My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trip and A New Great Granddaughter

Yes, I have been absent for a long while, but I needed that break. Dealing with this lung disease can turn priorities around very quickly. I don't, and I mean don't, let it get me down. I pick up my sorry behind and make hubby treat me to a nice dinner or shopping or I get a date with friends who love me and go to a restaurant for a 4 hour "therapy" session.

Plus my granddaughter gave us our third great grand daughter and she is precious. Introducing Miss Lorelai. Her daddy liked the "a" better than the "e" for her name. We were going over for her birth at the end of October but she came a couple of weeks early. Very unusual for our granddaughter, but lucky for us we were there as she pulled something in her right leg/hip and was on crutches for a couple of days. The men took over with everything while we just held her and kissed her. She is a very good baby. Plus while there I started passing a kidney stone (my 15th one) and had to be taken to ER. They gave me pain killers for the "short" haul and said it way was too big to pass. So my gorgeous and sweet granddaughter took a whole morning calling around to get me an appointment with a urologist. We finally got a quick appointment (2 days later but I lived on pain killers so was fine) with one in downtown Seattle. I really wanted to go home but going back to Idaho through a desert with not much in the way of hospitals wasn't something I relished experiencing. So I just loaded up on pain killers and hubby drove the whole eight hours with me in a stupor. I wanted my comfort zone. Badly! We made it home and a few days later (today) my urologist zapped them for me and I'm now up at 3:30 AM because I've slept so much at the hospital today. I love pain killers!!!!

A gorgeous red dining room.

I don't know where this is but it's ambiance is outstanding. Looks very French to me.

I love it but it is way too big for me. And painting it? Nah, I prefer lower ceilings. But it is stunning.

Definitely my kind of room. Very English and I love English decorating.

This is very "ME". There is nothing about this room I wouldn't have in my home.

An enticing vignette.

Beautiful white room with a gorgeous chandelier.

I love decorated and decorating bottles. Even the most unglamorous bottle can be made beautiful with a few baubles.

A pair of antique lamps made beautiful with stunning lampshades some one has froufrou-ed up.

Another clever vignette made from simple ordinary things.

What an adorable spot in a kitchen! I love this kind of thing also.

Another stunning bedroom. The carpet drew my eye first. I'm sure it's custom made. Even the furniture looks custom made, but clever shopping can make the statement for a much lower price.

Isn't this adorable. I suspect this is somewhere in a Scandinavian country.

Another cute cabinet made special with the talent of a wise homeowner.

I love that table covering and would do it but it would take much more fabric than I care to deal with all at one time. Beautiful though!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Inquiries on my blog

Just so you know. I have had many requests on my blog for some answers that would require a private post. HOWEVER, if you send me a comment and it doesn't have your "return email" on it I cannot answer it. It will usually look like this:

So if you want or need a reply always put your email in the body of your email or change your settings where your EMAIL is the sending email. Some of you don't have it set up that way and that means it isn't a "reply-able" comment.

I truly would respond to you! Just let me know what your email is.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Life In The Slow Lane

This will be a long blog about what is happening in my life recently.

The short story is I now have interstitial lung disease. The long story is coming to grips with it for the last six months.

It began last October or November with a dry cough. After 3 visits to the QuickCare in our area and a visit to my doctor and prescriptions with each visit nothing helped with the cough. My primary physician told me to go to the ER if my oxygen levels went under 90. They are better equipped to handle this problem than a doctor’s office. So one day I made a visit to ER as my O2 levels were dropping fast. Just couldn’t get enough air into my lungs. It went to 70 at the ER and my fingers and toes were turning blue. They admitted me that day.

Then they called a pulmonologist in to help me. He is a very kind man. After spending the night at the hospital I was released and set to a pulmonologist. After a consultation we determined I had interstitial lung disease. There are more questions about it than not. Not many cures even if they do find the root cause. In other words too many questions and not many answers. I just live with it and hope it doesn’t get worse. I never smoked more than the one or two cigarettes in high school to show me it wasn’t something I’d want to pursue.

I’ve had 3 biopsies in my right lung and they hurt a lot, mostly when I breathed. We’ll have the results of the biopsies in about another week. There may be nothing to do with it. I refuse to read the statistics about it as I don’t want to know any more than absolutely necessary. I’m in counseling with it and like the progress we’re making, like my counselor and all that kind of stuff. My only problem is I’m short of breath and tethered to air hoses for the rest of my life and I’m actually okay with that. Another great granddaughter is due in October and that brings incredible joy to my life at this time. I’ve always loved and wanted as many grands kids or great grand kids as possible. I love them immensely and they bring great joy to me and my hubby. And my current 3 grand boys and 2, soon-to-be-3, great grand girls keep us loved and entertained well.

