Thursday, February 25, 2010

So, my cousin Ashlee tagged me to answer this list of questions. Truthfully, I had never seen such a list until I saw it on her blog, but who am I to stop the show? So, here you go...

4 shows i like to watch:
1. Ghost Hunters
2. Ghost Whisperer
3. Criminal Minds
4. Charmed

4 things i am passionate about:
1. Reading
2. Family
3. Spinning
4. History

4 words or phrases i say often:
1. Really? I mean, really. (said with sarcasm)
2. I wasn't sleeping, I was just in my bedroom.
3. "Can you take me ____?" Since I can't drive due to medical restrictions.
4. seriously!? (said with as much sarcasm as one can possibly muster) have to ditto this from Ashlee

4 things i have learned from the past:
1. i seriously lucked out in the parental department (ditto again from Ashlee).
2. If you can't laugh, then it's a sad, sad world.
3. Sometimes saying nothing is the best coarse of action out there. It prevents family feuds.
4. Smiling when you have a bad day can turn it into a good tend to meet the most interesting people through this method.

4 places i would love to go:
1. The UK
2. Germany
3. Italy
4. Egypt

4 things i did yesterday:
1. Walked to the store
2. Watched the Olympics
3. Took a shower, oh divine!
4. Started reading a new book

4 things i am looking forward to:
1. Being able to drive again
2. Walking to the store and buying gumballs...I love those things!
3. Nephew coming home from the hospital now that Niece is home. She's like holding a football.
4. Getting rid of the knot in my neck

4 things i love about winter:
1. How quiet the snow makes everything right after it's fallen.
2. Fire's in the wood-burning stove
3. A Homemade meal that warms you from the inside out
4. Seeing the beautiful landscape when the snow falls only in the mountains and not in the valleys.

4 things on my wish list:
1. Books. I'm compiling quite a list.
2. Longer hair. I was stupid to whack it all off.
3. A trip to California for Easter
4. a husband (is there an outlet somewhere?) copied from Ashlee again.

4 people i tag:
1. anyone who wants to.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and I didn't do a single thing but read, suck down ginger ale and 7-up and watch a little Olympics. I must say, I'm quite interested in the Olympics, though downstairs (my parents TV) they're on during the entire waking hours and into the nighttime. Nothing else is played. Thank goodness I have my own TV in my room or I think I might shrivel up and die.

I must admit that I loathe Valentine's Day. I despise being alone, but this year wasn't so bad. My parents didn't even do anything for it. The night before Valentine's Day, my dad had been volunteering at the Salt Lake Olympic Oval for all those up-and-comings in Long-Track skating that did not go to the Olympics. My parents were some of the Volunteers for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and my Father is still very active in the skating activities and trials that happen here. Most of the skaters train in Salt Lake City and they've had the World Championships here numerous times. I'm quite impressed by these skaters, I must say. dad had been volunteering over at the Oval all day Saturday and called and asked if we (my mom and I) wanted to go out to dinner. I had been sorta nauseated all day and said no, but my mom got sick and my dad was planning on going out, so I went with him. I love those times. My dad really isn't a talker, but if you get him going, you can have a really good conversation with him. Granted, most of the conversation was about skating (we had watched Apollo Ohno, sorry if the spelling is wrong, get his silver medal before leaving to go eat), you know, long-track versus short-track, how busy he had been that day, etc.. That was a good Valentine's Day dinner for me, though that definitely isn't how it was meant.

I read through another book yesterday. Yes, I know...I need to get a different hobby, like maybe exercising or something, but since something has been making me sick the last little while, reading it is. This books was called I Was There by Hans Peter Richter. This book is no longer in print and I had to order it used. Though it's a very accurate portrayal of Nazi Germany from the German side, I have to say I found the book wanting. It was good for historical significance and the fact that it was a first-hand experience was interesting, but it ended so abruptly, I couldn't stand it. P.S., I did finish the Percy Jackson book 3...liked it. Nothing spectacular and life-changing, but definitely the happy book I needed.

