Where have I been?

…and how could I have stayed away so long?

Well, I’ve been at home and at work…oh, and doctors’ offices.  Other than the grocery store, CVS, and Pet Smart, that’s just about it.  Still not feeling great.  I think the respiratory issues that have been plaguing me for several years have eased up.  Could be all these crazy herbal concoctions I’ve been making and taking…maybe…Now if only I could find something to get rid of the pain.

Yep, the pain is still hanging around.  If anything, it’s getting worse.  My PCP actually ordered x-rays of my shoulders (rheumatologist kept talking about it but didn’t do anything about it).  The x-rays didn’t show anything really terribly wrong other than osteoarthritis, but I’m seriously wondering if an MRI would show something else.  I need to sit down and do some research on this.  I’ve had several folks tell me that their doctors have told them (you know, that whole “well, I heard it from her who heard it from him who read it in that article…”) that often x-rays aren’t the most reliable diagnostic tool for shoulder injuries.  So, research before I see the rheumy in June is in order, I do believe.

There are days when I have a very difficult time even lifting my arms.  My PCP put in a diagnosis of frozen shoulder.  When I read info about that, I can see how that would be a possibility.  She put in an order for physical therapy.  Three or four days a week for two or three months…yikes.  When I called the insurance company to make sure it was covered, the lady on the phone was just so happy to tell me that it was.  Good, right?  Um…well…hold on a minute.  When I asked what my fees would be, she told me $50.  Alright, I can swing fifty bucks.  Then something made me ask if that would be my total cost.  Then she said, “Per visit.”  Hold on, hold on…so we were looking at $150 to $200 a week for two or three months.  No can do.  I just can’t afford that.  So I called my doctor back and told her.  She printed out some exercises for me to do at home.  I’ve been doing them, but honestly am feeling more pain now than when I started.  That’s what makes me wonder if there’s something hidden that’s causing the problems.  But I’m going to continue with the exercises my doctor told me about.  After all, the initial physical therapy order was for two or three months, so I’ll give it that.

Green juice

Green juice

In the meantime, I’m making a serious effort to eat much, much healthier.  More fruits and veggies, less sugar (the aim is to eliminate as much sugar from my diet as possible as sugar seems to feed inflammation).  I’ve been drinking herbal infusions…some pretty good…some, oh shall we say…not so good?  I’ve always been interested in the healing power of food and herbs and my health problems have brought me back to seriously studying both.  I feel like I’m learning a lot, but I’m being cautious to get information from several reputable sources.  There’s so much out there that has no scientific backing and, while I’m not the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest proponent, I am a believer in scientific studies and findings.  There are several herbalists who have been doing this for years and who combine their working knowledge of herbal remedies with the science behind why certain herbs are beneficial in certain situations.  I’m even taking some classes and seminars…I’d lost track of how much I enjoy learning.

Just wanted to update my pals (that’s you all) with what’s been going on and why I haven’t been around a lot.  I’m definitely going to make the effort to post on a more timely schedule.  Maybe not every day…heck, what am I saying?  Definitely not every day, but at least a few times a week.  So see you the next go-round.

Elemental

run4joy59:

This is true for so much of our country…anywhere politicians have sold their souls so big business can operate unfettered by pesky regulations…anywhere citizens turn a blind eye to the corruption in the name of jobs…anywhere any of us see what is happening and turn away. We must channel our righteous indignation to bring about change. When you step into that voting booth, remember this, most politicians, most leaders of big business only care about us as a means to fatten their offshore bank accounts. Fight back…don’t give in…and don’t give up.

