Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Coloring Book

This book was one I'd gotten several years ago as gifts for family, but ended up with an extra.

Vive Le Color! has some wonderful books, I think I've only got 2 myself, but think I've gotten a lot of different ones for family as gifts.  They're compact, the pages pull right out, and they are one sided on nice, thick paper.  Perfect for any kind of color medium.  The pages I'll share today I colored with different marker and gel pen sets.  I also took a picture of the cover with my hand so you can see just how small and easily portable it is, it'd fit into practically any handbag, carry on etc, so easily taken with you to appointments, on trips etc.  I will say this, since it is small, the small effects you do see can be VERY small indeed.  I used a magnifying glass on the one with the deer and snowflakes, just to try and be as precise as I could, but I also used gel pens which can at times come out faster than you expect so forgive yourself if you go out of lines.  Also, don't look at the pictures with a magnifying glass and maybe you won't see where I did hahahaha!  I'll post that one first since I already said what type medium was used.  I absolutely LOVE gel pens because they are so vivid and you can use the glitter and metallic colors for a deeper effect, but they do take a while to color because they take a little bit to dry.  I think you can just see behind the deer on the right what happens if you get it on your hand and lay it down on the page before it drys LOL there are little blue speckles behind her tail.

The ACTUAL first picture was Santa.  Since markers aren't usually my go to, I'm still learning with them.  The greys in his beard were a bit darkish, so he will simply be a younger version of himself LOL.  This marker set didn't have "fine" points but they did come to a sharper end, so you could still be mostly precise with them.

The next picture in the book was this lovely christmas tree, colored with two sided markers with a fine point side for more precision which was useful on the super small bits of this one.  I did misjudge some of the greens, so some decorations on the tree disappeared once the tree was colored in but that's ok, it's still a pretty tree. ;P

And lastly, the picture that shows just how portable the books are.  If you're hunting for one that would be easy to take with you everywhere, I'd encourage looking into these, there's probably a style for anyone.  Some I recall giving as gifts were flowers, and butterflies, as well as some that are stylized into iconic pictures depicting certain corners of the world.

As always, I hope you enjoyed what I've shared, now back to my coloring!!! Ciao!

Friday, December 15, 2017


Insomnia is a giant pain in the butt.

It's exhausting laying in bed for hours and hours trying to fall asleep with your eyes closed.  It's even MORE exhausting and emotionally draining as well as completely frustrating to chase your butt around the clock trying to get and maintain some semblance of normalcy.  It's lovely when I have a schedule where I wake even if it's early am, to have the majority of my waking hours be those of "normal" sleep.  That means making appointments, with agencies, doctors or even family is much easier, and then I feel great because I'm not letting others or myself down by not making my engagements.

When my sleep becomes erratic or even non existent, that's when I get angry, frustrated, anxious and even sad because I feel I'm letting other's down, and that's a horrible feeling.  Family, and loved ones are important to me, and naturally, it makes me feel like by letting them down, they might feel less than cherished by me, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I absolutely adore my family, and I feel blessed each and every day to have them in my life.

I do my best, even when my sleep is horrible, to try and still make my appointments, ESPECIALLY with family.  Sometimes, my body just says no, you can't do that right now, snoooooore.  While crashing for sometimes a day or so at a time can finally make you feel "rested" even that's exhausting since when you wake from such a state, you're dehydrated and groggy for much of the day afterward.  On the one hand it's like you're saying, yay I had sleep, but on the other it's like saying, geez I slept for THAT long?  How can I waste that much time sleeping all at once?  You lose days, and that's never something that's pleasant.

Some of my family has also has issues with this, but I pray every day that theirs improves and that it never gets as bad as what mine has developed into.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Hooray for Coloring!

I know it's been a little while since I've shared some coloring.

This time I'll be sharing some from an older book I've shared before, and also some pictures from a book I haven't shared yet but has been laying around for a while.  I have a few other books that are also laying around but I'll eventually get to them.  I've been occupying my time with several things so coloring has been slow and some projects that have taken time, so it's a good opportunity to illustrate that you don't have to color things all in one sitting.

