Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cymbalta ...So Worth The Minimal Side Effects Compared to the Nerve Pain I was Experiencing

A reader asked me to let her know how I am doing on the Cymbalta, but I don't have an email address for her so I will just talk about it here. She was asking in regard to nerve pain....I am just going to cover everything. My reader was concerned about side effects.  Cymbalta, like every drug I have ever taken, has a long list of possible side effects.  I experienced awful nausea the first day but I took it without food and I was suppose to take it with a meal.  When the Dr increased the dosage last week I experienced nausea for a couple of hours the first day of the doubled dosage, but I again took it without a meal.  Other than that, if I take it with food I am just fine.  It can cause dry mouth.  At the beginning I experienced that slightly, but I just sipped water all day and it went away.  Since I have been on Cymbalta food has not been appealing and my appetite is diminished but that is OKAY.  I have suffered with insomnia for years so I don't know if it had any effect as far as making it worse.  I would consider my experience with side effects as pretty minimal.  Every person is different so I can not say what kind of side effect experiences someone else might have.  My daughter took this drug for awhile and she experienced sweating to a degree that it was constant and very uncomfortable for her.  She also had extended periods of dry mouth.  On to the results, so far.... I am not a Dr so I can only give you my experience. I was given Cymbalta for my depression but my psychiatrist said it should also help with my Morton's Neuroma because it is also prescribed for diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.  I really didn't expect it to do much for my Morton's Neuroma.  I previously had endured painful steroid shots in my feet and was told the only other option was surgery and odds were that it would just grow back.  At the time I started taking Cymbalta the two drugs I had been taking for depression and anxiety had just stopped working for me.  In addition, I had decided to see if I could do without any medication for 3 months.  It was clear to me and everyone else that I can not function without medication.  By the time I saw the psychiatrist I was crying throughout the day over any thing that evoked any emotion in me....Hallmark commercials, my dog doing something cute, a friend expressing concern, a song.  My depression was horrid.  RE: Morton's Neuroma---it is a knot of swollen, enlarged nerves formed at the base of toes & ball of your foot.  Normally, your nerves don't grow into a ball right there but my do.  When my Dr presses on it he can hear (my hearing is too impaired to hear it), and I can feel the pop, sort of like a small marble in there. Most common cause is wearing high heels and pointed toes that cram your foot in an unnatural shape.  Well, I have never worn either....I am a big believer in wearing comfortable shoes.  I have it in both feet and have no idea why or how I came up with it. It is incredibly painful.  When I have flare-ups it is just all but unbearable.  Feels like lightning bolts going from my toes throughout my foot.  Feels like walking on sharp, pointy shards of glass or rocks.  I am really a pretty tough cookie, so when I tell you this pain is all but unbearable I mean it is PAINFUL with a capital P.  I delivered 4 very large babies and the worst labor pain was a piece of cake compaired to one second of Morton's pain......and Morton's Neuroma pain just goes on and on and on for months when you get a flare-up.  Cymbalta was a lifesaver for me.  My Dr started me on a low dose November 1st, as is normal and then increased the dosage this past week.  Back in November the effects of the medication were pretty dramatic and quick.  Within 2 weeks I was not crying all the time.  My depression was better, not gone, but better.  Holidays have always been horrible for me because of history, because of my agoraphobia, because of my anxiety issues.  I got through the holidays ok.   In December my dog died.  This was not just a dog to me - this dog had been with me for 11 years and he was my baby.  His passing was very, very hard on me.  It was a death of a family member to me.  I think I handled it fairly well, considering, because of the Cymbalta.  The BEST thing about Cymbalta though, is my Morton's Neuroma pain is GONE.  I have NONE.  At the time I started taking Cymbalta I was in a flare-up that was going on it's 9th week, best I remember, and was the worst flare-up I had ever had.   9 weeks or so of non-stop, excrutiating pain stopped within 2 weeks.  Truthfully, I have been afraid to go on any really long walks---like several miles as I was doing when the last flare-up started but I can walk around Wal-Mart and not experience a flare-up.  Many a time walking around Wal-Mart or a grocery store would bring me to tears from the pain in my feet. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a wonderful day with my kids.  One of them had to work but she will have lunch with me tomorrow on my actual birthday.  I requested 7 layer dip and Dr Pepper for lunch today.  My son  also made queso with sausage, Rotel and white Velveeta.  I had never heard of white Velveeta before.  It was really delicious.  My other son made pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting that is just so moist and good.  We played dominoes all afternoon.  Taylor was my "partner" after she woke up from her nap.  :)  Taylor was sweet and precious and we all had a really good time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Pinned Image

Oh my goodness!  My nieces have got me hooked on Pinterest.  If you have a Pinterest board tell me how to find you please because I don't understand that part yet.  When I was little, my favorite toy was a Sears catalog.  I spent hours pouring over Sears, Montgomery Ward and Spiegel catalogs.  I still love catalogs like Terry's Village.  Well, Pinterest is sort of like a catalog to me except you can pick the things you want and pin them to your very own boards.  Sigh.  I will never get anything done now.  A friend's sister saw this "melt the crayons" technique on Pinterest and used it to make the stems for these silk sunflowers. 

Some Days I Have Only Two Spoons....

The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino <----- click here and read so when I tell you it is a 2 spoon day you will know what I mean.  If you have RA, or Lupus, or Fibromyalgia, or Depression, or Chronic Fatigue or any chronic illness this is for you so you will know that someone out there "gets it" and maybe this story will give you words in which to describe how you feel to your loved ones.

Comments! I Love Comments!

Wooo-hooo! Someone told me how to fix my "it won't let you leave a comment" problem! Now it works so click on "comments" and say something to me please!  and thank you!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Of All The Things I've Lost...

Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.  As I have probably said in a post or two, after a life of being hot natured suddenly for the past month I have been freezing, shivering under blankets, covered in goosebumps cold.  I thought maybe it was a side effect of the new antidepressant.  When I saw the psychiatrist Monday she said...re: being cold...that no, probably my thyroid medication was not the correct strength.  OK, fine.  Since I do not have a family Dr (the years I worked for the city I went to the clinic available only to city employees) I got on the phone and made an appointment with Texas Tech Health Science Center.  A wonderful place.  When I needed a hysterectomy I went to the Texas Tech Dr's.  When I had a solid mass lump in my breast I went to the Texas Tech Dr's.  I am a Texas Tech Health Science Center fan, whether I have been seen by a Dr on staff or a Dr with a group of residents.  In fact I like being seen by residents.  They are caring, thorough, concerned.  Texas Tech staff Dr's have treated me better than any other Dr's I have ever been to.  Today I met a woman Dr on staff in family medicine and I told her I hope this is the beginning of a relationship I have until I die.  I really, really liked her.  But back to my lost mind.  My main complaint right now is I am constantly freezing cold. My insomnia has been bad for a couple of years, and especially this week, and I am just dead, dead tired.  And cold.  When I got to the TTHSC and saw the nurse I told her I was there because I was tired and my psychiatrist said it must be my thyroid problem.  The nurse and I talked for several minutes and then suddenly my mind clicked for a second and I told her as she was about to leave...OH wait...and explained that I have been cold, THAT is what my psychiatrist said is probably thyroid related.  Good grief! Not 30 minutes before I had been laying under a doubled over blanket covered in goosebumps my daughter told me she could see from halfway across the room and when I get the the Dr's office I totally forget that and just say I am here because I am tired??!!? Oh, I miss my mind.  Thank heavens I thought about it (the being cold).  My new Dr said she wanted to runs some tests to check my thyroid and to see if I might be anemic.  Monday, or maybe Tuesday she will get the results and email me.  We talked about my mind being so slow, my lack of concentration, my confusion and my being tired.  I told her on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being I have all the energy I need to do what I need to accomplish each day I am seriously at a 2, maybe a 3. Maybe a 1.  I save up all of my energy to take care of my granddaughter 5 hours a day, 4 days a week because she is important and she brings me joy.  My energy has diminished to the point that yesterday I realized I can't really take care of myself right now.  Have not been taking care of myself since Max died in December.  My energy is just gone.  I can get to my son's home, take excellent care of Taylor, and then I use the last of my energy to get myself home where I sit in my chair until I go to bed because I am totally worn out.  Yesterday I realized that for the month of January I have eaten fast food almost every day. I never eat breakfast, I grab some fast food for lunch on the way home from babysitting and then eat ice cream or something for dinner, if anything.  Nothing tastes very good or sounds appealing...a new experience for me since until last fall food was one of my best friends.   On the days I haven't been through a drive up window for food then I have eaten tomato soup, microwave popcorn, ice cream or microwave up in the box little diet meals. Whatever takes the least amount of energy.  Last fall I lost 25 pounds.  In the past 27 days of eating only fast food I have gained 10 pounds back.  10 pounds.  Since I was seeing a Dr who is new to me today I explained about my depression, etc.  I told her in August when I stopped taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication for 3 months after being on them for 20 years I physically felt better than I ever remember feeling, except for the fact that I was bawling all the time and my depression worsened.  I felt so good I was cooking homemade soups most of the time and going for long walks with my granddaughter until the Morton's Neuroma because so excruciating.  Physically I felt fantastic, mentally I went downhill quickly without the meds.  Duh! That is why the weight mysteriously dropped off of me.  I was eating healthy and exercising.  Dadgum Morton's Neuroma! I continued to cook soups and beans through December and even though I was not able to walk I stayed at 179 until I started the January fast food diet.  The Dr asked me to try some things in addition to her checking my blood work.  She asked me to take a multivitamin,  1500 mg of calcium with 800 mg of vitamin D, and B-50.  At Wal-Mart the spot for B-50 was empty but I found someone to ask.  She told me that when they got a shipment of B-50 it would sell out that day.  She didn't expect any for a week or so.  i went to two drugstores and they were out too. Maybe it works!  They all told me they could not keep it on the shelves.  At Walgreen's I was telling the pharmacy tech I had asked to help me look for it that it was suppose to boost my metabolism and give me a lot of energy.  A lady standing there said she was a nurse, and she said you want B-12, not B-50 and I told her no, I have it written down.  She said she saw on Dr Oz that B-12 would do the same thing but you had to buy the kind that was labeled SUBLINGUAL (taken under the tongue).  She told me she had been giving it to her 70 year old parents for a week and already they had more energy than they could remember.  Since I couldn't find the B-50 I went ahead and got what she suggested....Nature Made B-12 Sublingual 1,000mcg...take once a day with food, let disolve under tongue. (just took a minute and was cherry flavored)  I decided I was going to eat healthy.  At Wal-Mart I bought fruit, some canned vegetables....neither I have eaten in I don't know when...and things to make homemade soups.  Casey is coming tomorrow to help me clean house and get menus planned.  I kept my receipt and I am going to figure out how much it costs to eat fruit, veggies, healthy things.  I will post that in a week or so.  I am thinking about buying a treadmill. I have wanted one for a long time but just hated to spend the money when I could walk outside for free.  I would hate to spend the money and it cause my Morton's Neuroma to flare up.  I can not express to you how painful that was this fall.  Just truly almost unbearable.  I know I have to exercise but scared to death to cause a flare up. I have a Wii and the Wii fit program.  I know I can do that so I am going to do what I can to get rid of these new 10 pounds.  The only other thing was my blood pressure. It has always been fine.  Right where it should be.  Today it was 163 over 90.  I told her I was concerned about that and because of my sister's problems with it I may be at risk for high blood pressure but I don't want to go down that road.  She said well, go check it at a drugstore every now and then and watch it.  She felt like since this was the first time it has been anything other than normal I shouldn't get too worried.  She said maybe your anxiety caused it....yes, I told her....I was having a panic attack because none of my children could come with me today to be my "ears" and that was uncomfortable for me.  My agoraphobia was causing me anxiety too because I was entering a 5 story building full of people and I don't do well in crowds of people.  The Dr said you may have just eaten something salty today or had caffeine?  and I said oh, like the fries, McChicken and large Dr Pepper I had for lunch? She said that would do it!  So, there we go.  My antidepressant was doubled this week, I am going to eat better and exercise, and when my blood work comes back we will adjust my thyroid medication.  Mid-March I am going to be Wonder Woman!!!! 

Wearing Her Momma's Bandana

Red Roses Nesting Doll 8 pcs. SetMy little granddaughter reminds me of Russian nesting dolls :) What a sweetie!

I Hate My Mailbox

I left this morning a little before 7 a.m.  I got home at 5 p.m.  When I left this morning the maibox was shut.  When I got home it looked exactly like this:
  • did I get mail, the mailman not get the mailbox door closed and when the wind gusted to 40+ mph it managed to blow the box open and blow (LOL! air mail) my mail to Oklahoma?
  • did I get mail and someone walking down the street decide to open my mailbox and remove the mail, whatever it was?
  • did I not get any mail and the door just fall open?
  • since one of the symptoms of one of my diseases is excessive worry will I lay awake tonight and wonder what came in the mail that somebody else took???

This Is What I Saw Today---

I went to Wal-Mart today and guess what I saw!! I had decided not to garden this year but....but.....but...  look at all of those seeds! I just have this urge to plant something!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anatomy of a Kidnapping: a Doctor's Story

       Last night I read Anatomy of a Kidnapping: a Doctor's Story by Steven L. Berk, M.D.   A true story of a bizarre kidnapping that happened here where I live.  While living here in Amarillo a few years ago Dr. Berk, the Dean of Texas Tech Medical School (we have a campus here), had a quiet Sunday morning interupted by a stranger in his house, pointing a gun at him.  The kidnapper didn't know it was a Dr's home, he was just looking for an opportunity.  The circumstances were so ordinary it could have been any of us.   The family dog finds a dead mouse in a trap and did what dogs do..."Look, Daddy! Look what neat toy I found!"  Mrs. Berk has just left for church when Dr Berk takes the remains out the back door, through their attached garage and into the alley to deposit in the dumpster.  In a rush to get inside and I imagine wash his hands and get back to what he was doing he failed to close the garage door. Just forgot, but something he will never forget to do again.  He went to his office on the second floor of their home and began emailing his son away at college after reading a paper the son had asked him to look over.  The next thing he knows the barrel of a gun is shoved in his face. 
     I am sure I would not have read this had it not taken place here.  I would have missed out on a good book.  Not only does it tell the story of the kidnapping but it also includes stories from his own med school days and how he drew on lessons learned there to keep himself alive during the hours spent with the kidnapper.  Read the reviews on the Amazon link here ---->    http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Kidnapping-Steven-L-Berk/dp/0896726932/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327627948&sr=8-1 to see if you might enjoy it as well. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's See What Happens Next...

