Thursday, March 31, 2011

It was chilly and yet beautiful today.. another full day .. shopping for pantry items.  Bible study tonite was super!  more tomorrow perhaps?  very weary tonite.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Am very sleepy today, though I had a good 8 hr sleep last night.  I wonder what's up?  Spring fever?  I have things to do.. places to go.. yet, I'm so tired, I think I'll take a nap.... zzzzzz
The grace of God is proclaimed in the Gospel (Acts 20:24), which is to the self-righteous Jew a 'stumbling block', and o the conceited and philosophizing Greek 'foolishness'.  And why so?
Because there is nothing whatever in it that is adapted to the gratifying of the pride of man.  It announces that unless we are saved by grace, we cannot be saved at all.
It declares that apart from Christ, the unspeakable Gift of God's grace, the state of every man is desperate, irremediable, hopeless.
The Gospel addresses men as guilty, condemned, perishing criminals. 
It declares tha the chastest moralist is in the same terrible plight as is the most voluptuous profligate; and the zealous professor, with all his religious performances, is no better off than the most profane infidel.
AW Pink-The Attributes of God

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canning is fun

Good day to all!!  It's a cold and sunny day here in WPA.. I got up late this morning after my marathon canning session yesterday.  We now have 30 sealed jars of meat.  10 beef and 20 chicken.  Yay! for canning.  It's so rewarding to see those little jars on the counter- I almost wish they didn't have to be put away.   After I got started last evening, I realized I wouldn't have enough jars to accomodate all the meat, so I ran out to Trader Horn and bought 3 doz more jars.  They aren't quite a pint- 12 oz.  Perfect for Wendell and me.  The sides are straight , no shoulders , so we can make cake or whatever else we want later.  I hope to keep this going- I would like to purchase a ham and preserve it too.  It's great just to put on a relish tray with other things.  I had bought kielbassi and when I do the ham, I'll try that too.  I think it should be just fine.
If you are thinking of canning meats, I would like to make one suggestion- don't try hot dogs- yechhhh.  They come out soft and mushy and really, not very tasty.
Use your imagination.. can what you are able to get the most of.
Wendell and I have decided to just buy veggies and fruits as these are much easier to handle and there are places one can purchase them at very low cost. 
I know it's easier to freeze meats, etc.. but if the freezer goes.. everything else goes too and the loss would be horrific.  Canning eliminates this problem. 
Anyone want to join in ?  I'll can if you buy the meat/produce.. or I'll teach you how it's done.

Coffee filters

Thanks to Nancy Kneesocks for this valuable piece of information on how to use coffee filters..

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.  I agree..

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling  I have yet to try this

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.  I have actually done this.. and it works beautifully!

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10 Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.  Yes yes YES!!!  It works perfectly and is biodegradable too!

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.. ??

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.  Gotta try this 

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.  Wonder how this is done... 

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.


Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm a busy bee here .. tonite I have canned 10 jars of beef (london broil)  and am listening to the canner chugging happily away with a load of chicken- 10 jars.. I have to do 10 more tonite for a total of 30 jars of meat.  Yay! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beautiful day

Good morning family and friends.. Today is the Sabbath.  I will shortly be heading for New Kensington to worship the Lord who alone made all of creation.  It is an honor and privilege to do so.
Counting my blessings today- I'm in good health, I desire to hear the Word spoken/preached from the pulpit, God loves me, I have reliable transportation and I have a Bible and can read. 
Hope to see you there at worship..

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yay for me!  I stepped on the scales this morning and found I'd lost another pound- that's a total of 13# since Feb 10 when I started the ADA diet.  Wonderful news!!

Beautiful day here in WPA.. and chilly also.  Today's project is to plant seeds in my little flats and then take them to the back room to let them germinate.  It's exciting in spring when the plants start to grow.
I've been praying for help with preparing soil for our mini garden this year.  We shall see.  First I need to get gas for the rototiller.  I'm so glad Paul loaned them to us.  It makes plowing the soil so much easier.  I have plans for more flowers this year in other places.. and then I bought a blueberry bush and a hummingbird bush to plant also. 
I found gooseberry bush seed and have purchased these to plant by Amanda's bushes so they will give fruit- maybe this year?  Maybe next.  I'm excited about this nonetheless. 
On to Professor Hoffman.. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hello Dreamfields!  This is delicious pasta that is low glycemic factor.  We tried it last night for supper.   1/2c dry = 1 serving.  It makes 1c cooked.  Imagine how excited we were this morning to find that blood sugars were stable.. and 4hr after Wendell ate his, his blood sugar was 100.  YAY! 

