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I got a simple email from my dearest friend in the world. We’ve known each other since childhood and stay connected with quick texts and emails, never feeling any distance with time apart. She had a quote at the end of her email that expresses my belief that we all have the power to add positivity:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” - Anne Frank

This Glassybaby arrived in the mail from a couple other treasured friends. It came with a note that shared the added goodwill that was spread with the purchase of the lovely candle, and the warmth it has added to my life.

My Glassybaby obsession began 5 years ago when my friend gave me one for my birthday and I blogged about it back in 2008 under Great Gifts. These babies glow in my home renewing my senses and connecting me to cherished friends.

Share some light today.

Karen

Look no further. I’m obsessed. Trust me, I’ve searched. This one makes you feel like you actually aren’t hiding anything. The plaited detail is generous and the back is low and sexy. You may have had to say goodbye to the two piece after surgery, but you’ll be back in the swim with this one. It’s spendy but worth the investment if you have a holiday or summer poolside plans ahead.

True to size. Double check the sizing since it’s from Australia. See you at the beach!

Details and images courtesy of Trixan Body.

More about this fabulous swimsuit:

  • A real summer shimmer that will give you that longed-for beach glow, the Shimmer story is available in luscious fruity colours.
  • The Shimmer Maillot with plaited detail offers feminine styling and a stunning low back.It is one of Trixan Body’s favourites from this Seafolly range.
  • Beautifully made, the design features a plait or braid detail down the length of the body and plaited straps.
  • Cups can be removed depending on the look you’re after and cup size.
  • Straps are convertible which can be worn as a halter or as a cross back and then tied in a bow.
  • Simply gorgeous.
  • Fabric: 80% nylon and 20% elastane.
    Nifty video showing the suit on a model walking down the runway. Let me know what you think.

Charming and Meaningful

Just when I thought I needed to toss out all of my bits and pieces from broken jewelry, game pieces and odd keys, I met an artist who puts it all together into wearable art!

Margo Estruth of Charmed Vintage makes handmade soldered charm necklaces and bracelets with vintage objects.  I found Margo in Scottsdale at an art fair but she showcases her work on Etsy.

If someone you love is in the hospital, or facing the emotional challenges of recovering from life altering surgery, giving the gift of positivity is refreshing. Gather up some meaningful items and make a customized gift – it’ll outlast flowers and be a reminder of brighter days ahead.

Traveling in England (with an ostomy!) and thinking I’m really funny…

So here we are screaming through January and at the beginning of week #3 already! I want to blog more this year and focus on real life tips and less about anecdotal stories (and random postings as demonstrated with photo above). I’ll likely do a combination of both since I tend to write without too much forethought and enjoy sharing fun photos. When I think about trying to deliver informative content, I lose my momentum. I want to be a resource but also address the everyday kinds of questions I get asked all the time. I also want to be an example of keeping it light. All this is oh so serious most of the time as it is. It’s better for me just to start writing and see what comes. Life continues to toss challenges at me and I’ll continue to share them.

My goal is to write once a week and I think I can do that. I also came across all of my years of journals and my daughter challenged me to write a book about living with an ostomy. The idea of a book is daunting but I do like to tell a good story and I have plenty of funny, sad and challenging ones to share.

I’m starting the year healthy and feeling powerful after shoveling snow! Each time I exert myself in ways that stretch and challenge my abdominal muscles, I have a little concern in the back of my head. That, and a little voice saying, “awe yeah, that’s me with my ostomy – shoveling snow – I can do anything!” It’s become a joke with my daughters that I can do anything even though I have an ostomy. You see, I’ve been showing my girls their whole lives that I can do anything with an ostomy. It’s now taken on a new meaning, as if the ostomy itself has given me the power to do anything. Rather than being able to do things even though I have an ostomy, they joke that I can do all these things because of it. It’s become funnier as the years go by. Today I hauled boxes around as I get ready to move and I could hear my daughter’s voice in my head, “you see Mum, you can even lift heavy boxes with an ostomy!”

I have lots of packing to do and I’ll pull out some journals to share some “Notes From the Hospital Bed”. Stay tuned!

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

This is the not so welcome sign on my hospital door the week of Thanksgiving…

No sooner did I finish the previous blog post about being in the hospital during holidays did I start to feel a little “off”. I landed in the hospital after collapsing with sudden dehydration and the need for several bags of IV fluid and total isolation for being contagious. Wouldn’t you know I’d write about being in the hospital on holidays and end up there until Thanksgiving Day. I got sick on Monday and my blood pressure dropped so suddenly that I couldn’t sit upright without falling to the floor. My doctor called ahead to arrange for me to be admitted because I’ve had this kind of depletion before. It definitely sets you back emotionally but I felt safe and cared for being *NPO and on anti-nausea meds while I rested. My first “full liquid” meal was on Thursday. I was discharged at 4:30pm just in time to be hungry enough for dinner and before the deli closed on the way home. We were able to stop for some take home turkey and mashed potatoes.

*(NPO) is a medical instruction meaning to withhold oral food and fluids from a patient for various reasons. It is a Latin phrase which translates as “nothing through the mouth”.

It got me wondering…what food do you crave when you are NPO?

Holidays in the hospital

During my final year of illness with Ulcerative Colitis before I had my surgery to get a permanent colectomy, I was puffed up from steroids and doubled over miserable, living in my robe and forcing a smile as I prepared for the holidays. It’s strange to remember how fatigued I was and how much energy it took me to do the littlest things.  I woke early every morning all amped up on synthetic energy from the steroids.

After several days of extreme pain with cramping and hours either in the bathroom or collapsing into bed,  it became clear that I needed to be hospitalized. My girls were 4 and 5 at the time. It makes me cry now remembering them walking beside my wheelchair as I wore my new Christmas robe. I had stayed home long enough for them to open their presents and could still smell the fresh Barbie smell on the hands of my daughters as held my face and said, “it’s O.K. Mummy”.

Looking back it wasn’t OK. It’s never OK to have small children be fearful of their mother’s well-being and have to sacrifice anything for their parents. It just shouldn’t be that way and as a mother, it causes extreme depression having to miss any moment of your children’s milestones.

This photo was taken when I was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction a few years ago. I cringe when I think of how many times my lovely daughters have walked through my hospital room doors, smiling and loving and wishing we all weren’t there.

My daughters are resilient and they are champions of my wellness but I still wish none of it had to happen. They are 18 and 19 now and we’re approaching Thanksgiving where they’ll come home from college and feast and sleep. I plan to be the healthy host but am careful in the days leading up to any event that causes extra stress. I usually need more rest and have to be very careful what I eat. I get all “chicken and rice” minded and start fearing vegetable trays.

I’m awake right now because I’ve been sick tonight and can’t sleep. I’ll need to rest today and hydrate since I’ve lost more fluid than normal and need to be ready for family happy cozy-ness. I have a my sites on a big family dinner and plan to eat ONE brussel sprout to eliminate the possibility of a blockages. I’ll take small bites and savor the moment of being together.

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