An Ode to My Grandpa

I’ve been de-cluttering my house.  While I was cleaning up, I found many photos of family and friends.

One of the photos I found was of my grandpa in his favorite chair.

1.  The mug probably had coffee in it.

2.  Near the coffee mug is a white dish.  That is his ashtray for his pipe.  The smell of pipe tobacco reminds me of him.

3.  He probably had a Reader’s Digest somewhere near his pile of books.  He loved the Word Power section of the Reader’s Digest.

4.  There was chocolate hidden near his chair. Grandpa enjoyed his chocolate and sweets.

5.  The photo looks like it was taken in the winter.  During the spring and summer, Grandpa would look out the window to watch the birds that flew to their bird feeder.

6.  The dog on his lap is Dusty.  We got her when I was 11 years old.  The other dog was Dallas.  Dallas died a few months after Grandpa’s death.

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I love and miss this man everyday.  Thanks for being a hero to me. 

Have a magical day,
Traci

My Kitchen Reorganization

As I mentioned in my June 3 – Monday Menu Monday post, my aunt came into town.  While she was here, she helped me reorganize my kitchen.

I did not take photos of my kitchen before she organized my pantry / kitchen.  So, these are only after shots.

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Previously, there were two plastic 3 tier shelf.  We reduced it to one 3 tier metal shelf.  The other 3 tier shelf was located where the Sprites are located.  It made the pantry space be very tight.  The pantry is also our laundry room, so it was hard for us to get clothes in and out of the washer and dryer.

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When we moved in, Hubby installed these shelves.  We made one the grains and broth shelf.  Another one is the pasta and other convenience shelf.  A third is the Thanksgiving/ holiday shelf.  The items on that shelf are only used during the holidays or for big family dinners.  Finally, one of shelves is for some of the bigger items and my bread machine.

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On the left-hand side of the photo, you see a wooden piece.  That is our set of cabinets for all plastic ware and cleaning supplies.

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This corner cabinet holds all my baking supplies and some of my smaller appliances.

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We had a white cabinet located in this spot.  My mom decided to get us a new cabinet.  This is our breakfast/ snacky foods pantry.  The boys can quickly get them food when they are hungry.  Teenagers are ALWAYS hungry.

 

We also cleaned out the fridge, freezer, and chest freezer.  The baking pan area was cleared out.

I reorganized the coffee and tea cabinet, the former spice cabinet that is now the sauce cabinet, and the miscellaneous cabinet.

The dish cabinet was freshened up.  Around Thanksgiving, I reorganized the dish cabinet.  It has pretty much stayed the same except for a few stray dishes.

Above our cabinets is an area where we can store some of our memorabilia.  We pulled all the memorabilia down, washed them and the area, and decided which items we wanted to go back up above the cabinet.

I must go through the cabinet with all the cups and mugs, decide what to do with our plastic ware, and get a 4-tier wire shelf for our bigger appliances that we use on a daily/ weekly basis.  We are also going to repaint the kitchen.

Once all of that is done, we’ll be done reorganizing the kitchen.

Have a magical day!
Traci

 

Vegetarian Diet

As you know, I’ve been on a primarily gluten free diet.  Actually I was eating gluten free from June until a week after my gallbladder surgery.  I’ve only had a few foods that have had gluten in them – a small piece of pretzel, half of a Hawaiian roll, and some of a tortilla.

This week I read about people who have a gluten sensitivity – not Celiac – should try sprouted wheat bread instead of just gluten free bread.  I’m going to try eating some sprouted wheat bread to see if it bothers me or not.

Anyway this post is not about my gluten free diet.  It’s about the fact I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for the past month.  On the 12th of February, I had some delicious sausage.  The sausage made my gallbladder mad so I had another attack.  On the 14th of February, I decided that I needed to go meat free.  My last taste of any meat was on the 13th of February.

I could take and leave meat at times.  Sure there are times that I miss the convenience of eating meat especially when I am out and about.  I don’t really think I miss the meat.  Just the convenience of being able to get something quick to eat.

