Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Stash

Since I've been flared for a month, unfortunately I haven't gotten much knitting done.  It's been driving me crazy, not being able to work on my projects.  Not feeling the yarn sliding between my fingers, not hearing the quiet clicks of my needles, not getting to watch the progress from skein of yarn to finished projects...

OK.  Enough waxing melodramatic lol.
To satisfy my knitting itch and to feed my yarn addiction, I have started increasing my yarn stash!  

So far, each skein has a project assigned to it, but if I don't get to knit soon, that might not remain true!

These two are for the squares for the KasCare project that Park Avenue Yarns is hosting!  I've made 4 squares already, and I'm hoping to make a lot more before August 15th!

These lovely skeins will go into making Teresa Cole's Owlie Sleep Sack and Hat!

This pretty gray will end up being a knit, basket-weave patterned belt for Julie!

And this beautiful dark green wool will make a warm scarf in a basket-weave pattern for Lindsay!

I seem to be working mainly in earth tones lately...maybe my next purchase will change that!  Or maybe not.  Either way, I'm hoping my wrist gets its act together so I can complete these wonderful projects!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Planning Monday!

Let's get this straight.  I am actually menu planning ON A MONDAY?!?
And the world ISN'T ending?!?

Maybe this means I'm getting back in my blogging groove.  I hope so, because, as lax as I've been, I really do miss writing on here.

Since my last post, my frame of mind has been generally better, even if my physical frame has not.  That's right, I'm still flared.  BUT I go to Dr. C on Thursday and am hoping for some relief in the form of cortisone joint injections.  Those needles might be huge and scary looking, but it's totally worth it!  


Because I miss being active (well, active for me) so much!  
I've tried walking--bad idea--and tried using the WiiFit--again, bad idea--but both of them exacerbated my flare.  I tried going to the gym and getting on the recumbent bike--horrible idea.  I miss water aerobics SO MUCH, but the water resistance kills my wrist, so I haven't been going.  I'm hoping next week I can go again!  In the meantime, I'm getting desperate.  I even bought an adult hula hoop on amazon.com today so that I can be active here at the house.  Hula hooping is impact free, and my back and hips are unaffected, so I'm hoping this will give me something I can go do for a few minutes a few times a day just to get up and moving.  Oh, and the one I bought has bright and happy colors!
Anyway, I'm hoping that having something to do other than sit on the couch and read (which, don't get me wrong, I LOVE) will help me sleep at night (stupid insomnia) and help me get some energy back.  Alright, enough about output!  Here's the plan for this week's input!

Breakfast:  some combination of egg, toast, fruit and/or yogurt with cottage cheese with milk
Lunch:  turkey and cheese sandwich or PBJ for me, leftovers or buying for Bryan
MONDAY: Tonight we had big salads with (fake)crab meat and rolls!  It sure hit the spot.
TUESDAY: Sit and Stitch!  Traditional Sonic night!
FRIDAY:  Pita Pizzas
SATURDAY:  Bryan has a ride, so I'll be on my own!  I might just enjoy another big salad--I've been salad-hungry lately!
SUNDAY: Probably out to eat!  If not that, then I might try that new Weight Watchers recipe for Chicken Pasta in a Creamy Walnut Sauce that I've been excited about!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Hello everyone!  Sorry about that...two weeks is a pretty long between-posts hiatus.
It's been a fun two weeks though!  My cousin Gina and her three came in for a couple of days, and we had a blast.  Then the next week, my cousin Carol and her husband Calley and their two boys came in for 5 days!  We had such a good time with them.  Bryan took them on a tour of NASA, we hit the neighborhood swimming pool (it has slides!), made a day trip down to the beach, saw Rio at the dollar theater (GREAT movie!) and caught an Astros game!  The Astros lost (of course), but the fireworks show after the game was excellent.

This week is the first week this month where we don't have someone coming to stay with us!  July has been, and will continue to be, quite the busy month!

***Warning: What follows is a vent.  I know I'm normally upbeat about the whole RA thing, but today I'm having trouble kicking my perspective back into gear.  So, I'm writing.  Feel free to stop reading here :-)***

I really wish that was all there was to this month--people coming in, getting to spend time with family.  However, I'm apparently caught in the flare that never ends.  I keep calling it a "flare" because the only other term that would really apply is "regression" and I HATE that word.  Regardless of its 10 letter composition, it's still a four letter word in my book.