This post made me happy today, too. I love my Fresno cousins...all of them, but Ashlee definitely holds a special place as a best friend, confidant and partner in crime on many occasions! She is also a very good partner in crime with my brother who now lives in Texas. One Thanksgiving, they were charged with making the rolls. They rolled out the dough, cut it into strips, then folded the strip over to make a folded roll. Usually, our rolls are different, but my mom relinquished hold on that duty for this particular Thanksgiving. Ashlee and Kim decided to leave "surprises" in some of the rolls for people. There was a wide array of "surprises" from a small floret or broccoli or cauliflower to a cheddar goldfish! Though I didn't actively participate, I was there during the fun prank and threw out some suggestions of some good surprises. It was hysterical when eating-time came and people broke open they rolls to butter them and found their "surprises." Good times! Anyway, that a brother-in-law would be so cute and caring is just too darling for words! Go Logan! Heidi surely can pick them. Maybe we should make her pick out a match for us, huh, Ash? Nah, I'm still holding out for that Castle and Highlander (inside joke people, sharing...Ashlee will get it and she'll be the only one).

This post also made me happy. This is one of my closest siblings and I love their family and how tight they are. They have a son that has some very special needs due to medical issues, but they have never let that slow them down and they make sure to take time out and spend equal amounts of time with their other children. They are a very balanced family and you can't help but smile and be happy around them, regardless of the day you've had. It's always a treat to see them and we get to keep current in their lives through phone calls and their blog. The blog is definitely a treat for our entire family! I'm glad you all had such a great Valentine's Day and how you encourage the giving nature you both have instilled in Conner! Well done...and those cookies look divine. We got a cupcake delivery from someone, I don't know who, but the one I ate sure was good!

So overall, it was a good Valentine's Day weekend. How was yours?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finishing the Book

So, I finished The Book Thief. I still highly recommend it, but tears were shed toward the last 1/3 of the book and I was left with an ache in my heart for Holocaust victims, be them Jew or Gentile. I must say that I'm glad I read this book, but it leaves me aching for something happy and joyful (something my cousin Ashlee warned me to do when I asked her for Holocaust recommendations). So I'm moving on to book 3 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I like them. Book one has just been released as a movie by one of the directors of Harry Potter, I believe. Though it's no Harry Potter, it is engaging and fun to get an education in Greek mythology while reading. I must say that I preferred the Fablehaven series to this one, but it's distracting enough and happy enough to serve my purposes.

Feel free to chuck any book recommendations my way. I'm always on the look-out. My favorite romance writers are Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Kathleen Woodiwiss (first name might be wrong), Nora Roberts, Catherine Asaro (sci-fi romance), Johanna Lindsey and more, but those are the main listings. I cannot make my way through Harry Potter for some reason, but like the Percy Jackson Series and loved the Fablehaven series. I also really, really like the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Okay...I think that's it. For the temporary list, at least.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Thoughts

I realize that my posts have been somewhat depressing lately, so I'm going to do a happy thoughts post. Ready? I'll try to make this happen more often.

I like to cook. I'm by no means a chef and often take the shortcuts, but whenever I cook, people really like it. And I really enjoy cooking. I just don't do it very often because I hate the clean up. I cook like my father. I usually end up dirtying every dish in the kitchen plus every appliance we own. I don't know how I do it, but it is very much possible, trust me. The dishwasher is my very best friend and I have been known to do multiple loads of dishes, just to take care of my preparation dishes! I'm not talking 2. I'm talking...I think my record was 5 loads. Seriously! Five. I would never make it as a restaurant cook. But I love it.

