Monday, May 27, 2013

They're all starting to look the same

4 more quilts for the weekend, not bad for not having quilted much in such a long time.  I love having a long piece of backing fabric loaded on the machine and then I can just throw one top after another on and quilt away.  Each top takes maybe 10 minutes to quilt.  At this rate, I will whip through the 200 tops before June is over.  So long as I can keep this up.  Maybe having a forever migraine is a good thing :)  I'm trying to look on the bright side.

This morning my daughter and I went to the Goodwill's 50% off sale and I got three new tops and a pair of jeans that actually fit!  I am tall so it is hard to find jeans in my size that are long.  I didn't even look at the t shirts this time, but did pick out three really cute tops that will be great for dressing up a little bit.  I found that when I had to go to my daughter's scholarship dinners, all I had was casual clothes.  Not the best way to make a good impression.  The last couple of weeks I've been picking up some new dressy pants and shirts so I'm ready for the next fancy dinner or party.  Not that I ever go to those things, but just in case.  Or, in case I win the lottery and have to be on TV.  One must always be ready you know :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

tired of these yet?

 I have two huge boxes, maybe 100 more?  That's what happens when you get hundreds of yards of gorgeous fabric donated, a great friend (Carla) who cuts and coordinates it all, get the kids at the middle school to sew it together and then we get to figure out what to do with all of the quilt tops.  She has about as many as I do to quilt up.  We did a few of them at the last sew day, maybe a dozen?  I can tell I will be working on them for a while.  The colors are off on these, can never tell what color things will be with my cell phone and I'm too lazy to get the real camera out.  They are more blue/reds than the green in the picture.  I was given a roll of 23 yards of the perfect fabric for many of the quilts and I loaded that onto the machine this morning, so you will be seeing a lot more of these cuties over the next couple of weeks I think.  I have 9, yes, 9 days of school left and then I'm free for the summer.  I can't wait!  My daughter has only 2 days left.  Weird furlough, then voted to increase taxes, so some furlough days were restored, but some people had already made plans for graduation to be on the 31st, so we couldn't change that, so for some reason that means the seniors don't come to school after the 29th?  Yeah, that doesn't make sense to me either, but she is happy.  She graduates on Friday and has her valedictorian speech all ready to go.  I hope to be able to post it here after she give it.  I think it is pretty funny.  Not the typical inspirational speech everyone gives.  Lots of sarcasm, just like her mom :)

One more day to enjoy this weekend.  yay me!  I'm trying to do some different quilting designs since these guys only take about 10 minutes each and I really should be getting better after 900 quilts.  Maybe I should try some feathers.  The only way to get better is to practice right?  With 200 quilts, I could get quite good by the end.  I like just scribbling all over, mindless and quick, but pushing myself would make me feel accomplished.

Ok, off to do something important for the day.  Dishes and laundry.  If only I had $1 for every load of dishes I did...

do you live near me?

I'm putting this flyer in my quilt shop today.  I'm hoping that some of the quilters will see it and dig through their stashes and help us out.  We are making quilts not only for the 'big disasters' but for the local kids too.  Whenever there is a big tragedy going on, I deplete my stash and then I get a call from a local cause and I'm out of quilts.  I'm working like crazy and can use some extra hands to help me keep up with the demand.
I'm finding that I'm starting to run out of thread.  How is that possible?  I have enough quilting thread, but my piecing thread is getting low.  Especially for my bobbins.  I can use serger thread, but I really love using up donated thread that has been sitting around, purchased long ago, but still very useable.  Makes me feel so good to finally be able to give the thread its final resting place.  Weird, I know.
Here's hoping I get some new volunteers.  If you live in Northern California, I'd love for you to help us out.  We are a great group of people who love to make quilts for kids in need.

Binky Patrol is collecting quilts

Vacaville Binky Patrol is always working to cover children affected by tragedy both locally and throughout the world with the comfort of a warm, handmade quilt or afghan.  We donate locally to programs such as NorthBay Hospital’s A Baby is Coming program, Solano Family Child Protection Services, Safe Families, Nurse Family Partnership and students in the Travis Unified School District.  We are always searching for children in need of the comforting hug a handmade quilt can provide.  If you know of a child in need, please contact the area coordinator, Marilyn Lewis, to let her know how to reach the child, or to offer to be the point of contact person.  We sent 1144 quilts to Japan in 2011 and we just sent 12 quilts to West, Texas and 40 quilts to Moore, OK and continue to collect quilt tops and finished quilts.