We know where we’re going as we’re religious and there isn’t enough “convincing” in the world to convince our family otherwise. We’re fun-loving Mormons.

I now await the final results on this disease. I live normally, just more oxygen flows though tubes in my nose. I still go out with friends for lunches and sit around and hoot when they show up concerned about me. I have the best friends anyone could hope for in this life. I also have that new Lexus hubby bought me as a total shock but a great one for me. I’m still very humorous and cute and lovable. Nothing has changed about me except my lungs are compromised.

The day I returned from the hospital I called a friend and asked if she could secure an angel food cake for me. She was over in 20 minutes with an angel food cake, strawberry glaze, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. She came in. I tucked a towel under my chin while laying in bed. She fed me slowly and stayed and talked to me for a couple of hours. What I didn't know until after she sat there, fed me and kept me company was that she had a family of 8 in our ward over for dinner that night. When I called all whispery-voiced, she dropped everything and told them: "Gotta go. It's Connie." And then she headed to the WalMart store and then my house. I was stunned when she told me she left them all there, her hubby and 3 kids and the family of 8 to fend for themselves when I called. I knew then why I loved that woman so much. I'm 30 years older than she is, but her physical problems, in all their immenseness, have yet to be determined and she's a young-ish mom of 3 teens and in worse health than I am, compromised lungs and all.

Then the next day, a friend came over, crawled into bed with me and we talked for a couple of hours. Her kids call me Miss Connie and my hubby Mr. Connie. I call them Miss Lainey, Miss Emma, Miss Sadie and Miss Avery. The darling boys are Mr. Miles and Mr. Graham. She's from California and her hubby is from this area and decided to set up his practice here, which is good since she's become so special to me. She's also a super person.

My first shower a week after the surgery put me in a very deep sleep for a couple of hours. It was that taxing. Hubby takes care of most chores now. We'll see how it goes when I get the results back from the doctor in a few days.

I am going to continue posting, just not on a regular basis. I love doing this. It gets my brain functioning, keeps me young and gives me something I can do at home. Another dear friend has other things for me to do from home also. I'll do what I can. I'll work around the lungs, lunches and visits from kids and grand kids. I cannot just do nothing. I have to stay somewhat active, as much as is possible. I'll turn the dirty chores over to th' Man! He can handle it and he CAN handle it.

This is one of my favorite designs for a house. I loved everything about this home when I first saw the photo—furniture, floors, sunlight streaming in, kitchen, chandelier, just everything.

Nothing picks me up like colorful flowers.

And, yes, this would be fun to have in my home also.

Thinking of making some pretty pillowcases. Yes, seriously, I am! Just want to do something around here lately.

This is adorable but just too intense for me to make right now. I'll be doing simpler things from now on. I have a request if someone can help me. I want a pillow made from a drop cloth with stenciling on it and a self ruffle. Does anyone know who might be able to make me a pillow for a living room chair with my requests? I do NOT want to do it myself. Recommendations will be greatly considered.

One of the most vibrant bedrooms I've ever seen. All bright reds and comfy chairs. Love the drapes especially. Very cozy room.

I have never seen a blue and white kitchen I like more than this one. It is just gorgeous!

The top pillow is what I'm requesting earlier in this post.

And this tassel? Oooh, be still my heart. It's so adorable. Now I'll probably be on a quest for tassels also.

The black flowery fabric on the bed is so beautiful paired with the other elements in this room.

What a great bench for an entry way. Hmmmm, I actually just had an epiphany looking at this photo.

Love this chair and its fabrics. Look at the drape pulled together also. Beautiful.

Another room that speaks to the aesthetics in my heart. Love the pink French wicker chair, pink and green drapes.

What a great entrance! Says it all in understated terms. Gorgeous.

See what you can do so easily to add a bit of drama and flair to a room. Just put tiny cups in a glass jar. I'll get on that within the hour, trust me.

Too tired to proof this. If there are any mistakes I'll correct them later.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Whether to Continue Blogging

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love blogging and may continue, but very infrequently. And I have been remiss lately due to some health issues. You can view the story here. No one would guess by looking at me I'm so sick. I am on oxygen now and that's the only way to tell there is something the matter. When I sheepishly asked the doctor, a pulmonologist, if I could now get a handicapped sticker he said I qualify more than just about anyone he's seen. How's that for cheering up? I have not let this get me down and out. I still shop and go to lunch with the girls, my support group. One of them actually has a degree in grief counseling. I couldn't have picked a better friend! I'm also going to counseling simply because of depression. I love counseling!