My right wrist is pretty bad off.  Once again this morning I can barely see my wrist bone through the swelling.  Of course, that means that my entire right hand was feeling left out and decided to join the party.  For some reason, my feet decided to join in as well, especially my left one.  With my left one this flared, I distribute my weight differently on my foot, which means that this morning my left knee decided to start complaining.

Other than the knee, all of this has been going on for a FREAKING MONTH.  Which means I haven't been taking walks, and haven't been going to water aerobics.  Hurting and being stuck in the house in a pretty big bummer, so I haven't really been doing the Weight Watchers (hello, my name is Kristen and I am an emotional/bored eater), which means I've gained some of my weight back.  Which makes me feel wonderful, let me tell you.

On top of that, a friend of mine just got diagnosed with RA two months ago and calls me to vent and for advice.  I don't mind that at all--I'm glad that my experiences can benefit someone else.  

HOWEVER, she has a crappy doctor  and won't change because she doesn't want to hurt said doctor's feelings, AND she's gotten it in her head that her disease symptoms are only appearing because she now knows she has RA PLUS she randomly decides that her pain and swelling is the fault of her medications and STOPS TAKING HER DRUGS.  

First of all, RA is a progressive disease.  Once it shows up, it's here to stay and it WILL GET WORSE.  Second of all, SCREW hurt feelings--you need a good doctor with something like this.  Thirdly, she needs to give her meds time to work, get new ones if they don't, and realize there is NO CURE so the meds aren't going to "fix" everything.  Finally, if the meds were causing the symptoms I'd be happy as a lark because I'm off of everything.  The frustrating thing is, no matter how many times (and it's been a lot) that I tell her all this, a week later, I'm getting the same spiel.  I hate seeing a friend get diagnosed, but even more I hate seeing her NOT LISTEN and make decisions that are going to hurt her long-term prognosis.  Hopefully, her case won't turn out to be as extreme as mine, and these stupid decisions won't completely screw her prognosis.

On top of all of that, today I'm hurting particularly badly (see above about my knee), so I'm having to sit.  
On the couch.  
All damn day.
When I have plenty I need to get done before this weekend.

Oh, and did I mention I'm still not pregnant?  And that I go to see Dr. C (my rheumatologist) next Thursday?
I was really hoping to be pregnant by the time I saw him again.  Granted, once you figure in the time for going off of my meds and then the time for everything to regulate after going off of the pill, we've only really been trying for 4 months, but I was really hoping.  

Barring that wonderful event, I REALLY did NOT want to go see him as flared up as I am right now.  All that will do is open the door up to the Fertility Options OR Back on Your Meds discussion that I really want to avoid.  So, I'm going to be a good little gimp girl for the next week and hope that all of this settles down sufficiently so that Dr. C is fine and dandy with giving us a bit more time to try on our own.

Now that I've gotten out everything that is frustRAting me at the moment, here's what I'm thankful for:
Having the ability to be on disability...
Victoria might be coming to stay next week...
We're having dinner with Mark and Alicia tonight...
 It rained yesterday and looks like it will again today...
I get to see more of my awesome family this weekend...
and most of all...
I have an amazing and wonderfully supportive husband who loves me and whom I love with all my heart!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Menu Planning...Thursday? Yes, Thursday!

This week I swear that my head would have long since fallen off my shoulders if it hadn't been connected!
It's been wonderful in a lot of ways--family coming in is always fun!  On the other hand, it has been a very stressful couple of days, mostly because we had a water leak.  We're still in the process of working out what exactly happened and finding out who we need to talk to about repairs, but you can probably bet on a post about it in the coming weeks.  That said, most of the damage is over the garage, so at least our house is still liveable while we figure all this out.

In the meantime, my cousin Carol and her husband Calley and their boys are coming in next week!  It's going to be SO MUCH FUN having them here!!!  We always have a good time hanging out together.  Since we have about a week until they come, I figured I'd menu plan for the days in between!  We'll figure out next week once they get here and I can get input on what the boys like to eat!  So, without further ado, here's are menu plan for this short-week!  

