Still alive–

I know it’s hard to tell the way I am NON-posting lately, but there is a reason & I’ll share with you as soon as I have time for more than just catching up on sleep & housework!

I hope everyone had a beautifully blessed Christmas and is gearing up for a fantastic New Year! 

God bless and I’ll be back to tell you all the crazy happenings soon!

Mwah! 😘

Promote Your Blog Here

Here’s an awesome opportunity to connect with other bloggers and promote your own! Thanks!

MakeItUltra™

Hi Everyone,
I want to create a directory for my subscribers to connect with eachother. I usually don’t allow self-promotion on my site, but this is different. If you would like to share your blog, please leave a brief description about what readers might find if they visit your site. Hopefully this will create some positive synergy for our blogging community. Don’t forget to reblog this post so we can get more people involved!

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Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

This is PERFECT!! Show this to those people, in- and outside the medical field, who think managing diabetes is just a matter of following a particular method…
In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.) I…

Source: Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

I want Jesus. But, also a husband. And kids. And a job. And an apartment. And, maybe a dog.

Source: I want Jesus. But, also a husband. And kids. And a job. And an apartment. And, maybe a dog.

Image

girly-girl

So this is gonna be a post about nail polish, uhkay?

nail-polish
Today’s Topic: NAIL POLISH!

If you don’t like nail polish or talk of “doing nails”, then you should probably just move along right now. *heh*

I stopped getting tips put on about eighteen months ago. I love them, but they were destroying my natural nails and that made it impossible to leave them off every other month or whatever so they could “rest”. There was nothing but mush left and it took about 8 months for them to get back to a normal texture/strength and to grow any bit of length.

I have short, fat, pudgy fingers (thanks, Dad) and scars all over the backs of my hands with bulgy, knotty knuckles… so I don’t normally attempt to showcase my hands, y’know?

A nice set of nails (or my own longish ones when I used to be able to grow them) helped them not look quite so troll-ish. I can grow probably a quarter to a third of an inch of length now, but I tend to tear them off pretty easily. Even with top coats, I am rough on them and they’re not nearly as strong as they were when I was in school.

But… I have tons of nail polish.

LOTS of polish
I don’t have QUITE this much, but y’know…

More like this:

my stash of polish

At one time, my DIL-1 and I would attempt to do our own tips so I have a big supply of them along with all the powders, solutions and gels to do that too. I love the colors available these days, so I try to keep my nails painted or at least my toe nails in summer time.

I often have trouble choosing just one color, so I will do dots. I normally do a base coat, then three other colors with a row of dots in each color. I get comments and compliments on them every time. People think I’ve had them done or that they are nail wraps.
nails-purple dots
It’s actually pretty simple and when you are completely done, any off-center dots or different sized ones are not even noticeable.

my dotting tools

I just break the point off a toothpick, dab out a drop of the “dot” color on a piece of shiny junk mail (lol–reuse/repurpose, right?) and use the toothpick to make a vertical row of dots on each nail. Then I do the same with the other two colors and end up with something like this. This is my very favorite way to do my nails when I have the time because there’s an endless possibility of color combinations and it’s fairly simple and casual and shoot, it’s just cute. Seriously, I’ve never done them like this that at least one person doesn’t make a point to comment on them.
nails-peachy dots
So a few weeks ago I bought some green, red and white polish in the hopes that I could do some sort of Christmas nails. I actually had in mind to do dots again but just with two colors and in a random pattern instead of rows.

My Christmas polishes
You can see, I’m not a brand snob when it comes to polish.

I hadn’t decided which would be my base color til I got started and decided to check and see how well the white polish was going to cover. I’d never used stark white polish before so I wanted to see how it was going to work. I was surprised to see how well it covered. In one coat, I was all but done. The second coat was mostly to go over a few thin spots. So white ended up being the base color. I figured the red and green would show up best on it.

Before I show you my finished product, let me give you an idea of what I would LIKE to be able to have or do on my nails.

nails-snowmen nails-snowflake nails-santa nails-reindeer nails-red & green swirls nails-Christmas misc nails-Christmas lights

See? THAT’S what I wish I could do. However, I am a realist, at least enough of one to know that I ain’t gonna be able to do those! So I was gonna do my little dots, mind my own business, y’know? But once I put a couple of red dots on, an idea struck me…

Don’t laugh, okay?

holly-nails

YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO LAUGH!!! 😉

Okay, so my holly leaves aren’t whatcha would call fancy. But if you don’t look this close at them, they look fine enough.

