Category Archives: Life Lessons in 30 minutes

Wrap It Up

Here’s a secret about me: I’m really, really messy.

Oh, wait. That is actually the opposite of a secret – as anyone who has ever been to my house can attest to. Whatever, no one’s perfect.  At work, I do just fine. My space is usually clean, I can use the requisite two towels per shift (most of the time) and I always clean my sinks and sweep the floor on my way out.

But yeah, I tend to be a bit of a hurricane… especially in the kitchen at home.

So here is one very small trick I employ in order to keep some of my home kitchen equipment clean… Plastic wrap! Cheap, fairly durable and easy to peel off and toss when you are finished. I wrap the bottom of my hand mixer with it, poke the beaters through and go to town. When I’m done, I peel it off and tada! A nice, clean mixer. I use this wrapped around the underside of my stand mixer as well and it works beautifully.

Just make sure it isn’t blocking any necessary air vents or anything. That might be bad. Not that I would know anything about that.



2012 or “The Year I Get To Explain To My Kids That The World Is Not Going To End. Probably.”

Its a new year! Last year was… eventful. Stressful. But, still good. And ended on a high note.  I got sick, my husbands work dwindled, my job sucked. My niece was born, I got better, my husband picked up a new client and business boomed, I got a new job.

My kids got older. We faced some motivation/follow through challenges with Ozzie and watched him begin to mature into a responsible, thoughtful human being. (That is, and will remain a work in progress, I have no doubt.) Ivy’s best friend moved away. I’m still trying to figure out how to parent them without turning into a shrieking harpy most days. Sometimes I lock myself in my room. Sometimes they astonish me by how caring and funny and amazing they are.

My cat had kittens and then got hit by a car. We got to go to my cousins wedding in Sand Diego… which was seriously the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to. I got to dance with my husband. My brothers and I took intentionally awkward photos for my parents Christmas gift.

My grandfather died, horribly. My grandmother got dementia and my relationship with her changed… I am learning a lesson in what it means to get older, what it means to watch someone lose themself and be powerless to do anything about it. And to love them anyway.

I spent too much money and not enough time outdoors.  I got a kindle. I made new friends and got reacquainted with old ones. I realized it may be nearly impossible to run a business and work full time and raise children and have anything resembling a moment of down time.

I put my thrifting/yard sale habit to good use.  I forced myself to talk to strangers. I tried to be good.

And now its on to the next.

In Case You Haven’t Noticed, I’m Kind of Terrible…

… at keeping up with things I start. I am terrible at other things too, a lot of things. In fact I’m kind of good at being terrible at things. Now my head hurts.

So yeah. The rest of the kidney stone story. I’m honestly so sick of it all and it makes me feel powerless and hopeless. Suffice it to say, after 3 surgeries I’m mostly better. I have a lot of my energy back. I am able to work and have begun exercising again. I have pretty much constant kidney pain, but its more the “grin and bear it and take some ibuprofen if it gets really bad” than climbing the walls awful pain.

I also have three stones in my right kidney and one in my left, just hanging out and scaring the bejeezus out of me at every twinge. I have no idea when they will come out, if they will come out or if I am slowly turning into a Golem. My doctor is not great, but through all of this I have unfortunately experienced that most doctors are complete asshats.  The nurses? Most of them were awesome. I have to go back in December and see if anything has grown/moved and then I suppose we will go from there.

Mostly, I am  just enjoying being functional and not throwing up all the time.

So, I am going to try and remember to write here, about far more interesting things. Like how my husband and I watched a wasp paralyze a giant spider for over an hour last week.

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The Nightmare Begins

On December 23, 2011 I was at work, busy as a bee. I’d woken up that morning with back pain, but since I’m the lucky inheritor of my families sucktastick back problems, that was nothing new. Pop a few Advil, go about my business and pray that I’ll still be able to walk in the evening… this routine is all too familiar to me. But this time it just kept getting worse. And I felt like I had to pee, constantly. At first I would be able to go, but not much was coming out. Ok, I’ve had bladder and kidney infections before. No biggie. Drink a bunch of water and plan to pick up a UTI test kit on my way home.  An hour or so later, the pain is getting wicked. I’m doing Lamaze breathing and debating telling my boss I need to head home. I take a break, use the bathroom and am greeted by a toilet bowl full of blood. Well. That’s new.

I call my Dr. who says to come in as soon as I can. I leave work, make it to the doctors office and give them a urine sample that looks like koolaid. At this point I’m starting to sweat, I’m nauseous and I would do terrible things for some pain medication. My doctor finally comes in and tells me he thinks I have a kidney stone. He offers to give me something for the pain, but really wants me to go across the street to the emergency room where they can send me for a CT scan and manage my pain better. At this point I’m starting to feel like I might be dying, and the sight of all that blood has me a little panicky. I call Jason and head to the ER.

Getting into a room at the ER was about an hour long wait. Not terrible. Except that in the meantime I’m writhing around, trying not to groan and moan and scream  and visiting the little girls room every few minutes to either pee blood or puke. Good times.

I finally get into a room. Another hour or two passes before one of the Dr’s has time to see me. We will call him Disco Doc in this story, because the dude was wearing his scrub top pulled down low enough so everyone could bask in the glory of his sparse chest hair and the shiny gold necklace he had on. Disco Doc was immediately “concerned” about me. 1. I have no insurance. 2. The lab has told him that I do not, in fact, have any blood in my urine.  And 3. The pain and sensations I am describing are not in the right areas to indicate kidney stones. (I mentioned before I have problems with back pain right? So for me, any pain in that area seems to trigger all the muscles in my back to go “woohoo! pain partaaayy!” and start spasming up willy nilly. I was having flank pain, it was just hard to differentiate at the time. And not to mention I AM STILL IN HORRIBLE PAIN.)

In order to address number two, I asked to doctor to stay in the room, grabbed a sample cup and my husband and went to the bathroom to fill that sucker up. (I can’t really address number one with going into how completely screwed up our medical system is and well, that is a whole other post.) I brought it back to Disco Doc, who looked at it and decided that maybe the lab had made a mistake. And that maybe they could go ahead and give me something for the pain now.

Which was nice, since I was to be waiting in that room for another 3 hours before he came back to tell me yeah, I might have a kidney stone.  Another hour passes and he brings in an ultrasound machine and indeed finds stones. He doesn’t mention how big they are, but says he thinks they will probably pass… drink lots of water, here’s a few pain pills, call your doctor is you have any complications.

Knowing what I know now, I should have asked for a CT scan. But honestly, Disco Doc gave me the creeps and I really just wanted to go home.

A few days later I passed a tiny stone. I felt better, so I assumed the other ones had passed but were too small to see. I saved it, thinking it would be a souvenir of the one time I got kidney stones.


Stay tuned for my next installment: The Evil Returns

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Hello world!

I wanted to kick this blog off with something warm and fuzzy, perhaps a kitten video to gently ease a new reader into the mayhem of my life. But, no.

Because right now, my life is not a place for kitten videos. (Ok, sometimes it is. often.)  No. Right now I want to write about kidney stones. Stupid, meaningless kidney stones and the mayhem they have wrought in my life.

But,  it’s 11 o’clock. I’m tired. So come visit me tomorrow and enjoy a wonderful tale of intrigue, adventure, madness and KIDNEY STONES!!!

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