Saturday, May 28, 2016

Too Many Interests...

Some days, I really have to take a step back and take stock in what I am really trying achieve these days.  Last week, I took on taking three art classes and felt horrible about the time I spent away from the house.  Mainly, I should be doing other things than going out and spending time away from the dogs or doing the much needed cleaning.

However, there is just so much I would love to do.  I would like to be a better artist to a certain degree.  I mean, when I took the classes, I was able to "escape" to another place.  Work and home problems simply left my mind as I focused on what I was trying to do.

The other thing is that I end up finding myself in a rut.  Generally, I feel this is my life:

Get up in the morning and walk the dogs
Return and clean them up
Get their medications placed into their favorite treats as well as prepare fresh water and food
Give the dogs their meds, food, and water.
Check work e-mails to see if there is anything "hot" that needs my attention
Get cleaned up
Work (whether I go into the office or work from home)
Walk the dogs after work has completed
Clean them up when we return
Try to determine what I am going to eat for the evening, but I have to make sure that they have fresh water and food again
Walk the dogs and clean them up before going to bed

Just this week, I ended up working from home due to various things.  I ended up skipping breakfast because my mornings were so crazy with the dogs and work.  In the evenings, I would go lie down with the dogs because they wanted that attention, so I may end up falling asleep, reading, and maybe watching TV.  Due to that, I would eat dinner at an ungodly hour.

Dogs are not to blame for this - I am.  I am allowing this to happen and I am trying to break some bad habits, but it is really difficult to do.  However, I feel badly when I do not get an opportunity to work on cleaning the apartment.  My biggest headache to prevent me from getting things cleaned has been my back.  Sometimes, the pain can be so intense that I cannot bear to stand up much longer.

I do not like what is happening to me.  It bothers me to no end.  My goal is to take some time to evaluate what I am doing wrong and figure out how to gain myself some time to do those things that interest me without ignoring the dogs.  Their life on this earth is shorter than mine.  However, I also need to feed my soul as well.  

Last night, I laid in bed and thought.  I have to do something about the weight.  Exercising is just not happening and I am doing really horribly with eating properly.  I want to lose weight, but not for the sake of vanity.  I want to lose weight so that my back will quit hurting.  Get the weight off so that I can walk the dogs longer and they appreciate that time.  Today, I feel awful because we cannot enjoy the time together due to the back pain.

I am incredibly grateful that my knee pain has subsided tremendously, but I do have my fear of it returning.  Even worse, that my other knee will have the same trouble.  I just hate going through all of this.

So my reasons for doing all of this is not for vanity's sake, but just for my own sanity.  At some point, I have to figure out the better routine.              

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting the Best Deal...

Earlier this week, a co-worker was having his 15 year service anniversary luncheon.  During a discussion with another co-worker on our way back to work, I mentioned about getting a pair of Skechers slide-on shoes.  I had pointed out the closest Skechers retail store off the freeway.  My co-worker/friend acknowledged the store, then said, "I could go here rather than the outlet store off of Stacy Road in Allen."  At that point, I made the comment stating that I had not been fortunate enough to find anything at the outlet stores that I liked or was even less than what was sold in the stores.  My friend agreed.  My biggest gripe was that the Coach outlet usually carried those items that did not sell well.  I never found any of the purses I really liked, so I ended up paying retail prices for what I wanted.  It was rather disappointing.

This Saturday, after paying the bills and sorting out my budget, I decided to give the outlet mall another chance.  I headed to Stacy Road and it took awhile to find the Skechers outlet store.  Upon my entrance, I noticed that the Coach store had relocated and was displaying another 20% off all sales in the store.  I figured I might go in and see if there was anything that would interest me.  First, I needed to locate the Skechers store - that was why I was there.

I ended up having to drive to the other end of the outlet mall to get to the Skechers store.  When I went inside, there were plenty of shoes, but people were constantly bumping into me or making me move.  It was a difficult time just trying to look for what I wanted.  

I wanted Skechers because they provided a wide width shoe.  I found slip-on shoes that I wanted, but had a very difficult time locating the size I needed.  One of the reasons I hate shoe shopping at those places - cannot locate what you need.

It became apparent that the wide widths were out of stock.  I may go to a regular store and check that out next time.  However, the buy one and get one 50% off was a decent enough deal.  I ended up leaving the store with three pairs of shoes.  Two for me to wear out and about and one pair to leave outside my apartment door for walking the dogs.  I do that, so that I do not track in anything gross.  With that experience, I walked out of there thinking - You may not want to do this again.  You might be better off going to the actual retail store for such shoes.  