I’m going to a Christmas dealie with my reunion group gals tomorrow, so I thought I’d do some festive nails. We’ll see how many of them laugh. 🙂

I’m sure I’ll be trying some other ideas with my sweet Christmas colors, so I’ll post those when it happens!

Toodles!

mega X meds

Oh my goodness!  I came back from the recheck at my doc with a buttload of new or changed prescriptions and OTC meds.

Normally, I wouldn’t be very pleased about being prescribed a ton of meds for something, but I’m going on 3 (that’s THREE) months with this hacking, coughing, can’t-get-a-breath crud.

The allergist, as I’ve said, tells me it’s all allergies and asthma, but daggone!

Asthma

How come I can’t tell or don’t notice when something sets me off?  If it’s “seasonal” allergies, how come I have sinus problems (just milder) all year round?

Allergies word cloud

Understand, I take allergy medication year-round.  If I don’t, my sinuses become enraged snot factories wherein the snot is more like glue.  (sorry, you know I’m gonna be perfectly frank with you here!)  
green-slime1-500x357

I have a wad of said glue that will sit just behind my tonsils, being moved neither up nor down, no matter how hard or how many times I swallow.  It cannot be gargled out, nor dissolved with fizzy beverages.  Sometimes it’s hard to eat because I can’t swallow my food easily.  It’s an absolute pain in my neck, literally and figuratively!

I discovered about ten years ago that drinking milk made the glue factory worse.  And even that was gradual.  First it was just a slight increase in mucus, but eventually, it was like the milk turned to gelatin by the time it reached my tonsils.  Just YUCK, okay?  So, I stopped drinking milk completely.

no more milk

That helped a lot, but in the past couple years now, I have been noticing other dairy products doing the same thing.  So I gave up my beloved sour cream completely.  That was ROUGH!  I used sour cream ALL the time!

Processed cheeses didn’t seem to bother me and cream cheese wasn’t too hard on me.  I don’t know why, but so far, so good with those.  I don’t know WHAT I’ll do if I have to give up those too, so I’m praying it doesn’t happen!

So I’ve been taking a 24-hour anti-histamine for years. I started on plain ol’ Sudafed eons ago, but after I got married, I started using Claratin (rinatadine), then the -D formula, then when that stopped working, I used Zyrtec (cetirizine) and soon that stopped working, and now I take Allergra (fexofenadine). This week, the doc switched me from that to Xyzal (levocetirizine dihydrochloride).
xyzal
I’d never even heard of it before, so it’s new to me. I hope it will work though.

For the past year or so, I’ve been taking Singulair (montelukast) to help with the asthma.
singulair

When I saw an ear, nose & throat doctor a couple years ago, she told me to use a netti pot to help keep my ears from getting repeated infections. She said it’d keep my eustachian tubes open and the fluid from collecting in there.
netti pot in use
Okay, so if you don’t know about netti pots, you can just click & learn about these little oddities. This was one of the most ‘tasteful’ images I found. Ha ha ha! Except for the fact that she’s way too upright, this is how you do it. You dissolve fine salt in warm purified water then pour it into one nostril so that it runs out the other. Yes, it feels as awkward as it looks, but the effects are worth it.
netti pot song
Well, Doc has been insisting that I get a nasal saline mist instead. I figured it was just like those bottles you squeeze to splatter saline solution up your nose, which is really gross. This is more like an aerosol so it is a little better, but I couldn’t figure out how that was supposed to be better than the netti. She explained that with the spray, I could use it anywhere and even if I wanted to use it “20 times a day” that was okay. She said to use it any time I was around something that triggered the coughing, like cigarette smoke or heavy perfume. She said that washed out the irritants to slow the histamine release.
A&H simple saline
I hadn’t even thought about that. I will still use the netti when I’m really congested or getting cold. It does a much more ‘heavy duty’ job of rinsing stuff out of there. But she suggested I keep several cans of the saline: in the car, my purse, by the bed, in the shower… so that way I can use it as often as needed.

Something else I was prescribed by another doctor years ago is Flonase (fluticasone propionate),
flonase
but it tasted nasty when it would run down the back of my throat and I didn’t notice that it helped much. Could be because I didn’t use it consistently since it was so nasty. Then that doc showed me to spray it pointed toward my ears, and that helped, plus not using two sprays in each nostril at once. But I would still forget to use it more often than not because I didn’t understand what it was for.

