Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to me

Tomorrow is my 48th birthday. That's hard for me to believe, because I certainly don't feel that old inside,

The best part, so far, about being 48, is that I'm 55 pounds lighter this year than I was last year! Hallelujah! What a great birthday present to myself!

Guerilla Goodness Part 2

I realized (after my dad prodded me) that it's been a really long time since I updated my blog!

I never told you about our Guerilla Goodness adventure!

The day before school started, the girls & I went to Reedsport to help our friend Rachel chalk up the sidewalks in her neighborhood and around the schools with phrases of goodness & kindness & cheery little thoughts.
I have more photos on my facebook page if you want to check them out there.
The next day (the first day of school here), Rachel & her boys came here and helped us chalk up our sidewalks. What fun!

A few days later, at the school board meeting, both principals mentioned that "someone" had left some neat sidewalk greetings in front of the school and they wondered who was responsible. All I did was smile. Guerilla Goodness is good.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Guerilla Goodness Part 1

Everytime I see this video it brings tears of joy & happiness to my eyes.

My friend Rachel, posted it on her blog along with this challenge for Guerilla Goodness (think random acts of kindness).

I can't tell you how much I LOVE this idea! I will be helping her with her act of Goodness, and she'll be helping me! If you love this idea too and want to help, call me!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A new face..

Danielle got her braces off yesterday. She's so funny. She keeps smiling and saying "I have a new face..." She stopped by so she could take her first bite of an apple in almost 2 years.

Her first bite.

What a tiny little bite! She worked so hard for it, too!

At long last...a real bite! A bite worth waiting for!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another visitor

Milca registered for school today. I think she'll do ok with her classes. She's got a good variety of subjects and nothing that she won't be able to do with a little help. She should have a fun year! We went to the beach this afternoon. This was the first time Milca had been to the Pacific Ocean.
The girls took a walk down the beach while I stayed near the jetty and hunted agates. I was having no luck finding agates until they came back, and then I found alot! Both Milca & Megan found several within the first few minutes! The first rock Milca picked up was an agate twice as big as my thumbnail! I was very impressed!

Milca is going white water rafting this weekend with all the Rotary exchange students in Oregon. Lucky girl! Tonight we had Andrea from Switzerland spend the night with us. She's staying with a family in Coos Bay and they asked if she could stay here in order to carpool to their event this weekend. They're going to have a lot of fun. Wish I could go!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

She's arrived!

Megan made this sign. Isn't it beautiful? We didn't notice that something was missing from it until the morning we left to pick Milca up from the airport! I guess even though we can speak English, we certainly can't write English! Whoops! Milca also has a blog, where she posted the same picture. One of her Brazilian friends caught the spelling error! We all had a good laugh about it!

Milca arrived on August 21st from Brazil.

We were surprised to find that she speaks very little English! Our first night at home was very interesting. Milca is an exchange student with Rotary International, and Rotary has a list of "first night" questions that we are supposed to discuss the first night she's here. How do you explain curfew or how to turn the shower on or when to go to bed at night & wake up in the morning to someone that speaks little English? We managed, but it took us awhile. Every day, she does a little better, but I'm worried about what classes she will take in school.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do you know what this means?

It means..... 50 pounds baby!!

That's right. Officially today, I've lost 50 pounds since March, 2009! I'm wearing size 14 clothes (down from an 18/20). One of these days I'll post a pic of something besides my toes, but for now...look at that scale! Whoohooo!!

So here's a bit about what's been going on in my life lately.

Shortly after Bernie's birth of an 8mm kidney stone, we lost our Holly-dog. She was almost 14 years old. We think she had a stroke. The vet thinks she had organ failure that caused the stroke. Either way, our sweet HollyMolly is in heaven playing with Shadow, Cy & PoohBear. We miss her!

Megan's been at Girl Scout camp for several weeks now. She's having a great time. She gets to come home on the weekends, which is just enough time for her to get a few phone calls in to her best friend, check her email, wash some clothes and then get back to camp.

