Where can you be under a Winter Weather Advisory, a Flash Flood Warning AND a Severe Thunderstorm warning…all at the same time? And, in the middle of that there was a special weather statement to be alert for tornado sirens. So there was ice, hail, lightening, thunder, thunder snow, rain and high winds at the same time or within a few minutes. The only thing missing was a rainbow.
Where can you find such wonderful weather you ask?
Central Illinois, of course!
I’m sure there are others who feel the same way. I’m so sick of all the illnesses we’ve had in our household. I believe there has been at least one illness infecting our home since before Christmas. We are on our second strep incident in less than a month. I have some kind of virus…feeling much better than I have in the last 5 or so days but still have a hoarse voice, cough and extremely tired. On top of the day-to-day illnesses, I’m fairly certain that I’m pretty anemic now too. I had an abnormally heavy cycle over the weekend and a Crohn’s/UC flare-up began on Sat. And, it’s not a minor flare-up. A good amount of blood loss in outputs.
I know my doctor will again push daily shots of Humira. I’m very much against the treatment. I think he was using a scare tactic by telling me I had to take the shots to prolong my life so I can see my kids grow-up. Hmmm, not exactly the best thing to say to a person who is dealing with Post-tramatic stress and severe anxiety due to her step-father being killed in a horrible construction accident on Christmas day ’09; which was in a string of deaths affecting our family. I was literally scared to death of death. It was all I could think about. I didn’t want my hubby going to work. I didn’t want my kids going to school. With that aside, I’m still shocked my doc used this approach. At the time I thought ‘ok, this is really serious. I’m going to have to take the shots.’ I’ve been through numerous docs in the last 15 years and he is one of the ones one I’ve trusted the most so that does weigh-in on my decision. On the other hand, I’ve been in much worse shape…like in the hospital without food for several days. I wasn’t bleeding, not throwing up, not in sever pain…was the Humira really necessary??
Over the course of the last 18 months and a few unfortunate situations, the trust I had in my doc has been trickling. In the past, I’ve respond well to antibiotics and he refuses to use them in treatment. We used to have a relationship where he presented the options and then together we choose what to do…not anymore.
When this Humira issue began budding its ugly face, he even presented me with paperwork to apply for charity assistance due to the drug’s cost. To me, the cost doesn’t even qualify as a reason to consider not taking the shots. Giving my self the shot would be a compliance issue. However, the largest reason is their own pamphlet/brochure! Every single page addressed the side affects of the meds..in a rather large font size for a brochure. Then you begin considering why each page is designed around these warnings. Did the government require the warnings? Is the company that unsure about their product? It is a product after all, not just a treatment.
No matter the reason, after a flex-sigmoidoscopy, I was able to get around the shots. However, I continued and still have this pain in my upper abdomen off and on. I should have been scheduled for a colonoscopy not a flex-sig. I questioned it twice and the nurses insisted the flex-sig is what I needed. When I was on the table and the doctor walked in he was prepared for a colonoscopy. Ugh! Duh! He claimed that he had changed his mind after my appointment and someone forgot to call and tell me. Accidents do happen and I settled with that. We proceeded with a flex-sig just to get an idea of the amount of inflammation in the lower portion of my colon. Turned out, it wasn’t bad enough for the shots.
I went back for another check-up and again complained of the pain. I had noticed by then the pain did correlate with how many outputs I was having. If I was backed up, the pain was there. If my outputs were fairly normal, there’s no pain. He said his guess is that the lining of my colon is thickening causing some discomfort when I’m constipated. He once again began his debate for Humira. I insisted on first having a colonoscopy (my preferred choice), or even in the least a CAT scan. He chose the scan. I thought about it and called back saying I really thought a colonoscopy was warranted. Nope, he wanted the scan….which ended up showing ZERO, zip, nothing…expect for a $5,000 bill. Still no answer to my pain but it got me off the hook where Humira was concerned. He said that over the last 5 years, I have had ‘smoldering inflammation’ that will end up with the need for surgery if I choose not to take the shots later down the road. Generally, the main area of inflammation is in the last 32 cm of my colon. Therefore, I will likely end up with a colostomy. Again, a scare tactic?? I truly believe a lot of this has to do with the endometriosis which surrounds my colon in the same spot, just on the outside of the colon. My GYN tends to agree. My GI disagrees. But she’s a she and he’s a he.