Next was the trip to look into Coach.  As I walked into the store, I noticed the cute satchel like purses I had wanted to buy not too long ago.  I just could not justify the $298 price tag.  However, the purses were now on sale for $129 and an additional 20% off.  Well, that is a price one cannot overlook.  I picked up one in black and another in a pretty blue.  I was able to get a matching blue wallet for a low price as well.

For once, I finally got a great deal at the Coach outlet.  The trip into Coach also helped me realize that the two totes I got from Dillard's needed to be returned.  During the week, I had tried one and unfortunately, my back could not handle the bulky tote.  Also, I could not easily put the tote into my desk and I ended up having to leave it out.  The only thing that closes the tote is a single snap.  I thought - it is really cute, but quite honestly, it is not working out for me.  So rather than continuing to pay for them, I will return them and that money can go for paying off the two Coach purses I bought.

So, sometime this week, I will be returning the two totes I purchased.  I still  have the box that Dillard's sent to me, so I can use that.  Some time today, I will run by Office Depot for some graphing paper, so I will pick up some tape and so forth for that effort.

What a surprise!  I found a purse that I really wanted in the outlet for once.  Furthermore, I got a great deal on it as well.  Perhaps, there is some hope there.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Emotional Rollercoaster...

Sometimes, this emotional rollercoaster comes out of nowhere and for no real reason, then wrecks my life for a week or two.  Once it is over, life is normal until it hits again.  Needless to say, I do not handle it well.

Going back to work on Monday from a week off is already a chore.  It is just a normal way of life, I suppose.  People never properly plan, then their poor planning requires an emergency on your part.  No surprise that I had so much to handle when I returned to work.  Their poor planning and communication really agitates me because a lot of this could be handled earlier when they know they have to get this stuff done.  Best excuse I get - I am really busy.  Yeah?  So am I - thanks for dumping work on me.

On the positive side, one needs to be thankful for work.  It is not that I mind the work - most of it is filling out forms and such.  However, I hate it when they bring it to me when it was due days before and no chance for you to review.  My other disgust is when I have done the work in the past and it is now someone else's job, but it is okay to dump it on me again.

Next, came the doctor/counselor/dietician/PT scheduling.  It was insane!  At the doctor's office at 8:30, back at 1:00 and again at 3:00 - all in the same day!!!  What happened?  I freaked out in a panic attack and canceled all appointments I had for the week.  It was crazy and with all of the added work that was labeled "emergency", I had no time to get anything done.  Heaven forbid - I was on conference calls that last hours and I had to pay attention to what was going on because someone was always dropping me in the middle of it. 

In the evenings, I had scheduled an introduction to painting and drawing on Monday and Tuesday this week.  On Friday, I went to do Painting With A Twist.  I had some escape with the creative classes, but the Friday class had me near tears.  I really wanted to work on a painting that I could be proud.  My back was causing me a lot of grief and the others in the room were really just playing around.  I had a difficult time focusing, but the instructor took pity on me and tried to help me with my painting.  It is a lovely painting, but when I got to my car, which I had to park far away, I sat there and cried.  All of the trying so hard and just not getting what I wanted out of it was getting the better of me.  Of course, my back was no help.

I decided I would eat dinner before returning home.  I tried a new restaurant that was next door to the Painting with a Twist shop.  The waitress was very kind to me.  However, my mood sank even further due to this one person on FB.  Someone had visited an area close to where I live.  Hardly anyone from the crowd ever comes this way and when they do, I am excited to see it.  I had mentioned a restaurant, then said that the food was really good overall, but the queso was pretty runny.  Another friend, who is pretty much always a jerk, just touched my buttons one time too many.  Had to make a comment that the friend had already posted about that.  I said how so when I had not seen it, so the person posts "I will let you figure that out."

At that point, the tears welled up in my eyes and I tried hard not to break down in the restaurant.  I could not finish my meal, so the waitress boxed it up and I went to my car after paying the bill.  I sat there and cried and cried.  

All of my life - I have done nothing but treat people kindly.  I was bullied for a better part of my formative years.  One person from when I was in elementary school actually apologized to me for her bullying me when we were in school together.  However, others seem to think that it is just okay to continue being jerks, then hide behind - I was just joking with you.  You know what, sometimes, the joking gets to be too much.

There is always some jacked up comment when I post about the Dallas Stars, Mavericks, any postings with food or so forth.  Why in the hell is it that we are at this age, yet, cannot seem to get past bullying people?  I was completely fed up with it, so I deleted my comments I had posted and said - Fuck this!

