Friday, June 23, 2017

A Meme and Other Rambling Thoughts

It's Meme time again!  Here we go.....

1.  The first "official"  day of summer rolls in later this week.  What are ten things you'd put on your list of quintessential summer activities?  Will you try to manage all ten this summer?

I think our primary goal all summer long is to simply survive the intense summer heat and just try to enjoy life.  That may not sound very exciting, but I assure you we have a good time, even if it's just "doing our thing." 
-chuckle-

BUT......

Here are a few things we'd put on our summer activities list.

1).  Walking on the beach......this probably won't happen unless I can get away on a quick weekend trip so as not to miss any more work, but we don't have anything like that planned.  Honestly, the cooler weather with the evening breezes are something of a dream place to be right now.  Doesn't it sound heavenly?

2).  Grilling......we haven't BBQ'd in a very long time.  Mostly because we don't own a grill anymore.  It's on my wish list and we look at them every time we visit our local home improvement center.  They have some really cool ones.  Frankly, I'd be happy with one of those fire pits with the grilling options included.  I don't need a gas grill necessarily.  Of course, I wouldn't mind a nice gas grill, but a souped up fire pit would work for our needs.

3).  A nice trip to a cabin by a lake.....When our oldest daughter got married my sister in law and brother in law bought tickets for Kevin and I (Lexi came with us too) to fly up to Montana for an open house for the newly Weds some family friends put on for them.  We all stayed in this awesome house right on the lake a couple houses down from where the open house was to be held.  Well, even though it was snowing outside and we couldn't get in he water it was absolutely beautiful!!!!  Since then Kevin and I have decided that we would absolutely LOVE to own a place like that.  We imagined what it would be like to have all the kids come for a visit and it all just sounds absolutely dreamy.  That was a super busy weekend and we would have loved to spend more time there in that house on the lake.  Now, that it's been about a year and a couple of months since that adventure Kevin and I still think about that trip and just how beautiful the lake and Montana was.   We've spent a lot of time watching all those shows on Netflix showing all the lakefront properties for sale.  Hence the reason Kevin has set his sights on The Poconos.  He loved that lake and that spot for some reason.  Me, I prefer a couple other locations.  I wish there were a few places like that here in Arizona maybe up north where it's cooler because I think if we could we just might try to get there someday.  It's just a dream right now.  

4).  Gardening and planting.....It just seems like what should be done in the summer, doesn't it?  We have this slab of concrete on  the side of the house that I think would be perfect for some raised beds.  Then we could plant all kinds of things.  Shoot, we could have beds all down the one side of our house if we rally  wanted to.  There's  a guy on one of those Facebook groups that builds and sells these portable garden beds that would be perfect.  Maybe eventually I'll give it a try.  Right now I've just got big plans to dig up the planter in our front yard and replant lots of flowers.  Lexi and I even bought a few seeds, but it's just to darn hot to do anything like that right now, even early in the morning.  So, we might plant a couple containers with our seeds for now and wait until the weather cools off to dig up the planter.  

5).  Playing Outside.....I remember as a kid playing outside until what I thought was pretty late, back in he day, with all the other kids in the neighborhood.  We'd play hide and go seek, kick the can, night time kickball, we would set up a giant slip and slide down the driveway and slide  and slide for hours, or we would get together at our neighbors house and go swimming.  (They were the only ones with a pool).  I think it's sad that kids don't get out and play with other kids now a days anymore.  It seems like there should be kids outside enjoying themselves just being kids during the summer.  

6).  Fireworks.....are just a given, right!?  I love watching them.  I just don't care for the crowds when we use to go downtown to watch them.  One of the best places I've gone to see fireworks was sitting on the side of a golf course.  You could see all of the fireworks going off around the valley.  It was awesome!  It's hard to find spots like that now.

7).  Fourth of July Parade.....I remember going to parades with my Mom, Dad, and little brother when I was little.  It was a family tradition.  Now a days I don't even know if there is such a thing.  Or Ward's use to do a little one with the Primary age kids and they would come and decorate their bikes and wagons.  It was super cute. I guess I just might need to check to see if there are any.  Then Lexi and I could go.    

