Tuesday, March 1, 2016

From Taking Down a Tree to Creating a Comfortable Spare Bedroom, This Winter Had it All

As winter comes to an end, I find myself excited for things to start turning green again. This particular spring promises to be quite eventful, which will likely be a good thing as much as it is a bad thing. But before we get into this spring, let's take a look back at this past winter.

Winter Favorites
The Perfect Dress
I'm attending a wedding next month for the first time in 10 years. With the lone exception of my own wedding about 8 1/2 years ago, I haven't had need of formal attire in a decade. Needless to say, I had to find a new dress for the occasion. I started my search in January because I wanted to give myself plenty of time in case it took a while and because I really wanted to find a dress with sleeves. I don't like going sleeveless, I just don't. For some crazy reason, the vast majority of formal dresses are sleeveless, especially as you approach the spring and summer seasons.

Anyway, before resorting to the mall with all those retail prices I wanted to try some of the discount stores. I started at Ross but didn't have any luck finding sleeves. My next stop was at Marshalls, where I found the absolute perfect dress.

The color is vibrant, it has a 3/4 length sleeve, the hem is at my knee, and while it was a fitted dress it had some gathering detail in the front that makes the look more forgiving in the stomach area. Best of all, it is a well made Ralph Lauren for only $40. A full $100 off the retail price.

I'm so excited to have found the perfect dress and saved so much money in the process. It was a win/win. Now I just need to find shoes to go with it.

Winter Successes
Spare Bedroom
I finally finished putting the spare bedroom together. We've had this crappy twin mattress in our spare room for a long time. I always feel a bit bad making my mom sleep there when she comes to stay. We upgraded to a full size mattress and bought a wood frame at Ikea to go with it. I'll eventually put more on the walls but this will have to do for now.

Tree Removal
We also took down the world's fastest growing maple tree in our front yard. This tree had more than doubled in size in just two growing seasons. It was growing so much faster than all of its counterparts in the neighborhood. Clearly this was going to be a very large tree and it wouldn't be long before it would threaten both the foundation of the house and the buried water pipe, which runs only about 5 feet away from the trunk. Giant trees have no business that close to houses and certainly not that close to pipes.

It can cost $800 to $1200 to cut down a full sized tree. Heck, even trimming a tree can cost $500. So, while the tree was still a manageable size and to prevent any problems, we took advantage of a warm January day to cut down it down. Of course, by we I actually mean hubby. I just took pictures and watched. Clearly, I have no business sawing a tree trunk, no matter how small.

Pillow Covers
I also made 4 more pillow covers. After Christmas I wasn't quite ready brighter colors yet so I made these.

Flannel shirts always make me think of winter so I thought that would be the perfect fabric for our winter pillows. Gypsy seems to like them so I guess it was a success.

Winter Failures
Medication Trouble
I'm having some trouble with the medication I take to control my endometreosis. I started taking this pill back in September to keep my hormones at an even level all the time and eliminate my periods. My body responded perfectly. My periods were gone, not even a little break through bleeding, and the pain was worlds better. I did wonderfully through the entire 3 months of my first shipment. Then when I refilled the prescription things changed. The pills look the same and come from the same manufacturer but I've been spotting every day and with that I'm having more pain and more trouble treating my migraines. This has been going on for 6 weeks now.

Obviously, something is wrong with these pills. They clearly have some hormones in them, otherwise I would have a full period. I suspect they simply don't have as much hormones in them as labeled, or the intergrity of the pills have been compromised somewhere between India, where they were manufactured, and my mailbox.

My doctor says she can't help because it has to be dealt with between my insurance company and the pharmacy. They are one and the same with Optum Rx and so far they have not been helpful. I'm still working on the problem and will continue the frustrating process of dealing with it. But so far it has been one giant failure.

Winter Highlights
Great Weather
This winter has produced plenty of warm days. We were able to make several trips to park with Gypsy in December and were able to do outdoor projects in both January and February.

Can you believe it was this warm in December?

We also got to enjoy some pretty snowfalls.

This black cat decided to get a little mouse hunting in before the snow got too deep.

Wet snow and high winds teamed up to cover all the trees out back.
So pretty!

The other highlight of this winter was finding a new PCP. I haven't been comfortable with a PCP since I left my hometown about 9 years ago. What a pleasure!

Winter Lowlights

Hubby and I were both sick over the holidays and then again in early January. Something about getting sick just seems to make the chronic migraines and the fibromyalgia worse, or at least harder to deal with.

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