Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Christmas Theme Unveiled!


 






Well, the other day I stumbled across a Norwegian saying that will be my Christmas wish \Theme. And after looking at some things online, I want to decorate our fake, Charlie Brown Chrismas Tree in this fashion.

If you are new here you may be asking:
 
"Why so early?"

Answer:
 Crohns-
a disease I have, Prednisone- a med to help the disease I have- basic life altering things that make any day, besides the holidays, lets say, difficult. And make ya want to blog! And Choose Christmas Themes.... Who does this? A small population that I am a part of....

So in my Christmas letters.  I want to put this Norwegian Wish:



"May your Christmas be good and give you peace of mind. May all problems become small and disappear. Let the days to come be good and kind. Merry Christmas to you and your family." 
 
how cute is that anyway?!?
 and then I found these sweet little stamps from here:
(Norway stamps from 2010. Picture found on Philately.com)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If I don't get letters done this year, just come to my blog and see what would have or may arrive in your mail box some time in March.
 
Or maybe next Christmas!
So that Norwegian saying will be typed up on my olde type writer
(see picture above- that is my inspiration.) 
and sent to friends and loved ones some snowy Idaho day.
Yes, it isn't even Halloween. However, there is a cold in the air and the wind is whipping up like at the beginning of Ichabod's journey homeward after his frightful party!ooooo!
 
What is more frightful, I am beyond Boo-hoo-ing with this taper, my health and then I peeked at the news and we have a minor pandemic. Folks are freaking out!
 Stay calm, Readers. Of course use your noodle, but let's try to keep this in pandemic perspective.
Same usual rules apply: Wash your hands. Cover your cough. And wear your Haz Mat Suit.
 Pretty simple. Don't see why the fuss. kidding. It's  mildly disconcerting.



 
*
*******************************
*

For me, and my circumstances, I have Christmas on my mind. Weird, I know. I don't even know what to wish for. Well, I would love if some smarty pants could come up with a med for Ebola. Oh, and maybe I wish I wouldn't have seen that movie, Contagion with Matt Damon in it, other than that I am good. I have all I need. Seriously. I am very blessed.
Even J. could not think of anything when I asked what he wanted this year. He stopped, thought about it a minute then shrugged.
"What I want I am saving up for... so I don't know." he replied.

"Oh, good." I replied. "Because I have a lot of ways I want to wrap gifts this year, so when you open them and they are empty; they were just for decoration."

He gave me a drab look. I thought he'd laugh...... hm.
 Don't worry, though. One day we were in Wal-Mart a mere ten minutes, picking up some milk, he found something he could tell me, to tell Santa, that he wanted. I told him I would pass it on.
 
 
And then I googled a favorite calendar of mine The Stendig Calendar





(a calendar that is so cool it is part of 'Museum of Modern' - ness. I made the last part up.)
 The reason why I love this calendar is because I can SEE it. Yes, I am pretty much blind.
Not necessarily due to prednisone. But it helps to have a HUGE calendar when you are on it because the days run into one another when you are sick.

The search for the calendar led me:

to some gal named, Hege's blog. She is from Norway. (hegeinfrance.com) I think it is a sign that I needed more Norway inspiration! She is into interior design. Very cool pictures and work. I admired many of the pictures as I endured a few hours the other night. Thanks Hege!

Having some computer problems.... better wrap this up.
**************************************************************************
 
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

To Kill A Fruit Fly Again....

(Random Back Yard Photo. Fun to have a fire out back on Autunm Nights & Roast, as one grandkid puts it: "Puppies" i.e. hotdogs. )
 
Wulp, since my last post, I found out that the tomtato is just ONE of the ways a fruit fly is brought in the house.
 
Another? Being on prednisone.

Yup, I had the flies pretty much eradicated and then I start seeing them in the Fam. room. Hm. I thought. Odd. We have this place on Fruit Fly lock down.

And then guess what? I found a banana on top of the book case. Couple bites out of it.
Bananas are great for potassium. Especially while on prednisone. It keeps the muscles from getting charlie horses in them.

Guess we are gonna have to put me on
 
Banana Lock Down

in order to get a handle on these fruit flies. Again..

Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Kill a Fruit Fly


Tomotoes are the biggest culprit of the Fruit Fly.

Readers,

Well, as a result of gardening and bringing in the produce, you get the dreaded Fruit Fly. Forget Ebola! Try getting rid of Fruit Flies!  (kidding, that ebola will be a blog post I bet.)