Until you begin eating vegetarian/ vegan do you realize how much of the standard American diet relies on meat?  There are so many more choices.

For example, Hubby was looking at restaurants in Louisville because we are going there in 10 days.  He told me a restaurant had a vegetarian choice.  So what was it?  Fried green tomatoes – I’m like that is a NOPE.  Number 1:  It might have a breading which means gluten.  And Number 2:  I’m not a big tomato eater so that won’t work.

Then yesterday he tried to tell me that I could eat the rest of his beef lo mein.  I used to love shrimp or chicken lo mein before I went gluten free.  I have not had Chinese from a Chinese restaurant since February 2017.  He told me that I could just pick the meat out of the dish.  Again I am like NOPE.

So what do I eat?  Well, I am a work at progress with my food.  Sometimes I eat healthy and then there are times that are not so healthy.  Because just like with the Standard American diet not everything that is available to a vegetarian is healthy.  There is a such thing as vegetarian junk food.  I love to get a pizza from Mod Pizza or Rapid fire and load it up with all kinds of veggies but that is junk food.

So join me on this journey I am taking with my eating.  I have linked up my Instagram on the right sidebar.  When I have eaten something healthy, I will share it on Instagram.  I will also share the not so healthy foods that I am eating.

The one benefit from eating this vegetarian diet is that I am losing weight.  I was losing it prior to my illness.  Since my surgery, I have lost 7 pounds for a total of 36 pounds lost since February 2017!

Happy eating,
Traci

My Favorite P!nk Songs Part 2 (The Truth About Love Album)

P!nk’s last two albums are my favorite of hers. I have so many songs that I can listen to on repeat.

“Are We All We Are” is just a fun song to listen to in the car. When the song begins to play, you can’t help but to sing along with her.

“Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is another fun song of hers.

The video and message from “Try” leaves me breathless. “You’ve got to get up and try, try, try.” Don’t give up on your dreams.

After Tanya died, I would drive my car and cry to this song. I wish I beam up and see her just one last time. Whenever I hear this song, I just start to tear up. Instead of a blackbird, I saw a Monarch butterfly. That is why I now I have a Monarch butterfly tattoo.

Another song “The Great Escape” reminds me of Tanya. There are times I wish I did not allow her escape to her pain. Life was hard for her.
After her death, people tried to smooth over my pain. They did not understand the pain I was feeling. The pain I still feel when I think about my sister.

“Just Give Me a Reason” is so beautiful.

“True Love”

RIP Mr. Gally – Part 2

On February 24th, I had my gallbladder surgery 6 days prior to when I had it scheduled. I’m documenting my time in the hospital. Today I am talking about my surgery and the stay afterwards.

Once I got up to 2 North, the aide who drove my bed to my room, tied my gown for me since the ER nurse never did that for me.  I was checked in to the room, vitals were taken, and questions were answered.

I finally was able to get some sleep after being awake for 23 hours.

3 and ½ hours later, I was woken up by one of the nurses I believe or room service.  I was a little out of it.  Both showed at about the same time, so I don’t know which one woke me up.

Anyway, I ordered my breakfast.  I know I was out of it but did the best I could when ordering the meal.

The Surgery

The room service young lady was back about a half an hour later and told me that I was not supposed to have any food or liquid because my stomach needed to be empty.  I was confused so she got the nurse.  The nurse had just been told that I might be able to have the surgery that day instead of on Sunday.  She was waiting for confirmation.

Since I couldn’t eat and nothing to do but wait, I decided to do my sub plans.  I was almost done with my schedule when all the sudden an aide came into my room.  He was ready to transfer me to the surgery.  The surgery was going to occur within the next hour.  They needed to get me prepped for the surgery.

I had to call Hubby to tell him to get his butt down to the hospital.  The phone call woke him.

Then I had to call my mother-in-law, so she could take care of the boys for us.

Since I did not have any more time, I made a post on Facebook telling everyone that I was going into surgery, so I could have prayer or good thoughts.

I was wheeled down to surgery area.  The aide was excellent because he talked to me the whole way down so that I wouldn’t be scared.

