Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Few More Christmas Thoughts -Thoughtful Medical Staff, Ornaments, Maybe I DID Obsess After All .. And New Year Wishes :)

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This is a picture of last years Christmas tree. Do you see that little German Shepherd angel dog ornament? And also ..the second Christmas picture down ...on the sidebar ...you can play a "Where's Waldo and try to find it. :) Well that was a most thoughtful and sweet gift from the urology staff in the office I go to. It was actually from one of the women there I had spoken to ...no sobbed into the phone at ..in January 2010. I was to have had a stent removal that week and had a pre-op appt to see urodoc that afternoon ...neither of which I felt I could follow through with because I was so devastated. Our wonderful GSD ..had basically stroked out in front of us about a half hour prior to my calling them. And at the point I called them ...younger son had just gotten him into a quilt so he could carry him out to the car for an emergency run to the vets. He was so strong and healthy ...a young and very fit Shepherd for his almost 10 years. It was a devastating shock that morning. I would've cried at the appointment and cried all the way into the OR that week and figured it was not the way to go in an OR and so needed to cancel everything. Anyway ...the compassionate and supportive woman I was speaking with ...had gotten this for me and signed it from the whole office. I was so touched, moved and comforted by her gesture. This little dog has had a prominent place on our Christmas tree for 2 years now and always will. And when I see it ...it still warms my heart because I think of the kindness behind that gift and also how wonderfully everyone I've encountered in that office has treated me. Is it any wonder I have thought so highly of this group of people since having been a patient there? And not because of the gift. Anyone who has followed my uro posts knows how highly I think of them and without hesitation ...confidently recommend anyone needing urological care to go to this urology group. Professional, compassionate, upbeat, organized - on top of things, skilled medical expertise, dedicated and I could go on ...but am so glad that with everything I have been through (urologically speaking), that these are the people I entrusted with my health care. I was/am in good hands for sure. Btw, I am still healed and doing very well. I will miss them and be eternally grateful for all urodoc, partners and staff have done to facilitate healing and make it as positive experience as possible under the circumstances. Believe me ...there are some doctors and med staff out there that would benefit by looking to them as a role model. And they have stood the test of time. I had been a frequent flier at one time and have had multiple occasions to see them all in action. I am very grateful that if I had to go through what I did ...that it was with them. And that is all I have to say about that. Well ...maybe one day I will give the names out and website. The only reason I haven't is because I have written some things in here that might identify me and not sure I want to do that as yet. I have been blessed with other good doctors and nice offices too, but because of my uro history ...I've spent the most time at their office. I am most grateful for all the good docs and medical offices over the years that I have dealt with either for myself or my family. To the medical people that come in to read my posts ...you do make a difference to your patients. I know I have said these things in the past ...but not for a while now and so I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the excellent physicians, nurses, M/A s, front desk staff, billers, technicians and all the other people that interact with patients on a daily basis. Your positive attitude, respect, patience, empathy, compassion, kindness,understanding, warmth, smiles, hugs, HUMOR, consistency, reliability, interest, listening, treating patients with dignity, support, and medical expertise- goes without saying ...are all so important and you DO make a difference in the lives of your patients. May your patients be blessed as you work with them and may you be blessed by them too. You and the work you do really matters - Thank you. (And really - we all make a difference in how we interact with people. It matters. Our kindness goes out like a ripple of good ...going forward.

Back to the Christmas tree. Just as that little GSD ornament has a story ...many of the Christmas tree ornaments I have ...have a story connected to them. And I LOVE to tell my friends and family - every year about the different ornaments and why they are special. It's tradition. maybe someday ...when the kids inherit them ...they will remember some of what I've said and it will warm their hearts. Plus it is a way of keeping the memory of those no longer with us alive. And seriously ...if someone didn't know what to give this SeaSpray for Christmas ...they can always give a Christmas tree ornament. And then I will tell the story about it. :) I'm just saying.
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I actually thought ... I was going to get away with not obsessing about Christmas lites. I almost had to pinch me to see if it was still ME in my body because any other year ...the snafus would've had me organizing the troupes ..okay ..just me ..but I would not rest until everything was as perfect as could be. Even when it means I am alone ...no matter how long it takes ...how cold it is ...outside in the dark with a big bear around at 1 am. Well the bear year was a balmy one. I didn't know there was a bear until I saw him walk by the sliding door under the spotlight ...just AFTER I finally came in from finishing the lights. But my spidey senses were all weird and for first time ever ...I felt uneasy outside alone.

This year, I couldn't believe that more than half of our clear outdoor Christmas lights didn't work. Fortunately ...this year I decided to buy 8 boxes of cheap Christmas lights - strings of 100 each. And one of those didn't work either. And I really, really hate that those "cheap" light sets have receptacles that do NOT accommodate the plugs. Isn't it a standard now ...that all prongs in them have one large sized one and one small one ...thus needing to be plugged into something that can receive the larger sized one? I can tell you that the cheap sets from China to Walmart - do NOT.

Sooo ...I couldn't run the long extension cord down to hook up the blue lights on the evergreen tree. Now any other year, i would've been trying to figure out a way. Well okay ..I did, but not before saying ..."I don't care, I'll just put blue lights all over this lilac bush." and then seeing it didn't look good, removed all 200 lights and put them on the flowering tree that son and d-i-l gave us ...didn't look good and so removed them. Now after midnight and alone in the dark in the neighborhood ...I bring the 200 blue lights to a maple tree we have. All of these things are out front. Oh and Mr SeaSpray had mowed the lawn and I ruined my sneakers - green stains and all ...due to traipsing all over the loose grass in the dark.

Anyway ...I remembered how years ago when the tree was much smaller, I had put blue lights on it and it was very pretty. The thing is it is a lot taller, with much longer branches now. I could barely reach up to the lowest branches. I looked wistfully over at the small pine tree ...nope ..no way was the extension gonna fit into the end of those lights. And I didn't want to overload the receptacle I was using elsewhere.

Okay then ...I began running the lights along the branches ..didn't look right and tried a different way. Did I say it was well after midnight now??? Then I did it differently incorporating 4 branches out and back to the tree ...and did this 4 times ...so that while standing underneath ...the lights ran out in 4 directions and looked pretty. Until ...I stood back. Then they just looked pretty AWFUL ...like carnival lights! *sigh!*

And then I gave up. Although, I was tempted to just run the extension with other lights out to the pine tree anyway ...but thought better of it. I still had to tape the plastic Ziplock bags over all the connections. I don't know if other people do that ...but I figure it is extra insurance for keeping the water out and blowing the lights.

Our neighbors across the street seem to have an unusually dark house when I put the Christmas lights up. nary a light on anywhere. Sometimes I wonder if I am providing a night of entertainment. Ha ha ...the yearly Christmas light comedy. Seriously ...for all I know ...they are sitting in their living room with drinks and popcorn watching the light show. Maybe betting on how long it takes ...how many times I walk out to the road or in the house or slam the non working lights to the ground. The blue light debacle must've been particularly entertaining.

Normally ...the next morning ...I would've figured it out and gotten it done somehow, but I let it go. Oh and took the blue lights off the tree the next day. Then about a week later ...the bottom string of NEW lights burned out on one of the bushes. Even tho I had extra lights ...I let it go. I still have not replaced them. Okay ...I'm writing about it and so the burned out lights bother me ...but letting it g-o-o-o-o. :) So this is why I think I didn't obsess ...because I let it g-o-o-o-o and then I pondered why I did. I mean it just does not happen. I ALWAYS make sure it all works. I concluded that maybe this was just a year ...where other things seemed so much more important. Which is true.

And so 2 weeks later we put the lights on the Christmas tree ...only to discover that half of those lights had burned out as well.

WHAT happened in our attic this past year that caused most lights to malfunction???

So ...I didn't stress ...even tho the Christmas tree is my favorite thing. I left to buy lights.

