Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't cry over spilt milk

I like my coffee with milk.  I suppose you'd call it cafe-au-lait.  I've also weaned myself from coffee shops.  This is not to say I don't like coffee shops-- I do.  I love the cozy atmosphere, the music, the local paper -- the whole shebang.  But I can't quite justify the expense.  Thus I make most of my coffee at home.

We have a little hand held frother and we heat our milk on the stove.  We used to heat our milk in the microwave.  But our microwave broke and I am steadfastly refusing to replace it.  Appliances should last more than three years.  Period.  And we can live without.

But this means milk on the stove.  And invariably I forget the milk is on the stove and it boils over.  Thus we are also invariably cleaning the stove.

Today I raced into the kitchen and the milk had formed a big bubble, a dam, over the top.  I grabbed it and tried to pour it into my mug.  Alas the bubble dam burst and scorching milk poured all over my hand.  Oi!  Now there is a particularly shiny spot on my finger.  I'm waiting for it to blister.

Why am I telling you this?  Because it seems par for the course. Everything is just a little bit off this season.

I've missed my shipping deadline for family gifts.  They'll be there in time for new years.  I have a plethora of excuses -- dizziness (did any one at bunko see me stumbling last night?  I wasn't drunk -- simply dizzy.), an extra child for the week (and then there were four), work (this isn't really an excuse as I've had the last week off).

The truth of the matter is I could have had my gifts done and in the mail. But, it seems, I am only in the mood for knitting.  Thus I've invented *necessary* knitting projects.

The kids' dentist had triplets?  Well clearly they need hats.  Three of them.  Now.

My friend is in the hospital?  Obviously a scarf is in order.  Tout suite.

The repetitive nature of knitting is drawing me in; keeping me grounded in what is turn out to be an interesting holiday season.

At the moment I am looking forward to the new year.  A chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew.   In the meantime I'll get to those gifts and won't cry over spilt milk (even when it's scorching hot).  After all life is what it is.


Monday, December 19, 2011

She Travels with Goats.

This past weekend we loaded up the car with three kids, two adults and one goat.  Buttercup went to her forever home near Portland, Or.  She did amazingly well in the car.  Most of the mess was contained on her comforter and no seat belts were eaten (for this my mother will be particularly grateful).

Buttercup is now living with two other goats in the gorgeous pasture above.  It was a fun little trip and I'm glad we got to do our part to help this sweet girl.

And, as always, I loved driving through the country fantasizing about goats and pastures of our own.  Someday.  Someday.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Strange days indeed ...

Well this has been an interesting week to say the least.  A close friend of mine has become ill and been diagnosed with bi-polar disease.  She is getting some long overdue help and for that I am tremendously grateful.

In fact I am grateful for a good many things.

  • I am grateful for my messy house and my healthy kids.
  • I am grateful for two vertigo free days -- days in which my presence was needed and I was able to provide.
  • I am grateful for my husband who was "on-call" should I start spinning.
  • I am grateful to my teenage son who is willing to go on errands with his mother.
  • I am grateful to people who are willing to rescue, nurse and house a stray goat.
  • I am grateful for the husbands who put up with these "goat people".  
  • I am grateful for the wonderful haphazard lights on our Christmas tree -- they provide much needed cheer in these dark days (literal and figural).
  • I am grateful for a quick weekend getaway. 
  • I am grateful for friends; people who are willing to drop everything and help at a moment's notice. 
  • I am grateful for forgiveness*. 
  • I am grateful for love.  

* I am full of forgiveness -- for myself and my friend and all of us who are treading on this crazy path.  Perfection is over-rated.  

These are strange days indeed.  Most peculiar momma.  


Monday, December 12, 2011

Two Weeks Until Christmas (whoo boy!)

Taken with my NEW iphone!

Two weeks remain until Christmas.  Two!  And I am behind.  Not only am I behind but I'm taking on additional projects.  Yesterday I knit a baby hat for a neighbor (the little guy is having surgery tomorrow and I simply couldn't let him go to the hospital without his very own hand knit).