For the past few weeks I have been trying to bring about their demise. I think I have just about killed all of them and their families that have descended on our house this fall. Sure, I still see one try to fly up my nose or smell my breath while I eat fruit but for the most part they are gone!
 
Yah- hoo!

(P.S. how cute is that daisy up there? It was one of the "salvaged ones" adopted by me at the end of summer when a big store was throwing them out. And P.P.S, Aren't you glad I blog so the questions you think to yourself such as: "what does she do all day anyway?", can be answered? Yup, I do the tasks no one thinks of like the Fruit Flies.)

The secret? Vigilance! Every night the experts online tell us,  out the garbage should go! Other online  tips on getting rid of them:

The sink has to be cleaned and boiling water poured down it to kill the eggs.
 
Wah?????????????????????????????????????
 

(Look at this lone Sunflower. Readers, I used to have Mammoth Sunflowers- below-






 dotting my garden before this dumb disease took an even bigger turn downward. Look at the contrast of the sunflower in full bloom during summertime vs. fall and me not giving them proper care...Gosh dang!)

Back to the Fruit Fly.....




 EVERY NIGHT, Readers.  (the sink is their haven. well, one of them. the garbage disposal must be a nice gurgling lullaby to the babies.) Who is able to do this  I ask?? Clean out sinks, not listen to the garbage disposal to put you to sleep. Maybe I should try that when I have a rough night of prednisone.

No wonder things like ebola in 3rd world countries are hard to get a handle on. If we can't get ahold of the tiny Fruit Fly..

Well, some people might be able to get a handle on things. For me, it's hard. When trying to taper off prednisone, pioneer Entyvio, and it's football season- I don't have much energy.

So, I hate to take the credit for getting rid of them myself. It has been a group effort. Madre has been stealth like with the fly zapper whenever we have a meal. She could be the Fruit Fly Whisperer.. She slowly moves in on them when they are sitting on the edge of dish full of yellow pineapple when suddenly ZAPPO! She gets them when they go in for a lick!

 
(Padre let me borrow his camera the other day. I could barely hold it up without my wrist brace. But I promised you to start uploading some pics. I had to take some of them first. Which was a chore.)


I went ahead and told Padre that it wasn't necessary to try and hold onto the tomato plants as they weren't necessarily cost effective if I had to bring in a Hazmat Crew to get rid of Fruit Flies vs. just buying some at the store. ( No, we didn't get any of them canned this year. As is the point, I think, of gardening. Along with teaching us to be resourceful, independent, so on and so forth.)

The real reason we are rid of them is this:




 I bought 3. It brought the little annoying, hovering, and exceptionally quick flies out of the wood work.
When I first got them, I had to watch what the little fellas would do. Oddly a few of them just sat there, on the edge of the apple, as if they were suspicious of it; contemplating whether or not to enter it like they had seen a commercial on the trap. They must not have been able to ignore the tempting red liquid inside cause I have seen them floating around in the apples.

Side note: I went to find a picture of my trap and ran across a site that tells about the Fruit Fly.
One question they answered that I wanted to know was:

"Where does it [the fruit fly] Come From?"

Answer: "Outside."

Well, duh.



then this paragraph below, about the larvae grossed me out so I will share it so you can be grossed out too:

 "The fruit fly is instantly attracted to any type of substance that is in the process of decaying and is considered to be sour. This could include residue on the interior regions of trash containers, spills on counters and floors, wet cloths, mop heads that have a high concentration of moisture and food particles in cracks and crevices. In addition to this, these insects are highly attracted to drains and drainage pipes that have deposits of organic matter."

*That explains the pouring boiling water down the drains!

(Even being ignored these petunias lit up during the past few days. Tonight it is freezing so this was their last day to shine.)


Does that mean ALL the drains? Or just the ones in a kitchen?

So we now know that the fruit fly comes from outside. And you have to be able to get all the dishes done before you go to bed or else the fruit flies will be hanging their stockings on the mantle next to yours at Christmas time.

How do you Readers stay on top of cleaning? All I know is that the laundry is going pretty much all the time since I decided that J. could go ahead and just wear his clothes once to school and shed them when he gets home.
 
Thank you, enterovirus!

Thank you for making us feel that much more guilt and stress about cleaning!

