Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Goal Update (April)

So you don't have to click on another page, here's a screenshot of the list:


#3

I've continued to declutter my apartment. This piece of crap bookcase from Walmart decided to help by collapsing in one fell swoop. It's torn up and too heavy to hang as wall shelves, so in the dumpster it went. Take it from me, save $40 and your sanity and go buy furniture somewhere else.

As for actual decluttering, I'm making progress. It's not really that bad, but I tend to hang onto things, especially paper things like receipts, and they add up. I'll post more pics later.

 #4

I ran out of room on the Mac, so I finally took the time to deal with it. I zipped thousands of photos and deleted thousands of files, in fact, I have 66 GB of space again (which I will proceed to fill with episodes of Doctor Who, probably).

It is a dinosaur...almost 8 years old...but it has been a great system. Thanks for hanging in there, Bessie Mac.

#7

I've been watching a lot of watercolor tutorials online, and I'll eventually sit down and participate in a free course. I'll post pics here when I do.

#1

Sad fact: I don't understand the tin whistle. I move my fingers and blow into the thing, and all notes sound the same. I'm obviously doing something wrong. I'll talk to a variety of music professionals about this at a later date. YouTube hasn't been helpful thus far, but I'll continue to browse there as well. Although my oxygen is almost always in normal range, I don't breathe that easily. It takes more effort than it should, and at times it's painful. This goal isn't a priority for that reason, but I intend to pursue it at some point before the end of year.

Numbers 2 and 5 are in progress. Technically, #3 still is too. I completed #6 at the beginning of the year, as you may have read in a previous post. #8 will be attempted again soon. Even though a shop less than a mile from my apartment sells gumbo that tastes like my late MawMaw's gumbo, I'm determined to figure out the exact balance of flavors for myself. My gumbo is good, but it's not hers. Hers is the goal.

Enjoy the rest of your month, readers.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A visit to a farm, and a little Spring cleaning






I overworked my muscles badly yesterday, which resulted in very low function today. I was finally able to get out of bed and move around at 3:30pm. I'm able to do little more than prop up on the couch, drink fluids, and take my meds, but here's what I did yesterday:

Indy500 the rolling walker and I visited a farm in north Grand Bay to inquire about their community supported agriculture program. I picked up my first sunflower, which is now hanging out in the yard outside my bedroom window.

I moved my little desk to the foot of my bed. I am rarely strong enough to sit there for more than a few hours a week, but when I can I will be able to see my sunflower from the chair.

In the living room, I pushed the tables against the wall and set it up for drawing (which won't be today because I can barely even type), so it feels a lot less cluttered in here again *breathe* of course I will happily push them back into the middle of the room again when folks come over to play board games.

I'm going to have to stay home and rest my muscles for the rest of the week, but I will plan to venture back out to the farm in May for some fresh organic produce.

Support your local businesses!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Twitter Art Exhibit 2017


I don't know why in the world I keep forgetting to post about this.
I painted another postcard for Twitter Art Exhibit, hashtag #TAE17.
It was held in Stratford Upon Avon, England this year.
Since my card was going to the U.K., I painted a British candy collage.
The exhibit has already ended, but the postcard is for sale online!
It benefits a great organization called Molly Olly's Wishes.
Check it out.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ok, ok, I'm here.

I am really slacking on the blog lately. Sorry.

What I've been up to:


























I finally said goodbye to LJ once and for all.
I was there 16 years.























Pears are a lot like people
Different shapes and sizes
But inside, they're all made
of the same stuff.

(Pastel on Bristol)
















This is a "Nicole" rose from Bellingrath Gardens.
I attended their 85th anniversary fish fry...walker in tow, of course.
I'll share more pics soon.























Gettin' my Easter on.



















Accidentally ran across a little car show,
so we stopped to have a look.
I've always liked car shows.























I burned my dang hand again.
It's sore, but recovered well.



































You know you live in the country when
you get stuck behind this guy.


