Originally posted on Cultural Slagheap:

My dad, a lifelong firefighter, used to teach Hazardous Materials Response and Safety classes to first responders.  The first informational point he covered at the beginning of the course was how to read the classification marks on transportation tankers—the little diamond-shaped signs, usually mounted on the back of the tank, that announce via numerical code what kinds of chemicals are stored in those transport vehicles, and what levels and types of health risks would be associated with a spill in the case of a wreck.  The first homework assignment he gave was for the firefighters to go home and stand on the main cross street in their neighborhoods and home towns for about an hour, and write down the numbers on every tag they saw pass through that intersection, then go look up the numbers.  Dad said that the next week, when those students came back for class, invariably there’d…

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Decluttering challenge, day 15

I decided to get with it last night and quickly gather the 15 items I would need for today’s challenge.  I walked back into my spare room, thinking I’d dig through the closet again.  Then I saw one of the book shelves.  Mmm hmm…I know I can find some books to get rid of.  I went to the hall closet and picked up a plastic bag and headed back into the spare room.

Of course, in my mind, I have been planning to sell some of my books, at least the ones that are in good condition.  So I didn’t even look at those.  Instead, I gravitated toward the books I’d purchased used, deciding to make a quick trip to Goodwill with those.  I didn’t even give this a lot of thought.  Didn’t page through the books.  Didn’t deliberate, didn’t question whether or not I might want to read each book again.  I was quickly able to gather the 15 books I needed, then decided to go ahead and pick up another 10.  A grand total of 25 books will be dropped off at Goodwill when I get off work today.

Books, books, and more books

Books, books, and more books

Anyone interested in the number of items I’ve managed to let go of in 15 days?  Well, I’ll tell you anyhow.  In 15 days, I’ve eliminated 152 items from my home.  Not too shabby, huh?  Now in the interest of honesty, I didn’t even consider getting rid of books by my favorite authors.  I don’t know about you, but I often reread books that I particularly like.  How about it?  Do you have favorite authors or books that you just won’t let go of?

Decluttering challenge, days 12, 13, 14

Oh man, you’d think having four days in a row off work would allow me the time to declutter, take some pictures, and write about it.  You’d think.  I’ve just felt awful though.  Kind of feels like a waste of time off.  I had planned to do so much while I was off and was lucky to make it out of bed by noon.  Oh well…so my decluttering didn’t go quite the way I wanted it to.  Instead of tackling my closet, I pitched out enough magazines to cover days 12 and 13.

Then today I cleaned out the fridge.  You know all of those salad dressing bottles?  The ones you bought thinking they sounded good?  And then they turned out to be not so good?  Yeah, threw out several of those today.  Also a few carrots that I somehow overlooked to the point where they just didn’t look all that appealing any more.  Found some green onions that I had to pitch.  Wish I would have found them sooner, I could have cut the green part off and planted the bulbs and grown some more green onions in my house.  But I didn’t so I couldn’t.

Anyhow, I ended up getting rid of 15 things out of the fridge today, so was able to surpass my goal of 14 items. For the month of January, I’ve now managed to eliminate 127 items from my home.  I have to admit, it is becoming more difficult to find the number of items I need each day.  The refrigerator cleaning made for a pretty quick search today, but now it’s clean.  So tomorrow?  Not sure where I’m going from here.  Plus I have to go back to work tomorrow, so exhaustion and time play into it as well.  What I really need to do is start (or even finish) my search tonight, but I have other things I want to do too…argh!!  Why does life have to be so hard sometimes?  Ha!!  Yeah, because I have it so tough, right?  Whine, whine, whine…

What are you whining about  working on this evening?

Scout on the treadmill, literally on it~

Scout on the treadmill, literally on it~

I think Scout is trying to tell me something…like, “Hey, you need to start using this thing.  If you’re not going to, I will.”

Decluttering challenge, days 10 and 11

Oops…skipped a day, didn’t I?  Well, I did have a few things already pulled out for yesterday with the thought that I’d finish gathering the remaining items when I got home from work.  Then it ended up being a major struggle to make it through the work day…just felt weird (and that’s the official medical term for it) all day.  I told my boss I felt like I was walking sideways, if that clears anything up for anyone.  After work, I stopped at Pet Smart and CVS so I wouldn’t have to get out today.  By the time I made it home, all I wanted to do was soak in a hot tub and climb under the blankets with the kitties.

Scout climbing high

Scout climbing high

Scout didn’t feel like going to bed though.  Her thoughts seemed to be how high can I go? And she managed to climb pretty high without breaking anything.  What a good girl.