And I'm knitting a horai scarf.  My picture doesn't do it justice. Click the link.  This, too, is a gift.  A long time nurse at my allergist's office is retiring just before the holiday.  I've seen her every two weeks for the past five years; clearly she deserves a going away present.

Today I'm also hoping to finish the gifts for my nieces and nephews and get those in the mail.  This means some sewing and cooking up playdough.

I also have a package to ship and a camera (a super cool SX 70 model 2 polaroid) to list in the shop.  C'mon sales!  Santa could use a bump in his Christmas fund.  

Speaking of Santa yesterday we finally got our tree.  It's a family tradition -- we pick up a permit from the forest service and cut one down ourselves.  Our trees are always a little haphazard.  A tad imperfect and oh so right.

I've also made our annual holiday greeting -- a slide show of the year.  In years past I've burned DVDs and mailed them out.  This year we are streamlining and going digital.


Now I'd best get to it.  If I can get all out of town presents made, packaged and shipped this week things will be good.

Note to self:  start getting ready for the holidays earlier next year (as in January).  Yes.  That would be an excellent idea.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meniere's Update

A lovely flower from a grateful client

I am back with another update on my meniere's disease.  Please forgive me.  I don't mean to blather on and bore you to tears.  But I need to keep a journal of my symptoms and the way my house functions a hard copy journal would disappear.  So bear with me.  Skip over this post if need be.  I'll be back with crafty updates soon.

Over the weekend I felt GREAT.  As in 100% normal.  As in I was a perfectly capable and well human being.  As in I could HEAR. This is also remarkable as I was in the midst of working (last week I logged 65 hours in seven days; three night shifts and two day shifts).  No tinnitus or dizziness or head fog.

Work was busy and I had a surgery to perform (a GDV on a dog).  I made an effort to appreciate the experience.  If this disease continues (especially if it worsens) I'll no longer be able to perform surgery.

Fast forward to Tuesday, my first day off work.  The tinnitus in my left ear returned (why does it always come back when I have days off?).

Then yesterday.  Yesterday Middle and I went to get allergy shots (I've been getting them for five years so this is nothing new).  After shots we went to pick Little up from dance class.  We were nearly there when my tinnitus increased.  Not only did it increase but I had it in both ears.  This seems to be my warning sign that a vertigo attack is impending.

I spent a good 30 seconds trying to convince myself I was imagining the tinnitus; that it was simply a sound my car was making.  Then I spent another 30 seconds inwardly chanting I will not have an attack, I will not have an attack.  Then I had an attack.

Fortunately we were nearly there.  I was able to pull over in the dance parking lot. The actual vertigo portion was relatively short-lived (maybe 45 seconds).  Middle went in to get Little and I sat in the car waiting to see what was going to happen next.  My head was foggy, I was a little off balance but felt okay so long as I didn't quickly turn my head from side to side.  I was able to drive home.

The upside?  No real nausea and no vomiting.  Seriously.  This is a very good thing.

Now, as I type, I feel slightly off balance (even though I'm sitting in a chair).  I again feel as if I'm on a boat -- swaying slightly back and forth.  Not like I'm going to fall over, just slightly off balance.

So here are the dilemmas (and there are a multitude of them).

  •  Do I keep driving?  For now, for me, the answer is yes.  I seem to have fair warning before and impending attack and should be able to pull over.  Of course if I'm feeling particularly off balance then I won't drive.  If I start having drop attacks then driving might be out.  
  • Do I allow other people's children in my car?  On a good day, a day without tinnitus,  yes.  When my ear is ringing - no.  It's just not a good idea.  
  • Should I get a cell phone?  Yes.  I probably should.  There may be a time in the future when I need someone to come pick me up.  
  • Was this caused by my allergy shots?  Who the heck knows.  Certainly the tinnitus preceded the injections but they could have pushed things over the edge.  Allergy shots are recommended for people with meniere's as it is thought to reduce overall body inflammation. 
  • How is this going to affect my ability to work?  Thus far I've had one mild vertigo episode at work.  I was able to lay down and it passed.  If these episodes become more frequent and more severe they will be a problem.  If I'm having tinnitus and have to go into surgery I may have to have someone on call.  Someone to come in should things go south.  This doesn't make me feel particularly capable. 
  • Can we save enough money to get us by should these attacks get worse?  Good question.  We certainly don't have that three months pay set aside (the amount of time until disability would kick in). 
  • At what point would my disability insurance consider me disabled?  Now I am working and functioning.  But has this been sheer luck?  My attacks have happened mostly during my off hours.
  • How much is work, and my schedule, affecting this disease?  I don't know.  I'm sure a lack of sleep does not help. 
  • How long would it take and how difficult would it be to file a disability claim?  I have no idea.  I'm not ready to file a claim just yet but am wondering and worrying about the future. 
  • When do I notify my disability insurance about an impending problem?  Again I have no idea.  
And there you have it.  More questions than answers. 

