Tuesday, March 4, 2014


February has been another busy month.  We've had many snow storms and Joe usually had 2-3 days of school each week due to cancellations.  Joe spent his time doing some unusually cooking creations.  He had seen some videos of reverse spherification.  The cooking process involves dehydrating food and making a powder, then adding sodium algamate and calcium.  A jelly-like substance is created which forms into spheres.  The spheres are cooked in a calcium bath.  The final product is balls that taste strongly of the original food that burst in the mouth like water filled gel cap.Not something I would ever make, but the process was interesting.  Joe took the chemicals and some foods to a library program for teens at the local public library and demonstrated the process for his book club.

Mike completed the work on the master bedroom.  I had planned to do the painting, but he did it for me.  We chose to use a soft pale green in the sleeping area and a neutral light brown in the sitting area.  Mike painted the green part first.  When I came upstairs that night to see the room, I thought that the walls were white.  We decided to do a slightly darker brown in the sitting area for more contrast.  Mike ran to the store and purchased the brown paint which he applied on the remaining walls the next day.  When I went upstairs to see the results, the green was slightly visible, but the brown blended in with the green.  We could barely see any difference in the colors.

I hung the medium green drapes in the bedroom and purchased some new art work for the walls later in the week.  The draperies make the green and brown walls appear light, but the contrasts from the artwork provide enough difference that the room isn't boring.  It's a serene retreat from the business of our household.

On Valentine's Day, I went to the doctor for blood work that is required for our insurance program.  If the tests aren't taken, we will pay an additional $100 per month in premiums.  We haven't been able to find doctors in our area for anyone in the family.  No local doctors are taking patients.  The nearby larger city has many doctors, but they are always books more than three months in advance for initial exams and won't accept any patient with our the initial exam.  None of the offices will book further than 3 months in advance.  So, I ended up at the non-emergency care office for my blood draw.

They drew the blood, took my height and weight, and then took my blood pressure.  The nurse immediately took it again, then walked me to a room and ordered me to lay down.  She turned off the lights and returned 20 minutes later to take my blood pressure again.  The reading remained the same 225/115.  The doctor was busy stitching up another patient, so the nurse let me leave, but encouraged me to return Monday to see the doctor about my blood pressure.  She also stated that I shouldn't be driving or doing anything that can raise blood pressure.  My readings are at stroke level.

I went home upset and stressed, then spent some time on the internet researching ways to treat high blood pressure.  The following day, I began eating the recommended foods, limiting salt and doing low level exercise.  (I'm riding on my stationary bike at a leisurely pace.)  My father was on blood pressure medications and ended up destroying his liver, damaging his heart, etc.  I'd rather deal with the situation by changing my lifestyle.  I'm too heavy.  It's raising my blood pressure.  I also need to eat better and take time to reduce stress in my life. 

By Friday of the first week, my blood pressure was down to 200/105.  It's still quite high, but it's heading in the right direction.  I also lost 15 pounds.  The plan is to continue to do the right things and monitor my blood pressure on a weekly basis.  If it stops decreasing before hitting an acceptable measurement, I'll go to the doctor and look at medication.

Paige and Allie received American Girl Dolls for Valentine's Day.  Several of their friends have the dolls and it's nice that everyone can play together.  I was able to purchase a few patterns at Walmart in addition to the Samantha set of patterns we already own.  Each doll has a new nightgown and Josephina has a new skirt.  Somewhere along the line, Samantha lost a shoe before she was passed down to the younger girls.  Mike gave me some leather samples from the furniture store where he works.  The leather should make some cute new shoes for Samantha this week.

Madelyn switched cheer teams at the end of January.  She loved the girls on her previous team, but she had out-grown her team.  Almost all of her previous team consisted of junior high girls.  Her new team is made up almost entirely of high school girls.  She is enjoying the team.  They have a higher tumbling level and she is being pushed to improve.  The girls have been welcoming and enthusiastic about adding Madelyn to their squad.  Her new team has 2 more competitions than the other squad.  We're currently booking flights and hotels for Nationals in July.  This year we'll be heading to Las Vegas.

Amy had 6 job interviews last week.  She received two job offers on Saturday from an educational toy store and Lowe's.  She has accepted both jobs.  Stryker and Best Buy said that would let her know later this week.  It's wonderful for her to be getting job offers. 


Barb the Evil Genius said...

I pray that your blood pressure continues to improve.

Does the doll sewing mean that you have found your sewing machine foot?

Karen said...

Thanks Barb. The sewing foot was found in the craft armoire that I had searched 4 times! Someone had placed it under a box of rubber stamps. I always set the stamp box in the bottom of the drawer and hadn't thought to lift and check under the box.

Ewe said...

About 15 years ago I had a high blood pressure reading at the doctor and ended up on BP medicine for a short time. After that experience just going to the doctor gets me nervous about my BP and raises my BP. The only time my BP has been good is during my pregnancies of my 3 boys. I think I knew it was important to have good readings for my babies plus I was always thrilled to be pregnant. Now when I go to the doctor they have to take my BP several times before they are happy with the reading. Usually if the nurse gets a bad reading if I have it taken again after I see the doctor it is fine.
I say all this because it is possible that now you are worked up about your BP and perhaps your reading is not quite as bad as the doctor's office shows. Perhaps it would be worth getting your own BP cuff to check at home once or twice a day? I think I got mine for about $60 at Walmart. Also you can get it checked at the fire station daily if they are not busy.