Ya know those moments when you are just at wits end and the end of the day?

 When the dishes have hung around for a few days next to the sink,  or in the sink,  and you accidenttly left a load of laundry in the wash so it has to be REWASHED? And you find out that you left it there to be re-washed  when you need a jersey washed really quick in time for a game?


(readers, I tried to capture the stages of the berries... I think it got too dark.)

Do you find yourself at wit's end and you still have to figure out what to fix for dinner but you don't feel like eating yourself but know the kid (s) will really be wanting a nice meal cause football practice is rough. And now it's getting cold outside?

Oh, and you are bare foot and walking around noticing the build up of crumbs which makes you realize you also need to mop the floor. Anyone know what I am talking about?

No stinking wonder the Fruit Flies love that bunch of bananas I am holding onto in order to make banana bread- yeh, right!  I always feel guilty throwing any of them away cause banana bread is SO good. Once the banans are black really the bread is out of the question.

It's in those "Wit's Ends"  moments you feel desperate. Which may make you want to pick up a cheap pizza with absolutely no nutritional value. And try to ignore the fact they may not wash their hands as well as you do or running a fever cause they were on a plane with someone who helped somone in Dallas, Texas who had Ebola.

(another random backyard pic)



I guess I don't have to be so perfect with things. Instead of trying to get the sheets changed once a week just let them go until you the bed bugs ask to get a breather.

 But I have felt it my job to keep the house clean for the troupes. Or at least disinfectd. We have grandkids over. We have a big family. I live here. I get to stay home cause I am sick. So I get feeling the need to do what I can. But it is hard. And my predicament makes me see things from a possible epidemic stand point.

Fortunately none of us have gotten sick. I mean sick, sick.

At his elementary all the kids have been through the coughing and sneezing and now are onto some stomach flu virus. One of the teachers I talked to has been sick and going through Lysol wipes by the dozens.

I have felt bad. Almost to the point of ordering a haz mat suit online and going in after school each day and hosing it down. Oh wait. I can barely walk. hmmm... makes it hard. I guess all I can do is cheer them on.

And get rid of Fruit Flies. Somebody has to, right?


(Nephew watching his cousin ride passed the window on his bike and do tricks. I do the same thing; watch from the window and knock on it if the kid on the bike gets too "rowdy".)

Speaking of traps and living in my parent's basement-  the spiders are coming in. Hate those guys more than the Fruit Fly. So I set out my sticky card board traps. You won't guess what happened the other day!

I had to do a good cleaning in the bathroom with some Lysol. That stuff can kill ya. So I opened the windows downstairs. It was a beautiful day and with the fans running it really felt good. It also helped air out the place and bring down the toxic fumes a notch.

That night J. was in my room and noticed a spider slowly lowering itself down from the top of my window. A- HAH! I dared it to land right on my trap. In fact, I made sure it did by picking up the trap and holding it below it so it could get stuck. And guess what? It walked across it. I had to turn it over and do some quick thinking!

Which meant I just crushed it on it's second round of the trap. So now what? Yeh, there were some spiders that had gotten stuck. Small gnats. So that was comforting to know the traps I have set don't work!

(Why do little kids love the movie Cars so much? Jaden couldn't get enough of it either.This little guy found a cookie he'd smashed into the DVD and finished it off later...too funny.)
 



I think I want new windows in our bedrooms. 

Isn't it nice to get a random blog post? Take the mind off of things. And share information. Well, my hands are hurting from typing. This post has taken a few days to put together.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cow Character & Evel Knieval

 

Readers!

Did you know that last month was the blog's 5 year anniversary? Yeh, me either until I went back and started to read it from the beginning. Annnnddd guess what? The post I started on was almost the exact thing happening today!

I was on prednisone.
Up in the night blogging about...
J. riding his bike, going off curbs and me saying: "Watch for cars!"

This EXACT thing happened yesterday. He was jumping his bike. I hollered from the adirondack chair: "Watch for cars!"

Some things never change.


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

Well, the other day J. paid me an interesting compliment.

He had done some things that I told him were really good- heck, I couldn't do that even when I was young!

J: "Yeh, well, you have talents they just aren't as obvious. You're like a cow."

I lay there, my hands behind my neck, blinking up at the ceiling and trying to figure out what he meant by 'cow' and how that was a 'good thing.'

ME: " A cow, you say? "

J: "Yeh, you know how they just stand there?"