Why do I write about my mental illness all the time?  Because someone else out there is mentally ill and needs to know that it is ok, and that life gets better, and because many years ago at the library where I worked a coworker hung herself after work one day.  I had no idea she too was struggling every single day just like I was in the depression hell hole.  Possibly knowing I was feeling the same things too might have made a difference.  Might have helped her make it through that roughest day.  I don't know.  I have a wonderful life.  Really, I do.  I have these trials but I also have wonderful people in my life, I am happy.  I know when you are in the depths of despair from the wacky brain chemicals nothing seems happy, and it helps to know that someone else has the same problem yet they are happy... it will come, so get some help and hang on.   My diagnoses are major depressive disorder, bi-polar, generalized anxiety disorder and agoraphobia.  I've been in treatment for 20 years.  I have family members who are bi-polar, agoraphobic and burdened with anxiety.  Between us in my immediate family I think I have a lot of experience, an understanding and ability to listen, to encourage, to empathize.  When I was growing up mental illness was a thing to be hidden under the rug, never spoken aloud, surely never acknowledge except in a whisper, and rarely.  You know what?  It is ok to talk about it.  I did absolutely nothing to bring this on myself, nor did my children do anything to bring on theirs, other than to be born with this set of genes.  If I had drunk myself into dead brain cells, or taken illegal drugs until I fried my brain then I would definitely be ashamed. But I did nothing to cause it.  It just was in the cards I was dealt. My theory is everyone has something ..... some kind of trial in life, if not more than one.  This is one of mine.  When at times I thought my mental illness was just too much to bear I have often thought I would rather be mentally ill than blind.  I would rather be hearing impaired than paralyzed.  I may think I live in poverty but compared to every woman in a third world country I know I live like a queen.   I would rather have my challenges than be a mentally and physically healthy person who is cruel or critical or abusive or dishonest.  I would rather not be mentally ill, and I'd really rather not be financially challenged (the hearing loss ~ eh, not the worst thing in life)  but if I have to have something I guess the Lord knew which afflictions I could bear and I ended up with the right ones for me.  Anyway, now that you have an idea why I talk about it instead of sweeping it under the rug let's move on.  I went to the psychiatrist today.  She doubled my antidepressant.  I knew she would up it.  That is how it works.  You start on a low dose. See if you can tolerate it.  See if you have any ugly side effects.  See if there is a glimmer of hope that it is doing something to balance your crazy brain chemicals.  If it looks promising then you increase the dose and come back in 6 weeks.  During that time you just see what happens next.  Maybe it seems to be helping.  Maybe something happens that shows you it is not.  Maybe you start having a side effect.  Which is worse, the side effect or the state you were in before you started taking it.  Maybe you bump up the dose again. Maybe an additional drug will help.  Maybe the additional drug adds a side effect. Maybe you just need to bump up the additional drug.   Maybe you need to wean off of the drugs by lowering the dosages over a period of time and start over on a totally different one. Or a totally different combination of drugs.  Try each thing for 6 weeks, 6 weeks or more for each different dosage.  You can see how it can take a very.long.time to find the right combination that works for you. Then the question is --- is this enough? Am I functioning enough? Am I teetering on the edge?  Am I just dangling over the depression hell hole or back a few feet?  Am I as fragile as a cracked china teacup? Shall I chuck it all and try to do without drugs?  Shall I spend another 36 weeks graduating up to a full dose and then weaning off another drug after it doesn't work just on the chance it might work better?  There is a side effect to every single drug,  more likely a long list.  Can I tolerate the side effects? Are they going to kill me? Some people can do without drugs.  Some people just think they can do without drugs.  This year when I could no longer afford insurance I tried to go without drugs and it took a very short time for it to be obvious to everyone that I needed some medication, and soon.  Boy, I am just grateful that I live in a time when there is medication to try.  And am I angry that I have these trials? No. Sad? sometimes yes. Scared? sometimes, not often. Tired of it? always.  The symptoms of two of my 4 problems are (the ones i experience on a pretty constant basis are in red:
A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed or dysphoric mood that usually interferes with daily functioning, and includes at least 5 of the following 9 symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, or a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.  They left out inability to make a decision and impaired judgement.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is defined by the DSM-IV as excessive anxiety and worry, present more days than not, for at least 6 months. The excessive anxiety and worry must be difficult to control and must cause significant distress or impairment in normal functioning. It must be associated with at least 3 of the following 6 symptoms: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, and/or sleep disturbance. This description failed to mention the panic attack feeling of smothering, having a heart attack or the rush of adrenilin.  I have a panic attack every time I go to the psychiatrist and it took 4 hours after I got home for my heart to stop feeling like it would beat out of my chest.
Throw in the problems I have with underactive thyroid, agoraphobia, an occasional spell of mania, hearing loss and I sometimes wonder how I was able to work for 20 years, raise 4 good kids by myself, or have any ability to function left at all. :) Oh, the psych. said get to a Dr...the constantly freezing, covered in goosebumps while under a pile of blankets thing I have been experiencing for 3 weeks or so means my thyroid medicine is not working.  Oh joy, another dr visit in my future....but if this doubling of my antidepressant and getting my thyroid medication increased works in 6 weeks or so maybe I will be a new woman...just about the time the 2 year anniversary of when I had my breakdown and hospitalization rolls around.  Please pray and stay tuned.  :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thoughts on entries in this article....

High winds cause damage Amarillo Globe-News       <------ click here to read the article and see the photos.  The kennel I wrote about yesterday that burned last Feb .... the owners are rebuilding in the same location. In yesterday's windstorm what had been rebuilt was damaged (there is a photo). They must feel like they can't win for losing.  RE: the gentleman parking his truck on top of his blown off metal roof ... that was a pretty good idea to keep it from blowing further and hurting someone.  See, I told you 18 wheeler tractor-trailer trucks get blown over here....this is the first one for 2012.  I am not a fan of camping so I don't really understand that desire anyway but really....a large wildfire was finally put out Saturday night, and then Sunday when it flared back up people that were camping close by had to be evacuated .... why on earth would you be camping there?  I mean, firetrucks were there all day Sunday to put out the hot spots.  The wind was blowing, and someone wanted to be in tent or camper close by???  Tip to people driving through here---if you see a duststorm like you can see in the distance behind the picture of the yellow mustang----don't drive into it.  I am glad no one was injured in the resulting pile-up.  Sometimes you just get caught up in it when the storm just suddenly hits and you can't avoid it as I am sure must have been what happened.  Last week we had a different wildfire causing alot of smoke to blow over a section of highway and caused a 16 car pile-up due to the dense smoke.  Having asthma I am always concerned with breathing conditions.  I felt for those poor people in the wreck----if the smoke was so thick you couldn't see can you imagine being stuck there in a wrecked car and trying to breath until rescue people could get you out?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Books, Cheesecake, Weather, Home ....what I'm thinking about tonight

Since I often forget the title of books I have read I have started a page to list titles as I read them.  Over there on the right, WHAT I READ IN 2012.   I formerly had a page of things I had read but it was alphabetical and I wanted to do this one by the month to remind me how well I am doing.  A few months ago I did not have enough concentration and comprehension abilities to read anything at all and this month I have read 11 books so far.  Thank the Lord! Reading is what I do and when I can't I get really stressed out.  Maybe that trial is over, although the ability to read has come and gone and come and gone several times over the past 2 years.  Anyway, back to the new list ... if you look at it, see a title you are familiar with, and think you know of something similar I might like feel free to let me know.  There is a comment box there, but we all know how infrequently you are able to actually leave a comment on this blog so we will see how that works out.   
      Thinking of the problems with leaving or reading comments here...my friend was tickled by the college professor story a few posts back.  You might have thought that professor taught some kind of math.  No.  Psychology. 
      The wildfire from Saturday...mostly out except for some hot spots as of 10 p.m. Sunday.  The winds have died down and now the weatherman is saying 60 degrees with light winds for a very nice Monday and then a couple of inches of snow for us on Tuesday.  If you don't like the weather here just wait a day or two...
       I am not really familiar with http://www.pinterest.com/  My niece suggested it.  I went to the site and "requested an invite" ... don't ask because I don't know .... and now I am on a waiting list.  Oh..kayyy   Anyway, the day she suggested it I looked at the page and there was a photo of fresh strawberries that had been hollowed out and stuffed with what looked to me like Jell-o Cheesecake mixture and then topped with some crushed graham cracker crumbs.  I couldn't figure out how to see the recipe so I am guessing.  Maybe someone will explain pinterest to me.  Anywayyyy, I thought man, wouldn't it be really good to then dip that strawberry in a little bit of chocolate??  Cheesecake. Yum!  I think it is my favorite dessert.
      Dreaming, as in daydreaming.  I know I am so fortunate to have this 1000 sq ft single wide trailer house.  There was a time when I didn't have any home of my own so I do know how fortunate I am.  I expect this to be the last place I ever live.  Good Lord willing, and the SS check still coming to make the payment.   What I really want tho, is a 399 sq ft home.  Yep, 399 sq ft.  I spent the night in one in Ruidoso, NM.  I looked inside one at an RV place in Albuquerque, NM.  They are the cutest little things, called a "park model home" (google all 3 words).  Could not possibly cost much to heat and cool them.  I have been to websites many times, just looking.  They send me email advertisements all the time.  I think they would be perfect for a single, minimalist-thinking grandma.   I mean, how many "things" do I need?  Not many.  My closet is mostly empty. I have one pair of jeans, 2 pairs of sweatpants, 2 pair of yoga pants, a handful of t-shirts, 2 blouses, 2 sweaters, 2 sweatshirt jackets, 2 coats and I am perfectly happy.  I gave away all my "work" clothes and "church" dresses.  When I finish losing weight and/or get a job again I will have to get some but right now I am just fine.    I have one pair of Crocs, one pair of boots, 2 pairs of Skechers and my sister is bringing me 2 more pair of Skechers that she doesn't like so I have a lot of shoes!  But my weakness?  New socks.  I love new socks.  I have lots.  Cloth napkins.  I have, I think, 48.  Pens and pencils?  Oh, I love pens and pencils (I have more than the local office supply store.  not really, but close) "Iced tea" size glasses?  I have 20.  Seriously, what on earth am I doing with 20 glasses? I just have a weakness for glasses.  I have 2 hand blown glasses Trey gave me, 12 clear ones from Walmart that have circles embedded in them (reminds me of white dotted Swiss, my favorite kind of curtain fabric) and 6 McDonald's Coca-Cola glasses (glass in the shades of green, blue and 1 purple one.)  I love them.  They remind me of when I was a little girl and getting a Coke at the drugstore.  Sands-Dorsey Drug Store no longer exists but it was an old time-y drug store with a soda fountain counter and wooden booths with red leather upholstery in the back corner.  If you were getting a prescription filled they would give you a coupon for a free Coke.  I had a sore throat requiring penicillin fairly often and that was the biggest treat...to get that free coke.  I don't remember getting one any other time.  It was served in a green Coca-Cola glass shaped just like the ones I have now except it held maybe 6 ounces, maybe.---even as a little girl I remember the glass being small.  But anyway, back to my "dream home" .... isn't this just the cutest little thing??? Except the roof needs to be forest green metal, to look like Lincoln Logs. Or are their roofs bright red?  It has been a while since I've seen Lincoln Log Toys but I am sure this is not it.

