The Top10 Things You Should Do If You Test Positive For Alpha1

  • Have A List Of Questions When You See a Doctor About Your Alpha1(If you try to remember the questions you want to ask you may forget half of them)
  • Learn To Breathe Effectively
  • Limit Or Eliminate Your Alcohol Consumption
  • Don't Be Afraid To Be Proactive About Your Alpha1
  • Get Plenty Of Rest(You will likely have a higher oxygenation level)
  • Avoid Sick People(You have a lower immune system than most people)
  • Drink Plenty Of Water
  • Eat Healthy/Avoid Processed Food(Carbonated beverages)
  • Start A Careful Exercise Program/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program(Your muscles will become more efficient so they won't use as much oxygen and if you have surgery you will likely recover quicker as well)
  • Stop Smoking

Friday, December 15, 2017

Poker Hands & Crossroads Part 2

I will never forget him saying with great pride "I worked 12 hr days mostly 7 days a week for twenty to twenty five years!". I was never sure if he was dealing with a miss handled poker hand or reached a crossroads. Partly he was dealing with a poker hand but, part was by mental warfare by outside parties who were poorly educated. Myself 25 years ago my Dad passed away and at the time I thought I made a good decision to return to college 4 months after he passed.I was Fathers co caregiver. Got up 3x a night to get him situated, came home at 11am to dress him for radiation treatments, went back to work, came home and fed and/or sat with him, did all the shopping and med pick ups. I think with inflation his med copays today would be around $750 - 850 dollars a month. Took money to my Moms best friend to pay for a winter coat for my Mom (I knew Noreen was the one person who could talk Mom into running down mainstreet naked but wouldn't) told her to say she wanted to buy her a winter coat (all Mom had to wear in December was an unlined leather jacket). We couldn't afford Mom to get sick or Dad would likely not been able to live his last months at home with some semblance of normalcy. It was a choice to return to college so soon after Dads passing that today I regret. Life is full of choices and we don't always recognize till decades later that it was. Hence the poker hand analogy.

I learned a lot about mental health issues as a result of my interaction with Bill. I also saw myself having made similar choices to his that I concluded weren't particularly healthy. Last July my part time boss and I had a discussion about me not going to work fulltime for him. He brought up pressing the pause button and I guess I took it to heart. Bills behavior was very confusing and unerving. The last thing he said to me was "Everybody wants." I spent my time very differently the last year. The end result was I found that calmness I had wanted but, seemed to allude me for 25 years. I spent endless hours at the cabin my family built on land that has been in my family 98 years. I enjoyed it the most I had in 30 years despite owning it 25 years.

There is no nice way to say this but, I suspect his behavior is compliments of GM UAW. Not all UAW's are equal. I have lost all the friends I had that went to work for GM. I have never once lost a friend who went to work for Fiat Chrysler. My next truck will be a dodge or a jeep. Fiat Chrysler UAW knows how to butter their bread!

Aside from Bill sells his soul to win the world. There are a couple of other interesting and funny realizations, experience and adventures to share. When Dad was dying one day he turned to me in his hospital bed and looked me square in the eye and said "Kate, if I'm not here next year will you make sure the duplex is painted?" All I could think of at the time is all I want Dad to worry about is fighting the cancer. Without a second thought looked him square in the eye and unflinchingly said "Yes, I will Dad." It never hit me I had a brother and three BIL's at the time who he could have asked but, didn't. For a man born in 1923...that is a powerful testimony! I also got the hollowed out black walnut tree taken down that he was always worried about falling on the house, snowshoed to cabin to recover 2 guns my oldest sister and brother were willed and drove down to Arizona to help Mom get situated in the condo they had bought sight unseen the summer before.

As I spent more time in the woods at the 70 I realised why I went to school for agriculture. It's because I love all living things, the outdoors and I am an outdoors women through & through! I walked downstream one day crusing for dead, diseased and blown down trees for heating the cabin and cooking maple syrup. I glanced across the creek at the hillside and was blown away by the beauty of the woods I had forgotten. I decided I wanted to explore the 30 acres on the other side of the creek I hadn't walked on in 20 years. I decided to buy a gps. Bought that day before opening gun deer season. Took all my vacation this year as vacation (neither Bill or I ever took vacation). I picked up a 1986 Yamaha Moto 4 w/ reverse for my friends who are 65 & 70 I had invited up to get in n out the 1.2 miles to cabin. In the end it proved to be quite the godsend to me. My coworker told me I could coast it down hill and throw it into gear to make it start if I wanted to. Having a lot of fun with that. Me and my llewellin setter spent most of the fall at the cabin. Even during the week. Got more done kept feeling better and better about the state of the cabin. And she didn't mind the eggs for breakfast with Mom or that the wheeler made it easy for me to keep up. She and I had a little routine. She got up, I let her out, left door open, go for a romp, come back for a drink, go for another romp, comeback and crawl back in bed to snuggle with me. She sure has a rough life doesn't she! : -)

Two days before opening gun deer season started looking around for a crossbow in muddygirl print. In the process found one by a mfg I didn't know made one. Better bow, better price. Experienced deer fever for the first time in 22 years. Amazed!! Will not be running for supervisor for mutiple reasons. Staying at my current employer simply due to the amount of time off a yr Ihave reached. My buddy David and I couldn't come to agreement on where to elk hunt so instead will be hunting TX, NM,CO & OK. I also am going to try to fit in MI,MN & NY hunting this next year. I believe my metric century days are behind me and my adventuring days are ahead of me. I may try the keto diet. I have a few friends on it pleased with the results.

Sunday night I visited with a buddy. He's done 3 tours of duty in Nam. He's 68 yrs old and by the end of the four hours I realised Bill and I are polar opposites. He's boarder line courageous and I'm boarder line fearless. I come from a long line of dreamers, darers and doers! My great great uncle launched the cyclone motorcycle (which was ahead of his time), my great grandfather followed the gold rush to Colorado amongst other daring feats, my Dad with a buddy at 18 built a diving helmet and my cousin on my Mothers side owns a clothing company. Why wouldn't I dare to dream???

I bought a website for business purposes called on my way to work Friday. I have 3 different businesses in various levels....incubation, midway and active right now. The website will be a catchall for now. 

Keep seeking knowledge, don't give up and keep hoping!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Poker hands & Crossroads (part 1)

I had not realised just how long it had been since I had last poste so it looks like I have a lot of ground to cover. I will start with Horribly Hilly, National conference and heat exaustion. The Horribly Hilly Hundreds truely lived up to it's name. I wish I could have spoken to more participants but, they moved me from serving beverages to serving food. There were a few seasoned metric century participants that said they would never do it again. One of them had already completed 4 metric century before HHH. I was struggling with heat exhaustion even though all I was doing was dishing out beans. Later in the summer I broke down and cut my long hair due to struggling with heat exhaustion at work.

I had looked forward to attending the first alpha1 national conference in 10 years all spring however when I got there what I experienced and what I anticipated were quite different. I went to Loews for Saturday morning and sat down to breakfast. I didn't realise till I sat down at the table that Lorena from Indianapolis was there. What shocked me was she was on oxygen and only said good morning. More so that she was struggling with supplemental oxygen. During all the many alpha1 events I had attended in the past she had always been talkative and quite jovial. I then went into the exhibit hall and noticed that more people had passed away that I knew than I realised. I sat down at lunch with over a half dozen alphas.

