Saturday, July 31, 2010

In the finished pile...

So besides some telework and movies, my only other activity option has been reading. Here's what I've read in the past two weeks. Please let me know if you have other recommendations!

The 4 books in the Twilight series
Confession- I skim-read because I didn't like them. I don't like her writing style (it did improve somewhat as the series went on), there isn't really much of a plot, and Bella just bugs me. A lot. Sorry to all you fans out there, but at least I now know what everyone is talking about when they ask "Edward or Jacob?".

The Winding Ways Quilt (Jennifer Chiaverini)
This one wasn't the best in the Elm Creek Quilt books, but meets the "just some fun easy reading" description.

The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
This book rectified the damage done by Twilight's one-syllable-word sentence structure. Beautiful, rich writing that made the characters leap off of the page (cliche I know, but oh so true). I love putting a book down and feeling that I have learned something along the way. Thanks for the recommendation Lindsey!

The Great Train Robbery (Michael Crichton)
Kind of like Ocean's 11 meets The Italian Job. Quick read, entertaining, and I learned some random stuff about trains and dog-fighting. Another good recommendation from Lindsey.

Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
I know, this is a modern classic, but I never got around to it until now. I enjoyed it- love the voice she wrote it in- at first it was challenging to pick up the rhythm of the dialogue, but once I got it down, the story feels like it is singing at you.

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
Sad, reluctantly funny at times, and a must read. I absolutely love how this memoir was written: honest and unapologetic "this is how it was". I had a hard time putting it down. Lindsey, I am sensing a pattern...

Currently reading: The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck).


So, back in February, I bought a couch from craigslist with the intent of reupholstering it to put in my living room.'s still sitting in my garage :). So I came up with a contingency plan "Musical Sofas".

Here's how it's going to go:

Sleeper sofa in TV room is getting moved to guest bedroom so guests actually have a place to sleep. Craigslist sofa is moving from the garage to TV room and will be covered with something more appealing than the current eyesore 1960s orangish brown tweed that currently graces it's cushions.

So what's going in the living room?

I found these online at Macy's (on sale too! love it!). I love the vintage-y yet modern lines. They are super comfy too (although the cushions need to get a bit more broken in!). I have a coffee table in a box (see it in that back corner?), it's waiting for a rug that I ordered back in May (yeah...import issues apparently). I want to make sure everything "goes" in case I need to return the coffee table/rug (although I shudder to think of having to return that rug after waiting close to 3 months for it to arrive!). I'm still searching for throw pillows too...once the rug is in place, I'll be able to really "build" the room up, you know, things that make it more homey.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The medical saga continues...

Good news...I think...the hip orthopedic surgeon (after more xrays and much leg, hip, and back movement) thinks the labral tear in my hip is not the cause of my pain (I kinda agree with him, solely because my hips don't hurt, it's my lower back). He says a lot of people have labral tears and don't even know it. hip surgery for now! He's referred me to a back orthopedic surgeon...not that it means I need to have back surgery (oh I shudder to think of back not to think of it at all), but the back guy will have more insight into what seems to be causing the pain. I went to the said-referred back doc today, but he was MIA (well, not MIA, he's on vacation...bad schedule people...). So I am seeing him next Thursday (that is, if I can't get into a different back doc's office before then...I'm pretty desperate here...I mean, if a receptionist, nurse, or doctor just says, "how are you doing?" to me, I turn into bawling, sobbing Melissa. It's quite the feat...a soggy, mucus-y feat that is...).

Anyhow, after returning home after my longest-time-not-in-a-semi-lying-down-position, the only position that provides a slight lessening of my uncomfortableness (yeah, let's just say I was ouching it up quite a bit when I got home), I called my sports med chiropractor and praise God she got me in this afternoon (where Blubbering Melissa once again appeared). She read my reports, films, moved me around, and proclaimed that I definitely needed to see the back doctor, but, that did have some angry hip flexors that she would gingerly (her words) stretch in hopes of getting those to unangrify. So, I'm back at home, my soas muscle (main hip flexor) stretched, pulled, iced, a fancy "recommended by NASA" quality lumbar pillow at my back, and every other day appointments set up with her until I see the back doctor...and I still hurt the same.

Things to be thankful for:
1) Getting some good Scripture memory done (2 Cor 12:9-10). Owned.
2) Online shopping- my house is getting accessorized with the click of a button
3) Ability to do some work from home- just emails, telecons, working on a flight rule, but its helping to keep me sane
4) Reading- I've read 7 books in the past 1.5 weeks, perhaps I will make my New Years goal after all
5) Awesome friends and family calling/emailing to check in on me. Thanks all!

To be continued with the next doctor's visit...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sanity helper

Making these invitations this week helped keep me sane with all my laying around. I rigged up a little table so that I could work on these in my now-well-honed "lie-a-bed" position.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not quite expected...

Warning- potential medical TMI ahead- Warning

I was at home this past week due to some pretty bad pain in my lower back that's not allowing me to sit or stand for very long. This was following the end of a pretty bad flare up of my autoimmune disease that I have (Sjogren's Syndrome). I saw my rheumatologist on Tuesday and they did labs and ordered some MRIs and xrays. My doc was thinking at the time that the back pain was actually coming from my hips (this assessment was due to my reaction to the manipulations he did of my legs and my yelling and wincing and the fact that pounding on my back didn't hurt :) ).

