Category Archives: General Goings-on

General household happenings.

Life, it’s Not Always Easy

This post is a little different from my normal posts. A bit more personal and more a reflection of what I’ve been through these past few weeks. (Sorry if you were hoping for another tip, test or experiment…not this week) ūüėČ

My testing, tip trying and experiments have slowed down a bit this past week. No matter what my best intentions have been…life and the stresses associated, get in the way. (You know what they say about the best laid plans) This past week’s set-backs are due to my husband having to have heart surgery. (He had to have a valve repair on his heart) Which they were able to¬†accomplish through what they refer to as “Non-invasive” surgery, rather than open heart surgery. (Happy for that) The fact that it is referred to as “Non-invasive” tends to let your mind automatically relax and think of it as “less risky”. (Or at least MY brain anyway.)

My mind never really contemplated what COULD go wrong. I knew it was heart surgery, I knew it was SERIOUS and I knew it was MAJOR surgery…but for some reason the “Bad” stuff never once went through my mind. (Maybe I didn’t WANT to think of the “bad” stuff?)

The day of the surgery, I drove my husband to the hospital…we had to be there at 5:30 am. (Which to me, is damn early!! lol) My husband’s younger brother and sister met us there. (His family is WONDERFUL, helpful and supportive. I have to take a moment and thank the good Lord for¬†blessing¬†¬†me and my husband with them,¬†through the rough times and good times in life)

We¬†waited¬†’til¬†around 6:30 am (I believe) then, his siblings and I were ushered out of the room as they wheeled my husband out and into surgery. We¬†headed to the waiting cubical area for hourly update phone calls,¬†and a monitor that kept us informed as to where they were in the process, with my husband.

The phone calls came in, letting us know…they wheeled him into the¬†operating room, the surgery was going well, they had repaired the valve all went well, they were monitoring his heart to make sure it would beat on its own and have no more leaks, they had to do a bit more repair as it was still leaking a bit, they were now closing and finally the call saying the surgery was over, they were taking him into recovery, he was already breathing on his own and we would probably get to see him in the next 30 minutes or so. All GREAT news. They were really impressed on how well he was doing. The surgery had only taken about¬†4 hours, which was great…not TOO long waiting, but we were prepared to wait longer if we needed to. My husband’s bother kept in-touch with their folks to update them.

The next “30 minutes” were where everything suddenly became REAL! 30 minutes passed….an hour passed, no news and no one coming to get us to go visit my husband. But still no negative thoughts crossing my mind. Finally, a call comes from the nurse’s station asking us if we’d like to see and talk with the surgeon. My sister-in-law and I head to the ICU waiting room and wait to talk with the surgeon. When the surgeon arrives,¬†he tells us they ran into some complications. They had to put my husband back on the breathing tubes as his breathing became too shallow and sent his heart into an arrhythmia,¬†and they had to shock his heart to get it to stabilize. (OH S*#T!! SERIOUSLY?!? That CAN’T be good…is what raced through my mind, now for the first time) WHY hadn’t I thought of this? Why didn’t I see the possible problems? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?! The surgeon assured us he was fine now, they had sedated him, he was calm, his heart beat was now stabilized, the breathing tubes had him breathing just fine and that this was all fairly normal. Then he left, I went back to the previous waiting room to get my brother-in-law, who was watching all our stuff. Brought him back, along with our stuff to the ICU waiting room and there we waited, for what seemed like FOREVER!! Even though the surgeon had said this was normal and no need to worry, I couldn’t HELP but worry.

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When we were able to go back to see my husband, I was shocked. I had¬†not prepared myself for what I was about to see. Yes, I knew there would be a lot of hoses and equipment he¬†would be¬†hooked up to, but it was still a shock. For someone who doesn’t usually handle hospitals well, I think I did very well considering. There was my husband laying there, motionless, with tubes and wires coming in and going out…hooked up to 5 or more machines. Totally unconscious, looking¬† pale, breathing robotically. It was awful.

