Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 2016

 Happy August!

I will get all the dog photos out of the way. I have never been an animal lover like my sister or husband but I am in love with our little dog. She is sweet and has done amazing at transitioning into our home.

 Her previous owner named her Cannoli and the rescue called her Callie. Both are adorable names but she responded to neither. I still call her them once in a while to see if she responds. Nope.
My husband has always wanted a dog called Fred. But we have a girl dog. And so on her paperwork she is Frederica. But we call her Fred. Mostly we call her Sweet Pup or Good Girl though.

 She sleeps in my bed and does so well. We have her bed in my bed but she snuggles with me in the mornings and hangs out with me during the day. She loves my husband because he gives her treats when she sits & he takes her on long walks which she adores.

She likes tucked in and she LOVES her dental bones. The dentist said they are great for plaque but it takes her days to actually chew one so she just carries it around the house with her.

We didn't set out to spoil her but she is just so dang cute.

Also happening these past few weeks...We got another couch. Ha. I think this is the 8th couch since moving to FL. And I think it will be our last (did I say that with the other 7 couches though!?!) We have realized my hips need to be completely flat to help with the pain. I knew that but I kind of thought the last reclining sofa was good enough. Nope. Completely flat. We have made money on the couches we have purchased & sold and so although this one was $400 from Craigslist, we are still "up" in the couch category.

Ikea Kivik Sofa & Chaise

Around the house...the house is basically done! I know I took "before" photos of the 2nd bathroom but I have somehow lost them and so I will just use these.

It was the last room of the house to be complete which was fine because it was overall in good shape. We hadn't planned on tearing out the vanity but my husband found a pedestal sink for $15. The toilet & shower/tub were in great shape. So he ripped out the little back splash piece and the vanity.

Then he fixed the floor which Home Depot thankfully was still selling and fixed the walls and painted. I flip flopped between deep teal and navy but ultimately it is a small bathroom and we already had light blue paint. A Home Depot "oops" paint for 50 cents was dumped into the light blue and we came up with this lovely color.
Pedestal sink: $15
Extra Tile & Mortar: $20
Mirror: left behind by our sellers
Extra plumbing pipes & supplies: $30 (pipes are pricey things!)
Medicine cabinet (shown over the toilet): $10 at a yard sale
Glass knobs: $1.50 each on Amazon and left over from another project
Shell light: free
Paint: 50 cents
Molding: found by the side of the road so free!
Shower curtain & rug: found on the side of the road so free!
Dolphin faucet: $50 - we used our anniversary gift money to pay for this
(thanks Mom! thanks Li & Dutch!)
 Overall it was a fairly inexpensive re-do and I love the results. We may look for another mirror (at a yard sale if we ever do those again (stupid body) or on the side of the road) but that is a thing that can be switched at any time because this one is just fine for now.
 The other side of the bathroom is just a blank wall and the door which I clearly didn't think interesting because I have no photos of it.

Other happenings:
We had friends stay just a few miles away last week. Thank you for coming to visit Anna Maria Island! Thank you for driving the insane 40+ hour round trip to see us! We loved seeing you and spending a couple days with you on the beach. I know you will be back next year and cannot wait!

My husband on his float.
 They stayed at our friend's condo. We found her condo when we did a home exchange many years ago. Franca has been awesome with renting to us when we vacationed here, then renting to my mom & sister and then my mom last year. Now Kristen & her kids got to use this condo.

My husband checking into the condo before Kristen & the kids got there.
From left to right, back row: Me, Kristen, Abby (a friend of Taylor's), Jessica, Taylor
From left to right, front row: Jaime, Carter & Megan

My husband pretending to do gymnastics on the beach

Abby & Taylor - REALLY doing gymnastics!

I was down for a few days after but I loved seeing them. I have really missed having friends and these kids are awesome.

Thank you Megan for the lovely aqua vase with the shells that she gifted me before they made the big drive home. I love it!

My sister also sent two fun packages this week. More homemade cards which I not only love to get but I love to send to others. And a fun little cow squeak toy for Fred.

I went to the doctors twice this past week. My pain doctor is awesome and I am blessed to have him. My right foot including my big toe stays numb about 90% of the time. I have gotten use to it and it doesn't hurt. He is also referring me to another doctor to see what he thinks. I really don't want more testing because 1. They are expensive and 2. They require me going to more doctors. But we will see what they say.

Just a random photo because doctor stuff is never interesting.

My other doctor appointment was to the psychologist. He is a new doctor and this was my second appointment with him. He is also amazing. My panic attacks and anxiety have decreased and I am putting the little tricks into practice that I am learning from him. I have only had 4 "episodes" this past month of feeling like I cannot breathe and having that dreaded heaviness on my chest. That is amazing compared to last month.

A random squirrel hanging on a tree outside our villa.

