Saturday, June 22, 2013

This and That, and Some Links

Washing Hanging on the Line
Washing Hanging...
Roland Krieg
Buy This at

We had a lovely first day of summer, the sun actually came out and it was warm enough to hang out the laundry-- all eight lines of it! If the rest of the summer is this nice, the dryer will have a long vacation.

The results are in and I now know what kind of stone was bothering me. It was a calcium oxalate stone. The doctor sent me a list of foods to avoid. I have been researching "low oxalate diets" online myself--it is a confusing subject, to say the least. For sure I know that just about everything I was in the habit of eating is on the "high oxalate" and "avoid" lists. What, you might ask, are those things? Well...

Nuts of all kinds
Whole Wheat 
Concord Grapes
Dark green leafy vegetables
Soy products
Tea (supposedly the debate is still out on this one)

After such a traumatic experience, I am ready to say goodbye to my Chocolate-covered-almonds life, and enjoy the other flavors out there, with no sorrow (Lemon Bars and Vanilla Slice, anyone?). A friend gave me a really nice water bottle, with a dial that keeps track of the number of refills, and a locking lid so no little hands can spill it. It is nicer than the other bottles I had and will surely help me get into the new water habit. A bit of lemonade in the water doesn't hurt, either! So with a some change in diet and more hydration, I hope I will be okay from now on!

When I met the doctor for my first operation, I was sort of surprised. I had not seen him before, having only met with his assistant, and his top nurse (both men with white beards). The anesthesiologist was an older lady, and I expected that when the doctor came in he, too, would be older with white hair. So when a younger than I expected fellow walked in to introduce himself, I had to suddenly think: did I prefer youth and technology, or age and experience? Fortunately, I detected some wrinkles on his face and concluded that I would be fine.

Well so I am being reminded by Google that Google Reader is going away very soon. A great pity, it was so handy. I have mentioned before that I have a blue box on the right sidebar with links I like to share, and that feature was powered by Google Reader. I am not sure if it will be available to me any more, so I should get into the habit (as have other bloggers) of just featuring links in a post. Here are some that I have enjoyed lately:

One of my new favorite sites: Melly and Me-- cute little stuffies! in bright colors! oh my! Take a peek at her studio and her creative wedding!

I am enjoying a lot of posts on this site, for gardening and housekeeping.

This is a pretty paper bag! I don't have the die or the materials, but I enjoyed looking at it for the inspiration.

Cute storybook clothing on this post!

A little sweet summer dress to make via Sew Mama Sew.

Here's an idea: a door bumper!

A stroll into these pretty English garden pictures will cool you down on a hot day:

Isn't this summer picnic delightful!

And to go with it, the history of Croquet.

I am so impressed with this family's history lessons!

Though I still think the iWonderful will never be topped, there is something to be said about the time-saving iPad. Having borrowed one for a while (er, when the other person puts it down and whenever I can get my hands on it) I can tell you it is sooo handy. If someone has a question that only Google has the answer for, the iPad is right there and ready-- no trotting to the other room to turn the computer on. And now laptops are dinosaurs!

The ultimate (non-iPad) time-saver for all busy humans is in this idea here.

I hope my readers enjoy these links as much as I did!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It Was A "Blast"-- my unexpected "vacation" and how you can avoid one!

The view from my 7th floor window

Terrible and sudden pain only comparable to childbirth (but without the reward) brought about an unusual start to my June. I had my first experience going "under" and my first ever operations as the doctor laser-blasted a large kidney stone that was going to ruin my life! Everything happened so quickly, but there were many answers to prayer and I was very blessed to be carried through it all by the gentle hand of God!
Across the river, orchards and bald eagles were to be seen. "God's Country"

Only He could have brought my pain level down to nearly nothing the day before the operation... and took me through the whole ordeal in just the right many answers to prayer.
I enjoyed watching all the birds fly to these trees.... which are taller than the 7th floor that I was on.

Despite the awful circumstances, my stay in the hospital was in a way like a vacation. A private room with a fabulous view, an adjustable bed with all the features for comfort, food brought to me on a tray, juice anytime I wanted it (none of this "it's all gone.. so and so drank the last of it"), crushed ice when I wanted it, warm blankets (warmer than the dryer can get them) in the middle of the night when I requested them, not worrying about all the laundry piling up at home (after all, there was nothing I could do about it!), time to hand-write some letters, and a hand-sewing project. Ah the luxury of hand sewing! Take all the time you want, it's just you, the long afternoon, and a needle and thread. 

While in bed,  I made this cute little hat with ear flaps for a special little fellow. I didn't have a pattern with me, so I drew a wedge-shape on a piece of paper for the crown, and used that as my pattern. The brim and ear-flaps were free-hand. I hope to get better photos later when it is washed and pressed-- the inside seams were also finished with self-made bias and seam tape. The nurses were interested in the progress of the hat!
I had such nice nurses! My experience in the past with nurses in clinics has not been good. It seemed my lot in life to get the sarcastic, impatient nurses who were having a perpetual "bad day." or who were way past due for retirement and didn't want to be there, or whose attitude was that the patients were of a lower intelligence. I was so relieved to find the hospital nurses were in NO WAY like that! All of them were sweet, kind, considerate, sympathetic, and I felt that they genuinely cared about me. Every shift brought another really pleasant nurse and CNA. 

Now here at home, my new steel water bottles are going to be my life-long companions-- 100 oz. of water a day for the rest of my life. I used to be so busy with the work of the day I would  forget to drink water.  Readers, I urge you, DRINK YOUR WATER!!!! Don't wait until you are thirsty- it's too late then! Pull out a pretty cup-- even a tea cup will do!-- and fill it every hour. Don't get too busy to take a sip. Make it your new good habit!