The first one is my favorite.



http://www.urbancamouflage.de/
"The birds are singing,
The flowers are in bloom,
But my heart does not know if it is spring."

But seriously, the azaleas are already in full bloom and the tulip tree blossoms have already passed and it's still just early March. I need to get my flower beds in and my zinnias planted, so they can bloom throughout the long, hot summer we have ahead of us. I may also plant some pansies so I can enjoy their adorable faces before the summer heat bleaches and kills them, until I can see them again in autumn.

There's supposed to be a group of volunteers in our neighborhood this month, so I'm going to see about having them pull up the grass to make my flower beds in the front.
I started having another gallbladder attack around seven last night, so I ate some soup and waited around to see if it would get worse. When it definitely seemed like it was getting worse, I mentally said "fuck it" and had a small bowl of ice cream, then had Carl call my mom to come over to watch Miranda.

We got to the E.R. around nine and, surprisingly, it was nearly deserted and they were able to see me right away! I was pleasantly surprised and I'm thankful we went to University Hospital, because they actually gave me pain medication, did an ultrasound (which revealed "thousands of tiny gallstones"), and made me an appointment with a surgical practice for March sixteenth! Previously the best I was able to get was an appointment for a gallstone ultrasound in May, so my E.R. visit did yield good results in that respect, at least.

My mom and dad watched Miranda for me again today while I slept off the pain medication, which still had me dizzy and nauseated at noon today; I'm very sensitive to pain medications, especially narcotics, so getting the medication in my I.V. was rough on me, but not nearly as bad as the gallbladder pain. They prescribed an opiate pain reliever that is supposedly safe to take while breastfeeding, but I'm dubious.

The doctors and nurses, both residents and faculty, were all very attentive and considerate once it became apparent that I wasn't just after drugs and they weren't at all rude before that, just brisk and business-like; the overall bedside manner of the whole staff became pleasant after I was first examined by a resident (and he was sweet to begin with).

I suppose I can thank my Bedstemor and Grandmother Clinton for predisposing me to gallstones, but at least this experience has made me thankful for modern medicine.

I'm going to try to make it to Jodi's Mardi Gras party tomorrow, but I just don't know how I'll feel. I'm still a bit disoriented and sore from the pain medications and I'm anxious about the possibility of having another attack away from home. I may just make cookies (which I'm not supposed to eat) and stay home with my little family.
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enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Feb. 17th, 2009 10:05 pm)
I think the most challenging part of my vow to avoid plastic wherever possible is that it is going to force me to think so differently. For example, at the store a few days ago I avoided putting my produce in to plastic produce bags (it's going to get washed when I get home, anyway!), but I bought a piece of salmon packaged on styrofoam and shrink-wrapped when I could have bought a piece of the same fish from behind the glass and just have it wrapped in paper. I'm moving slowly on this, because we share our life with a lot of plastic right now, most of which will eventually wind up in a landfill, but I'm glad I've made the decision to live more thoughtfully and, really, it's a positive change that anyone can make.

Easy Switches )
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
( Feb. 17th, 2009 08:21 pm)
I had a bad pain day today, which reminded me that I need to pace myself- I can't wake up at six in the morning and go to bed after two the next morning! I don't know what I was thinking.

Carl came home early to look after Miranda while I got some rest and I do feel a lot better now, although I'm still feeling weak, sore, and somewhat disoriented.
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enduringplum: (Gush)
( Feb. 17th, 2009 10:16 am)

Miranda being adorable at Bedstefar's house, February 15th 2009
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enduringplum: (Babydoll)
( Feb. 13th, 2009 10:46 am)
Sometimes I just need to remind myself that there is no "try."

We're going to Friday night games tonight with Mischa, Jodi, G, and that whole crowd. Hopefully Miranda will be less of a handful tonight than she is being today, but it's fine either way; she's just especially interested in nursing today, which may mean she's having a growth spurt.
While I was nursing Miranda this afternoon, who was doing her nip and nap routine, and letting the roast bake I was doing a lot of reading online. Most of it was about introducing food to babies and was very educational, but somewhere in hopping from one 'page to another, I came across this blog in which one woman chronicles her ongoing quest to live a life free of plastic, which I think is awesome. I backslide pretty often with my attempts to live conscientiously, but it's still an ongoing process and I would absolutely like to reduce the amount of waste my household produces. Her list of alternatives looks like a good place to start the plastic purging process.