Tomorrow I have another doctor's appointment at the ENT.  This time with the meniere's specialist.  Truth-be-told I feel silly going.  There is not much they can do.  I'm capable of reading up on this disease on my own.  But, again, I want documentation should things get worse. 

For now I'll just appreciate things as they are.  Appreciate my ability to work.  Appreciate driving. Appreciate walking.  And it looks like that cell phone I've been wanting but haven't quite been able to justify is also in my future.  I'm going to have fun with that too.  


Monday, December 5, 2011

What's up Buttercup?

I made a house call this morning to draw blood on our clinic's stray/rescue pygmy goat -- Buttercup.  She's been tucked neatly into suburbia and seems quite content in my co-workers garage.  I'm told she doesn't even want to go outside when she has the opportunity.  But she does wish she could go in the house. If only goats could be potty-trained!

We are testing her from Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis or CAE.  This is a contagious viral infection that can lead to arthritis.  Buttercup is still limping quite a bit.  We are unsure if this limping is a result of her injuries (she was attacked by dogs) or from a potential infection.  Fortunately we'll soon find out.

The good news is she'll likely have a "forever home" either way.  If she tests positive for this disease she'll go to a goat sanctuary in Silverton.  If she's negative then I have a friend whom I am hoping will take her.

She's a very sweet girl -- loves to snuggle and even gives goat kisses.  If I only had my dream farm ... someday.  Someday.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Messy Rooms and Cell Phones; How Can One Possibly Be Related to the Other?

Today I cleaned my girls' room for the umpteenth time.  They simply cannot seem to do it themselves (now I know this not to be true they are perfectly capable children who refuse to conform to my insidious standards).  

But that is neither here nor there. Today I cleaned it.  I spent hours picking up trash that was not mine, folding clothes that did not belong to me and vacuuming dust bunnies I did not create.  I cleaned the girls' room; but not entirely.  I'm giving them an after school chore list.  A little treat to make their day. 

You see Middle wants a cell phone.  Like really bad.  Like everybody else has one and how can I be so cruel as to not provide her with one of life's most basic necessities.  

Only I don't see it that way.  A cell phone is not a right it's a privilege; a privilege to be earned.  And earn it she must.  We've told her time and time again -- you can get a cell phone.  All you have to do is clean your room and keep it clean for a month.  One month.  That's it.  

Has she done that?  Oh no.  She doesn't understand why we would ask such a thing of her.  Why do I care if her room is clean?  It's her room after all.  

Hmmm -- let's see.  So she can find the clothes she owns but claims she doesn't have.  So she can find her homework when it's due.  So she can live a life void of salmonella and E. Coli and other duplicitous organisms.  So she can exit the building in case of a fire or other emergency.  The list goes on and on. 

But the basic gist of the matter is a clean room is proof that she cares; that she respects herself and her material possessions.  After all why in the world would I a) purchase a cell phone and b) sign up for a long term commitment for an object that is going to be tossed on the floor and stomped on?  Or washed on accident?  Or left behind in school cafeteria?  Why indeed.  

A cell phone is a privilege.  One for those mature enough to handle the responsibility.  And if said maturity never appears?  Oh well.  I grew up without a cell phone (and still don't have one today).  I turned out okay.  

Do you think me horrifically mean?