Thursday, May 31, 2007

Baby Alert, 2007 #1

Phone, on the bed table. Purse.... crap, where's my purse? Okay, purse, by my bed. Jacket, on the purse. Keys, in purse.

Okay, ready for middle-of-the-night babysitting duty.

Any day now, my new nephew is arriving, and the doctor thinks this little guy is anxious to make his appearance...

Sometimes, you just gotta break a couple of "rules"

Like taking your 13-year-old to see Pirates of the Carribean 3: At World's End, 7:00 pm show, on a school night.


We had a great time, really enjoyed the movie. I like it as much as the first one, which I have watched way too many times (inspiration while sewing!). Once this comes out on DVD, I am sure I will watch it just as much.

Excellent effects, pretty good story, and, Thank God, less heavy-handed "in" jokes carried over from the first film that marred the second. Whew.

Okay, time for me to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow - first registration day for new students at work. Going to be extremely busy.

Okay, now for the "poor me" update. Last evening was good. I was able to get quite a lot done around the apartment. My son helped with the laundry, and at least picked up the pokemon cards he had been "sorting" in his room. Balm on the eyes, if nothing else. I slept well last night, too, for the first time in a long time. I hope I sleep as well tonight, as tomorrow is going to be busy, and stressful. Just four more days until the Neurology appointment, then hopefully I can get some answers.

I'm more absentminded lately, and I can't tell if it is related to what happened, or from being distracted by thinking about what happened. So, I'd like to wish my twin sisters a "Happy Birthday", and offer an apology that I neglected to get their cards in the mail.

And Nan? I have yours right on my dresser. Sorry it's a couple of months late. I found it in my sketchbook, right where I left it. It'll be in the mail just as soon as I get some stamps. I'd better leave a post-it for myself, because I'll have forgotten by morning, unless I read this blog-post again... Okay, now I'm just being pathetic...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This is what happens when a pirate pulls you in front of a video camera...

Ah, memories... I'm the one Captain J.P. Boyd is asking about the crossbows. ;)

In fact, that's me on the cover frame!

Home. Wiped Out.

I had a big long, drawn out post that I wanted to write, but it is just not going to happen tonight. I am exhausted. I had lots of fun, but not as much fun as i could have had, had I felt better. I met a lot of really nice people, and hope to go back next year (feeling better, of course!).

More later...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I'm at the end of my energy tonight, so here is pretty much what I've been emailing and telling people today:

I went to see my doctor today. She's thinking that I had a TIA (Transient Aschemic Attack), based on what I told her happened. She ordered several tests, and I have appointment cards like crazy to keep track of. I had some heart tests today, to rule out problems with my heart, and have an ultrasound of my caraotid arteries scheduled for Tuesday. Neurology is still trying to figure out when they can work me in, so I won't know when that appointment is for awhile. As far as the CAT scan when I was in the ER, apparently TIAs don't usually show up, and they usually don't leave any permanent damage.

The heart tests included an EKG, an echocardiogram, and a bubble test. I spent most of the morning in the clinic.

35 year olds generally don't have TIAs. People twice my age, yeah, it happens. Not at 35 years old. I was the youngest person in the waiting room. I kept thinking, everytime the probe dug into my chest or side, that they do this to tiny old ladies in worse condition than me. The echo-thing is uncomfortable, especially when they dig into your stomach to try to see your heart from the bottom. How do they go through this?

After my appointments were done for the day, I went home, and called my mom. I also talked with my sister, Nan, for awhile. Then, I ate lunch, and took a two hour nap. I was wiped out, sore, and just needed to close my eyes and not think about all of this for awhile.

My doctor told me that it was okay to continue with my normal activities, as much as I can. I am still going to Omaha this weekend. I may not be able to do as much as I normally do, just because I get tired faster, but I can still help out a lot. I don't want to end up stuck in my apartment, missing everything I love. I could sit by the phone, wringing my hands worriedly between appointments, or I could be out maintaining what health I do have, by being as active as I can, and enjoying myself.

I'll do whatever the doctors tell me I have to do. And for right now, they are saying it's okay to go.

