Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Literati VS. Kindle....NO CONTEST!!

Howdy, folks!

Hope you all had a good day today.  It got to a STEAMY 114 degrees here in Phoenix, so I did the smart thing and stayed inside!!  :0)

The other day, I was reading through my comments and saw one that had referred to my post when I got the e-reader called "Literati" by Sharper Image for Christmas.  I now have a BLESSED Kindle, so I thought I'd do a little post reviewing the two in case anyone is looking for a good e-reader.  I have had the pleasure (with the Kindle) and the horror (with the Literati) of using both.  Let me tell you, in short, DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE LITERATI!!!!!

Yep, I feel THAT strongly about it.  I purchased it with my Christmas money because it was on sale for $79.99 at a department store online.  I thought, "Wow!  That's a great deal!"  If you are like me and pinching whatever pennies you have, you are looking for sales wherever you can find them.   So I ordered it (despite the reviews that dissed it from other people.  I figured everyone has their own experiences, both good and bad, with things) and when it came, the problems began.  At first, just minor ones that I thought I could live with.  The first problem was it wouldn't hook up to the wireless in the house, so I couldn't buy books from Kobo (the store it uses) from the device.  I could get the books with the computer and use the USB cord to sync them over to the Literati.   OK, no problem.  So I tried the device outside the house at a cafe that had free WI-FI.  The damn thing STILL wouldn't hook up.  I figured, well, as long as I can get the books on the device with the computer, it would work out OK.  And I really liked with how it had a back light, so I could read at night and not disturb my husband.  You can read my earlier posts on it (pictures included) by going to "Story Topics" to the right of my blog and clicking on "Literati" if you'd like.

Anyway, time goes on and I purchased about 10 books and had no problems with reading them on the Literati.  Then, came the second problem, which was a little harder to deal with.  The battery life on the thing is only about SIX hours.  So right when you get to the good part of your book, you have to stop and charge up!  You can still read while charging, but the power cord wasn't long enough to reach my outlet to the bed, where I do my reading.  Bummer!  I read a lot, so this problem was NOT good!  But what could I do?  I had already passed the return period, and they would just return another unit that would probably do the same thing.  So I put up with this until about a month ago when the third and final problem surfaced.  One I could NOT live with!   I went to turn the unit on and it was dead.  This was after I had fully charged it, too!  So I tried to turn the machine on by hooking it up to the power cord and the thing still wouldn't turn on.  I finally found out the power cord had a short in it and I had to practically jam the cord into the machine and hold it really, really tight in order for it to turn on.  JUNK!!!!!!  I was so mad, I threw the thing against the bed (I wanted to throw it against the wall, but didn't want to damage the wall!) and saved up for a Kindle.  I was lucky enough that Amazon had it on sale and I got free shipping, too.  I am in hog heaven with my Kindle.  It's lightweight, easy to read, the wireless works (imagine that!) and the books are even cheaper than what I was paying on the Literati.  The battery life for the Kindle is wonderful.  I've had it for over a month now and have had to charge it just once.  And that's with the reading that I do!!!  I can even play music on it and have it read to me!!   So I learned a BIG lesson......don't fall for cheap stuff.  Save for what you really want.....and I wanted a Kindle all along and should have gotten it a long time ago.  I did have a little difficulty getting the Literati books that I bought off the Literati, as it is incompatible with the Kindle format, but I downloaded a free program that helped me convert the files over so I didn't lose any money on the books I bought with the Literati.   Yeah!!!!  And my hubby is sooooo sweet....he got me a beautiful burgandy case with a light (that runs off the Kindle, so no batteries needed!) for my Kindle.  I took some pics.  You will notice that Mr. Jack had to be in one of them, too!!!  He is such a vain kitty!!!!
 Here is the Kindle screen, without the light 
Mr. Jack watching over my precious Kindle!!
Here is a pic with the light wand extended.  Cool, huh?  Even Jack thought so!!  And he's hard to please...ha!

