• Elle's World
  • I am not superwoman, I love my couch

    Earlier this week I was feeling great. I had more energy, I felt like I could do so much. Sunday I asked Derek to help me do a little weeding in the garden. Monday I figured that since I did some yard work on Sunday I could manage a little bit on my own. I was sure to limit the size of bucket I would fill. Usually I fill a 15 gallon bucket and empty it into the yard waste bin. This time I only filled a 2 gallon bucket at a time. I had to get up more often, but my theory was that then I wouldn’t sit hunched over for too long.

    I am aware that this wasn’t the brightest idea. I’ve done dumber.

    I mentioned to Derek how good I was feeling. I told him I wanted to go into the shop. He said if I was feeling up to it he wasn’t going to say no. This meant I had to drive myself there. I haven’t driven a car in 3 weeks.

    Yesterday I woke up feeling good. I thought I might try going into work to see how I felt. I’m slightly worried about not working for 6 weeks and then being thrown into the busy Spring season and having absolutely no stamina. My thought was to slowly work myself up to working at least 1/2 days when I get back.

    I ran by the fabric store to grab a few skeins of yarn that I needed and then headed to the shop. I told Travis that the only stipulations were that he couldn’t leave me by myself and I couldn’t lift over 10 pounds. I also didn’t know how long I would be able to stay.

    I made it an hour and a half. I didn’t do much. I helped a customer, answered the phone and took care of some chicken stuff.

    I spent the rest of the day on the couch. I am very aware that trying to go to work 3 weeks after major abdominal surgery was a colossally stupid idea. I won’t try it again.

    My new mantra is “I am not superwoman. I love my couch.”

  • Elle's World
  • Fashion Icon

    I’ve mentioned before I’m in a bit of a funk. Really it’s a funk that’s lasted and lasted. So I put on TwitFace that I was in need of some retail therapy, but a significant lack of funding was preventing that. See previous post. My wonderful awesome friend Kerstin decided that, even though we didn’t have any money, we needed to go shopping anyway.

    Last night she picked me up and we headed to the mall. Now normally the mall is the single most horrible place in the entire world… ok, that’s not true. The hospital sucks more. Anyway, the mall it was. We were highly unimpressed with the shoe selection at Nordstrom so it was good thing we didn’t have any money.

    Then we went to Macy’s. Oh Macy’s how I love you. Your ability to put the worlds most unfortunate fashions on clearance is nothing short of Godlike. If the clearance shoe rack wasn’t entertainment enough, Macy’s had an entire section dedicated to clearance bad clothing.

    The horrible terrible no good funk melted away when we found a rack of faux fur. Oh this wasn’t just any faux fur. This was coats made from the hides of Muppets. There was an Elmo coat, one made from the backs of Mahna Mahna’s back-up singers and a Cookie Monster frock. We felt compelled to try on the coats even though they were out of our price range. As we were trying on the coats the heavens opened and sang hymns of joy. On the end of the rack was a Cookie Monster vest. I want this vest so badly, but I had to settle for trying it on.

    Now normally that would be enough to brighten things up. The funk was so bad a Cookie Monster vest alone would not do it, especially with a whole clearance rack of bad clothes sitting right. there. We found a whole outfit. Of course I had to try it on.

    You can’t really tell exactly how bad that outfit was in the photo. Let me tell you… Not only am I wearing a Cookie Monster vest, but I have on an orange sweater with a DETACHED collar. Detached! As in a boat neck sweater with a cuff around the neck. The pants… oh the pants. Stretchy lace trousers. Kerstin also absconded with a pair of Jessica Simpson black platforms from the shoe department to put the whole look together.

    I wurked the hell out of that outfit.

    You would think that a mini photoshoot in the dressing room of Macy’s would be enough. Oh no. We felt compelled to help. We found there weren’t enough unfortunate clothing choices at the mall or there weren’t enough people taking full advantage of all the mall had to offer. We decided to to do a little merchandising for the store clerks.

    We started small. We paired a overly loud shirt with a patterned chair in a display. Feeling that we’d done enough damage at Macy’s we moved on to other stores. The next stop was H&M.

    At H&M we paired a pink, gold and orange sequined top with a gold handbag, a chunky necklace and gold bangle bracelets. We found an electric blue micro mini skirt to go with it, but couldn’t figure out how to put it in the display. We were very sad that we didn’t get the chance to model that particular outfit. I was wearing far to many clothes to get completely undressed again. We also forgot to take a photo of that one, but we felt our job was done.

    We moved on to Forever 21, but the technicolor in that store makes my head hurt and let’s be frank… it was just way too easy.