And now for an update.

I have a date with a thoracic surgeon in a week to set a date for a biopsy. We've determined I have interstitial lung disease. If interested I've provided a link to the Mayo Clinic about this disease so you can see what I'm going through. I'm optimistic by nature but I'm also realistic. I'm scared and have shed enough tears to fill a sink. But I have a good support system. Anyway, here's something else.

Last Friday my hubby had a meeting in Boise he went to about model trains. He loves anything regarding trains. In fact, as I sit here composing this post he's watching an hour long video on the history of trains and how people love them.

When he got home he came to me here in the computer room and said there was a car in our driveway. Baffled, I followed him to the garage and looked and told him I had no idea who it belonged to and I had no one in the house visiting me. It was parked behind my Camry when we opened the garage door. I looked at him and he said, "It's yours. I bought you a Lexus." I was absolutely and I mean absolutely stunned and immediately started bawling. He hauled me out to see it and then took our old Camry to the dealer to turn it in. We've bought our last 2 cars from them so they're familiar with us and a friend is the Sales Manager there.

He said, "I know this is your dream car and you're worth it." This is a phrase I use with him when I'm buying perfume, makeup and sheets. "I'm worth it." He made a dream come true. I'd never, ever have guessed he'd do something like this. Here I am with a relatively short expiration date and he does this!

This truly is my dream car. My kids have luxury cars also—Mercedes, BMWs. I love the feeling riding in them, to say nothing of how we are treated when we drive up to a restaurant or hotel valet service! Of course, now that our daughter and her husband are planning on moving to Oregon, she's interested in trucks! I hate trucks!

Anyway, this sweet surprise is fully loaded. Wide angle video screen on the console for backing up, Sirius radio, heated and air-conditioned seats front and back, "no key" entry, just carry a little piece of electronic metal in my pocket, GPS, heated side mirrors, cherry red wood (bamboo! Toyota is innovative in using things that don't disturb the ecosystem too much) on the console, doors and steering wheel, windshield wipers that automatically come on when it rains, sun roof, automatic seats adjustable for the 2 primary drivers, auto-detection for tailgating, and so much more. Hands-free phone system, which I probably can't use since I don't have and don't want a smart phone. Hubby said it was fully loaded. I believe him. It'll take us several days to get used to it and can program every single thing that can be programmed and familiarize ourselves with its features. Lexus has been known for getting 500,000 miles easily on their cars so this is my forever car.

This is the Lexus. I am absolutely loving it!

Back view.

Side view.

The interior. It looks very red but it's a cherry red wood. It is absolutely stunning.

Here shows it on the console, steering wheel and the doors.

Now you can see my storage in the garage. ;-)

Here it is in our garage.

I'd love to have this roominess in my kitchen. I might cook more...maybe.

Don't you love the red toile and white dining chairs? My granddaughter just bought a new breakfast set and it has light chairs. Light chairs with a 5- and 3-year old?! She had towels over it. I explained plastic would be better. She could just wipe the spaghetti off of it instead of washing towels. She quickly agreed and found plastic. Gotta love a granddaughter that listens to her Nana!

I like those 2 chairs and ottoman. Those kind of chairs are very good for the body, too. I sit erect now because of spine and leg problems. This was a requirement from my chiropractor. Recliners are the worst thing for a body.

I'd make one but I have no idea where I'd hang it. Those little striped bulbs are adorable. I'd like to find some of those.

My kind of evening bag.

One of the cheeriest kitchens I've ever seen. All pink and red.

A beautiful entrance to a lovely home. Elegant.

I love how some people combine antiques and glitz/glam together. It's what I do and I love the look.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Life Has Changed Dramatically

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted but there are reasons. I doubt I'll be a high-volume blogger ever again but I hope to post a few once in a while perhaps. I've had to explain to so many relatives and friends what happened that I wrote a Word document to just send around instead of trying to tell several different people. Here is that explanation and that's why the font and spacing are askew. I'm NOT typing this story again in here so it'll just have to be "off":

In November I started coughing, a gut wrenching cough that just wouldn’t let up. I went to our local quickcare for help finally after realizing it wouldn’t give up. I went there twice and then finally made an appointment with my doctor with no satisfaction either. There were x-rays taken and 3 rounds of antibiotics with no success at all. Friends kept telling me to do some “natural” things and I did that, also, to no avail.