8).  Auctions, Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, Antique Stores, and Yard Sales.....I've NEVER had a yard sale in my life.  I think because it just seems like a lot of work.  Although, I probably should have one.  I could probably get rid of a lot of junk too.  I don't mind going to yard sales from time to time.  I think they are a great way to get ride of old junk and make a little extra cash while doing it, I just don't want to be the one running one.  Antique Stores, now I love to check those places out!!!.  I bet there are a lot of really cool antique stores in Pennsylvania, you know The Poconos area.  

9).  Sitting in a swing on the deck.....That just sounds heavenly, doesn't it???  I'd love to have a house with a big porch and s swing and maybe even a couple rocking chairs.  We could all sit out on the porch at night and sip lemonade.  Then when it cooled off a bit we could play board games on the porch if it was big enough, or have family dinners out on the porch at night.  I think this sounds awesome!

10).  Family Events/Reunions.....For some reason it just doesn't feel quite like summer unless there is some kind of activity or gathering with extended family members.  Fourth of July seems to be a place for moments like that, but once in a while a wedding, graduation, baby blessing, or baptism seem to take place giving us opportunities to get together.  We've kind of gotten away from events like this since Kevin's injury.  He just can't get out and about like he use to or wants to.  It's sad really.  I miss those get togethers.  That's right, I said it.....I really do.  I miss spending time talking with my sister-in-laws and catching up on their families and their kids.  Sometimes I don't think they think I wanted to be around them but I do.   I never thought I'd say that or admit that, only because it never seemed important to anyone about how I felt about anything extended family related.  I was just to comply and attend and stay out of the way.  I always felt forced to go to them like I never had a choice, even when one of our kids were sick or I was sick.  That wasn't because of extended family.  That was my husband.  I always felt that how I felt about being "forced" (by my husband) didn't matter.  Sure I understand families get together and I never wanted that not to happen.  I do enjoy those times.  What I don't enjoy is the struggle or fight that would take place beforehand with my husband.  I'd have questions about how certain things would work or happen and he wouldn't want to ask or would make me feel like I just needed to deal with whatever it was at the time.  When if he would help me through some of my questions or inquiries when they happened I'd probably would have not clammed up and avoided everyone when we got to the events so as not to break down and cry because I was so worked up.  I guess I just wanted to feel a little more included in the decision making when it came to some of the events (when possible of course) and less like a little brother or sister that everyone felt that HAD to invite just because we're related.  Kevin and I have talked about all of this now. . He said he could never understand why I would get so frustrated and  upset and didn't act more like his brothers wife's who seemed pretty happy about certain events.  I then had to set him straight and explain we all had issues with some events and we all discussed them together and tried to make some sense out of it.  I just wasn't able to hide my feelings as well as they were after he and I argued or had a heated discussion just before the events because he refused to explain things or even try to see my side even in the slightest way.  And I do believe I had at least a couple valid points over the years.  I did try to see the other side and I do understand we were family and getting together is a good thing.  I guess I just needed a little more hand holding through some of it.  Anyway, we can't go back in time.  It is what it is now.  There's no going back and besides, now we can try to focus on and plan events with our own kids and their families.  Time Marches on.

2.  Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach?  What do you do with them once you get them home?  What's your favorite place to comb for seashells?  How many of the best beaches for hunting seashells have you visited?  Which one would you most like to visit?

We have not been to the beach in many years.  In fact, I don't recall any trips to the ocean since Kevin and I have been married.  We've traveled to California, just not to the beach.  So we haven't collected any seashells but I'd like to. My junior high and high school years were all spent in California and we went to the beach often.  In fact, we did Girl's Camp one year at the beach.  It was cool!  We slept in tents on the beach and I loved it.

As far as places to collect seashells goes, I think Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai, Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas), and The Bahamas would be excellent places to start collecting.  Of course, right??!!!

3.  At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up....which "shell" phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life?  Explain.

Well, a lot of things in my life operate at a snail's pace in my estimation, but I prefer a faster pace, I shell out money almost everyday for something (don't we all?), I definitely do not need to come out of my shell and don't think I need to go back into it either.  I know of no bombshell waiting to be dropped, and I think I'm happy as a clam but haven't clammed up in a very long time.  How's that for an answer????

