Archive for March, 2008

Kidney Stones — what joy!

I passed my first kidney stone more than 35 years ago.  After the first one, it was 8 years until the next.  Slowly they became closer together.  Last year I passed 5 or 6 (I lost count).  Four months ago I had a clear x-ray for both kidneys which gave me hope that I would have at least a year with no stones.  Unfortunately, that’s not to be.   At least this one passed almost painlessly.  Just a couple of moments of “hey, what was that??”.   I can feel that there’s another one brewing on the right side.  I hope it passes as easily. 

Last year the docs found I had a mildly elevated level of calcium in my blood.  My stones are calcium oxlate, so more calcium is not good.  Elevated calcium also affect my ability to think — noticably so.  I’ve made quilts for almost as long as I’ve had kidney stones, so I certainly know how to follow patterns and can piece anything.  When my calcium is high, I sometimes get frustrated in trying to piece a block and just can’t figure out how to put it together.  I just have to acknowledge my frustration, and try again the next day.    

Friday, I got up, showered, dressed and drove to my applique group meeting at Janice’s.  Only problem was that the meeting isn’t until THIS Friday!!   And, now today, I have a new kidney stone.  Wonder if my calcium is high again.    I’ll know later this week.  This morning, my doctor had a bunch of blood work drawn.  It’s time for my 6 month checkup on calcium, vitamin D, parathyroid, thyroid, etc.   Six months ago, testd showed I had almost no Vitamin D which regulates blood calcium and sends it into the bones.  I’ve been taking 1000 iu of D daily, drinking Vit D milk and trying to get out in the sun more.    Seems like it might not be enough.

Here’s a picture of the stone — looks like your average rock, except it’s got spikes and sharp corners.   It’s fairly small (since it passed without significant pain).  It’s a bit smaller than the size of the white ball on top of some pins.  The pictures I took with a pin all came out blurry.   You can see some of the sharp edges in the shadow. 

 dscn0243.jpg

I’ve got pain meds on hand so if the one that’s brewing decides to fight it’s way out, I’m prepared!!  I’ve been in too many emergency rooms waiting for meds,  now all I do is take two oxys and call the doc in the morning!

Las Cruces Market

Last week we were in Las Cruces with our Chapparal RV group and had a long, relaxing rest.  On Saturday morning, vendors set up tables along a downtown walking mall.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera.  There were so many wonderful, local art pieces to choose from — thankfully, most of them take only cash, so when we were out of moola, we had to quit spending!   We did pick up business cards for a couple of other items though.  Here’s our haul, first a wreath made of yucca pods: 

Yucca Pods

Yucca Pod Wreath

I’m still looking for the perfect place to hang it. 

And here’s hubby’s finds, a hanger for our hummingbird feeder and a bit of homemade jam:

Hummingbird Feeder Hangerdscn0172.jpg

The gal who made the jam told me she keeps 500 pounds of sugar on hand and replenishes her stock when she finds it on sale.  She also buys her jars in 50 case loads, and pectin in 25 pound boxes.  She freezes fruit when it’s available so she can make jam when she’s ready.   I can’t imagine putting up that much jam. 

Vista vs. Turbo Tax Update

For those of you who land here searching for a solution to problems loading Turbo Tax 2007 on a computer running Vista here’s how I did it. 

I restarted Windows in Safe Mode and then installed Turbo Tax.  I had also disabled Windows Defender and Firewall prior to the restart.  Turbo Tax installed smoothly and then I restarted  Windows normally and enabled Defender and Firewall.  I did my taxes this morning and all went well. 

I’m disappointed that neither Turbo Tax nor Microsoft had this simple solution on their sites — it would have saved me a bunch of frustration.  

Good Luck to you — if it works for you, come back and let me know.

Pinata Piecing Completed

Thankfully the hard part is done!  Now I’ll take a week or so to figure out how to quilt it.  I’ll have to pin those points out of the way while I do the borders and probably turn it also. 

Pinata Piecing Completedscn0152.jpg

Binding and Baking

Love me Knot

Love me Knot

Here’s the finished pics of Love me Knot.  It’s about 51″ square.  I’m really happy with how it finished.  This is my first two-color quilt, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last. 

Today I worked on Piñata.  I’m putting the final border on with the prairie points.  I have the points basted to the border segments, but on the last one I realized that if I measured two inches between points, they would all be spaced just right — so now I have to unbaste and readjust the first three.   

Also today, I baked a couple of loaves of banana nut bread.  I used a recipe I found online which called for 1 1/2 cups of sour cream and some banana schnapps.  I had 1 cup of sour cream so I threw in a bit of yogurt and I substituted Kahlua for the schnapps.   I figure I usually eat banana nut bread with coffee, so Kahlua should be good.  I also substituted pecans for walnuts.  Breakfast is going to be yummy tomorrow!