I will set the view and share the story: Len Geiger (our celebrity bilateral lung transplanty and well known alpha1 speaker) was standing at 6 o'clock a the ajoining table to the left. At the next table Ric & Angela Logsden were at 11 and 12 o'clock (Ric an Alphanet coordinator). Dave Courtney (an alpha support group leader and bilateral lung transplant recipient) is sitting at 9 o'clock. Mike Hixom (alphanet coordinaor) is sitting at 4 o'clock and a couple from Shire are at 1 and 2 o'clock (she is an alpha and her husband is the rep sitting next to her. So we all are pretty well versed. I begin the conversation "You reach your saturation point." Which you can take several ways. I said "I have spent the last 10myears worrying that I had insurance to cover a lung transplant. I had looked forward to attending this all spring. When I got here I realised there were more who had died than I realised. Then it dawned on me that several of them had never even reached getting listed and were on supplemental oxygen. I also saw several who I knew and hadn't expected them to be on oxygen. I have reached the point I am ready to settle for shitty and shitty plus health insurance! I have come to the conclusion if the opportunity presents itself that if I have 8 years without having to have supplemental oxygen left and can go to work for myself and do I what I love I will take the opportunity to do so! Because we all know that when you get on supplemental oxygen you cannot enjoy thing the way you would without it." And none disagreed with it. I sat down with Dave Courtney Sunday morning for breakfast. We had a frank discussion about how the loses of people effect us. He did express concern I was anti transplant  (which I am not anti). He said he was anti transplant till his son changed his mind. I also talked about the fact I spent most of the conference feeling 70% depressed because of the deaths and those on oxygen. Crushed might be a better term. He said his wife doesn't come to many of these because she knows to many of those who have passed and it's very hard on her. He also invited me out to Texas to Javlina hunt (have-a-lena). I'm pretty excited about that for two reasons. I've really wanted to and it's ussually pretty costly. Ric Logsden invited me to Kentucky to hunt as well! I had really wanted to eualigize Cindy Wilson and my sister Johanna at the informal memorial service. I was shocked to see that is was 6 times the seating and 12 times the attendance of the last one I attended. I was one of the last to speak. I would love to tell you I held my self together but, I can only say I started weak with Cindy's and ended strong with Johanna's. I also want to make mention I sat and eat dinner with a couple of alphas from Johannas beloved alphapack support group Saturday night. They ended the memorial service with thr writing called the dash

Ok now we get to the post title!

Through out our lives we encounter many poker hands and and occassional crossroad. We all want to say we handle them well but, there are always one or two we wish we would have handled different or better. The last sixteen months hasbeen quite life changing for me and I believe enough time has lapsed I think I can be honest about some of the things Bill said and texted that will lead to some understanding about why I say some of the things I am about to express. This is not an easy post but, I don't do pretentious well. In fact I believed this would be my last post as well. I am in the midst of creating a different life for myself. It may or may not be my last post? When I saw Bill's nephews obit in out hometown paper although it saddened me such a young man had passed away and I couldn't begin to imagine his Mother grief over the loss of a child....I was relieved to find a way to communicate with Bill. I called his childhood church and asked to speak to him. The secretary of the church was very excited that someone was calling for him. the call got disconnected but, I called back. At first he was deathly silent and all of a sudden he says "Is this your number? Can I call you sometime?!" I said "Sure. You bet!". Then he suddenly says "You know I'm retired! I retired lasy year at 55! I retired early!" I had not spoken to Bill in 15 years. The last time I spoke to him his wife had woken him up to talk to me and he bit my head off for waking him up. I would have called him back but, I wasn't sure when to do so and I didn't want my head bit off again. I had called his Dads to get his phone number and his da thought nothing of me asking for it or giving it to me. He mentioned Bill's oldest daughter was coming up from Indiana to take him out fishing. For the record I have known Bill since I was 10 year old and I'm almost 52. He worked off n on for my Dad for a littl over 10 yrs. About two weeks after the funeral I was at work and had gotten a text from him. It said "This is Bill Delaney. Let's talk. I texted back and get this text saying: This would not be a good time I have company right now. We eventually swap a few more text and it's nearing Fathers day and he is OFF THE CHARTERS verbally when it comes to fathers day being off limits. There is no doubt in my mind Bill was heavilly traumatized by Chad's tragic death. 

I am getting tired. I had the flu 2nd week of Sept and I'm on meds because I never got over the congestion aspect completly and need my sleep so this is getting turned into 2 parts. G'nite!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Triumph, Chaos & Conference

I have an update on triumph...she is doing awesome!! She and the great dane have an understanding...if he doesn't mess with her she doesn't take a swipe at him with her loan clawed front paw. She has run of the house. She is let outside 10 minutes before bed and let back inside. She has taken up stalking chickens till they turn the tables on her and begin chasing her.

Things have been pretty chaotic at work and will continue to do so. I have been looking around for a different employer. I suspect in the next few months I will be going to work for a truss company.

I didn't get after reserving a room at Loews so I will be staying at a motel 3/4 a mile down the road instead. There is a lot more to tell but, I am struggling for a way to express it tactfully. I called about being fitted for golf clubs and we decided for now I would just pick up an inexpensive set to begin with. I was gonna relearn the game of golf last year. Horribly Hilly Hundreds next year will likely be my last hurrah for big & ugly bike challenges. After that more recreational bike/hike events

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Mash Up

I've been spending most weekends at the cabin. I always said "I loved the process of making maple syrup". I hadn't made it in 29 years. It had always been a blanket statement. I discovered it is the process of setup and cook down I love. There is something magical to me about seeing this clear water turn into this sugary brown liquid! And the smell of the steam coming off the cooker!! You literally can smell it changing. The last time I made syrup was my first year in college. My Father had called me in probably October. He asked offered to buy me a plane ticket to spend Christmas with them and I said "Actually Dad...what I would rather do is take a raincheck and come home for Maple season." He thought about it awhile and then agreed to it. So I got to run the sapline with the old man the last year he made syrup (although I did not know it at the time). I just want to make syrup and spend time in the blue hills at the cabin. I wish Dad was here! I finally like the taste of maple syrup. I always preferred Mrs. Butterworths. Drove him crazy!! I had to walk a mile down to the cabin and back uphill. I must say that I gave serious consideration to not participating in the Horribly Hilly next year. Not because of my lungs but, because every fiber of my being ached!! I have enjoyed the cabin the most I have in 30 yrs! I have owned it 25 but, the 5 yrs leading up to it I was working to fund my college so there was never time to spend up at the cabin. Easter morning was the most amazing morning. I just wanted to sit on the back porch with bacon, eggs, wheat toast and drink 3 cups of coffee. It was just positively glorious. Hadn't experienced that since I was a teenager I bet. Now struggling between buying a range finder or buying binoculars! Looking forward to spending weekends there and learning to make fishing rods this summer on the back porch. Sure will be rough listening to the crickets, frogs, creek and whatever other wild sounds I hear.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Really have no specific reason I haven't posted in a long time. I've struggled w/ my sinuses since September. my dog was having eating issues and I have been doing a lot of reflecting an soul searching. Life's full of choices and many of the choices Bill made were not choices I would have made. I will never forget when he said "I don't understand you. Why don't you keep your job in the factory?". He was proud of retiring early. He did so by working 12 hr days mostly 7 days a week for 20 to 25 years. He didn't take vacations. I thought a lot about how I've lived the last 25 years. Until my Dad was diagnosed with cancer I made it to 2 or 3 concerts a year. In the last 25 years I've made it to 8. I've taken 2 vacations. I thought about how much hunting used to mean to he, Dad & I. I also finally realize what my classmates meant when they would tell me "I could walk out and be hit by a car today!" just meant we're not promised tomorrow. I've spent more time at the cabin in the last month than I have since Johanna quit coming up here due to health matters. I went to Pheasant fest. I talked to doctor Hogarth about big game hunting and altitude and I made maple syrup for the first time in 29 years. Bill desires were real but, his expectations were not. I am charting a new course and decided I don't want to miss a thing. I am signed up to volunteer for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds metric century so I secure my ability to compete in it next year. It is one of the Midwests most prestigious bike trek and much more difficult than the Dairyland Dare but in a cooler month. I think next year I will hire a personal trainer to try to take my athleticism to a higher level. Don't know if I can do it but, I don't know that I can't either. I know that if I don't try I will never know. Always set the bar a little higher than you think you can go or you will never know what your true capacities are.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Slowing Up