There are some easy solutions for me, like no longer buying acrylic yarn or plastic knitting needles, remembering to bring my reusable grocery bags to the store, ditching the plastic produce bags, and continuing to buy in bulk whenever possible, but others will be more tricky, due to budget constraints as much as anything else, but that doesn't make it impossible - it will just mean we'll have to be even more careful about budgeting and saving.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Feb. 5th, 2009 04:46 pm)
1. get dressed to shoes every morning <- harder than it may seem!

2. write a page every day <- this is a work in progress and I'm doing fairly well with it; next month I should make it specifically "write a journal page, page of fiction, or complete a writing exercise everyday"

3. practice yoga twice weekly <- I want to work up slowly to having a daily practice again, but finding the time and making the space are proving to be the biggest obstacles.

4.begin untangling Delgado financial mess <- this will probably take more than a month to complete, but it's got to be done

5. continue making a place for everything and keeping everything in its place <- extremely important for my sanity, especially if Doug ever makes it down here; I'm making good progress on this, so it's just a matter of gradually improving as I go along

6. finish an incomplete knit project <- I've got a bunch of these lying around that I began when I was pregnant

7. get to bed by eleven-thirty every night <- I often stay up looooong after Miranda and Carl have fallen asleep to "finally get things done," as I'm sure many other mothers do, but it's got to stop.

8. put Miranda down for a nap every day <- I don't believe in letting babies "cry it out," so this one is contingent on her mood

Other Things or Oh My God... It's Full of Links )

I'm extremely pleased that Carlos Mencia was removed from Orpheus. I still hurt when I think about Hurricane Katrina and the lingering effects and I remember watching the episode of his terribad show when it first aired, while I was still without a home and still wondering what had become of my loved ones, so I don't want him participating in one of the greatest cultural experiences New Orleans has to offer, at least not in such a prestigious position.

More of Miranda's Little, Constant Changes )
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Feb. 3rd, 2009 01:58 pm)
Miranda took a short nap in her crib- in her own room!- today! Perhaps not much to get excited about, but it gave me time to take a shower and sort through some of the clothes I need to discard/give away. Now I'm letting the sweet little thing sleep on my shoulder, which I shouldn't, but I'm just excited that she's taking a nap at all. She's such a sweet baby.

Carl's cooking dinner tonight, so I may attempt to bake (Mo's cookies) afterward. Tomorrow I'm dropping Miranda off at Bedstefar's house so I can get my driver's license updated and apply for a replacement social security card; I like taking Miranda out with me, but the DMV is an infamous hive of scum and villainy, or at least scum and monotony, and I don't think it would be as enriching as a walk to the lake with my parents.
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Sometimes when I look at people all I can see is a series of bad decisions. That looks so terrible, written there, but it's true so I'm not going to delete it. People just let fear and poor self-esteem eat up so much of their lives and I'm no different, although I like to imagine I have a better handle on it than most; I have at least learned, for the most part, to "feel the fear but do it anyway."

And so many people are willing to blame others for everything, or complain when they should be grateful for what they have. I'm no different- I do it, but I'm working at growing beyond that. I already send "thank you" notes whenever I receive a gift, whether I wanted it or not, whether I can use it or not, and I often take the time to focus on what is good in my life, even when things are bad; when I was so sick that I often couldn't get out of bed the only thing that kept me going was reminding myself of the things for which I should have felt grateful. Now that things are good I'm learning to live without constantly fearing that they will go bad and part of that process is keeping a gratitude journal; I'm not Christian, but I am grateful, so it's something that works for me.

Everyday we create ourselves, choose our path, control how we will think, behave, and speak, and are given the opportunity to do better, seek balance, give of ourselves, and live in awareness, but so often we instead choose to believe we are a product of our circumstances, that others' "make" us feel bad about ourselves, or that things will be so much better when we reach some specific goal, like losing weight or getting a raise. Really, our lives will always be imperfect no matter how many of those little goals we set for ourselves are achieved and there's nothing wrong with that, because our task should be to endure and enjoy the lives we make and, hopefully, to leave our shared world a better place for having had us.