I might be hooked on Pokémon TCGO.
A friend sent me some real cards, too!
I've won one online tournament and got 3rd place
in my 1st live tournament. It was exhausting, but fun.
The folks at the game shop are very accommodating.
It's not something I'll be able to do often due to illness
but I'll take whatever I can get. Gotta live a little.






















I've been cooking here and there.
(That comic cracks me up!)

But I've been dealing with a lot of Gastroparesis.
It is a miserable condition. Digestion shouldn't be so hard.
There is no photo accompanying this paragraph.
You're welcome.

I have plenty more photos of Bellingrath to share,
and I swear on my life I will eventually get to it.
My OneDrive app went kaput, which has been part of the problem.

See you soon.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Annnnnd breathe. But not outside, because pollen is evil.

I'm here to tell you that Hay Fever sucks, but I know most folks are already aware of that. I'm still having trouble with my ears, sinuses, and a nagging cough that I can't get rid of to save my life. Yes, I know. Welcome to Spring.

The weather is beautiful, though. I've been spending more time outside than usual, allergies be damned, because Spring and Autumn are the ideal time for my muscles, assuming no other triggers are upon me. It's challenging, because so many things trigger my HKPP episodes and muscle weakness, including histamines AND antihistamines, so there's no winning that one. But I can't spend every waking (or sleeping, for that matter) moment indoors. I guess I technically could, but I wouldn't want to. Nobody should have to live like that.

It's inevitable in the dead of summer. I always have to become a hermit, because my body simply cannot tolerate the sauna we deal with on the Gulf Coast. 100 degree heat index with 100% humidity is for athletes, not people with systemic disease. Tachycardia and dehydration come far too easily, as easily as walking to the mailbox or getting in the car. So it's difficult. But so is winter. Muscles are such temperamental things.

I'm rambling. At any rate, I'm doing my best to enjoy Spring in spite of my ailments. I have some photos to share soon of a couple of my rare outings. I'll try to get them uploaded tomorrow.

Happy Spring, Achoos and God Bless Yous to all.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

If you're wondering how things are going...


On top of HKPP, sleep deprivation, kidney stones, and the rest of the crap I usually deal with, I have a doozy of an upper respiratory infection at the moment. There is so much that I would like to do, but even getting out of bed to sit up in a chair seems like too much to ask this week. Thanks, Life.

I'll have a less cranky update when I am functional again, someday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

39 @ 9:29


Well, I'm in the home stretch to the big 4-0. Let's see if I can get there.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Seven Years Ago


Hard to believe this was 7 years ago. Yet, it seems like a lifetime. Weird how that happens. Things were different back then, to an extent anyway. 2010 wasn't easy, to say the least.

I intend to catch up on a few things blogwise, but I've been curled up in bed with kidney stones this week. I'll be back soon.

Sl√°inte.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New Decor for Midori the Gypsymobile

I see your nuclear family window decals
And I raise you musical dancing food

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vegetarian burritos and another dollar store run

Howdy. Let's discuss dollar store meals again. The original post is here.

First, a quick note that my body is currently reacting badly to beans and legumes. Systemic disease wins when it comes to food reactions, so I'm letting you know that I gave the black beans away and went back to the store. You'll see what I did below. But first, a few new foods and short reviews from the Dollar Tree grocery section:

Terrible with a capital T.
Tiny bits of pepper, soggy breading, questionable cheese.
F minus. Moving on.

I haven't tried the bagel bites yet, but everybody knows these tater tots.
They are rubbery in the microwave, but fine fried or baked in a real oven.

SOON. With dollar store ranch dressing (not pictured).

Some of my photos uploaded sideways
but I decided I didn't care. Ha. Sorry, though.
Both of these products are awesome, by the way.

Dollar store bacon!
I repeat: DOLLAR STORE BACON!
(I haven't tried it yet. Wish me luck.)

Since I am omitting beans from the burritos,
I decided to buy dollar store cheese as compensation.

The one item that I didn't buy at the dollar store was a pack of button mushrooms, but they were only a dollar on sale. Score!