I am still having breathing issues. The food poisoning has passed for the most part but, it was humbling! I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I can't remember the last time I said that! As a result of the strain it put on me and how difficult it was to just get up to let the dog out...I am going to give up my long time merchandising job. There is no end in sight to the 50 - 50+ hr work week. If I give up the pt job I can get more rest and when I do have an entire weekend off I can take off. I also am always wanting to spend more time with my dog. Still considering Bike The Drive.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

First ever smart ph post

Have not found internet jet pack yet but, did wrap my dogs leash handle around my wrist so Holly couldn't get into too much trouble. She actually chewed on what she was given to chew on! To her credit over the last 18 months she has chewed a computer cord, CPAP cord, nebulizer cord, pair of shoes, two pair of cheater glasses, two personal cell phones and 1 work cell phone.

And I came down with food poisoning this week. I've had it happen to friends but never to me. It's not a pleasant condition and the recovery is a little different. I took two vacation days because of it. I can't afford to miss any more work in reach my goals. I went to Urgent Care on Tuesday night and I did finally have a prescription to worked on my upper respiratory issue. I got put on Avelox.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Year End Wrap

The last month and a half was BRUTAL!! I had some 20 appts in 30 days due to truck lost, car replacement, loan officer appts surrounding both, dr appts and furnace issues. I totaled my truck a wk before gun deer season. My furnace had quit working and after $1600 in parts later was running proper the day before Christmas. I was invited and attended the County Sheriff and his wife's Misfit Christmas party. I spent most of my 4 days off from the factory sleeping. My internet jetpack has come up missing so that is why I haven't posted. Usually my dog hurls up foreign objects 3 days later so I'm not convinced she consumed it. I have found neither parts of it but, have not ruled out her dropping it somewhere. I am on my 3rd round of meds. One day I feel kinda good and other days I feel run over by a Mack truck. There has been some interest in me running for town chair and recently county supervisor. In speaking with the person the current position coming up I think I might run for county supervisor. I was surprised  that no one wanted on the tourism board. I think I can provide a more meaningful impact for my community via the supervisor position.

I am thinking about upgrading to the new technologically advanced Kurt Kinetic trainer and possibly taking up mixed martial arts next yr. It all depends on overall health in the coming months.Don't expect me to post much until I get a landline into the former milkhouse ths summer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Been a devilish 3 weeks!! I am still fighting a upper respiratory bug and not giving it the smackdown I want to. The same week I tottalled my Suburban my furnace quit and that took 10 days to get fixed. If I wasn't waiting on a part I was waiting on a repairman during gun deer season. Holly and I sequestered ourselves in my bedroom Thanksgiving day. It was the first day I really got to sit and do nothing. In between it all I was emptying truck and getting that squared away. This last Monday I was finally able to move forward replacing the Suburban. Although I would have liked to replace it with another SUV or truck I replaced it with a Honda Civic. When I went in to close on the loan the loan officer didn't know how I kept up my crazy hectic schedule. The fuel economy is amazing even in Chicago commuter traffic!

I also forgot to tell you Ms Triumph did not wind up going to the home she was slated to. I had pushed back her surgery a week to give the wound more time to let the antibiotics work and remove more infection. She sailed right through surgery. The vet techs at the clinic all fell in love with her but, one especially more so than the others. They couldn't believe I wasn't keeping her. My dog sees cats as prey. Anyway I called my old classmate to explain the situation. His daughter who was originnally slated to take her in had taken another cat in and was fostering another. He just said "We just want what's best for the animal. To say the vet tech was elated is an understatement. She now has not one person she owns but, three. She has a guinea pig sister and they touch noses I hear. I think Triumph hit the rehoming jackpot!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Art Of The Ride

Who knew in November I would find myself bicycling to work??? I hit a deer 3 miles from home with my Suburban a week before opening gun deer season. My mechanic had my car keys. His daughter had his phone as hers broke just before she headed off to some high school tournament. So only option left was bike to town. When I bike I have 3 potential challenges. The temp, the humidity and the wind...hence the art of the ride. Was awake at 6am the next morning. It was 34 degrees out so I thought I would go for higher temp w/o considering wind. Oh,my! At 8am it was 40 degrees. A little nippy but, I thought no problem. Hahahaha. The wind was killer!! Took me 2 hrs to go 9.8 miles each way. I typically can cover 6.4 in 45 minutes. I didn't just have to pause a couple times but, decide which route to take. First time I hit the rack at 5:30 pm in ages!

My truck has since been totalled and I am not replacing it. I also had a furnce that wouldn't function so it has been an interesting 2 weeks. My furnace now works and am likely to replace bonneville with aToyota Yaris. Be a while before I replace SUV. I'm thinking it is going to be a Toyota Tundra or a 4runner.

Had been considering changing churches due to pastorial changes. Peace has sermons saved on vimeo. I took a look at them as well as other church I was considering. Gonna be tough to make typical church services but, think I will discuss w/ pastor Forke about a Life Group on Sunday nights. Cool think about Peace....always ways to feed and grow ones faith!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lessons Learned........I've decided

Lessons learned....Bill infered he didn't take vacations. I have read numerous articles about the benefits of taking vacations and decided I am going to take several next year if my pocketbook will allow it. Up to 3 weeks worth!! I don't want to be like Bill thinking I missed out! It means I slow down my learning in a conventional situation but, not wholeheartedly.

My wish list:

I've wanted to go yo New York City for 34 years. I have a cousin who is a lawyer and has a clothing mfg business and lives in New York state. It has always been a pleasure visiting with him at reunions at Knarly Oaks in Argyle,WI. I've always wanted to go to art museums in NYC and a broadway play. If I go I will raise a glass of wine in Johanna & Paul's memory. They loved wine, art and theatre!

