Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Horseback Ride In The Back Yard

Carli was off work today and the baby has a bit of a cold, so they are spending the day together. It's been a while since either of them went riding. We had a bit of sprinkles earlier but for the most part it's cool and sunny outside so they tacked Flora up and rode around the back yard.

(PS--I'm not happy about neither one of them having no helmets on. I strongly recommend wearing a helmet ANY time you horseback ride.)

Here's a little video of them going around. At the end it looks like the baby may be crying but she is saying "my picture, my picture".

And I think the smile says it all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Adjustment

I was going to go riding this afternoon but the weather is kind of iffy. Plus I forgot to do my blog yesterday so I'll do today what I had planned on doing yesterday.

Friday I had my first lap band fill, or as they say in lap band world, my first "adjustment". The only thing I knew about what was going to happen was that the area around the port would be numbed and then saline solution would be injected.

When the nurse took me into the room she said she'd be right back with "the water". I assumed she meant the saline solution. But then she came in with a styrofoam cup full of water and I began to really wonder at that. I never said I was thirsty... Was this for the doctor to drink? And surely they weren't going to inject the water from the cup; that would be unsterile!

There was an examination chair in the middle of the room, but it was set to a very high level. The nurse told me I would be standing up, leaning against it, while the doctor did the adjustment.

The doctor came in and asked how I was doing. He asked about what type of exercise I was doing and what I was currently eating. I gave him an example of what I had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and told him my exercise was basically horsebackriding, gardening, and working about the house. He said he couldn't really get on to me about anything since I was consistently losing weight, but reminded me if I did some aerobic type exercising the weight would come off a little faster and easier.

Then he had me lean back against the exam chair and I tucked my shirt up under my bra. He felt for the port and then gave me a quick little shot in that area. It didn't take long for it to get numb. In fact he then got the saline shot ready, which I was relieved to see came from a sterile container, and by then the area was already numb. Now the cup of water comes into play.

As he put the saline solution into the port I was to drink the water and let him know when it felt like nothing was going past the band. Then he slowly withdrew the solution until I told him it felt like it was going through again. He said he put about 3.6 ml's of solution in, which he said was very normal.

The big needle was withdrawn, a bandaid was placed over the site, and that was that. I was to go back to the liquid diet for the weekend and then resume my normal diet on Monday. And speaking of that, I'm now eating everything, just in smaller portions. I'm not allowed to eat anything fibrous (like pineapple), no uncooked fruits or vegetables, and no red meat for one year. I'm not supposed to eat anything more than one cup's worth, and no alcohol or carbonated drinks.

The only thing I have done that I'm not supposed to is have a small drinky poo. At the support group the doctor leading the group said he's seen patients at the grocery store loading up on the itty bitty bottles of booze, but he never says anything. So long as it isn't interfering with their nutritional intake and it isn't a "problem" in other aspects he says he doesn't really care.

Our tax preparer is supposed to come by tonight with our finished papers. I may have to have a little drink tonight!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Yard Work

Last weekend my sister and I went to White Forest Nursery and while she was getting some trees she had ordered I was picking out some flowers to plant in the front.

I got some purple and pink petunias that I put on the right side of the first driveway (we have a circular drive).
I planted a mixture of zinnias on the other side.
On the left side of the entry way in the shady spot I planted a few impatiens.
Opposite the impatiens I planted marigolds.
Over on the other driveway I planted pale pink and dark pink petunias.
I had enough left over of those to plant between two of the rose bushes.
Underneath the olive tree I planted some sort of verbena.
I don't know why I got it really, since I didn't actually have a place in mind for it. As we were admiring the flowers in that area at the nursery a woman told us she had planted a few of them and thought they were highly invasive. She said they were starting to grow into her lawn. I thought that sounded like something I needed--something that was indestructible and needed little extra care.
I'm not usually too good with plants--my sister is the one with the green thumb. Oh well, if it survives then great, if not then oh well.

When I finished planting everything I decided to get the edger out and edge. I also did the back yard. (This is in the front by the olive tree).
While I was planting between the roses I found a nice little surprise. This is some sort of little bulb I got through mail order and planted at least 10 years ago.
I love the kind of plants that take care of themselves!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slowly But Surely

It's been a little over a month and a half since I had my lapband surgery. So far I've lost 31 pounds. I've been averaging about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. I'd like to lose the weight a little faster but according to experts that is a good rate of loss.

I thought it was about time to show a couple of pictures. The first picture is from February 17th, when my mouth was ablaze with the cold sores.

This second picture is from March 22. You can notice a difference, even though it is a small difference, but there is a difference!

I go for my first "fill" this Friday. That is where the band is filled with a saline solution to tighten it. I can tell it's time to get it done because I've actually been getting hungry between meals.

Little by little it's happening!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Is Good!