I didn’t bother to take pictures of the items I gathered for days 10 and 11.  And I’ll tell you why.  I cleaned out my chest of drawers (found several pair of socks with holes in them.  Why I ever put them back in the drawer, I couldn’t say.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of socks.  I even have socks I’ve never worn, so why save holey ones?  Also found three bras that I never wear because  they simply don’t fit right.  You gals know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.  Again, not sure why I’d bother to save them…with the thought that they might become more comfortable??? Sheesh.  Also found a pair of pajama pants that are old and worn.  Then there were the two T-shirts that I don’t even like.  Oh, and I can’t forget the teddy that I’ve never worn.)  Combine those items with a couple of magazines and an orange (have I ever mentioned how much I dislike wearing the color orange?) canvas tote and I have my 10 items for yesterday.  I decided to just count all of the socks as one item in order to get rid of more stuff…my goal.

Then, for today, I decided to tackle the vanity in my bedroom (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my chest of drawers and vanity were refinished by the astronaut, Gus Grissom’s, dad…he was from Mitchell where I lived for many years…and where I hope to move when I finally am able to retire.)  Anyhow, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’m counting as one item all the little pieces of paper with notes and phone numbers (some with no names…smh…).  I just threw all of them away.  There was also an older phone book, no need for multiples.  Heck, I’m not really sure how much need there is for a phone book at all any more, but I did save one from last year.  I found some post cards with kitties and puppies on them.  Figured Clara would like those.  I also found several notepads that had been mostly used up.  Clara gets those too.  There was a calendar from 2012…I don’t see myself needing to refer to it for any reason…trash.  Health insurance packet from 2005…we have a totally different policy now and get the packets every year when we renew…again, trash.  There were some small notecards with envelopes (some of the envelopes are so old that they’ve sealed closed…haha).  So I thought these would be something Clara could have fun with.  She likes to make cards for her mom and grandfather, so if she can use them she might as well have them.  There were several non-functioning ink pens…pitch ‘em.  I also found several sheets of stickers.  Back in the day, when I actually wrote letters, I would decorate the envelopes with stickers.  Now, not only don’t I decorate envelopes, I don’t even write letters.  So Clara gets all of the stickers too.  There were also some cards that people had sent (or given) me.  I stopped saving cards a long time ago, so I’m not sure how those snuck into the drawer, but they’re history now (I have to admit, I did save wedding and birth announcements from my nieces and nephews, as well as the photo Christmas cards they send me).  And last, but not least…or maybe it is…there was a partially burned, soot-covered plain votive holder.  I’m sure I kept it because, well, you never know when you’re going to need a candle.  But you know what?  I have an entire little storage table filled with jar candles.  I don’t think I’ll even miss this little one.  So there you go.  Now you can see why I didn’t bother taking pictures…just a bunch of junk today.

I ended up with a small bag of trash to go out and a few little things for Clara.  But now my bedroom is almost clutter free.  Well…there is still the closet…yikes!

Not counting all of the items individually from yesterday and today, I’ve now managed to eliminate 87 items from my home in the first 11 days of January.  Who knows what the closet will bring?  But it sure is a good feeling to have the bedroom cleaned up, well…sort of cleaned up.  I should take down the curtains and wash them and the windows.  Isn’t it funny how decluttering makes you want to do some cleaning as well?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 9

Wow!  We’ve finally managed to escape the deep freeze.  It was above 30 degrees yesterday, felt downright balmy.  Of course, they’re calling for some kind of winter mix tonight then lots and lots of rain and temps in the 40s.  Where I was sliding on ice, I’ll now be needing my flippers just to tread flood waters.  But hey!  Spring will be here before you know it.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’ve ever looked forward to spring more than I do right now.

Alrighty then, on to today’s decluttering mission.  I needed to find nine items to remove from my home today (and look at that!  It’s the ninth!  Amazing how that works out, isn’t it?) so I once again opened the closet in my spare room.