Hope this little review helps those that are e-reader shopping.  I love my Kindle!  I take it everywhere and imagine having your whole bookshelf in one little unit?  Whoever invented this gem I'm sure is pretty rich!!!  Wish it were me!  Ha!

Have a great night (or day) everyone!!!
Stay cool!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A New Website To Try Out....

Howdy, friends!!!

Well, I spent the better half of my birthday squashed between screaming kids and people with all their papers in their hands, hoping to be accepted into the state's healthcare program once again.  God, it was SUCH a nightmare!!!  We were there for three and a half hours and I believe that the kid that sat next to my husband screamed the WHOLE time we was there.  For most of the time, I thought that the lady who said she checked us in was lying, as our names were NEVER called!!!!  I hope to God that we don't have to go to DES again on a Friday.  Or I hope the next time, I will be well enough to work.  Please pray!!!

To make a long story short, we finally were called into the VERY QUIET inner sanctum of DES and had our interview.  I had a folder full of all our medical receipts, the DES application and letters verifying our address and the like.  But she never even LOOKED at the folder, just asked us if anything had changed since last renewal period, which nothing did, and she typed in all kinds of info on many different screens.  She said we were approved and that was that.  We are done for another six months and I don't have to worry about paying for my meds.  Yeah!!!!   And for all who want more pics, please be patient.  I'm wearing my nightshirt right now and getting my hubby to take pics is like getting a mountain to move.  So I'll take some when I get dressed for the gym and post again.  I promise!   I was so pleased....I can wear underwear now that I haven't worn in years!!!  Isn't that cool?  (NO, I will NOT be posting pics of me in my underwear......LOL!!!!!!)

OK, now for the new website I want my fibro/ME/Chronic fatigue or any other muscle/neuro problem friends to check out is called: Healkick.com  and you can visit it at: http://www.healkick.com.  I've already signed up, so if you guys sign up, too, maybe we can be friends.  The website is neat....has all kinds of info and I believe you can live chat, or IM, too.  So hurry over and check it out!!!  :0)  I've just barely begun to check it out myself, but what I've seen so far I like.  So hope to see you over there.

Alrighty, that's all my news.  Hope all is well in the world and thank you again for all the responses for my birthday.  You guys made me feel really special.  THANK YOU!!!  :0)

Until next post,
Thanks, Gina, for my new siggy!  :0)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, today is the day.  I'm officially 41 years old.  Oh, how the years have passed and what joy most of those years have been!!  And this will be my third birthday without my mom and my second without my dad, as he lives in Michigan and I haven't seen him in 2 years now. :(  I miss him!  Anyway, you take this only child who always had all the attention in the world on her birthday by her doting parents (and all the other days of the year!) and have your life up and change so drastically over the past three years since my mom died, well, let's say I'm still not used to my new life.   I get sooooo emotional over the summers since Mom died.  I guess because it was so sudden and I didn't get to say goodbye.  And she always made me special treats for my birthday.  Just being there made it special.  Oh, how I miss her!!!  I write this with a fine mist of tears in my eyes.....

And then, I go and make life even more drastic.  I have bariatric surgery!  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I had it, even if I did have a few "coincidental" things happen, like the bout of diverticulitis.  I'm glad I'm over that!!!!  Thank you so much for all the well wishes and support.  I've gotten so much, there is NO way I can answer each one of you personally, so please accept my group "hug" and THANKS A MILLION FOR BEING THERE FOR ME!!!  :0)

Life is so different after the surgery.  Meals take on a whole new meaning.  It takes me about 40 minutes to get through a meal and most of the time, it feels like food is getting caught in my throat.  So I've got to make sure all my meat is sloppy moist (to get 'er down the ole' pipes!) and I still can't have bread.  I've got such cravings for stuff I can't have....like a sandwich.  Or a soda. Or my ever famous taco.  I can have starches in six months, not before.  I guess they want me to lose half of my weight before starting starches back into the mix.  So I survive on sugar free pudding, popcicles, chicken breast, scrambled eggs, Carnation Instant Breakfast and the ever popular protein shakes (I still have to have three a day because I'm not eating enough food during the day to get enough protein.)  This has been the most radical "diet" I've ever been on and to think it is permanent.  Which is good, because once this weight is gone, it's STAYING gone!!!!  I just can't wait for another year when I can have bread and eat in a restaurant!  Ah, the simple things!!!