I heard back from the doctor today and the scans show deterioration in my hips due to the steroids we use to treat my disease, which has caused some arthritis. I also have a tear in my hip labrum (this is the cartilage in the hip socket)- based on what I read, the tear is probably caused by the arthritis- but I definitely want to confirm that with my doc). He's referring me to a orthopedic surgeon, who I hope to get into on Monday. Based on the research I have been doing, the tear has to be fixed surgically. It is possible for the pain to lessen with a..."conservative lifestyle" (read "sedentary") but as you know, I'm not very sedentary :). It looks like most people are out of work for 2 weeks following the surgery and the recovery time is well...long...months of PT and such. So, I am going to talk with the ortho doc and see what my options are. I am also going to be talking with the sports med/chiropractor doc who helped me earlier this year with my ankle, because they treat tears as well, and see what the game plan is going to be. I also know that my rheumatologist wants to get this all taken care of sooner rather than later. So do I!

I'm trying very hard not to think about all the races I had planned for this fall. It's okay, there are other races. ::determined face::

I'll keep you all statused on how things pan out...but prayers for this flare to completely settle, for wisdom on what to do, for patience and trust in lieu of a raceless fall, and that throughout whatever happens, that I may glorify Him, would be appreciated.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Green bags

I take my lunch to work every day and I use a LOT of sandwich baggies. My friend Christina brought some of these to work awhile ago and I thought it would nice to try something more reuseable than my bagillion plastic baggies a day routine (and I just finished off a box of baggies, so now seemed like the time). I bought 3 of the WasteNot Saks brand of reuseable baggies from this website- dishwasher safe, and according to the reviews, these handle "juicy" foods (ie fruit juice won't leak out into your work bag) really well.

Can't wait to try them! Now I need to get reuseable grocery bags...

Mini Office

So, I have two walk-in closets in my bedroom (yeah, I know...) and I don't need both, so I decided to convert the smaller one into a mini office for me, since my spare room is a hobby/craft/guest bedroom.

What do you think?

The orange desk is from West Elm- which I got off of craigslist for a crazy awesome price. The white thing sitting on the chair (one that I painted several years ago in lieu of spending $200 at Anthropolgie for the same thing) is the light fixture that will replace the "closet bare bulb" thing I have currently- but I gotta find someone who can show me how to cut cables and rewire and suchness first.

The squares on the wall are scrapbook covered cork board- handy for pinning up important things and fun momentos.

Yeah, I know it's a bit unconventional, but I really like it so far. I need to still remove the gold metal plate at the top of the entrance and get a rug to cover the rail guard on the floor, and add a small bookcase, but other than that, it's about done. At some point, I may paint in there too...but I'll leave that until I tackle my bedroom...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Knight in Shining Armor?

I think I need one of these in my house...

And for those of you who know know I am only half joking...maybe even only a quarter joking....hmm....(wheels turning)....quirky...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summertime food favorite

I grew up in Arizona. It is very hot in Arizona during the summer. Very hot. So hot, it takes away your appetite sometimes (my parents don't have AC in our house, we use this thing called 'evaporative cooling'- works great since there is little to no humidity in AZ). So, during the summer, my mom would whet our appetites by making tunafish salad and fill hollowed-out tomatoes. It was awesome biting into that tuna-y tomato-y coldness when the rest of you was sweltering. I'm not a fan of tuna anymore, so here's my adaptation of our family's summertime favorite:

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used 3 medium chicken breasts)
2tsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1c mayo
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 red apple (unpeeled) cut into chunks
shredded swiss cheese
fresh basil
~6 medium to large tomatoes

I mix the honey, vinegar, and mayo and then add it to the chicken/celery/apple mixture. Add swiss cheese and fresh chopped basil to taste.

Scrape out the inside of the tomatoes and stuff with the chicken salad. Top with extra cheese and/or basil and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled. Then eat. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Due to the house buying and all, I curtailed my traveling for the summer and just went on a short jaunt to visit Jana and Scott in Pennsylvania and to visit my sis in Idaho (followed by a week and a half 'staycation'- so excited to get some stuff DONE around here :) )

I finally got to see Jana and Scott's new home (er..kinda new, they've been there for a year and a half now). This is the view from their front porch...they are surrounded by Amish farms. I love Lancaster!

I thought I had lost my sunglasses, so we went shopping and bought aviators. Aren't we stylin'?(turns out I had just left my other ones at her brother-in-laws).

It was a great time of catching up, coffee drinking, Bible studying, BBQing, visiting with her family, watching movies. I love this couple and I am SO excited to meet Baby Smith...due December 24th :) :)!!!!

Next, it was onto Boise to see my sis and her family. My brother decided to also fly up, so it was a partial family reunion :)

Seriously, how cute are these boys?

Carter meeting Uncle Bobby for the first time

Monica being a mommy and comforting a pouting John Michael

Carter and daddy playing

John Michael