We also love new volunteers to help make the blankets (Binkies).  Our blanket making efforts are a huge group effort.  Many members make the quilt tops, several quilt them and then there are the loyal binding buddies who put the finishing touches on.  We have work days at A Quilted Heart on the third Sunday of the odd months from 1-4pm as well as several times throughout the year.  If you would like to be notified of the special work days, please send an email to and let me know.  Even if you don’t sew, we have many jobs: sorting fabric, cutting, pressing, or encouraging!

We also take donations of yarn and cotton fabric as well as thread, sewing machines, and anything else sewing/quilting/knit/crochet related.

Questions?  Call the Vacaville area coordinator

Marilyn Lewis


Super size 9 patch quilts

In case you were wondering, here is the pattern for these super size 9 patch quilts.  The kids at the middle school crank them out so fast we can't keep up with the quilting on them.  You take three yards of coordinating fabrics, cut them up, mix them up and sew them back together.  Three cute quilts.  Need some quick, cute baby shower gifts?  You can make them without the quilting too.  Just follow the instructions on the link and you can have three quilts done in under three hours.  What new mother wouldn't love a hand made baby quilt?

Even I need a little inspiration

I just did a google search for Charity quilts and came up with this blog and quilt instruction page for lots of super easy quilt patterns.  I know I'm supposed to be working through my quilt books, but some days, just a little nudge and inspiration are in order to get the creative juices flowing.  Just looking at all of the great quilt patterns and designs that are out there are enough to get me back in the sewing room and making something new.  I'm still working on my daughter's college quilt and I think all I need to do is press all of the blocks and lay it out.  Then, I can sew it together and have the top done.  The tediousness of sewing all of the pieces together gets overwhelming sometimes and it is nice to take a mental break every once in a while.  It will be worth it in the end, as long as I can keep pushing through.  Isn't that why we have so may UFO's?  We get stuck somewhere along the process and distracted by the next project and the current one gets put on the shelf.  I have quite a few of those projects, patiently waiting for me to come back to them.  This summer.  I keep promising myself.  The summer of finishing.

Yeah, sure.

But, if you need to procrastinate, or not, take a minute to check out the great patterns and tutorials that are linked and maybe find your inspiration and start yet another project that you really don't have time for.

Maybe, it is just what the doctor ordered!  Surely it can't make things worse :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

another quick picture

Got another one quilted this evening.  I feel better when I'm quilting.  Helps keep my mind off the migraine :(

another one for today

A huge roll of batting was donated this week and it is a bit scratchy.  I have to slow the quilting machine way down or the thread breaks every 5 inches.  Patience, patience.  It will make up about 30 quilts, I had better get used to going slow, or make some of the quilt in the ditch or tie quilts.  I really do appreciate the gift of the batting, so I'm not complaining.

Memorial day weekend

What's better to do on a long weekend than quilt?  I can't think of anything.  Of course, a major migraine yesterday and again today to accompany anthing I'm up to.  I'm frustrated and depressed that nothing seems to be helping, not even the prednisone.  But, my husband does remind me that it can take up to 10 days to kick the rebound headaches and I'm on day 5 of the prednisone pills. 

So, laundry is done, dishes done, long walk done, plants fed and watered, wasp nest squished, trash taken out, lawn mowed (thanks big kid), carpet shampooed, couple of quilts done and it's only 2pm.  Daughter is off with friends getting fancied up and having dinner and son is off watching his girlfriend dance in the parade and the house is really quiet.  This is what it will be like next year when daughter #2 goes off to college.  My older son is never home so it will just be me, hubby and little guy who loves to play video games and comes out to give me hugs every couple of hours and to get a snack.

I better go find more things to do.  Maybe pack another box of quilts to be shipped out on Tuesday, or cut up some quilt kits for my friend Rebecca who is back from college.  She picked up some yesterday, but that won't keep her busy long.  She is a quick worker.  I will have to have her over to quilt them up this summer too.  She loves to use my quilting machine and we can work double quick on it together.

Friday, May 24, 2013

900-that's a lot of quilts!

 Here it is!  Quilt number 900 since July 2008.  I wonder how much thread I've used.
 Here's by two quilting buddies, always by my side in the quilting room, maybe hoping I will drop a treat or hoping I bend over to give a pat or scratch.
and just because I had the backing on, I did quilt number 901.