It's chilly today- 23* at the moment 11am.  But it's sunny and beautiful.  WOW! what a gorgeous blue sky!!  God is blessing us in so many ways.

Speaking of God's blessings- I attended my first Women's Bible Study at Gibsonia last evening.  It was wonderful!  What a lovely group of ladies.  I learned a lot about the Philippian church.. it's first members were Lydia the wealthy lady, a jailer, and likely a girl tormented with a demon until Paul cast it out.  Notice, there weren't a lot of "official" type people.. just regular folk.  Paul loved that church dearly.  They were faithful to supply him with the things he needed while in prison.  Prison there was not like prison here.  If you wanted to eat, someone had to bring you food.  If you needed a change of clothes or a blanket, someone had to supply that for you too.  The church at Philippi did that. 
I felt blessed to go to that meeting.  Looking forward to the next one on next Thursday.
I'm also reading a book called The Sovereignty of God by AW Pink.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know about your relationship to God.  WOW!  Once again I find myself so very blessed by this book. 
On to the day.  I have worked this morning on the photo project.  I should take a picture of the mess I've made while working on it.  Ugh.  But there is progress and that's really encouraging.  I don't want our families to ever have the problem of identifying anyone in the family.  All the photos are marked and I'm also mounting them according to person or family.  Once this project is done, All the families will go into a file according to their family - in albums.

Soon time for lunch.  Am tempted to make that macaroni again today for lunch.. a tuna macaroni salad sounds appealing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I think I have spring fever.. I have worked on the 'picture project' for hours today and now I feel like I need to take a nap to finish up the rest of the day.  It's gorgeous outside.. warm and lovely.
The picture project is moving right along.  I'm amazed at how many are in these boxes.  I'm determined to get the best of the best mounted and give back to others one day.  Time consuming.  Yes.

Welcome welcome spring!!!!

I absolutely LOVE spring!  It's my favorite season of the year.  I love to see the new growth coming and then watch things turn green again after a long winter's nap.  Glorious spring!!  

Doing well here physically.  Am scheduled to see the surgeon tomorrow afternoon for a final checkup after the gall bladder surgery.  I feel good.   Blood sugars are moderating well.  Most all are below 100, and I can note what foods cause spikes for me.  We overdid the portion of angel food cake (though it was a correct portion) with fruit.. that caused the blood sugar to splash over 100 on Sunday morning.  Live and learn- literally.

I've been working on a photo project for the past week or so.  I'm making some progress, but get bogged down periodically.  Right now, I need the mounting tabs before I can go on.  I got archival safe paper and mounting tabs.  These go fast when you have over a thousand photos to mount.  It's so enjoyable to go back through photos and see how everyone has changed..  even myself.

As I was raking the other day, I accidently pulled this hyacinth out.
I replanted it in the planter beside the back porch.. and this morning
it seems to be moving along ahead of the others.. !! I LOVE hyacinths!
Posted by Picasa

More signs of spring- daffodil bud noted here..
Posted by Picasa
Look what I found along the driveway this morning!!! Crocus blooming. I'm glad I thought to take the camera with me.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a full moon tonite.. a glorious and beautiful one!!! I have no clue what the red spots are in the photo.. ???
Posted by Picasa
this is precious to me... it's a new bud on the burning bush that I rescued last fall from a pile of brush.. It's a healthy start!
Posted by Picasa
When I pulled back some leaves and debris today with my rake.. I found my hyacinths growing beneath! Yippee!!!
Posted by Picasa
Sorry it's taken me so long to post this photo- it's the fruit basket that Sandi and Rick sent when I was hospitalized. The fruit was perfect and the cyclomen is gorgeous.. I'll post another photo of it later. Thanks to you both. I love you.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Here comes spring!!!!

