever I had my vitals taken at the doctor’s office or quickcare. So she loaned me her oximeter and when she put it on my oxygen was 87. Very low.

I called my doctor and she said if it gets below 90 to go to ER as they are equipped to handle it better than her office.

Well, last Monday at 10 am, I decided to do as she advised as I was still coughing although the cough had gotten somewhat better, not good, but better.

When I walked in to the ER they took me in immediately. Started administering oxygen. At one point I had to go to the bathroom, of course assisted by an aide. When I came out she put the oximeter back on my finger and noticed my fingernails were blue as well as my feet.

The doctor came in and said they were going to admit me. I was stunned. How did we go from “just give me some oxygen” to “do you have a directive”? Huh?! Then they told me I may be there for 3 days. Huh?!

So they talked about taking me up to the 3rd floor for admitting. As we wheeled out of the ER and started NOT heading toward the elevators AND them mentioning room 199, I started thinking “room 199 on a third floor? Then they just kept wheeling my bed to a dark area: dimmed lights, more silence than usual and told me I was in ICU.

I was immediately punctured with needles in both hands, inside elbows. Shots in my stomach twice. Needles not just in veins but arteries in my hands. They needed “pure” blood for some tests. Then came the monitoring cables, 5 in all hooked up to heart and lungs. So actually I was hooked up to 8 different things.

My Monday was taking an altogether different tack than I thought!

They made me pee in a device to measure my urine output. The shot in the stomach induced peeing. I was hooked up to 8 different things and starting to get a bit anxious as one can imagine in this situation. Cat scan later. Xrays later.

My hubby was there the whole time. I have a young friend [I’m in my seventies; she’s 41] I call for “emergencies” (fully loaded Coke, meaning sugar and caffeine, which I usually avoid!) brought me a large Coke and at 7 pm she went out for Subways for all of us. Then our bishop came to visit after he got off work that evening.

I take Ambien and have for 20 years as a doctor prescribed it when we moved to Idaho about then and he said he’s taken it for years. I’ve found it safe. I only take it at night of course. I can nap just fine.

Well, that night instead of Ambien the hospital pharmacy dispensed something called Sonata, better for “over 65 patients”. I took it and didn’t sleep a wink all night. I was really frosted and “wired” at that point because I longed for Morpheus.


Here’s how pathetic I was that night.


I had a cheap clock on the wall at the foot of my bed. I counted every single tick on that clock for hours, making sure it was accurate. It was. Five clicks to each numeral.

I then started playing with the “monitor” I was hooked up to displaying all my vitals. I made sure the oxygen was up and the heart beat was fine AND the blood pressure was good. It was.

Then I started playing games with the one at the bottom that I could “regulate”. I’d chuckle, bark, growl, laugh, guffaw, snort and any other noise I was adept at making and see how that line changed, making little wormy waves or squiggly waves. I did that ALL night.

I didn’t sleep from 10 am Monday morning when I awoke to 10 pm Tuesday when they let me go home from the hospital that afternoon at about noon. I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as they say.

They set me up with a pulmonologist at the hospital and he made me an appointment with his office for Friday. He said my lungs were scarred. Scarred? From what? He thought either from second hand smoking or GERD. I grew up with smoking parents and hubby smoked when we married but he gave it up 30-35 years ago. I never went beyond the cigarette in high school that convinced me smoking was not for me. So essentially I was never a smoker. GERD? I had some episodes years ago but after taking Nexium that disappeared and I was able to discontinue that with no problems at all.

I am now on oxygen permanently. I am connected to a 60’ cannula  that hooks up to a liquid oxygen tank in one room. I can go anywhere in my house on that tether. I have 2 different smaller containers, one that weight 7 pounds and another one weighing about 3 pounds. More conducive to shopping as either can go into a shopping cart. All of this is supplied to me by our local Norco store. That’s a store for devices and air such as this and for me it’s all paid for. I don’t need to pay for anything. They check in weekly or more to see how my liquid oxygen tank is doing and come fill it 24/7/365. This runs around $400 a pop! Plus I am now qualified for a handicapped sticker. My pulmonologist said I qualify for it more than most of the people out there with a placard. I guess I am not “special”! This cost is because my hubby served his country and is a retired Marine and it is also a tithing blessing. We’re full tithe payers in our church and have seen miracles from being so. I cannot tell you how blessed we are doing this.



Diagnosis:

Lupus: barely there. That’s when the white  blood cells go crazy and attack other tissues.

Asthma: some enlarged passages and some blocked.

High protein: may be caused by bone marrow. 

Bone marrow: a bit off, don’t know why.

I’ll be on oxygen permanently probably.



I get inhalers now because as I used them in the doctor’s office I was getting more oxygen. So it helps me to breath better, more efficient for oxygen to get into system.

Just let me just say here that up until November last year I was NOT having any problems whatsoever. That’s why all this is such a shock. One day I’m fine, next day they’re asking for Directives!

An MRI scheduled for next week. Much work to do to find out why the scarring has occurred. I’ve never had anything that would make one worry about lungs.