I overfilled it big time, so I had to fold it up to eat it.
It was really, really good. Really!

I ate one burrito, and made six more.

To the Batcave! I mean the freezer. *cough*

Hey y'all, bonus leftovers!

I had plenty of rice left, so I flash froze it for later!
Rice freezes well, but it also survives in the fridge for 4 days, FYI.

The leftover mushrooms will be sauteed tonight
and served as a side with dinner (baked pork chops).

I also had 2/3 pack of taco seasoning left, but forgot to take a pic.

If you don't overstuff the shells, you can easily make 10.
If you include beans, you would make a dozen or more.
If you want vegan, omit the cheese.
If you are a cheese freak, the dollar stores have packets of Velveeta for a dollar that you can pour on top of the burritos and warm in the oven until bubbly.
But you didn't hear that from me.

I'm quite happy with the burritos. I've done them before, and I feel like they're proof that meat isn't always necessary.

I'll be back soon with a final review of the remaining dollar store products from both hauls. Thanks always for visiting!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Homemade Electrolyte Drink (Sports Drink)

I was inspired by this video to try my hand at homemade sports drinks.


I already had most of the stuff to make it, so why not?


I didn't make it exactly like Chef John did, but it turned out flawlessly. It not only tastes like a sports drink, it tastes a little better IMO.

My recipe:

*32oz vessel of some sort. I have this, available at almost any Walmart.

*One small bottle of 100% fruit juice, any flavor. It's the tiny bottle that comes in a 6-pack on the juice aisle. You know what I'm talking about. Edit note: 10oz bottle

*Refill the juice bottle with water twice and pour it in...you want to dilute the juice to 1/3. That's a ratio of 2:1 water vs juice.

*1/8 teaspoon potassium salt - I have Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, so I need potassium. If you don't have HKPP and you don't have issues with sodium, you can use sodium. If you want a little of each, you can find Lite Salt at any grocer (Lite Salt is a combo of sodium and potassium salts, if you didn't know).

*1/2 teaspoon of "berry" green powder, available at Walmart and most health stores. It's called green powder, but the berry flavor looks magenta FYI.

*1/2 teaspoon Natural Calm magnesium powder, any flavor. It is the only Mag powder I can personally recommend. It's sold all over the world, including Amazon. Disclaimer: magnesium has a laxative effect in some people. For me, it's a godsend for my leg cramps. If you dig far enough into the product reviews, you'll find mine there entitled "the cure for charlie horses".

*I added a squeeze of lime juice, but I forgot to put the lime in the photo.

Note that I did not add a sweetener, since I used prepared juice.

Give it a good stir or shake to dissolve, and chill well before serving.

By all means, if it tastes off to you, adjust your ingredients. Buying sports drinks is easier, but this is so much healthier, especially for people like me. I plan to make these drinks regularly from now on. I have a feeling summer will be a little more tolerable this year as a result. I'll try to remember to give another review in the sweltering months of doom (that would be June-September down here).

If you have any suggestions or questions about making this, holla at me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dollar Store Grocery Review #1

If you want this post to make sense, you'll have to watch the vlog first.

The milk gets an A for tasting no different in my cereal than any other milk does. Mind you, I don't drink it straight, so I can't give my input on that. But I'll definitely be buying it for cereal from now on.

The cereal is a B for blandness. I actually like bland cereals (Chex, Kix, etc) and don't mind eating it. It's not something I will set out to search for in a store, but it's edible. The caramel flavor is a little on the stale side, if I must be critical.

I think most folks are familiar with this stuff, since it's sold in pretty much every grocery store. It's not as good as Jello, but acceptable for a quick snack. I actually went back and bought another pack (I'll post a new vid soon about my 2nd run to the dollar store).

These are the Jennifer's Garden spring rolls. I baked them in the toaster oven for 18 minutes, and made a quick sriracha honey mustard. Are they the best spring rolls I've ever had? Not really. Are they edible? Absolutely. Would I buy again? Probably. They're a dollar. Please note that the sodium level is outrageous...180mg per roll. Eat with caution if you're sensitive to salt.