I want to visit the store in Montana. What an amazing story that lady has! I might have to see about supplemental oxygen for this one.

I want to go to Oklahoma to meet up with old college friends, eat my way across the state at all my fav eateries and visit my old alma maters! I feel a need to reconnect with  one of the sweetest parts of my past! I want to finally fish with some old friends and buddies off of Lake Eufaula dam w/ 20 pound test line for stripper bass. Wild boar hunt and maybe hunt for some other stuff,too!

I decided that I'm going to start sharing more great Dad stories because when I die nobody can accidently throw them out. My neices, nephews, sisters and brother can read them. When we die or someone we love dies we seem to become deeply reflective. I would love to tell you I was close to my Mom but, I had the most in common with my Dad!

Third additional edit. It dawned on me I didn't think about the funny story I thought about today. I thought about the day the three of us went over Comstock, Wi to Schmelke pool cue so Mom & Dad could pick out their pool cues. There was like 13 for Dad to chose from. We were up visiting the cabin. The day we were to go over there Dad was bouncing off the walls with anticipation. It was all he could think about. You need to understand my parents grew up during the depression and never had much of anything. Anyways....we get there and Dad is agonizing over the 5th tier (there were 5 tiers and the 5th was the lowest tier) of four pool cue designs. I see a nicer one in the next tier. I suggest it to Dad. It doesn't cost much more but, he sticks to that lowest tier. I kid you not he took 20 minutes to make up his mind. I'm proud to say I have his custom made pool cue. My mechanic got the rotor changed Dads 83 Ford 3/4 ton. I didn't have the strenth anymore to loosen some of the bolts.We're gonna have Dads truck running and in my machine shed by gun deer season!

My dominant focus for the next 8 months is become debt free except for the mortgage, make maple syrup from running a 400 tap sugarbush and get construction projects done. Thinking of the house remodel....when Dad was remodeling the farmhouse I grew up in...a couple rooms had peices of sheetrock in them with who did the remodel and the date. So, Dad decided in addition to them he would put a peice in with who did the current remodel and who it was. I plan to do the same thing!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seasons of Change....Keeping Up With Triumph

Bill and I have gone our seperate ways. Every time I thought the communication was over he would communicate. It was the last response which made no sense that really sealed the deal. He is emotionally unstable. At no time during our 4 month foray did I get the impression he was happy. He hated the Indiana heat and he had sudden mood swings. He is a changed man. Why? I will never know. He clearly revered my Father and used to call him for advice in his personal life. It mattered to Bill that my Dads old truck was inside a building at one point. He said he and Dad were friends but, he kept calling him respectfully Mr. Schwalbe. He was like a homing pigeon to my folks house when he returned to our hometown to visit years ago. I hope Bill can find some semblance of peace during his retirement. I suspect the UAW or his job he had at GM has a lot to do with his current mental state. Either way I will take the good that came out of the situation and forget the bad.

I've been to Chicago and met with Dr Song. I am anticipating a August breast reconstruction so I will not be competing in the Dairyland Dare next yr but, I am hoping to volunteer at the Horribly Hilly Hundreds next June to secure my spot in the 2018 Horribly Hilly.

I've been quite busy with work and have been batlling what I believe to be a viral infection. I did miss a day merchandising last Saturday due to my lungs being so tight. The next day things got better! My furnace is on the fritz and that's my project tomorrow to remove a vent fan motor and get that replaced and see if that is what's wrong or whether it is the other motor. Already replaced the capacitor.

Triumph had an excellent checkup last Friday. The vet asked the vet tech if the weigh was real she told him it was! Two weeks ago Triumph had weighed 3 lbs. Under my care she has gained a whooping 1.4 pounds!! She is no longer skin & bones. The infection and swelling has finally abated. She is fat & sassy!! She is slated to go into surgery this coming Monday to remove what is left of the front left leg. On top of that before we left the vet tech said "Let me know if plan A doesn't work out." So in otherwards if for whatever reason the first forever home placement doesn't work she has a terrific second chance elsewhere. Oh, and she tested negative for feline leukemia/HIV. Pretty proud of that little stinker!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pushing Through The Grind and Triumph

Continueing to push through the daily grind of factory work. The new HR manager is still anxious for me to return to college but, as I explained to him I am in the midst of several construction projects which typically we underestimate. I have explored more about online learning but, have just enough info to get me in trouble. I want to take a course next spring at the local uw system college but, time and money vs construction playing a defining role in the decision. Struggling w/ seasonal sinus mucus build up right now.

Good news for Triumph the injured kitty. She was a trooper about her first car ride. She went to the vet today and has been put on meds. The staff at the local biz flipped when I mentioned talking to animal shelter mngr about a foster. They howled NO!!!They'll put her down!!!!!

So she remains in familiar surroundings w/ upgraded digs that meet her approval. Kitty crate w/ warm soft t-shirts to lay on. A vacationing staff member will likely happily foster her after she is healthy enough for surgery. She feasted on somebody's left over pollock tonight! My old classmate who has a huge CSA in Beloit volunteered to set up a go fund me page for her! I am technologically challenged. His daughter will eventually be her forever cat Mom. Her pet pomeraian just tore his doggie equivalent of an ACL so she is currently financially taxed.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

No Time

Well, thegravy train is over. Back to 65-70 hr work weeks for about 7 wks. Forgot to mention I stepped on the scale at the fitness center and I have not gained as I originally thought. Triump might have gotten the short end of the stick. Had a good home set up for her and the cafe manager had this song and dance routine about she had a new home where the person did her own vet care. The father of the girl who was to receive it is going to call and see if this situation can be rectified. My old classmate will be much calmer than me.

Started the new merchandising job yesterday. Plan to keep it long enough to kill off one partitcular bill and then it's gone. The dynamics of the team is a bit of a strain.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Great Expectations

That was what my Father had for his children. Bill had talked about how Dad had wanted him to be a toolmaker in a real bad way. He had wanted me to pursue a business degree shortly after I graduated high school. I signed up for a couple classes at the local UW systems school. I endured it for one semester to appease him but, failed miserably! Dad could be one of the most enthuisiastic people I knew. I think in both Bill and my situation he didn't present it in a way that truly sold either one of us on the idea. Throw back moment to 7th grade...."Kate, I think you should be a veternarian or heart surgeon.". Why Dad? "Because you are so good with animals and people.".

Fast forward 32 years later and I'm sold on the idea. I finally explored where I was at academically at Oklahoma State when I dropped out a year after Dad died. I am planning to return to college in 2017 sometime. I spoke to the new human resources manager at work about tuition reimbursement. He had said that the company will cover up to $2000 a year. They have a policy in place to reimburse up to 75%. He had thought maybe he could convince them to reimburse up to 100% but, I think policy is policy. The HR manager also was encouraging me to take to courses a semester. At first I wasn't too keen on that idea until I started doing hr crunching and thought back to all the things I did while paying for what was going to be a bachelors in animal science. Oh my God! The things I did to avoid student loans and cash flow college!! During the summers I worked two jobs and picked up odd jobs in between. At Eastern I worked on the school ranch, worked part time on a stocker operation and then every week there was a school dance. The night of the dance I would study for 4 hours till 10pm, sleep 4 hrs and then go collect all the beer cans on campus. Back then aluminum was $.75/lb. I paid for my tuition with the can money. I wish I could have gone to the basketball games. I remember washing dishes at some stockyard, working at a private country club and working the world quarter horse show. At Oklahoma State before Dad got sick I worked at McDonalds off of McElroy st 39 hrs a wk. Sometimes I would also work at the lone chimney Mickey D's location on the Cimarron turnpike, too.