But ...there were NO white lights to be found ...not anywhere locally. That is exactly why I do try to stock up on white lights. You can always get colors ...but the white lights vanish off the shelves. And yet ...to me ...it seems that more people decorate with colored lights than white. Perhaps the stores order less? All I could find was 2 small strings of 35 lights. Really?! 70 lights to cover the upper 4 1/2 feet of the tree?! I figured I'd have to fight Friday Christmas traffic and head down to the Christmas shops by the malls. However, I made a last ditch effort to try Shoprite, our local grocery store. They had 2 boxes of white lights left! The only thing is they were strings of 300 and I never use that many lights on one string because if they go out ...you have light loss over a larger area. I bought both boxes for insurance. We put the 300 lights on the upper part of the tree. Okay ...all was well now. We'd begin decorating the tree the next day.

But, it wasn't well. Something just didn't look right. I didn't know why. I stared at the tree from different angles ...checking it out ...up and down and all around. Normally ...I'd be real happy with the lites. What's not to like about a Christmas tree with lights on it? It was darker ...or not as bright. Then I remembered the guy dancing the tree around for us in the lot said it was a "dense" tree and so I figured maybe the lights weren't shining through the tree like they normally would. But, this year ...for the first time ...we even wrapped the lights all the way around the tree. It sits in a corner and so don't really have to do the back corner.

Two days. For two days ..or I should say 3 nights actually ...I stared at that tree and afraid to decorate it because the lights weren't right. Even the ceiling didn't look right. Something was just off. I asked everyone and they didn't know either. They also didn't care as much. Lights are lights are lights as far as they are concerned. Just lights.

And then it hit me ...I was obsessing after all. :) And I realized ...the string of 300 lights was duller than the better quality of lights on the bottom. The new lights were about half as bright as the older ones. Great ...now the bottom is brighter than the top and they are staying that way. But ..then the next night ...I did find an old working set of lights and indeed ...they were brighter. So, I wove them up through the upper part of the tree. And problem solved. They brought a better quality of light to the upper half of the tree. Yay!

Knowing myself ...I did think it was odd that I wasn't determined to make things work or fix them outside. Whenever I think of taking shortcuts or quitting on something I hear my Aunt Janet's voice in my head telling me, "Patricia ...if your not going to do the job right then you might as well not do it at all." There was more to that ...but suffice it to know her words have been the catalyst motivating me to do a job 100% any time I think of doing less than my best. (If only that worked for maintaining weight loss - I'm just saying :) And yes ...to quote my mother, "Patty's precise!" and couple that with my Aunt being a significant role model in my life and I can be overboard on the perfectionist side. Not hard on other people ...just my own personal expectations. Sometimes a good thing and sometimes not. This year was an off year and as I stated in a previous post ...felt like some things were just off for me this year.

Anyway ...Chevy Chase and I would make a good Christmas decorating team. I loved him in "Christmas Vacation"...a guy after my own heart ...with all his Christmas enthusiasm and decorating. I wouldn't be as gaudy ...but can relate to his Christmas decorating perfectionism.

I'm just saying. :)

And now ...I don't want it to end.

And here it is New Year's eve already.

And on that note ...I hope everyone has a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and most Blessed New Year - 2012.




Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Morning Call

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Around 7 am this morning, Mr SeaSpray woke me up to inform me that someone called out and even though he is on vacation this week, he was asked to come in to work. He has a strong work ethic and it would not be the first time he abandoned his vacation to help out his coworkers.

I was bummed for him because - vacation. And I was bummed for me ...because I do not always get good rem sleep ...and I was definitely having a nice dreamy sleep time. Then I was just drifting off again ...when the phone rang. I knew Mr SeaSpray was getting ready and so I answered it. It was one of Mr SeaSpray's coworkers informing me that it would not be necessary for him to come in after all because the coworker that called out ...was playing a joke. He was only 10 minutes from work when he called in ...faking his illness ...and stating he could not make it in.

I was gracious on the phone, but annoyed because I couldn't get back to sleep and I was going to be having a long, busy day. And, even though I was annoyed ...I was also chuckling to myself while lying there ...because I thought it was pretty funny. And it turns out the joke backfired because he assumed this other person would be at work and they were not. And so Mr SeaSpray was called while on vacation. The guy felt bad about it.

While lying in bed ...vacillating between trying to fall asleep and chuckling at the joke ...I began plotting a little joke of my own. I had the idea to call there, sound a little annoyed while stating I am Mr SeaSpray's wife and I would like to speak with the man that pretended to be calling out of work. Whoever answered the phone would probably tell him I sounded mad and then when he answered the phone ...I would just tell him that was a pretty funny joke and I was laughing while trying to go back to sleep. I really did think it was funny. And I thought it would be funny to reverse the joke on him. But then I didn't do it because I realized that might be a little passive aggressive on my part because why would I think it was funny to cause even a little angst in him. (Okay - I still do - it would've been funny. :) However, I delighted in telling Mr SeaSpray. He chuckled, but said don't do it. The thing is ...Mr SeaSpray said this guy has done this in the past. Sounds like he cries wolf a little too often.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Christmas Thoughts

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Of course I'd pick and ocean picture :)

Since I didn't get to post before Christmas as I wanted to ...I will do some Christmas posts this week. I thought I'd get away without obsessing over lights this yr - looked like I would ...but then it happened. I also had a most favorite Christmas toy I could not stop playing with, still want to play with and may ask Wrenna to bring it over tomorrow. I want one! But for tonight ...I will share some other things.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas. We did. It was great being together. I wish d-i-l's family could've been here too like they were for Thanksgiving. I LOVED having them here. The food was delicious. My m-i-l makes the best ham and fudge. Not together of course ...mmmmm ham covered with fudge casserole... would cover the sweet - salt cravings so many people get. Not. She really does make a good ham. ham is not my favorite ...but I love hers. Every year I think I will make fudge and then never do. I used to. One of these years I will. My d-i-l made the best cookies and they are gone. So is the fudge. And lucky for me ...my m-i-l made the second layer of fudge with coconut. I hate coconut. I even tried eating it from the bottom. Coconut just finds it's way onto the food even when you think it's not there. ..so that didn't work. And Aunt Margie brought some good pies. The pumpkin was yummy ...but I have never warmed up to mincemeat pies. In theory ..I should like it because I like the ingredients ...except one thing seems a little weird and reminds me of fruit cake ...something else I am not fond of. Ha ha! For the longest time (even as an adult) ...I actually thought mince meat pie was hamburger meat somehow sweetened all weird or something and wouldn't even go near it. :) She bought that pie because it was labeled cherry and thought she was bringing a cherry pie. Surprise! I kept it simple this year and only made lasagna, broccoli casserole and some other things. Mr SeaSpray made sandwiches. Way too much food ...but all so good. :)

And watching the kids enjoy Christmas through their eyes was the best. 10 yr old Devan was beside herself with joy with the fabulous presents she got. A kindle, a much wanted game and other things. 2 yr old Wrenna ...was just so excited and filled with wonder and joy and that little voice of hers ..sooo sweet. Oh and one of her big things was a set of drums. i can't wait to see her play them Friday. And Myles ...who will be a yr old in a few days ...well he seemed to like the bows and paper the most and seemed very interested in our Christmas tree ...often staring at it. (Lot of lights, ornaments, and tinsel and 9 1/2 feet tall.) We will have the kids all day tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. I love Christmas week!

And speaking of the tree - I didn't even get to tell people that Immaculate Conception was again selling the most amazingly near perfect and very fresh cut trees ..proceeds going to the school. This yer they changed locations and sold them behind Hooters in their parking lot because the property across the street sold. The Immaculate Conception guys weren't all dressed in little Hooter's shorts tho. ;) Ha ha! I think it's so funny that a Catholic church/school was selling Christmas trees at Hooters. Actually - they're closed down. The men volunteering for the school are all so nice and it is a pleasure and delight buying their trees. Plus they did something really nice for me that I greatly appreciated. The price was excellent (between 40 and 65 and that is cheap for large trees - considering other local places wanted over 100.00 a few years ago. Also, they are fresh cut from a farm in PA within days of delivery. Our tree is still fresh and we put it up the first Sunday in December. And I only looked at 3 and any of them would've been great. I went with what Devan chose. She said, "I think you should take this one because it's greener and has detail." Devan's choice it was and it was a good one. We didn't even dance the tree around like I always have Mr SeaSpray do ...you know ..twirl it looking for the best side ..they were all good. Oh and since dealing with the Immaculate Conception volunteers and trees ...I no longer have to ply Mr SeaSpray with a pot roast or some other carnivorous treat ...thus sedating him like an opiate so he doesn't get all testy during the whole tree shopping/setting up process. So, buying trees there is a win/win/win for him, me and the Immaculate Conception school. :)

I have to say that our awesome sons and daughter- in-love greatly surprised Mr SeaSpray and me with the best present ...an HD TV - WOW!!! Which explains why older was pushing for us to get Directv and even set up the appointment ...even tho I protested initially. That is because I am a loyal type of customer and we always had cable and our local cable company has always given us excellent service, etc. That being said ...we will save between 30 and 40 a month for first year plus the additional 13.86 I paid for Tivo and I LOVE the storage for things recorded and all the things that come with the package. Sons were right. Thank you so very much! :)

I have been watching movies and recording what I can't. I'm looking forward to watching "Run Away Jury" later tonight. Looks like and excellent movie. Oh and I caught the last 3rd of "Good Morning Vietnam", which I really liked when it came out and appreciated it even more now. I picked up on things I missed back then.