Get ready.......   Get set........      Here it comes!!!!  We are to be at mid 60s today!!!!  and tonite will go down to the mid to low 40s- and that, my friends, is spring !!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

down 12#

I'm walking on air today.. see my Downsizing Blog to see why... woohoo!!!
Beautiful day today , though it feels like it could rain.  I took a walk around the house, but expanded the walk up into the garden.  The dear have been snacking on my blueberry bushes again.  gotta get some clear plastic bags over them to see if that will deter them.
Saw another groundhog on the edge of the woods.  If it's not raining today, I think I'll get the trap out again and see if we can catch one.
Thomas' bowls were topsy turvy this morning leading me to believe we had company last night- likely a coon.. even more reason to get the traps going.  Ugh.  They make such a mess.  They are opportunistic feeders, but then Thomas needs to be fed too, and I have nowhere but outdoors on the back porch to do so.  If I move it off the porch, the wild animals take over quicker.  Wish I could bring him in to eat, but can't risk it.
Having fish for supper tonite.. cod.  I have found a recipe to try and then will make the decision whether it's gonna appear on the menu again.  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blessed Lord's Day to all

36* this morning and I'm anxious to get going to worship!  It's not every day one can attend and know that the King of Kings is present with us.  I want to look the best I can, yet not call attention to myself.. this IS the Lord's day.. and I'm thankful.
After much thought , have decided to go to Manchester after all.  I have some bags of goodies for the family, and then, I really want to be there anyway. 

*note- Ensure is safe for me to drink, but apparently not Wendell.  He tried a bottle last evening to see if it was palatable, and though he liked it, I believe Glucerna is a better choice for him judging from the spike in glucose this morning.  :(

* prayer- Wendell is not feeling well.  I think he needs a trip to the doctor .. but then, he has an appointment for this month's weigh in.. so I think he'll be okay till then.  He has no energy and sleeps a lot.  Last night he bearly got supper in, and when he was done, he got up and went back to bed.   another :(

* Remember Jane too with her upcoming hip surgery- Keep praying all will go well and her anxiety would be at a minimum. 

*I suspect that tomorrow will bring me to a new weight level- but I'll wait to make that statement till then.  More fun that way.  But I am looking forward to it..  :)  My diet is going well obviously- and I actually feel better on it- low fat ADA. 

Remembering the Sabbath day ..

Psalm 13 music video-Tim McCracken

The 3d dancing pig

Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy

It's dark outside, but 6am nonetheless.   I'm planning to attend public worship this morning.  I'm always happy to do that- though this morning I'll be traveling alone as hubby was ill last evening and I suspect will not go today.
It's chilly out, but not cold.  Wondering if I should attend at Gibsonia this morning instead of Manchester - distance and time factors here- traveling alone.. hmm

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life is an Education

Today is a chilly, but not cold, day.  Snow is melting and I'm thinking it would be a good day to take a trip to Sams Club to stock up on Ensure and look for that paper I need to continue the photo mounting here.  I have pictures to copy there and if there is no one at the machine, I'll give it a whirl.  I used our last strawberries last night and so I'll be searching for more .. yum.

I'm learning more and more every day.  I'm glad for any suggestions anyone has for our diet here.  Any thing that works for YOU?
So far, we have noted that Ramen noodles and any pasta causes a noticible spike in blood sugar the next day.. so we are eliminating these from our diet.   Wendell asked for instant oatmeal, and at noon, he had a majorly giant spike in blood sugar. . so , no more instant oatmeal at this house.  I'm gathering the foods together to pass on since we won't be using them. 
Of note, those Peanut Butter crackers you can get in a vending machine are so high in fat, I nearly had a stroke when I read the label.  Wendell eats 2 packages at a sitting...  24Gm fat!  YIKE!  I will not buy these again, but I have peanut butter here and saltines to replace them if he wants them.  Thankfully he doesn't eat them often, but when they are gone.. amen.  They will be gone.
I'm reading labels more closely all the time.  At the same time, I've noticed that I'm not buying a lot of 'prepared' foods either- not that I ever did use a lot, but I see the labels and cringe.  I enjoy buying and choosing my own fruits, veggies and meats.  Canned foods are okay- We like peas and carrots.. and some green beans by time.  I'd rather fresh, but I've learned how to season the canned ones so they taste better.   Peas must always be the baby peas or le seuer type.. these are tiny peas and very tender and sweet.   The carrots are always doctored with a package of Splenda and Butter Buds- a tsp or so.  Nuked, and delicious! 
I have learned that a dollop of SF Cool Whip is tasty and low fat.  YAY!