My daughter asked me the other night if I ever thought about lungs going bad. I said, “There isn’t a person in the world that hasn’t thought about heart disease as they age, but lungs, NEVER! That’s why this is such a shock to me and my family. Hopefully we’ll know more after more tests.

The cannula is a bit itchy around my nose. I still consider myself one of the luckiest women in the world. I have wealth beyond measure. I’ve never, ever said “why me?” I have asked why, but never “why me”. I’ll endure and count the ways I am so blessed in this life. Oh yeah, I’ll grieve, cry and then get on with it. It’s still a shock when so unexpected but I’m still the liveliest woman you’ve ever met. Just tethered to a tube for the rest of my life, but I’ve already scheduled for our next lunch with th’ girls. This will not get me down.
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Just before this happened my hubby and I were trying our best to scale down by getting rid of a lot of things. This was a massive undertaking. I emptied my craft room of 99% of the craft supplies by giving them to a sweet friend. I kept very little. But now our craft/sewing room is an extra bedroom for visitors and my hubby's office is now a room for food storage and our sewing machine is in there along with some minor exercise equipment. And we are now sharing an office together. I just need room for my kids, grandkids and great granddaughter. And that leads me to another announcement: We're having another great grandchild! This has excited us to no end. I've been after my granddaughter to give us more. Some people might say that's a private matter, but I don't care. She'll listen to me more than any other and I kept after her. They're excited also for a third child. I'm sure my daughter is excited to have 3 grandchildren now also.
I kept my artist brushes but put them up on this bookcase for a bit of show and got rid of 40-50 decorating books by having a friend take them to my church and we'll be giving them away on a "help-yourself" table in a month or so. These ladies are going to be delighted!


This is my liquid oxygen tank. It's about the size of a small water softener but it contains enough air for at least a week as I haven't had the regular delivery of oxygen yet. This is all new to us. I can go anywhere in my house with that long tube, cannula.


This is the first "small" one they gave me. It weighs 7 pounds and that's quite heavy for a weakling like me, so I now have one that is 3 pounds which makes it much easier to take shopping or lunch.


And my posts wouldn't be complete without some gorgeous images to view. I love this setting with a fireplace and 2 comfy chairs flanking it. Unfortunately, I can not be around anyone who smokes or a flame or I'd be a walking torch!


Another setting I adore. Just comfy.


All the things I adore. Roses, pink house with gingerbread trim and a delightful window.


If I knew where to buy this I'd have it in a heartbeat. I love the colors.


Another delightful studio/craft room.


While I love these beautiful tables they are a bit flimsy for actual eating. And I don't need anything else for show.


While in the hospital they brought me some delicious oranges cut across and peeled, like a wagon wheel. I love the beauty of them and they were delicious, which set me on a quest for some oranges. Costco had some called Cara Cara. They're pink and the sweetest orange I've ever had. Just luscious and I recommend you try finding them at your local stores.


Simply more eye candy. We all love roses and who can resist that darling coffee pot.


I have a love affair with chandeliers and lampshades for them.


Elegant in a rustic sort of way.


And you all know how I feel about froufrou in this house. I hang things like this on door knobs with drops of fragrance to have my home smell good. It always smells delightful!


I am NOT fond of Indian food. I tried it once when a friend, who was a food critic for our local paper in California, took us to review an Indian restaurant. Nothing and I mean nothing that night was lower than flaming on my tongue. I don't like spicy foods in anyway. I thought the bread was safe but even that was ridiculously spicy. I drank 7 bottles of Seven-Up that night and vowed to never, ever eat Indian again! My daughter also went to an Indian restaurant in that town and same area and she threw up for hours. She spent the night next to the toilet and also vowed to never, ever again eat Indian! When she told us the story my hubby and I laughed our heads off. I understood, hubby didn't. Just laughed because it was so hilariously funny.
~*~

This font is regular Georgia and not the one I usually have but after this post it will return to regular Papyrus, which is my fondest font. But there is so much cut and paste on here I was having trouble and that's the last thing I need to focus on now.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Redoing Some Rooms In The House

As I've said before, we're "down sizing" the house a bit. Through the years my hubby has put up with me buying lots of froufrou for this house. We're now getting rid of a lot of it. I recently had a woman in our church ward and her two oldest girls come over and help me get rid of a lot of stuff in the craft room. Having 4 bedrooms in this house only one has a bed in it—ours. The rest were used for offices and craft/sewing rooms. In this stage of our lives the time has come to scale down and redo the rooms. We need at least one bed in one of the other rooms. So that's happening now. When our granddaughter and her family come, our daughter comes or our son comes with his boys we need at least one bed.

I attacked the plant shelves, cleaned them up and put less back up there. Put a few things on craigslist also. Now the time has come to actually take stuff to the thrift stores. A huge desk and credenza, books, etc. I buy very little for this house anymore as it's decorated pretty much as I like and the furniture I buy is Ethan Allen and that lasts a long time.