And taking my pills.  Geez, I take so many, that by the time I'm done, I'm full on applesauce or yogurt that I have to take with to get them down.  I've crushed so many, I've got cracks in my fingers from constantly breaking in half big pills.  But all in the name of losing weight.  I'll do it!

My hubby and I are really enjoying the gym and we ride the stationary bike and I've tried the treadmill a few times.  We take it slow and easy and it's helping my fibro and my joints.  So hopefully I can start weaning off some of my meds soon.  Won't that be nice?

Well, gotta get ready to go to the state DES office to renew my health insurance.  Wish me luck.  That place is a zoo and AZ is going broke, so they are changing some rules.  Please pray I keep my insurance!!!   I'll take the Kindle with and my hubby and I will play Monopoly while we wait with half of Phoenix in line!


Have a great day!!!
My next post I'll post some pics of new outfits I can fit into now.  :0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Time Flies

Hello, everyone!

This will be a really short post....just wanted to let you all know I'm still doing well and with the exception of heartburn these past few nights, I've suffered no other complications from my surgery.  Yay!  Hopefully we can keep that up!  I'm trying out new foods now and can tolerate solids.  I am SERIOUSLY tired of liquid diets!!!  I still need to supplement with two protein shakes a day as I don't eat that much yet.  But I'm coming along.  I CANNOT believe in two days I will be 41 years old!!!  It seems like yesterday that I graduated high school and had my senior year picture taken!!  And pretty soon my hubby and I will be celebrating our 15th year of wedded bliss in November.  God, where does time go?

Speaking of time.....gotta go to the gym and buff up!  LOL.....  and then my hubby has a doc's appointment.  It is sooooo miserable out....1112 for the high today.  Nice day for a drive on a hot highway, don't ya think?   Have a great day , all......love ya!!!

I'll post more pics soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Regrets? Maybe a few....

Howdy, fine friends & family!

Well, I'm still trying to survive the heat (it's triple digits again!) AND to keep "regular" food down in my stomach.  It is the strangest thing.  I can eat yogurt, sherbert, popcicles, and fruit but when it comes to veggies and meat, my stomach puts up an instant rebellion and up it comes again.  Before my surgery, I never had problems with veggies or meat!!  What's the deal?  And I am so depressed as my monthly measurements did NOT go well.  I actually INCREASED on my waist and bust.  And I swear, NO cheating!  I gained a pound on the scale at home.  I turned into such a scale maniac that my dear mother-in-law hid the scale from me.  Thank God!!!

I know, I know....Rome wasn't built in a day and losing weight doesn't magically disappear over night...although I wish it did!!  I guess I've hit a little plateau, so I am doing more work on the bike at the gym and I started walking the treadmill.  It's going VERY slowly.  Trying to get my stiff & cranky arthritic joints going is no easy task.  I had to go to the rheumatologist this past week for a shot of cortisone to keep my joints going!  My sister-in-law has a beautiful pool that she and her hubby are going to let me use so I can swim laps and get the pressure off my knee joints.  Those are what are hurting me so badly.  And swimming is PERFECT for arthritis and fibromyalgia.  So we'll see what all the new exercise does.  I have NO idea why I can't eat meat....maybe it's too soon for my stomach.  Too bad, as that has so much protein, which I need desperately!   So I've had to supplement with those yummy protein shakes.  And whenever I eat, I can actually feel the food go down the esophagus and into my stomach.  If my stomach is too full, the food "piles" up in my esophagus waiting for my stomach to empty enough to pull it down in.  Very weird feeling!!!!   My tastes have changed, too.  My poor mother-in-law has gotten me everything on a whim, hoping that will satisfy my system.  But foods I used to love now taste funny.  That, too, is VERY weird.