I took the last of the dressings off my incisions (4 of them) and they do indeed look like keyholes.. hehehehe  Now, my belly has 4 bandaids to cover them- I look like I have a 'thing' for bandaids..
No pain, and just itchy.  Healing.  I notice a little bruising around 2 of them, but that's normal.  It's a wonder I don't have a whole belly full of bruises after being on Plavix.   All worked well and is having a very happy ending.

On to my day...

Japan Quake

Just to let family and friends know, Gretchen and her family finally contacted her family and they are safe.  She says there is no electricity or heat or lights.. but they are all okay.  Many thanks for prayer for them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Special Prayer Request this morning

Asking for prayer this morning.  My cousin Gretchen and her family are in Japan with the US military.  The earthquake earlier this week was extremely frightening to them at 7.0.. this latest quake was a historic 8.9 with many deaths in Japan.  Our churches seem to be safe as witnessed by the Covie-Net.  No one has heard from Gretchen or her husband since this last quake.  Please pray.  I know how frightened she was earlier this week- this has got to top that.
Pray for peace and calm for her and for her family.  Pray for their safety.  Thanks all..

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Winter advisory

Weatherman says 4-8".. they keep changing the amount they suspect we will receive.  I hope it's on the lower end.  I used to hate driving on nights like this- snowy icy roads and then if the buses didn't run in the morning, the road crews were soooooo slow to catch up.  Lots of rain tonite.  It's 36*.

I'm allowed to take my dressings off tomorrow.  I took one off tonite because I was itchy.. interesting- it actually DOES look like a keyhole.  Hehehehe

I baked a tray of chicken tonite that I'm going to freeze tomorrow.  It was the best chicken I've made in a long time.  Perfect - juicy, tender and just perfect.  I made Wendell a hamburger patty- I actually poached his burger, but don't ever tell him that.  I drained it pretty good before I gave it to him, and Thomas got all the drippings, water and all.. he LOVED it!!

Heading for my bed.. weary here.

Another good day..

I could get used to this.. another mighty fine day.  Feeling good.  Breakfast was tasty, but next time I'll stick to a  half slice of bread as I have for the past few days.  It just sort of was too much.  This is a good thing though.
Lunch- I wasn't quite ready, but Wendell was.  I made him wedding soup (from a can, natch) and served it with a deli meat sandwich and half of a tangerine .. thank you Sandi and Rick.  He told me he really doesn't care much for wedding soup.  Oh, no.  I reminded him that every time Amanda served it, he said "Oh, good!" and ate it with relish.  I thought he liked it.   He really doesn't care for it much.  Good thing I only bought one can.  I got it as a treat for him.  LOL... the joke is on ME.  or maybe HIM.  No matter, I won't buy it again.
I had ham tidbits from last night's leftovers- about 2 oz warmed in the microwave.. the other half of his tangerine, and some tapioca pudding.. I drank my entire bottle of Ensure which normally lasts all day long. 
Today I walked up the driveway to get yesterday's mail.  It was very pleasant- it's 52*.. and the rain had stopped.  I noticed trash up nearer to the road at the end of the driveway.  It's not from us- I never go to Starbucks, and the milk jug left behind was from whole milk, and the container is yellow- something we have never bought.  I wish my neighbors would pick up their trash that blows out of their garbage cans.  They don't realize how hard it is for me to "police" these days.
Bad storm coming tonite- they estimate over 6" of very wet snow.  I know it won't last, and I'm so very thankful that God has given us a glimpse of spring to come.  It gives me hope.  I'm already making plans for a day outdoors to clean up and get my mini garden ready.
This morning when it was very comfortable to be outside, Wendell and I sat on the deck and watched the wildlife- 9 hen turkeys marched by in a line along the driveway.. while at least 8 squirrels danced in the trees behind them.  We watched the honking geese fly overhead looking for a pond on which to alight.  Then the deer- lots of deer roaming our little woods.  yesterday we spotted a groundhog- gotta get the traps out again.  I think I'll get another trap for this year and set 2.   Oh.. Wendell said the bunny was here this morning too- he's almost as big as Thomas.
It's been a wonderful day so far.. thankful to be retired and enjoying our surroundings for as long as the Lord will permit us to do so.
I think I'll go take a nap- I can do that- I'm retired and have nothing on my agenda.
I was planning to go to Bible Study tonite, but with the snow coming.. it's best I stay put, I think. 
My sister's hip surgery is scheduled April 14th.. prayer would be very appreciated on her behalf. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A good day