The ICU nurse was SO SWEET and nice, she assured my sister-in-law and I that, although it looked horrible he was doing well. She said “I know it’s really hard to see a loved one like this.” My sister-in-law stepped out¬†and let my brother-in-law¬†come in so he could visit. With his great sense of humor he attempted to cheer me up and cracked a joke or two. Back to the waiting room we went. Wanting to hear if there would be any changes before we left for the evening.

We went back into ICU just before they closed for shift change and luckily saw the surgeon. Again he assured me that it looked worse than it was and that my husband was doing very well. Of course, I was past the point of believing him, my mind was now thinking nothing but the worst. The surgeon said they were now going to work on taking out the breathing tubes and getting him to breathe on his own.

That night I went home thinking nothing but the worst. I prayed, I cried, it was one of the worst nights of my life. My sister-in-law called up to ICU to check on my husband and then called me to let me know what they said. They were “Working on getting the tubes out.” So I decided I would wait and call in another hour and check. From that point on, all I wanted to hear was that they had gotten the tubes out and he was breathing on his own. In my mind, it was the only thing that would make me believe he would be alright. I called the next hour…”Still working on getting the tubes out” As sad as I was to hear this, I knew I needed to get some sleep so I could be up at the hospital as early as possible in the morning to check on how my husband was doing.

It was a rough night’s sleep. But I DID manage to get some. ICU visiting didn’t start till 9am, I woke up and emailed/called everyone to update them on my husband. By the time I got ready and headed¬†to the hospital¬†it was after 9. When I arrived at the hospital and FINALLY found a place to park I texted my brother-in-law. He was already there. I made it to the ICU waiting room, my brother-in-law wasn’t there. Then¬†I¬†received a text from him saying “I’m in with him, he’s up but in a lot of pain.” The relief I felt at that moment is indescribable!! He was up?! That meant he was awake and off the breathing tubes.

I immediately headed to the ICU…and was ecstatic when I came around the corner to see my husband sitting up in a chair, eyes open, talking and coherent…still hooked up to some machines, but nowhere near what he had been. If I could have, I would have hugged him and squeezed the life out of him!!! From that point on he did nothing but improve. They released him 3 days later from the hospital, and I have been helping him recover.

He is doing AMAZING!! He almost has his lung capacity back to what it was before surgery, he’s walking 4 times a day like he’s supposed to, he’s taking a couple naps during the day, due to not sleeping well through the night, but his appetite is better and he continues to amaze me everyday! ūüôā It’s going to be a long road to complete recovery, but we are well on our way. I am SO proud of him. I am also thankful we have an amazing community of support through this¬†and am blessed everyday.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up-to-date with new posts! ūüôā (I promise not to hassle you with non-stop emails…who LIKES that?) Or you can like my page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tips2theTest?ref=hl and follow me on Twitter @TipsTest

The Lady Blogger 2015 Experience

First and foremost I would like to apologize for my ignorance. Ignorance in social media protocol, and the behind the scenes creation of a successful blog.

It’s fine and nice that *I* am able to do all the extra work of grinding my own flour and such, but not everyone can do that. So, I’ve decided that, not only do I need to share the things I do, but also find simpler ways to eat & live¬†healthier for all the 9 to 5ers out there as well.

Now onto my experience at Lady Blogger 2015…

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I had a¬†fantastic experience at Lady Blogger 2015. I¬†HIGHLY recommend if you are considering of starting a blog or online business,¬†you¬†NEED to go to¬†Lady Blogger 2016!! It will be worth the money, time and effort…TRUST ME!! Not only will you learn SOOOOO much in a day, but you will also¬†meet GREAT, successful, down-to-earth people who are more than likely experiencing or going through many of the same things you are.¬† It is a¬†WONDERFUL place for networking with fellow bloggers and online businesses!

