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06 June 2012 @ 01:49 pm
Still haven't smoked. It's surprising how often I have to fight the impulse. But since it's now just the habit -- not the physical addiction -- I've been able to resist without too much struggle.

Stitches out today. Doc mentioned I scared the bejesus out of them when my blood pressure dropped to zero while they were operating. He said the cardiologist had only seen this "octopus trap" syndrome twice before in all his career. How nice of me to malfunction in an interesting way. I'm just glad I'm working again now.
25 May 2012 @ 07:42 pm
Hard to believe it's less than a week since my Troubled Day. It feels like it was ages ago that I was released from ICU but just a few days. Was back at ER yesterday because started to have breathing problems. Turned out to be the start of pneumonia. Frankly, being in the hospital three days with a suppressed immune system, I count myself lucky that's the only bacteria I'm dealing with. Back at home again, taking antibiotics and doing my breathing exercises. Seem to be responding well except I can't lie down in any position without immediately starting to gasp for air like a stranded carp. Could be worse. Could not be here at all. I'll sleep sitting up till things improve.

Feel OK, all things considered. I'll tell ya this, though -- I haven't smoked a cigarette since the 20th. And while that's good and virtuous and yay for me, the only reason I've abstained is because I still feel whipped enough I'm afraid I'll keel over on the spot or suffocate if I try. That says a lot about my current state of physical wellness.

I plan to continue the abstinence even when I get well because heck -- the physical part of withdrawal is over. Why not?
23 May 2012 @ 12:09 pm
Had a heart attack Sunday during unexpected surgery to remove my gall bladder. And guess what?

I'm still standing, Not for long and I'm leanging on a chairback but I'm standing, Ha!:-)
15 April 2012 @ 05:43 pm
So excited! Our store finally opens tomorrow. We've still got improvements and smoothing to do but it looks lovely now. Steve can hold his head up high when people come in. And they do want to come in. We had to turn away three groups of folks today because they saw us and thought we were open. Yay! I hope once we really *are* open, the folks who pressed their nose on the glass come back. :-)

Also, so tired. So much new learning, so much lifting and carrying, so much rearranging this last month. But we're past the worst of it. Never again will we be bringing in full truck-loads of product or entering and labeling thousands of units. Now it's just maintaining our stock and adding new things as we see fit.

The plant section (my area) looks lush, orderly and tropical, just as I hoped. And my favorite part is the Pamper the Gardener section on the counter. It has a lovely display of herbal hand balm, sore muscle rub, feathers and a white sandstone Zen Frog. He's sort of our mascot. It looks exactly like a Buddhist in a lotus position but its head is a serene frog. Frogs are big here in Calaveras County, what with the yearly frog jump, so he's just the right touch.

God, I really hope this works.
10 April 2012 @ 06:05 pm
Here's what I've learned about vendors and wholesale deliveries.

"We'll have it there Tuesday" means "It may be there Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or some time this week."

And invoice with precise products ordered means "You may or may not get everything you ordered. Do not think that 'In stock' means that it is 'In stock.' We'll deliver what we have and you can guess when the rest will get there."

"Yes, we have a dozen Piper nigrum" means "I have half a dozen and that's all you're getting. Won't you be surprised when you open the box!"

"Yes, we can split that order in two parts for you so it's easier to unload" means "You will get two pallettes on one day and ten pallettes the next. Hope you have a strong back. Good luck!"

There will always be at least one item marked delivered on the packing slip that is not on the truck. Occasionally there will be items you didn't order on the truck. Quantities may or may not match what you expected.

Things are always larger or smaller than they look in a web catalog. Planters that look tiny will turn out to be three feet across and weigh several hundred pounds. Planters that look huge will be tiny and just the right size for an African Violet.

A plant that is in a 4" pot may be 12" across or 1" across.

Two hundred peacock feathers does not make as big a bouquet as you think it will.

Florists' buckets are near impossible to pry apart when they have been stacked.

While you are closed and trying to inventory your stock, someone will knock on the front door about once per hour to ask if you are open, even though the front door has a huge sign on it that says "Open April 16th."

Once they realize you are closed until April 16th, at least half the people who knocked want to come in a look around any way.