It has been a most wonderful day.. really.   As far as being post op 5 days, I think we can leave that phase of my life now.  I feel very good.  There are restrictions , of course, till I see the doctor again in about 2 weeks.  No lifting, pulling, or pushing.. not that I could if I wanted to.. yesterday was enough when we went to the grocery store. 
I've had one pain med today- this morning- but not for anything related to surgery- just that back pain thing I live with every day.  The pain pill kicked in and after breakfast I decided to set some goals for myself to get the house cleaned up before the weekend hits.  Breakfast dishes were done, so I looked around me to find the 'hottest spot' I could, and that is the kitchen table.  Yep.. it's a cluttered mess.  I did pretty good for the first few minutes.  I actually got things put back where they belonged.  And then I spotted the box my friend Sandi sent me a couple weeks ago.. I hadn't really been able to go through everything carefully, so I opened the box and enjoyed the contents all over again!  I spent the first 30 minutes going through every recipe in that 'taste of home' cookbooklet.. trying to figure how to make the recipes there edible for Wendell and me.  Hahahaaha.. it was when I put that one down that I spotted the cake decorating book.. Oh, man.. another hour down the tubes...That was when Wendell thought maybe it was lunch time and I had specific ideas for that.
Cream of mushroom soup- first of all, if you buy the really cheap stuff, it has far less fat than the higher priced soup- I normally add more mushrooms and some crackers, but today we would open one small can of soup.  I took 1/2 cup and added hot water to it and it was very very tasty.  Wendell had the remainder of the can and his too was made with water.   That saves calories... unless you put a half a tube of crackers in your little bowl... oh, ugh.  Not for me.
I made us each a grilled cheese sandwich.  He is using the 35 cal bread and I chose the 100% whole wheat without high fructose corn syrup- I think it's worth the calories.  We each had a slice of farmers cheese  on our sandwiches.  Farmers cheese is low fat and very soft to handle.  You have to have it sliced thick at the deli counter or when you get home you will have a cheese ball instead of slices .  (experience speaking here).  
Wendell's sandwich bread was spread with butter.  I chose PAM for mine.  Okay.. I have to agree, butter is much more flavorful, but I only wanted a half sandwich- he ate the other half.
We had home made tapioca pudding for dessert- fresh fruit on top.
I only ate half, and then I had a bottle of Ensure too.. Hedging on overload.  I'll finish the Ensure later.
It was a good afternoon.  I went back to clearing the table, but kept finding other things to do in the meantime.. like the laundry..
Supper was great.
3oz ham steak- ultra lean
1/2 c baby peas
3oz baked potato
Mini tossed salad with my wine viniagrette.  Tonite I put ranch dressing on hubbys salad, as he tends to use a quarter cup on a mini salad- I gave him 3 tsp.  I'm trying to convince him to not augment what I put on his plate, but to just eat the good food.  He likes to add cottage cheese to EVERY meal, and normally this wouldn't be bad if he could do portion control.  A cup of cottage cheese with every meal is insane.  There.  I said it.
I'm trying to get him to not fear the lack of food, for that's what it seems to be.  I have nutritious snacks for us.. like tonite...
Slice of angel food cake with 3 thinly sliced strawberries and a half orange sliced thinly so it looks like you are overloaded with fruit, but not really.  I added a Tbsp of Cool Whip to the top.. and WOWZA! 
He seems to try to understand.. it's gonna take some time.  We've discovered that there are foods which cause our blood sugar to spike the next day- pasta, ramen noodles, and instant oatmeal to name a few.  These things will be packed up and given to whomever wants them.  I bought spinach spaghetti which I am anxious to try.. but not just yet.
Regular cereals don't seem to bother the blood sugar. 
We are learning.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