4 day weekend, earthquake, hearing loss and steroids

Strange title for a blog post, but there is so much going on in my life right now.

First and most importantly, I have a 4 day weekend.  That's a blessing and a curse.  Today is a furlough day, which means a day without pay.  It's good on the one hand because I can stay home and rest and let the steroids do what they are suposed to be doing without me wanting to strangle someone, but bad because it is one day less pay and you know how expensive college is!  My daughter is going off to UCLA in the fall and the bills are starting to come in.  We had to put the initial payment for her housing last week and they added a $13.75 charge to the bill for using the master card.  They don't take VISA and we didn't know about the charge until after we hit OK, but you can bet they are getting a check next time.  That's highway robbery if you ask me!

So, I will be trying not to spend money today, but if you ask my husband he will tell you that a day off of work is like asking me to find something to spend money on.  I will probably need to go grocery shopping after I clean out the fridge so there go my best laid plans.

Last night while sitting on my bed upstairs watching TV, I felt the bed shake.  I asked my husband if he felt the earthquake and he thought I was crazy.  He looked over at his computer monitor and saw it moving, but when he checked the USGS website, the earthquake wasn't registered yet.  A few minutes later, there it was, a 5.7 near Greenville, Ca which is up near Chico or Tahoe, not on a fault line.  I get pretty excited when I feel an earthquake.  not a lot of damage, thankfully, but exciting none the less.  I heard this morning there was an 8.2 in Russia.  They said no damage, so it must have been in a very remote area.

My older son has been having hearing troubles for a couple years and this year in school failed the hearing test.  I took him in and his regular doctor gave him a quick hearing test in the office and he failed that one too.  Another tests by the audiologist was failed as well so he saw the head and neck specialist.  Once again, the kid failed the test.  He has never failed so many tests in his life.  So, on Wednesday, he had a CT scan.  I almost died when they charged me $400 for the scan and when I called to find out why it was so expensive, I was reminded that we have a $1,000 deductible for the family for the year.  We must be having a good year to not have reached that yet.  The head and neck doctor thinks it is otosclerosis or calcium build up in the ear bones of the middle ear.  He says it is not very common for a 15 year old to get it (I read on the internet it is most common in white, middle age women who are pregnant) but it is highly hereditary.  I asked my dad if anyone on my side of the family had early hearing loss and other than he (82) and my mom (79) he can't think of anyone.  I don't think either of them qualify as early hearing loss :)  Sorry dad.  Then, I got to thinking that my husband has troubles hearing and I've always thought it was because he listens to music too loud, but I bet he has this thing too.  We are going to see what the doctor says and then have his hearing tested too and maybe a ct scan done on him.  Since we have now almost reached our deductible :) why not?

The options for treatment are a hearing aide or surgery.  The hearing aide isn't covered by our insurance and costs about $2K, but the surgery is covered.  The surgery can lead to permanant hearing loss.  I think we will wait on either one until the hearing loss gets worse.  He seems to be able to just twist his head and use his good ear or read lips enough to do well.  He has straight A's and gets along socially so it really isn't causing too much troubles yet.

As for the steroids, I'm on day 4 today.  They seem to be helping the migraine a bit.  I can still feel it and still wish I could reach for a quick fix to get rid of it, but know that in the long run they should work to get me over the rebound headaches and hopfully on the right track so the preventative medicines can start working.  I'm still trying to avoid the bad foods and exercising.  Went for a walk yesterday with the weather being so nice.  We are finally having spring after our winter/summer.  Should be a nice weekend with some rain expected on Monday.

Well, I have a million and 7 things to do this weekend and they aren't getting done by themselves, so I had better get started on them if I expect to start crossing them off my list.

I sent the first box of 20 quilts off yesterday.  A teacher at my school has a good friend who lost his house in Moore, OK and was asking that people send stuffed animals to his mom so he could pass them out to the kids.  I asked if I could give quilts and he was very excited.  I boxed up 20 and took them in yesterday.  I told him I would bring another 20 on Tuesday.  That means I have to see if I have another 20 ready to go, or get busy quilting.  I also need to get busy quilting up some for my friend who is going back to Rwanda this summer.  Finally, I have another 4 quilts to take to my friend who visits the returning wounded that come through Travis AFB every Saturday.  I brought her 4 last Sunday and just got these back from Rhoda my binding buddy yesterday.  Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, she will have them to pass out on Saturday to any returning wounded.  Now I'm ahead of my one quilt a month for this year :)  Happy, Happy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another place for quilts

This is from Ellen Medlock of the Ellen Medlock Studio Store in Tulsa, OK.