It has taken me a while to find a school that offered a sales and marketing degree online that a working person could take. If I take two classes a semester I should be able to complete my degree in 4.5 years. I am pursueing the degree for two or three reasons. One I need something positive to focus on after Bill, Two because of three strikeout w/ high school grads I am starting to think a college graduate may have more intestinal fortitude for a relationship. And possibly fullfillment of a lost dream of a bachelors degree. I just remember years ago I wanted that bachelors in animal science so bad I could just taste it!! The experiences in Oklahoma I would not trade for anything in the world. I had classmates that used to tell me you are one of the most determined people in the world I know. If anybody can accomplish it you can!! I could never do what you have done!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Triumph and Defeat

Triumph the kitty who showed up at the local cafe with part of her front leg gone and bone showing has come around to trustung the staff and some of the regulars. We are looking into medical care for her. it has taken about 4 wks to gain her trust.

Defeated by a rusty nail while reclaiming barn boards from my collapsed barn. One tetanus shot later and I was back on the job. I'll be glad when that is done. Finally made it back into the fitness center for the first time in weeks. I gained 3.5 lbs. That will go away soon. Have been so busy with work or the barn or something else. Gotta get up Holly pigeon house SOON!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Life Goes On

That was what Bill texted to me midway through our 3 month interaction after a 25 yr sabbattical of communication. We were basically on loan to on another to prepare each other for something. Sometimes in life we are placed in anothers life for a short period of time. It is to prepare them for something or for them to prepare us for something. I think we helped each other achieve a new level of enlightenment. Bill said his way of thinking has changed completely since he was 35. In reality his view point changed 18 months after he left our hime town. He just didn't notice. He has a different view point of achieving retirement. He did come to realise retirement was what you make it but, he also came to realise he didn't want a romatic relationship. I came to realise that sometimes educational backgrounds really can impact ones perception of how life plays out. He thought since his Dad wasn't going to pay for education beyond high school he had to join the work force. I grew up knowing despite being a fulltime special ed student in second grade I was expected to go to college and pay for it myself. In the beginning I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of paying for my college. Took me one semester to realise my Dad gave me power that he was going to have to bite his tongue about. I paid for my tuition and he couldn't stop the check when I signed up for something he didn't want me to sign up for!

Bill & I care about each other but, he moved on. He worked 12 hr days the better part of 35 yrs for GM. He had two failed marriages to his credit. If anybody was going to understand him saying "You get used to them." it was going to be me. I just explained to another co worker why I work 7 days a wk. Most of my co-workers don't know how I do it and think I am crazy!! It is not expected to be a long term thing but, a short term thing to achieve a specific fianacial goal. I am a big fan! Bill brought back a flood of memories of my Dad that I am soooo grateful to him for bringing back. I explained to Bill early on that my Dad was my best friend. He thought he got it but, I don't think he truly got it till I texted things Dad had taught me over the yrs. To me my Dad was my best friend because he taught me to raise the bar higher than I ever thought I could reach. He instilled good manners and good values in me. He also told me things to watch out for in a partner that would serve me well long after he was gone. He instilled a zest for life in all of us! He was strict but, he loved me from the top of his head to the very tip of his toes!

I don't know if I lost anymore weight. I had a couple of heat exhaustion moments in the last couple weeks. I am starting to reconsider participating in the Dairyland Dare. I still want a smokin hot body by next spring. I just renewed my fitness membership Friday for 3 more months but, I have been working outside salvaging a falling down barn. I am still wrestling with myself over whether to start a website for my forest products biz or to just settle for a facebook presence over the next 8 months.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Looking Back....Moving Forward

Looking back Bill has changed a lot over the years. Although he still possess some goodness...not as much as he once did. I can't see us as a couple. If we ever became a couple no one would be more stunned than me! We are most likely to be casual friends. What I mean by this is we might talk once or twice a year. It's really important to me to be equally yoked w/ someone. My faith is very important to me. Outside of weddings and funerals I doubt he has stepped inside a church in years. My POA is disappointed. She has wanted to see me married in the worst way for 29 years.

Went shopping for new athletic cloths for spin/yoga. For a bit on Friday I thought I had gone to Chicago (I can blow money there!!). When all said and done spent almost $200. It's actually pretty girly looking stuff. My sisters would be shocked!! And ate a healthy meal out and found a lower cost but, aggressive personal trainer. I really want to do well in the Dairyland Dare. I have continued to lose about 2 pounds a week. Only 34 to go. Spin class left my calves sore till yesterday and I was surprised even the yoga left me sore.

Currently reading "Glittering Vices" and "How People Grow".

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Desires Of The Heart Revisited

Well, on my way to the gym last night I heard "Jasmine" by Carole King playing. Then I smelled oak smoke and thought of my sister Johanna. We had some good times at the cabin in the last years of her life. I don't remember if that track was off the tapestry album but, I do remember her saying it was one of her favorites by her. I don't remember when I gave her the cd but, I do remember giving it to her and the joy in her voice!

I realised between going to the gym and working out I really don't want a romantic relationship for a year. I really want to just get in phenomenal shape mentally and physically. So I go home and find Psalms 37:4. It reads- Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. So either I didn't remember it right or Karen didn't express the concept right either way what an amazing scripture!

I've started doing strength training. Hurt a lot and am down 24% of goal weight lose. Had a wonderful conversation with Bill tonight. We agreed we should do so more often and learned he isn't any crazier about texting than me. Just has crummy cell ph reception where he lives. Best conversation I have had with him since my Dads funeral. He was very special to Dad. He was so special he sat with us during the funeral service. Bill and I have quite a bit in common.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sleep, Bike Spin Yoga Faith

Sorry I haven't posted in quite a few days! I've been quite tired. So tired I'd pull in the drive and recline the drivers seat. A week ago Friday I got home at 11:15pm and woke up at 3:24am. I got some stuff fixed on my bicycle and took it for about an 8 mile ride. My butt got sore so decided the next day to go to Spring Street Sports to buy a new pr of bike shorts.

Drove by a place in town on the way to pay property taxes and was floored to see spin/yoga classes painted on a window. Was so tired and had too many errands to run this last week didn't stop in to enquire about classes. Spin classes are challenging and yoga is supposed to help with breath control and stretching all the muscles of the body.

Faith. I have spent the last 30 yrs hitting dead ends when it came to everlasting love. My power of attorney has been after me just as long to pray for the man of my dreams. I always thought it was bogus. Well I'm going to fall in for her idea. She did so and prayed for him for 5 years. She is married to that man to this day. Sure seems like a huge leap of faith but, my way hasn't worked out too good. I msgd her on Facebook. I'm sure she is doing a praise the lord fit whereever she is at! I am praying for spiritual and emotional healing for Bill. He made a lot of sacrifices over the years he thought were worth it and I think he maybe is realising they came at a high cost. I still see the man with a large heart in him! Somewhere in the bible is says if you will ask God for the desires of your heart they will be granted. I have to look in my concordance to findout where that scripture is. For those unfamiliar with a is a book listing by topic/subject scripture pertaining to them. I first encountered a concordance while in college at Stillwater. I had asked the lutheran church pastor about something and she said " Come to my office. We will look it up in my concordance.". That was such an interesting concept to me at the time. I remember years later relating it to my Mom and one day she came home with a Strong's concordance for me.