Once I got down there, it was a matter of them asking me questions some of them repetitive by multiple medical personnel.  They needed to make sure I didn’t have any jewelry, dentures, etc.… that could be lost or cause problems during the surgery.

I also spoke to the anesthesiologist and one of his assistants.   They needed to make sure I was aware of the risks of the anesthesia.

One of the gentleman who was going to be helping with my surgery lives in the same town as me.  He does not live that far from where I do.

Finally, the surgeon came and told me about the procedure that was going to be done.  After she talked to me, she prepped for the surgery.  While I was waiting I got to watch two medical personnel bring in a portable x-ray machine and attempt to give another patient an x-ray.  (I did not see the patient just the machine and the gentleman.)  I also watched the clock in the middle of the room.

I was wheeled into the operating room.  All I can remember is how cold it was in the room, being rolled onto the operating table, my name being said, and then it was lights out for me.

I woke back up where I started the surgery.  They needed to make sure I woke up from the anesthesia.

After a little while in that room, I was wheeled back to my room where Hubby was waiting for me.

The gentleman who lived in the same town as I was the one who wheeled me back, so he and Hubby spoke for a few minutes about the town.

The Rest of Saturday

As I said, I wheeled back to my room.  Hubby stayed for a while and then left so I could get some rest.

I was in a lot of pain, so a lot of medication was necessary.

The plan was for me to go home that evening.  Since my pain was not manageable by Saturday evening, it was decided that I would spend the night.

I had to call my mother-in-law, so she could make sure to get the boys to Sunday school the next day.  Hubby was also called so he could bring me a much better pillow than the one I had in the hospital.

Once he came, I finally got up to go to the restroom, something I had not done since my surgery.  We also took a lap around the floor.  It hurt my abdomen, so I only took one lap.  Otherwise I would have taken more laps.

He stayed for an hour or so and then left so I could get some rest.  Oh, and he made sure I had my Gatorade before he left.

The Rest of My Stay

The rest of my stay was not very exciting.  I slept, attempted to eat, finished my sub schedule, and texted friends and family.

On Sunday morning, I met with the surgeon.  She told me that my gallbladder had an infection when it was taken out of my body.  It was a good thing I had the surgery on Saturday instead of later in the week.

Finally, I was discharged from the hospital.  I was wheeled to my car where I put the seat back as far as I could, so I could lay down while riding home.  We got home 2 minutes before the boys did from church.

Kisses were given and asking me how I was doing before then ran off into their rooms.  Teenagers and almost teenagers.

The happiest member of my family was our dog.  According to Hubby, he walked up and down the hallway looking for me.  He stays close to me when I’m in the living room and follows me to the restroom to make sure I am okay.

Thanks for reading about my hospital stay. We really appreciated the nursing staff in 2 North.  They were really helpful especially since my IV pole kept going off.  I had to call them 10 to 20 times because it stopped beeping.  It was because of where my IV was located.  If I bent my arm a certain way, it caused a kink in the IV line.

 

 

 

 

RIP Mr. Gally – Part 1

On February 24th, I had my gallbladder surgery 6 days prior to when I had it scheduled. I’m documenting my time in the hospital. Today I am talking about why I ended up in the ER and the visit to the ER.

Mr. Gally (May 1975 – February 24, 2018) served Believe in the Magic Traci well until his illness that probably began in late January 2017. During his last 13 months of life, he caused her problems such as nausea, headaches, and just pain. On the night of February 23, 2018, he decided that it was time for him to leave her body. After causing her excruciating pain that night, it was finally time for him to depart. At 11 am on February 24, 2018, he was lifted out of her body weeping. He served her well for 42 years and 9 months.

Week Prior

Okay in all seriousness, last week was painful.

On Sunday the 18th, I went shopping with my mom. During our major shopping trip, I had no problems. However, once I got home, the pain started in my back and would not let up. It began in my lower back and then climbed up to between my shoulder blades. Fortunately, I had a chiro appointment on the 19th so that helped with the lower back. I knew the pain between my shoulder blades was my gallbladder acting up. It continued to hurt until mid-day on the 20th. The rest of the 20th was uneventful. I even took a walk with the dog while the boys were at Scouts.