You will get a WEALTH of information from all the speakers (don’t get overwhelmed you don’t have to implement ALL the info right away!! Even though you’ll want to!) I suggest going with a friend so you can divide up and get the info from all speakers. (There are you usually 2 speakers going on at the same time.) You will learn a mind-blowing amount of stuff like…
How to use and understand social media successfully
There’s more to social media than just Twitter, Facebook & Google+
Plenty of FREE or pay sites/plugins you can use to make your blogging or social media life a little easier…the list goes on!! It is just a great resource¬†if this is something you’re really considering doing!

Please click HERE to go to the Lady Blogger website to keep informed of when the next one is, read a bit about this past Lady Blogger event, subscribe to their newsletter and read the blogs on that site.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank ALL the women/men involved in Lady Blogger 2015. You put on a fantastic event and helped so many people, with the wealth of your knowledge. THANK YOU!!!

If you have been to any helpful events similar to this, I’d love to hear about it, and if you haven’t already please like¬†my page¬†on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tips2theTest?ref=hl and follow me on Twitter @TipsTest

In The Beginning

Back near the beginning April of¬†2014 my husband and I decided that it was time to get a new kitchen faucet to replace the constantly leaking, and getting worse one we had. It was getting so bad that it had the mineral build up on the handle and almost looked like it was from the ‚ÄúPrehistoric‚ÄĚ age. This decision lead to a few more decisions and before we knew it, we had decided on getting a new sink. The sink we had at that moment the previous owners to this house put in and I was NOT a fan of it I think it was fiberglass or something like that; it was all beige and cracked on the bottom which promoted mold which is just disgusting. We also decided to get a new garbage disposal seeing how the old one had given up working a few months after we moved in. (It might possibly have¬†had something to do with me not noticing there was a small glass dish in it when I turned it on one time‚ĶOoops!) Seeing how we were replacing all of this I also suggested a new dishwasher as the one we had was not working well at all. I was pretty much washing ¬†ALL dishes before they went in the darn thing, which kind of defeated the purpose of having a dishwasher and we needed to fix the hot water valve under the sink as it wouldn‚Äôt totally shut off and was starting to leak. So with all this in mind the planning and research began.

Now, as a bit of a back story‚Ķwhen I say research you have to understand, my husband is one of those people that EVERYTHING you buy has to be thoroughly researched before you even consider purchasing anything. I am one of those people that once you decide on something you buy it. I realize his is the SMARTER way of doing things. Don’t get me wrong I research, just not as extensively as he does. I am more of the opinion of..”Let’s get this DONE!”¬†His researching¬†took a¬†couple of months, and some frustration on my part, before we had it all narrowed down. Then he had to make sure he could find a place with the best deal. I picked out which faucet and the stainless steel sink¬†I liked, checking reviews online of course, I left it up to him where to purchase them. I let him do the heavy research on the garbage disposal and¬†he also did most¬†of the dishwasher research. I knew he would at least give me a few models to choose from.

So, by May we were almost ready to start. Now, my husband had to research who to get to do the work. My sink came shipped to my door, I believe from Amazon. (Weird having a sink ordered online I thought, but whatever works) The faucet was delivered as well, don‚Äôt remember from where. The garbage disposal was this ‚ÄúTop of the Line‚ÄĚ brand my husband had researched and could chew up just about any darn thing. All that was left to get was the dishwasher. We had narrowed it down to a Bosch. I had read the reviews my husband had me check out, all sounded well. I picked the model that sounded best and we were ready to find a place locally to buy it.

Here is where the disaster started. First my husband had chosen the plumber we had him all lined up to install all of this stuff. We were in wanting the dishwasher to be delivered in a week, so we had to be sure they had it in stock. The first time we went shopping, we looked at a few different Bosch models while we were out. Of course my husband found a model that was a step up from the one I had chosen, asked several questions from different sales people and by that evening was handing me reviews to read on this BETTER model. It was a new one from Bosch so there weren’t too many reviews, thank goodness. But that made it difficult for my husband to make a decision on if this was a good idea or bad idea. I had read in a couple of the reviews that this Bosch would clean peanut butter off of a knife and leave it spotless….that was good enough for me. So I finally had to push my husband into going with this step-up model. We found a place locally that had it in stock; I won’t mention the name because it didn’t end well for them and us. We went and talked to a sales person asked if it could be delivered the following week. He assured us there was no problem.