Evidently, from what I saw in the paper today I am not the norm.  LOL!  When have I EVER been the norm????  In today's paper a home builder here had about 6 floor plans in the paper for a new development, 3 & 4 bedroom homes, nice but not "over the top," just a typical nice house except they all had 4 car garages.  4 car garages!  WOW!  Maybe I should dream bigger.  I mean, even I could park a car in a 4 car garage without hitting something.  AND since I only have one car there would be room to actually open the car doors. 

Blowin' in the Wind

Wind damage across our area - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports  <--link of pictures of things that blew around today.  I just saw on the news that we had wind gusts up to 67 mph.  Pretty windy.  The wind knocked out electricity at my house and 1,500 others so I went to my daughter's home for a couple of hours.  We had a great time playing Yahtzee and eating chili dogs...me, my grandsons, my daughter and her boyfriend.

What a Wildfire Looks Like

Potter Co. crews battle wildfire at Canadian River - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports
The video shown in the link above was what the fire looked like last evening up towards the Canadian River.  Beautiful really, if it weren't so scary.  Today at 1 p.m. I saw several firetrucks and an ambulance going that way so I gather it is still burning.  I live near the edge of town half a block off the highway going towards the Canadian River (no, I am not any where near Canada, but in Texas) and this fire is probably 15 - 20 miles north of me....why I have a 72 hour kit for me and for the dogs.  Last year we had horrible wild fires that burned many homes in the rural areas around Amarillo, I think around 70 all together, and thousands of acres.  The fire in the video had burned over 1,000 acres yesterday evening.   One of the worst tragedies last Feb. was that a large kennel about 8 miles from me was destroyed by a wildfire.  Rescue personel tried to save the animals but at least 20 were lost in the fire.  As the fire was burning the building they opened the kennel doors to let the pets escape and a police officer carried out pets and filled his car with dogs but finally the fire overtook them and the rescuers had to get out before they could save all the dogs and cats.

Donut Stop ~ Amarillo's Best Donuts

Regular chocolate covered donuts and then 2 of the
scrawnier chocolate chip cake donuts....both delicious!
Yet again I have spent most of the day (Saturday) under at least one blanket, or 3, still pestered by the shivers for some reason.  My sister and I have decided it is most likely my faulty thyroid.  Monday I will see the psychiatrist and ask if she thinks it could be a side effect of the new med and if not I will get my thyroid level checked and that med adjusted.   Evidently, especially for January, it was a beautiful day outside and I am the only one who is freezing.  I got out of bed several times and got on the computer, made hot green tea, threw in a load of laundry, watched the news (The wind thinks spring is already here and is blowing as such. The weatherman actually said something to the effect that wind gusts were only 49 mph today and any day it is under 50 mph is a good day here). I finally took Gracie to be groomed and while I was out I stopped at our local donut store and got a dozen donuts.  Like I need a donut (and for some reason this month I have thought it was ok to spend money...good grief).  Both my daughters and my grandsons were suppose to be here today (but only one daughter made it) so I needed donuts for my grandsons.  That's my story.  Since I spent the majority of the day in bed under blankets my oldest daughter and my grandsons didn't come. Sigh.  Me. Casey. A dozen donuts.  Amazingly enough, we each only ate two.  Casey and I both read a series of cozy mysteries recently in which the main character owns a bakery.  That started the donut cravings for both of us.  On the way to babysit every morning I hear the donut store's commercials and see their billboards.  They have a contest.....dream up a new flavor of donut and if they start producing it you get a free donut each week for life, or some such thing.  Well, they have been advertising a chocolate covered yellow cake donut with chocolate chips a little boy suggested.  Then I read a book and the main character seemed to be going and buying a donut on every other page.   The dog groomer's shop is only a few blocks from one of the donut stores so I couldn't resist.  Yes, it was a pretty good donut, that chocolate covered chocolate chip donut, but not nearly as good as the raspberry filled donut I ate first!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Love These Things!

Paula Deen and I....we need to change our diets....but I suspect we are stuck in our ways.  .I love ice cream and often eat a bowl before I go to bed.  I know, full of fat, but life is short.  However, I have tried to cut down and started eating these things every evening.  LOVE them!   They are really good.  I can just imagine how refreshing they will be this summer when it is 100 degrees.  I have tried peach and strawberry.  I got them on sale, 2 boxes for $4, making each one 33 cents.  Well, who says you can't get much for 33 cents and 70 calories.  These are wonderful!  I'm thinking I could probably make my own but I don't think I could make them any cheaper.  Do you have a recipe for fruit bars or have you tried other flavors?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Picky, Picky, Picky

My daughter came home from her first day of one of her college classes today and told me the instructor told the class "I will give you my cell phone number in case you need to get in touch with me but please, do not call me at 3 in the morning, drunk, and ask me to help you balance your checkbook.  That happened last semester." 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slept Thru The Weekend