Friday, July 22, 2016

You Say That Now...

Yah, I said next year in the fall I would not be merchandising to a factory co-worker Sunday afternoon but, a lot has occured since then. She was actually correct and I was wrong. I have since spoken with Bill and I lose to grandkids which in my minds eye is a noble way to lose. The end result is I am doing what we Schwalbe's are known for suddenly shifting gears at a rapid pace!

Instead of slowing down I am actually picking up speed and pouring on the coal. I have decided to put the Road King off indefinitely but, I need a stress management tool. I am looking to purchase an Mscow or Cscow in the next month or so. So far my stomach has not actted up to  speak of in several weeks.

I am determined to be retired from working for someone else at 55. I am also equally committed to having the financial means to pay for a lung tx. Where I live I have the coice of two health insurance policies and neither will cover a tx.

I went over to Rice Lake yesterday scouting for miserble difficult hills to train on. 18th street and 24th street look like they will fill the bill. I looked into upgrading some bicycle equipment and picked up a part for my bike. Tomorrow I will be riding her for about 12 or so miles and those miles will increase as will the difficulty of the rides!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Choosing Your Battles...Lessons Learned

I deleted my previous post. Unfortunately I can get overly emotional like my Dad did. Try to keep some of the good from the deleted post I decided to post a more thoughtful and meaningful post.

I learned a lot from the lost love experience. I thought about a lot of things I had not thought about in years and realised some things, too. I learned I crafted a glass ceiling for myself that didn't even exist. I recognized I worked to much that even if the right one came along or this one left returned I could never make it last because I didn't have the time to invest to nurture it. Relationships are like gardens. They need attention. If you don't give them attention they disappear. I had become complacent and unintentionally begun to let alpha1 own me instead of me owning the disease. July 4th I texted T Man my merchandising boss saying I want next summer off. I spoke to him later in the week and explained some things have happened that made me realise some things and I want to train for the Dairyland Dare which is very difficult. I have since reflected more and decided that paring down my construction goals this fall will allow me to extinguish more debt, if I got the syrup revenue pegged correct I will make twice as much money as I do merchandising, with half the time invested in syrup making I would be able to quit merchandising all together. Less work = more of a personal life.

As for what was or wasn't lost it could have been for any number of reasons. Possible scenarios are is was a mistake, a come on, cold feet. Also, I thought about my late sister and how excessively over protective of me. Could have been his adult children. He's got children & grandchildren. Reality of the distance between us literally. Also, I recall a teacher who taught under my Dad's leadership. He married this well respected realtor and George and Sharon were clearly equally yoked or in Dads words "wore well together". There teenaged children could not/would not try to get along. They tried everything to make it work for 18 months and finally gave up because of the children. Those didn't care about anybody but, theirselves. I had a coworker once tell me he had a friend who told him before he retired arrange appts for things YOU want to do. Your kids can run you ragged if you're not careful. Most good parents love their children without reservation including my Dad. I wonder sometimes if he would have told some of us no once in a while if he would not have been more appreciated.

My retired former coworker said that guys like him who work insane hours have a hard time adjusting to retirement. They sometimes wish they had never retired. Theydon't know what to do with theirselves and can be real a holes for a while. It usually takes 2 - 3 years before they acclimate. Some never do! I gotta believe that he will. He used to have several hobbies. Racing pigeons, hunting, fishing, trapping and collecting mustangs (cars). He clearly doesn't have hisself together like he used to I hope he does sooner or later. He can be such a kind man.

I am down 11 pounds. I'm doing the right stuff!! I got 39 pounds to go. I initially wanted to just finish the Dairyland Dare but, I've decided I want to up the ante! I now want to finish in 8 hrs. My thoughts are if Shirley Dennis could do the Big Ride Across America through mountains averaging 60 miles a day on a bike @ I want to say 19% lung function w/ oxygen assistance. Why can't I at 45% lung function do 65 miles in 8 hours on much lower elevations??? Either way by next August I want a smokin' hot bod and I'm gonna keep it , thank you!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lost Love, Tattoos and Daring Aspirations

I have been struggling with how to present the first part of this post. I want to be diplomatic while keeping it real. I've not dated for something like 12 years I think. I haven't kept close track. It was sort of because of the alpha1 and sorta not. I recall reading an Ann Landers or Dear Abby column once years ago which stated some people are anormal (they don't always have a high interest in a romantic partner). I'm like that in that I can go long periods of time with no interest and all of a sudden I become interested/ receptive to the idea of dating. The other part was I had concerned about getting attached to someone and as soon as they knew about the condition vamoosed. Anyhow someone from long ago came back into my life. I didn't know what he wanted. I thought initially he was looking for a friend (which I would guess about 75-80 % of my friends are men due to my interests. I'm a medium weight motorhead, I like to collect guns. I do a lot of stuff that are not particularly girly I guess. I'm not a shop till you drop kinda girl unless involves woodworking, construction, automotive, fabrication tools, books, recreational equipment or outdoor hunting gear. Anyways this guy got under my skin. For the first time in a long time I thought about things and felt things in a way I hadn't in a very long time. In doing so I thought about what I thought makes a healthy relationship. Then I wondered could I meet all those things and I honestly wasn't sure.

I have a friend his wife has had a tumor removed twice from her brain, is bedridden and in a nursing home. She been this way the better part of a decade. Gary was in his early 50's when this happened. The doctors at the VA have told him he is the exception to the rule. Most divorce their ailing partner and start a new life.

Two weeks ago while merchandising I knew I was frustrated and angry but, took a while identify what and why. I slammed my thumb in one of the refrigerator doors. Thought I just grazed it but, sliced it open good. How bad??? Bled like a stuck pig! Put a bandaid on it and then wrapped it in pink camo duct tape. I finally realised by the time I finished merchandising that day I was angry at alpha1. I have never been angry at alpha1 always frightened by it but, I was full blown P o'd at it!! I thought how dare this condition rob me of a love life. Then I realised I needed to assume a big part of the responsibility for robbing myself of a love life. Granted alpha1 could be blamed for some but, not all.

If this was going to change it had to come from efforts. I promised myself when I was 19 or 20 I would never what if myself again and I have always have abhored the two words "I can't". I linked all 4 words into one statement. That was tooo much! I immediately did what I always do and I put a big ugly challenge in front of me to tackle. I'll get to that at the end!  : )

Tattoos...hmmm...well I haven't done any yet but their are two waiting in the wings! I had always promised myself a racing sailboat tattoo on my completed reconstructed breast and another on my left upper arm if my sister Johanna didn't make it/get the successful lung transplant needed. I have a consultation scheduled for this Friday for my Johanna tattoo. It's more than she was a fellow alpha1 zz. I was very close to her. I could never feel completely confident in the tattoo concepted in my mind.  I wanted dignified and something that capturered her essence. I finally decided that instead of dignified I was going to go with artisitic. So I am taking the risk on the tattoo artist and letting him design it. It took me a while to decide on who would do it. Krueger Tattoo out of Eau Claire is going to be doing it and later on down the line the racing sailboat tattoo.