My current doc explained that it was a steroid and would decrease inflammation in my nasal passages. So now, I am making a concerted effort to use that stuff.

Okay, on to the rest of the stuff she has me using…
Of all things, she wants me on Sudafed D (pseudoephedrine) for awhile. So…
sudafed

And then Mucinex (dextromethorphan guaifenesin), which I hadn’t used before.
mucinex dm
She has me taking 1200 mg right now and says I need a maintenance dose after I get better. Says it’s to “thin that snot”. Bahaha..and yes, she uses those exact words. I just love how down-to-earth and plain spoken she is.

The allergist has had me on this Qvar inhaler (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) for asthma maintenance for about 3 weeks now.
Qvar 80
I will not complain about it because the first stuff they gave me tasted waaaay nasty and my insurance wouldn’t cover it, so now I have the Qvar, which doesn’t taste bad at all compared to the Aerospan. *blech*

The allergist also has me using my nebulizer
nebulizer
with an albuterol/atrovent (ipratropium) mix.
albuterol
I was using it twice a day while the coughing was so bad, but now I’m just doing it as needed.

I also got my first-ever B12 shot. I hope it helps up my energy as much as people say it does!

So I know this has been terribly boring, but I’m hoping if I put this out here, dated and with all the generic names and such, maybe I can remember what I’ve taken and what works in the future. If you don’t take a lot of meds, you have no idea how easy it is to forget the names of medicines and doctors and the dates you used and saw them… By this point in my life, I scarcely remember those kinds of things unless I see or use them for years at a time.

I am hoping the jittery-ness will decrease soon. Not including the nebulizer treatments, these meds make me SO jittery it’s not even funny. I need to check my blood pressure, now that it’s crossed my mind. That’s something else the doctor gave me…catapres (clonidine), a blood pressure medicine to take if mine ever gets above 160/90 since many of the meds she’s got me on right now can cause the blood pressure to rise.

Oh, I hope I don’t have to take it! *reaching for the bp cuff*

Stay healthy, y’all!

love, life & how I don’t deserve either

Source: love, life & how I don’t deserve either

love, life & how I don’t deserve either

That title though, right?

I know, I know. Super dramatic. I didn’t mean for it to be, but it’s true. None of us deserve anything good that we have.
stay married
As a Christian, I am grateful to God for everything I have. Even things like diabetes and achy, stiff joints, and headaches. Yeah, even those things.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
” give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So okay, I give God all the credit for my life, such as it is. And if it is inferior in any way, that is my own doing. I long to be all that He has planned for me and I know I fail horribly every day.
embrace contentment
I’ve posted about the things going on in my marriage…the physical and emotional struggles that I have faced personally and that my husband and I have overcome together.
long-lasting-marriage
I have been reading lately about the things it takes to make a good marriage, to build a firm foundation for a new marriage, to sustain a strong, lasting marriage.
marriage
I like to think, and at this point in my life I believe, that we DO have a strong marriage. And at thirty years in, I think we can safely say it is a lasting one. I know, I know…longer marriages have ended in the past. But not ours.

After all those years of struggling to stay together, not because of a lack of love, but the inability to be physically close and now…now, we are finally learning how to be a ‘normal’ couple. A couple who isn’t avoiding physical intimacy. A couple who can actually share everything with each other. Now that we’re finally to that point, to realize that God preserved us to this point, I know that He didn’t put us together and preserve us though all this to let us fall apart now.
marriage box
It’s hard to talk to anyone about all this. Even though my therapist at the pelvic health office has been beyond amazing in helping us deal with the physical problems and almost being a ‘counselor’ to help us learn to talk about these things, it’s hard to not have others to talk with, to not really be able to tell anyone about this stuff.

I have spent so much time trying to cover up the fact that there was a problem in our marriage, to hide that there was a void where there should have been deep intimacy. Not joining in conversations and giggly, knowing glances with other wives talking (conservatively!) about loving and being in love with their husbands.

I didn’t understand the way they really desired to physically be with their spouses because for me, that was painful. The fact that it hurt made me want to avoid it at all costs, made me feel like a failure, guilty, damaged and worthless. If I tried to just “grit my teeth” and “bear it” for my husband’s sake, it made him feel bad. It made me feel like I was letting him down. (What husband wants to “make love” to a wife who’s crying and telling him to just hurry?)