I accomplished 6 things since 5 pm Fri (this is 1 a.m. Tuesday)  I read a cozy mystery, As the Pig Turns by M. C. Beaton, when the wind died down to a dull roar I went outside and picked up dog poop,  I cooked a roast in the crock pot, cleaned the bathroom, picked up & vacuumed the living room, and I slept, and slept and slept.  The wind has blown like crazy all weekend, gusts up to 60 mph---when it blows and blows ---I just checked and it is blowing 24 mph now---it gets very weary---and I don't even have to be out in it.  I am up now because the wind was howling, woke up Zoe who started barking and woke me up.  She is now snoring next to me and I am not.  When it is so windy it often pushes me into the depression hell hole.  Does my daughter as well. Something about the barometric pressure changes.  When I am in the depression hell hole I just want to sleep, like 12 hours, get up for 3 or so and go back to bed for another 8.   In addition, I have something else going on.  I just am so cold I shiver off and on throughout the day.  My daughter wants me to go to a Dr but 1) I can't afford it and 2) I don't think they would have a clue as to what is wrong with me.  I have always told people I only had one hot flash... it started in 1999 and hasn't stopped yet.  Well, now I can say it stopped.  I have always kept my thermostat between 66 & 68 in the winter and been nice and cozy at that temperature.   (When the kids lived at home that was a little chilly for them but I would tell them the blankets are paid for, the heat is not, so wrap up in a blanket)  The past two weeks I have bumped it up to 70 (even though today it was 69 outside) and I am freezing.  I have spent more hours than not this weekend in bed, under a heavy blanket and even heavier comforter and still have spells where I just shiver.  My daughter and her beagle were here Sat. and I was asleep under 3 blankets on the couch and started shivering so violently in my sleep she said her beagle jumped up next to me to see what I was doing.    Both of my daughters came for lunch today and I while they were here I just had to go to bed and burrow under the covers shivering. I think I have just caught a bug of some kind.  Casey wonders if I am anemic since being cold is so odd for me but I don't think so.  I would imagine if anything it is that my thyroid medication is all wrong again. Actually I am thinking this just comes under the heading of "it's always something" and hoping it goes away soon.  Next Monday I get to see the psychiatrist again and I know she will bump up my dosage of antidepressant.  Hallelujah!  Will not come a moment too soon.    I will ask her if it could be a side effect of the medication I am on, but since it didn't start until after I had been on the medication for 2 months that doesn't make any sense.    When you have major depressive disorder, my diagnosis, other than bi-polar because I have bouts of mania as well, along with anxiety and agoraphobia (yeah, I hit the mental health jackpot and got more than one)  your brain chemicals are just all messed up.  Exercise can help by releasing the feel good hormones but sometimes that is not enough, or while in the depression hell hole, coming up with the energy to exercise enough for it to work is just impossible.  When I first started seeing a psychiatrist decades ago it took probably 2 years to find a combination of drugs that worked for me, and then to fine tune the dosage.  Then those drugs stopped working and we had to do it all over again.  That is how it is for just about everyone I have ever met (like at support groups) that has serious depression...every one is different and what works for one person won't for someone else.  There is not a test to tell you what you need, it is just trial and error over and extended period of time.  For adults some drugs take 6 weeks to get in your system enough that you can see what they are going to do and you have to start at low dosages and work your way up---it is not an easy thing to treat. I took that same combination for oh, I am guessing 10 years at least, until in late 2009 it just stopped working for me. That happens.  I never missed a dose but I got so sick, so suicidal, I was afraid of myself and eventually got to the point where I could not stop crying, thus my hospitalization.  That has been 21 months ago and we having been trying to find a different drug or drug combination to get me back to being a functioning human again.  I hate it.  This newest drug, I started November 1st, stopped the continual bawling over anything that evoked the slightest emotion in me but as far as helping me out of the depression hell hole... well, not yet... just sort of holding my head above water.  I am hoping my Dr will increase the dosage and that will do it.  I think this is the 3rd drug/drug combo we have tried since I got out of the hospital.  My daughter has tried every drug out there for a mood stabilizer, antidepressant, anxiety and either she has taken them to the point they no longer work or they don't work to begin with.  Her psychiatrist has told her there is nothing else he can try so she is on a drug that helps the best (not much).  That is scary. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

And They Call The Wind Maria...

             In case you are not as old as me you probably don't know why the wind would be called Maria and you wouldn't know that is is pronounced Ma-ri-ah... so here .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Call_the_Wind_Maria   Where I live the wind blows all the time.  All the time.  I mean when the wind does not blow at least a little bit it is news and the weatherman points it out saying LOOK at our wind speed folks! Zero!  The weather is on as I type and the weatherman just said we are having gusts up to 60 mph.  That would be windy, folks!  It blew like that all night long and all yesterday. When my kids were in their early teens we went to Durango, CO to ride the train.... I guess this is going to be a post of links so here is another one... http://www.durangotrain.com/  anyway, the kids and I rode the train at Durango...one of the top ten days of my life!  We had sooo much fun!  When we drove into Durango and stopped at the hotel we were getting luggage out of the rented van when Trey said (seriously..and a little hesitant) "Mom, something is weird."  We all looked at him and he said look at that flag---it isn't moving.  Here were the five of us, standing in a parking lot, looking around and weirded out that there was NO WIND.  A totally new experience for us.  I have lived where the wind blows like a hurricane all my life so wind doesn't bother me too much, unless I have to drive on the highway---it makes your arms hurt just trying to keep your car in your lane. (every year at least one semi gets blown over on it's side here on I-40.  yep..seriously)  One of my earliest memories is as a little bitty girl walking home from probably 1st grade and the sand blowing so hard my arms and legs were covered in welts when I got home.  Back in the dark ages girls had to wear dresses to public school (I was a Jr in high school before we could wear pants to school....Lordy, that was a different time than now)  John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich grew up here in Amarillo.  A while back he was on whatever reality TV show Donald Trump has....I didn't watch because Donald Trump creeps me out....but someone asked Mr. Rich if Donald Trump intimidated him.  He said something to the effect of heck no! I don't scare easy! I grew up in a double wide in Tornado Alley!  Well, I live in a single wide in Tornado Alley and normally don't pay much attention to the wind.  Last night about 1 a.m. though the wind was sounding pretty ferocious so I got up and got my car keys, my purse, cell phone, Crocs, and the dogs' 72 hour kit and put by the bed just in case.  Your dogs don't have a 72 hour kit????? Look over there on the right and find my list of labels.  Click on "emergency" and look at the second entry that will pop up...my dogs' backpack.  Your pets need one.  Well, I didn't blow away.  While I was laying in bed though I thought about this time at the library when we had a microburst. Here is another link in case you don't have microbursts where you live.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microburst  I don't remember what the weather was doing that day, just a normal day I think but someone came in the library and said our car windows were broken.  I worked at the main library downtown, a large 3 floor building and I worked on the second floor.  We walked down the hall to the front of the building to look out a window and I have never felt such an eerie feeling....out in the parking lot all 30 or 40 cars had at least one busted window....front windshield, or back depending on the direction you were parked.  A few unlucky people had both broken.  I don't mean just cracked, I mean my back windshield was completely blown out and the pieces crammed in my air conditioner vents in the front dash.  Everyone's was like that, along with most of our side mirrors.   It was just unbelievable!  My boss and I went out there and the wind wasn't blowing at all!  It was eerie quiet.  We wondered if a gang of kids had come through with baseball bats....no, someone would have seen them before they were able to strike every single vehicle.  It was just unreal.  The police and the news reporters came and told us it was a microburst.  Of the parking lots downtown we were almost the only one to sustain any damage.    When the wind is blowing hard I also think about the time it blew my fence down.  The wind blowing down sections of 6 ft solid wood fencing is a common occurance here.  I was home on sick leave having just had a hysterectomy when the wind blew a section of my fence down right on top of my little girl schnauzer, Maggie.  I went out there and lifted that section of fence off my dog.  I have to tell you, a section of solid pine fence weighs quite a bit, especially when you have to pick it up in a strong wind, by yourself, and you have just had surgery.  Why would she have been out in a strong wind like that??? Well, because the wind blows all the time!  When you have got to go, you have got to go and you can't wait for the wind to stop!

Friday, January 13, 2012


  All bloggers treasure comments.  One of my blogger friends told me she has made at least 5 attempts this week and the comments box just freezes up and won't let her.  Another friend was successful in leaving one but when I tried to post a reply to the comment it would not let me.  Dang comment box!   My friend asked why I didn't think I would live long enough to see my 1 year old granddaughter become an adult.  She was born when I was 56 so I will be 80 when she is 24.  LOL! Personally, I plan to live to be a robust, healthy 100 but you just never know.  My favorite aunt died when she was 54 of cancer.  I guess I have always thought every day past 54 has been a bonus.  My mom died in her early 70's.  Her mom died as a middle aged woman from cancer.  I never would have guessed my friend is in her 70's...I thought she was my age.  People are "younger" than they use to be I believe! :)  But then, inside, I still feel maybe 35. Now, my body doesn't always feel 35!!!

Fast Food

   I should never have made those resolutions! I just jinxed myself I think.  Today my granddaughter and I were having such a good day and then she tripped over the wooden blocks she had thrown all over the playroom.  She was a sleepy, tired 13 month old who had missed her morning nap and then she tripped and face-planted right in the middle of the blocks.  She suffered a cut on her cheek....her very first bleeding boo-boo ever, and another red mark over her eyebrow.  I imagine by tomorrow she will have a black eye!  It was barely a scratch but it bled a little and her whole little cheek and forehead was red.  She just cried for a minute.  It probably hurt me more than it did her.  I was so upset that she got hurt on my watch that I went to Sonic on the way home and got a hamburger, tator tots, a Dr Pepper AND a chocolate shake!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Besides Kohls, I Also Love Shutterfly---I got a present from them too!