Cory is anxious to get back to school. He's tired of washing dishes at work and just wants to get back to all that hard studying & stuff. Go figure. We'll leave next week to take him back. He's very excited to be driving his "new" car.

Summer is in full swing here. Tuesday, our thermometer marked 90+ in the shade! Daddy & I went to the fair and practically melted while we were there. That's one thing the fair should try & do better - provide some shade on the grounds! As for what I'm doing to occupy "all my free time"... what free time?! Seems like every day off I have, it's filled to the gills with something that needs to get done. I do have some goals for this summer, but I've yet to accomplish any of them. I've been too busy! *lol*

More later...maybe even some pictures!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Giving birth... a kidney stone is nothing like giving birth to a child. It's worse! Ask me, I know. Passing a kidney stone is like trying to shove a bowling ball through a straw. It's pure hell, and it's something Bernie experienced this weekend, poor guy.

We'd gone to church on Sunday, then headed up the coast to drop Megan off at Girl Scout Camp (about 1.5 hours from home). About 30 minutes into the drive, he's feeling nauseous. We've got to get Megan to camp, so we push on. Before we get to our destination, he's lost whatever was in his stomach. We think he's got the flu. Fast forward to the drive home and he's miserable all the way home. Can't get comfortable. Feels nauseous and thinks he hurt his back at work. It should've clicked then, but it didn't. Both of us were focused on getting him home and into bed. By the time he got home, he was purely miserable but we still didn't put two & two together. No temp, but definitely sick to his stomach. It wasn't until early evening that he really started complaining about his back hurting. That's when it clicked. I described what it felt like when I passed my kidney stone. He didn't think it was that. I disagreed and called the doctor. Doctor said "get him to the ER." We got him there by 8pm, and after a CAT scan, chest Xray, blood & urine test, they confirmed kidney stones. An 8mm stone. EXTRA large by stone standards. The ER doctor was using his scan as a show & tell opportunity for all the ER staff. Great.

So, the urologist was called in. We could tell he wasn't thrilled about being called in so late on a Sunday night, but he agreed the best course of action was surgery to remove the stone as it was blocking (something - I don't know what), and everything inside and around his kidney was enflamed. They got him into surgery about midnight and out by about 1am. I stayed until he was resting comfortably in his room and then drove home for a little snooze. He was able to come home early Monday morning, and thankfully now feels 100% better. The CAT scan shows that he has more stones, but they're smaller in size. I guess that's the good news. The bad news, is that someday they'll try to pass and that means "here we go again." Hopefully because they're smaller in size, he won't be in as much pain and won't have to have surgery again. He'll see the urologist in a couple of weeks to determine if there are any treatment options.

Now, what shall we name this cute little prickly stone?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seeing as I have followers...

Eegads! I have followers! Hopefully y'all aren't STALKERS! *giggle* I suppose since I have a few followers (I feel so popular), I'd better think about posting an update, eh?

The best & BIGGEST news is that I finally hit that 40 pound loss mark about 2 weeks ago! YAY! I am so excited I can barely contain it. And to make that news even better, I got on the scale this morning and saw another 2.5 lb loss bringing the total to 42.5 pounds in about 3.5 months. I went in for my 2nd fill this week and I can really tell how much I can (or can't) eat. I find that when I eat small (and I mean small) portions about every 2 hours, I do ok. I focus on protein. Always the protein first, then fill in with fruit or veggies. I really do need to find some recipies for some tasty protein shakes though. I'm getting a bit tired with what I'm currently doing.

Other news...Cory turned 19 on Monday. Wow. Sometimes that is so hard for me to get my mind around. First that I have a child that old, and 2nd that he made it to 19! *lol* He had to work on his birthday, so his dad & I delivered a bouquet of balloons to his workplace. I think he was a tiny bit embarrassed (but probably a little bit pleased as well.) Megan is off to a "leadership camp" this week. She was SO excited to go. I think she was just excited to get her summer started. She'll be home from that for a week and then she's off to Girl Scout camp for most of the summer.