A mish mash and more magnolias

A mish mash and more magnolias

I found several more floral bushes (2 gypsophilia and 2 more magnolias) and a pretty white magnolia swag.  I don’t really remember being so fond of magnolias, but there must have been a time when I found them particularly appealing…you know, judging by how many I’m finding hidden away.  The little pink tote is one we did for some kids’ event at work.  Whoever the girl was who was conducting the event made them for those of us working that day.  Mine is pink (of course) with hearts and ballet slippers.  Very cute.  It is.  I like it, a lot.  But it’s a little small for anything practical and it’s just been hanging there in the closet for, oh I don’t know, probably four years.  So Clara is going to get a cute little Clara-sized tote bag one of these days.  There’s also a little St. Patrick’s Day party favor hat that I bought to use for a picture of Spook…

Drunk on green beer?

Drunk on green beer?

Oh my goodness, that poor little kitty…the things I’ve made her do.  Anyhow, I thought Clara might enjoy the hat too.  Spook sure didn’t.

You can’t see it very well, but there’s a little clear hard plastic Christmas tree box that I bought one year when it went clearance.  Still has the clearance sticker on it.  Never been used.  Another item in the Clara pile.  For some reason, this kid loves boxes…thinks every box is a treasure box.  Ah…to be 5 years old again when everything is full of magic.

And then there’s Santa.  I remember buying him at 90% off after Christmas one year.  I even put him out a few years.  But he’s been sitting on a shelf in the closet for several years now.  I’m debating what to do with old St. Nick.  I work with a guy who might like him, so I think I’ll ask him if he wants him.  If he doesn’t, I’ll just drop it off at Goodwill with everything else I’ve got designated for there.

So there you have it, my nine items for today.  This brings the total up to 66 items sent to a better place…a place where they can bring a smile to someone’s face.  And that feels pretty good.

What have you eliminated from your life so far this month?  And how does it make you feel?

 

Decluttering challenge, day 8

Here we are starting the second week of this decluttering challenge.  I feel like I’ve made some progress, have dug up quite a few items that are no longer useful to me and have actually managed to get them out of my home and my life.  Being the 8th, I needed to find eight items to get rid of.  I once again went to the closet of my spare room where I quickly pulled out several things that had been stored there for several years. I didn’t even have to give it a lot of thought.  I knew it was time to get those things out of my house and into someone else’s who might enjoy seeing them on a daily basis.  Isn’t that much better than having something just sitting in a dark closet, taking up space, not bringing joy to anyone?  I think it is.

So today what did I find?

Amish family

Amish family

First, I found this three-piece Amish family.  I don’t remember where I bought it, but I remember they used to sit on a long shelf in my dining room when I had my house in Mitchell.  I always thought they made such a cute grouping and I enjoyed them at that time in my life.  But they’ve been sitting in a box in a closet for years, many years.  I think there are still people who would enjoy adding this little family to their home so I’m dropping them off at Goodwill.

Cute, but not for me.

Cute, but not for me.

What else did I find today?  Let’s see, a little winter bear (price tag still on it, looks like I never did anything with it).  And a Native American Barbie minus the stand and one of her boots.  Both of these items are going to be given to Clara at some point in time.  I’ve decided I’ll give her something once or twice a week,  things I’ve found that are in good shape and that a little girl of 5 or 6 would love. And yes, this would also save me some money.  I’ve pretty much stopped buying things for her.  Instead, I’ve been printing off coloring and activity pages and giving her crafting supplies.  I want her to understand that I am her friend whether or not I spend money on her.  Okay, enough about that.

I also found 3 very pretty crosses that you hang on the wall.  I know someone gave me these for a gift, but I never really had a place to hang them.  I hated the thought of giving them away (come on, they were a gift), but then I realized my keeping them in a box in the closet wasn’t really showing my appreciation for the gift either.  So I decided to drop them off at Goodwill where I’m certain someone will snatch them up and make good use of them.  This may be just the thing someone needs to brighten their days.

So there you have it.  Eight more items gone from my house and my life.  That brings the grand total to 57 items released in eight days.  Not bad for a few minutes of work a day, huh?

 

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