P.S. I did really well on the caffeine cut-back today. Sodium, not great, but better than normal. We went out to eat with my mom and my sister, Kim, tonight. Eating out is always a challenge. I had a salad with chicken on it, Ranch on the side (used less than half), and lemonade (which I couldn't drink, as it was just too sugary). Torture is sitting in Applebees, watching your sister eat what you wanted to have, but couldn't because way too salty. Oh well...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I am in the middle of doing laundry. I was working on trimming the edges of the green bodice, in order to prepare to handsew the binding to the inside, and get this bodice finished. While I was clearing out the basket that holds the remote controls, in order to use it to hold the trimmed fabric, I found the thermometer. I decided to take my temp, as I felt a little warm earlier.

99.1°F. Slightly elevated. So, I guess that instead of just taking off time to see the doctor tomorrow, I will probably be taking the entire day off, sick. I hope that this doesn't mess up any tests.

I have not had another episode since Friday night. I thought I was going crazy earlier today, when I was looking for something that possibly could have been included in the box with the new lens, but couldn't find. Turns out it was never in the box (receipt). Didn't think I was crazy, but I started second-guessing myself. I've been a little more tired than usual, mostly because I haven't been sleeping well. No biggie, I thought.

So, here I am, slight fever, had to take a nap after work in order to have any energy, and am in the middle of FIVE LOADS OF LAUNDRY, when I probably should be resting. Great. I have a ton of things I need to do to get ready for Friday, and being sick is not on that list...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Clarification on what happened Friday night

I was just reading through what I wrote Saturday morning, and realized that I did not come back and write more about what happened. In the interest of avoiding confusion later when I start writing about what happens next, here's a bit more of the story.

We drove to Manson Friday night, and while we were eating dinner, I started having difficulty speaking. What I meant to say was not coming out right at all. Some words I just could not say, and I drew a complete blank on others. Pretty quickly, I realized that something was really wrong.

My mom and my sister drove me to the emergency room in fort dodge (about 20 minutes away), and while on the way, my right hand went numb. It started at the base of my thumb, and traveled through every finger. I was still having problems calling things by their right names. I told my mom to watch out for that power - I meant to say "tractor," among other things. I started getting better as we got closer to Fort Dodge, and by the time I got there, the only thing wrong was that I had a bad headache, and a little bit of numbness still in my pinky finger on my right hand.

I was able to give my name, address and information, along with the name of the President of the United States. I concentrated really hard on getting the answers right, and making sure I remembered info they needed to know (I had my meds with me, because I was staying over at Mom and Dad's that night, luckily). They did a couple of preliminary tests, to figure out how bad off I was, I guess. My BP was higher than normal (128/98), but not in any danger zones.

The ER was really busy. At one point, my mom and I got the giggles really badly, because my sister was trying to explain to my dad, over the phone, what two shirts of hers needed to be hung on a hanger to dry, and not in the dryer. He was having problems finding one of them, and it just struck us as funny. If you laugh, you don't have time to cry, right?

One of my sister's friends works at the hospital, so she came down and sat with us during her break, so that was a distraction.

At one point, a woman my mom knew came in with a friend and the friend's son. The little boy had been goofing around with his dad and uncles, and had hit his head. He needed staples to close the wound. The friend commented that I looked as white as a sheet. I told her that was my normal skin color, but mom and Movie Star agreed that I was much, much paler than usual. Well, my head hurt, so that was part of it. Soon, the left, and other people came in.

One elderly lady was wheeled in. She was recovering from cancer, and undergoing chemo. They brought her in because she spiked a temperature of 103°F. Someone else came in with chest pains.

A couple of times, my mom went to check up on when I would be seen. My head was pounding, and occasionally, my forearm would have areas that felt a little numb. I just wanted to lie down. There were people worse off than me, though. I grew convinced that we were going to end up watching the entire movie on the Hallmark Channel that had started when we got there.

Finally, they called my name. My mom followed, and we were shown into the treatment room. First bed on the right. The nurse, Mark, did a few preliminary tests, then a girl came over to draw my blood (from the side of the wrist, below the thumb, apparantly, it is supposed to be easier and less painful). My doctor ended up being the same doctor that delivered all of us girls, and my mom's face melted in relief when she heard his name.