Then one day I had a friend drop by and asked how my oxygen levels were. They’ve been low whenever I had my vitals taken at the doctor’s office or quickcare. So she loaned me her oximeter and when she put it on my oxygen was 87. Very low.

I called my doctor and she said if it gets below 90 to go to ER as they are equipped to handle it better than her office.

Well, last Monday at 10 am, I decided to do as she advised as I was still coughing although the cough had gotten somewhat better, not good, but better.

When I walked in to the ER they took me in immediately. Started administering oxygen. At one point I had to go to the bathroom, of course assisted by an aide. When I came out she put the oximeter back on my finger and noticed my fingernails were blue as well as my feet.

The doctor came in and said they were going to admit me. I was stunned. How did we go from “just give me some oxygen” to “do you have a directive”? Huh?! Then they told me I may be there for 3 days. Huh?!

So they talked about taking me up to the 3rd floor for admitting. As we wheeled out of the ER and started NOT heading toward the elevators AND them mentioning room 199, I started thinking “room 199 on a third floor? Then they just kept wheeling my bed to a dark area: dimmed lights, more silence than usual and told me I was in ICU.

I was immediately punctured with needles in both hands, inside elbows. Shots in my stomach twice. Needles not just in veins but arteries in my hands. They needed “pure” blood for some tests. Then came the monitoring cables, 5 in all hooked up to heart and lungs. So actually I was hooked up to 8 different things.

My Monday was taking an altogether different tack than I thought!

They made me pee in a device to measure my urine output. The shot in the stomach induced peeing. I was hooked up to 8 different things and starting to get a bit anxious as one can imagine in this situation. Cat scan later. Xrays later.

My hubby was there the whole time. I have a young friend [I’m in my seventies; she’s 41] I call for “emergencies” (fully loaded Coke, meaning sugar and caffeine, which I usually avoid!) brought me a large Coke and at 7 pm she went out for Subways for all of us. Then our bishop came to visit after he got off work that evening.

I take Ambien and have for 20 years as a doctor prescribed it when we moved to Idaho about then and he said he’s taken it for years. I’ve found it safe. I only take it at night of course. I can nap just fine.

Well, that night instead of Ambien the hospital pharmacy dispensed something called Sonata, better for “over 65 patients”. I took it and didn’t sleep a wink all night. I was really frosted and “wired” at that point because I longed for Morpheus.

Here’s how pathetic I was that night.

I had a cheap clock on the wall at the foot of my bed. I counted every single tick on that clock for hours, making sure it was accurate. It was. Five clicks to each numeral.

I then started playing with the “monitor” I was hooked up to displaying all my vitals. I made sure the oxygen was up and the heart beat was fine AND the blood pressure was good. It was.

Then I started playing games with the one at the bottom that I could “regulate”. I’d chuckle, bark, growl, laugh, guffaw, snort and any other noise I was adept at making and see how that line changed, making little wormy waves or squiggly waves. I did that ALL night.

I didn’t sleep from 10 am Monday morning when I awoke to 10 pm Tuesday when they let me go home from the hospital that afternoon at about noon. I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as they say.

They set me up with a pulmonologist at the hospital and he made me an appointment with his office for Friday. He said my lungs were scarred. Scarred? From what? He thought either from second hand smoking or GERD. I grew up with smoking parents and hubby smoked when we married but he gave it up 30-35 years ago. I never went beyond the cigarette in high school that convinced me smoking was not for me. So essentially I was never a smoker. GERD? I had some episodes years ago but after taking Nexium that disappeared and I was able to discontinue that with no problems at all.

I am now on oxygen permanently. I am connected to a 60’ cannula  that hooks up to a liquid oxygen tank in one room. I can go anywhere in my house on that tether. I have 2 different smaller containers, one that weight 7 pounds and another one weighing about 3 pounds. More conducive to shopping as either can go into a shopping cart. All of this is supplied to me by our local Norco store. That’s a store for devices and air such as this and for me it’s all paid for. I don’t need to pay for anything. They check in weekly or more to see how my liquid oxygen tank is doing and come fill it 24/7/365. This runs around $400 a pop! Plus I am now qualified for a handicapped sticker. My pulmonologist said I qualify for it more than most of the people out there with a placard. I guess I am not “special”! This cost is because my hubby served his country and is a retired Marine and it is also a tithing blessing. We’re full tithe payers in our church and have seen miracles from being so. I cannot tell you how blessed we are doing this.


Lupus: barely there. That’s when the white  blood cells go crazy and attack other tissues.

Asthma: some enlarged passages and some blocked.

