Sunday, January 30, 2011

Prop your foot on a pillow and eat cookies.

January 26, 2011:
I had surgery to correct three hammertoes on my right foot.

January 30, 2011:
My neighbor made sure I had a biscuit and gravy from Hardee's for breakfast. She's good to me like that.

It is Sunday and I have missed going to church but will watch something on the Internet to help me 'feel' like I've been there.

I'm tired of sitting in a chair and keeping my foot level with my heart (and sometimes I must keep it above my heart). There aren't too many positions one can get in to do this sort of thing. Last night I got inventive and laid on my stomach for about an hour with my right foot in the air, which was a nice change.

I have to walk on the heel of my right foot...for how long, I don't know...but it's annoying.

My bandages aren't supposed to be changed until I go back to see the surgeon...another thing I don't know because I was on drugs when the nurse told me. It must be written down somewhere though. But I don't know how much longer I can stand it because they keep working their way beyond my toes and I'm ready to cut them off and put on new ones. (Not the toes...the bandages.)

Do I seem to have issues today? Am I complaining enough? I think so.

For all my griping, I have to tell you that I'm sure the outcome of this surgery will be well worth the frustrations right now. You see, I've had this done before and it enabled me to wear shoes without ending up with raw places on tops of my toes. I'm looking forward to that again. Last time I had it done though, I caught one of the pins (that stick out from the tips of my toes) on the fringe of a bedspread and fell, bending the pin in the process. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I probably said something that my mother would have washed my mouth with soap for saying. (Dove soap is like the worst soap ever to wash a kid's mouth out with...just sayin') And a few weeks later when the pin was removed, it had a nice curve in it, which that toe now has. Oh and learn. I have NO fringe anywhere in sight this time, so there should be no problem!

My husband has been a wonderful nurse! He even loaded and ran the dishwasher last night!!! He's been very patient with his patient. Plus, he helped me make cookies for medicinal purposes. 'Medicinal purposes' you ask? Yes! These cookies will make you regular! (smile) Pain medicine has a tendency to cause something called constipation. To avoid that, one should take something called a stool softener. When that doesn't work, one should whip out the cookies! I've made these things since I was 16...and not always for medicinal purposes. (That was just a happy benefit.) The recipe is in my head because I've made them so many times.

The cookies have several descriptive names: Cow Patties - because that's what they sort of look like; Chocolate No-Bakes - because they are made on the stove top and not in the oven; Boiled Cookies - because (duh!) they're boiled; Preacher Cookies - because it is something quick to fix when the preacher comes for an unexpected visit. Whatever they are called, they are good, so I'll share the recipe. You can use them for whatever you like - medicinal, chocolate fix, or otherwise. Just promise you'll enjoy them.

Over medium-high heat, melt one stick of margarine (butter will burn too easily) in a large saucepan
1/4 cup Hershey's powdered cocoa
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
Stir these together well and bring to a rolling boil. Once the rolling boil is reached, boil and stir for exactly one minute. (more than a minute will make them hard and grainy...less than a minute will cause them to be too soft)

After exactly one minute of that rolling boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the following:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I sometimes add a little more than that)
3 cups Quaker Quick-Cooking Oats
Beat together well, then quickly drop by spoonfuls onto aluminum foil. Allow to set up before serving. (unless you're like me and start scooping them up with a spoon while they're still setting up!)

I hope you'll enjoy using this recipe for whatever reason you make it! I always like to close with this reminder: If you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Always build on a good foundation...

Roy A. Green was the founder/owner of the funeral home in Appalachia, Virginia. When I met him, he was about 65 and this undertaker had the softest skin! One morning when I was visiting his home for a weekend, I leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek, and he said "...smooth as a baby's bottom!" He was right! His son, who has been my husband for 36 years, has inherited this wonderful man's smooth skin.

