Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pain in the buttocks....

I had a recheck today on my incision site this morning.  It sure is a pain to reschedule my recheck of the "buttocks", but this happened...

It started snowing yesterday and I decided I didn't want to fight 160 miles of this at 6 am this morning.  There was freezing rain yesterday between here and there, too, so I was like, nuh-uh!

Recovery from January 10 surgery is going well - hate to almost say it as I don't want to jinx the process.  Staples out, the site is calming down.  About half way thru a 6 week course of antibiotics.

My infectious disease doctor was able to identify an oral course that is not resistant to the Staph that I have/had in there- instead of twice daily iv thru a picc line.... thank goodness.  Drug was pricey, did a price check at local drug stores and price was 2100-2600$  PER WEEK.  Doctor helped me apply for a program through the drug company and I was approved for free drugs.  I'm pretty sure my medical response will be shared to help with getting this newish drug approved for more applications. Helps alot!

You know,  I'm thankful that I was not able to afford to get the available health insurance.  The positives are that I have paid less out of pocket by NOT HAVING INSURANCE.  My doctors and I also did not have to get preapproval for any of the treatments that we felt were needed, we just went ahead and did it.  

I feel I had MORE access to health care without insurance!  There are all kinds of programs and different ways to get help for paying bills if you truly have financial inability to pay.  You just have to ask and search them out.  The biggest irritation is that there is absolutely no way to find out costs prior to any visit or procedure.  I've also had basically the same procedure four times in 7 months, and the prices have changed each bill. 

So my advice is this.  Get done what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and be insistent on finding financial assistance.  Go the extra mile, keep records, and check your bills for errors.  You wouldn't believe how many I have found and had corrected.  And don't forget to ask for a discount.

It sure is pretty, but I'm ready for spring! 

If only I had a studio space, it's a perfect day to be weaving.

All for now,


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Never give up.

Some days it is a struggle.

For the most part, I still have a positive attitude this will get better.

This path that I'm on this year has been quite the deal...  The MRI showed a pocket of something down by the bone.  I was sent to an infectious disease specialist and between her, the surgeon, and me, we decided to go ahead again with another clean out of the area.

So last week I had revision #4 of the hamstring repair incision.  They attempted to remove all repair materials and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the area down by the bone and tendon. 

The repair was very solid - good news- but we weren't able to get to all the plugs/metal without undoing the repair. 

Cultures are currently being worked on - including bone samples.  The cultures will be challenged with different antibiotics to see what works against what is in there.  Then most likely I will be on a long term regimen of antibiotics - possibly even IV delivery. 

This go 'round is more uncomfortable.  Bone pain and a new experience - they used staples to close instead of sutures.  I'm still fighting nausea from the pain meds, some swelling,  and am very tired and puny feeling.

At least it's winter - I'm not looking outdoors at green grass and nice weather :)

I'd like to think I will start working on something creative, but I'm not feeling it yet.

My pup Cooper is a good companion, he likes to snuggle...

All for now, JULIE

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I'm feeling the need for some company.  The turkeys don't like me to get real close, my dog Cooper is kinda bored, too, and the horses are mostly concerned with stuffing their faces with hay.

I've never been good at socializing - making friends.

And now I'm in a new town, without a daily job that would give me chances to meet anyone, and I live on a ranch out of town.

I've met the parents' friends and church family.  But as of yet, no one that has the same type of interests as me.  Not sure where to start looking?!?

My parents are off on a vacation - which is nice - no cooking unless I feel like it :)  It gets even quieter here with them gone.

I do get out to go to doctor type things - I get to have an MRI this Friday to make sure nothing bone and tendon related is going on inside that would be causing the incision to stay open.

I have a picture of the site, but decided you guys REALLY didn't want to see that!

3X times weekly still going to clinic to treat the wound.  The MRI may send us in a different direction, or tell the surgeon to send me on to a wound specialist. Gotta love it...

Weather is making it more difficult to get out and about.  It's currently misty/rainy/freezing.  Wish it would decide to just snow, instead of this in between crap - lol.