Maybe you can see why I have spent most of my adult life in some stage of depression. Sometimes very deep, very dark depression. I wondered for probably those first eight years how long before he’d just leave me. How long before he got sick of it and wanted out? Once when I was desperate enough to actually say as much to him, he let me know he loved me and he didn’t want out of the marriage.
good marriage
I was pretty stunned, but grateful…and then even more depressed. I didn’t deserve him. Later, after nothing had improved and when I got desperate enough again, I told him to go find someone else. As long as no one knew, no…as long as our children never knew (because I just KNEW other people would eventually find out) that he should find someone who could fill that void for him. Someone who wouldn’t wince and cry with pain. Someone he could actually enjoy. But we would stay together for the boys and I wouldn’t begrudge him having another woman who wasn’t damaged like me.

Looking back now, I am SO SO SO thankful to God that he never took me up on that offer. Most any other man would have done it gladly I think. If he had sought physical companionship with someone else, there would have never been any healing between us. We could have never got to the place we are now, where we’re able to be a “regular” married couple, where I could be unafraid of physical contact with the man I love most in the world. This place where we are learning to heal from the last three decades of hurt, confusion, fear and depression.
marriage-on-Christ
God apparently had a plan. If we had “fixed it” our own way, how much we would have destroyed. Much the same way that Sarah and Abraham messed up God’s perfect plan (to make a nation of Abraham’s children…when he and Sarah had reached almost 100 years of age without bearing one single child) [See Genesis 18]

When Sarah chose to not believe God when He told them Sarah herself would give birth, she and Abraham decided to “help” God with Sarah’s idea to give one of her servants to him so she could “give them a child”.

Okay, now if you’re not familiar with Scripture, all this is sounding pretty far out to you. Just trust me that back in the first century, things were a little different. People had servants and polygamy was common. While Abraham just had the one wife, it was common to make concubines of servants. The prevalent reasoning was that large families with lots of sons were necessary to maintain farms and businesses and multiple wives were needed to bear all those children.

I know. Seriously, it sounds so barbaric, doesn’t it? So foreign! But even though it was NOT in God’s plan for men to take more than one wife, as usual, mankind does what it wants and God, in His mercy, works with that.

In this case, if you will read the story, you’ll find that Sarah’s “plan” was “a success”…at least by their standards, and the slave girl, Hagar, bore Abraham a son. However, God’s plan was NOT to create His nation from Hagar’s son, Ishmael, so in a few years, Sarah did indeed bare a son by Abraham. When you read the conflict that came from this tense, at-least-awkward situation and how it has ultimately affected the world, you’ll see that while God will mercifully work through the messes we make when we jack with His plans, He does not wipe out the consequences of the jacked plans.

Our world is today, several thousand years later, paying for the “plans” of Sarah and Abraham. Nevertheless, God remained true to His plan to make Abraham the “father” of His chosen people-nation.

So as I ramble through these thoughts, I am reminded that God doesn’t toss us out with the mess we make of His plan when we think we know better. He wipes off the dirt we wallowed in and sets us back on His path. He brings His plans to fruition, in spite of our meddling and gives us strength to cope with the aftereffects of what we’ve done.
bravest thing I ever did was continue to live when I wanted to die
I’m thankful to Him that my husband and I didn’t mess things up any worse than we did trying to wait for His conclusion in our marriage. We have a lot of healing to do because of our ways of “coping” all these years. How grateful I am that infidelity is not one of the things we have to deal with!

My parting thought for you is this…don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. If God can preserve a marriage like mine, He can save or rebuild yours. If you believe that He is the Almighty, do not discount His power in your marriage!

God’s got a plan. Try to stay out of His way!

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

30 whole years!

Okay y’all… you’ll have to extend some grace here.  I had my 30th wedding anniversary last week and I’m just now posting about it!

weddingtoast

Yes, we were just babies in 1985.

There have been times, over the years, that it wouldn’t have taken much for either of us to just walk away.  It’s been hard at times.  There have also been amazing, awesome, wonderful times, of course.  But those storms when it seems there’s no chance of escaping in one piece can shake you to the core.

But God…  If not for having Him in our lives and in our marriage, we surely would not have made it for thirty years.  Of course, we can do nothing on our own, but we like to think we can.  We so easily forget that it’s only by the will of God that we even breathe let alone move, think, walk and talk.

I’m so thankful that He intervened so many times in our marriage.  I have always felt really glad that both Hubby and I had intact families (neither of our parental units have divorced) and have two examples of half-century marriages to look to, although… *giggle* our marriage looks nothing like either of theirs.