I ended up having to have a CAT scan to check for any bleeding on the brain, and it came back normal. Whew, not a stroke. I have to cut way back on my sodium and caffeine intake, to get things back under control, and I'm going to be making an appointment with my regular doctor to follow up, and see if she wants to order any more tests. It ended up taking over four hours, as the ER was really busy. We still don't know what exactly happened. The doctor told me that I would need an MRI if the symptoms recurred. Possiblities include a tumor, or MS, neither of which are good things. I am going to ask my doctor if maybe we can just have the MRI, and not have to wait for this to happen again. I just want to know what happened, and how to prevent it from happening again.

So that's the story of my ER visit. I'll keep people posted, family and friends first, of course.

I am now going to go make a baked potato and some some baked veggies. Yum.

Food, and what to do with it.

As I found out a few years ago, attempting to cut down on sodium in your diet is a frustration the likes of which can only be compared to trying to cut back on the amount of air that you breathe.

Everything, from a slice of bread (110mg), to frozen cauliflower (25mg), has it. Canned soup? Forget it. Any frozen dinner, even the Healthy Choice ones? Only if I want to blow through half of my sodium allowance for the day. No deli meats, nothing out of a can (besides fruit). No chips, and nothing from the bakery. Ouch. It takes a serious amount of work to do this, as you end up having to prepare many foods from scratch, and when you have a limited schedule and budget, you end up maybe eating not quite as much variety.

I am absolutely serious about cutting back to 1000 mg of sodium a day. The daily allowance is 2400 mg, and the people in charge of such things are actually working on lowering it, and lowering the amounts that processed foods contain. It just takes awhile to get people used to it. Let's face it, salt in food makes a lot of things taste really, really good.

Really, really good. I want some french fries...


When I was at the ER on friday night, my blood pressure was 128/98 (and yes, that bottom number is pretty dang high). Last night, it was 112/77, which is pretty good.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Not the way I wanted to spend my Friday night

I don't have a lot of time to write out the full story of what happened last night, but here is a brief summary:

Eating dinner at my mom and dad's house, talking and laughing, and all of a sudden words were not coming out right. Either I knew the word that I wanted to say, and couldn't say it, or I was at a complete loss on terms that I know and use every day, After about five minutes of confusion, my mom decided I needed to go to the emergency room. Movie Star went with, while my dad kept my son occupied at home.

A CAT Scan did not indicate that I had a stroke. I had a good talk with the doctor, and if it happens again, I need an MRI. In the mean time, cut back on caffeine and sodium.

More later...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

An you know what else is bugging me?

The school district making school fees due a whole month earlier than ever before. Due next month. And it is $57 more this year than last. I knew about, and fully support the $25 textbook fee (the 7th grade social studies book is over 8 years old. Eight years, people.). And I knew that my son needed a new gym uniform. Things aren't outrageous or anything, but geesh, give us a little warning before we open the preregistration packet.

(And to be fair, I don't read our local paper, mostly because I don't want to subscribe to it, as I don't want piles of newspapers around. Actually, i read it online, but their site sucks beyond all reason. Their "new" design is as unreadable as the old, and looks about six years out of date. So totally understandable that I would miss an announcement like that, because there would be no damn way to find it on that site.)

Oh, and my lovely new green bodice? The one I was so excited about? I'm bloated, and it doesn't fit. Sucks to be me...


Don't know why I am still in a crappy mood. Just trying to keep myself busy. I have a ton of work to do tonight, but none of it is going to be fun. Correction, about the only thing I will enjoy doing tonight is adding the bias binding to my green bodice. Then, I need to pack for a small trip to my parents' house (yay!), and gather up all of my costume stuff that I need for Saturday's rehearsal.

So, a couple of things to look forward to this weekend, but still not putting me in a good mood for some reason...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Feeling down

I feel really isolated right now, and i am not entirely sure why. I have been busy for so long, that when things quiet down, I feel like there is still something I should be doing, somewhere I should be rather than at home. I am finally feeling like I want to get out and go places, do something fun.

I am, however, getting excited about the impending arrival of my second nephew! One month to go, K!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Confession #475

I read "Dear Abby," just to see if I can recognize myself in any of the letters.

