Friday, November 28, 2014

Great Faith & Inspiration Gift Ideas

Here are some  Faith Inspirational Gifts for the Holidays.  You can buy them at my Cookie Lee Jewelry site.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

To my family, friends and loyal reader;

I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I made this digital image many years ago but still love it.  You can find more of my Thanksgiving Images here.  You will be directed to my Almost Purrfect Home blog where I save my collected images in many different categories.  Even if you don't need something for Thanksgiving, you can find all sorts of Holidays and Themes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How Vitamin D2 Saved Me

In October I went to my physician and asked again..what is wrong with me?  

In 2005 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and my health was going down hill fast.  When you have Fibromyalgia it affects almost every part of your body.  Not only was I in pain and very tired but I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and having low kidney function (not drinking enough water.  My hair has gotten thinner and thinner in the last 15 years.  It is very demoralizing for a woman to loose her hair.  A lot of the time I was feeling that everything was my fault.  I didn't exercise or eat right.  When you don't feel good you seek food that is easy to get or make.  I was eating too much processed food and worst fast food.  I've been addicted to sugar and craving sodas all the time.  I knew I was killing myself but had no energy to make things better.
My 50th Birthday, October 30, 2011

In the last year I've had a nodule and an enlarged thyroid.  I was doing several biopsies at the Endocrinologist for Thyroid Cancer.  Immediately my right thyroid was fine, but I had to have the left one tested over and over.  Finally, they said they would see if it changed size because the tests kept on coming back inconclusive.  What was strange was that my thyroid levels were all ok. 

The other day I went for another ultrasound and the thyroid hasn't grown.  I'll return again in 6 months to see how my left thyroid is doing.  I'm glad that there isn't anything wrong with the nodule on the right. 

When I saw my Doctor, Oct first, she had my Vitamin D levels checked and I am extremely low so I started to take a Vitamin D2 supplement of 50,000 units, once a week for 3 months.  D2 is a prescription and D3 is what you can get over the counter.  We can become deficient in Vitamin D because we don't have enough exposure to the sun, medicines that deplete the vitamin D, wearing sun screen, and more.

Looking at the chart above I'm seeing why I've felt so awful. Here are foods that are rich in Vitamin D.

I've been eating all of those foods, but my medicines were depleting what I was taking in.
In the past few weeks (I just took my 3rd capsule today), I've been feeling better and better.

 While I'm taking the 50,000 unit capsules I have to be careful about not getting too much vitamin D.  Most multivitamins have Vitamin D and too much is not good for our bodies too.  In the meantime, I'm taking Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Vitamin K2 which helps the Vitamin D to be absorbed correctly.  At this point I'm not asking for Vitamin advice and I'm still figuring everything out.  When the 3 months of the D2 I'm going to see what I need to do next. 

In the last 6 months I noticed that I was losing inches because my clothes were starting to fall off my hips.  Sure some were stretched out but I have some sweats that won't even stay up because they are too big.  When I went to check out my thyroid nodule, I was weighed in I have lost 12 pounds.  I am happy about that but need to loose much more.  Instead of focusing on my weight, I'm focusing on what I need to do be healthy.  I haven't drank any soda for a week and I haven't had any fast food.  

We've all been more aware about the stuff that is put in our food and how to make it better.  We rarely have any pasta, potatoes or rice with our dinner.  Oh we still eat starches, but not every day.  When Kurt cooks he steams a vegetable and makes a big salad, then we have chicken, salmon or beef.  I've drinking tons of water that is filtered through our "Pur" filter.  We've used it so much that it's cracked and we need a new one.  What's funny is that I crave water now.

This is going to be a long and slow road to recovery but I need to make the right steps  toward improving my life.  I'm sure I'll slip and have a soda or some other sweet but as long as I get back on the right path again I'm ok.  I know that I have to give in to some things and not deprive myself, just not over indulge and ignore my body's signals when I'm feeding it too much "junk".

Most recent photo of me.

We were celebrating my step-sister, Jennifer's 50th birthday by having picnic at Topanga Beach.  

If you think you are vitamin D deficient, have your Doctor test to see if you are.  I'm so glad I finally found this out and want everyone to be saved too.

Now I'm going to go have a big glass of water and make some breakfast.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Marriage, Separation and Renewal

Last year was Kurt's and my 25th Anniversary. What's so amazing isn't that we were married that long but that we are still together. We were estranged, while living in the same house, for 10 years. Close family and friends knew, but most people didn't know. Kurt and I would go to functions like nothing was wrong. Of course people could tell there were something wrong.  The reality is that we couldn't afford to separate.  It all worked out in the end because 3 years ago we decided to try to make our marriage work.  As anyone knows, marriage isn't always the easiest thing to keep alive.  It's especially hard when you are trying to recreate magic.  At first I focused on the romance of it and then shortly realized, this take hard work and that isn't always romantic.

1988, ages 26 and 31

 In 2012 Kurt and I went to Las Vegas for our Anniversary.  We were anxious and edgy together not in sync with each other.  One of the reasons we chose this hotel was because it was linked to the monorail that goes in the back of most of the hotels on one side of Las Vegas.

One day we got off the monorail and were stopped by a man wanting us to go to a Time Share talk the next day.  If we went to this, we would get two tickets to see "Legends".  We decided to go, not planning to sign up.  I'm the worst person to take to these things because I get over excited about fun stuff.  Well, you know how it goes, the presentations are done so well that you are pulled into what they are selling.  Now mind you, I think it was a wonderful deal if you could afford it.  Anyways, we signed up for a trial visit.  This is how we got to go to Sedona, Summer 2013.  

The highlight of that trip was the "Legend" show.  Afterwards I found out that this show is all over the country in places like Branson, Mo.  The performers we saw were "Elvis", "the Blues Brothers", "Adele", "Michael Jackson" and more.  Each performer was so real and sang so well.  I had never seen an Elvis impersonator and this "Elvis" was amazing.

I figured that it was great to have a vacation that I knew for sure we were going on.  You see, the whole time we were estranged we went on a few separate vacations but nothing as a family.  Well it wasn't just the price, but it really wore at our relationship the whole year.  We had a great time our our trip but he still was mad about it for a long time.  Well that isn't the way to make a marriage better. Since we reunited we've been in couple's therapy.  We're willing to fight for our marriage.

Our first family vacation, back together, was in the Mountains and was Summer of 2012. We stayed at the Pine Rose Cabins, in the "Christmas Cottage" which has a stream nearby.  We chose this cabin because of the size and our deck.  We had my Dad and Emily with us too.  We BBQ'd and played games at night and went swimming at their pool during the day.  It was a inexpensive, relaxing vacation for everyone.

In July, 2013 we went to Las Vegas on the way to Arizona. While in Arizona we went to Grand Canyon and stayed at the Time Share in Sedona.  It ended up being one of our best vacations.  What was bad was that I was tired all the time and slept while Kurt and the kids went hiking.  Of course, I'd rather be in the pool than hiking mid-day.  

Kurt and I are still working hard on our marriage.  We went to Palm Springs this past September, just the two of us.  We really needed that time together.  We've been through so much the past 26 years;  Job Loss, Moving, Parenting, Separation, and now finding each other again. The picture below was taken on Mother's Day at my mom's house in Ojai.  I'll talk about our trip to Palm Springs soon.

2014, ages 57 and 52, Natalie is 16.