And I soooooooo miss taking a pill with water!!!!  I think that is my BIGGEST regret about the surgery is that I have to crush my pills and put it in applesauce, pudding or yogurt.  This is so it doesn't get stuck on the way to my stomach.  And a lot of my pills when crushed do NOT have a very good taste!!   Since I have to take them with food, it's not like I can carry about a thing of yogurt and an aspirin if I get a headache when I'm away from home.  I have to wait until I get home to take my pills.  So I plan very carefully ahead before we leave.....like how long we'll be gone, am I due for anything, ect.  It gets tiring.

I don't mean to complain or anything.  I'm just feeling a little down today and am using my blog to "vent."  Given the same choice, I'd still have the surgery because I am losing weight, just not too quickly in the places where I want it to.....like my tummy and thighs!  And with how I was going with food, I would have died young like my mom from being morbidly obese.  My mom had other problems as well, but her weight didn't help, either.  I guess there's pro's and cons to everything, huh?

So I've been on the computer looking at blogs and playing with my Kindle.  That Kindle is my pride and joy.  My hubby got me a beautiful burgandy case with a pull out light.  And I've got over 50 books on my wish list at the Kindle Store.   Oh, how I wish I had a money tree in the back yard.  A lot of the books are under $7, so that's not too bad.  But maybe the "Birthday Fairy" will leave me a gift card for the Kindle Store for my birthday!!!  Ha!  Wouldn't that be cool?  :0)  Ha!

That pretty much wraps it up.  I have two pics to post, the first being me in my new bathing suit that my friend Sheila got me (Thank you sooooo much, Sheila!) and the second in a 2x/3x night shirt I couldn't wear before.  So I am making strides....I'm just being hormonal!  Weight fluctuates all the time and scales differ.   So I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing and hope for the best.

My sexy new suit!!  :0)
My new night shirt
Hope you all have a great rest of the week.  Take it easy and keep cool!!
Big hugs,

PS....Much thanks to everyone who has left and will leave (how's THAT for positive thinking? Ha!) me very kind and encouraging messages.  I can't tell you how much they brighten my day.  Thank you all for being my friends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2 Months Post-Op

Good day, friends!

Well, it's been almost two months since my bariatric surgery and some of you have asked for pictures.  I have lost over 60 pounds since surgery, a lot of it water,  I'm quite sure!  But nonetheless, I'm fitting into some clothes that I had in my "I Have A Dream Collection."  So here is the before surgery picture and the second & third pictures are my almost two month post op picture.  The fourth picture I threw in of my baby, Jackie with his little "yarn hat."  I swear, that cat would probably let me dress him!  He didn't care in the least that he had yarn strung on his ears!!  Here they are:
Here I am now.  Still a ways to go....but the long journey always starts with the first step!
Here's my side view.
Gotta love a kitty with yarn on his ears!  :0)

 Well, that's all for now.  I'm gonna go get my feet up and rest for awhile.  I have a rheumatologist appointment at 2pm as my knees are killing me.  I was taking Levaquin for awhile and with its risk of tendon damage, I'm worried that is what is happening with my knees.  They changed my antibiotic and they are slowly improving.

Have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Yep, I'm Still Alive!

Howdy friends!

I am so glad to be back on the computer, if only for awhile.  I have so much to catch up on, I don't even know where to begin.  First off, thank you to all you who have written me via email, facebook or comments to question how I am.  Let me tell you....and I hope I'm not repeating myself....but I've now reached the UNDER THREE HUNDRED POUNDS RANGE!!!!