     I store thousands of photos on Shutterfly.  Throughout the year they send me free prints, special offers and the like.  Right after my granddaughter's first birthday I ordered a photo book from Shutterfly.  I had been working on it all year .. photos of my granddaughter from birth up until her birthday party.  Her birthday is in November and I knew they would have sales for Christmas.  I was able to order it at half price AND with free shipping!  For me, it was expensive but definitely the best money I have spent lately.  I know I probably won't live long enough to see her as an adult and I want her to know how much I loved her and how much fun we had together.  I have already started working on the next book.   Today, because I ordered that book (the only thing I have purchased in a couple of years) they sent me a code to get $20 off of anything I wanted to order.  I don't really need prints or anything else.  I like their photo calendars so I am going to make a photo calendar for myself.  I already bought my Mary Engelbreit calendar for this year and I thought about not using the $20 code because a calendar not on sale would still cost me $8 between the extra cost and shipping & handling.  Living on SS disability means I really need to be careful about money ... and  have got to learn to do a whole lot better.... but I decided I would go ahead and do it... that is 8 Dr Peppers from the convenience store that I don't need to drink anyway.  THANK YOU, Shutterfly!

Just Do It

Remember at the end of my post a day or two ago that started of with magazines I said tell someone you love them because you just never know.  That message is coming at me from all sides lately.  This is something my sister saw somewhere today...
Love the people God gave you because He will need them back one day.

You've Got Mail!

This is my mailbox.  Just a plain, old metal mailbox that doesn't lock or anything.  It is across the street from my house because for some reason the mail truck doesn't stop on this side of the street.  It is one of the disadvantages of living out here.  I like the locking regulation post office neighborhood boxes but they aren't available out here.  I always worry that someone will just take my mail, not that I ever get anything except junk mail and occasionally my magazines. The weeks before Christmas 3 women were doing just that...stealing mail, except they were following delivery trucks and picking up packages left on porches mostly, although they were taking mail as well.  They were targeting a wealthier part of town than my area.  Every year or two some crazy teenagers or demented person decides to put pipe bombs in mailboxes here.  Since I live on a rural road off a major highway I sometimes worry about things like that.  Today when I went to the mailbox and opened it this is what I saw...roughly the same size as the interior of my mail box.  A white styrofoam box wedged in there, resembling the thing I put over my outside faucets to keep them from freezing.
 I was a little alarmed since I have not ordered anything in months.  I couldn't see a label of any kind ... just white styrofoam and box tape was visible.  I worried for about half a second then stuck my hand in there and pulled it out.  LOL! The week after Christmas I took my grandkids to Portrait Innovations to have their picture made.  With a coupon you got 40 pictures plus a mug with the photo on it for $9.99.  The photos were available immediately but the mug had to be mailed to you. I had totally forgotten about the mug. Yep! A mug, not a mail box bomb!  I am going to put in in my "presents" box and save for my grandsons to give their mom at Mother's Day(My daughter doesn't read my blog.)
Do you have a "presents" box...you know, where you pick up things on clearance or whatever throughout the year and save for someone's birthday or something? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday 01.11.12

   Today I received an issue of New Mexico Magazine in the mail today.  I just love opening the mailbox and finding a magazine.  You never know when they are coming so it is just a nice surprise!    

   And seed catalogs.  They are starting to arrive too!  After last summer's horrible heat and drought I decided I would not even attempt a garden this year...or flower beds.  Definitely not roses.  Grass, I wish. I talked to a landscaping contractor who told me he would give me an estimate on sodding the yard again but really, he suggested I wait another year.  He says "they" expect this coming summer to be as hot and dry as last year...which was the worst in history....Lordy, that 100+ weather all summer, no rain and hot wind just about killed everything... and if that happens rationing or abolishing watering of lawns will be a given since we were only allowed to water on specific days last year...and any newly sodded lawn not watered at least 4 times a day every day in our heat will just die.    Well, we will just blow up and dry away.  But oh, those seed catalogs are so gorgeous! 

      Well hot dog!  I got something done off my resolutions list!  I bathed the dogs last night.  They are so good.  Haven't gotten poor Gracie groomed yet.  Becky called while I was bathing dogs and fussed at me because Gracie hasn't been groomed but the weatherman keeps threatening snow.  This is the longest Gracie has gone between groomings but she is so cold natured.  For a treat after their bath they got to share a  tamale.  That wasn't really intentional...I had planned on giving them a dog cookie but I had warmed myself up some tamales for dinner and dropped one so they got it instead.  They liked it and thought the rest of the tamales ought to be for them too.  Why do I drop everything??? I don't know...I just drop things...I am talented that way.   
   And now, I have some burning, important questions:  (and no, I really don't expect anyone to answer)
  • On David Letterman at the beginning of the show when it looks like David running across the stage? Are we suppose to believe that is him? 
  • In the lost and found column of the Amarillo Sunday paper there are always lots and lots of lost dogs. Does it strike anyone else as maybe a clue that every single one of them list the dog's description followed by "no collar"?
  • Why are caucuses in Iowa and New Hampshire of such importance?  Is it just me or do you think the residents of those states really represent the majority of the spectrum of voters? Clearly % of black, Hispanic, Asian, anyone-but-white-voters alone is probably limited. But then, politics makes me twitch anyway.
  • Do you personally know anyone who ever won Publishers Clearing House?
  • If Discover, American Express, etc saved the paper, administrative and postage costs of all the "you are pre-qualified for" ads they send out each week and instead donated that money to food banks how many hungry people could they feed? Because if someone wants a credit card they are going to apply all by themselves.
And on a sad note, the high school principal out here in my area just passed away yesterday in hospice.  She was only 45.  She had knee surgery two weeks ago and 2 days later developed a blood clot in her lung.  You just never know when your last day is so go tell someone you love them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some People Just Walk In Their Sleep

I amuse me!  Last night I was eager to try my new aloe vera socks.  My sister told me to wear them to bed and I would wake up with softer feet.  I went to bed with the socks on my feet and woke up with one sock on a foot and the other sock on my hand.  I guess in my sleep I was thinking about what dry skin I have on my hands.

Monday, January 9, 2012

LOL! Casey has the funniest dog! Andy is a beagle with an under bite. Not long ago while stopped at a red light the lady in the car next to Casey looked like she was about to wet her pants laughing so hard at Andy and his smile. We think he looks like an old grandpa that pushes his dentures out of his mouth. I took this when he spent the night with us on Saturday.  That is Zoe sound asleep behind him. What's that you say? Your dogs don't have sleep-overs???  

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday is at the end of the month but my sister, who lives in New Mexico, was coming this way to shop and go to the Dr....there isn't much in the way of shopping or specialists in the little town where she lives....and she brought me a present.  Of course I opened it right then...told her I may not live til the 30th...you never can tell!   If I had thought about it I would have taken her picture.  I met her at PetSmart because I live way north of town.  She gave me a New Mexico birthday along with this note....
  • a NM mug because you and New Mexico have a birthday this month.  The state is 100 this month and I will be 58.  I am only 42 years younger than the state in which I was born??? Gee, I feel old.
  • Hot Chocolate because you spill yours and need some more (LOL! Got that right!  I have hot chocolate every night when I go to bed and some times in the mornings.  A while back I was having some on a cold morning and dropped the full mug in the middle of my living room carpet.  I'm just naturally clumsy)
  • Biscochitos because they are the New Mexico state cookie and I personally love them.  I have never had these before.  I haven't lived in New Mexico since about 1987.  Oh my goodness, are these GOOD cookies.  I have never met a cookie I didn't like but these are extra good.
  • Socks because I like the way these feel and I was told you are suppose to sleep in them to make your feet soft.  They are aloe vera socks.  Every time I run across them at Kohls, Walmart, etc I feel these socks and think about buying them but I never have.  I have wanted some for a long time...now I have some!!! They feel wonderful.
  • Book because I really enjoyed reading this book written by a Tucumcari native and about a place in Quay County.  My sister and I grew up in Tucumcari, Quay County, NM.  I haven't had a chance to read this yet....I just got home, but it is about Puerto Canyon.  I don't know a thing about Puerto Canyon but I will by bedtime.
  • Lotion because I love this lotion. Well this is cool!  It is a lotion bar like a small bar of soap.  You rub it on your hands, then rub you hands together and it makes you skin feel really nice.  A woman in Tucumcari makes them.  You can purchase a bar at the museum in Tucumcari.I was hoping she had a web address I could list here but there wasn"t one on the label. 
Thank you, big sister!  I love all of it.  I have already eaten several cookies....I love cookies!  I googled "biscochitos" and found this recipe-----http://newmexico.org/cuisine/recipes/biscochitos.php

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BMI !!!!