I have been remiss in doing Christmas posts this year and just did not get my usual things done like I normally do and I admit it bothered me ...and okay ...maybe still just a little bit. But, I also know that those things are not the real meaning of Christmas ...which is the Christmas blessing of God coming to earth because he loved us so much and all that that has meant for mankind ...past ...present ...and future. And also important ...being together ..having good relationships and creating good memories and having your health.

I was annoyed at myself for being disappointed or annoyed that I did not get to do all I wanted to. So ...I am working on next Christmas now. No - I am not. Thought crossed my mind tho. :)

And this was an unusual fall and Christmas season. My friend dying ...well that definitely hit me more now than the whole time since. And I have just felt *off* during this Christmas season and fall and I suppose being so involved with my friend the last months of her life since spring ..really the main one getting her everywhere and other things, seeing all she went through ...well it had it's effects on me. I am so very glad I did tho. There was no other option and we did have fun amidst some of it ...even during chemo, but, there were stresses too ..of course. There has been a lot of loss these last few- 5 years ...and I wonder how other people feel after these things. I kind of feel like I have to recreate my life. So much has changed - key people important to me no longer here ..I feel disconnected in a way. It is NOT a good feeling. Fortunately it is fleeting ...but when it comes in ...it is disconcerting and sad.

Yesterday ...I searched for an old message on my voice mail ...long buried by other ones and found one from at least 2 years ago and I just needed to hear her voice and she sounded so ..like the Iris I remember. I could even see her expressions in my mind's eye as she spoke. I have been wanting to talk with her more than usual and is the first Christmas that we cannot. It is so FRUSTRATING and we should be able to talk about our Christmas with families ..sharing all the joys of what we did. I also very much missed my Mom ..later Christmas night ...after company left and things settled down.

And yet ...there is so much in my present and dreams for the future and so I mostly focus there. I am so grateful for every single person in my life that is important to me. It is just hard when the other really special people are no longer here. We all go through it in some way and death is part of life. And this is supposed to be a happy Christmas post ...but if I am being honest ...these may be some reasons ...things were different for me this fall/Christmas season. Why it all felt so off to me. except for special moments here and there. And then there were some health concerns that proved to be a non concern at all ...thank God.

I really did love this Christmas and being with everyone ...just a different year for me... and trying to redirect my thoughts and life ...going forward without the special people. And we all know that the holidays exacerbate the sense of loss when sad or difficult things have happened. For some it could be the loss of a job or a home or health ...or other challenges. And then I come back to ...for those that believe in the true meaning of Christmas ...that focusing on the birth of Christ ...helps to center us, bring peace and a renewed hope for the future. Even during years of no loss ...if I get too focused on the secular side and don't include faith ...it can feel hollow. Faith enriches the experience and gives it real meaning.

I am most grateful for the gift of faith and eternal life.

I guess this is a bittersweet Christmas post, but true to this year's experience ...now recorded in my on line diary.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!! :)



"Santa Baby" is one of my fun favorites. :) Although ...since wrapping Christmas presents tonight, I am listening to Celtic and Classical Christmas songs on Pandora. "Silent Night" is another favorite ...although ...it is really hard to choose because there are so many wonderful songs. "Angels we have Heard on High" or my absolute favorite, "Handel's Messiah." There are so many wonderful songs!



I begin playing Christmas music right after Thanksgiving. How about you? I wish December had 10 weeks so we could have longer to enjoy it all. Anyway ...back to wrapping. I won't be up until 3 am wrapping this year - YAY.

I hope Santa is good to you this year. :)

Jingle bells ...Jingle bells ...Jingle allll the way. :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

SeaSpray Theory on Colonoscopy Topped With Orthovisk Injections

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Is that a big needle or what?

I highly recommend getting a colonoscopy to go along with your Orthovisk knee injections ...that is if you are a candidate for said knee injections. Yes ...in the morning, you get the colonoscopy with your gastrodoc ...well ...not *WITH* your gastro doc ...it's not a two for one sale. You're not Siamese twins conjoined at the hip. (My gastro doc is from India. Mom would have some splainin to do ...I'm just sayin. ;) Besides ...SOMEONE has got to do the colonoscopy.

Then ...top the colonoscopy off in the afternoon by getting your Orthovisk inections with Orthodoc. Again ...not simultaneous injections *WITH* Orthodoc ...because ...after all ...it's not a social event and ...SOMEONE as to do the injections. I'm just sayin.

And so ...where am I going with this you wonder?

Because ...this afternoon ...I had the Orthovisk knee injections sans morning colonoscopy and I have to tell you ...getting the Orthovisk injections almost right after a colonoscopy is wayyyyyy better!

This is because of the conscious sedation you get for the colonoscopy. It is still in your system ...thus provides pain relief when those big needles go into your knees. Well ...I think they are big and take so long to push it all in and stings and all. I was wishing I had another colonoscopy.

I was hoping the Orthodoc Orthovisk mantra would work. See ...last week ...we were discussing OR things prior to my being injected and I was saying how I hate the Versed and am afraid I will be too breezy in the OR and comment on how cute a doc is or something. Ortho doc laughed and said I could tell him he's cute. Ha ha! Then Orthodoc's m/a suggested I tell him how good looking he is while doing the injection and it might feel better going in. So ...I went for it. Not only did I say he was cute ...I said handsome and great sense of humor, etc. And it did hurt ...but, I repeated the Mantra when he did the next knee. We laughed and it was pretty uneventful. It did hurt ...but I remembered worse pain. Obviously the mantra worked. :)

But then today ...I found out that the SeaSpray Orthodoc Orthovisk mantra didn't work as well. I poured it on too. You really just need that colonoscopy first. ;)

"Hello, Gastrodoc? Hi There. I'm just calling to schedule two more routine colonoscopies. Yes ..I know I just had one. Yes ...I know I had good results. I just REALLY want two more please. And I'd like you to please fit me in for the next two Fridays and they have to be morning appointments. Ohhh ...insurance ...schminsurance. Why? Well ...because I have to have Orthovisk knee injections ...of course. Well ...you see ...I have this theory.... hello? Hello-o-o? Gastrodoc?"

Some people will do anything to avoid pain. I'm just sayin. ;)

Oh wait ...there is a little flaw in my theory.

*Sigh.*

Colonoscopy prep!

Prep verses pain?

Prep - pain?

Prep - pain?

P-r-e-p - pain?

I'll take the pain please.

Even a SeaSpray has her limits. ;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not My Perfect World Kind of Day



Pretty version with Bell Ringers.

You know the kind ...where you have plans to do x,y and z ...but everything just gets off kilter. Nothing flows the way it should have. I am so Bummed ...with a capital "B"!

But given what I thought may've happened to one of my friends today ..well Sunday ...but heard it today ...my Bummed is a zero on the bummed scale. Thank God they are both alright and praying for one of their relatives. It was one of those ...my heart sunk thru the floor when I got the call. And the person calling me didn't know the facts and so then I called someone who did and then back to the first person and needles to say ...I did not get the food delivered with my appointment. Then I said I would bring it back in tonight because I am going back down to Macy's and this way they would have it for tomorrow. But ...DARN Christmas traffic. It took forever to get home. Never mind back out and to them before they locked up at 6. :( And I needed time to arrange and wrap it.