I'm starting to agree with that imbecile, Cash, that "if you're going to do something you might as well do it with a glad heart."
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I desperately want to paint, sculpt, and quilt again and somehow combine all three mediums. It's just a matter of making the time and finding the money, but I believe it can be done, so I've got to do it, because at my core I'm an artist who wants to make art, not advertisements or landscaping or even useful fiber objects- that's all there is to it, I just need art.
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enduringplum: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2009 05:17 pm)
I dropped Miranda off at my dad's late in the morning, after Miranda and I had spent some time nursing and watching the inauguration; our new president's speech wasn't as overwhelmingly positive as his past speeches have been, but it was still infused with his Majestic Radiant Appearance (you Exalted people will understand) and I appreciated the more down-to-earth tone. I was horribly stressed out over the presidential race and extremely relieved when Obama was elected. Now I would say I'm cautiously optimistic and filled with a feeling of hope that I want to hide away, lest it get snatched away.

After dropping Miranda off with my dad I grabbed lunch at Taco Bell, then went to what is possibly my favorite (or at least the one un-hated) of the big box stores, Target, to shop. I went in feeling miserable about the shape of my body and my general appearance, but feel a whole helluva lot better now that I've changed in to some of my new clothes, which fit properly and are flattering to my figure. I will need to hem up the jeans, since I'm a shorty, and adjust the straps of the two camisoles I bought, because I'm a busty shorty, but I'm happy with everything I bought. I may go back to see if I can get another color of the sweater I bought, because it's comfortable and very flattering to my figure, but I don't remember seeing any others in my size; I would have liked the green one, because it's not a color I often wear.

When I picked Miranda up she was in a very good mood and so was my dad. He really enjoys looking after her and it was good for me to get out of the house, so I think the short break was good for everyone. Carl got home shortly after I did, so the whole family went on a walk, including Conrad, who is once again learning how to behave well on a leash.

I'm glad I got out of the house- I really need to make a point to get outside every day, even if it is just for a walk around the block with Miranda- because I was definitely sinking in to a sad, little funk. Today was rejuvenating and now that I'm feeling better about my appearance I feel like a weight has been lifted from me, which is a huge relief; I hadn't realized how badly that was hindering me.
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enduringplum: (Gush)
( Jan. 19th, 2009 11:05 pm)
It's so true )

We're buying a new dishwasher this week, because we're both just too disgusted with the cheap-ass one that came with the house. The dishes often go in cleaner than they come out and they've begun coming out covered in soap residue, as well, which isn't great for pacifiers, breast pump pieces, bottles, or nipples, obviously. I'm going to get one of the Frigidaire or Maytag models with a sanitizing cycle so I won't have to boil Miranda's pacifiers every week any more.
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enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Jan. 15th, 2009 12:11 am)
- spent yesterday walking around downtown, trying to get to the LSU Medical Center to get set up with the "yellow card" for free health care for poor folks; as I was walking around in the cold, crisp, bright and dark day I felt like I was looking out through someone else's eyes, not living my own life

- Miranda has her MRI in the morning; I'm not sure what to expect with the anesthesia, but I feel she will be in good hands

- actually made it to my knitting group tonight and got a third of the way done with a scarf for my mom

- my mom is leaving for Germany on Saturday and will be there for fifteen days; I hope to have said scarf done before Saturday

- if I want my gallbladder examined, let alone removed, before sometime in May I will have to suffer another attack and go to the LSU Medical Center ER

- I don't want to suffer another attack

- ferret bowling is still fun and Orbit gives funky kisses
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I had bad back pain all day yesterday, but I assumed it was just from carrying a fussy Miranda around everywhere; it turns out it was my gallbladder again, which I figured out after I woke up in excruciating pain around two in the morning. I took two Tylenol with codeine, but that didn't give me any relief, so we went to the emergency room (after my mom came over to watch Miranda, who slept through the night for the second time!) where we weren't seen until around seven in the morning, after arriving there at three-forty. They tested my urine, my liver function, my pancreatic enzymes, and what not, but all that was fine, so I'm perfect on paper, but my gallbladder has to come out - I didn't have much labor pain, but what little I did have was intense and I would prefer to go through a lifetime of that pain rather than another five minutes of the pain I had last night: it just sucked beyond all belief, I can't even explain it. At least Jodi would understand.