I missed my last GI appointment because he had to reschedule – I’ve yet to reschedule. I’m almost out of my meds and now with the bleeding as it is, I’ve got to buck up, stop avoiding the problem and do something. Recently, I saw a friend of mine who also has Crohn’s and the same doc. He’s been pushing the Humira on her, too. All I said was that I was having some issues with him. She said she was too. Then I brought up the Humira. We both have the same reason for our issues. Why is he pushing so hard? I’m just not convinced that the pro’s out-equal the con’s in this instance. Especially since he pushed her to take Remicade and high levels of prednisone. Neither treatment helped. She ended up having surgery and as a result of those meds she’s now been diagnosed with has Lupus and osteoarthritis…she has two biological children and two step-daughters.
Should I even bother going back to him though? I’ve been seriously considering just changing docs, yet again. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. I don’t even feel like I can go to our local support group for suggestions because he is an intricate part of the group. And, then I begin asking myself, why is he practicing like he is…I don’t want to think about the possibilities…..
Thanks for listening!!
In the last year or so my hubby’s soda pop consumption has increased dramatically. At first I didn’t realize just how much he was drinking. When I found out he was going to our small town gas station every morning, and drinking at least 52 oz. just while he was there, I became concerned. Especially for his health but when you start adding up the money he spends it’s an item you actually have to budget for each month. I tried buying can soda as well as the 2 liter bottles but he rather prefers the fountain soda.
So when I found a giveaway at The Freebie Junkie.com, I was pretty excited. The contest loot includes:
Winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet
CO2 which makes over 100 liters of soda
2 reusable carbonating bottles
A sample pack of flavors
and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice
How does SodaStream nutrition stack up against national brands?
Check out the full list here
Calories Carbs Sugar Sodium Caffeine
All SodaStream regular sodamix uses a mixture of Splenda® and sugar. Diet flavors are sugar-free, sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener. Comparison is based on 8 fl. oz. serving size (0.34 fl. oz. of SodaStream sodamix per 8 fl. oz. of water). Info provided from The Freebie Junkie.com
My general practitioner once told me that 80% of people in the U.S. are either dehydrated or borderline dehydrated. Primarily from drinking so much soda pop and coffee. We become tired with fatigue and begin consuming more soda pop and coffee. Which in turn de-hydrates us. It’s a vicious circle. Even though one of my New Year’s goals is to drink at least 70 oz. of water a day, I know I’m guilty of my coffee addiction (and sometimes Mt. Dew). Whether we win the SodaStream or not I truly hope it becomes the new trend in our country saving people both money and bone structure.
I’m crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes and all in hopes that by some chance win the contest. I would love to give this a try to help my husband cut down his gas station soda pop addiction!!
Stop by The Freebie Junkie to read more and enter her contest! While you are there check out all of the other awesome freebies or nearly freebies.
Thank you to Angie of The Freebie Junkie for providing us all with great offers and freebies!!
This past weekend my hubby & I went out to our old hangout, just outside his hometown. It was a benefit to honor a friend of ours who was killed in a car accident in Dec. ’09. Naturally, many people attended. We had a blast catching up with old friends…some of whom cracked me up due to their ‘Redneckishness’. (By the way, that’s my new word of the week.)
So this week’s Top Ten was inspired by all of you rednecks out there. Here is this week’s Top Ten…What is Redneckishness?, complete with bonus material at the end. :0)
1. Someone says “Give me a Beast (Milwaukee’s Best) immediately, with a capital E!” True story from years ago. The guy who coined the phrase, was present at the gathering Saturday night. We use the phrase quite often around here.