I didn't take photos of everything. Frankly, nobody needs a picture of bread and peanut butter. You know what a sandwich looks like. The bread was a fail. It was a bit hard and stale. I ate one slice and ended up throwing the rest away. I ended up baking my own bread, which made a much better sandwich.

I forgot to take a pic of the fish sticks. They were terrible...F minus if I'm grading these things. They smelled like fish sticks, but there were only a couple of little slivers of fish inside a very hard breading shell. They were really bad.

I made the pork and beans, and I have to be honest - the photo is gag-worthy. There's just no way to make ground sausage and beans in a dark red sauce look anything other than gross, so I am not sharing the photo. HOWEVER...this is important...it was a home run. Tasted great! I recommend! Just do the world a favor and don't share pics of it. LOL

I haven't made it through everything yet. I'll make the veggie burritos soon, and explain a change I'm making to them at that time (they don't involve beans now...we'll get into it later). As I said earlier, I've also made another dollar tree run with a small haul. I'll post a vid soon. I'm still recovering from my clinics.

Thanks always for reading.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Back to back clinics

On Monday, I returned to UMMC in Jackson for renal/endocrinology clinic. I am very very lucky to have doctors who listen, care, and want to learn more about this absurd disease. It is assumed that my current condition is my best case scenario, and they are relieved that things haven't gotten any worse over the last several months. We agreed that the Keveyis fiasco was a bummer. Since my HKPP is familial, they asked about my parents and whether or not I have children. I reminded them that I am the lone ranger in this thing, my parents are deceased, and I don't have kids. As always, they are interested in my story and are happy to know Facebook support groups exist. Documentation is a big concern for me since social security owns me and will occasionally review my case, but the doctors reassured me that they were keeping up with my peril in writing. They said my labs look stable, and the glass is half full in spite of my condition. I'll return in one year unless something changes.

On Wednesday, I returned to Internal Medicine at the low income clinic in my little town. Dr. B is fantastic as always, and is willing to test anything that is even mildly questionable. He knows how frustrated I am over my permanent muscle weakness and that even with my potassium level in normal range, I cannot function well enough to perform basic household tasks at times. We discussed my episodes, and how I handle them without assistance (answer: I take potassium and lie down...all I can do really is ride it out. If I am unable to take potassium, I find the nearest place to lie down and I hope for the best). He was concerned about the fact that I live alone like this, and suggested I check into obtaining a Life Alert necklace. I probably won't be able to afford it, but I'll look it up. He told me to make sure I have my cell phone within reach at all times.

He took a stat panel like renal clinic did, and the numbers matched this time. Everything looks pretty good, thanks to my overwhelming daily regimen, and it is an improvement compared to the last couple of years of labs. He sent some blood off for additional tests, and I'll receive the results on Friday. I'll write a short update at that time.

Renal clinic is across the state line, and because my insurance refuses to acknowledge that, I am forced to pay in full to be seen there. It's very difficult - nearly impossible - to afford that but I didn't find a clinic in my state that would take my case. That's how I ended up having to travel 4 hours to an out-of-state hospital. They practically brought me back from the dead, and want to continue seeing me at least once a year (I want/need to see them as well), so I am going to have to find a way to pay for it. I explained this to Dr. B and said he would do what he could to help concerning labs or whatever it is they want to monitor in me throughout the year in between my visits there. He also has a medication assistance program, and it is the only reason I have access to my vital medications (which would be around $1000 a month otherwise and my social security is far less than that per month). Low income clinics are so, so important; in fact, downright life-saving for people like me. That's why federal funding for these places must be protected. To cut off access to medical care is to literally kill people. I would be one of them, but only one of millions. God help us.

As long as nothing crazier than usual happens, and as long as my sent-off tests come back in good shape, I am done with clinics until June.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Isn't It Funny?

Isn't is funny that the people who bash PC and demand their freedom of speech are the same people constantly whining at celebrities to shut-up?