Sooooooooooooo ...I will bring it in in the morning, but now doc and one of the receptionists won't get any ...maybe leftovers? And I made a cheesecake pie with strawberries too. Devan calls it Heaven pie when she was 5. :) Plus ..I have to bring my license and copay in. I left wallet on seat and I should've just gone out and brought it in ..realizing I'd never get back with food in time.

Every Christmas ...I always bring uro office a basket of goodies and delighted to do so. I can't believe this is the 6th Christmas doing that. I used to say I would stop when healed or work ..maybe they'd get Costco cookies. :) But, I realize ...I will be one of those patients that comes by to remember them with a thank you for taking good care of me ...well after I've been healed ...which I am.... healed ...I AM healed. He even karate chopped my kidneys and I was fine. I have no complaints whatsoever. there was a time when I always had concerns about relapse, etc and I really do not now. I am glad I had the appointment because it reinforced what I already believe about being healed. :) And took care of something else too.

I always make sure my doc will be there to get first dibs if he wants any. It is of course for all the docs and staff and totally warms my heart when I know they enjoy it. What an enthusiastic group of people.

Actually ...didn't even know it was possible ...but I appreciate them more than before after having been around some ...less than stellar ...way less then stellar front office staff and most recently a specialist ...who fortunately ...I never really needed to see.

So ...while I was disappointed I did not bring food in today as planned ...it was still good to see all of them.

I went shopping at Macy's with a friend last night. We literally were escorted by security out the door after midnight ...so he could lock the doors. I was the last one downstairs and she was still in jewelry and so I had to swing around and pick her up out front. I never shop when I am making baskets up, etc. But I had to go. And we got home just before 1 am.

My schedule ...because of life events and some things with me has been crazy.

Also ..after leaving the uro office tonight, it was bittersweet walking out. :( Because ...as I left the building ...I heard beautiful music playing ...Pachelbel's Canon in D major. (One of my favorites :) I turned to look behind me off to the right and then I saw it. The Oncology center. I froze. I just stared at the light coming through the doors. All my memories of going there with my friend came rushing back into my head. I can't even describe what I was feeling ...a pull to go in ...a desire to look away and forget ...but I froze ..and just looked at that part of the building ..the walk way ...the shrubs and how it was lit up at night. I had never been there after it got dark early. I turned to walk away and after a few more steps looked back again. Emotions swirling around inside me. It was an emotionally painful feeling that I am unable to articulate. It's weird that I didn't even notice it or think about it as I walked into the uro office. I had been in that building almost every week during the summer and sometimes several times ...and I didn't even think about it the entire time I was inside. I'm glad. But weird.

Anyway ...once I gave up on getting back to the office tonight ...I decided I would go to church. But ....then my friend's s-i-l stopped buy with one of my Longaberger casserole dishes and I am so glad I got to talk with him. It is the first time since the funeral. We still talked outside and hugged a few times when I cried. Her daughter really married a great guy. I've been fond of him since we first met.

I got teary eyed because seeing him ...was like being connected to my friend again and we talked about a lot of things. I hated seeing him go and cried and said it was like letting go of her all over again. I told him I really don't cry a lot, and the grandchildren keep me so busy and bring such joy ...they have helped me tremendously during this time of missing Iris, but seeing him again ...makes it all fresh.

Anyway ...I am glad I didn't get out the door as planned tonight, although sorry I missed church. I think it would've been good for me tonight.

And ...n-o-www ...I am headed back to Macy's. I really just want to do some more baking and be cozy ...but Wednesday is their big sale day and so I HAVE to go back tonight. But ...I will finish shopping tonight. Plus ...I should not have paid for everything at one register last night. You get 50.00 back when you hit 200.00 in purchases. But if I divided it up ...I could've gotten another 25.00 back. 25.00 is 25.00. So I am going to return some things and then buy back and I still have more to get and so ...maybe I can save more.

They said I saved over 400.00, but I always wonder if they mark up to put on sale. Although ...Macy's does have good buys at Christmas - month of December and after.

So ...in my perfect world ...be it ever so fleeting ...since it is 20:30I should be down there in a half hr and should have almost 3 hrs to shop and hopefully will finish before that.

I am hearing "Carol of the Bells" in my head. I love the song, but when this close to Christmas and I am still shopping and buying food, etc. ... I feel the pressure as if I am moving ...bustling right along with the song. :)

*********************************

Monday, December 19, 2011

OOPS! Did Prep Wrong - Kidneys and Colonoscopies

http://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/public/NOVKIDS/OWG_Blog_Art_11-14-11.jpg

Fortunately ...it did not affect the procedure ...or I'd about died ...because drinking that prep stuff is AWFUL. It is the worst part of getting a colonoscopy. That being said ...it is so worth it to have the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to prevent colon cancer. If you follow your physician's screening protocols you can prevent ...or at least have early detection ...when colon cancer is most likely to be successfully treated. It's one day out of your life as a trade off for many more in return if you would have been one of the cancer statistics.

So ...what did I do wrong?

I followed the doctor's printed instructions verses the instructions on the package. It had a diagram of the prep and a diagram of 16 oz of water to drink with it. They said to drink 8oz of the prep every 15 minutes. And to have 16 oz of water with it. So it showed the prep container with the 80z increments and then next to it it showed two 8oz cups of water.

I don't know why I took it this way ...but I chug-a-lugged the 8oz of prep. (took 14 swallows to get it down) Then I drank a 160z water chaser ...which was very much needed to get that God AWFUL taste out of my mouth. But ...i felt full on the prep ...which also causes quite a heavy feeling in my stomach too. The 16 oz of water in 15 minutes on top of that was a lot. But then every 15 minutes ..I repeated with 8oz of prep and another 16 oz of water. It was NOT a good feeling.

So in an hour's time ...I drank 64oz of water and 32 oz of that heavy prep and so had taken in a total of 96oz of fluid in an hour! I don't even think I had to drink that much in an hour when I did a specific urology test for urodoc in which he was looking to see how I tolerated and passed large amounts of urine when he was checking my ureter function. I remember he was happy that I didn't have any pain or problems when I did that.

Then I think he will be especially happy to know that in an hour's time, I drank all of that uneventfully, except for feeling full and a bit of nausea ..which I think the nausea came from the prep.

And then ...an hour and a half later ...I had to drink the same amount all over again. ha! And I was worried about dehydration while being NPO. :)

Anyway ...I remembered that a person can die from drinking to much water and recalled that a woman had died doing that and so got a little concerned about that. So ...I reread the instructions. It seemed it could go either way. And so the second time around ...I just drank 16oz after having the 32 oz prep. Although ...I did sneak a little salty chicken broth in to cut that God AWFUL prep taste.

The procedure went well. It is so weird how one second I was talking and the next second I woke up back in my little SDS area. I HATE that actually! Because ...you all that know my history ...I always worry that I am going to be too breezy on drugs they give me and I cannot stand to know that I was awake and talking and not know what I said or did. Darn Versed!

I told them that and then said ..."Although ...I remember that ED patients under conscious sedation would scream and cry when they were having their bones set and then walk out as peaceful and as happy as they could be ...not remembering a thing. and so I guess Versed is a good thing in this case because I don't want to remember a colonoscopy." Then the doctor comforted me by saying, "Oh don't worry ...we'll record it for you." Ha ha - funny. I think levity before going out in the OR is a good thing. Although I did secretly squirm on the inside. :) Then just in case I said, "I apologize ahead of time if I do scream and cry and also thank you for doing this." Then as I already said ...I don't remember anything else ..until I woke up in the SDS area.

Anyway ...I am pretty sure that last Thursday night ...my kidneys were swimming freestyle in there. ;)

Oh ...by the way girls (talking to my kidneys - of course they are girls), great job - keep up the good work! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Colonoscopy - Blinded By the Radiance :)

http://ak1.ostkcdn.com/images/products/P10746084.jpg

Tis the season ...fa lala la la lalalala.

Just what every SeaSpray wants to do 9 days before Christmas!

I mean ...it is so much fun doing the colonoscopy prep. Yummy too! I didn't really want to bake those cookies ...or have a real meal. or coffee ...with milk. And I just love hanging out in the ..well you know.