Admit it, so do you... ;)

Edited to add: And no, I am not speaking specifically about today's Dear Abby, which I had NOT read before I posted that. I just read it, and it has nothing to do with me. Bad neighbors, etc, now THAT might be me...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Very low key day, today. It is amazing how things slow down after spring semester ends.

I slept a bit later than normal, after waking up early, and deciding that there was no reason to stay awake when I was so comfortable, and the wind was so nice and cool through my window.

After I got up, my son made me toast with strawberry jam for breakfast. Simple, yes, but exactly what I wanted. I did the laundry, and cleaned up a bit. I tackled some hand washing, then made lunch, and rested for a bit. We decided to go shopping, and then out to dinner.

We went to Okoboji Grill, after seeing the number of cars at Applebees. And we should have stayed at Applebees. Hardly any cars at all at Okoboji Grill, which should have been a clue. Needless to say, the one we've gone to in Des Moines a few times is far better when it comes to burgers. My burger was dry and mostly charcoal. Everything else was okay, but it was the burger that I had been craving. I wish I had ordered a salad instead.

In any case, we ate, paid the bill, left, and came home, where I continued relaxing by finished up a really good book. I am going to further relax by working on my new bodice, now that the house has cooled down.

I really enjoyed this rare weekend with no particular plans. It was exactly what I needed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Relaxing day...

Seriously. Everything I did today was something I wanted to do. I slept until 8am, woke up, puttered around, took a bath, then made up the menus and grocery list for the week. I went heavy on the healthy stuff, as I want to make some changes to the way we eat.

For lunch, I ate a salad with a lot of good-for-me stuff on it. After lunch, I settled down in my room to watch "Elizabeth I," with Helen Mirren (yes, she also plays Elizabeth II, in "The Queen"). This movie was astounding. I only watched the first part, and had to stop at one point, it was so graphic. Just incredible. And yes, I was heavily distracted by the gorgeous costumes. Just beautiful detailing, even among the men's clothing. I know the costuming won awards, and it would be fascinating to be able to find detailed photos online. I know movie costumers sometimes take liberties with construction, but there is a lot to be learned here.

(I am writing the rest of this offline, as my internet at home has been unstable for the last couple of days, and is now off again. Big nuisance.)

I also realized that I had seen at least two of the gowns worn by Queen Elizabeth. Philippa Gregory's novels usually have very lovely paintings on the covers. One cover has a very interesting similarity, in that two women are wearing gowns extremely similar to two of the gowns in the movie. In fact, on one of the costuming forums that I read, we were discussing that a new Simplicity pattern may have been modeled on that book cover. Looks like the pattern was modeled on the movie instead.

When I was taking a break to settle my stomach, I decided to start cutting out the fabric for my new green bodice. I started out with a yard of 60" wide green brocade, and ended up with over half of it left. Because of this, I decided to make shoulder and waist tabs, and maybe even a pouch. I also had a small bit of olive green "silk" that I decided to use to accent the tabs and pouch. There is not much of it, so it will be used to edge the tabs. I am even thinking of adding in some red grosgrain ribbon to the tab decoration. I confirmed that my olive green, broadcloth (shudder) skirt will complement the bodice well enough. Accessories will dress it up to the proper piratey-goodness. Perhaps later I will find enough of this fabric for a better skirt, and can convert it to noble garb...

I ended up cutting out the cotton duck lining after dinner, and everything is waiting for my sewing machine tomorrow. I decided on using the double lining only in the front, where the boning channels will be located. This saved me a bit of cutting, although I may change my mind tomorrow. I tried using my tailor chalk to trace the pattern on the fabric, instead of cutting with the pattern pieces pinned to the cloth. It is much easier, and more accurate this way. More work, but worth it.

Lest you all think that all I did was work today, I spent a great deal of time lounging, reading, and enjoying the fresh air. I tended my plants (sprouts, really - the moss roses and morning glory are finally showing their faces!). Time has slowed a bit for me lately, as I am no longer rushing to finish too many projects in too little time.

Well, except for the fact that I need to have at least one noble doublet done for my son by June 23rd.

But what is life without a challenge? ;)

Friday, May 11, 2007

At least this time I wasn't at home, miserably sick...