"I am honored to start a QUILT DRIVE for OKLAHOMA Tornado Families. If you wish to donate a quilt, please send to our shop- and we will make sure it is placed in the right hands!

Ship to: OK Quilt Drive, c/o Ellen Medlock Studio Store, 10032 S. Sheridan Rd, Suite H-1, Tulsa, OK 74133. (We will be happy to place any kind of blanket, for that matter!)"

Here's another post for quilts.  Whenever a disaster strikes, you know quilters step up and reach out.  There just are never enough hours in a day to do all that we want to do.

If you can't send a quilt because of the cost of postage, maybe you can do what I did when the disaster struck Japan two years ago.  I knew I needed to collect and send quilts, but also knew that postage was going to be insane.  I started asking around to see if anyone knew anyone who could help with postage or maybe even an airline who would fly the quilts for us.  I asked my daughter's tennis coach because he seems to know everyone.  He knew a guy who works for Fed Ex and that guy put me in touch with their community service department and they were able to get 1144 quilts shipped internationally for FREE.  It would have cost over $2,000 to ship them and through a wonderful networking process all I had to do was ask some questions and get some kids to help me load the truck that came to my door.

I'm not saying you get your quilting group to make a thousand quilts, but if that's what you feel like you need to do, go ahead.  It was pretty fun (and crazy!) but do what you can.

There are always local needs.  I teach at a high school and just this last week we lost a student to a three year battle with brain cancer.  I was lucky enough to make a quilt for her last summer.  Her mother thanks me every time she sees me.  The girl carried that quilt around with her everywhere she went and the mom was always washing it to try and keep her from getting sick.  She told me the quilt really brought her a lot of comfort, especially at the end.

If you can't afford the postage to ship to Oklahoma or Texas or the next big disaster, please make a quilt and donate it to your local school.  Give it to the office and ask that they give it to the councelors or school psychologist.  They will know just who to give it to.  There is a child who just lost a parent, or who just found out they have a disease and who will go home tomorrow, comforted by that quilt you just made for them.  Their disaster will be made a little better because you took the time to care.

I quilt for many reasons.  Some of them are selfish, because it helps me take my mind of the terrible migraine pain.  It makes me happy to take something rejected (fabric that has been sitting for decades in grandma's closet) and make something useful.  I get to see the smiles and receive the hugs when I get to personally give a quilt to a child.  I do it because I get to spend time with long time friends and make lots of new friends.  People I never would have met otherwise, like Carla, who help/fuel my obsession and tell me I'm normal eventhough they know I'm totally crazy and listen to me when I lose my mind.  I also quilt because I know it fills a need in other people to be warmed physically and emotionally.  To know that someone out there was thinking about them and took the time to make something just for them.  To give them hope in a world that so often seems hopeless and lets them have a hug in the form of fabric, batting and a little thread put together with time.  Something so precious as time.

So, take a little time today, even 10 minutes if you can spare it and work on a quilt.  Local or national.  It will make a difference.  I promise you that.

quilts for Oklahoma Tornado Relief

Are you watching the news, wanting to help the families affected by the tornado victims and families?  As an area coordinator of Binky Patrol, a national organization, I have an instant network of volunteers in place, ready to help.  Of course, the word is out that we want to help.  One of our area coordinators in Texas is ready to deliver quilts and blankets as soon as they come in.  If you have something ready to send, or have some time soon, any size is appreciated.  Binky Patrol's motto is Comforting Covers for Kids and we make blankets for kids of all ages.  If you want to send a blanket or 10, please ship them to:

Kathy Hook

2204 West Park Blvd. #3101

Plano, TX 75075

I'll be working on quilting up some this week after school.  It seems like the steroids are working already.  My head is feeling better already and I feel like I have a little more energy today.  First time in months!  Let's see if it lasts!!!

using my blog as a medical log

My doctor is putting me back on prednisone to try and break the rebound headaches and I looked through my bottles of pills and found my last bottle of prednisone pills with 4 left.  That let me know there must have been some reason I didn't finish off the course.  Why?  Well, I went back to the blog to see if I had written anything about the side effects or to see if it actually worked.  I do love having the blog for myself to keep track of my life, my medical issues, my family happenings, of course, my quilts and having kept it up for so long, it is nice to be able to go back and see how things have changed over time.