And Jello? Well ...we all know Jello is to die for ...filling too. And plain chicken broth. A feast I tell you!

Just venting. This time it was harder than the previous times. I was hungry before I went to bed last night and so hungry all day today. Usually ..I am not ..not so much anyway.

Well ...one perk ...is ...that doing a Christmas colonoscopy has gotten me back on track with weight loss. I was doing so well ...even lost 4 oz the day AFTER Thanksgiving. That just NEVER happens. But ...then ...baking and other special meals ...and I began to gain again. It is just so easy for me to do. I think inhaling air makes me gain weight. Maybe I should stop burning all those dessert scented candles. What if? What if it is the Pumpkin or apple pie candles causing weight gain? ;)

So ...my theory is ..this fast/cleanse aided in damage control. Now ...if I keep my head about me ...*think* about what I am doing ...I will be very happy to just maintain and not gain. So ...this Christmas colonoscopy prep day may aid in facilitating maintenance. And if I can do what I had been doing ...could lose weight again.

Anyway ...I started out with plain tea, but then remembered how brown it made my teeth when I drank honey, tea and lemon all the time when I had an upper respiratory infection ...so I switched to green tea. I figure green teeth are better than brown teeth. Besides green teeth are more festive ...in keeping with the Christmas season. :) And then I had a couple of cups of broth and then Tropical Island Pineapple Jello.

I think I had better warn gastro doc to wear sunglasses before he does the exam on me because the combination of bright yellow Jello and bright green tea is gonna create some kind of bright glow in the lit up intestinal walls. (Also festive for the holidays) I'd hate for him to be blinded by the radiance. I'm just saying. ;)

Anyway ...drinking the prep twice in one night ...sheer torture. 8 oz every 15 minutes. then wait another hour and a half and repeat. UGH!!!

So ...I did it. Proud ...relieved and happy it was behind me ...pun intended. :)

Then ...just a little while ago ...I took a melatonin. The nurse from hospital said I could. I really want to sleep and they help.

But ..then ..I remembered the gastro doc nurse said only to take this one med in am and nothing else.

!!!!

So ..I read the ingredients in melatonin. Mineral oil. Instructions regarding diet say no oil. Then there is some kind of starch and other things.

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hope I didn't blow it by taking that little melatonin pill. And it has theanine which is a green tea extract, but that should be alright since green tea is allowed. But the mineral oil or the calcium whatever?

Which nurse is right? The one in gastro doc's office or the one in SDS? I am hoping the one was just being overly cautious. So ...I will bring the bottle and show the doc in the morning.

This was a routine colonoscopy that I was due to have back in September, but so much going on this fall ...I just could not get to it. And the only reason I would do this in December is because like so many patients this time of year ...my insurance deductible is met and I want to have it all paid for.

Then in the afternoon, I am going to orthodoc to have my first Orthovisk injection ..one in a series of three. I am not looking forward to the needles, but am looking forward to pain relief. And I am looking forward to a cozy night at home tomorrow night.

And now ...I have to try to sleep. I am not the least bit sleepy. So ...I will probably go in there with my eyes looking like two pee holes in the snow. Ahhh ...but then another perk of a colonoscopy is you can wear makeup. My toenails also have a red sparkly nail polish on them. I didn't remove it because there weren't any instructions to do so.

I don't think they are as particular with conscious sedation. Although ...I am NPO.

I hate NPO. I'm already thirsty and it's only 25 minutes past midnight.

Anyway ...I hope the melatonin doesn't cause a problem. I hope I read another "Well Prepped" when I read the report. I was so proud of that when I saw it in my first colonoscopy report. I took it as an A+ for prepping.

I'm not anal - honest. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Love the Banter! :)



I love the banter. And Jewish guilt? Not in original ...but funny. :)

And then below - my favorite version, sung by Dean Martin. I think I was 11 or 12 when his weekly TV show was on. Even at that age ...I thought he was handsome. I think he could've been my grandfather! of course being older ...his endearing bad boy ways amuse me. Wait ...can a bad boy be endearing? Yes ..if Dean martin - that smile and glint in his eye - charming.

Of course back then ...I didn't like any of this music. If it wasn't rock music - B-O-R-i-n-g. Except ..well ... that's another post. ;)

Anyway ...I enjoy most versions and Dean's is one of my favorites.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!", I Shrieked. PETS!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_C_V2LtRHMBY/TO_-6JABvnI/AAAAAAAAACQ/A_GQ9XV1hsk/s1600/charliebrowntree2.jpg

I've been wanting to post. No time. Just busy ...going here and there and doing Christmassy things around the house.

Tis the season ...faaa lala la la la laaaa. :)

However ...it seems venting will get me to post.

Darn DOG!!! And I love her. I do ..I really, really DO ...love her.

I will do a post on her sometime, but for now it's Christmas writing.

She is Miss Hoover when it comes to anything in her range of vision, sense of smell or hearing and most certainly the cat food. We use wooden baby gates to keep her out of an area if we need to. And just like our big German Shepherd was...she is terrified of these gates. Bob (our GSD - We had to put down in Jan, 2010) was fearless ...except for wooden baby gates. I think with both dogs ..when they fall ...they make such a clatter ..it spooked him and is the same for Faith.

Works for us! :)

However, we forget and Faith is ever plotting ...relentlessly for how she will get at her next target. I'm surprised our cats don't look as skinny as Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Ha! With a Christmas ball hanging off each of their tails.

Anyway, I decided to feed Peachy, Mom's cat we adopted. (He is 21 years old) So I put the gate up between the kitchen and family room so he could eat in peace. Then, I took 5 minutes to make the bed. Then I went back to the family room.

Then I SHRIEKED in utter dismay. "AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! FAITH! WHAT did YOU DO???!! She was already out of there when I shrieked. And she knew exactly what she did. She ran to Mr SeaSpray who was watching TV in the living room. And I KNOW he was secretly chuckling to himself ...because it was my idea to bring her home ...when he did not want a dog yet. He loves her. But when she does some sort of destructive behavior ...he immediately reverts to the "She's your daughter!" mode some couples do when they get mad at the kids. Actually ...we never did that with the boys ...but he does do it with the dog. He doesn't call her daughter. But ..he has that attitude sometimes. "Y-O-U-U-U wanted her." I don't blame him. I have reaped what I've sewn. Payback for going against his wishes at the time.

But ...she has brought a lot of joy to our family too and she is excellent with the kids. Just more of a baby than the babies. But ...I digress.

So ...I looked down and saw that she had chewed some ornaments I had just organized and spread out on the coffee table. FIVE if them to be exact! WHAT was going through her brain when she chose them. And she polished them off in 5 minutes ...like some kind of Christmas ornament eating contest! Pieces ...strewn all over the rug. the cute handmade ornament Aunt Dee bought for us from a craft fair. The little boot with my initial on it that I made the first Christmas we were married. A pretty wooden candle that younger son had gotten at the school craft fair. That was a fairly thick wooden candle and she had it in SPLINTERS! A snowman and a little velvet Christmas stocking. Oh and thankfully ...I got out there before she could demolish the black velvet and plaid Scottie ...although she did get the star off the tip of his hat.

Fortunately nothing was valuable ...other than sentimental value. However ...if she had gotten the extra special sentimental ornaments from the boys ...I would've been really upset. And even as I type this ...I realize all the ornaments are still laid out ...waiting for me to finish decorating and I keep checking to see that she is still in here with us because I forgot to put the gate up.

That is the problem ...we forget.

And she also keeps taking the Christmas stuffed animals I have out. She chewed the flannel dress off one bear. She tries to take the kid's Beany Babies they play with. Oh and baby blocks or the wooden train. She IS like a kid... with very sharp teeth and a gnawing problem.

I really wish I knew what she was thinking when she saw all the toy like decorations in the box. Well ...I do know she wanted to eat them. I saw how she was eying them. I keep telling her "NO!", when she absconds with a stuffed animal, but it doesn't matter. She's got us trained ...to be ever vigilant!

Then ...I continually have to wrestle tinsel away from Mom's cat. he won't bother it on the tree, but I guess the movement with me pulling things out of the box get's his attention. He even tried to chew on the ornament hooks.