The book that's been lying around for a while is by Kerby Rosanes.  This artist has a few, the one I had is the Mythomorphia one.  Basically it's full of mythical creatures, but also they have some morphology into other things in some pictures.  The other book is the one that came in a set of 3 from creatively calm studios.

Think I might do some holiday pictures since Tis the Season!!!  Enjoy, and as always feel free to share your art with me!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November Update

I went for my follow up at the VA this past Monday.

I'm happy to report that the 4 month fall of 11 points on the renal test rose back up 11 points in the month I was off of the metformin.  This is good news and bad news.  The good news is, no kidney disease and it was medication related, and whatever brought it back up, whether it was simply the lack of taking the metformin, or the addition of the supplements or a combination of all, it's back up.  The bad news is, that now I can't be treated for the PCOD, at least not with the standard of care, that helps monitor and regulate weight and digestion etc.  I'm going to be seeing an OB/GYN to see what they recommend, I guess there may be another treatment, but whether it's as helpful or no, we'll have to see.  I guess one way, I could go on BCP, which can also cause weight gain, and also raise % of certain cancers, but since female cancer has not yet been a part of my family's genetic make up, there's a good chance that wouldn't happen.  I'm not sure the other alternative, but I guess it's in place of metformin, so might have some aid for digestion instead of my body sending all I eat to be stored since it doesn't know what to do with it.  Perhaps it'll be even more effective if I'm a good candidate.  I know after over 20 yrs of being diagnosed at the 99% of the progression of PCOD, I've avoided diabetes, but without the aid of metformin or a similar drug, I may cross the border that I've come close to for the past few testings.  As my Doctor puts it, I'm testing at a "prediabetic" state, which she's identified as borderline testing.  I guess we'd all fall into that category if we didn't test for diabetes if you think about it, but still.

I think part of what's helped so far, is my appetite isn't very big.  Since my body doesn't process food well, I've kind of been stuck in a limbo of eating one to two times a day, and sometimes not at all if I'm not home and forget to eat since sometimes my body doesn't tell me I'm hungry or haven't eaten.  So not eating a lot throughout the day has possibly helped with my body not progressing to a diabetic state.....but I'm more than certain it's hit me hard in the metabolic area.  I'm sure my metabolism is all but non existent by this point.  So there are definitely drawbacks as well.

My Doctor wants me to go to PT for evaluation to see about my spine again, but all that's done in the past was cause me to be so stiff I couldn't get up to go to the restroom on my own.  I'll give it a go, but I think chiropractic would be more beneficial though my spine is what it is.  It's just simply a crappy spine LOL, I'm used to the pain from it to a certain extent, but there are days that it's more difficult to cope with than others.  I think she's also sending me to a pain clinic, to try and see what, if anything else there is to do, but I'm not hopeful, you can't control pain from a spine that's simply got curves here, there and everywhere, when you can't just slap braces on it to straighten it out like teeth.  I have misgivings about PT and dread going, though I suppose I could call back and suggest that chiropractic helped more than PT before, since PT had me unable to walk for 3 days afterwards, and the chiropractor at least had me able to stand for more than 5 minutes without stiffness and pain from it.  I know it's not "healed" or "fixed" but longer is still better than can't do anything at all.

I know part of her reasoning is that perhaps PT can help me find things I can do to reduce weight, however, she's forgetting the PCOD part of the equation when thinking about the spinal part of it.  If I can't control food digestion well, no amount of exercise will help.  I'm alreadying eating well under the caloric count for a non active lifestyle, and I'm still not thin.  While that doesn't bother me because I know it's not something I've done to myself.  All one has to do is look at my arms, legs, face, wrists, ankles, hands etc to tell that it's not over eating.  All of those are boney.  An over eater has fat fingers, face etc.  But they're not the only ones, someone with a thyroid problem may also present those affects, so you can't just look at someone and assume it's something they've done to themselves over some genetic disorder causing it, unless you're in a grocery store and all they've got in their cart is a ton of junk.  If that's the case they're likely over eating.

At any rate that's the current update on me, hopefully things are going well for all of you!!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sweater Weather

It's that time of year again!!!