2. You hear that some guys are going ‘Bank pullin’ – this means they are taking their jon boat down our river, putting poles into the ground every so often. The goal is to catch the biggest catfish possible.
3. If you see a man and three boys competing to see how far they can water the grass while emptying their bladders. Never seen that around here, honest.
4. If you find your kids duck taping the garden hose to the top of their slide and calling it the world’s best water slide.
5. You notice your neighbor’s security cam is behind his house, pointed towards his deer food plot.
6. The neighbor’s family room has two TV’s…one for the Direct TV and one to watch what’s in the food plot.
7. When the song “Family Tradition” by Hank, is played at the local bar most of the crowd starts singing. Not just because they love the song but because 1/2 of the bar is truly related.
8. Your wife would rather hunt while you fix supper and take care of the kids.
9. When your son asks to go potty #2, you find him squatting outside in the front yard.
10. You use mineral spirits to light the charcoal fire.
Bonus #1: The highlight of your summer is floating down the river in inner tubes…complete with a highly sophisticated refrigerator – the cooler tube.
Bonus #2: When you spend more time wiping a cow’s butt than changing your kids’ diapers.
Bonus #3: When you are able to differentiate between the smells of cow poop, horse poop, pig poop, goat poop and of course, chicken poop.
And, finally….you hunt from within your home!
Hope I’ve provided some laughs to brighten your Tuesday! If you have anymore, by all means share!
Through most of college I had two choices for working on papers and projects. Using the library computer lab, the computer lab in my dorm or on a Macintosh at home or on loan from my mom. Back then, no one and I mean no one used Mac’s. It was such a hassle to convert files back and forth between Windows and the Mac. Losing data, reformatting, etc… Ugh! It frustrates me just thinking about it.
In recent years, Apple has cleaned up its image and products…first it was the iPod, iPhone and now the buzz is the new MacBook Pro and iPad. My Dell is almost 7 years old. Which is almost unheard of considering the software that’s used on it. There was a period of time when I had hardly used it because my PC was the only machine with my Adobe software. A little over a year ago I was able to put the Adobe CS 3 onto the Dell. It decreased my productivity and it slowly began having numerous problems. Last week it stop working. I’m not an impulse buyer…I’ve done it twice with big buck items and both times I’ve been bit in the butt. For the last 6 months or so I’ve been doing my homework. Not all designers use the Mac but a high percentage do. After the Dell decided to get an attitude I was forced to make a decision. And, thus….
I’m now a Mac Daddy Girl!!
I’ve had a few problems with my Verizon USB stick working and have yet to put on the Adobe CS?. That’s my project for this weekend. Unfortunately, with my current workload, I do not have the luxury of waiting months to decide which version I should purchase. I am excited about checking out the App Store. I’ve heard about some very nice inexpensive apps that will make life easier.
With these new tools, I hope to be closer to finishing my new blog layout. Cross your fingers!
Which side are you on? Or, are you riding the fence. What side am I on? Well, since you asked…
Disclosure: I have been a St. Louis Rams fan for years and intend to keep it that way – check out pictures below from their last home game this past season. This is only a do or die answer, if I had to choose…
It’s really an obvious answer. The Packers are “cheeseheads” from the cheese state of Wisconsin. How do you make cheese? From milk. What do I love? Milk, the dairy industry and dairy farmers. I’m also not a thief so there’s no chance of cheering on the “Stealers.” LOL!
I know this probably sounds like I know NOTHING about football and I’m one of those chics who call touch-downs, home runs. You couldn’t be more incorrect. I’ve always loved football however, baseball is my absolute favorite. After tomorrow there will be a void…no football, baseball or hunting. Don’t worry it won’t last long. Pre-season baseball games and turkey hunting will be here before we know it.