And then there's Sneakers ...our very agile cat. He did not waste any time Friday night after son pit the lights on the top of the tree. We had left the room ...maybe only a couple of minutes and when I went back toward the tree ..there he was ...sitting on the very top of the folding ladder. I yelled, "SNEAKERS!", because he looked all set to lunge right across and into the top of this large tree. I didn't even know he was in the house or where he came from. HE ...must've been somewhere watching everything ...just waiting for the moment ...but I FOILED his plans. And Sneakers goes outside. He can climb any tree he chooses. WHY this tree?

And, then also ...later Friday night ...Devan and I were standing near the coffee table, by some breakable Hallmark glass ornaments I had opened and laid out. I had placed these breakable ornaments at one end of the coffee table and then had some big red tubs stacked on top of each other right next to them. Out of nowhere ...SNEAKERS shot ... like a rocket, right for the upper stacked Christmas tub and jumped to what he thought(I can only assume) had a lid on it, but did not and so he fell down into this large tub. The commotion startled me and in conjunction with my panic that he was going to cause the tubs to fall on the collectible glass Christmas ornaments I shrieked ...this time in fear ...which both scared Devan and the cat ...who tried his darnedest to scramble out of the tub and indeed caused the tubs to fall over ...but thankfully in the opposite direction ...away from the ornaments.

Then there was the time said Sneakers ...the cat ...decided to run across the room like a bat out of hell, stopping long enough to pummel the breakable glass balls at the bottom of the tree ..shattering them into tiny pieces that then fell onto the Christmas tree skirt ...as he ran to somewhere else in the house. It all happened in a matter of seconds, scared the heck out of me and yes ...I shrieked. I 100% believe he did do that on purpose ...knowing full well those ornaments would break and that he would scare me. He had been on the other side of the sofa ...and I am pretty sure plotting ...waiting ...for just the right moment ...and that was when I had walked into the room and was standing near the tree. I know it.

The following is on my sidebar: Laughing cat - I'm pretty sure if cats secretly laugh under their expressionless faces...that he (my cat) was at the other end of the house ROTFLHAO! ;)

I wrote a post about Sneakers running out, pummeling the glass balls and running away, but can't find it or I would link it in here.

Anyway ...I just noticed ...the dog has gone MIA again and I need to get back to the ornaments and decorating the tree. I want to finish that tonight.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

REALLY?!

http://www.proxibid.com/AuctionImages/1978/38256/CatalogDetail/30.jpg?replacewithpaddle

"A mother walks into ******* with her two kids. She is wearing a parody shirt. Instead of saying Mountain Dew, it reads "mount and do me"


The woman walked into where younger son works.

I feel sorry for the kids.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Broccoli Casserole ...Cardiac Casserole ...whatever ...It's YUMMY! :)

http://images.replacements.com/images/images5/china/L/longaberger_woven_traditions_heritage_green_4_quart_round_covered_casserole_P0000051791S0077T2.jpg
I bake it in my 4 quart Longaberger casserole dish.

One of our fellow bloggers requested the Broccoli Casserole recipe after she read about it in my Thanksgiving post. So, I've decided to post in here in case anyone else would like to make it. I've been making it for years ...on holidays. OMGOSH! If I made it for regular meals ...it would be way too tempting to eat way too much because it is that good. I always get compliments on it and people go for seconds. (Not so much with my mashed turnips and carrots. Although we love them and good for you too if you omit the butter. :) But, this ...the broccoli Casserole ...they like.

A friend had brought it over during a get together and I just loved it and so she graciously provided the recipe ...again ...and again ...and again ...until I finally put it in my word program and now it is also in my special recipe file. Thank you Kathy. :)

Anyway ...here is the recipe - enjoy. :)

Oh and if necessary ...it would probably be a good idea to have a dish of Lipitor served on the side. ;)
*********************************************
***The size of frozen vegetable bags have gone down from 20 oz to 16oz. So, I buy enough to keep the vegetables at 60 oz as in the recipe. Also, I sometimes like to use extra sharp cheese and always regular mushroom soup and not the light.

And the topping is a must - the flavor/texture completes the recipe.

Broccoli Casserole

3 - 20 oz. frozen broccoli (or 2 - 20 oz. frozen broccoli + 1 - 20 oz. frozen cauliflower)

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

cook broccoli and onions with salt in boiling water until just tender. Drain well.
add cheese to broccoli, toss lightly.

mix together:
2 beaten eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonaise


add to broccoli and cheese, mix gently

combine 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs with enough butter (approx. 3 tablespoons) in a small frying
pan. Warm until butter is melted and crumbs are moist and crumbly. Put broccoli mixture in a
buttered casserole dish and top with bread crumbs.

bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings and the ...STREAKER










Wrenna, trying on sunglasses. She loves my vanity in our bedroom because she can sit on the bench and see her whole body as she tries on hats, necklaces or whatever appeals to her in the moment. She likes to layer things...when not streaking that is. :) And I LOVE finding things for her. There is a pink Little Tikes vanity set in the attic and so we will bring it down for her today when we bring the Christmas decorations down. She can sit at her own little vanity and will be so surprised. :)

I have been so busy ...I have not had time to post something here. I did write, but never actually got my thoughts together the way I wanted to and so I am putting up what I put up in my Face Book. Okay ..so I wrote there which is why not here. I have changed and added a few things to it. Now, today ...I am torn between going down to Costco to use the coupons since last day to do so ...or trim the bushes and get the Christmas tree lights up. Normally that would be a no brainer ...because I am out there Thanksgiving night getting lights up ..or that Friday, etc. But as I said ...I have been so busy ...good busty tho. I did put the fresh Christmas wreaths up after everyone left Thanksgiving night and so I suppose that was the official kickoff to the Christmas decorating. :) It may rain and so I am thinking it should be the lights.
Because you never know if it will snow and freeze and then lights are delayed. So ...it works best when done early. Okay ...lights it is. Now I am getting into Chevy Chase - "American Christmas" mode. :)

I hope everyone (Family and Friends) had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We sure did.

Devan Cosette (granddaughter) helped me get an early start by helping me bake our traditional Pumpkin cookies) on Monday ...which is so much nicer than the night before. I got a kick out of seeing younger son take a phone picture of the cookies while they were cooling on the counter. He had just come in from college class around 9:30pm, went to his room and came back out to take a picture. He does this every year. I never asked where he sends them ...but am amused by it. :) Even though making the cookies ahead of time was a plus ...the negative was that Mr SeaSpray, younger son and I did get into them. :) I first made those Pumpkin cookies in 1977 and only on Thanksgiving and became my holiday tradition to bake and bring over. (I know I have posted about the pumpkin cookies previously and put the recipe up)

Then during the 2o00's ..I finally shared the recipe when I brought them in for coworkers and so many people wanted the recipe. Not secret anymore. :) I still use the same orange tin for family that I began using in 77 ...also a tradition I guess.It was a fabulous day filled with many blessings, good food ...so-much-GOOD-food and fun. D-i_l ...please keep those cheesy potatoes and green beans with ham coming and I want the recipes for the pumpkin cheesecake and acorns too and if I ever do pies ...the apple pie, which was just the right balance and not too sweet. Rolling Crust intimidates me ;)

Mom D, makes the most awesome heaven pie (we call it that now because Devan said it was heaven when she was 5. A cheesecake pie with strawberries and graham cracker crust. She also brought a sweet potato pie - yum and the bean salad which I make ever since getting that recipe from her. And truffles. With guest like this ...who needs to cook? :) Also, a Butterball turkey that mom got for us. Boy ...they really ARE juicier. Even I couldn't dry it out. ;) I also made a dish of turnip and carrots, butter, parsley salt and pepper mashed together. My Aunt Janet always had that at our holiday celebrations and so I carry on the tradition. Important to have more carrots then turnip so not bitter. Stuffing - using sage from our herb garden celery and onions, homemade cran-apple sauce with cinnamon ..although this time I did go too heavy on the cinnamon. Still good tho ...if you like a lot of cinnamon. :) And also mashed potatoes, biscuits and corn. I usually do this broccoli - cauliflower cheese souffle to die for and probably is a a cardio challenge to the arteries ..but didn't get to it. even though I had cooked all the cauliflower and broccoli. (I am making that today - Sunday - um ..no I am not. Son used the extra sharp chedder cheesein his appetizers he put together. We will be having broccoli and cauliglower today - Sunday.) And d-i-l made the gravy which was sooooo good - THANK YOU! Gravy is not my strong suit. A cup worth ..yes ..enough to feed an army and still have good flavor ..no. Okay ...I can make larger amounts of fine tasting gravy ...but sometimes ...not so fine. This is because I am not consistent with how I make it. I will do a post on it sometime and maybe someone will give me a fail proof recipe. And how do you get the grease out and still have flavor? Younger son put together a wonderful appetizer. I have to say I am forever hooked on those stuffed olives marinated in wine. And just love the stuffed peppers too. There was so much food and of course the chips and dips. And a local apple cider that was so fresh it tasted like the apples were pressed right in our kitchen. (What is it with me and apples lately? Even with all the yummy desserts and food and chips, crackers, candy and other things for leftovers, I'd eat way too much of ...I began having some and then craved an APPLE instead.)And this has n-e-v-e-r happened - I LOST 4 oz the day AFTER Thanksgiving! That is greatly encouraging because it tells me I really am making some positive lifestyle changes.