It really hurt my feelings, then this morning, that jerk thinks it is okay to hide behind - You know I was just joking.  NO - I don't!  I am tired of it.  I have done nothing but respect you on-line and in real life.  However, you have crossed a line with me.  It may take awhile for me to cool off, but at this time, it is not acceptable.

I am tired of people thinking that it is okay to walk all over me.  It is not acceptable.  I am a person just like you.  I have feelings as well.  I do not ever kick you when you are down and support you when you achieve things you have worked hard to receive.  However, if you feel that getting your kicks or being able to be awesome by kicking me will get you anywhere, think again.

I am just damn lucky I do not have to face this person every day.  

Perhaps, I am overreacting, but that is what I mean by my emotions get the better of me all of the time.  If you catch me at the wrong time, a joke is no longer a joke.  I treat everyone with respect and damn it, I deserve the same in return.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Make Up - Charlotte Tilbury...

Awhile back, I saw an advertisement on different looks created by Charlotte Tilbury.  I was curious, so I selected "Uptown Girl" kit.  I tried it back in December, but I cannot remember for sure how it came off or not.  I think my mind was elsewhere at the time.

However, it was time to go to another gathering.  I thought about putting on make up.  The weather was cooler than usual for May.  Also, there was no humidity.  When I attended the season finale show of Oral Fixation, the air was hot and humid.  I had wanted to put on some make up for the evening, but with the dogs and not feeling all that great, I realized it would be a waste.  Make up during hot and humid days means it will just melt off my face.  That is never good and makes one feel even worse.

But, yesterday, it was very cool and I felt a bit more energized.  I managed to get cleaned up, then sat down and started putting on the make up.  I covered up the red areas on my face with coverage and used eye brightener to play down the dark areas around my eyes.  Then, I put on make up primer over my face.  Once that was done, I used my normal Lancome foundation over my face and moved down my neck.

Next, I used Charlotte Tilbury "Cheek to Chic - Love Glow" blush.  There are two blush colors - outer and inner circle.  You are to swish your blush brush around the blushes, then "pop" the brush in the center to get that "pop" on your cheeks.  The blush makes a very nice glow - nothing that glares out at you.

Next, I work on my eyes using "The Uptown Girl" color palette.  The colors are numbered and it states "1. Prime 2. Enhance 3. Smoke 4. Pop"  The colors are fairly neutral, but very pretty and shimmery.  I covered the entire lid with Prime.  Next, using a crease brush, I dotted, then blended the Enhance in the crease or eye socket area.  From there, I swept a bit of the Smoke from the corner of my eye into the crease a bit using the same crease brush.  Not all of the color in the crease, but just 1/4 of the way.  I did not use the Pop, but if you wanted, you could just put your ring finger in the shadow, then press the color into the center of your lid.

I always line my eyes using a liquid eye liner.  While I had bought a liquid liner, I decided to use "The Classic" in Audrey.  It is a gorgeous rich brown color, but what I really loved about it was that it was perfect for lining my eyes.  Usually, when I use pencil liner, I have this space between the liner and the lashes.  I do not like that, but not with this pencil.  The color melted a bit into the lash area and that really made my eyes pop.  I lined both the top and bottom of my eyes.

I use Anastasia's brow pencil for forming and filling in my brows.  I have really enjoyed using that brand for my brows because it works so well.

Charlotte's mascara, unfortunately, does not fatten up my lashes.  It took a lot to get the look I was going for with my lashes, so I was a bit disappointed with that.

Next, I used Too Faced lip primer - that stuff has done wonders with keeping my lipstick and glosses in place - no feathering.  Using Charlotte's lip liner - lip cheat in Pink Venus, I lined my lips, then applied Charlotte's K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in Bitch Perfect (What a fun color name!)  It is a really pretty soft pink.  Since it was an evening affair, I applied the lip gloss, Lip Lustre in Sweet Stiletto, to complete the look.

Overall, I was very impressed with this brand of make up.  I also have the matte lipstick that Charlotte suggests to compliment this look, if one likes a matte lip.  I like to do that from time to time.

Here is a link for this look by Charlotte Tilbury - I think she will become a popular name in make up here in the US soon - very nice collection:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Weather and Me...

 Maybe I just need to accept it:  I am about to go through menopause.

My blood sugar numbers are fairly regular, so that is a good thing.  However, these personal "heat waves" I experience are really dragging me.  I feel tired a lot of the time, but I also attribute that to the pain killers and dealing with the back pain.  