post op day 4 continues

Having others pray over you is the most wonderful thing.  I can almost feel the healing taking over me.
My legs are now free of the pain that plagued me, and I've been without nausea all day!  I am extremely careful about what I put in my mouth, and I'm reading labels like crazy to make sure I don't make any critical mistakes.
Today Wendell drove me to the Greater Butler Mart where I stopped at Rite Aid to get more Ensure.. I'm using the Immune one, though there are 2 more choices.  For now, I need to build my immune system, and this fits the bill.  Calories are low, carbs are sort of high, but it hasn't touched my blood glucose so far.  Today I was 98 and when I got my shower, I hopped on the scales to find I have lost a total of 10# since Feb 10.. just about a month ago.
It's a start in the right direction.   I plan to keep using the Ensure for a few weeks till I feel stronger, then move to one of the other ones for maintenance.  It's expensive, but worth every penny.

I went to the Dollar General for some badly needed supplies, and they were very kind to pack my bags to make them very light for me to handle.

Next stop was the grocery-  This one was a bit more difficult as I needed some heavier things like cat food and a gallon of distilled water, and a case of sugar free peach snapple.  They unloaded my cart for me, and one of the guys took my groceries out and put them in the car for me.  Nice. 
I bought some different things this time.. like fresh frozen salmon.  I'm looking for a good recipe.   I've never baked salmon before.  I also got a bag of plain fresh frozen cod fillets.  I think I can manage that one pretty easily.  I got some bread crumbs that are seasoned, but not with fat.  I also bought a package of ground chuck for Wendell and chicken breasts for me.  Our diet is changing for the good for sure. 
I am still not eating much at a time, and I don't think it's going to change much in the near future.
Tonite's supper :
2 oz very lean roast pork
1/2c spring salad with my wine vinegrette spray (no fat)
2 oz baked potato (Wendell does a super job baking them)
1/2c carrot wheels seasoned with butter buds and splenda..
It was a lot for me to eat, and I told hubby we'd wait a while for dessert.  Oh, yes.. we are having a special dessert:
thin sliced angel food cake with fresh thinly sliced strawberries and bits of fresh chopped orange .. we may even go for the SF cool whip which, incidently, is actually very low in fat! 
The secret is the portion control.. not a lot of anything, but a wide variety of different colorful foods.
I thought our salads were fantastic- the color in the spring blend leaves, the bright red of tiny bits of red pepper, the slivers of fresh sweet onion, and tiny shavings of fresh carrot.. not a lot of anything, but really so delicious.
Tonite, I'm going to try to make Tapioca pudding- with splenda and skim milk.  Yeah.. I know I'm lactose intolerant, but I have lactaid tabs I can use for such occasions.. (smiling and feeling proud of myself here )
Lots to do.. trying not to overdo.  Tomorrow is the kitchen table that is a real mess.  Since this all started, I have been too sick to tidy up like I did before.  Well, as long as I feel pretty good tomorrow, the table is definitely on the agenda.
If anyone is heading for Sams Club.. I have a request..

Having Assurance Of Salvation by Bob Jennings

Post op day 4

Nausea is at bay.  I'm praying it'll stay right where it is and not poke it's ugly little head out to surprise me again today.  It was an uncomfortable evening yesterday. 
This morning, I'm enjoying my coffee - the key word here is "enjoying".. finally able to appreciate a good cup of coffee and actually drink it rather than simply sipping a half cup or less to ward off that caffeine headache. 
Very cautiously, I am going to say I feel pretty good today.. and perhaps after lunch we'll go to the grocery to get those couple of items we need for this week.  I intend to get a few more bottles of Ensure just to make sure I'm doing as well as I can.
I just have to remember to not overdo it, as I could end up taking one step forward and 3 backward.  Don't want that either.
It will be such a blessing to get through the day without nausea.  I keep thinking about how a month from now, this will all just be a bad dream.. :)
The point of today is just 'I'm progressing and feeling better little by little'

A Visit to the Harvest Field~ CH Spurgeon

The pure motive of any man who serves his generation well is generally misrepresented. As a rule the lounger looks on at the laborer not to praise but to blame him: not to cheer him but to chide him. The less he does, the less he will be open to rebuke, and the more he does oftentimes, and the more vigorously, the more he shall be upbraided.