ME : "uh-huh...." still not catching the correlation.

J: "They aren't overly exciting standing there chewing their cud,  but they do important things."

ME: "Such as find shade beneath a tree and lie down and eat grass, or what?"

J: "They don't stand out as amazing is what I mean,  but actually you are like the ones at Reed's Dairy. You know.  Actually provide a service. Not just STAND there."

Mulling it over, as a cow would chew her cud would do, I thought that, all things considering, it was a pretty nice compliment after all. So I'm a cow.

He also gave me some sage advice about how kids are these days; what their thinking. I told him I should go in and try to help at some point in his classroom. He shot a look my way and knew I would only go into the ring of germ fire if I was wearing a mask due to my lowered immune system.

"Mom, I think that the littler kids might be scared. You don't want them to think your Evel Knieval or something."

Like with the cow compliment, I struggled to see what and how I resembled the stuntman.
Looking at pics online I don't see the resemblance. And nothing about what I do and what he did are anywhere close.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Why the Pred. Taper Failed



(Isn't this pretty? It is the picture that started my creative juices flowing along with Susan Branch's book: Autumn.)
*
Readers,
Last night was awful.
(referring to Sat. Night)

I am sitting here, still recovering from the quick prednisone taper that I was chronicling on my blog, barely able to climb back on here and open up my album of favorite things to look at. I am so relieved to have made it through a h o r r i b le  two days.

I was just able to take a nice, hot shower. SOOOO grateful to have strength for that.

I had to wait today until I had the strength. I am grateful for wipes, no rinse shampoo, and these little poofy things that clean my teeth when I can't get to the real deal.

Being clean is such a blessing. Being able to get clean is a huge blessing.
 
 

I am realizing more and more the most basic things can be hard when you are debilitated. Everything takes so much longer. Getting ready for the day is monumental. hey I should throw in some random cuteness to liven this post up.


(how cute is that? my little nephew riding his stick horse. )


My heart goes out to you that have been unable to do these things for yourself. If you are here searching for answers, that I myself sought- I hope you can find them. I hope I know what to type to help some of you.
Getting out of the shower just now I made use of a rail that Padre put in for me.

 He put them into both of the bathrooms. They help me get in and out of the shower or bath.
I appreciate them so much. I had no clue how handy they are until I stayed in a hotel room for the disabled. I about cried at the "brilliance."

I guess I just thought they were reserved for those who were old, or more disabled than I am.

 I honestly wished he would have done it two years ago! My pride kept me from accepting my disabilities. And as a result, I went through waaaay more struggles, pain, and even injuries.

Pretty stupid, huh?

Why is it so hard to listen to your gut? Or follow through with what your gut says?

 
(hello, flash! J after a game.)


The most obvious one was this prednisone taper.

Why on earth would I wear a bracelet on my wrist that says: "Steroid Dependent" for the sole purpose of letting emergency staff or others know that an emergency could arise if they found me in some sort of adreanl crisis, then chug on and ignore the signs of an immenent crisis myself?

Ya, I know. Pretty Stupid.

I was trying to stick to Doctor's orders. But my body was shouting out to me before I headed into the second four day drop of 5 mgs. Severe symptoms cropped up and I just slogged through it until I had a really good idea- CALL the DOCTOR.

Another good idea is to keep a schedule and journal everything. Then if you get confused or dehydrated you or a loved one can review your list. Pretty simple but often dismissed.



When I made the call for help,

A different doctor was on call. I felt bad that I woke him from sleep but my body was in crisis. And I needed to know if I should go to the (cringe) ER.

(Insert an emoticon that isn't  yet invented that shows the dread that many of you reading this probably feel when faced with that option.)

(winning his first rodeo buckle..... )
 
When the on call person patched me over to the doctor I summed up my symptoms, the taper, and the Entyvio.
 
"That is way too fast of a taper"


he told me.

 Due to my symptoms and the shock I was barreling toward I was told to increase the prednisone to an even HIGHER amount than I had started to taper off of. 

???????????????????????????????????????????????????

Noooooooooooooooooooo~ but Yeeeeeeeeeeesssss~!   Did I mention that I wanted to say:

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!" to the doctor? But I could see the writing on the wall, sister! or brother.

And, by the way, can we all get on the

SAME PAGE here?