My diet continues to be raw fruit, raw veggies (though less veggies than fruit), nuts and seeds with some organic chicken thrown in. And I am having less overall joint pain. Do I miss pizza? Not really but only because I know it will cause pain. I do miss black olives though. And I may add those back in at some point and see how I do.

We found this "It Works" tape in someone's "trash" (a bunch of left over yard sale stuff set by the side of the road). It was sealed and so I picked it up. It works amazing at compressing my fingers when they ache and I want to chop them off. I don't leave it on much past my fingers turning colors but it helps.

I still have pain every day and it is shocking sometimes. I am so aware of my body. I can feel the outline of my hands and feet and I think I can sketch the nerves inside them. I am grateful that my head doesn't hurt and my back is usually okay. It gives me a point of reference because I cannot remember a time when my arms and legs didn't hurt. I know it in my brain but I cannot remember what it feels like. I tell myself "when is the last time you thought about the tip of your nose" and the answer is almost never. My limbs use to be like that. I didn't think about individual toes or the backs of my knees which are now on fire. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with CRPS. Not that long ago considering I am 36. But the pain takes over and is very isolating.

Think of when you have a bad headache (which thankfully I don't get). You are so aware of your head. You press it, you take pills, you pray it goes away as soon as possible. That is what happens. I'm so aware of my limbs. I have my husband lay on top of me, I try just about anything to stop that pain. Or override it by causing more pain. He presses the parts that can withstand touch and I tell him to press harder. He says he is scared of breaking something. Break it, I say. But he doesn't.

I plan on putting this on the back of my door so it can give me hope through the bad times.

When it is at its worst I give up. I don't try because trying means moving and I don't want to live at that point. This is not a cry for help. But I get why people cut themselves. I get it and I am so sorry for everyone who has pain this deep.

But right now the medication is helping and my pain is lessened. I have hope again.

I wish you all a day that is full of little joys and smiles.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Dog (way too many photos)

Photo credit: Rescue A Dog, Inc.
 This will be a fairly short post but I wanted to introduce you all to Callie! She is a 4 year old Maltese/Poodle mix who is also a service dog. She is about 6.5 pounds.
Photo credit: Rescue A Dog, Inc.

My husband mentioned getting a small dog several times (a lot!) over the last few months.
 My husband mentioned getting a small dog several times (a lot!) over the last few months. We finally signed up to foster small dogs in our area a few weeks ago but we were warned that small dogs go quickly and usually don't need foster homes.

We visited a local dog shop to hold a few small dogs but I knew that I didn't want to pay over $2000 for a dog nor did I want to buy a puppy. I really wanted to rescue a dog if we could.

Photo credit: Rescue A Dog, Inc.
This past Tuesday I went on local rescue sites for the first time since moving to FL. It was 9pm and there was a sweet dog who was listed that day. Callie.
 She was a service dog for those with anxiety (me!).
 I called the rescue that night thinking I would leave a message. I spoke with a kind woman who directed us to fill out an application.

We filled it out immediately and followed up the next day. They let us know that Callie was extremely popular and not to get our hopes up.
 Then we got a call to set up a "meet & greet" on Saturday.
 Yesterday we picked up Callie. She is just so sweet and we cannot believe how much we love her already.
 The rescue supplied us with some food, treats, a toy, adorable little clothes and a bunch of other stuff.
 Bare (my husband) will be heading to a pet store later today for a dog toothbrush, toothpaste (or whatever they use) and some other necessities.
 She has fit right into our (boring) routine and we watched HGTV together this morning. She mostly slept.
 I'm home almost all day every day and she will be a wonderful companion for me.
She loves our front yard & going outside. She was also pretty great when we bathed her.

Isn't she sweet?
Thank you SO much to Leanne & the people who work at Rescue A Dog, Inc. We are in love with Callie.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 2016

Hello everyone! I am feeling up to blogging which means I am doing well right now. I had a rough few weeks but the last few days have been better and I'm "catching my breath" and enjoying it.

 We've been to the beach twice in the last three weeks and it has been such a blessing to live this close.

 One day the water was super clear. There is no shock in stepping into the Gulf right now. It is warm and perfect.

 We found a free beach chair & umbrella and it is great for me. It reclines back and sits very low. My favorite thing to do at the beach is put my legs in the water and just watch the Gulf. Last week I saw a manatee swim so close and surface.

A photo from our honeymoon in 2002.
 We recently celebrated 14 years of marriage. I cannot even put into words how blessed I have been by this man. He makes me laugh every day and continually looks for ways to bless me and encourage me.

 We found a reclining wheelchair on Amazon for less than $275 which was a phenomenal deal. We've been looking for months and even used they were so pricey. The CRPS is in all four limbs and the front of my groin/hip area. Sometimes I cannot sit at all and others it hurts after a few minutes, even on pain meds. This new fancy wheelchair will recline completely flat. I've used it twice and it is SO much better.