High protein: may be caused by bone marrow. 

Bone marrow: a bit off, don’t know why.

I’ll be on oxygen permanently probably.

I get inhalers now because as I used them in the doctor’s office I was getting more oxygen. So it helps me to breath better, more efficient for oxygen to get into system.

Just let me just say here that up until November last year I was NOT having any problems whatsoever. That’s why all this is such a shock. One day I’m fine, next day they’re asking for Directives!

An MRI scheduled for next week. Much work to do to find out why the scarring has occurred. I’ve never had anything that would make one worry about lungs.

My daughter asked me the other night if I ever thought about lungs going bad. I said, “There isn’t a person in the world that hasn’t thought about heart disease as they age, but lungs, NEVER! That’s why this is such a shock to me and my family. Hopefully we’ll know more after more tests.

The cannula is a bit itchy around my nose. I still consider myself one of the luckiest women in the world. I have wealth beyond measure. I’ve never, ever said “why me?” I have asked why, but never “why me”. I’ll endure and count the ways I am so blessed in this life. Oh yeah, I’ll grieve, cry and then get on with it. It’s still a shock when so unexpected but I’m still the liveliest woman you’ve ever met. Just tethered to a tube for the rest of my life, but I’ve already scheduled for our next lunch with th’ girls. This will not get me down.
Just before this happened my hubby and I were trying our best to scale down by getting rid of a lot of things. This was a massive undertaking. I emptied my craft room of 99% of the craft supplies by giving them to a sweet friend. I kept very little. But now our craft/sewing room is an extra bedroom for visitors and my hubby's office is now a room for food storage and our sewing machine is in there along with some minor exercise equipment. And we are now sharing an office together. I just need room for my kids, grandkids and great granddaughter. And that leads me to another announcement: We're having another great grandchild! This has excited us to no end. I've been after my granddaughter to give us more. Some people might say that's a private matter, but I don't care. She'll listen to me more than any other and I kept after her. They're excited also for a third child. I'm sure my daughter is excited to have 3 grandchildren now also.
I kept my artist brushes but put them up on this bookcase for a bit of show and got rid of 40-50 decorating books by having a friend take them to my church and we'll be giving them away on a "help-yourself" table in a month or so. These ladies are going to be delighted!

This is my liquid oxygen tank. It's about the size of a small water softener but it contains enough air for at least a week as I haven't had the regular delivery of oxygen yet. This is all new to us. I can go anywhere in my house with that long tube, cannula.

This is the first "small" one they gave me. It weighs 7 pounds and that's quite heavy for a weakling like me, so I now have one that is 3 pounds which makes it much easier to take shopping or lunch.

And my posts wouldn't be complete without some gorgeous images to view. I love this setting with a fireplace and 2 comfy chairs flanking it. Unfortunately, I can not be around anyone who smokes or a flame or I'd be a walking torch!

Another setting I adore. Just comfy.

All the things I adore. Roses, pink house with gingerbread trim and a delightful window.

If I knew where to buy this I'd have it in a heartbeat. I love the colors.

Another delightful studio/craft room.

While I love these beautiful tables they are a bit flimsy for actual eating. And I don't need anything else for show.

While in the hospital they brought me some delicious oranges cut across and peeled, like a wagon wheel. I love the beauty of them and they were delicious, which set me on a quest for some oranges. Costco had some called Cara Cara. They're pink and the sweetest orange I've ever had. Just luscious and I recommend you try finding them at your local stores.

Simply more eye candy. We all love roses and who can resist that darling coffee pot.

I have a love affair with chandeliers and lampshades for them.

Elegant in a rustic sort of way.

And you all know how I feel about froufrou in this house. I hang things like this on door knobs with drops of fragrance to have my home smell good. It always smells delightful!

I am NOT fond of Indian food. I tried it once when a friend, who was a food critic for our local paper in California, took us to review an Indian restaurant. Nothing and I mean nothing that night was lower than flaming on my tongue. I don't like spicy foods in anyway. I thought the bread was safe but even that was ridiculously spicy. I drank 7 bottles of Seven-Up that night and vowed to never, ever eat Indian again! My daughter also went to an Indian restaurant in that town and same area and she threw up for hours. She spent the night next to the toilet and also vowed to never, ever again eat Indian! When she told us the story my hubby and I laughed our heads off. I understood, hubby didn't. Just laughed because it was so hilariously funny.

This font is regular Georgia and not the one I usually have but after this post it will return to regular Papyrus, which is my fondest font. But there is so much cut and paste on here I was having trouble and that's the last thing I need to focus on now.