Look not for your reward here. Suppose men praise you, what is their praise worth? It would not fill your nostrils if you were about to die. The approbation of those who have neither skill nor taste — what pleasure can it afford the artist? Should one stoop for it, or, having it, lift his head the higher? Our reward is the approbation of God, which he will give of his abundant grace. He first gives us good works, as one observes, and then rewards us for those good works, as if they were altogether our own. He gives rewards though they are not a debt, but altogether of grace.

Look for the reward hereafter. Wait a bit, man, wait a bit; your reward is not yet. Wait till the week is over, and then shall come the wage. Wait until the sun is gone down, and then there will be the penny for every laborer in the vineyard. Not yet, not yet, not yet. The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth. This is what we wait for.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Visit to the Harvest Field

Monday, March 07, 2011

Post op day 3

My Day 1 post op was supposed to be one of "mild flu like symptoms"- something very easy to tolerate and requiring no particular medication, just rest.   Right.
More like being slowly run over by a steam roller starting from the head and working it's way down my body to my toes over a period of about 2 hours and lasting until today, which is Day 3.
I just thought they underestimated the amount of discomfort.  But I had a call today from the short stay department as a follow up to the surgery- something done routinely for every patient.  As I answered the questions.. yes, my IV site is healing, no, no drainage on my dressings, yes, I had a bit of nausea , and so forth.  My one statement to them was 'you really shouldn't underestimate that 'mild flu like symptom thing' on the 1st post op day'.  I explained to her how it started with severe muscle aching from my neck, down both arms, then to my torso, pelvis, and then both legs and clear to my toes.  The ache was bad enough to hobble around like I'd had some major abdominal surgery.  The woman said, no.. it shouldn't have been that bad and asked me to talk to Rachel, the head of the short stay department.   As I explained this to Rachel, she reminded me that when you get a general anesthesia (intubated and put to sleep), they use a drug that actually paralyzes the entire body so that they can control whether you live or die with precision dosages.  In almost every case, the patient wakes up and takes deep breaths and the drug leaves their system and feeling comes back.  Over the next 24 hours, the patient usually sleeps a lot due to these meds they got with anesthesia, and being up and walking, deep breathing and coughing, the drugs simply wear off.   In my case, my body didn't want to give them up for some reason.  She suggested that this be noted as a bad reaction to anesthesia and if I had a medic alert bracelet, this should be noted so the anesthesiologist would be aware.  If things keep going as they are, the medic alert bracelet will have to be a placard I carry over my shoulders 24/7.  Better yet, I should have it all tattooed on my belly so there is never a question.
Now to today...
I am improving.  Each day is a bit better than the last.  That muscle pain is leaving the same way it came, but over a longer period.  This morning my arms ached, but tonite, I am only aware of leg aches.  It's now just an annoyance.
Nausea seems to lurk behind the corner daily, and I think I need to just cut back a bit on food yet again.  Tonite, indigestion is on the bill, and just another bump in the road, though an irritating one.
I took one pain pill this morning, and I believe it's time for one more.  That's an improvement over every 4 hours.
I restarted my Plavix on Sabbath.
I've also been up most of the day today, and though I layed down several times, I only napped once for an hour.. another improvement.
My desire and plan was to do a short shopping trip today, but found I just wasn't up to it and as Wendell keeps saying  'don't push it'..
I realize that this all sounds like I had some major surgery.. it would be normal to document all these things if that.  But I had just a lap chole, something that people go into the hospital or satellite surgery centers as out patients and go about their business directly after.. that's NORMALLY.  Obviously, there is nothing normal about me. 