    We are fairly certain that the stores will be calling us any day to hire us as merchandisers. Either that or they have our photos on the wall in the security office.

  • Elle's World
  • I need nerdy solutions

    This isn’t to say that all of the internets or my loyal readers are all nerds, but there has to be some closet reader who has the solution for me. ?Odds are the trusty husband has some kind of madd problem solving skilz when it comes to this dilemma I face. ?However, if I mention Sweet Hope in the “above the fold” portion of this blog my “I hate partial feed” readers will click through and say meh. ?Just for that I’m disabling the partial feed (see I am nice) because that’s how desperate I am.

    Here’s what I’m in need of…

    I have folders and binders and excel spreadsheets coming out the wazoo of information about Sweet Hope’s customers. ?Who they are, email addresses, what they’ve purchased, you name it I’ve kept it. ?I can tell you how much you spent on shipping and what size box we used to ship your order in 2006. ?I’m very detailed. ?The problem is that while I need to keep these records, I don’t need to keep these records in paper format. ?I would rather unload the masses of paper and come up with some kind of content management system that will house all of this for me.

    I need a program that will allow me to enter customer names and contact information, create their orders (or pick lists), track my spending, track what we take in (including donations), preferably generate the IRS forms we need and if it were really nice it would make reports of who are the biggest spenders, where we spend most of our money and not cost $5000. ?Because I totally found a program that would allow us and our board members in Oklahoma to access all of this information only it costs roughly $5300.

    I do have a copy of Quickbooks Small Business that may or may not work. ?It isn’t compatible with Windows 7 and every time I open the box and leaf through the manual my head feels like it it going to melt right off of my shoulders. ?I may be smart, but I need ease of access. ?After teaching myself how to use almost all of the Adobe products my brain no longer has the ability to learn more complex programs off the cuff.

    In my dream world I would also like the program to integrate into our WordPress e-commerce plugin and all of this works like magic. ?I can do that with the Quickbooks, but the integration plugin is $299. ?Is free too much to ask? ?Think of the orphans. ?It is for the orphans. ?Help me… anyone have any nerdy solutions. ?No idea is to wackadoo.

  • Elle's World
  • Colossally Stupid or Colossally Clumsy

    I am leaving my house at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. ?I have to be at the “rendezvous point” at 5:00 in. the. morning. ?I didn’t even know there was a 5:00 in the morning in the Summer… let alone a 4:00 in the morning (the time in which I have to get up to shower and finish packing).

    This China trip is turning into something akin to going to Russia for 3 1/2 weeks. ?Only difference is that I’m going by mah self and I’m not bringing home a child… I’m bringing home 3 (hopefully)!! ?Whee! ?Only they are teenagers and not mine and I have to return them to their parents and hopefully I don’t lose anyone. ?Although, we are visiting an orphanage while we are there… I did always want a girl.

    Everything leading up to the trip has gone very smoothly. ?Fundraising was fairly easy, I’ve paid all of my money, there was the little hiccup where my Visa got denied, but I got that fixed and all is good. ?Something had to go wrong. ?It is me after-all and no long term overseas trip is without its follies in my world. ?Oh wait, I know. ?There is record flooding in the province we are supposed to be going to. ?Then we found out yesterday that the guy who is supposed to be our guide and who has arranged this whole trip isn’t in China anymore (where he is supposed to be waiting for us to arrive). ?Nope. ?He is here. ?In the states. ?At the bedside of is critically ill wife. ?It isn’t stopping our trip. ?There are other people involved in leading us around. ?Only we haven’t met any of them and we are all worried about our guide’s wife… and our guide. ?This news came second hand and we are working today on getting the whole story.

    Then there was Wednesday where I thought, “gee it sure is hot outside. ?I think I’ll wear my flip flops to work.” ?My flip flops that are very smooth on the bottom. ?In the place where I work that I could potentially roll a plant rack over my food (which I did) or drop something on my foot (which I did not do) or I could slip on wet pavement (which I did in spectacular fashion).

    In what looked like an episode of Keystone Cops I tried to break my leg when I kicked over a watering can and then as I was going to clean up the mess I slid on the pavement, tried to catch myself and then slid with the other foot square into a planter of flowers. ?I thought the only thing that would happen was that I would have a bruise on my knee where I hit my leg. ?Oh it is much worse than that. ?By Wednesday night my back was fairly sore, but on Thursday my back was screaming. ?I, of course, had to work and, of course, we had 5 deliveries of various nursery related material (that included flats of plants sitting on the ground that had to be picked up and large plants that had to be unloaded from a truck). ?Needless to say I went to bed high on muscle relaxers and codine. ?I was great Friday morning. ?I was fine on Saturday even after standing all day. ?Then on Sunday I had the audacity to plug in the iron. ?The damn iron did me in. ?I felt a catch in my back and thought I was going to cry.