Yesterday, my parents volunteer for our church and my mom always cooks a lunch/dinner because she's there for 8 hours and my dad is there for 4, but goes there directly after work, so it's like a 12+ hour day for him. She made what we call Chicken Enchilada Casserole. It's good, it's easy and it's one of my favorite meals. But she took it all with her. I decided that I wanted some real enchiladas and decided I was going to make it happen Sunshine Style. I make some Mexican Red Rice (my sister-in-law makes this and it's killer, so I tried to replicate contest, she wins, I just can't compete, but it was good nonetheless), then drove ( was less than a block) up to the store to buy tortillas, sour cream, cheese and a rotisserie chicken, because I'm lazy like that and just shredded the rotisserie chicken. I made what turned out to be a HUGE casserole dish of chicken enchiladas, ended up pouring the excess chicken mixture and Red Rice over the top, then covered it in cheese and baked it. Yum. I'm impressed with myself. I don't eat leftovers and this is definitely leftover worthy.

So yesterday, cooking made me very happy. And it carried over to today because I ate them for lunch today. Yum. That's all I have to say about that. It was simply delicious.

Next. I love to read. Anybody who knows me well knows that. I'm particularly addicted to romance novels, but not just any romance novels. I have special authors I favor and I own I think every book written by those authors. I read them over and over again. I really like historical romance (pirates and regency are favorite, but medieval are also favorites), but have taken a step away to focus on another passion of mine. The holocaust.

Did you know that a very well known book store, who shall remain nameless, only stocked 10, count them, 10, fiction books regarding the holocaust? Well, according to their database. The books I wanted to read were not in stock and I had to order them online. Luckily, my cousin, Ashlee shares my passion for reading, though in different genres for the most part and recommended a relatively new book for me called The Book Thief. It's Youth Lit, set during World War II, written by death. It's a little disjointed, but obviously, I think and write that way, so it's no problem for me. It's the story of a girl growing up in World War II Germany and so far it tells the side of Germans who are kind of caught into the Nazi world, but not really part of it. Highly recommended reading on my part. I'm only about half way through, but it really gives you a different point of view and helps you understand the struggle and strife of those caught up in the World War II without asking for it.

Another book I picked up because I'm unemployed is calls What Color is Your Parachute? 2010. It's kind of a self-help books for those searching the job market. My awesome uncle recommended it as reading and it's really helpful. Also a very good must-read in my mind. I'm also working my way slowly through that because I'm so caught up in the other book. I'm soooo not one of those people who can read multiple books at a time.

Books make me happy and luckily, I have lots and lots of them!

Though sometimes I complain about them, my nieces and nephews make me happy. They're just so much fun and so unafraid and uninhibited. I love that. One niece in particular (note: our family is not demonstrative in the least) I love just because she is such a lover. She is unafraid to just run up and hug you. I love that because it's so unexpected to me (again, not a hugger), but feels so good. I love that about her. Another nephew, who lives far away in Texas is just so much fun and has so much enthusiasm for everything. He can't help but make you happy and laugh. I love that about him and I love that my brother and sister-in-law encourage that in him. And I love to see my parents around them. They're so different than I usually see them. Isn't it interesting how that happens?

And I'll make a last statement, though it certainly isn't the last thing that makes me happy, but this post is already a novel. My siblings make me happy. They all make such an effort to be there for everybody and are genuinely concerned for each other and want to know how the other is doing. We may not talk to each other a lot, but we all know what is going on in each others lives. I am exceptionally close to 2 of my siblings and still pretty close with the other 2. I think most of it has to do with age. The 2 that I'm extremely close with are ones that are closest to me in age and that I have the most in common with. I did a lot with them as an adult, so we have a more vested interest. I love that even though we're not demonstrative, we all still care and know it about each other and keep up on what's going on with each other and share in little triumphs and band together in times of struggle.

Wait. One more. My parents. They are truly wonderful people. They have helped me more lately in times of struggle and strife and help me whenever I need a boost. They make sure I get out of my room and socialize occasionally. They are there for all of my siblings during times of celebration and times of struggle. They have really raise 5 wonderful children who care and love about each other.

