Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tree For All

I don’t put Christmas lights outside my house. I don’t hang a wreath on the door. I don’t have bed linens with holly or couch throw pillows with Old St. Nick needlepointed on them.

What I do have is a tree. A real, giant tree. And I’m a little fanatical about it (filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, according to the dictionary—and my husband).

This year’s piney confection is an eight-footer (not including the extra couple inches t
he star on top adds). I’ve gone larger in the past, but I wanted it to fit in the living room this year, and eight feet is my ceiling limit. I’m also on a holiday budget this year, and the taller the tree, the more expensive it is. This little gem only cost me $20 at my local grocery store, a fact I’m very proud of. (Okay, yes, it looks like someone took a bite out of it at the top, but I filled the hole with lots of shiny ornaments, so from across the living room, you can hardly tell there’s no pine branches or needles in that general region.)

Since I’ve being seeing everyone else’s trees, and admiring them very much, I thought I would return the favor and show mine, along with a few of my favorite ornaments. Ready for the tour?

This is the tree without the flash…

This is the tree with the flash…

I have kind of a thing for the Wizard of Oz,
and this ornament is a replica of the
balloon that takes Dorothy back to Kansas.

My mom made all sorts of sequin ornaments in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. She was a stay-at-home mom at that point, and she said making the ornaments helped her from going crazy. She’s not big into Christmas trees, so I’ve early inherited a lot of them. I like them not only because she made them, but because they sparkle a lot under the lights.

In the Christmas meme making the rounds, I answered that one of themes on my tree is stars and moons. I don’t have a “perfect” tree with all the same ornament and color-coordination, but when I see an ornament in the shape of a moon or star, I tend to pick it up.

This is one of my favorites. I have one sister and one brother and my sister and I found these ornaments when we were together and laughed hysterically like only sisters can. We each have a brother and a sister one and I still laugh each time
I hang it up.

I also have my share of kid-made ornaments, including a gingerbread boy my brother made when he was in kindergarten—that’s a ’75 in the corner for the date. He doesn’t currently have a tree, so I’m hanging on to it for him and hanging it until he does. I also have a few from my niece through the years; she’s 15 now, 16 in February, so I think I’m probably done with the kid stuff for now.

This is a Hallmark ornament or something of the sort. You pull on his tassel and he makes a ribbit sound as he gets a big grin on his face.

I should probably also mention the lights. That dang Martha Stewart. I watched a show years and years ago where she demonstrated how she put lights on her tree; she wraps each individual branch with the strings so every inch is covered. I’ve been doing it that way ever since. I think my light string count is hovering near 20 this year and it took me four hours to do it. Just the lights. No ornaments included in that time period. (And you’d think I would burn carbs doing it that way, as it involves ladders and twisting and turning and kneeling and bending, but nope. Sugar stayed the same.)

I like looking at my tree. It’s pretty. Lora has pretty tree. Lora likes tree. Lora hopes you like tree, too.

As always, more to come…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ho Ho How

We’re having our holiday party at work today. It’s a big, giant brunch at a very fancy hotel.

I’ve been working for the same company for 15 years, and the holiday party is always the same, so at least I know what’s on the menu.

It starts at noon and there are a ton of things to eat and the champagne flows freely.

I checked my sugar this morning when I woke up, chugged a small V-8 and ate a 1/3 or a NutriGrain bar for breakfast (my dog is on antibiotics and I had to hide her pill in 1/3, then give my other dog 1/3 so he wouldn’t be jealous; why is it medications are always so complicated, even for dogs?). That’s about 1 carb unit total.

I’m taking a slight chance that I might tumble lower than I’d like before we get to the brunch, but I know that if I’d ate a full 3 carb units for breakfast, I’d be too high to eat much of anything but cold salmon and roast beef. And they have really good shortbread cookies…

So here’s to guessing and hoping that 15 years knowledge of the menu, six of them as a diabetic, will play in my favor. Sometimes educated guessing is all you can really do.

As always, more to come…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trashy Girl

I keep my diabetic supplies in the office, right off the living room. Before I go to bed, I step in the office to take my shot and grab supplies to fill my blood kit. I have a garbage can right below my diabetes drawers for easy disposal of all the packaging that seems to come with diabetic supplies.

I threw away a syringe last night and laughed when I looked at my garbage can. Here's a picture.

One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell me which thing is not the like the other?

As always, more to come...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Big Switch

My husband recently got a new job. We've been on Cobra insurance for the last three months, keeping on his old work plan until the new insurance at the new job kicks in. (No insurance at my job; since the diagnosis I'm uninsurable on my own; thank god for marriage.)

As of January 1, I'll have to pick a whole new slew of doctors, as from what I've seen, none of my current doctors are on the new plan.

While I do consider this a slight pain in the butt and something I wish I had a personal assistant for—to do the research, figure out the hospitals, etc.—I can't say I'm entirely disappointed to see my doctors go.

My primary care physician is a nice lady, but she doesn't go above and beyond the normal check-up. She's good for prescriptions and for getting an HbA1c, but beyond that, I don't really think she's all that (and certainly not a bag of chips).

My endo is a nice, quiet guy. He looks at my numbers and tells me to keep doing what I'm doing. The encouragement is nice, but sometimes I'm not really sure he's hearing what I tell him. The one, big, giant reason I do like him is because I have his e-mail address and he actually answers me when I e-mail him. He won't diagnose me over, but he will tell me what the generic is for a prescription I'm taking, and he'll let me know if the new Lantus pen is in the office and who I can call to set up an appointment to get one.