Nope, there wasn't anything about having to stop taking the prednisone early, but then I remembered that I had written to my doctor so I checked my emails on the Kaiser website and sure enough, I was having some pretty bad depression and he recommended stopping early.

Well, today I started taking the prednisone and am hoping the benefits outweigh the risks.  Knowing that I could get down in the dumps, at least I know what to look out for.  I have some pretty exciting things happening these next couple of weeks, so hopfully, the good outweighs the bad and I'll be able to stick with the full treatment this time and break the rebound cycle of headaches and get off the quick fix medicines and my preventative migraine medicines will start working.  This every day headache just isn't doing it for me.  I've got things to do!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I actually quilted

 Despite the business of the weekend and not feeling well and having Binky Patrol yesterday, I actually quilted three quilts.  The top one is for my student teacher and I hope to have if done by tomorrow when we have our end of the year meeting.  Just needs binding, but of course tonight my son has a dr. apointment with the head and neck surgery department for his hearing loss.  Seems he can't hear out of his right ear and they aren't sure why.  He got a hearing test with the audiologist and she said it wasn't because of being in band or because he had tubes in his ears as a little guy, which I guess is a good thing, but she thinks he has some malformation in his inner or middle ear and may need a hearing aid.  Bummer.

Then, of course, he tells me last night at nine that he has an awards ceremony tonight for band.  We never find out those things more and about 12 hours in advance.  So, the quilt may not get done in time.  Oh, well, I have 13 more days until school is over.  It will get done when it gets done.  No more stress!  I have enough :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

too cute

my son had his recorder concert today with his 3rd grade class.  They played the classics like Jingle Bells and Hot Cross Buns.  He was so excited all week and especially this morning.  It wasn't hard to get him out of bed like usual.  I can tell he has a future in music.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Taking some time
I've been spending a lot of time this weekend reading this book.  It makes so much sense and I wish I had come across it years ago.  Of course, a few years ago, I wasn't in the right place to have really appreciate the wisdom in the pages of the book.

The author is a neurologist who has studied headaches and migraines for the past 20 years and has come up with a 3 step plan to get rid of your headaches.  If you are like me and deal with headaches, you really need to read this book.  

There are three steps, stop taking the quick fix medicines that actually cause more headaches, figure out what your triggers are and figure out what you can do about them.  The fewer triggers you have in a day, the less likely you are to get a migraine and finally increase your migraine threshold with daily preventative medicines.

I've been throwing quick fixes and preventatives at my migraines and wondering why neither one is working. I've been going back to the doctor asking for different preventative medicines and different quick fixes and not giving either one the chance they deserve.  After realizing that MSG is in almost everything I eat and trying to get it out of my diet, and reading this book and seeing the list of all of the other things that could be a trigger such as barometric pressure, stress, flashing lights, processed meats (nitrites) avocados, nuts and a whole bunch of other things.

You can increase your threshold level by exercising as well which encourages me to keep walking.  It has been so hot here lately that I'm finding motivation to get out and get moving harder on the hot days.

Another thing I read was that migraine and depression are interrelated.  Doctors aren't sure weather migraine leads to depression or depression leads to migraine.  With days of feeling hopeless and having weeks of pain never ending and feeling like I'm going crazy, there are times when I wonder if this is what depression is like. But, then I have days like today, when hope springs up and I feel like just maybe I will figure things out.

I'm so looking forward to summer when I will have time to work on my migraine issues and quilt.  This has been another rough year.  18 more days of school.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I made it three days

After reading the information my friend sent me from her visit to the headache clinic, I'm trying to make some changes and hoping that some of them will help with my migraines.  I'm watching everything I eat and looking for anything with MSG and its hidden cousins.  Yesterday after school, I was hungry and wanting a snack.  My son had a tennis lesson and normally I would have stopped at McDonald's to get us each an ice cream.  Instead, I went to the grocery store and got an apple.  While it felt a little weird, I felt like I was making a positive choice for my health.