And there you have it. My happy thoughts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Yes, that's right. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. As those of you close to me may know, the past 2 months have been a huge roller coaster of medical drama. I had a seizure in December and can't drive, lost my job (approximately one week before I had my seizure), and had an allergic reaction to the medication they put me on in the ER.

I took the pills, thinking these were just side effects that would go away, dealing with them the best I could. I finally got in to see a cardiologist (I was required to see him 1-2 days after my ER visit and finally was able to see him 5 weeks after my ER visit), was told I have a heart problem (see previous post for details) and was told it most likely was not the cause of my seizure and was told to go see a neurologist.

Did I mention I don't have insurance and am unemployed? Yes, the whole time. Luckily, Intermountain Health Care is a non-profit organization that has financial assistance, right? Not so much. While the Emergency Room and Cardiologist and even my Primary Care doctor seems to not be a problem...I cannot find a neurologist that accepts this financial assistance program. I've called everybody I can think of. A patient advocacy program, a physician referral number, individual neurologists. The best thing I was told was that without insurance, I would have to have a down payment of at least $50 and escalating up to $200 depending on the doctor's office you talk to. When asked about the financial assistance program, they simply say they don't accept it. When talking to the financial assistance people, they assert that anybody who is in the Intermountain Health Care system should accept it. Really? Call around.

On top of that, I realized the side effects I were experiencing were not only not going away, but were getting worse (probably in conjunction the increase in dosage after the cardiologist visit) and called the doctor to see what could be done. I was given a "tough, but keep taking it because it's a matter of life or death" routine from the cardiologist and no response from my primary care doctor. Duh. I realize I can't stop taking the medication. All I'm asking for is maybe a change to something else? I'm nothing if not stubborn. I refuse to believe that I have to live a life with these side effects.

I should sideline this by stating that I called my sister-in-law, a physician's assistant, on Sunday to see if the things I was experiencing were normal and if I could do anything to help relieve the symptoms myself. She's great. We thought up one solution that sort of solved one issue, but not really. It's gross and I really don't want to get into it. It's bad enough to have to describe it to a doctor or his staff, let alone family and/or blog readers. It's just not good conversation. Sorry.

After a slight tiff with the staff member at the cardiologists office, she said she would talk to the doctor again and see if there is anything that can be done. I heard nothing by the end of business. Frustrated, I ranted to my parents. My dad, genius that he is, suggested that I call the pharmacist and see if it's really true that there isn't anything else for me to take. While it is true that the medication I'm currently taking is the best to be taking for rhythm problems, which is what I have, there are other options. Slightly vindicated, I seethed the night away and waited for a response from the doctor the next day.

I did receive a call back the following day telling me that the cardiologist had approved a medication change, but that I would have to gradually increase it and be seen by him again. Really? Are people really stupid enough that they have to add disclaimers that I need to be seen again after a change in medication?

Finally, I received a call back from my primary care doctor with a "solution" to the side effects I was experiencing (only after the cardiologist approved the med change...I don't know if there was collaboration going on there or not, but I'm slightly miffed at the lack of response by both), which was to take an antihistamine, which I already take and to take a Zantac. I was assured this would cover the gamut of side effects and surprisingly, it almost has. I'm still waiting for some of the side effects to go away, but it's taken care of most of them. Score one for the primary care doc. And I didn't even have to have any prescriptions, just OTC meds. Nice.

BUT. I'm still trying to find a neurologist and it looks like I'm gonna have to shill out the mulah because 2 doctors in all of Intermountain Health Care that are neurologists are taking new patients and neither of them accept financial assistance! AND...until we find out whether or not I'm epileptic, I cannot drive. Could my world get any smaller? Really?

I know it can be worse, but not being mobile really bugs and the bus system around Utah sucks rotten eggs. Not to mention that their prices are exorbitant.

Anybody know of anybody in Utah hiring? I'm searching and really am qualified despite health issues!