She loves to eat the pudding cups by herself which is fun if not a bit messy. Sharing with her mom can be fun too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring 2010 and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday's temps were in the upper 70's and today looks to be the same. I'm so glad for the longer daylight hours and the warmer weather. YAY!

And in case you were interested, the babies from yesterdays post have indeed been relocated to somewhere I know not, and I care not to know! ☺

Have a great weekend.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Happily I have finished compiling all the info for the tax man and my husband has brought all that paperwork to him today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome.

The table isn't completely cleared of paperwork, but most of it is done and I decided to work outside a bit today, since it was beautiful weather.

The main thing I decided to tackle today was deconstructing the old sheep shelter in the temporary small pen. The sheep are gone and it was starting to fall apart anyway.

As you can see I got most of it done.
I even stacked the boards nicely so they can be recycled, either to use to construct something new or eventually as firewood. Please notice the horizontal board at the bottom of the slatted wall in the back. That is the only board I didn't move.
When my husband came home from work I proudly showed him all the work I did. (I know it doesn't sound like much but I had to bang everything apart and I took all the nails out.) He took his foot and kicked the previously mentioned board over.
A roof rat scrambled away and left a mess of babies behind. I honestly don't know what I would have done if I had moved that board earlier. EEEEEEKKKK!!!
Now look closely behind the slats.This is the back end of Mother Rat who is hiding out, waiting for us to leave.
We carefully placed the board back to its original position. Hopefully Mother Rat will move the babies to another location. Somewhere where I won't find them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's THAT Time Of Year

Yes, it is THAT time of year again. I'm talking about tax time. I know some people have already done theirs and don't have to worry about it anymore. For me it is a stressful thing to do, particularly in the last couple of years where we have had to pay. It just doesn't seem fair to me that over a third of our income is taken out in taxes and then we possibly have to pay even more. (It's been over $1,000 each time.) And each year we adjust the amount taken out in an attempt to not have to pay more.

For that reason I've been putting it off and putting it off. I used to get our tax info ready for the tax preparer as soon as our W-2's came in, usually the beginning of February. But every year I put it off until later and later, and now I have less than a month before paperwork is due.

Before I can get all my info together I have to put all the old bills away in their files. I know I should put the paid bill in its file as soon as I mark it paid, but what happens is I throw those into a box or two. Then at the end (or beginning) of the year I have to sort through all those bills and then file them away. The picture above shows me in the middle of this process. When I'm done with this then I can compile all the info I need for the tax man. I should finish in another day or two...

I hope you are having a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More 2010 Wildflowers

As promised, here are some more wildflower pictures taken Sunday at Wind Wolves Preserve. Remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it and see the detail better.

I like this picture because it has several different colors in it. Obviously you can see the bright yellow splashes in the middle and above that the orange-red of the fiddlenecks. If you look closely you'll see purplish-red fading into the blue that surrounds the yellow. Then way in the back you can see a portion of the valley and in the far smog shrouded distance a mountain with some snow on it.
This is one of my favorites just because.

I thought this tree with mistletoe was interesting.
I noticed I took this picture in almost the exact same spot as one from last year. Click here and go to the seventh picture down. I'm not even sure why I took this?
When we first saw this view we thought it was something being cultivated in a farmers field, but then we realized it was all wildflowers.

The bright yellow splashes on the hillsides really intrigued me so I had to get closer to see exactly what they were.

And finally a couple of pictures taken on our return home. We passed an orchard where this fruit tree still had quite a few blossoms left (most of them had already lost most of their blooms).
This is about 10 miles east of Arvin. I love how the lupine lines the roadside. The white flowers almost look like snow patches.
Even though there are no people in these pictures let me assure you there were people everywhere stopping to take pictures. The parking lot at Wind Wolves was totally full--I've never seen more than four cars there before. For the second picture above there were people walking all over that field. When I took that picture I waited a few moments for one small group of people to walk out of the frame before I clicked the picture and before another group of people walked into the shot. Even on our roundabout trip home through Arvin there were cars stopped in all the turn outs. My husband and I were joking about what an inadequate photographer I am because I was about the only one who didn't have a tripod with me!

Well, I think my photos still turned out quite nicely, if I say so myself! I hope you enjoy them too!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wildflowers 2010

It's wildflower season here in Kern County.

For the last couple of years we seem to have just missed the main season up at Wind Wolves Preserve, so yesterday we took a drive out to see the wildflower displays. We were not disappointed.

Here is a shot I took that is from about 100 yards up the San Emigdio Canyon Trail from the trailhead looking south. Just for fun I focused on different aspects. The first picture is focused on the wildflowers in front, the second is focused on the background. Which do you prefer? (Click on the picture to enlarge.)
Since I took so many pictures this post will actually be continued tomorrow. Today I will show all the closeups of the wildflowers. I'm not going to go into the names since I did that last year. You can review that here and here.

More tomorrow!