I take medicine for my headaches most days of the week and one of the things the information said was I could be having rebound headaches.  When you wake up in the morning with a headache or have a headache in a different part of the head than the normal one-sided migraine, or it comes about the time the medicine is wearing off, it could be a rebound headache.  I decided that I would wean myself off the medicines.  Saturday I woke up with a terrible back ache and took some ibuprofen and had a terrible migraine.  Sunday, I woke up around 4am with a terrible headache.  It was on the right side of my head and I decided that I would try and see if I could just deal with it instead of feeding the rebound.  Monday and Tuesday were the same thing.  Headache all day long, but I managed to make it through the day.  I did go to bed earlier than usual, hoping that getting a little extra sleep would help, but each day woke up with another headache.

Today, I woke up with a full blown migraine, with the vision problems too.  About 10 this morning, I finally decided I couldn't take it any longer.  I couldn't see well enough to read and I had to teach using a power point, so really had to be able to read.  I gave in and took some medicine. I made it three days without medicine.  I think that is the longest I've gone in over a year.  That's pretty sad.  I can only imagine what is happening to my poor liver and kidneys.

I just hope that as I increase my preventative medicines, watch what I eat and continue to exercise, my migraines will get under control.  If not, I'm going to be trying acupuncture as soon as school ends.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hidden Names for MSG

I hope this helps some of you out there who also have a reaction to MSG.  The biggest thing I found was that almost everything I eat has the words Natural Flavor in the ingredient.  Who knew that was a secret name for MSG?  Even the ground turkey meat, which is a staple of my diet has two ingredients, turkey and natural flavor.  I guess I will be reading the labels more closely while shopping this week.  I'm also trying to get over a rebound headache from taking too much migraine meds.  My headache clinic said to take the meds as soon as I felt a migraine coming on, which meant I was taking them every day, up to three times a day.  My neurologist said not to take the same thing more than three times a week, so I thought that by mixing things up and taking asprin/ibuprofen one day and tylenol/codeine the next, I was doing ok.  Then, he tells me not to take any meds more than three TIMES a week.  Really?  I'm taking them 21 times a week!  I have a killer headache today and am just bearing with it, hoping that I can get through the rough part.  Maybe trying to get off medicines while still working isn't the best idea.  I'll have to see what tomorrow brings and decide if I need to take a couple days off work, or just wait until summer vacation.  I'm done teaching June 7, so at least it isn't that far away.


Hidden Names for MSG

The following substances contain the highest percentage of factory created free glutamate, with MSG containing 78%:

MSG Gelatin Calcium Caseinate
Monosodium glutamate Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP) Yeast Extract
Glutamate Autolyzed Plant Protein Yeast food or nutrient
Glutamic Acid Sodium Caseinate Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)

The following substances contain some factory created free glutamate in varying amounts. Please note that some food labels list several of these items, which can add up to a considerable and dangerous amount in one product:

Malted Barley (flavor) Natural Flavors, Flavors, Flavoring Modified food starch
Barley malt Reaction Flavors Rice syrup or brown rice syrup
Malt Extract or Flavoring Natural Chicken, Beef, or Pork, Flavoring "Seasonings" (Most assume this means salt, pepper, or spices and herbs, which sometimes it is.) Lipolyzed butter fat
Maltodextrin, dextrose, dextrates Soy Sauce or Extract "Low" or "No Fat" items
Caramel Flavoring (coloring) Soy Protein Corn syrup and corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup
Stock Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate Citric Acid (when processed from corn)
Broth Cornstarch fructose (made from corn) Milk Powder
Bouillon Flowing Agents Dry Milk Solids
Carrageenan Wheat, rice, corn, or oat protein Protein Fortified Milk
Whey Protein or Whey Anything enriched or vitamin enriched Annatto
Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate Protein fortified "anything" Spice
Pectin Enzyme modified proteins Gums (guar and vegetable)
Protease Ultra-pasteurized dairy products Dough Conditioners
Protease enzymes Fermented proteins Yeast Nutrients
Lecithin Gluten and gluten flour Protein powders: whey, soy, oat, rice (as in protein bars shakes and body building drinks)
Amino acids (as in Bragg's liquid amino acids and chelated to vitamins) Algae, phytoplankton, sea vegetable, wheat/ barley grass powders