We had it at our house this year with our family (sons, d-i-l, their children and my m-i-l ...and had the additional *pleasure* of having our d-i-l's mother, brother and sister out from Ohio visiting us. It was so nice to finally have time to get to know all of them and I feel like we're gonna be good friends and of course we share some really special people in our lives ...our kids and grandchildren. Plenty of good food and good company and lot's of laughter.Then our Thanksgiving streaker!Every family has one ...right? ;)

After dinner ...out comes 2 year old Wrenna ...STREAKING through the whole house ...nekkid ...with a big smile of sheer delight. Fortunately ...none of us felt inclined to emulate her behavior. ;) Her main mission in life these days seems to be to see how many times a day she can dress and undress and seems to think less is more of a fashion statement. (I thought it was hilarious when last week ...our son came to pick the kids up and the first thing he said to me about her ...just as soon as he saw her when she walked in the door, "Did she keep her clothes on today?" "Actually, she took her clothes off twice, but just streaked through the house without her clothes on and I couldn't get her because my hands were in the meatball mixture." :) Or she goes the other way and piles clothes on ...even going into her parents or big sisters clothes ...changing them non stop. And she is very pleased with herself, regardless of choices - sans clothing or too much. She also loves hats and can be quite creative with what she puts on her head. Of course I love to give her ideas and last night, let her wear a decorative pumpkin on her head. I love to look at d-i-l's flkr pics and in fb just to see what her outfit du jour is. :) It was Myles (so darn cute and ever ready with a warm bright eyed smile that just melts my heart every time:) 1st Thanksgiving and he will be a year next month. And sweet Devan is 10 and as always a delight to have around. We are blessed for sure. I am so grateful for family, friends and so much more. I can't wait to meet d-i-l's mom and family again and they all always have an open invitation. :)

Even when tough times hit ...I am grateful for how God brings us through the tough times. I miss my friend Iris so much. We were friends since I was 4 and she was 5. It is surreal to me that she is in heaven now and all day Thursday ..I thought about things I wanted to tell her... pics I'd want to show her. I am glad she got to see our grandchildren again this past summer during a chance meeting while we were coming back from an appointment.

We missed not having Aunt Margie with us. She is ill with an upper respiratory infection. But, Mr SeaSpray thoughtfully put some plates of dinner and dessert together for her and brought them over to her. Is that sweet or what? :) And I miss all the other aunts, uncles and cousins that we always saw on holidays , but family dynamics change because families grow.

***To family reading this ...I will always remember the time I brought the kids up to the football field and then we came back to sing the Happy Thanksgiving song we made up ...to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas and the kids were so excited to do it. :) Now they're all grown with their own families. :) And compared to my small family ...when I married Mr SeaSpray ...I felt like I married into the Waltons because your family is so large and loving.


I miss my family very much. No one in our older generation is left. My mom was the last and that has been since April 2009. She would've LOVED yesterday's celebration. :) And we used the gold flatware she gave me for a Christmas present years ago. It always makes such a pretty place setting presentation. I remember being upset with her because I knew she couldn't afford it. She said she wanted me to have something special from her. She was always happy when I used it and I am happy to use it. People always compliment the table and I always say that the gold flatware is from my mom. It's a warm feeling when I set the table, hand wash the pieces and even put them away. I make sure I am the only one that does it because I take extra care of it and make sure it is polished and not spotty when I store it back in the case. I know she would be pleased to be remembered each time at a celebration.


And I miss so many other relatives no longer with us. But, we were blessed to have all of them in our lives ...and I am very grateful for relationships ...past and present. I also look forward to the new ones that will come our way.

Family and friends ...Blessings every one. :)

God bless all of you and I hope you enjoy this Christmas season.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yak Seed

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I was in the kitchen earlier fixing my dinner ...one of my healthier concoctions I make when we have all decided to have different things. Mr SeaSpray was standing nearby as he heard me talking to myself. I was feeling quite pleased ...each time I added what I considered a tasty ingredient. "Some waln-u-t-s, some c-r-a-i-s-i-n-s and now for some .." I know he would never go near some of the things I eat ...but what must he actually think I eat???

Suddenly he exclaimed, "YAK seed? WHAT is YAK seed?"

"Oh Mr SeaSpray ... don't worry ...trust me (snicker) I don't put it in YOUR food. Also, trust me ...you DON'T want to know what YAK Seed is or what it does. But, suffice it to know that you and I will be trekking through the Himalayas next week because I hear the fresh Tibetan Yak Seed is the most nutritional of all. If it's good enough for the Dalai Lama ...it's good enough for me!"

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And now to my readers ...so that you can be further enlightened ...where do I begin? Well ...for starters, you should know that you don't have to be a YAK to reap the benefits of Yak Seed. Furthermore ...after ingesting said Yak Seed you will have the agility to leap Like a Yak, in the Himalayas but, only in the Himalayas ...not to mention that you will achieve Total Zen. Although ...you should be informed that studies have shown one side effect of Yak Seed for 2% of the population is "long shaggy hair with a dense woolly undercoat over the chest, flanks, and thighs." A coveted side effect in arctic climates ...but Yak hair will block the cooling effects of a nice balmy breeze blowing your way in Miami.

O-K-A-Y-Y-Y ..the truth is ...

...I busted out laughing, and said, "WHAAAT?! YAK Seed? NOOO ...NOT YAK Seed! I added FLAX seed to my Greek yogurt! YAK SEED! EWWWW! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Then ...I imagined YAK seed as I finished concocting my yogurt meal of Non fat plain Greek yogurt, FLAX seed, crasins, walnuts and a lot of cinnamon .

Suffice it to know ...that you don't want to know. I don't either.

And I am pretty sure I have never used the word "Yak" this much in my entire life ...up until this post.

I'm just saying. :)

Although ...God knows I have the gift of Yak. ;)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5th Blogiversary!!!!! :)

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Wow. It seems hard to believe I've been blogging for FIVE years. I am in such a different place now ...since November 13, 2006. But, then aren't we all? I wanted to have something up on the 13th ..began it ...but have just been so busy because I had been ill with an upper respiratory infection that really had me down for the count. And now I am making up for lost time ...things I wanted to do before Thanksgiving.

And I watched my beautiful grandbabies yesterday. Ha! They kept me so busy from morning to night ..that I lost TWO pounds since yesterday morning. I had a lot of fun with them. So ...TWO more wonderful blessings have been added to our family since I began blogging.

I've also been involved in some other things ...one of them medical ...that scared me greatly, but thank God ...it was a false alarm. And no ...it was not my ureter or anything urological. I know that is healed. Again - Thank you God ...and urodoc. And amidst this false alarm was some frustration with an office process that has left me feeling like I cannot ever trust things will be followed through on as they should. I hate that feeling. Anyway ...I will be posting on that.

Sooo ...back to this 5th anniversary of blogging.

I LOVE the hobby!