Well, guess what?!?  For the first time in the ooh, 20 years or so that I have known what a BMI was, my BMI is NOT in the 30's.  My daughter and I got on the Wii today.........first time in a long time, I am so bad.....but anyway, after the weight I have lost this fall my BMI has gone down to 29!  It has never been out of the 30's before!  Of course the Wii told me a better BMI for me would be 22 but hey, for today I will take a 29.  And the Wii no longer considers me obese!  Yeah!  Give me 6 more months and maybe it will be closer to 22.  Meanwhile, I am going to dig out my walking poles, pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day.  I guess that will be resolution # 16.  If the weather would just cooperate Taylor would love a 10,000 step walk in the stroller. 

Adding One More

My sister and I agreed to make resolutions and then report in each Sunday on how well we did.  Actually the resolutions were her idea and the reporting in was mine because I know how well I do on my own so I thought having to be accountable would help.....sort of like knowing you are going to have to weigh in at Weight Watchers (and that is why their program works).  She was perfect and I totally blew it....LOL! the lifelong story of our lives.  She works, I don't yet she found time to do all those things and I know what my problem is so I am adding resolution #15...limit my time on the computer.  I waste more dadgum time on this computer.  Mahjongg...I can play it for hours.  I think I will limit myself to 6 games.  Farkle 6.  Check my email, once a day.  Read useless info...try to just stop altogether (do I really need to know the identity of the body found on the Queen's estate over Christmas? or how many articles like  "7 Steps to Dealing With Clutter" do I need to read when what I really need to do is just get up and put a box a cereal in the cabinet and pick up the next thing)

Reporting In, and Adding To My Resolutions

How did I do this week? Terrible!  I blew it on every single resolution.  Since I did so well (Ha!) with a dozen I am going to add two more items. 
13. Make a weekly menu so I know what I am suppose to eat, not let myself buy any fast food because I know I have something at home and prepare ahead what I can so I grab a plastic container of carrots instead of a handful of cinnamon gum drops (but I did get them after Christmas for 75% off and I love them)
14. Organize my photos weekly online.  I seldom ever print a photo any more, I just pull them up and look at them on the computer but it sure is hard and time consuming when I go to look for them.  I am going to make folders for granddaughter, grandsons, a folder for each of my children, dogs, home & garden, and others as required.  That way when I want a photo of my dog Gracie I won't have to look through 9,000 pics of my kids and grandkids hoping I come across it.  I take a lot of digital photos.  I have something like 9,000 stored on Shutterfly.  When I want a particular photo that I remember it takes forever to try to guess when I would have taken it and then find it.  I am also going to weekly make sure I have my favorites saved on a disc, flashdrive or on Shutterfly. You do know NOT to only keep your photos on your computer because it WILL crash and when it does those photos will be forever gone, right?
  This week I way overdid it on Dr Pepper but at the same time I did make an effort to see that I drank alot of water as well.     

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Love Kohls

Dear, dear Kohl's....how do I love thee, let me count the ways.  You send me 10, 15 or 30 % coupons all the time.  You give me Kohl's bucks if I spend money at your store.  You have wonderful clearance sales (recently I got the cutest little jeans and denim shorts for my granddaughter for ONE DOLLAR) And since my birthday is coming up you sent me a $10 gift card.  I took it and a 15% off coupon and went shopping today.  I intended to buy a Playtex bra, $30 on sale for $14.99...with my 15% off coupon making it a little over $12...what a deal!  I like to get clothes at Goodwill and the Downtown Women's Center Thrift Store, but not some things, like bras and shoes. Anyway, with tax my bra would have been $13.79 but I had the $10 gift card so....$3.79!!!!! Wonderful! And since it has been years since I bought a new bra I really needed one.  But, being a crazy person, did I stop with my $4 bra? Nooooo, Kohl's knows they can lure me in with a gift card and coupon and a charge card and I will see something else I just have to have.  You know what? It is OK.  I don't have a husband to buy me gifts so I have to do it for myself and I need pampering every now and again.  I never buy alcohol.  I never buy drugs.  I never go on a trip. I never go to a movie theater. I never go to a play. or concert. or anything fun that I can think of. I don't buy lots of clothes, junk, stuff for my house. I don't buy books (but my library card is continually in use).  I don't waste gas money going on rides around the panhandle & over to New Mexico that I would love to do. My daughter cut my hair for me for my Christmas present from her.  She cut off 3 inches.  I haven't had a haircut since June of 2010 so obviously I am not spending money on hairstyles, makeup, mani/pedis/spas/massages, waxing (altho I wish my eyebrows would just all fall out--hate'm).  If I see something I want at Kohl's it is one of the few things I allow myself and for which I don't feel a bit guilty over.  So, what else did I get? 

no, I don't have a new dog. My grand-dog, Andy, is spending the night
Well, if you are familiar with Kohl's you know they have books and stuffed animals right at the registers and the proceeds goes to a children's charity.  The stuffed animals and the books are $5.00 each.  A hardback book for $5 is a darn good deal and I think books are the only presents just about that I will give to kids so I got Taylor a book and a bear.  I am going to put them in a plastic box to keep them dust free and clean and save for probably her 4th birthday. I have several books that I have put back for her when she is older.  Until then I am buying her cardboard page books that do not tear. 

So far I have bought her 27 cardboard page books.  We read books every day and she looks at them throughout the day too.  A major book chain here sells used books at a greatly discounted price.  They have a black marker line over the top of the pages and a peel off "used book" sticker so you can identify which ones are "used."  Some are obviously used books but I only buy the ones that look absolutely brand new and for a couple of bucks.  I don't know why the ones that look brand new are marked used unless they are some they have purchased from another store's inventory or something.  After working in a library for 20 years I know what a book looks like that has been used, even a little.  I picked up several lift the flap books for Taylor that the flaps were still stuck down, never have been lifted.   Anyway, as I see what new books Kohl's has out for the month I pick one up and stick back for Taylor when she is older since they are always regular hardback picture books.  I don't always get the stuffed animal, cute as they always are.  A kid needs only so many stuffed animals so, hard as it is, I resist most of the time.  And I don't get a book every month.  I try to stay away from Kohl's, Target, the mall so I am not tempted to buy something but if I am there I check to see what books they have.  I resisted the ones they had in December although they had several wonderful books.  I just closed my eyes and gritted my teeth and passed them by.   Today, the bear spoke to me and I got one, along with the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?   It has also become aware to me that I really need a larger purse.  I need to carry a few more things (my sister is laughing because she knows what I mean).  I love Kohl's purses.  I love fixing a new purse too.  I never, ever, ever would dream of paying retail for anything.  If it isn't on sale I don't get it because everything is eventually on sale. Plus I want a coupon that pays at least the sales tax and then some! :) I found a purse I absolutely LOVED.  First thing you need to know about me is that color is important. I need color in my life.  I am not a basic black type person.  Well, here was a purse, leather but sort of denim blue color, with an outside zipped pocket for my cell and another that my camera would fit in...two things I never leave home without....and about twice the size of my current little purse.  Loved it! The dadgum thing was $99.00.  I would not spend $99 on a purse for any occasion!!!  This particular line was on sale...buy one get one half price but that was not good enough for me....2 purses for the low, low price of $150???? Not me!!    I found another one I liked...$59 on sale for $29.50 plus I had that 15% off coupon so that brought it down to $25.  Still alot for me to spend on a purse but it's my birthday this month.  I spend more than that on a tank of gas that is gone in two weeks and I have nothing to show for it.  And it was purple! One of my favorite colors! Did I say I need color in my life? I really do.  A purple purse is just plum perfect!!!   Then, this is the really crazy purchase but my head gets cold when I am leaving my home at 6:50 a.m. to go take care of Taylor and it is below freezing outside and I have been thinking I am an old lady now, I can wear a hat if I dadgum want to.  I bought a hat.  Regular price was $38 on sale for $13.30 and with my coupon that brought it down to $11.31.  It is wool. It is warm. And it is red!!! No :( I do not belong to a red hat club. I wish I did.  Years ago when I first turned 50 I invited people to be in a chapter of the Red Hat Club with me but it didn't work out.  No one could ever get together at the same time other than a handful of get togethers.  I have always, always wanted to belong to a group of a few woman who all get along, are like minded, to be friends forever, to get together and go do something but just hasn't ever happened for me.  Oh well, I can wear a red hat if I want to.  My granddaughter will think it is awesome!
would you let this woman babysit your kids????