My son had a dance at school tonight. So, I dropped him off at 6, then went shopping. I had a few specific things to look for. I ended up going through three stores without buying anything at all. And then I hit Target.

I bought myself a new stir-fry pan, a new skillet, and a couple of other kitchen related items. I desperately needed the new pans, due to the old ones having scratched up Teflon (not good!). I didn't spend a lot on them, but they should last for quite awhile. I am excited about cooking again!

When I went to pick up my son, the kids had gotten out of the dance early. A long line of cars were parked around the circle, with various cars, and SUVs pulling out as they picked up their kids. I was looking for my son, when a white minivan sped past, doing twice the speed limit, swerved to avoid an SUV that was pulling out, and slammed on the brakes and parked right in front of another SUV, blocking it in. Keep in mind that there were kids EVERYWHERE, excited kids, and it's DARK. I saw two kids get into the van, then they waited with the door open for another kid. The whole time, the SUV that was blocked in was waiting to go, and no one else near could pull out and leave either.

There was ample parking for this person to have parked correctly. There was no need to speed past the waiting line of cars. Their brakes never even flashed until they parked. It ticked me off. I mean, really, there was no point to this. So, your kids are too delicate to walk 100 feet to the car? Or wait two minutes for the line of cars to creep forward? It's not like it is freezing out or anything. It was arrogant.

And no, it was not a soccor mom at the wheel - it was a Dad. A big, huge dad. I have no idea what was so pressing that they had to get out of there so fast, but I caught up to them at the stop sign, when leaving school property. He saved zero time with his shenanigans...


Sorry that I haven't posted in a couple of days. I have gone from being overbusy, to not quite busy enough, which meant lots of time for things like sorting my two plastic containers of trims, detail cleaning the kitchen (ugh), and trying to ignore the fact that I turned 35 on Wednesday.

I am getting excited, though, by a new bodice that i am making for myself. Last fall, when I made my red noble gown, I was not happy with the way the bodice turned out. It ended up being too long waisted, and too big around the bust and shoulders. I made it work, though, as I had no choice. So, last Monday, I started redrafting the bodice pattern. I am nearly satisfied with the fit, with needing just a half inch total more space in the bust after the alteration (you'd be surprised at the difference a quarter of an inch on either side makes in fitted clothing), and a little more taken off at the shoulder. This is going to be for my pirate garb, in a green and gold brocade that I picked up a couple of summers ago. I think I can wear it with a dark green skirt I made for Amana back in 2005. I am excited about getting this to fit correctly, because it will help when I make new noble garb for this fall.

My fingers are itching for detail work.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Downhill diet spiral

Yes, i ate Dominio's pizza tonight. And yes, i regret it. I am now going to rest a bit, and hope my stomach recovers. Lots to do tonight...

Monday, May 07, 2007


For the first time in over a month, I was able to get a tremendous night's sleep. I woke up just long enough to see my son off to school, then went back to bed and slept until I woke up on my own, no alarms.

I am taking a break from cleaning up the house. It takes a ton of gear to be able to go to a faire as Lady Rosalind. Add into that the fact that we were camping, and I was a different character yesterday (Red Jenny, to the amusement of the scouts), and you have way too much crap still scattered where we dropped it late last night.

Most of it is already put away, TG, but I still have a bit to go before I will let myself fully relax, eat lunch, and read a book for the rest of the afternoon. I have been dreaming about this day off for weeks. And I slept half of it away...

Oh well, back to work.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Huzza...huzza... huzzah!

(Sorry it took a bit to get going there...)

We're back! Saturday was beautiful weather! Warm, a bit windy, DRY! Sunday we woke to high winds, and as my son and I were coming back from the privies at a bit after 7, one of the other faire people ran over to let us know that 60 mph winds were on the way.

And it rained nearly the entire time that the faire was open. What a heartbreaker. And it was cold and windy.

Other main events (in no particular order):

1. Some kid taking the whole, putting-the-Spanish-Ambassador-into-the-stocks thing a little too seriously, and as he was being publically humilated (in character, a set bit), smacking him with a juggling stick across the posterior waaaaaayyyyy too hard, and causing a bit of a problem. Kids - don't hit people. No matter what. Seriously. Bad.