It sure is quiet in the house without Megan here! That girl is a whirlwind of yakky-ness. I think she only stops talking when she's sleeping! :) I think I miss her and she's only been gone for 2 days!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots of news

I had my first fill on 5/11 (6 weeks post-op) and let me tell you I was ready. Seemed like I was always hungry before that fill. Now I'm back to "normal" new normal, that is. I'm still losing weight...1-2 lbs/week. Very happy about that! My port site is a bit tender. I can feel it under my skin, and the area around it just feels kind of bruised.

I had a bit of a scare the other night. I mindlessly (and really, it was the first time I mindlessly ate anything since surgery) picked up a piece of roast off the cutting board and ate it. Obviously I didn't chew it well enough because within a matter of minutes I was in PAIN. hurt. I thought I was going to either hyperventilate or die. I couldn't sit, couldn't walk. Was trying to figure out what to do when I finally figured I was going to have to throw it up or pass out. I went into the bathroom and was able to put my finger down my throat enough to cause a gag reflex and that seemed to solve the problem. Didn't throw up, thankfully. I will NEVER eat mindlessly again!

The good news is that yesterday I went through my closet. I put all the clothes that were TOO BIG for me now in a box and I'm going to donate those to our local weight loss support group. Then I dragged out the two boxes of clothes I'd had packed away for 10+ years and tried all of those on. Most of them fit! I was SO happy. It's like having a new wardrobe without having to buy anything!

I'm SO happy I had this surgery. My husband asked me the other day "Why didn't we do this 10 years ago?" I wish I had. But now is good too!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A noisey house!

It's not that Cory's a noisy kid, it's just that when he & Megan get together, the noise level in the house goes up 20x, not just 2x.

We got home from Pullman yesterday afternoon. It was a good...but LONG trip. It sure was nice to be home again. And it's nice to have him home, too. Megan was VERY excited to see him and I don't think they stopped chattering to each other until it was bedtime.

Had a rough start this morning. I realized I'd left my purse in the truck last night after we'd gotten home, and that my keys to the truck and my office were locked inside. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that until this morning when it was time to take Megan to school. *Silly me* Had to ask my boss to come & let me into the office this morning, and am going to borrow my dad's car this afternoon so I can get into town for a doctor's appointment. Not a great way to start off the day.

Cory's off job hunting this morning. I sure hope he comes up with something. In a town as small as this, there aren't many opportunities. He really needs to work this summer to help pay for school. I don't know what he'll do if he can't find a job. I'm going to try not to sweat it too much, but I'll be much happier knowing he as work!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Skinnier Me!

Let's celebrate! This is the first time I've been under 200lbs in over 10 years.

Here's a photo of me 2 weeks before my surgery.

And here's my 5 week post-op photo. I have a waist!!

Friday, May 1, 2009


My clothes are baggy & saggy on me and it's not a pretty sight! I went shopping today and what fun it was to try on clothes that were two sizes smaller than "normal". I'm now officially out of the "plus size" size! YAY! Never to return!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bird Poo

This can only happen in a two cow town! A friend of mine who lives in a neighboring town mentioned the other day that the power went out in town. Nothing terribly exciting about that. Inconvenient yes, but exciting...not so much.

Well, today, as I was cruising through the newspaper I discovered the reason for the outage. It was listed in the police reports. The outage was caused from a "concentration of bird droppings that caused a line failure." You wouldn't hear about anything like this in New York City! Hilarious!

Tongue Heaven

Today, after 6 long weeks of nothing but liquid protein, I'm finally allowed to start eating REAL food! I think my tongue will be in heaven! I'll let you know how it goes. Oh! More good news. I've lost 30 lbs! I'm going shopping this weekend to buy a few new pairs of pants. The ones I have now are waaaay too baggy! What a wonderful problem to have, don'tcha think?