In honor of tomorrow’s festivities, I’ve collected a special Top Ten list for you. These should be great conversation starters during those awkward parties when you don’t know many people – if they aren’t, please let me know. Or, shock the pants off your family and friends as a know-it-all.
Top Ten Super Bowl Factoids: Get the Super Bowl Party Started (or, make people think you know what you are talking about)
1. The Pittsburg Steelers have played in seven Super Bowl games.
2. The Steelers have won six out of seven SB games
3. Four of their wins were within six years.
4. This will be the Packers fifth time playing in a Super Bowl game.
5. The Super Bowl is being played in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, TX.
6. One of the highlights in the stadium is the largest plasma screen ever used in a game.
7. The screen alone, cost $40 million.
8. There will be seven officials and two alternates which has been appointed by the Commissioner’s office.
9. The winning players will each receive $83,000. The losers will receive $42,000 per player.
10. The winning team will receive the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The trophy is named after the late coach, Vince Lombardi, of the two-time Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers before the 1971 Super Bowl.
BONUS FACT: As of Tuesday morning the average price for a ticket to this year’s Super Bowl was $3,000 each.
Enjoy and most importantly have fun!!
The first report came in last week…my girlfriend who lives about 2 miles away – as the crow flys – said that she saw some robins in her back yard. This was just before the blizzard hit. I thought “No way, she must be mistaken.”
Yesterday we were driving through a nearby town and turned a corner to find 10-20 Robins!!!! I was shocked. Each year one of my absolute favorite spring time activities is watching for the Robins to arrive. In my mind, the arrival of a Robin has always been correlated with spring. I was so pumped!!
As I was ready a post on Facebook a friend said she had seen 50 that morning. Well, this prompted an extensive conversation from numerous people who had also been seeing robins. The earliest was around Christmas! With all of the talk about climate change and the planet growing warmer every year, the Robin sightings have prompted me to be a bit concerned.
So what gives? Has the cold streak in the south chased them back up north? I’ll be very interested to hear more about these sightings and the reasoning behind a spring event that’s occurring during winter. It just doesn’t make sense…I must research, research and research even more as I get to the bottom of this unusual behavior.
Speaking of spring…Don’t miss out on a fantastic Changing of Seasons give-away over at The Beginner Farmer’s Wife. While you are there read about their journey which involves naturally raised heritage meats and true free-range poultry.
Watch soon for a post on my blog which will discuss true free-range poultry.
Welcome to the week-end!!
The Groundhog Blizzard, as it’s being dubbed, has passed. The mess is still being cleaned up. School was still out today, as there are many roads in our rural district which haven’t been cleared. I’m hoping the kids are able to return tomorrow…although we’ve heard there are people who are still unable to leave. I’m sure all of the kids are enjoying the snow. Due to the temperatures I resisted allowing the boys to play outdoors. I know it’s hard to believe, living in the Midwest and all, but we now have ‘Mount Snownomore’ in the middle of our circle drive. Yesterday, as the kids were enjoying the fun and the parents were trying to figure out how to get running water.
If you currently live or have lived in the country, you know that if you lose power, you also lose water. Oddly enough, we had no water but the lights continued to glow. I’m not complaining, there are many without power now, two days later. Instead of losing power completely, we had a few brown outs….which just happened to burn the well pump. Or, at least that was the theory. Without pulling the pump up the 140 ft., it was hard to make an accurate decision as to the cause. In the 10 years we’ve lived here we’ve had to pull it other two times. On the previous occasions we’ve had 6-7 men pulling the pump up. Instead there were three men, two kids and myself.
Thankfully, it turned out that part of the wire which runs the pump, had burnt completely through. In turn, we saved $350! Yay! And, after two days I was able to take a bath again, the livestock had their heated water restored which was relief since the water we would carry to them was freezing quickly and although egg production was down, today the girls were back to normal.