    I spent part of the day yesterday in bed and then in the pool (hoping floating might relieve the pressure). ?A little bit… maybe. ?I think it was more muscle relaxers that did the trick (good thing I bonked my head or I wouldn’t have those). ?This morning I’m mostly ok, but I know if ?I move wrong it will start all over again. ?Why is this a bad thing? ?Oh I don’t know… only something about an 11 hour plane ride on Wednesday, long bus rides later this week and long train rides on cramped bunks. ?No biggie.

  • Elle's World
  • Smoker’s Cough

    The extent of my allergies is well documented on this blog. ?However, never before have my allergies been of the chest variety. ?Meaning all I ever do when I have an allergy attack is sneeze. ?Sneeze like there is no tomorrow, but no coughing. ?As you well know the pollen count across the country is off the charts. ?Washington is no exception. ?The fact that we are finally getting some rain this week is a good thing, but not enough.

    I have had a hacking cough for about 2 weeks now. ?Oddly my mother has too. ?This trend sounds a little familiar. ?I had just gotten the boy over his coughing issues (only to be replaced by throwing up) when somehow I started coughing.

    When we visited the doctor for the child he said that the respiratory infection was likely a result of a chest cold and allergies. ?I’m starting to think that is my problem too. ?I sound like I smoke 2 packs of Pall Malls a day. ?By the end of the day I’m pretty worn down and Tuesday night I fell asleep on the couch at 9:15.

    I would like to think that this is just allergies. ?Ok, really… I’m sticking my head in the sand and totally ignoring the fact that is probably something more than that. ?I’ve been to the doctor twice this year and that is more than my normal quota of doctor visits.

  • Elle's World
  • Whip It

    So yesterday I woke up, had breakfast and then felt like I was going to throw up. ?I thought it was because I was desperate for breakfast and resorted to whole milk yogurt. ?I managed to get myself to work, but Ibuprofen and Tylenol were not touching my headache or neck pain. ?I was supposed to drive south to meet the trusty SIL to pick up the boy, but informed the trusty husband that I questioned my ability to drive over 2 hours in the potential rain. ?I also told him about the nausea and headache and he informed me that I would be calling the doctor’s office while my lunch cooked.

    I called the doc’s office (twice) and after being on hold forever I got through to the receptionist. ?I explained that I fell on my head and after telling the whole story she suggested that I go straight to the urgent care.

    The trusty husband picked me up and we proceeded to wait at the urgent care for what seemed like an eternity after I told the receptionist that I bonked my head when she asked what the nature of my visit was. ?We were lucky enough to observe the doings between a dad and his son. ?The dad repeatedly got upset with his son for dropping some game system on the floor. ?Dude, the kid is a kid. ?If you don’t want him dropping an expensive gaming toy on the ground, don’t buy one for him.

    Then we got called into the exam room where we continued to wait for another century. ?While waiting aforementioned man from waiting room was being seen by a doc. ?Why do I know this? ?Well, the walls of the doc in the box are very thin. ?We heard something about hurts here, lifted something and something sticking out. ?We totally diagnosed him through the wall as having a hernia. ?Then the doc poked him or something and the guy evidently didn’t like that as evidenced by the owee yelling.

    Doc finally came in, but not before I turned 62, and said she didn’t think that I had a concussion, but rather a nice case of whiplash. ?I asked for pain meds and then we proceeded to the pharmacy.

    At the pharmacy we celebrated my 142nd birthday and I walked out with pain meds and muscle relaxers. ?Mmmm, drugs.

    So I spent the afternoon in my jammies laying on the couch with the dog watching Julie & Julia. ?It was decided that Busy is certainly not a lap dog.

  • Elle's World
  • I’m going to kiss that helmet a little

    My girlfriend, Alicia (aka Tacoma Chickadee), said she was going to start doing roller derby. ?I thought that might be fun seeing as I’m dumb and all (not that roller derby girls are dumb). ?Then I started talking with her about the cost of it all and it was beyond my price range. ?For that much I could play hockey and well… hockey is just better. ?Needless to say I said no.

    This week is Spring break. ?The boy is staying two glorious nights with his Auntie. ?To honor the childlessness we went out to “dinner” (I wouldn’t really call it food) and pool at a local tavern with NEAL and Alicia. ?We had to meet a little earlier because it was derby night. ?After 1 very large glass of wine and very little food later I had somehow agreed to go with Alicia to try out roller derby.