I started walking this week. Finally felt recovered enough to do it. I'm walking 2 laps around the track. I know it's not much, but it's a great start! I felt euphoric after my first day of walking. It feels good to move!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Licking the hamburger

Last night Megan cooked hamburgers for dinner. They smelled so good. My tummy grumbled just from smelling them. I asked her for a LICK of her hamburger. Not even a bite or a nibble. Nothing to chew on. I just wanted to TASTE it. She wouldn't let me. Darn kid. What good are kids anyway if they're not going to let you lick their hamburger. I even kissed Bernie, just for the taste of hamburger on his lips. Pitiful, isn't it? I'm so SICK of this liquid diet. I want food. I have one more week to go, and on Thursday next week, I'm having scrambled eggs, dammit. I'm looking forward to my scrambled eggs. With cheese. And a tiny bit of salsa. Oh yeah. Yum!

oh...the good news? I've lost 28 pounds! YAY! ok. I guess I can keep on with this liquid diet for awhile. *sigh*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I saved a life today

...or at least I'd like to think I did.

I came out to my truck this morning to go to work and was surprised to see this visitor sitting on my windshield wiper.

He was just a little thing. Must've been pushed out of the nest and fluttered to a stop right there on my windshield. There was no splat mark. He didn't move, except for breathing, even when I snapped a few shots.

Megan brought out a step stool & towel so I could reach the little guy. Even when I plucked him off the truck, he was very calm. Like he expected me to help him. I carried him over to a bush and opened the towel. He looked at me very casually, then fluttered out of my hand into the bush. Hopefully to live a good long birdie life!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

24 pounds!

Well, almost. 23.5 lbs is close enough. Can you believe it? I can't! I'm beginning to notice the weight loss in some of my clothes, but not enough so that I have to go out and buy more. I'm looking forward to that day!

Megan's in San Antonio, TX, with the Spanish Club for several days. She left yesterday and won't be home until Monday. I already miss that kid. My goodness. With Cory gone and Megan gone for several days...I think this is my first real taste of "empty nest" and lemme tell you, I don't like it. I miss my kids. What in the world am I going to do when they're both gone?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Love Affair with Food

I didn't realize how much I love food, until I couldn't eat it.

I've been on this liquid, high protein diet for 3 weeks now (3 more weeks to go) and I miss food. I miss the texture. I miss chewing. I miss flavors. I miss savory flavors especially, which surprises me because I've always been drawn to sweet rather than savory. The smell of cooking food overwhelms, and I usually have to go into another room while Bernie & Megan are eating.

Another interesting side effect of this surgery is that I've discovered drinking cold liquids make my tummy sore. I've been complaining about feeling like I have a "stitch in my side" for a week now. Someone suggested that I try sipping warm liquids. Guess what? That feeling has diminished! Warm hi-pro soup & hi-pro hot chocolate are my mainstays. Yogurt (I think because it's creamy) works too. I'm going to put the cold hi-pro drinks on hold for a week or so and see if that feeling goes away with time.

I didn't realize how much our lives revolve around food. It's on TV. It's in every newspaper or magazine I pick up. It's in the movies. It's around the corner. It seems to follow me wherever I go. I've never been interested in the Food Channel before, but I find myself drawn to it now. Watching them prepare food. I've never enjoyed cooking before, but now, watching the food channel I think, "I can do that, I just need the right ingredients and a sharp knife." Me. With a sharp knife. Scarey.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One week post-surgery

It's been one week already. Feeling pretty good, usually. The incisions are still a bit sore, but I'm able to get up and around much better than I was a week ago. I get this weird "stitch in my side" feeling whenever I drink something. It's rather uncomfortable. Very sloshy. Hard to describe other than that. I've got a call into the Dr so he can explain it to me. I've also got something like a heat rash on my arms & legs. Very itchy. Have had that for several days. Going to ask the Dr about that as well. Other than is good.

I've lost 19.5 lbs (15 of that was pre-surgery). I haven't really noticed it in my clothing yet, well, except for my tops. I was hoping I wouldn't lose it up there, but I guess that's where it came from because my tops practically look like huge potato sacks on me now! *lol* I need to start doing a bit of walking soon. I think I'll start that next week when I go back to work. This week of rest/recuperation has been just what I needed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can we say gas?


oh my....the gas. It's never ending. I think the gas bothers me more than the incisions, all 5 of them. I sure hope this feeling goes away soon.