4.  What summer activity do you dislike?  Why?

Any event that requires us to be outside or eat outside in our heat.  I enjoy being outside or outside eating if the temperature is right.  I do not enjoy anything about eating when I'm hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable.  If there is a nice breeze, that helps a whole lot!

5.  What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete?  Does that bother you?  

Oh, there are lots of things I see that will be obsolete.  For example, they say my grandchildren may never need to learn to drive a car because the cars they will have will be self driving.  That's scary to me!  What if the car malfunctions?  I've watch those movies where someone hacked into a smart house and caused all kinds of problems.  I can only imagine what could happen if they hacked into our cars like that.  That could bring the whole "mean girl" title to whole new level.  Scary thought.

I'm also pretty sure the home phone will be obsolete in a few more years.  We don't have a home phone anymore and the only thing I miss being able to do is fax paperwork when I can scan it in someplace.  Other than that rare occasion, it really doesn't bother me just so long as we still have phones. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

If you look out my living room window, it's a fabulously gorgeous summer morning here.....until you walk outside and experience the "burning wall of fire" called our excessive heat wave.  This is the the first excessive heat warning of the summer, really.  And just like every other year, life slips into the summer groove here as soon as that happens.....or maybe it's just us melting into it, since we seem to experience some form of this excessiveness every single year.  Just about a week ago it was nice outside at night.  It skipped from decent weather and went straight to sweltering in a matter of a day or two.  What the heck?  Who flipped the switch?  It's hot!  

I don't have any plans for the day, so I'm just hanging out here at home doing some things to get ready for work tomorrow.  There's one thing missing, the rest of my family.  Curtis is at work and everyone else is sleeping.  It's weird.  

I woke up and guess what I saw on my arm.  Hives.  As soon as I saw that I loaded up on my allergy pills and the zantac to try to counter act them.  The two pills work together on H1 and H2 histamine receptors.  I'm hoping both will kick in and do the trick quickly.  

Wait!  Halt!  Stop Everything! 

I started this post Wednesday morning and above was the beginning of it.  Well, by he afternoon the hives we're all over my body and so I started taking benadryl.  The bendryl just made me drowsy.  I tried and tried to go to sleep and my head even hit he pillow around nine hat night.  Well, I woke up several times.  By about midnight I woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed I was having trouble swallowing, my lips were swelling up, and even my eyebrows were swelling too.  I've never had my throat do that before and it scared me.  So I got dressed and decided I had to get to the Emergency Room.  Kyle ended up driving me in and I was very grateful he did.  I knew I shouldn't be driving with all that bendryl in my system.  

When I got to the ER the triage nurse called me back within five minutes of us being here and let me know it would be about another five minutes for hem to get me back into a room.  As soon as I got back into the room and into the lovely gown they gave me the doctor and his crew (no joke, four extra people walked in with him).  He immediately looked me over and then proceeded to give me the run down on his plan of attack.  They started an IV then gave me a big shot of benadryl, pepcid, solu-medrol, and last but not least epinephrine.  As soon as they started the IV I had to run for the bathroom.  When I got back into bed I notice my arm was getting wet.  Apparently I had pulled out my IV from my arm.  Of all the things.  They also hooked me up to a heart monitor, the blood pressure cuff, and the pulse/ox, so I had wires coming out all over the place.  You should have saw me trying to pull the gown down so people walking by would not see my underclothing.  I couldn't do it because the heart monitor (the EKG) had a lead or patch on my stomach that was holding up my gown.  So all of this and a big shot of bendryl (and I have to say, I don't do well with anything that gives you that woozy loopy feeling.  In fact, I hate bendryl for that reason and try everything else before taking it.  It's always my last resort) and I was loopy and I must have been quite a sight to see.  Here I was all alone in this ER room because Kyle doesn't do well in hospitals so he remained in the waiting room.  This is something I miss about not being able to have my husband with me for things like this.  Anyway.  When I got back from after my third or fourth trip to he bathroom the ER tech came in.  She was determined to restart the IV on me and she poked and probed until she found the spot she wanted for about 10 minutes, or so it seemed.  Then when she finally got the needle into my arm it took her another 10 minutes to finally hit the vein.  By then I was feeling sick to my stomach and wanting to yell out for he nice nurse that put the first IV in to come and save me from his butcher ER tech, but I didn't. 