I just shot an email to Dairyland Dare race director to see how hard it will be to get signed up for the 2017 Dairyland Dare. I have started working out almost everyday at OST and am realising I'm still a pretty vital 50 year old. I have done somewhere between 7 -8.8 miles in 30 minutes on an eliptical quite consistently. I have been going for calories burned. I lost about 8 pounds and now I'm just losing inches. Last night I had my arse handed to me by the eliptical!! I  treaded in opposite direction. I hurt in bicyclist muscles I thought were in good shape. I did a whopping 1.6 miles. My intention by next yr is to be the same wieght as I was at the beginning of 9th grade but, if I weigh the same as at the end of 9th grade I won't complain. I believe it is attainable but, going to be difficult mostly because of being over 50. I plan to train on similar ascent/decent hills in my region, do spinervals, do drills, ruck sack on back hill climbing a foot and on bicycle. I might even invest in a fat tire bike for winter bicycling...who knows. Also, upgrading my wireless bike computer to a Garmin 810 edge. Not ruling out Power90 or PX90. Stopped at Sports Unlimited today and learned something new. Did not know about building up lactic acid tolerance. Gonna try a new during ride supplement called Scratch. Also will be doing whey protein drinks and again Perpetuem. Excited for the the expanded opportunities and health this goal will afford me. Drinking more water because I sweat so much during calorie burn workouts I'm afraid of becoming dehydrated. Eating better, feeling better.

I almost pulled the trigger on a HD Road King this week and when I tried to handle it I realised that my bicycling and exercise routine were going to actually help me better handle a motorcycle. I tried a HD on for the first time since 2006. I had convinced myself years ago it was going to be too much for me to handle. I completely disagree with my former assessment. Rock climbing and zip lining is on my bucket list! Likely ziplining this yr . Not sure I'm ready for rock climbing at Christie Mountain this year but, definitely next year!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Setting up 2017 Challenges

To the left under events attending you'll see three 2017 events listed. There will be an explanation in a new post when I am not so tired from working a 60+hr work wk. Two jobs back to back with a workout squeezed in today.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Focus On Your Strengths....Not Your Weaknesses

Delivered my neice her whooptie. A 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 199,000 miles on. I have read several books/articles on ADD. Made for an educational trip back home. Like some I could focus on her weaknesses or choose to play to her strengths. I lowered my expectattions for her. And choosen the later!
I've learned she wants a pimped out garden shed for a studio. Portland Oregon stole a peice of her heart for the West coast food ingredients and outdoors. She wants to work but, the impulsitivity thing and weight will present some challenges. I think my job is to help her recognize there is a lot of what she can have out there...right in the midwest. It's a humbling but, a rewarding experience! For those of you who think of yourselves as Christians and question why I would "even bother"....I challenge you to read Matthew 25:35 - 40. She wants to be a collaborator in creating a more positive future for herself.

I look at my desires to achieve this, that and the other thing and all I can think is how do I help her balance her passions with being self sufficient. I do still want to have a sports shop, I still want to raise pastured pigs but, sometimes you just gotta get beyond yourself!

Although, my summer includes clearing planted trees on my farm to turn into firewood & fencing fields...It also holds much much more. We will be growing personal gardens, bicycling (cause she likes that!)/exercising daily, cruising our forest for potential trees for creating wood art projects and eating culinary masterpieces that are healthy.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Patience and Adaptability

...Is what my sister claims I'm learning welcoming my neice into my home. I get the patience part but, not the adaptability part! Although I will say transitioning the farm to organic is an act of learning to adapt. Looking forward to the dog but, getting more caught up in the training currently. General concensus is when we do the "puppy run" Holly the dog is going to wrap my neice right around her little paw and I'll become chum. Looking at an inexpensive tablet to take pics & vids to upload online. I have an old Kodak digital camara that I have some issues with and don't trust completely anymore. Guess it's time for a Nikon. Learned about & some other dog product stores online. On an alpha1 note the dog will help me relax a little (reduce stress...stress can kill ya) and insure I get plenty of exercise. I believe the dog will be good medicine for Ru as well. She particularly excited about the "puppy run" and the baby chicks coming to the farm at the end of March.

Getting into dogs is leading me towards spending more time at cabin in the woods, traveling to other states, raising game birds & homing pigeons. What an interesting journey.

Reading Thank You Economy & Boundaries With Kids. And then onto a gundog training book. Totally into the gentle way to train a dog.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Living Life...Reboot

In about 8 weeks my late sisters daughter will be coming to live with me. General concensus is I will be functioning as a surrogate mother. I'm known for saying "If I could be my Dads power of attorney at 25 I can handle anything!". I"m sure I can  handle this but, I don't remember being this anxious about a responsibility in a couple decades.

I need to help her regroup and reboot her life. She has ADD or ADHD. I've read some books and several articles about it but, it seems like there is disagreement about so many aspects of it within the medical community. I believe ADD/ADHD is real. I do think it's over diagnosed and prescription drugs are too freely prescribed. We are choosing to try to learn to manage it through diet & exercise. To make it easier to stick with it for her I plan to follow the same plan. We manage diabetes by diet & exercise. For those it works for it takse around 2 months to see the results. There is a holistic practioner at who's plan works but, I don't think I could handle that restrictive a diet so I can't ask my neice to try it...although she is welcome to if she really wants to! If it doesn't work we will entertain the prescription drug route.

I can't see a high protein/low carb diet being detrimental to me. The exercise won't either. We will also be including supplements we can purchase at a local holistic store or GNC. I gather ADD/ADHD is with you for life but, that doesn't mean you can't be successful and fulfilled as an adult. She is excited about the prospect of building a chicken coop, having a layer hen flock and an organic garden. I told her she could learn how to raise chickens that way. I also get to guage how committed to this.  We can always buy pastured chicken, eggs or whatever else we would want locally.We are looking to raise pastured birds that are high in omega-3's. She doesn't know I am looking around for registered nubian goat breeders to purchase a couple does for us in the fall if I feel it's something she can handle.

In a humorous throwback moment....when I was a teenager we had a few milk goats. Anyways initially my Dad wasn't feeding the goats good quality feed (didn't know any better) but, my 4-h goat leader told him whatever you feed them will come out in the taste of their milk. He improve the quality of feed but, I swear saanen milk tastes different than nubian milk which is higher in butterfat content). My mother thought it was a fine idea to mix them and I would not notice. I refused to eat a cereal breakfast for a month in the heart of milk production for the "girls". She finally asked me if she seperated the saanenfrom the nubian milk and used it would I start eating cold cereal in the morning again, Would you mind eating the saanen as cottage cheese in lasagna, She was sick of making cottage cheese! She got a yes, a no and I'm sure a deep sense of relief.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Becoming Your Own Health Benefits Specialist

I could not have been able to become my own if it had not been for Lian Johnson at the former Accredo now Expresscripts. Thankfully under Accredo leadership the health insurance benefits specialist was encourage to keep the patient informed every step of the way. I've come to realise that those "alpha1 advocates" employed by others in the medical field don't measure up. Again props to Lian!! I qualified for hardship financial assistance but, it wasn't worth much if no one cared if the infusion claims were processed properly and every month. I spent a lot of time calling the product provider and my health insurance company I utilize to get those product shipments processed. So although I am left holding some medical will be nothing like the last 5 out of 7. I became that annoying little chihuahua barking till all they cared about was quieting me down.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Making The Most Of Life....Words Are Powerful!