I'm not one that has to change frequently. When I achieve the look I want and love, why change it? I keep it fresh by moving things around in the rooms or from room to room for a fresh look. I cannot tell you the number of times someone has come to our home after many times before and said, "Oh, I've never seen that before." Well, one reason is because I change things around and two, there is so much "fluff" in this house they don't catch it all at once.
*

Hubs and I went to see the movie "American Sniper" and absolutely loved it. In fact, it was showing on all 14 screens of each of the 2 huge cinema complexes in our city and one hour apart. We still had to wait in line to see it. I think it was about one hero's insight into his job. And he was a hero in my book. He was ready to defend my country from evil. When it finished with scenes from his funeral and memorial in a huge stadium in Texas and highway over ramps lined with thousands of people and the freeways lined with thousands of people you could not help but cry. When the movie was over there wasn't a dry eye in that theater and silence was overwhelming. It just caught you in the throat. I've never seen our complex so crowded with people. My heart swelled at the love those people have for our country. So if Hollywood would make more "hero" movies they might make more money as I keep seeing where "American Sniper" is on its way to be an all-time highest grossing war movie. My congratulations to Clint Eastwood and the hero, Chris Kyle. War sure is hell but someone has to protect our country and the Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and our policemen do a bang up job! My heart will always be with our fighting men.
*

Loving this porch.


I visited Pierre Deux in Carmel once and it was a feast for the eyes with all the fabrics they had. This is one of my favorites.


I'm not so sure that sofa would be comfortable to sit on but I love looking at it.


And yes, I love this room.


A bit of purple eye candy.


Those pretty bowls on the middle bottom shelf are what caught my eye.


Don't you just love quaintness in these small towns?


If I ever redo some of my lamps I'm definitely doing this on one of them.


Another one of "my kinda room"!


Beautiful table, setting and seating.


Love these potholders but I never see them anywhere around where I live.


See what you can do with a plain old stool, pink paint, ribbon and upholstery tacks. Voilà.


This is in England, another quaint shop that the British do so well.


Elegance combined with Farmhouse style.


I love this setting but especially the bougainvillea draping over.
~*~

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Just Rambling Today

Okay, I’ve been a bit lazy lately.I woke up last Monday in an absolutely euphoric mood. It was odd but I got a lot done with my hubby. Getting back on track is a slow process but it’s happening. What have I been doing? Well, for the most part I’m being a slug watching trashy videos on Netflix on my iPad. I love not having commercials but since we gave up television 20 years ago it’s not something in my life but it truly is great watching old things without any commercials.

I especially like Poirot and Foyle’s War, two British series taking place in the early 40s. The costumes are so much more modest than the modern day movies. I got hooked on Burn Notice. There is so much action and comedy in it I wish there were more to watch. Great series. But Sherlock is absolutely the best series I’ve ever seen. Everything about that series went well, the cinema effects, actors getting along with each other so well, action, the main character being very talented playing a high functioning psycho. Just delightful.
*

Then of course the grand girls being here for Thanksgiving and having them be so funny with their antics and sayings was a true delight.

Miss C told her mother that her baby sister is a little nutcracker in the moonlight of her heart. (Where does she come up with this things?!)

Then her mummy saw her crying out in the yard because a bee was chasing her and told her mum that she forgot how to survive.

One day her mum was telling her about dinosaurs because she was interested after I sent her a link for a diorama of the NY museum on dinosaurs. She was fascinated with dinosaurs then so her mum was trying to tell her anything she could about them. I think it got a bit quirky because Miss C then told her mom to “get a grip, Mum. This isn’t funny. It’s about dinosaurs.” She comes up with the strangest things.

Her mum was telling us in her preschool the teachers were telling her that Miss C knew a lot of words. Miss C said, “No, mummy, I have a large vocabulary.” This kid will never have a self esteem problem! :-)

Lately she’s been punctuating her sentences with “don’t you know” every time she tells us something. Sigh…..

Anyway, she’s a delight to us but I think she’s gonna be a handful as a teenager.
*


I've been a bit nostalgic lately since we're scaling down the "junk" in our house.


I'm seriously thinking of Ethan Allen and another new chair for our family room.


I've always liked pink and green together, but my favorite color combo is pink and a beautiful shade of yellow such as the yellow in the French settee in the photo above.


One of my best friends would love this room. She's more into traditional decorating.


For being so small I like this kitchen a lot. Perhaps it's the open door to the patio and the pink accessories.


See, eye candy can be real candy also! I'm been chowing down on Mounds bars a lot lately. I have an uncontrollable sweet tooth lately!


I truly like this elevated dining room. The rest of the house must be gorgeous also.


I am ALL about froufrou and netting!!


Another room my friend would like also. Her hubby loves when they go to the woods and rent a cabin. It's the only time he gets rest being the manager of a large store.


I've always had a fondness for this color of blue. Back in the 50s and 60s we called this French Blue.


This looks as if it could be an English home. Comfy and pretty.


What can I say about this beautiful nook in a kitchen? I love the color and the window treatment.


Okay, ladies, it's a gorgeous home but would you really want to clean it or replace the roof when needed?


I have 3 of these tiny birdcages in my home and put flowers in them. One hangs over our garden tub in our bathroom, one in our bedroom and one in our family room hanging in a corner.


I love the colors in that chair and the blue of the leather sofa. I do like to have a leather chair in our home also.
~*~