I had my two month check up at the bariatric clinic on Tuesday and I weight in at 285 lbs.  I can't remember the last time I weighed that.  And that was after being so horribly sick.  Let me give you the short version of what happened and why I haven't been blogging in so long.

I was doing so well...my hubby and I even joined a gym and I was really pumping away at the stationary bike.  I couldn't see myself pounding the pavement in 100 plus degrees, so we decided the cost of the gym would be worth it.  I love the gym and can't wait to get back.

OK, then comes the week of my hubby's birthday and I was starting to feel nauseated and not throwing up, but heaving.  A LOT.  I couldn't keep anything down for two days.  I remember looking in the mirror and feeling like a raccoon with the dark circles under my eyes.  I hadn't slept in two days because I felt just so awful.  I was cursing myself for having the gastric surgery because I knew that is what was wrong.  I just knew it!  So in the car my hubby and I went to Banner Gateway where I had my surgery.  It was a 40 mile trip that felt like 140 miles.  I remember holding a towel and a bowl in front of me in case I did finally manage to get stuff up.  I was shivering to beat all band.  We waited in the ER for six hours and they gave me everything they could for the nausea, but nothing worked.  And my intestines felt like they were turning upside down with pain!!  I was so miserable, I was praying for God to have Mercy on me and take me to Heaven that night.  I don't think I have ever in my entire life felt that sick.

I had to have a CT scan of my abdomen, pelvis and chest to rule out a clot in my lung or elsewhere.  I also had to drink that lovely barium drink to check my stomach for any leaks from surgery.  I remember getting half down and throwing the other half back into the cup.  Luckily, it was enough to do the test with.  And then we waited and waited.  That God they had a TV in the ER room, not that I cared in the slightest bit.  I felt so bad for my hubby, though, as it was his birthday and having to spend it in the ER.  FUN!

Finally, at 2 am, the doctor comes in and says my stomach is fine, no leaks (good), but my colon has diverticulitis and I was having quite an attack.  No kidding!  So I was admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics and fluids and to let my bowel rest.  I never even knew I had diverticulitis before!  My colon has always been friends with me!  Ha!  So I was in the hospital for two long, miserable days.  Nausea, that no meds helped and pain that meds sometimes helped.  My advice:  DON'T EVER GET DIVERTICULITIS!!!!!  My bariatric surgeon swears up and down that this is a coincidence, I would have gotten it regardless if I had surgery or not.  Finally, on the third day, I was released on oral antibiotics and full liquids and to take it easy.

I don't have the severe pain anymore, nor the nausea.  They disappeared as quickly as they came.  But I do have more pills to crush!  That's the only thing bad about having bariatric surgery.  You have to crush everything and not everything tastes so good!!!  I have to take the antibiotic in sherbert or I heave again.  Speaking of that, I heaved so hard I broke two ribs according to the CT scan.  That's why my back hurts like it does.  Also, I had to have one of my antibiotics changed due to it caused my knee to swell, get really stiff and hurt!  It was Levaquin, which can rupture tendons in some people.  God, I hope I'm not one of those people!!  I have a rheumatologist appointment tomorrow to check it out.  Wish me luck.  That's my story....and I'm sticking to it!!!

I hope you all have been well and have braved the midwest storms. I have family there that I worry about constantly, and you, my bloggers.  So stay safe and head for the cellar if need be!!!!

Guess what?  My birthday is coming up soon and my hubby got me a Kindle (which I absolutely ADORE!) as my other reader, the Literati, was a piece of you know what and quit working on me.  So if my dear friends and family are looking for get well/birthday gifts for me, the Amazon Kindle Store would be so cool!!!  I've got six more Janet Evanovich books to get to complete my collection.  (Hint, hint!  Ha!)

Well, gotta get off my knee and go lay down for awhile.  I hope you all are well and I think about you all always.

God bless,

Daily Blessings

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