Been a tough week for me. Lost a good friend I had known only 2 years. In ten years I have experienced the loss of three very special people in my life. Each loss changed me. My good friend who started out as merely my NRA Counselor I learned lost his battle against cancer 9/11/14. It's a date I won't soon forget along with 4/12/12. I don't remeber my alpha1 friends death date but, I will always remember my sister Johanna thoughtfully calling to let me know that Cindy had passed away. I remember weeping. When my sister died I weeped off n on for three days straight. Now my friend Les Miller always told me after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer  "Either Alexis or I will answer this phone." . I had called a couple times and got no response. I got a text saying "I'll call you later" and I thought Geez that's funny Les never texts?. I texted back I had run out of wheaties. Call Sunday night. No call. I call twice Monday at lunch break. The second time Alexis anwsers. I ask her how her Dad is doing and she says. "I'm sorry my Dad passed away 9/11. There's only so much time in the day". I had told Les I would call him back in about 5 weeks since he was starting another round of chemo.The last time I spoke with him,,,the next to last thing he told me in a sweet way "Katie, be kind to your body." I realised he was sick and that makes you put different values on things you used to put lesser value on. By the end of my conversation with his daughter she was thanking me for calling and said "I'm sooo glad you called back". It's interesting after some one you care about passes you become more awre of the positive qualities they exhibited and how sick people can be giving hints to what lays in their future. Les had always been upbeat. Gave the impession he could beat it but, he must have known I was too busy to fact check. He had recently sold his beloved 40 cal Springfield Armory handgun he wore EVERYWHERE! He no longer expressed a desire to order guns for others (he was an FFL holder & gunsmith). Despite the short two years I knew him I learned a lot and I know I only scratched the surface! He took a wealth of knowledge with him. Those type of people are few and far between as I told his daughter. He like my Dad were very dynamic individuals in their respective fields. Les was a gunsmith, motor head and outdoorsmen. He treasured his family more than amything. The long and short of it...I spoke to him a week or less before he died. He actually didn't die from bladder cancer. He died from brain cancer. According to Alexis "Dad & I thought we had 2 years. He was fine on Monday. Crashed on Tueday (I'm assuming medically because that's what my Dad did). Did a scan of his brain, It was full of grade 4 cancer. I pulled the tubes on Wednesday and we lost him in less than 24 hours." I told her "I know all about that! Grade 4 Glioblastoma. That's what my Dad had and lasted 10 days after he medically crashed."

I have been so hell bent on getting debt free and coming up with $1,500,000. I started to rethink my game plan. I am still rethinking my game plan in so many ways. Starting to consider slowing down the debt elimination plan and asking myself is this the absolute best plan? Can you slow down for a while and have a little fun before you're handcuffed to a oxygen tank/concentrator? Could you slow down to self-employment, Play a little more and try to come up with other ideas just as good or better to attain the same goal but less stressfully. This is still a work in progress. I stood in the book section of Wal-Mart (of all places) and pondered the power of words as I relived hearing my friend Les's words "Katie, be kind to your body.". I thought about the fact my vocabulary has diminished since I moved up here. I thought about how my short term memory might not work anymore like othe alphas have warned me will occur when my lung function becomes diminished enough. I thought about how I used to be a pretty good ficitonal writer when I was 18 or 19. Could I find some joy in writing while not having the freedoms we all take for granted until we recognoze some of them are gone due to what ever illness(s) we are coping with? Could I rebuild my vocabulary enough I could remember how to use those "big long words" in the correct contexted my buddies in collge begged me not to use because they didn't know what they mean. Words are powerful in so many ways. They can make you rethink your choices or they can help takes someone to a imaginary place or time.

A bit of deja vu going on. My current specialty drug provider provides me financial assistance w/ my max out of pocket. My alpha1 advocate accued me of being unfair when I told her I felt like I didn't have an advocate when $70,000 in meds had been delivered and only a little over $2000 was recognized by my insurance provider. She expected me to track down most of the info to determined why some other med bills would be arriving in my mailbox. As I soon doscovered it was her co-workers who failed although there could be extenuating circumstances. I did threaten to quit infusing. I told her I can't keep working 55 - 65 hr work weeks to keep my head above water financially. At first she didn't understand all I have been through in the last 11 yrs. I then explained 2 seperate incidents and when I got done she went "WOW!" We shall see what happens. I spoke to a different team member and she was quite apologetic. I told her "Although we probably can't alter what has already played out...we can learn from it and take measures to insure it doesn't happen again.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Staying Nimble and Hopping Off Hay Wagons!

Last fall was such a wonderful comeback story! It has enabled me to do lots of things. One I wasn't dependent on a nebulizer or rescue inhaler. Though few know I had gone out to check my propane levels just before a big snow storm (I think in February). Enroute I took a fall. I didn't expect to go into full blown panic. The harder I struggled to right myself the closer to the melting snow I became. I realised I had to pull myslef together and get a little wet. Perhaps a little cold. It rattled my cage pretty good! I haven't fallen since.

I just wasn't getting the hours at work so I applied for a part time merchandiser position. I have a immediate goal of becoming debt free except for my farm in 1 year. A midsized goal of being mortgage free in 6 years and a long range goal. A long term goal of having $1,500,000 in cash in 10 years. Most of it through mixed real estate interests and the farm. Next year is my return to pastured hogs and returning to being a dog owner. A new foray in a few years into raising and breeding Llewellin Setters from the Dashiing Bondhu line. That should cover the cost of a bi-lateral transplant because I'm not going to struggle along on social security disability!!!! I had a supposedly devote christian literally go into a fullblown belly laugh when I told her. I explained to her I believed I lived in the worlds greatest country in the world. Although we have problems...people start with nothing and become millionaires every day. If I don't try we know I can't but, if I do try there is a very good chance I can achieve it!! (I am a big Dave Ramsey fan so now you know I can live like no one else so that I can live like no one else later. I pretty much don't go much of anywhere except to U of Chicago once a year and now I figured out a way to avoid the expense of not staying overnight.) I retold this story to another Christian and I said "If God be for me who dare be against me?". He said "That's a great response!! You're absolutely right Katie!" I do have a couple indulgences... an ocassional Leinenkugel or Guiness Extra Stout and I eat at a local Mom & Pop cafe.

I've have had to crawl over other merchandise pallets to get to my back stock and hop off of pallets. I've learned to hop off them carefully. As I hoped off one yesterday I thought to myself...Remember when you used to hop off of hay wagons without giving it a second thought. I am so glad after 7 years of people telling me I shouldn't or couldn't do something I didn't listen. I listened to my body! Your body will not let you do something it can't handle. I never rushed into any activity but, I do proceed cautiously!!!