Each day I try to go through at least one cupboard, or drawer, or closet.  It's a little harder when mom isn't here, but I've made a little progress this week while she is gone.  The kitchen is pretty much done.  Now I am going to try and get the parents to pick out some new appliances - We are using ones that are over 25 years old, and I think they really need to be replaced :)  The microwave keeps tripping the breaker, so I don't think I want to keep that around.

All for now, JULIE


Friday, December 1, 2017

My current abode

 This is the house I live in now.  I've moved in with my parents.  3 bedroom, 3 baths.  My brother also lives there.  They wanted to keep an empty bedroom for guests - they have lots of guests.  And everyone uses the same bathroom....   Oy.  The things I would like to change here :)  That's why my bedroom is a living room.

We've had unusually warm weather for the upper Dakotas.  It was very windy the other day.  

Tipped over the pony shed....  only 58 mph gusts... LOL.   Usually winter doesn't have wind from the south.  That's why it's like this!  I tipped it back up today. 

 As of about 2 weeks ago, I am now down to having 4 pony girls.  My oldest, DeeDee told me last winter she didn't want to be that cold anymore.  So the decision was made, and this fall after a nice warm summer, I helped her leave her sisters Bug and Queenie, and nieces Buzz and Flutter, and move on to be with her mother, my childhood mare Power Girl.  Even tho the decision had been made long ago, it was still a very hard day and still I have moments of tears for my girl.  She was 26 this spring and all her life she took care of my daughter in and out of the show ring.  

I tried to get a picture of the girls.  Queenie and Buzz aren't very helpful. Silly girls.

Here is a picture of Bug, now the senior mare - she is 24.  I'm hoping this winter is good for her.  In the background you can see the bulls that are next door neighbors for the winter.

  We had a baby this morning! 

 Mama should have been in this pen with the other fall calving mamas.  My dad has just a small group that calve this time of year.  Most of his cows have their spring calves weaned and were moved to a neighbor to go on cornstalks and get wintered and calved by a younger man than my dad.  He's been doing it this way for a couple years.  I'm glad he realized he needed help.  In the spring after the calves are a few days old, we move them back to green grass at the ranch.  See those black spots in the background?

Turkeys!  There are so many around the last few years they are a nuisance.  They get in the feed bunks and eat the corn meant for the cattle.  The get into the barn and eat out of the feed storage bins.  And they roost on top of the house.

They are cool to look at, but they leave the ground messy wherever they go.  My little pup Cooper thinks its fun to make them scatter when they are on the walkout deck off my 'room'.

So on the medical front.  I'm currently going to the clinic 3 times a week to treat the open wound.  Silver nitrate is applied to the proud flesh (that's a horseman's term, I think they call it granulation tissue at the clinic)  It's unpleasant as it's a chemical burn during the application and is a bit uncomfortable for that day.  Daily bandage changes and some discomfort is getting OLD.

No creative pursuits as of yet, but I did last night find, in my unorganized mess,  some hand mending that had moved with me.  I sat and did that before I went to bed last night.  I have a few bags that could be finished, if I could only find my rug warp and tools I use for that!

All for now,

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another new start

It's been awhile since I checked in.

Just a bit preoccupied with several things.  :)

Yup, sold the house.  Of course not for the amount I would have liked, but it was time to move on.

I've had 4 craft sales events since I last posted, the small ones that I didn't expect much from have been my best - imagine that.

Also had my third. Count 'em, 3.  Revision surgeries on the incision from my hamstring repair from last November.   And guess what.... Incision has just started to degrade again.   I AM SO OVER THIS....

My surgeon (3 hours away) is trying to get me in to a wound nurse that is only 1.5 hours away tomorrow since we have a holiday to contend with.  I can't wait until we finally get this thing happy.  I am one of the weird people that don't like absorbable sutures - My system is still working them out from the original surgery.  We had hoped the last procedure in October was the final one, but now it's not looking so good again.

Weaving isn't happening right now - my looms are in my cargo trailer, along with the totes full of warp fabrics and supplies.  Plus a few pieces of furniture I didn't sell.