If my little 5 lb kitty could have screamed....I think she'd have yelled SWEATER!!!!  She's always loved it when I wear a sweater around the house, and if I take it off if I'm too hot, she claims it as her own.  Otherwise she makes a bed as well as she can so she can lay on it.

I always love seeing sweaters too, there are so many pretty ones that you just never see in the hotter months unless your workplace is very cool.  But I think not just the pretty colors is nice, but also, small animals and children seem to be far more interested in hugging or touching because they're just so darn soft.  If your child/grandchild nephew or niece wants to be held more, don't be surprised, you're very cuddly in your nice soft sweater.

Besides, once it's time for sweaters, you know Christmas is just around the corner, and hopefully people are getting into the Christmas state of mind and are more kind to one another.  I wish it would last forever, but you never know, if they keep practicing, maybe it will.

I'll post 2 pics of the mini kitty for you, I had to share because she climbed on me, and since I didn't fluff the sweater out, she was determined to lay on what there was and ended up upside down, head first on the bit of sweater available, which cracked me up, so hopefully you'll get a good chuckle out of it also.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween Reveal

I promised a reveal.

I'll first post the full costume, though I didn't get to wear it all today, and then I'll post all the bits and pieces that I got throughout the year in order to make the full costume.  I'll also post the one from today since today's party was a queen for a day party instead of the regular Halloween party.  I may yet decide to try and dye it lavender, but I haven't decided yet.  At any rate, I'm sure you'd rather see pictures than listen to my rattling on, so here you go, the reveal of the full costume.

So there you have it Bo Peep!  It took some doing to get all the things together, and to transform other pieces.  First I got the staff and some items to transform it to the decorative one you see here.  I was fortunate to find some flowers on clearance that worked out perfectly since they were in a vine form.  I had also gotten some ribbon that had wire on the ends that helped me wrap the two together to come up with the whole effect.

When I'd wrapped the flowers and ribbon together I felt like something was missing and found a bow to add to the whole thing.

Next I thought, how can I have a flock of sheep?  So I'd collected some sheep here and there, and also found a neat little planter that was an amish wagon with working wheels, had an extra garland of flowers and used them to "hide" the sheep inside the wagon.  I added a sheep dog to watch over them, and tada, Bo Peep lost her sheep......all except Julep because she was too big for the wagon and gets to be carried instead.

I forgot to take a photo of the wagon before I added the sheep, but I think you can see there's a bench seat, and see the sheep hiding among the flowers.  I may add some tulle to it since the handle is shorter, with a bow to wrap round my wrist to pull it along behind.

Every good Bo Peep needs a hat.  You most often see costumes with what is called a Poke bonnet/hat.  I had one that was perfect from mom, which was a sun bonnet and I added pink tulle in order to transform that into a poke bonnet.

For the inside of the bonnet, I used the pink glitter tulle and sort of wadded it and used a running couch stitch to run all over the inside from one side to the other.  That way, I could preserve mom's hat with as little invasive substance as possible, and no damage.  On the outside I added pink tulle to the hat band then also added some of the traditional bows on the sides that you'd typically find with a poke bonnet, and ran the tulle underneath so it could fasten under the chin. I left one side longer so it would look more natural tied on the side, this also helped to form the u shape around the face, and the uplifted top portion of the bonnet.

Lastly, since I'm a pink hatter, I'm supposed to wear lavender with a pink hat.  Since I couldn't find a pattern for the dress I wanted to create, I ran into a costume, but that came only in white, which is the reason for me pondering if I should try and dye the fabric.  I did add lavender gloves and a wrap to make up for the fact that the dress wasn't the right color.

The dress does have a train and a button in back that you can use to shorten the train, BUT it still has one even then, so I added a little elastic to the end of the train so I could fasten it to my wrist and try and avoid being stepped on.  It did seem to work today, though I'd not accounted for low heels.....really no heels, and so I do think I need to shorten the dress at least a bit.  I had originally thought about shortening to around the knee, and buying white yoga pants and lace to make the bloomers you typically see on some Bo Peep costumes, but I thought, I'll just be a more grown up version of Bo Peep.