Good dermalogical genes run in my family, too. Mother had beautifully soft and smooth skin, as did her mother. What might come as a surprise to those who knew her is that Mother never did anything special to keep her skin so pretty. She washed it with soap and water and used a little moisturizer now and again. When I started paying attention to skin care I chose to do a little more than that. I used Merle Norman cleansers, toners and moisturizers. That regimen worked for me more than 20 years. When I reached 40 though, my skin began to change. Makeup seemed to disappear into my skin by midday. So I tried a new approach...Mary Kay skin care. And that served me quite well for many years. But then again my skin began to change.

My beautiful daughter took me on a search for something new...something different. We found hope in a jar! Yes, that is what it's called: Hope in a Jar and it is one of "Oprah's favorite things." Hope in a Jar is made by Philosophy and I use it as a moisturizer following my cleansing with Purity, which is also from Philosophy. My skin is behaving it should by the names of the products I use! (smile)

With the changes in my skincare over 40 years, one thing has remained the same. I've always invested my money in good skincare so I can buy cheap makeup!!! It's true!

I decided to write this post because a lady in a waiting room complimented me today on my skin and asked about my makeup. After thanking her, I told her that it all has to do with my Mother's skin and my skincare. She was so surprised to find out that I get bargains on makeup.

The other day I bought a generic grouping of about 60 eye shadows, 15 blushes and 30 lip colors...all for the low price of $10!!! The lip colors are more like gloss, the shadows are waaaay too soft, but, hey...$10 is $10!!! And, anyway, the blushes are pretty decent.

This lady in the waiting room didn't seem to believe my story about the cheap makeup. But it's true. You don't have to dole out your hard-earned money on expensive makeup...just spend it on the 'foundation' so to speak!

There is probably a sermon illustration in there somewhere if my husband reads my blog. After all, he used x-rays of my broken toe last year to illustrate the importance of knowing the Word of God! But that's another posting for another time...

(Remember, if you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You didn't hear what I said...and I didn't say what you heard!

There is a funny story in here, so stay with me...

I am home from an emergency visit to my retina specialist, who determined that there is no tear yet. Hallelujah! I had an episode yesterday that made me panic, and you can read my previous blog to catch up on that part of the story. There is no tear or detached retina right now but the doc said that doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow or next week...or never! (never sounds just fine with me!)

The vitreous (jelly) in my eye is pulling at the retina and there is nothing they or I can do to prevent it. He said I did the proper thing in calling right away because there is a definite problem in there; a huge place in my vision that fans back and forth with a light flashing every time I move my eyes and that is so distracting! From this side, it looks like the big feather fan that a stripper hides behind to tease...not that I've ever seen one in person or have ever used one...I'm just going from what I've seen in the movies. Yep...that's my story and I'm sticking to it! (insert belly laugh here) Anyway, when that fan-like thing starts changing, then I'm to call and get back in there. The doc said I'd know exactly what to look for when it comes to changes and since I'm a radio-type person, this will be a good segue...

Sometimes when a story gets passed around, words will be changed, which in turn will change details. When the details change in said story, hilarious things can ensue! For an example, allow me to share about my detached rectum.

Yes, you read it right.

On a Saturday in December of 2005, I sneezed, something which I've been known to do in December and every other month of the year! When I opened my eys from this particular sneeze, it seemed as though I was looking through a piece of black lace with my left eye. What happened was a "floater" - something we develop in our eyes as we age - had broken up and within moments changed to the look of coarsely ground pepper. More moments caused it to look like finely ground pepper and quickly disseminated. Fast forward one week: As I'm preparing for an evening wedding I was to direct, I noticed a "flap" of blackness that kept showing up in my field of vision. Hours later, as I sent the bride down the aisle, that blackness was taking up 1/3 of the vision in my left eye. By the time the bride and groom kissed, 1/2 my vision was gone. Needless to say, I was freaking out and skipped the reception so I could get checked by my ophthalmologist friend who just happened to be on call that weekend.

Early on Sunday morning, I was in surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, having a that detached retina reattached. The vitreous was removed from my left eye...a gas bubble was put in place to hold the reattachment in place as it healed. I would spend the next week or two on my right side to keep the bubble in place, only being erect to eat a bit, to bathe and 'use the facilities.'