Dry Eyes

   Well, as I typed "dry eyes" I realized this post could be about two things.  A couple of years ago my optometrist told me I had the driest eyes he had ever seen.  I do have dry eyes and I just can not do eye drops.  My eyelids refuse to let that happen.  LOL!!! A couple of years ago when Zoe was a baby she chewed up my very expensive glasses. I am usually v.e.r.y. careful with my glasses but it was at the beginning of my downhill spiral into the big depression hell hole before D-day (my life seems to revolve around the person I was before I went to the mental hospital and the person I am afterwards.....they are quite a ways apart) anyway, that day I had fallen asleep on the couch reading a book and I suppose in my sleep I took my glasses off and they were in my lap or something but when I woke up the lens had been used as a means to cut Zoe's new teeth.  By the way,  Zoe is my blond dog, not a baby, although I refer to her and Gracie as "the girls" not "the dogs" usually.  Zoe is half schnauzer, half beagle (so I was told anyway) and one of the sweetest dogs I have ever had but definitely the most clueless. She just doesn't "get" anything, but she is sweet.  We think of her as being stuck at the late puppy stage and since she is now 2 and a half assume she will never move on to adult dog status.  She still has her "baby" run, her "baby" attitude about everything, she will just always be "the baby".  She loved Max and had a terrible time when he passed away.   When we brought his body home from the vet's after having him put down I took the body out of the box, sat on the swing outside and called the girls over to smell it.  I had been told if you let dogs smell a dead body they will understand that their friend has died.  Gracie got it.  Zoe did not.  She smelled poor Max's little limp body then proceeded to climb in the cardboard box he had been in ... like OH this is some new game, get in a box!!!!  For at least a week after Max passed away at bedtime when I would say "let's go to bed girls" Zoe would look straight into my eyes,  frantically bark at me like crazy like she was trying to tell me "Max is gone, we've got to find him and put him to bed" and run around obviously looking for Max. That made me bawl.   At night since Max was old and had trouble jumping on the bed our routine was we would all go in the bedroom and I would pick Max up & put him on the bed and the girls would let him get settled before they jumped up there, and Zoe could not figure out why we were going to bed without Max.   Anyway, back to dry eyes.....(which I now do not have because thinking of that made me cry...Max was just the best dog in the world and I loved him so very much)
Zoe and her "babies"
 My prescription is so strong that Eyemart Express, a big national chain, can not fill it.  I have to have the lens ordered, it takes 2 weeks and since I am pretty much unable to do much without them...like read or drive, my Dr suggested contacts.  I had old glasses but my prescription had changed enough that wearing the old ones gave me horrible headaches.  Hhmmm....contacts. Okay. Well, I tried.  There was no way on earth those were ever going to work.  I could not get them in.  I finally got them in at the Dr's office but once we got home I could never again get them in.  Casey tried and tried to help me.  She told me I had the strongest muscles in my eyelids...my eyelids are extremely good at their job of keeping anything out of my eyes!!! Especially contacts and eye drops. The past week my eyes have just been driving me crazy.  Very dry, itchy, achy, blurred vision.  And can't get eyedrops in them.   Last night on the news they said every one's allergies are going crazy here because of mold.  After the driest year on record since Amarillo began keeping stats suddenly in December we got MOISTURE, from the sky!  We had forgotten what that was like!  First snow in early December, then it rained all day one day and then 6 inches of snow on Christmas has resulted in alot of mold growth here.  For winter 2011/2012 so far Amarillo has had more snow than Buffalo, New York.  WHAT is up with THAT?? Anyway, while everyone here is glad for moisture of any kind for our parched yards our eyes, sinuses and noses don't know how to handle the mold.  Lord, we will live with itchy eyes and drippy noses, please keep sending the rain and snow.
     The other "dry eyes" is that I have not cried very much in the past week.  Just three times, two over Max ...which I think is normal, and once when I went to the mental health place on Thursday, not so normal.  As I went in the caseworker's office I saw her desk.  It is the exact same office desk my old boss at the library had.  Blond wood of some kind, L-shaped...not "looked sort of like it" but the exact same desk.  For 20 years I spent time at that desk...leaving messages, using his phone to call my kids, looking on it for things my boss had lost and needed right that minute.  Had a cry over seeing that desk.  Maybe that is not so abnormal ...I loved that job and my therapist used to tell me grief is just not for dead people and pets, but for things no longer a part of our lives, like jobs.  My grieving over it has toned way down because of the time I get to spend with my granddaughter.  Considering In November I was crying buckets over sad commercials (appeals for donations of coats for children without; Hallmark commercials, ASPCA commercials), Christmas carols, the thought of holidays coming, crying over anything that remotely evoked emotion of any kind in me I guess I can say I am doing much better.  Depression and anxiety are still too present though.  In two weeks I go back and I know my psychiatrist will increase my meds so I can cope even better.  Some day I am going to be able to have a part time job.  Lots of folks won't take antidepressants and I have no beef with them.  We each have to decide what is best for us.  When I quit taking them in the fall I was so in hopes that I could do without them but it was soon too painfully aware that I am not one of those folks that can do that.
     Weather man is on and he just said 2 inches of snow for tomorrow. I guess we will have more mold but that is okay! In the morning I am going to go out and scatter some fescue grass seed and see if maybe I can get it to come up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

LOL! My Grandsons Don't Understand Me Sometimes

A few posts back when I posted a photo of my dogs eating ice from the 32 oz Dr Pepper I dropped in the middle of my oyster white carpet???  The second I dropped it I did not run for a towel, scream ugly words, yell for the dogs to get away.....I quickly pulled my camera out of my purse which was still hanging over my shoulder and took a photo.  One of my grandsons looked at the carpet, looked at me and said "why are you taking a picture???"  I guess they thought a sensible woman would be dashing to clean it up.  I have 4 readers.  My first thought was oh Linda, Tish, Trey and Kathleen need to see this!

Black Eyed Peas & Texas Caviar

   In the South a tradition is to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck.  It came about because during the Civil War as Sherman's troops came through the south they burned, ate or ruined  southern crops except for the black eyed peas which was considered a food crop for cattle.  When it was the only thing left as far as crops it became food that fed the southerners.  My favorite aunt once told me her favorite summer meal was fresh black eyed peas, cornbread and cantaloupe.  That is one of my favorite meals too.  Whenever I eat black eyed peas I think of her.  I love black eyed peas and cornbread,  or black eyed peas in a dip we here in the panhandle call Texas Caviar...
In a bowl combine:
1 (15.5 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained (or just use 2 cans of black eyed peas)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained or fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed or 2 cans shoepeg corn, drained

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (it is pretty with red, orange, yellow, green bell peppers too)
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeno peppers...actually I leave this out.  You can buy canned black eyed peas with jalapeno and that is enough jalapeno for me
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup Italian salad dressing (Zesty Italian is really good)
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
Chill at least an hour and serve with Fritos or tortilla chips....Tostito Scoops are great for this dip.
     you can also add diced black olives, chopped green chilis, diced celery, hominy instead of corn, chopped green onions, pinto beans
   Everyone here seems to have their own version of Texas Caviar....how do you make it?