Here are some photos of our adventures…
I’m sure we all have visions of green, lush grass, the sweet songs of robins, laying on the front porch glider reading a book, sipping lemonade and sweet tea, the smell of freshly cut hay, watching the kids chase fireflies and building forts…oh, I could go on and on and on. I have the worst case of Cabin Fever. Judging by the amount of arguing, tv watching that’s been going on I would say I’ve spread my *fever* to the kids.
Time for some Cabin Fever tips! Some of these are tried and true, some I have in a folder I keep from magazines and some are just activities I’ve been wanting to try.
#1 Brown Sugar Sand Castles: My boys LOVE playing with brown sugar in place of sand. All you need is extra brown sugar, containers (think *outside the sandbox on this one…could be Tupperware, plastic milk jugs cut in two, empty and clean cans who are waiting to be recycled or reused, measuring cups, cleaned OJ boxes…the sky is the limit!) Instead of sticks use spoons, straws or paintbrushes for flags and decorations. I’ve tried doing this on our activity table-cloth or on cookie pans. I would recommend using both and line the cookie pan with foil which can replicate water for the moat. WARNING: This is not a good activity if you are a high maintainance mom who does not like big messes. It’s similar to Moon Sand whereas it can get everywhere with an added bonus of stickiness. With that said, the kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this activity!
#2 Mini-Me Scrapbook: Gather up any group of photos per child – at least 35…alphabetized based on the activity. Using typical scrapbooking supplies mount the pictures on a piece of acid free, lignin free cardstock or heavy scrapbook paper. Using a patterned pieces of scrap book paper have your child draw or trace the letters of the alphabet (make sure they will fit on the scrap book page). Then if age appropriate have them cut the letters out (adult supervision advised). Pair up an activity which begins with the letter “A” and place the cut-out A on the page, then decorate. Stickers, acid-free pens and other embellishments will finish the page up nicely. Continue until you have a page for each letter. There are a few options for assembling the book. Using a 3-hole puncher, you could prepare the pages and place in a binder. Or, you could only punch one hole in each paper and attach with yarn, ribbon or string. If you’re needing a day out of the house, run to Staples, FedEx/Kinkos or your nearest office store and have it professionally bound…this can increase the cost of this project. You can also use my favorite method and place each page in a scrap book, covered in plastic…you have a homemade book to help your child learn the alphabet and a family treasure.
#3 Ice Skating in your kitchen (this idea comes from “The FlyLady” website under the Camp Gonna Wanna Fly section) – We use this in conjunction with our weekly cleaning chores. Begin by digging out the swimming suits! And, maybe turning up the heat a degree or two. Next, make sure everyone keeps or puts socks on. On the Flylady’s website they suggest using a tub for the kids to get their socks soapy and wet. We save a dish and just spray down the floor (and sometimes the kids) with the kitchen sink sprayer. Using your regular dish soap draw the kids’ initials in the floor or pictures, lines, whatever makes them giggle. Begin skating!! Once I can tell they are starting to become bored I bring out six towels. I spray the floor again and give each child a towel. Sitting on their knees, they pull themselves around in their “boats.” This is the rinse and dry cycle. Finally, once the floor has had a good scrub down provide each child with their own towel and presto, you have exhausted, exercised, giggly children and a sparkling floor. All you have to do is remember to take pics!
#4 Trip to Barnes & Noble…One of our favorite winter and summer outings is taking a trip to Barnes & Noble. Our nearest store has a table for the older kids to sit and read. The real highlight is the Thomas the Train table that’s complete with all of the engines. Most of the time I can quickly grab a book of my choice, stop at the Starbucks counter for a coffee and then go relax in the children’s section while the kids play Thomas the Train. For this reason only (besides the fact we live in a little old farm house), I have never thought twice about not buying a set. Some days we even tie this in with a McDonald’s lunch date.