My husband, who is a United Methodist minister, couldn't be at church because he was with me at UT he called the church to let our congregation know that I was in emergency surgery for a detached retina. Word got around quickly within our church family, can happen sometimes...a few details got changed in the sharing. By the time our nursery staff heard about the surgery, I had a detached rectum and would have to stay on my right side for a week or so while the gas bubble the doctor put in there could hold the rectum in place so everything could heal up. Hold on, there's more!

I came home the same day of my surgery and a friend called to check on me. Since I was awake and bored out of my skull, Joe put me on the phone to talk with her. As I laid there explaining why I had to stay on my right side, my friend was amazed!!! First of all, she couldn't believe that I was home on the same day of the procedure. She asked me questions, never mentioning the words retina or rectum to me...

Friend: So, I'm sure you're in a huge amount of pain! I can't believe they let you come home so soon!!!

Me: Actually, I'm not experiencing any pain right now. Of course everything is still numb.

Friend: So, this gas bubble will hold everything that was operated on in place while it heals?

Me: will take a few weeks for the bubble to disappear, but until then I just have to stay on my right side.

Friend: You wouldn't be able to lay on your back or sit up at all?

Me: No. I'll just stay on my side.

Friend: I guess you'll be on a liquid diet for a while then?

Me: No, I can eat anything I want. I just don't feel like eating right now.

Friend: I'd say not! Wow! You can eat anything?!?

Me: Yes, but I guess since I'll probably be eating in bed it could get messy...

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? It was soooooo funny when we finally realized that each of us were talking about a different end of my body and that someone had made a mistake in the sharing of details surrounding my surgery!

My "rectum" healed up nicely and I can see just fine now!

And with that I'll close with this reminder: If you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"It just goes to show's always something!" - Roseanne Roseannadanna

You never know what a day is going to bring. Friday night, I broke a I got a new one, albeit temporary. Since about noon, I've been frantically packing things away and cleaning my house because for the next four weeks, I'd planned to stay off my feet. Back in October, I was scheduled for foot surgery that was to be done tomorrow morning.

But something happened to my eye late this afternoon as I was vacuuming my floors. In 2003 I had retina problems and recognized what it was right away, so I called my ophthalmologist, who told me to call my retina specialist, who told me to be there first thing tomorrow. On the phone, the nurse told me to not have anything to eat or drink after midnight because from the description I gave the doctor…I’ll be having laser surgery in the morning. So…I called to reschedule my foot surgery. Like Roseanne Roseannadanna's always something! (smile)

I've had many things fixed in the last 30 years: both eyes with retina damage; later I had ocular lens implants; both wrists for carpel tunnel; 8 abdominal surgeries (which caused me to offer safe storage if my doctor needed to hide any jewelry, money or guns inside my belly, since he'd be back in there eventually); three surgeries on my right knee; surgeries on both feet at the same time to repair bunions and hammertoes and tomorrow was supposed to be two more hammertoes. If I keep getting stuff fixed, by the time we've been married for 50 years, Joe will have a whole new woman!!!

Looks like I’m going to be fixed from head to toe when this is all over!!! (Now, if I could just stop gravity!)

I covet your prayers...

And remember: If you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Easiest Candy EVER!

Elizabeth Day should be ashamed of herself! She made this wonderfully delicious candy and told me how to do it! Now I am hopelessly addicted. Should Elizabeth repent for this...or should I?!? You decide. (smile)


Layer the following ingredients in your crock pot:
1 large container Honey Roasted Peanuts
4 oz. bar German’s Sweet Chocolate
1½ lb. bar white Almond Bark, broken into chunks
12 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Place peanuts in bottom of crockpot, layering other ingredients. Turn crockpot on to the low setting…cover with lid and allow to heat for three hours. Do not lift lid or stir. Line cupcake tins with paper liners, or lay parchment paper on flat surface.

After three hours, stir mixture well. (Do not turn off crockpot until it is empty, which will make for easier clean-up.) Spoon small amount of mixture into liners or you may drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before storing in airtight container.

I always like to be reminded: If you have a pulse, you have a make your life count!