When we got home around ten, I made an appointment with Catherine at the Musician's clinic to follow-up after my ER visit, which is on Tuesday morning, then I went to sleep since I'd only had an hour of sleep since eight o'clock Thursday morning; after I eat this sandwich I'm going to go to sleep for a few more hours, then go to the store to purchase some soups, since I'm supposed to stick to clear liquids and bland-as-possible foods like Cream of Wheat (joy!) and crackers.

I'm totally amazed to realize that the back ache I've been experiencing for the last few weeks must be related to my gallbladder, because since the pain finally passed around six in the morning I've been completely pain free. I think I didn't recognize the back ache and stomach aches I've been getting as related to my gallbladder because it has shifted from the position it was in while I was pregnant, when it was smashed up against my rib cage, and because the aches have felt somewhat different- more deeply aching rather than stabbing- than before.

It must have been those damn, delicious parsnips.
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enduringplum: (Blush)
( Jan. 8th, 2009 11:56 pm)
Tits/Ass )
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enduringplum: (Gush)
( Dec. 23rd, 2008 05:59 pm)
We finally got to meet with Dr. Wong, Miranda's neurologist. I like him a lot: he was very good with Miranda, seemed to enjoy working with her, and is on the faculty at LSU's school of medicine.

He told us that her EEG showed slower brainwave activity at the back of her brain, which may indicate seizure activity, but he didn't want to speculate any more without more information; so, Miranda will be having an MRI with contrast and one without on January tenth. He did suggest that if she does have some sort of seizure disorder it is probably a more subtle and/or unusual disorder and that if she doesn't have another seizure she probably won't need medication, but the fact that she had one seizure gives her about a fifty percent chance to have another, at which point he would want to put her on medication. It's also possible that her EEG wasn't accurate, but that's unlikely.
It only took seven years, but I finally feel sure about what I want to do in the way of a career, but it means I need a lot more school, which will be harder (but will probably feel more worthwhile) now that Miss Miranda is a part of our family.

I'm okay with taking my time and my health has been so wonderful since I became pregnant that I feel like I can actually handle motherhood and a light class load. It's really shocking to me how well I've been since conceiving and I've been feeling even better since Miranda was born; a lot of my very annoying PCOS symptoms, especially hirsutism, have become noticeably less pronounced and while I still have joint pain, I don't have the intense muscle pain and overwhelming fatigue I so often had before she was born. I do still have sensitivity to sunlight/heat that will cause me to break out in a bright red rash across my nose and cheeks, but I can certainly live with that, especially since with good health and high energy any depression I might feel finds it difficult to stick around - it's such an amazing change - I haven't felt quite like my self in so long and even my sex drive is returning. I feel like I've experienced a life-changing miracle in more ways than one because of the profound change in the way I feel and I'm afraid of doing something to lose the good health I've suddenly been granted.

I haven't had any bladder pain since early in Miranda's second trimester, which has been wonderful. I'm still careful about what I eat and drink, but not having to feel afraid of taking a piss, for fuck's sake, is more wonderful than I can really explain.

Now if I can just keep my Medicaid insurance I'll be in great shape, because I'll be able to keep up with my medications.

School )
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enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Dec. 7th, 2008 11:14 pm)
Today we got most of the cleaning done that I wasn't able to do over the week, which will make this week a lot easier for me; I feel like my insides are in order when my outsides are in order.

We also got our tree put up! I haven't put the decorations on yet, but I've got the lights up, which are all blue. I was going to put on the bubble lights, but I only found three strings of them, so I'm going to take them back down unless I find more. I've only got one big box of decorations from my mom's attic and I know there's a lot more, but it'll take Carl a few more trips up in to the dark and musty heights to find all of the Xmas decor she's accumulated. I have a small, but nice, collection of gold-plated and crocheted Danish ornaments that are somewhere in our own attic.

Musashi must be feeling better, because he's started to resist me when it comes time to take his medicine and flush out his wound. The disgusting, gaping holes in his neck look somewhat better and all of the obviously dead tissue is gone, so he can really begin healing. He's also starting to show in interest in going outside, but there's no way that's going to happen.

Miranda even napped long enough for me to bake some cookies!
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