#5 Family Film Making: I’ve always wanted to try making a large puppet show theater, complemented by sock puppets. I keep the old socks and then we never get around to doing the activity. I recently found a new type of puppet which will allow you to reuse those mix/matched gloves. Sit down and go through magazines or photos with your kids. Have each child pick out the face they would like to be. Paste the picture or photo onto card stock and cut around the face. Grab those gloves which are missing their partners and cut the fingers off. Using craft glue or a glue gun (adult supervision recommended), glue the face to the front of each finger. You could also put a little dazzle into each character by using some sparkly, puffy paint. Draw dots or lines or whatever your kids dream up. The large set that I’ve always dream of ends up being overwhelming to build. So I found an idea using cardboard or a shoe box. Cut-out a large rectangle in the lid of the box. Cover with inexpensive felt from Walmart or your local craft store. Add ribbon or other embellishments for decorations. Set up the box, pop some popcorn and you have your own home theater!
***School has already been canceled for tomorrow and mostly likely Wed. due to the impending Blizzard. I think we might give this a try and then I’ll have pics to share!***
#6 Horizontal snowman: As long as the temps are too low and you have snow on the ground…make use of it! Of course you can stick with the traditional snowman where you roll the three balls but last year we ended up with quite a few cold snows where the snow just would not pack. Instead we would make three hills of snow, one small, one medium, and the bottom would be the largest. It sure did help turn some frustrated frowns upside down!
#7 Snow Fort: If you live out in the country and have access to a tractor or Bobcat you’ve got the beginnings of a fun, filled fort. Now, even if you live in town or do not have access to a tractor look for nearby ditches where the snowplows will sometimes live a nice mound of snow. Even if these aren’t options, you are not out of luck! As long as the snow packs you can roll three or four enormous snowballs. Set them each next to each other and find a sheet of plywood for the roof. My kids love to use their hills of snow for sledding and when they grow tired of that they begin to dig tunnels. Our hills can get so big that tunnel digging is only allow with an adult nearby, just case something would cave. My favorite is when they build slides that go down into their fort!!
***My hubby is stoked about tomorrow’s snow storm. He is already planning where he’ll place the pile.***
#8 Fort building without snow: When there isn’t snow on the ground (which hasn’t been very common this year) the kids will head down to our storage shed for a ‘roll’ in the hay. Willis must be adequately medicated prior to doing this but they are never disappointed with the fun. So you don’t have a hay shed or barn? That’s alright! Grab as many blankets as you can and get ready to move some furniture. Your family room can quickly be transformed into the coolest fort on the block!
#9 Search and Find/Name Game Decorating: Long name, tons of fun! A really neat way to decorate your home is by creating a unique picture frame which contains every letter in your last name. The letters are found around town, in the country, house or where ever. As you find each letter, stop and take a picture. Edit using your favorite software (Photoshop Elements is inexpensive compared to the full version, or go to piknic.com for free software.) Print the pics and frame each individual letter. Display on the wall and wade through all of the compliments you’ll receive! I might work on this one tomorrow!
#10 Library Day, with a twist: Going to the library is another great way to spend quality time with your kids. Many offer wonderful children programs, story time, etc… If you are like us and only have a small library to your disposal you can play library at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to our one room library that’s about the size of my dining room and kitchen combined. It reiderates the fact that we live near one of America’s all-time true Mayberry’s. And, I LOVE it! However, there aren’t the programs you find at larger libraries.
At home you can play library, killing three birds with one stone…it can be done! Pretend you are librarians going through all of the on-hand books. As you go through them keep your favorites but make a stack for a local child care center or crisis pregnancy center. Make sure you give the kids a little fun by “checking” out a couple of their books! Entertainment, organization and giving. I like it.
I had originally planned to post this last week but wasn’t ready. Boy am I glad it wasn’t! I hope these tips help those of us who will be stuck a home with three little boys…two of which want to wrestle, constantly.
Happy Snow Day to those receiving all of this wonderful snow!!