    Now I’m a pretty good skater. ?On ice that is. ?Any pitfalls that may (or may not) have happened were NOT because I had been previously drinking.

    First of all, roller skates weigh a metric ton. ?Have you worn skates outside of 1986? ?I hadn’t. ?Oh mah hell are they heavy.

    Second, roller skates don’t slide of the floor. ?Ice skates do. ?Sliding side to side is how you stop.

    And third, there is a big fatty rubber thing on the toe of the skate that can be treacherous to anyone who skates while dragging their toe.

    I should also say that Alicia and I had a conversation about what to wear (cuz you know I have to look hawt… right) and protective gear. ?She said a helmet and knee pads are handy, but not required. ?In a haste to leave the pub I didn’t grab my helmet (which was in my hockey bag in the back of my truck) and I didn’t have knee pads. ?Alicia wielded the power of her iPhone and informed me that a helmet and knee pads would magically arrive for me to use. ?I was proud, I didn’t want to wear a helmet. ?Once we got there I was convinced otherwise.

    I put on the skates and tried to get a feel for them. ?After about a 10 minute warm-up I was mostly good to go. ?I could perform a decent crossover turning left. ?All that time of playing right wing really helped. ?I wasn’t the fastest skater, but I wasn’t bad.

    Things were going well until I lost focus… (oh look butterfly!) and started dragging my toe on the turns. ?Dragging toe + giant rubber thing on toe of skate = Elle landing face down on the floor. ?Yep, I’s hit mah head. ?I hit is so hard it dented the foam in the helmet and gave my forehead a nice helmet burn. ?I pretty much laid on the floor for a while trying to determine if everything was still attached and that nothing was broken. ?Had I not been wearing the helmet I would have ended up in the ER.

    Now being the moose that I am I shook it off and continued with the remainder of practice. ?I fell again later, but on my knee (also kissing the knee pads). ?This morning I have a raging headache and feel like I’ve been hit by a mac truck.

    Will I go back for derby? ?Not sure. ?It was fun, but the prospect of falling down with very little padding on scares the bejeezus out of me. ?I might just stick to co-ed ice hockey. ?It’s safer.

  • Elle's World
  • That sounds like a Russian diagnosis

    I was in and out of the doc’s and in and out of a blood draw in under 40 minutes yesterday. ?It helps to live in a smallish town. ?However, I walked out with no answers. ?The ARNP thinks it is nothing. ?Odds are it is just another random side effect of my ever increasing allergy issues. ?”For giggles” she had me go across the parking lot hand have some blood drawn to test my thyroid function… again. ?I’ve had thyroid tests, diabetes tests and every other blood test imaginable over the years with the same result… nothing. ?She also referred me to an ENT for a more in-depth look into my throat. ?She couldn’t see anything with the standard open up and say ahh method. ?The feeling is way down at the base of my neck so that isn’t surprising.

    For the moment I have a “working diagnosis” of Globus. ?It basically means feeling of lump in the throat. ?When the ARNP was putting it into the computer the machine kept changing it to Conversion Disorder. ?She said, “I don’t even know what that means.” ?I said it sounds like something you would see on a Russian orphan diagnosis sheet. ?Conversion disorder of the 5th type. ?Actually Conversion Disorder is unexplained nervous system blindness or paralysis according to teh googles. ?Nope, I’m not blind, just feel like I have a lump in my throat.

    Just one more reason I need a body transplant.

  • Elle's World
  • You know it’s bad when…

    I call a doctor.

    You all know how much I hate doctors. ?The last time I went to a doctor was after I had been throwing up for 7 hours straight. ?The time before that I had an irregular heartbeat for over 3 weeks. ?This time, I’ve felt like I have something stuck in my throat for over a week. ?At first I thought it was just allergies. ?It happened at the same time my face broke out in hives from a moisturizer I know I shouldn’t use. ?Now that the hives are gone and the throat thing is still there I’m starting to doubt they were related.

    I thought it would go away. Not so much. ?In fact the feeling is getting worse as time is going on. ?I saw my acupuncturist last week and she gave me a tea that is supposed to help with throat swelling, but that didn’t work. ?She then said that if the feeling doesn’t go away in 7-10 days to come back in. ?I had an appointment scheduled for Wednesday, but when they called to confirm yesterday I cancelled. ?I said I was going to call my physician. ?And I did. ?Amazing right?

    I called the doc’s office yesterday and told the receptionist that it probably sounded crazy, but she disagreed. ?Needless to say I see the ARNP this afternoon to get it checked out. ?It could be nothing, it could be an issue with my thyroid. ?In any case I am resisting every urge to consult Dr. Google because if I do I’ll diagnose myself with something horrific like throat cancer.