Next, I sweat.  I sweat so much so that when I attempted to dry my hair yesterday, it just would not dry.  The back of my head remained soaking wet, so I just pulled my hair back into a pony tail.  I hate to do that because it gives off a rather harsh, run-down look to me.  Furthermore, you can forget wearing any make-up.  Nothing more frustrating than putting on make-up and having it just melt off your face.

My period was already pretty irregular, but now, I am completely off schedule.  I got something that resembled a period two weeks off schedule, but was so light, I worried that something else was wrong.  This past period crept up on me without much warning, but it only lasted 3 days.  Normally, it would be 5-7 days.

I came back into my apartment about 45 minutes ago from walking the dogs.  I was sweating and the apartment felt really warm.  However, the temperature in the apartment is 69-70 degrees.  Good grief...

My face still feels really warm and man, the ice water tastes really good.  I figure, maybe the best way to cool off is to drink ice water.

I am not sure what else could be the issue with my body, but I do realize that I am now a woman of a "certain age."  This is going to happen no matter what.  Times like these, I just wish my mother was alive to ask her questions about all of this.  

The piece I really hate and the main reason I see a counselor is that I snap fairly quickly.  When things/plans to do not go as planned, I snap.  I just want things to go perfectly - I have major issues dealing with stuff that just happens - as I know it will do - it always does.  

At some point, all of this will settle down.  I just wonder how else I can survive the internal weather changes?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Upcoming Mother's Day...

Every year, since my mother's passing, I figure out some way to manage through every Mother's Day.  It had not even been a year, maybe close to 6 months since my mother's passing, where I stood in Walgreens and just cried in the card section.  Not even sure why I was standing there, but I remember seeing all of the Mother's Day cards and just started crying.

I thought I might get past it this year, but apparently, that just was not going to happen.  As fate would have it, I went to see the counselor and she brought it up during our discussions.  She asked if my father and I ever did anything for Mother's Day since my mother's death.  Truth - never did one thing.  I know he will be spending Mother's Day with his girlfriend and her kids will be over to celebrate Mother's Day.  I resent the hell out of that.

It makes me feel that my mother just never existed and she did.  For at least, 43 years of my life, my mother was there.  She was the one who took care of me and worried about me and how I was doing.  In the past few weeks, I would wake up gasping for air, then freak out about what would happen if I were to die in my sleep.  Who would know?  Who checks up on me?  

It was at that point I tried to text my father each day.  I tried to explain to him that there was one thing I took for granted - my mother would call me every day to make sure I was okay when I moved out of my parents house.  I miss those crazy voice mails she would leave on my phone - making jokes or calling out to Bo to tell him that grandma loved him and to piss on his mother for not answering the phone when she called.

I would give anything for my mom to be here and no longer in pain or feeling angry.  I loved to make her laugh and smile.  Now, I just miss her so much, especially when I am scared and not sure what to do.  I miss that comfort I had with her and wished I had never taken that for granted.

So, for all of you who still have your mothers or are mothers, have a beautiful day and love your mother as you have not done in the past.  Your mother is only on this earth for a certain amount of time.  If you do not take the time to spend with her, you need to do so. Otherwise, you will be just as sad as me and wishing you had never taken it for granted that she would always be there.  She won't.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

More Tech Joy...

People have been telling me that they have issues when they call me on my cell phone and I use my Plantronics ear piece.  So yesterday, I picked up an LG headset.  I am going to try that out, but the around the neck is a bit tight.  I am going to see if the second set of stabilizers will fix that issue.

I also picked up a new set of iPhone ear buds that will allow me to talk on the phone.  I seem to have lost my original set, but it was time to get a new pair after frequent use.  However, while I was there, I came across something I just had to have.

In all fairness, last year, I bought a Bose Soundlink color portable speaker.  I absolutely love that speaker.  Granted, it stays in my bathroom, but that is because I enjoy streaming the radio and listening.  So, while I was at Best Buy, I thought to look at another speaker.  I recently got a subscription to Audible because I enjoy reading, but sometimes, I enjoy someone reading to me.  I could have bought another speaker, but I decided to get another speaker.  This Bose speaker allows me to stream Audible and other programs.  However, I can also use it to answer phone calls.  If I am lying in bed or in the bedroom doing something, this can come in very handy.

I hope to say more about it later in the week when I have experimented with the speaker more.

During the week, my current monitor finally bit the dust.  It would refuse to start properly.  I had been having issues with it for several months, but now, it was just done.