Then the 21st happened – I almost went to the hospital that evening because I was in a lot of pain. It died down so that I could get some sleep. I still felt crappy when I went to work on the 22nd but there were no real flare ups during the day except for my usual nausea after eating.

During this time, my safe foods were no longer safe for me to eat. I could eat potatoes with no problems. That was the case no more. I ended up pains afterwards and couldn’t even finish them on the 22nd.

On the 23rd, things began to change. My abdomen was bloated by the time I left work. I ran errands, ate dinner, and then tried to sleep. Sleep eluded me. Every position I tried caused pain so at midnight it was decided that we would go to the hospital.

The Night

We start to leave about 12:15 and get one exit down on the highway before Hubby decides to head back to the house because we forgot my ID and insurance card. He seemed to find the bumpiest route back to the house even though it is a road I have traveled on many times before.

Then it was back on the road to the hospital.

We finally arrived at 1 am. Since I was already in the system, we did not need the ID and insurance card. I was also taken straight back to a room. Room 9

Since I had drunk water on the way to the hospital, the first order of business was the urine sample. As soon as I walked out of the bathroom, my nurse met me. At that point I was in pain but not as much pain as I was going to be in. We talked about the beach scene that have in the ceilings in the ER room. After she did my vitals, I rarely saw her for the remainder of the time I was in the ER.

Next up was the nurse who drew my blood. I had warned the nurse that it is hard for them to find my veins, so she sent in the nurse who was skilled in using an ultrasound to find veins. Hubby watched as the needle entered my vein. I on the other hand, watched him look for the vein but did not watch the needle enter my vein. (I ended up with no bruise on my arm which is amazing. The last 2 times I had an IV put into my arm I’ve had a nasty bruise.)

Then began the waiting to see either the doctor or even the nurse. At one point I had to go to the restroom, so we called for the nurse because I was hooked up to all kinds of machines. The ER doctor came in before the nurse. She wanted to touch my abdomen which would have been a disaster. She left and was going to come back a little bit later. The nurse finally came, unhooked me from the machines, and allowed me to go to the restroom. However, she did not tie up my gown. Luckily, I had on my pants. Unfortunately, I had hold the gown shut while walking through the ER.

When the doctor came back in, she listened to me. At first, she wanted to give me medication for the gallbladder and allow me to come back for the procedure. I expressed my concern because of teaching. She told us that she would be back in ½ an hour, but she never came back.

In the meantime, we turned the tv on and watched Dave Chappelle and HGTV. Hubby watched me become progressively more distraught and in pain. I was in tears and balled up. He called the nurse and kept peeking out looking for her. She popped her head in at one point and nastily told us that the medication was on call. (I understand the ER is busy and there were more urgent patients than me. However, I was there because I was in pain. Check up on me occasionally.)

The resident surgeon came in at the same time as the nurse came in to give me medication. It was decided my gallbladder was going to come out either that day (Saturday) or on Sunday. It depended on when the surgeon could get me in. I was going to be admitted to the hospital.

While she is explaining the procedure, the nurse was administering my medication and asking about my pain level. Since I was trying to pay attention to the resident surgeon, Hubby answered for me. She did not like him answering and rudely asked me about my pain level. I understand she needed to hear it from me but there could have been a better way to ask me.

After finding out I was going to be admitted and that the surgery was probably going to be Sunday, Hubby left me, so he could check up on the boys and get some sleep. (The resident surgeon called the surgeon to see what her schedule looked like before Hubby left.)

I waited about 15 minutes or so before I was wheeled to 2 North and much better nurses. Oh, and as I was being wheeled away, the nurse popped up next to me and asked once again about my pain level.

Join me in another blog post about my surgery.

Another Health Update

I’ve discussed my health on previous blog posts.  Every since November 2017, I’ve had abdominal pains especially after I eat especially after meats, greasy foods, or big meals.

I went to the Emergency room in early December because I had the pains for five days.  They told me that I was low in potassium, dehydrated, and had a stomach virus.

Continue reading “Another Health Update”