And we don’t want it to!  We exchange knowing looks of agreement when either set of our parents are doing something we find annoying and we’ll laugh or commiserate later that we’re SO glad we don’t “___whatever___” like they do.  I’m sure our kids have the same feelings about us and I guess that’s how life is.

We make our own lives and our own favorite ways of being a couple.

Speaking of the kids, July has become Anniversary Month around here.  Our oldest son and his wife

wedding-victory

wedding-smiles

celebrated seven years of marriage the week before our 30th anniversary, after which our youngest son & his wife

victory

Casey-Taylor-bw-reception

had their first-ever anniversary!  Yep, all within three weeks.

I’m not sure how that happened, but I think it’s kinda cool.  And convenient too in that none of us can quite forget any of the others’ anniversaries.  Ha ha!

I have to admit…I was feeling pretty bummed that we didn’t have any kind of “real” celebration for our 30th though.  I mean, that’s supposed to be some kind of milestone, isn’t it?  I sure don’t know many couples our age who have been married even half this long.  I remember having “dreams” if you will, of being able to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary, but that didn’t happen.  Not for lack of wanting on either of our parts, but for lack of funds?  You betcha.  So five years ago, we plunked down a chunk on a room for the night way high on this mountain, and it was awesome.

It just would have been more awesome if I hadn’t worried about money the whole time.  *sigh*  And here we were five years later, and once again, absolutely no funds for any kind of get-away or even a room for the night somewhere.

I was getting really bummed.  We talked about maybe going to do the Virginia Creeper trail, which is a cycling thing, and that would have been great, but the drive was so long that we’d have been killed to have driven there, ride the trail and then drive back home in one day, so we didn’t even attempt it rather than go and not enjoy it.

After having to replace our air conditioner system (lighting hit it) and then just the week before our anniversary, our water heater broke, saturating the carpet in our bedroom and adding another big expense we couldn’t afford… we just didn’t have any extra money for anything big.

I had spent the week being really sad over it to the point I just didn’t want to do anything.  However, the day arrived, a Sunday, and my best friend from high school, who I hadn’t seen in probably 10 or more years, who has recently moved back here with her newly-adopted TWO YEAR OLD son!!!  She was coming to our church and wanted to see if we could meet and at least sit together.  Of all days for this to happen, on our 30th anniversary had to be a “God thing” because this sweet lady was my one and only “bridal party”..my maid of honor!!!  How cool is that??

So, we got to meet her adorable little guy, visit for a bit, then we took off.  We’d gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at a restaurant we like, but there’s not one near us, so before I even knew what he was doing, Hubby was on the interstate and all he’d say was we were going to eat.

We drove 100 miles away, found the restaurant and had a great meal.  By this time, God had worked on my sour attitude and I was just enjoying time with my husband of 30 whole years.  I began to think about how hard-working and caring he is.  How he’s encouraged me to try harder and do more than I ever would have attempted myself.

30yrstogether2

Later, we stopped in a couple of surplus home goods stores and bought a few little items, found a gorgeous duvet cover with shams for our king size bed for just $18!!  Then we walked through the other place, that was more for builders I guess.. it had furniture and decor and we saw some gorgeous items that gave us some inspirations for future improvements on the house.

Then we went to a couple of health food stores and he helped me pick out meals for the coming week.  His request, saying “since it’s our anniversary”… LOL! is for me to start eating better.

*sigh*

Well, okay.  So, we ended the day at Whole Foods, where we ate a slice of “wholesome” pizza and drank his ever bottle of kombucha tea (which I’ve been thinking about attempting to brew myself)kombucha-WF

and then stopped at the Walmart at home to pick up some batteries we needed and I bought us a selfie stick.  See?

selfiestick

This is the photo I sent to the kids showing them how techno-savvy their parents are.  HAHAHA!!

And so, our 30th anniversary came and went and left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I am sad that I’ve wasted so many years being dissatisfied with things, life, people, myself… but I am doing my best to change things now.

And I’m looking forward to reaching our 50th anniversary and yes, still hoping we might have a bit bigger celebration by that time.  But if not, I know that’ll be okay too.

We have each other and we’re happy.  That’s enough.

Philippians 4:11-12Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

Great Cycle Challenge

The Great Cycle Challenge to end Childhood Cancer!

Please consider donating to this worthy cause & help me kick cancer’s butt for children!  I will be riding at least 200 miles through June to raise money for children’s cancer research.  Won’t you join me? 

Make a donation here to help kick cancer’s butt & THANK YOU!