I almost feel like they're both a little on the robot side—they do what they're told when I press the right buttons. I think I'm ready for a fresh team who might have some good advice and who can help me see a really old age in fairly decent shape. I'd also like a diabetes educator. Sometimes I think I'm doing okay, but other times I have a million questions. It would be nice to have someone I can ask without waiting three weeks for an appointment.

So. I have a task ahead of me. To find new doctors in my new network. Let the research begin.

As always, more to come...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Want My Two Dollars

Ever seen the movie Better Off Dead? It has John Cusack in it, and as a teen who grew up in the ‘80s, I had a crush on John and watched every movie he’s ever been in and even own several of them on DVD.

Anyhow, in Better Off Dead, there’s a paper boy who’s trying to collect. John answers the door and blows him off (his girlfriend had just broken up with him, how can you blame poor John?).

The paper boy proceeds to stalk John throughout the rest of the movie, chasing him on a Huffy bike sneering, “I want my two dollars.”

Today, I’m stealing the sneer and the phrase:


Two test strips, in a row, dead before I even inserted them in my meter. Wouldn’t take my perfectly shaped round bead of blood and give me a number. I had to go through three test strips to get the number, and I didn’t even like it. One buck per dead strip, two strips total. I want my two dollars.

As always, more to come…

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I ate too many carbs for breakfast; this I know for sure without even checking my blood. (Damn scones. I should know better.)

So I'm at the copy machine at work, waiting for it to warm up and make my copies. I decide to jog in place to try to burn off even a tidbit of carbs. No one is in the room with me. I'm doing my jogging jig and a very distinguished looking woman wearing a nice black pants suit walks in, walks past me and grabs her paper from the printer and walks out without even a word. Of course, I stopped wriggling around when she walked in the room, but I was impossible not to see.

Perhaps I've already earned my reputation as being slightly crazy, and now no one takes notice anymore? Hmmmm....

As always, more to come...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trying for Festiveness

Okay, here's my attempt at joining the yuletide merriness...a meme in the form of Christmas. Feel free to pluck it for your own holiday cheer....

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper, preferably color coordinated and with silk ribbons.

2. Real tree or artificial?
Real, real, real and as tall as I can get it.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Whenever I have a free weekend before the big day; sometimes it's been two weeks, sometimes it's been a couple days.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Right after New Year's day. Well, within a couple weeks anyway.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Drinking eggs? I think not...

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Probably the JCPenney stereo turntable my sister and I got to share. That and the giant teddy bear.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My bosses. It has to be nice enough so they think highly of me, and not so nice that they think I make too much money and won't give me more. :)

8. Easiest person to buy for?

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
No. I can't get the dogs to sit still.

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
I only e-mailed last year when I found an animation thing where my dogs could sing Jingle Bells. If I send them at all, they're usually handmade and mailed.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
An ex-boyfriend gave me a gift his co-worker got and didn't like. Little bottles of chocolate filled with liquor. I caught him bragging about it to his brother on the phone. Re-gifting gone horribly, horribly wrong.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Meet me in St. Louis. I just love when Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." I also enjoy Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street, the original black and white version (which I've already watched once this year).

13. When do you start shopping?
I bought shoes for myself this week, and I'm buying some new clothes this weekend. After me, I'll start on everyone else.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No. Yes. Maybe. I'll never tell.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Rum balls that my mom makes, after they've sat in the tin for a few days.

16. Lights on the tree?
All white and thousands of them. My tree has to emit heat before I'm happy.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
That Wham song that goes "This Christmas I gave you my heart" (I'm a child of the '80s), Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland (see above) and Blue Christmas as sung by the little girl on the Christmas special from the '70s.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Home and to relative's houses. We keep threatening to go somewhere warm, but haven't made it happen yet.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Yes. Wanna bet me a dollar?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
A big, silver, glittery star I bought in Tennessee years and years ago.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve with my parents, Christmas Day with other family members. Random moments with my husband (the engagement ring came at midnight on Christmas).

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Constant Christmas music and people sending me e-mails about Christmas before Thanksgiving (CATHERINE, although it does come in handy now).

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Stars, with the occasional moon thrown in.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Christmas cookies. Oh, wait, that’s breakfast…

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A healthy, happy life. And a pair of slippers.

As always, more to come (with a festive air, hopefully)...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Just so all of you out there don't feel like this blog isn't the only thing that's gone by the wayside in past days, my overall general mentality has been that of major slacker.

I took forever to order my diabetes supplies online and am now rationing strips until the package arrives, hopefully by Thursday. (I did, however, manage to order two new pairs of shoes from Zappos...)

I haven't done anything even remotely related to the holidays. For Thanksgiving, we ordered Chinese. For Christmas, my house is as unfestive as May 12 (a random date for which there is no decoration). I usually love a great, big, tall, real tree with all the trimmings, but I just can't seem to muster up the energy or festiveness to climb into the attack and retrieve my ornaments or shop for the biggest tree I can find.

I haven't even finished my library book, and I've already renewed it once.

My house is cold and I refuse to turn up the heat, so my best option seems to be to cuddle up on my big chair with a pile of blankets on top and a dog laying over my feet.

I do have plans to motivate in the next week or so. I'm just looking for that big kick-off moment. Maybe when the new shoes arrive...

As always, more to come...

*Okay, how's this for a Freudian or subliminal slip. I typed "attack" instead of "attic." My attic scares me. I have to climb on a tall ladder and dangle momentarily until I can crawl inside. Did I mention I'm terrified of heights? Attack actually seems more appropriate than attic...