Of course, today as I said, most of the additions were left behind since the party had changed to a different type.  But I still wanted to share, I'm not sure if I'll wear it next year of if my other idea will be next year.....but if I wear this, that means I have 2 years to work on the next idea and perfect that one.  I didn't have a hat today, but rather used a flower clip in pink to pull my hair up.  That served as a little cheat to the traditional hat we're supposed to wear, since I didn't have a pink tiara....but I may get one JUST IN CASE I go to another Queen for a Day party :P LOL.  Or if I just feel like being a queen or princess.  Here is is as worn today.

And now you have it, Bo Peep according to me, and a dress fit for a queen on other days!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Good News but not the BEST News

Sometimes you get news that is good but could be better.

Tuesday I had a phone appointment with my Lawyer for my case.  He said he had good news but it wasn't the best scenario.  The best news would have been that my case that is in the federal process would have had an overturned decision with the negative response being automatically rendered as a positive response.  What did happen is that the decision was remanded (I think that's the term he used), and that we would have another court date to be able to have a new judge hear the case.  I had said it was odd that the original judge had stated on the findings and court transcript that he had no doubt I was disabled as the professional witness had stated that someone with my current limitations would not be able to find or keep gainful employment, but that he was rendering a negative decision on my case.  I was told that does sometimes happen and it is strictly up to the judge whether to approve or deny a claim based on their own feelings about the case overall, rather than giving a positive decision based on all the facts and witnesses statements.

Either way, I'm taking this all as a positive step, though it's been a very long and tedious process thus far.  I think part of the issue is that a doctor may state something to you in person, and then not write it verbatim on your records.  Such as when I saw the neurosurgeon and he told me I'd be a bad candidate for back surgery for reasons such as, since I have numerous spinal curves, both scoliosis, and Scheuremann's Disease, that we could only choose one of the curves to attempt to correct and that it would likely result not only in numerous procedures rather than simply one, but that also, it would likely exacerbate the pain I have from the other curves causing greater pain from those.  I'm not altogether sure that he stated things in that way for my records, though I appreciated his candor and honesty to me regarding my overall health.  The issue for such things is that a judge wouldn't have the benefit of seeing and knowing that there is no possible option for said health issue to be corrected or the state of that issue to be improved.  My two options for my issued with my spinal pain are live with it, or take pain meds, and the danger there is that I would exchange spinal pain with a potential drug addiction and I don't feel that that's a very good or healthy option.

Recently.....the end of last month, my primary doctor did more kidney function tests since my test in May had shown I think renal functions at 59.4 where 60 and above is normal and desired, and she found that I'd dropped 11 points in 4 months, I think it dropped to 48.3...?  Either way, I've now been asked to adhere to a diabetic diet as much as I'm able, to not take my metformin, and to drink copious amounts of water and we'll retest at the end of this month.  I'm not sure, but some of my medications for anxiety could also affect my kidneys, and that's been the only medication that's been adjusted in the past year, and I'm not totally sure about some of the others, but I'll retest minus the metformin, consult with my psychiatrist at our appointment, and touch base with my primary doctor when my results come back.  I've not really talked about this with anyone, because I don't want family to needlessly worry, since it could be an easy fix....or it could be more serious.  Since my PCOD affects my ability to process food, and to attempt to assist with digestion, and kidney functions I've added some supplements to my daily routine.  I've added, cranberry pills, garlic pills, cinnamon pills to help with sugar processing since most foods break down into complex sugars and I don't have the metformin at the moment to help with that, and a multivitamin since it was saying that vitamin D helps with kidneys, so I figured what the heck it can't hurt to add more vitamins.

I'm not sure that everything I'm doing will help, but I am hopeful since if it's more serious and I've developed kidney disease it could result in several weekly trips for dialysis and I don't relish that thought, nor do I relish the thought of losing kidney functions and needing to seek replacement and going through surgery etc.  I choose to remain positive and think that it's just a simple issue with medication and that it can be reversed and improved.  That's where I'm determined to stay until notified otherwise.

All I can do is hope and encourage my doctors to document what they're telling me, and hope that all this helps with my next court hearing, which will likely be at the beginning of the new year.