I have been eating mostly raw food for awhile now but after watching a documentary on the Paleo diet, my husband decided to give it a try. He wanted to support me and so two weeks ago he gave up almost everything he ate and switched to produce, seeds & nuts and grass fed meat. He is finally starting to feel better after about 10 days of sugar withdrawal and I'm so proud of him.

Have I noticed a difference on the "new" diet? Yes. My joints don't hurt as badly which is wonderful. Things I eat include: bananas, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, pecans, spinach and chicken with raw honey and lemon essential oil. That is about my diet every day. I will hopefully add in harder foods once my mouth gets straightened out (another root canal is scheduled for tomorrow). I found that pineapple still bothers my body and it must be the acid. Foods I miss? Black olives!

Happenings around the house:

We hadn't planned on starting the last room (the second bathroom) for awhile but my husband ran across a pedestal sink for $15. The old vanity was fine honestly but the bathroom is small. After deciding that he could fix the tile, wall, etc etc, he purchased the pedestal sink and has thrown himself into the bathroom.
Before, without the vanity top

We posted the old vanity on OfferUp for free and it had a lot of interest. We were glad to see it being used elsewhere. He then painted the ceiling white and the walls went a shade of blue-green-gray. We thought about navy and dark teal but ultimately we had leftover light blue paint and I couldn't bring myself to spend $30 on paint. Thanks to the Home Depot Oops paint section, we purchased a small can of green paint for 50 cents and dumped that into the gallon to get the paint you now see on the walls. Perfect!
Thanks to my mom & sister for their anniversary gift!
Our free shell light! My husband pulled this out of a home that was being demoed last summer and we saved it. It is from the 1960's.
This is the current state of the bathroom. We are waiting for a faucet deck plate to install the faucet and then the pedestal sink. My husband was able to find a few of the matching tiles at Home Depot and friends had a tile cutter (thanks Mikey & Rob!) so he was able to do all the work himself.

 We took "off" from finding free stuff and yard saling for a few weeks so I don't have as many fun finds. It was a rough few weeks since I had cut back on narcotics. I do this every once in awhile because if I didn't I would just be taking more & more which is something I can control right now and don't want to do. 
You were so close to being perfect for us sofa!

We have again been looking for a sofa. The perfect sofa search never really ends here. The brown sofa is an electric reclining couch and is super comfy but it doesn't lay completely flat. And my hips would do better to lay flat. We bought it used and so I know we can sell it for more than we paid.

This Ikea blue sofa was perfect. It had a section I could lay down on and wasn't hard to get up from since it was low. We paid $157 for it. The previous owner washed a few of the cushions with Downy and the thing reeked of it. (Sorry to all those that like the smell of Downy) I don't care for strong smells and so my husband took off every piece of material and we washed it. It turns out that Downy really sticks around. It was so bad that I didn't consider keeping it and we sold it the next day for $240.

Some random selfies. The first photo I'm wearing make-up. Oooo. Fancy! I have been dealing with some dentist/mouth issues and have found that looking nice directly relates to being treated better at the endodonist. Do I like it? Absolutely not. But I have one more appointment there and I need to be taken seriously when I say that my tooth has pain. Once they took me seriously, they found a 4th canal in my tooth which was missed with the first root canal. Another will be done tomorrow and I am looking forward to that tooth not being in pain. I then have one more crown and a few fillings and I may be done with my teeth for awhile. Yippee!

Florida weather makes me smile. Almost every summer evening it pours and we have fantastic thunderstorms.

See that little dog butt? We have been thinking about a dog for awhile. We signed up to be a foster family for small dogs but they get adopted very quickly. This dog butt belongs to a neighbor who let us borrow him for awhile. He was adorable...and too fast for a photo! 

Last night we were checking the pet shelters and came across a dog named Callie who would be perfect for us. She is a service dog for those with anxiety and is a Maltese mix. She is 6.5 pounds and so cute.
There has been a lot of interest in Callie but we did fill out an application. If we aren't able to adopt her we will keep looking.
My husband leaves me a note each day. We are both hoping to hear something about Callie soon :)

Outside our house we have a front & side "yard". Thankfully the side yard is completely paved. Our front yard was mostly dirt when we moved in and my husband has been also working on that. Yesterday he put pavers under the fence (so if we get a dog he can run around) and sand over the dirt. Eventually he will put pavers over the sand but I am really liking the sand look. 

Some book recommendations that I have read & loved recently. These have no sex, no cursing, no violence and were great.

My husband sings at retirement communities almost every day and this was a few weeks ago. It makes me happy to look at him with Doris, one of the residents. He printed the photo and will be bringing it to her when he sings there next.

Thanks for reading and for all your encouragement, support and comments! They truly bless my soul.