MSG hunt

My friend sent me a whole bunch of information she got when she went to Kaiser's headache clinic.  I went last year and didn't get any of the info.  Weird.  Anyways, among the interesting things she sent was a list of all of the different names for MSG.  I had no idea it was called so many different things, including 'natural flavoring'.  I know for sure MSG is a trigger for migraines for me and avoid it, but have been feeding myself all of the other forms almost daily.  No wonder I'm having a migraine almost every day!  I wonder if this is the cause?  I'm on a quest now to keep all forms of MSG out of my diet and see if it makes a difference.  The trouble is, I'm trying too many things at the same time to be sure what will help the problem.  A good scientist knows you test one variable at a time.  I'm increasing my propranolol, adding back topamax and now looking to get rid of MSG from my diet all at the same time.  I guess if the migraines go away, I can start cutting out the different medicines and see if the migraines come back.  I'm hopeful that one day I won't have to take anything and still be pain free.

I just bought a dozen V8 juice because they are 'healthy'.  Guess what the second to last ingredient is?  Yep, Natural Flavoring.  I guess those will sit on the shelf until my experiment is over along with the Tuna, cake mixes, soda, soup, candy and gum.  Who knew eating could be so difficult?

UCLA quilt

 So my daughter is going to UCLA in the fall and asked for a quilt.  She went on Pinterest and found a quilt she loved.  There was only a link to a quilt for sale, not the pattern, but it was easy enough to figure out.  I'm working on it slowly.  It uses 5 colors, plus the black borders and the block finishes at 12 inches.  I think I'm going to need 30 blocks.  I have 6 done.  A little work on it every day will get it done before she heads off to college :)  At least I hope so!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

a day of relief

Yesterday I added more propranolol in the morning and had a great, migraine free day.  Today, not so lucky :(  But, at least I had one day of no migraine.  At this point in my life, I will take it!  After having a migraine for 8 days in a row, having one day free felt so good. 

It is so hot here in Northern California.  Yesterday my car thermometer read 101 F.  Today it is hot and windy.  My poor iris don't really stand a chance with all the dry heat.  They last a day and then are all shriveled up.  Some years I get really great blooms that last a few weeks and some years I don't get much.  Good thing I don't make a living off flowers.  I just love seeing all of the different color combinations out there.

I purchased a whole bunch of day lilies this past winter and they are all starting to grow.  I got a mixed batch of colors so that will be exciting to see what all came in the package.  I love day lilies because they bloom so long throughout the hot summer.  Maybe I should get out and pull some weeds.  Nah, those will be there tomorrow when it is supposed to be a little cooler.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A bit discouraged

I emailed my doctor again yesterday to let him know that I'm having terrible migraines again (still).  The new medicine, Propranolol, seemed to be working for a  couple weeks, but now my head is killing me every day.  The stuff I take to get rid of the headaches isn't doing anything to touch them.  I try to mix things up to keep from getting rebound headaches, but how do you go a day without taking something when you turn your head and feel like it is going to explode.  Maybe if I could just stay home and not have to work with teenagers who aren't too empathetic most of the time.

So, he is increasing the propranolol eventhough it makes my ankles swell up and putting me back on Topamax.  I asked for that one because it worked for about 5 years pretty well.  Maybe even longer than that, it is hard to remember.  Then, last summer it stopped working.  We tried the depakote which worked again for about the first couple of months, but also made me gain 30 pounds.  I was even walking ever single day and the weight just kept adding up.

Now that I'm off the depakote, the weight isn't going up any more, but it hasn't gone down either.  I'm hoping that this summer when I am able to walk every day again, the weight will come back off.  I hate feeling like my clothes are all too tight.

Oh, the joys of chronic diseases.  I just wish there was a miracle drug out there that would take away the headaches with one pill. 

I will probably try accupuncture next.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

walking progress

I have a goal of 1,000 miles this year and things have been slowing down for the month of April.  I'm going to really have to pick things up in the summer if I have any dreams of actually attaining my goal.

Jan 75.78
Feb 54.13
Marcy 82.85
April 40.9

For a grand total of 253.83 miles.  I should be almost at 350 by now, but at least I'm walking.

I've been having a lot more migraines these last couple of weeks and it has been so hot here.  Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 95 degrees.  Someone must have forgotten that it is still spring, not summer!  My parents are getting snow today in Colorado.  Such weird weather.

Alright, off to work this morning.  At least I have air conditioning.  The problem with that is everyone wants to sit in my classroom at lunch because it is so hot outside!