On the bright side, over half of those who do peek their heads inside involutarily exclaim "Oh wow!" or "This is great!" or "Look at all the cool stuff you have!" I think that has to be a good sign, especially since our nearest competitors have stuck narrowly to only hydroponics equipment while we have tried to truly make our store an indoor garden center, with orchids, bromeliads, palms, and all sorts of tropical foliage plants. If we're not both dead from exhaustion by April 16th, we may even be able to make a modest living from this. At least, we sure hope.
12 March 2012 @ 03:49 am
Yay! Still doing Zumba for a few minutes several times a day. A good sign. If it was boring or painful, I'd have stopped by now. I don't even hate the two instructors on the "learn the steps" DVD, even though they are fit, perky, and cheerful. I can do about five minutes at a time now, which is short but a great improvement from two minutes at a time where I started. Later this week, I may get really bold and check out the actual dance routine disk instead of just the beginner steps-training disk. I find I can do the merengue steps without instruction. I can also do the belly-dancing steps but those sure work out places I don't normally work. I can't find the scale so I don't know if I'm losing weight but I am starting to tighten up just a tiny, tiny bit. Unfortunately, when I do the shimmy there is still way too much jiggling going on but I have high hopes that will subside, as time goes by. And, if not, well...then my shimmy will be even shimmier than most. So what? :-)
04 March 2012 @ 07:10 am
I used to love to go for walks. Miles and miles and miles. I don't now. For one, I start huffing and puffing when I've only gone blocks. For another, there are no sidewalks around here but there are coyotes.

I sporadically used the exercise bike. As movement goes, it's about as simple as it gets but it only works my legs and it is incredibly boring.

So now I'm trying Zumba. If you ever have insomnia, you have seen the commercials on early morning TV. It appealed to me for a few reasons. They don't use the words "crunch, burn or rip" in the commercial. I know those are supposed to be good things but "feel the pain" is not what I'm after. I liked that the people in the ad were smiling, not grunting, scowling, or groaning. That seemed promising. Steve reported to me there is a Zumba class that takes place at night across from our store. He said a lot of little old ladies were attending, so that told me it was low impact. And the fact it's dance-based was the clincher. I'm a terrible dancer and yet I love to dance -- that makes me most fit for doing it at home, where the results aren't amusing for other people.

Well, now I've been working on it for almost a week. A trained dancer can watch a move then repeat it. I watch a move, trip over my feet, then watch it again. My kinetic intelligence is zero. It absolutely is good exercise and is good at making you think it won't be. For instance, the beginning move in belly dancing style is an simple waving of the arms, while doing a semi-squat. You'd think maintaining slightly bent knees for five minutes would be simple. Not for me. Halfway through following the demo I began to feel...a burn. But in all the right places -- back of thighs and butt. So I forgive them for not mentioning it will burn and I even forgive the taped instructors for smiling and being peppy while doing it.

I have come to dread the sentence "OK, now let's pick up the beat!" I can follow them while they're doing it at turtle-speed, to show you the movement. Done at pace? Not so much so. I'll get there yet.

I had to laugh at their "Lose a dress size in ten days" program. They suggest alternating between two different routines each day. Know how long the routines are? An hour. An hour of sheer, sweaty, fast-paced aerobic exercise. I totally believe a person would lose ten pounds in ten days doing that. I also believe it will be about six months before I work my way up to half an hour a day, let alone sixty minutes.

That's OK. I am fine with moving up to a few more minutes each day. Five minutes three times a day is useful and I can already tell that I'm improving. Not by the way I look -- it will be weeks before it shows on the outside. But I am starting to be able to keep up at least through the tiny little instructional part of the steps and that's progress.

One sentence I do like is "Let's freestyle!" That means you keep doing the step they are teaching but you are allowed to flail your arms around wildly in any manner that makes you feel good. And that makes me smile, just like the ladies on the DVD. Zumba: So far, I like it.
Orange Layer Cake with Orange-Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I started work on this cake yesterday. Since all I've finished is the filling, I can report that part is delicious and I have high hopes for the rest of it. The whole house smells of orange zest which is very nice. It better be good because any cake that needs two to three days to prepare is only getting made once a year, if that.
17 November 2011 @ 06:21 pm
Had my post-op follow up with my regular optometrist this morning. All looks good.

I was stunned when I read the chart. Usually, with my glasses off, the first line is somewhat legible. Today, I read down to the last line. Then I read the little number that was off to the right of it. From nearly blind from cataracts, my right eye is now *better* than 20/20. And it's still a little fuzzy -- after a week it will be all healed. Doc said I could expect 20/15 vision.

Left eye will be done in two weeks. Then I guess I'll take up sharpshooting or something that will take advantage of the miracle.

I know the thrill will fade as I get used to it but not yet. I still keep closing my left eye then my right so I can marvel at how much more color I see with the repaired eye. It is truly amazing.

Fiona mentioned she works at the lab that manufacturers these toric lenses that correct astigmatism. All I can say is "You go, girl!"
16 November 2011 @ 04:43 am
Today is surgery day for my right eye. Nervous and excited, when I should be calm. But at least it will all be done very soon and by this afternoon, I'll have my feet up and will be rejoicing it's over with.

It's only two hours at the clinic and the surgery itself takes about eight minutes. I guess I'm not as wound up as I might be. Even I have a hard time getting too freaked out about eight minutes. When I felt myself getting panicky last night, I took a Xanex which was just the right thing to do. I'm so used to only taking it when I'm on my way to a doctor, I often forget it can be helpful for the day before the doctor, too.