Isn't it funny that the same people who fight for any spotlight or soapbox they can find label others as attention-seekers?

Isn't it funny that these people call others narcissistic while simultaneously saying others don't deserve the same constitutional rights as they have?

Isn't that funny?



It's not funny. It's idiotic.

Yet you expect to be taken seriously.

Now that's funny.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Education Matters

A few days ago, I wrote a Senator concerning the Secretary of Education nominee.

I received a response today.

-----

Dear Ms. Bosarge:

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding Presidential appointments.

On February 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education by a vote of 51-50.

I take seriously the advice and consent responsibilities the Constitution entrusts to the Senate.  Prior to her confirmation, I met with Secretary DeVos, and she reaffirmed her commitment to support public education and rural schools.  I will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education to support programs that benefit Mississippi children and to return more control over educational policies to state and local officials.

Having the benefit of your views is important to me.  I appreciate your taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

THAD COCHRAN
United States Senator

------

My concern is that someone with zero credentials will be in charge of the education of our country's young people. I rarely write Congress, but this is one I could not ignore. They seem adamant about ditching the feds and giving control of education to the states and local districts. The problem with that is that some of those places fail. We've seen that with the probation of school districts and college embezzlement scandals, and there are plenty of other examples out there. Federal support is vital in everything from tuition and financial aid to building security and infrastructure to food and book costs. It makes a direct impact on students. I can tell you personally that I attended a college after they lost federal funding, and it was a train wreck; absolutely rock bottom, and I transferred elsewhere after the first semester. When accountability isn't taken seriously, bad or lazy people do bad or lazy things, and when those people run schools, students suffer as a result. Federal funding and guidelines are there to protect the quality of education, not to harm it. They recognize when schools are failing and hold them accountable to bring them back up to par for the sake of the kids. Who is going to address these issues when they inevitably arise again? Unless all states get their crap together and hold every school district accountable, giving all students equal access to quality public education, a lot of people are going to fall short of average intelligence and opportunity, which gives them little hope of operating at their full potential. Poor education = poverty, desperation, and crime. When education is inadequate, society is inadequate. That's not a partisan opinion. That's common sense.

The confirmation of DeVos is a potential disaster for fair and equal education. All young people in this country deserve the best chance possible at making it in life. I hope and pray they aren't thrown under the school bus.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Searching for Sanity

It's safe to say, for many of us, that the year has started off pretty stressful. It got to the point where people were suggesting I back off from social media and the news for the sake of my health. So in January, when I learned that my niece Jo's birthday party theme this year was going to be Pokemon, I decided to learn as much as I could about it. Believe it or not, I didn't exactly know what it was all about. I was a working adult when it debuted 20 years ago, so I've been out of the loop.

Some friends gave me the rundown and a few links, and I am now completely hooked on the online game.




I'm doing pretty well, too.
I'm a level 3 trainer as of yesterday.

It has been a huge distraction...one that I needed. I spend a little less time scrolling down news feeds, which was the plan. I am still feeling stressed, but gaming gives me something different to focus on for a little while.

I also stayed up all night last night, borrowed my sister's NF, and marathoned.


Wow, what an incredible series. I laughed, cried, and gagged. I could barely eat breakfast this morning because it grossed me out so much. I'm not into horror, but this falls into the Sci-Fi drama genre, which I love. I watched it from beginning to end without a break...totally worth all of the hype.

I have a lot of other shows to watch, mostly in the DC and Marvel comic universe. My friends go on and on about them, and I don't know what they're talking about, so I'm going to eventually dive in.

Doctor Who FINALLY returns in April, so I'm looking forward to that this year as well. Whatever keeps the sanity intact, folks.

I have several art projects to work on when my arms are feeling up to it. Winter is always a rough time for my muscles. Even the mild winters we have here affect my motor skills greatly. I honestly don't know how anyone north of me with HKPP survives. My heart goes out to them, that's for sure.

I've got a long nap calling my name. Talk to you soon.