I've neglected this blog and not put all my energies into it as I had done initially. I want to clean it up a bit on the sidebar - reorganize ...categorize the links. And focus more writing in here. I know I have probably been more public with identifying myself than I realize. Maybe add pictures. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I do encourage you to check out the comments and their links on the side bars if you haven't read them, but scroll down as I am not sure the links are readily apparent. And there are some especially funny posts in my "Favorite Posts" section.

My blog feels like a place to go to ...to get away from things and just decompress. I liken it to that feeling I get after my second sip of an alcoholic drink ...where I can feel myself relax. I get that feeling once I have the mouse in my hand and see my SeaSpray blog come up. Although ...I don't get drunk from writing as I know would happen if I continued drinking. An yeah ...I know ...based on some things I've written ...some of you may beg to differ. :)

And when I have felt really afraid ...I have even put up prayer requests for people to agree with me in prayer regarding a situation. I didn't with the recent false alarm because I was still processing and hoping it was wrong and thankfully ...it was. It is still amazing to me how we can communicate to people locally and around the world in seconds. I believe in the power of prayer. I have no doubt my friend Mel has prayed all the way from the Philippines ...as have some others. But ...you never know who is reading and so I put the requests out there. I believe it was for urology issues ...when I had been really scared and the night I knew mom would die ...unless she had a miracle. I have since taken the prayer request for her down because it may've seemed inappropriate. But when I got that call from the nursing home that she had a GI bleed, I understood the seriousness of it ...especially in conjunction with her overall decline in health ...and did know that was the night she would die ...without a miraculous intervention ...and prayer was all I could think to do. Actually ...I could hardly think to say my own prayers that night. That is not the norm for me. But ...the fear that rose up ...the all consuming fear clouded my thinking processes all night long. (I knew the second I saw her lying there in the ED room that she was dying and would be merciful for her to go home to God and all her loved ones there. And I knew that she had already lost all quality of life due to the multiple mini strokes she had had during her stay at the nursing home. But all I could think to do amidst my tears, was to tell her to hold on that she could fight this along with other positive things to try to get her to hold on. Truthfully ...she looked like the only thing keeping her alive was the ventilator. She was not there. I wish I had told her to go home and that we loved her and we were all alright. But ...my eyes and my heart were having an argument that night. And I have to say the selfish part of my heart was winning that too. When you love someone ...you let go because you WANT the best for them. And maybe in the end ...it was just the little girl in me ...was afraid to lose her mommy and none of us can know what that is like until we walk through it. I just wish I had had more grace in the situation ...and faith. But it was what it was. And I said it before ...but, I will say it again ..the ED staff was wonderful that night ...so compassionate and caring. They had wanted me to make a decision and for as logical as I normally am ...I was incapable of it because my emotions were running so high. Her advanced directives had been botched. I am glad they were though because it allowed time for the entire family to be there when she died. I had always prayed mom would not die alone and she did not. We were all there. And I also called some people to pray for her while Mr SeaSpray was driving us over to the hospital. But ...like I said ..it was not to be. God called her home. It helped to write about it all when I was going through it.

I think blogging gives a voice to our thoughts. It is therapeutic to feel heard. It is healing.

So many blogging words have been written ...more than you know. I have never felt stressed or like I had to do it. I would not if that was the case. It's been mostly fun. My favorite posts are the funny ones - the ones that make me laugh ...which is a good thing in case no one else does. And of course if you laugh ...it makes my day. I know I've shared this in the past, but a mutual blogging friend and I had a blogging friend from Europe and her husband is a physician. She told me that sometimes when reading my posts before going to work in the morning ...that he could hardly catch his breath from laughing so hard. One of my favorite comments ever. :) (I do wonder what happened to her because she just disappeared from cyberspace. I hope she is alright.)

I appreciate the friends I have made in the blogasphere. I used to refer to my personal life as my "real" life, but now I consider the close blogging friends my real life friends too.

And I just have to say ...I was so surprised and thrilled when Ramona (Suture for a Living) sent me a baby quilt for soon to be born Wrenna. There is a picture of her on the quilt on my side bar. Fairly recently ...she also sent me a quilted post card I had admired because it reminded me of Wrenna's joie de vivre energy. I was so surprised when I came home one night, to see this package from Little Rock sittingLink on my counter and I knew instantly what it was and that it was from Ramona. And talk about perfect timing ...I had been stressed, etc., and seeing that just warmed my heart and uplifted me so much. She is always making a quilt, knitting or something for someone. This Little Rock surgeon has such a big heart and I am guessing with all the sewing she does, also the most nimble fingers in an OR. :) Thank you again Ramona. :) I am slow with getting pictures into the computer, but when I do ...I will put a picture of the postcard up. I framed it and just love it! :)

I have written some important ones ..mostly about my medical experiences ....both as a patient and a medical receptionist/Patient Access. (You can find links to them on the side bar) I have spent most of my blogging time in the medical blogasphere ...although there are some wonderful non medical blogs too. And even though I have worked in the medical profession (20 years and looking to go back now) I have written mostly from a patient perspective in here. Or maybe a patient perspective from one who also has an appreciation for the medical side of things because she worked in it for so long too. I truly appreciate what goes on from both sides of the registration area. I do believe my patient experiences and even reading the med blogs will enable me to be more enlightened and effective as a medical receptionist when I do return to work. Wouldn't it be nice if med blogging scored points for an interview? :)

Blogging has been cathartic. When I was dealing with uro ...I mostly liked to write some funny medical story. I vented with humor. Fortunately, I can almost always see humor in a situation. For awhile there ...it seemed like I'd never be getting out of the Bajingoland position and weird when assuming the position began to feel as natural as breathing. And it is weird when you've been nekkid so much around strangers that you begin stripping even in front of the janitor just because he walked into your hospital room. I'm KIDDING! I never did that. But, I felt like I could because I got so broken in with stripping down. I'm just saying.)

When Mom began declining ...it helped to blog about it. It helped to blog about cleaning out her apartment, transitioning into the nursing home and when she died. That period of time was one of the most difficult times in my entire life and that is saying something ...believe me. Because not only could I see that I was losing my mom ...but all the memories and things I tried to suppress came flying up within me and I had to feel things that I spent a lifetime avoiding. And realizing we had so much wasted time between us. My grief even spilled over into other blogs in comment section at the time (sorry about that), and one doc e-mailed and asked if I considered counseling and I had ...but his bringing it up was the catalyst that prompted me to act on it. The counselor truly helped me through it. She also helped me to see why I should not think it was all me. I was feeling such guilt and let me tell you ...grief is bad enough ...but if you have grief combined with guilt ...it's toxic. I could feel it. Thank God and counselor ...I did get past the worst of that. I also want to say ...that Mom was a good person and never did anything bad or mean. And I was never mean to her ...or even swore at her or did any of the horrible things you hear kids do to their parents. But, when she sent me away ...we grew apart and never got that closeness back again (well, we had moments throughout the years) ...until she was in the nursing home for the last 6 months of her life and that was fleeting because of the exacerbating dementia ...although some important things were said. And we loved each other very much. It's sad that things had been so complicated for us.

Why does it sometimes take dying to open our eyes to things we were blinded too? If only we had that kind of vision every day.

I vented in anger about a medical office losing my medical records and what put it over the top for me was the rudeness of the office manager telling me she thought I was "being silly" worrying about my records. There was more ...but talk about being insensitive, unprofessional and just plain stupid! How would she like to wonder about her personal information and social security number being "out there" ...not to mention the loss of documentation, among other things? In the end ...the documentation really has not mattered ...but I still feel upset that I don't know where my information went or if it will still turn up in the wrong hands someday - God forbid! And for all the anger, fear and frustration I expressed in those posts ...I did not take their lawyer up on having a free for 1 year security program to track potential identity theft. I just let it go.

*** Lost medical records must occur frequently though, because I often get hits to those posts from patients looking to see what kind of action they can take regarding their lost records.

Anyway ...blogging has been a lot of things to me. Not only have I blogged, but learned so much through other blogger's posts. This post has been a bit all over the place. I don't know why I reviewed the serious stuff. Part of me is tempted to remove it, but ...I will let it be. It is what it is and just some reflections of where I've been with this thing they call blogging.

I look forward to our holiday season and hope some funny Christmas post comes to mind.

Thank you for reading and for the friendships that have grown over time. :)