The doctor also told me they would have to monitor me for a while.  My blood pressure started out at over 151/97 which is very high for me.  When the doctor and the nurse asked me about it I said its because I'm not use to being he one that comes to the ER, it's usually my husband so I'm w little freaked out by all of this.  By he time I left my blood pressure was low.  Really low.  Like 97/54.  I think blood pressure cuff wasn't reading things right or something.  Could my pressure really be that low?  

By about 4:30AM the doctor came into the room and told me to follow up with my doctor in 1-2 days and that he was sending me home with another prescription for another round of steroids and an EpiPen.  He then said if your insurance won't cover it or it costs too much to just not fill the script and keep coming back to the ER.  I joked with him and said, just pay him he big bucks.  He laughed.  All in all, everyone was awesome in the ER.  Including he crazy ER tech.  She really wanted to help and I appreciate that.  

This whole experience has been something from right out of the twilight zone if you ask me.  I kid you not, all I could think of was how on Earth does all of this crazy stuff keep happening to me??  It's been one thing after another.  I'm over it!  By now I must have learned whatever it is that I needed to learn, right?  It's nuts!!

The hives are still all over my body, but my tongue swelling has gone down and my lips and eyebrows aren't swollen anymore.  So, tomorrow I go back to my doctor.  I'm hoping they will help me understand how to use the EpiPen.  I know basics.  I know you jam it into your upper thigh.  I guess I just need to know how and when to really use it.  

It's Friday now and I just got back from the doctors office.  They looked me over and couldn't believe all the hives.  They aren't raised anymore, but you can still see them all over me and my skin is discolored.  You know when you get a tan line and one parts dark and the part, covered by clothing, is still white.  Well, my hives are the dark parts of my skin and everywhere there are no hives it's white.  It looks like I have some kind of pigmentation problem.  It's weird.  This morning my eyebrows are a little swollen but I haven't had a dose of benadryl since last night.  I didn't want to take it until I got back from the doctor because I had to drive myself there.  

My doctor was great!  He of course documented everything and we talked about the ER visit, the medications and any other possible triggers for the hives.  I told him the ER doc thought I was having a reaction to the antibiotics, but the Urgent Care and my doctor thought it might be steroids.  So, since I'm on yet another round of steroids time will tell.  I told him I've been watching detergents, soaps, perfumes, make-up, foods, and anything that would come in contact with my skin and even my hair.  I said I've avoided the sun, the pool, the outdoors, and even church on purpose just in case this could possibly be catching and also because I just haven't felt well to do anything fun.  I've become a virtual indoor girl completely and I hate it.  The only time I've left my house was to get to the doctor, turn on the sprinklers and only after eight at night, or to get food, and that's only when I absolutely have to go.  I'm tired of seeing the inside walls of my house.  I want out of here!  

My doctor completed my paperwork and I'm all set there.  Then we talked about the Epipen.  He explained how and when to use it.  He said I should keep one with me at all times and use it anytime I feel my throat start to get the way it did or if my lips and face start to swell up again.  He also said I should try to use it on bare skin and not through clothing so as not to break the needle off.  He was very helpful.  Now I have one more thing to add to my purse, it's getting pretty full already and I refuse to go bigger.  It's big enough.  

One good thing I have learned throughout this entire ordeal is that a lot of drug manufacturers have some great coupons available on their websites.  When the ER doc prescribed the EpiPen I called my insurance to find out how they covered them.  I don't know if you are aware but he for a while those EpiPen were outrageous in price.  I mean hundreds of dollars per pen, and that was after insurance paying their portion.  So, our insurance covers them but the co-pay is $48.00, still a far cry from the hundreds of dollars I was expecting.  BUT, with the online coupon that works even for people with insurance, I was able to get a two pack of EpiPens for only $30.00.  I was so glad I downloaded the coupon.  Over the past several months I've checked all the meds we take as a family and downloaded coupons for everything I could.  Kevin takes a med that's normally costs hundreds of dollars every month and until the end of the year he will get it for only $25.00 a month.  That's an awesome savings.  My question now is what was I supposed to learn from all of this?  (I'm trying not to complain and trying to see a positive through all of this.....at least one).

Well, I should get going.  Time for some benadryl and probably a nap too.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.

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