One thing I'm surprised about is that I "gained" 7 pounds after the surgery. I'm not sure how that works...if it's all fluids they pumped into me, or the air they inflated my tummy with or what...but the scale weighs me 7 lbs heavier than when I went in.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The day after...

Surgery went fine. The surgeon did find a hyetal hernia, which he repaired. He said that is the reason I was experiencing acid reflux/heart burn. With it repaired I shouldn't have that anymore! YAY!

So I stayed in the hospital one night, and was released to go home this morning. I'm sore all over. My tummy feels like a mac truck ran over it, then backed up and ran over it again. Hopefully that feeling will go away soon, cuz it hurts to laugh, cough, hiccup...and the air bubbles...oh my. I guess part of the procedure is that they have to fill your tummy with air. They try to remove most of it during the surgery, there is always something residual...and your body has to find a way to release it. Burps, coughs, sneezes, etc. Not fun.

I'm so glad I did this. I'm so excited to lose weight because this time I know it's going to work. I just have to stay on the plan. And start exercising as soon as I can. So, it's all good. Yay!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Defining Moments

We all have them at some point in our life. A moment so strong, so poignant, so memorable that we pin point it in our memories as the moment our life changed.

My moment happened in January, 2009. I was talking with my knee surgeon again about a recent fall I took that injured my knee again. His assessment was brutal. He wasn't kind. He was honest. And in no uncertain terms he told me, "Joanne, there is nothing I can do for your knee surgically that will make it feel better. The best thing you can do for yourself and your knee is to lose weight. For every pound you lose, you'll remove 7 lbs of pressure on your knee. If you lose weight, it won't hurt as much and you'll be able to move more. There is no other magical cure." I left his office crying. I felt broken. I felt betrayed. I felt like I was at the end of my rope.

It was that afternoon, driving the 2.5 hours home from the surgeon's office, that I decided I was going to look into weight loss surgery. My family doctor had mentioned it a year ago during my annual exam, so I called him back and made an appointment. Within a week of the exam, I was talking with the bariatric surgeon. We determined that I was a good candidate for the Realize Lap Band procedure. Two weeks ago I started my pre-op high protein liquid diet. On Thursday, April 2, 2009, I go in for my surgery.

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm a little bit scared. But I'm more excited than anything else. I know this is the right thing. I'm excited that at last I will have a tool that will help me control my eating and I'm determined to stick to the plan. This time I can and will do it. I haven't told anyone about this, but my family and my pastor. I was embarrased to admit that I was so heavy that I needed weight loss surgery to help me lose weight. Posting this in my blog is my first step to "come out of the closet" so to speak. I'll tell others. As they ask. As they begin to notice the changes. But I didn't want to be totally public about it, so for now, only you & my family know.

I was a bit wary about the liquid portion of the diet, but it really hasn't been that bad. Most of the products taste good (slight aftertaste), and those that don't taste good...I just don't use them again. I don't feel hungry and I'm drinking lots of water. Since my consultation I've lost 15 pounds (11 of which are since I started the liquid diet). I'll have to be on this liquid diet for 4 weeks post-surgery, and then will slowly bring solid food back into my diet. I'm looking forward to that day, but until then...I'm content.

Defining moments...a fork in the road....taking the road less travelled.

Calling All Crows

The other day, my dad & I were standing in his living room, looking out the front window when we hear this strange noise. Imagine, if you will, a very large crow. A sick-sounding large crow. Crowing at the top of his voice. Got that picture? Now, as we're standing, looking out his big picture window, we see his neighbor-lady walk across the street with a large plastic bag in her hand. What is she doing? Where is she going with that bag? Was she planning to do something with the poor, sick-sounding crow? Was she going to put him out of his misery, and ours? Again, we hear this poor, sick-sounding crow. But we can't see him. We see lots of crows flitting through the branches of the trees across the street, but no BIG crow. I mean, by the way this guy sounds, he's got to be BIG. Again, the crowing. And that's when we realized. It was the neighbor-lady. Crowing. To the crows. Calling the crows in. For dinner.

Only in a small town. No. Only in a two cow town. With crows.