I'm currently ensconced in my parents lower level family room.  Mother dear tells everyone she has a downstairs maid... funny haha :)  My dad feels quite comfortable giving me a call when his cows get out and he needs someone with legs that work better than his, or if he has a gate that needs watching, or some sorting to do.

I have not attempted to find employment yet - too much medical stuff still happening, and I seem to keep way busy here.  Much purging must happen and I've been slowing working my way through getting a handle on bookkeeping for my parents businesses - Hopefully have the one sold - but still have cows!

It feels as if I've been here for way longer than I have, but in reality, I'm barely getting settled.

I'm hoping to carve out a space for a loom, or find a space elsewhere so I can feel like I'm being productive.  Anyway, lots to figure out.

All for now, JULIE

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's a crapshoot

New to me sale venues are always a crapshoot.

Last week found me in a town 3 1/2 hours from home at a Threshing Show.  My daughter lives in this town, that is the only reason I considered going to this one.   Free bed :)

While I was researching, I asked numerous times, in numerous ways whether other rug sellers are there.  I was told several times that they had in the past, but they hadn't heard from that person this year yet.  I was then told after I asked, if they came in after me, they would be turned away to eliminate doubles of the same type of item.

This was a 4 day show, a first for me - I've only done 1-2 days.

Well, I won't be going back :)

I paid for an indoor booth.  I had taken my canopy with just in case I decided I needed to create a store like area.  Glad it was a bit rainy, too, as I covered my load with my floor tarp.

See the dirt?  Ended up the indoor was a metal barn with gravel floors and a leaky roof.  Not that that would be a deal breaker, but it sure seems the organizers could have been more upfront with the conditions!  Pure luck had me bring what I needed for those conditions.

And here's the kicker....   A weaving/fiber group- for the last 30 years- demonstrates and sells rugs as a fund raiser for the threshing grounds.  And they have their items priced at a deep discount. 

Can you guess how my sales were?   LOL

This is obviously not my target market --  I was even told to my face I was overpriced!   I did enjoy the weekend, visiting with long lost relatives that recognized my name (my sister is trying to determine how we are related)  old friends of friends, and even some weavers that reassured me that I have not overpriced and they gave me compliments on and admired my rugs.

So I brush myself off, and get ready for the next -- This week I will be at an outdoor event.   There is a winery about an hour from me.  In NorthEast South Dakota of all places :)   Their 4th annual Grape Stomp and Festival sounds like a fun time.  We will see! 

All for now,  JULIE

Monday, August 21, 2017

News. Updates. Announcements.

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted here!

A lot has been happening.  Some good, some not so good.

Bad news first. 

After my last post on June 6, I ended up back at the surgeons office.  My incision from my hamstring surgery in November had degraded --  I was in surgery that afternoon for a debridement and revision of the surgical site.  Fun times.  Antibiotics.  Stitches. Etc.

I took it easy as much as I could.  Did a bit of weaving when I felt like it.  Sold a few things when I felt like it.  Showed the house a  little.

Then I got a bite!  A couple that had looked at the house way back in May, came back. 

More bad news.  My incision reopened again.  Ended up in surgery again on July 27.  Fun times. Antibiotics ( A different one) Stitches. Wound Vac. Etc. 

I took it way easier - my body is tired and worn out. All looked good - a week on wound vac, stitches out at 2 weeks and antibiotics done.

But now, 10 days after I was finished with the drugs.... the wound is looking iffy again.  Immediately back on drugs and watching.  Hope it stays closed, or I'm looking at another surgery.

Somewhere in that period of time I produced these fun rugs.

The warp is striped - each section is either a mixture of blues, or a mixture of lights like white, gray, taupe, etc.   Add the striped solid weft and I almost have plaid.  I think they are cute!

And now today, I signed a purchase agreement with that couple that came back.  Now to see how the financing and appraisals go.

So here I am faced with moving/packing/selling and 3 craft fairs before my closing date in approximately 6 weeks.  Hope I survive!  LOL

All three events I'm signed up for are new to me.  I'm hoping for a good fit and lots of sales!  If I'm up to it, I will try to post with photos and reports.

All for now,