Breakfast:  some combination of egg, toast, fruit and/or yogurt with cottage cheese with milk
Lunch:  turkey and cheese sandwich or PBJ for me, leftovers or buying for Bryan
THURSDAY:  Coconut Shrimp
FRIDAY:  Pita Pizzas
SATURDAY:  Bryan will be out of town, so I'll figure something out!
MONDAY: Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Walnut Sauce--a new recipe I'm REALLY excited about!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fantastic 4th!

I know, I know.  Where the heck have I been?
Well, I've been here, but things have been super busy for about the past two weeks!
At the beginning of last week, we kicked off our several weeks of having family coming to stay.
It started with my cousin Calley overnighting with us last Monday.  He's a pilot, so whenever he has a layover in Houston, he crashes with us!  It's always a ton of fun, and this time he introduced the hubby and me to the IPhone App Words.  It's Scrabble on the IPhone!  We've been playing ever since!

Wednesday morning, Bryan and Ethan headed out on their 4 day road trip.  They rode from here to DFW, to Tulsa, to the Ozark National Forest, to Eureka Springs, to Little Rock and then back home.  They said it was a good trip, but it sure was a LONG one!

So what did I do while they were gone?
Mama and Gan Gan came in Wednesday and stayed all the way until Thursday evening!
We went and had lunch at my favorite tea room and went shopping at all the little boutique and resale shops in the area.  Normally, I'm not much of a shopping gal, but with mom and Gan Gan it's always fun!  Mom bought me this awesome sign that I'm going to hang over my pantry door, once we paint the kitchen of course.

Thursday night, Steve and Angie and the kiddos came to stay!
We had pizza for dinner, and then after Mom and Gan Gan left, I joined Angie and the girls at the pool!
It was a blast!  We worked on WALKING SLOWLY around the pool and the girls had a blast going down the slides!  Friday morning I got up in time to see Sadie (the youngest) stumble down the stairs still half asleep lol.  Alexis wasn't far behind her.  I got the girls some breakfast and then Steve and Angie came down and we all spent the morning hanging out.

They headed out, which gave me time to get the laundry done and the house cleaned up for Austin's arrival!  Little brother ended up not coming in til Saturday so that he could spend Friday night in Spring and hang out with the parents and Gan Gan, which gave me time to watch my new anime obsession--The Black Butler--and paint my toes!

Saturday, Austin and I grabbed lunch and by the time we got home so had Bryan!
It was so good to have him back.  We hung out around the house, the boys took naps while I watched one of Austin's favorite animes--Claymore--and then we went for burgers.  That evening we introduced Austin to Doctor Who!  He enjoyed it as much as we did, of course, so we spent the evening watching the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.
Sunday was brew day!  Austin and Bryan brewed the next batch of beer.
Steve and Angie and the girls came back by and the girls watched Curious George 2, and Yo Gabba Gabba.  For the record, I suspect some serious pot smoking took place during the development of that show--singing about how hungry you are and the food you are about to eat dancing and singing about the party in your tummy sounds like someone had a case of the munchies in the writing room!  That said, the girls loved it, and it definitely wasn't as horrendous as the TeleTubbies.  Sunday night we went down to the Island and ate at The Spot.  Then we took the fuzzy nephew Diego out for a walk on the beach!  Watching people react to that big of a dog is always entertaining, but even better was Diego's reactions to the waves!

Monday was rest day.  I was (and still am) in the middle of a horrible flare that has been going on for about a week.  So while Bryan worked on the Sportster and Austin alternated between studying and napping, I sat on the couch with my feet propped up and read my books! 

That night we went to Steve and Angie's hotel and set up our chairs in the parking lot.  They managed to get a hotel right at Kemah, so we had perfect seats for the fireworks!

It was a wonderful 4th of July!

And the fun doesn't stop there--Gina and Wyatt and Forrest and Madeleine (all cousins) are in town tonight and then next week Carol and Calley and Jacob and Caleb are coming in!  After that, there's the River Cabin, Victoria's visit, and Brooke's coming down!  This is a great summer!


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