(Readers this is not me promoting to just do Your Own Taper Program, or say to run out to the latest health drug store and add herbs to the mix- )

Common sense told me that the taper was too fast. But for some reason I was led to believe or misunderstood Entyvio. It was as if the med helped the adrenals as well for those of us on prednisone. That was how I took what my doctor told me about it. Now I think it was just that it is for those of us non-responders.



 (Getting this cose to a rodeo clown for a little cowboy is like.... amazing... or something.)
 
But the cure for prednisone crisis is, well, prednisone.
(Which I could have told myself but I was following the orders.)
 
TAlk about two inches forward and 500 feet back.

My heart sunk.

ALL that effort for seemingly nothing. But the relief was not even close. It tooks hours to subdue. And then I slept. Not a restorative sleep but a horrid delirum.
I missed a good friend play the violin in church. I was sad about that.


Often it is hard to allow yourself the ability to use that noggin on your shoulders with all the information that you have accumulated.  And question those things when the red flags start up.

(cute pennant....  from schoolhouseelectrical.com easy to make from felt. Another craft medium for Prednisone! When I can move, I am so making one of these. I will have to hand sew it. : ) )

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Taper Fail

 Can't  sustain taper. Back up to a safe level and re-try.




Saturday, October 11, 2014

Recess and Entyvio Report

 

(Random family photo of a child learning to pose for Padre's Pictures.)
 
Why does learning literally hurt?
J. will come home from school exhausted from trying really hard. And it reminds me of trying really hard when I was in school. Especially with math or something. Almost gave me a 'headache' trying to learn.
I might have to research it.

 
My nephew had started kindergarten this year and wasn't too excited about it. In fact I heard he hated it!

(That's him bustin an EWE up above.)
Can you blame him for not wanting to go to school when he used to play cowboy at home every day?
I loved sub teaching his age group so  
when he came over the other day, I mentioned that I'd heard he didn't like school so much.
He seemed to be ignoring me as he sat on the tramp trying to transform one of J's transformers.
 Then like a confident cowboy sauntering into a Saloon he said:
 
" Yeh, you heard correctly; I didn't like it."

That kid can mimic a kid not paying attention to a parent better than any kid I know!
 
I was curious to find out what brought about the change of heart.
 
"What made ya start to like going to school?" I asked.


"Recess."
 
 ******************************************

DO NOT READ BELOW if ya want something fun or exciting in life.
Why? 
Cause it's the:
 
The Entyvio and Prednisone Update is next.  ya don't want to stick around and read. feel free to go to recess.
 
- I feel REALLY sore in my mucles. As if I had a hard workout in Coach Guilford's weight lifting class.
So the rice bags have been out. I try to avoid the heating pad in case I fall asleep.
 You should too.

Rice bags give a "moist heat" that is beneficial for the facist feet of mine. They say to alternate between that and ice for 20. And stretch every two hours. Yeh, right.
 
-Headaches. Zofran for the nausea has helped.
-Eye strain. It seems like my eyes tire out really quickly. Maybe it is connected to the headaches; causing them?
 
-I have made a bunch of stuff out of yarn. Apparently yarn is the prednisone craft mascot for this particular taper.
Really like the Lion brand.
I am getting to the point of wanting, or hoping, that I can learn to knit and maybe even become an accomplished seamstress.

Kidding.
But I do want one that isn't one of those fancy computer capable ones. Just want to keep it simple.

***********************************************8
Day 2 at 5 mgs.
Our bodies produce 7.5 mgs of cortisol by themselves. For 3 years pred. has helped me do it synthetically. Like most teens, they just want to sleep, scoff at work, and generally are in a bad mood. Or PMS-ing. Noticing this today. Not with J. but with my adrenal glands. But he has had some moments of onery too. I don't know if it's football or if football is helping. Or if this is how young boys act at this age. Or he is mad about this stupid disease and prednisone. too.

All of the above.

Did waaaayyyyyy to much research last night. My advice to myself- try to take it easy. But that would mean closing my eyes when I would actually like to look around. Lots of eye pain?

Even before I did the reading I did last night...... hmmmm. Entyvio, or no? That question is starting to sound like a game show name. Hope some scientists or experts in microbiology or endocringology are playing that game with a microscope and petri dish right now. 

Does it sound like I am a weatherman giving the forecast or more like I am an astronaut telling folks back in Houston all about something really technical and beyond my imagination about space?

Feels like both to me.