So here is the scoop- to my children and siblings:
Next time you have general anesthesia and they ask if you or any family member has ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia, you have to say YES.  Sorry 'bout that.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Post op day 2

Well, perhaps not THAT good.  :)  but  I do notice a certain difference today from the direct aching of yesterday and the pinching keyholes.
I feel a tad stronger, though still aching, just not as much or as many muscles are involved.  I believe staying home and inside is on the agenda today.  Looking to returning to worship next week. 
Sad that we missed that Civil War exhibit at Brookville yesterday.  I really was looking forward to it, but , well, I doubt I would have appreciated it much.  We shall go another time.
I made coffee.. still not up to the whole cup, but it's good.

It's raining today again.  The forecast is for 3-5" snow by this evening. 

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bearly awake

Right now I'm bearly awake and moving.  I've nearly finished that half banana I started this morning..heheheh.. I am not eating much yet.
The flu like symptoms they warned me about for today is more like a bus hitting me head on.  I'm soooooooooo sore.  Glad it's all over and hoping I'll be a bit peppier tomorrow.  Today is like sleep 2 hours, up an hour to get a drink, use the potty, or grab a cracker, back to bed for a few hours, and so on over and over.  I'm exhausted.. going back to bed


Very special thanks to JJ and Keith who got me to the hospital Tuesday and brought me home then and yesterday too.  And for Amanda and John who , though they were physically exhausted, stopped for groceries for me so I could have something easy to digest over the weekend.
The surgery seemed like a whirlwind.  I had only been off the Plavix for 4 days, so the risk of bleeding was very present during and after surgery.  All went as planned and quite well.   Not sure why I was in recovery for 2 hours rather than the 45min-hr they suggested.  Afterward, before I went home, the anesthesiologist came to talk to JJ and me about a situation that happened in the OR- he said I anesthetized easily, but I am very difficult to intubate.  He gave me copies of his note from my chart to give to the next guy who has to intubate me- let's hope NEVER.  :)

Last evening was pretty good.  Once I got home, I went directly to bed, did not pass go, did not collect $200.. oh, wait, that's Monopoly.. let's see...... I went to bed and ...hmmm I dont' remember much for the next few hours.  I got up later on and had Jello, and drank half of a bottle of Ensure.  Not bad.  I'm finding I don't want to eat/drink much at any one time- seems to aggravate my belly.  I'm learning a whole new way of eating.
As of yesterday, I've lost 8 # since Feb 10th.  This is a good thing- but I wish nausea was not the main reason.  Dressings are dry.  YAY!  They are 4 tiny little patches like small bandaids. 
This morning I feel much better, though I am just not sure how long I'll be on my feet.  I seem to use up all my energy just having a cup of tea or coffee, or jello like last evening.  Haven't had a pain pill since last evening, but I probably should 'just because'. 

I may have a half banana this morning , compliments of my best friend Sandi and Rick.  In next post I shall get that picture on the blog.  The potted flower is gorgeous, and the fruit is perfect!  Every piece just grown to perfection.  Thanks to both of you!

I want to thank you all for prayer all week too.  It works and does so very well.  God is merciful and He is the Great Physician whom I love and trust.  Thanks, Vince,  for being there for us yesterday as well.

More later.. I need to go back and lay down again

Friday, March 04, 2011

Surgery day

I'm going to have my gall bladder out today.  It's been a rough week or so with nausea and pain in my abdomen.  What was thought to be from metformin, is not at all, but cholelithiasis- gall stones and sludge.  UGH.
I look forward to no more nausea, but I know there will be some pain after surgery.  It is to be a laparoscopic surgery, so there will be no incision per se. 
The risk factors make me a bit unnerved.  I need the plavix to keep my blood from clotting and causing another stroke, but I need to be off the plavix to keep from bleeding internally post surgery.  Acckkk!
Pray all things would be within normal limits for this time period at least.
I'm thankful for my family who have been so supportive along the way.  I've been asking a lot lately, and promise I won't ask too much after this is all over.
Remembering Amy and the kids too- they have had a variety of illness at their house in the past week.  Praying for a reprieve for them.
Cousin Keith was hit by a car- needing to uphold him also, and his dad as he recovers from his surgery last fall.
Remembering Jane too as she looks to likely having another surgery on her hip- she has much pain.
Happy that springy weather is upon us- not all that warm, but present.
Gotta get myself ready to go..