I put in its place an old 19" monitor I had.  It is a nice monitor, but I like using it with my Linux system.  However, I have the 32" Samsung TV that I gave to my father a few Christmas holidays ago.  Since he is no longer living at the old house, he had no room for it where he is living now.  I am considering setting that up for use as a monitor.  Now, the really cool thing is that I could get the KVM set up I have between my personal laptop and the work laptop connected to one port.  Next, I can connect up the Raspberry PI to another port.  

If this works out as I think it should, this will be really awesome.  I will have a huge display area to work with as well as keeping three PCs connected at one time.  I am scheduled to take vacation after this week.  I have a lot of things I need to get done around the apartment and that will be one, if I do not get it done this week.

Playing with OneNote...

I am sitting here taking a College Algebra refresher course on-line.  I did not do too well on the pre-exam.  Mainly because I allowed myself to be distracted for that hour and half.  That is okay.  It is always good to go back over things you know.

However, I am using OneNote to put in my notes and so forth.  The coolest thing ever - I used my mouse to write in my equations and it transcribed it into the notes as I needed.  Wow - no funky keyboard key selections and what have you.  That was really awesome.

I know that I can get OneNote to read scribes from an iPad.  It is a definite for the Surface.

Right now, I am letting my pain medication to take effect before I start working on dinner.  I think I tweaked my back yesterday while running all of my errands.  I know when I got up this morning, it was really stiff.  Once the pain medication takes effect. I can get dinner on its way.

I just had to write about that little function because it was so nice to have.  I could use that for more than just equations.

Support Systems...

A few days ago, someone I know from high school posted news that worried him regarding his diabetes.  When I talked with him, his A1C was 9.8.  He was scared and I knew why.  Earlier this year, a mutual friend passed away.  He had liver issues and his diabetes was out of control.  I have no idea of what this friend's A1C was, but when he passed away, I freaked out.  I knew that this had to be part of this person's fear.

I remembered that for days I had prayed that our mutual friend would get through this -  hoping the friend would get well enough to get out of the hospital.  I wanted to help, but in the end, his body took a turn for the worse and he was gone.  I remember crying because I felt I could have done more for him.

So, when my friend told me his A1C was 9.8, the first thing I told him was "Don't freak."  It was something that my mother told me.  My first day at diabetes education, I learned how to properly measure my blood sugar.  That day, my blood sugar was 330 in the morning.  The nurse asked me if I had already spoken to my doctor about this.  I suppose I had since my doctor referred me to the diabetes education course and started me on metformin.  However, having the nurse say that to me unnerved me.

It scared me to the point was worrying and crying.  I went home and started talking to my mother.  She told me to calm down and remember:  If it is really bad, they will put you into the hospital.  Part of having high blood sugar is stress.  Of course, you will have stress when someone freaks you out.

So, I went on to tell this friend about my highest A1C.  It was 13.2.  That is right - my daily blood sugar was ranging between 250-400.  My first day at Diabetes America, they took my blood sugar and A1C.  The educator was freaking out about my blood sugar being 454.  I simply sat calmly as she was running all about making a huge deal.  Finally, she started trying to get me upset by badgering me about why I was not upset over the number.  I looked her straight in the eye and said "I know my blood sugar is high.  I am here to get help.  I thought that was what you were supposed to do - help me and I would remain calm."

That put the woman in a different place.  I looked up to the heavens and thanked my mother for her words that always calm me.  "It will be okay."  "Just be calm and relax."  So, I reminded my friend that while an A1C of 9.8 seems really horrible, he needs to look at it as a starting point.  Now, he can start adjusting his diet, activity, and even the meds.  He needs to work with an endocrinologist to help him with the medications.

I made the effort to reach out to this friend not because I was nosy.  I did it because I knew he was freaking out for the same reason I was freaking out.  Someone we both knew - he closer than me - died of this disease.  I feel comfortable being this person support. Mainly because he is not going to ask me to teach him.  He and I both know what we are to do and understand the myths vs the truth.  I know he has taken the education courses and he is not going to act like an authority of knowledge.  We are both struggling, but for me, it is easier to help when people are both on the same level.

For me, it is one thing to be supportive of someone who has the same disease as me.  It is good to know these people and share in their trials and tribulations because you do not feel alone.  However, I am not really good with teaching someone who feels that they know more than me or points out areas that are truly myths and not the truth.

I am making the efforts to learn as much as I can about managing my disease and am pretty open to hearing different ideas.  However, I believe that it is my responsibility to make sure I eat properly - not the wait staff or someone else - me.