2. Discovering this evening that my new, spray on sunscreen is worth precisely nothing. I am fried. I couldn't tell this morning, because I had about five minutes worth of mirror-time.

3. I found a lost little girl, and took her to the ticket booth. She was reunited with her parents about 15 minutes later. I'll have to tell this story later, because it was only by chance that I saw her, and realized that she was lost.

4. Cheesecake, strawberry smoothies, and tight dresses do not mix. Learned the hard way.

5. Yes, you can go all day on breakfast, and a dill pickle. Not pretty, but it works.

6. If you are roasting at the end of the day in noble garb, you'll be freezing once you get back into 'danes, even if it is still near 80°F.

7. Wind = bad

8. Cold rain = worse + very few customers

9. Telling my son to let me sit in the chair, then two minutes later, having a wooden pole that was holding up the rain fly fall and smack me on the head (six feet long, three inches in diameter). No concussion, but it hurt, and dazed me for a minute. Having three worried kids two inches away from your face asking if you are okay was a little disconcerting. Having to tell them "No," was even more so. Finally, I just said, "Don't look at me," hid my face in my hat. Ten minutes later, we had customers, and I moved because I was getting dripped on, then moved again because one of the crossbows misfired, the bolt flipped back, and just about got me. Then, I was standing in the wrong spot when a cascade of water decided to fall out of the rain fly, directly on my head, down my hat, down my back, and into my bodice. Ice. Cold. Water. After that, I went up to the glass blower, and since they were cooling the forge down, they let me stand in front of it to get warm.

10. Started tearing down at 4:00 pm. Had one kid cut himself. Still waiting to hear if he needs stitches (he sat in the car for awhile, then wanted to go to dinner with us all, then ended up even helping us carry in gear).

11. The rain cleared up after we finished tearing down the booth. Great.

12. Went to McDonald's afterwards, because a picnic was no longer possible.

13. Home now. Tired. Very. Just finished my bath, going to bed. Stepped on the scale, and it is ten pounds down from Friday morning.

Good night!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


The last costume is finally complete. My cloak is as complete as it can get at this moment.

The hats... not gonna get done. The reason: way too much to do, way too little time. I honestly thought I could finish them, but that was before I spent over two and a half hours first helping load the poles for the booth, then going to Target to get some things I need for the weekend (bug spray, sunscreen, batteries, new flashlight... important stuff).

The last thing I need to do to really finish sewing, is to fix the shoulder seams on my son's shirt. I keep forgetting. So, that is on the sewing table, where I can't possibly miss it. It is going to be fixed at lunch tomorrow.

Sleep now...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I think that the only part of me that doesn't hurt is my hair, but that could change.

Working hard, still. Went grocery shopping, went to the post office, and library. Did five loads of laundry tonight, one of which was the fabric for the last tunic. While the laundry was in progress, I sewed together the cloak pieces, using french seams to encase the raw edges. I have the cloak hanging on my dressform, which my son has dubbed, "Scary Mary," in order to let it hang and settle a bit. All that is needed now is the binding on the edges, and a clasp (to be purchased at JoAnn fabrics tomorrow).

Yet to do tonight:

1. Iron and straighten the tunic fabric, and lining (urg, the lining).
2. Cut out the tunic pieces, in both fabric and lining.
3. Sew together tunic pieces, if at all possible.
4. Sleep at some point. next on the list

I am running on empty, and I keep finding five more things I need to do before this weekend, every time I turn around. I am going to keep my suitcase open on the floor of my room, and every time I touch something I need to bring, it's going in. I'll repack later. The problem with being Lady Rosalind this weekend, is that I'll need a large dressbag, farthingale, small suitcase full of accoutraments (shoes, corset, "jewels", smock, bumroll, etc.), hat, and parasol just for the one costume. I have a smaller dressbag for my pirate costume, and I can wear the same shoes, but dang, that's a heck of a lot of stuff. And I need my big suitcase for regular clothes, my makeup, hair stuff, and other personal camping items. Luckily, the suitcases are actually efficient to pack in the car, and I can really cram a ton of stuff into the big one. I'll still feel like I am a movie star, taking 20 bags just for a weekend trip... All necessary, but still...

Anyway, break over. I am going to go slam some caffeine down my throat, and get back to work.