We had the plumber lined up. I had scheduled the day off of work. (I was¬†still working away from home at that time)¬†The day before the plumber was supposed to work on our kitchen he called to cancel, as he had an emergency fix it job for someone else. This ended up working in our favor. The delivery people came to deliver the dishwasher on the day they were supposed to like we agreed upon. They had it off the truck and on a dolly before I even had a chance to stop and make sure it was the correct one. So, I look at it and checked it out‚Ķand realize this is NOT the model we ordered. I get them to take it back with them, after a couple phone calls back and forth with the store. The drivers of course don‚Äôt know HOW the wrong one was put on the truck. My husband gets home from work and reads the invoice which says right on it ‚ÄúSubstitution‚ÄĚ. The next day was a Saturday so my husband decided to call the store and get this all figured out. He asked the sales guy why they would substitute the model when it‚Äôs clearly not what we ordered. He made some vague statements about some of the drivers are a little free with substituting and apologized. But we come to find out they never even had the one we ordered in. Anyway, long story short when my husband asked this guy how often this happens and suggested, this is not a good way to keep our business, the salesman responded with, ‚ÄúCome get your money back‚ÄĚ and hung up the phone. So NOW we have NO dishwasher, for no real reason, and plumber who is supposed to be coming the next week to install it and everything else.

The plumber ended up doing a GREAT job. Of course he had his opinion on the garbage disposal and said ‚ÄúThis is more of an industrial type disposal‚ÄĚ and thought we would be better off with a cheaper model. My husband wouldn‚Äôt budge on this idea, plus we already had THIS one. The plumber‚Äôs theory was that it might be hard to get parts for if we ever had a problem, which he¬†may be correct we will see. But my husband had done his research and this was the best model, so we were sticking with it. Now, I say the plumber did a great job‚Ķand he did, but it took WAY too long in my opinion to get it done. His company was a one man operation so when we had problems with getting the dishwasher, we had problems getting him rescheduled to come back and finally put it in. I went over a month with only being able to use one side of my sink to wash dishes, with NO hot water in the kitchen. The plumber had come and taken out the old dishwasher and the old garbage disposal but then that was it. Then he finally came back to put the new sink in and there were problems getting it to fit, so we had to have a carpenter cut part of the counter to get the new sink in. It was a relief just to have the sink and hot water. Then we ran into other snags and scheduling problems along the way. Had to have the carpenter come back out and cut part of the edge of our counter top because the dishwasher wouldn’t fit. (The previous owners put in a wood floor AFTER the already had the old dishwasher installed there for the level of the floor was off JUST ENOUGH to keep the new dishwasher from fitting. All in all it took till the beginning of September to get this all done in my kitchen. UUUGH!!!

But I have to say, I LOVE my new disposal, sink, faucet and especially my dishwasher. The dishwasher is AMAZING. (The model¬†# is SHP7PT55UC)¬†It has 3 racks so you can fit a lot in it, it has a build in water softener so you ad “dishwasher salt” to that part, (which I had never heard of dishwasher salt before), and it is almost SILENT when it runs, the plumber even had a problem hearing it when he was testing to make sure it runs.¬†But in all honesty this machine¬†makes absolutely anything I‚Äôve put in it come out sparkling clean. In fact if we move, I may just have to take it with me, I love it THAT much. The disposal takes up a LOT of room under the cabinet, but it does seem to work great. I just miss having that storage space.

Of course now that I have all this done, the kitchen itself needs to be upgraded. It looks very dated. So, there will be some more kitchen reno’s coming! HOPEFULLY they will go SMOOTHER!

The new dishwasher installed and working great!
The new dishwasher installed and working great!