Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chapter Two ~ Heart Attack

If you have not read the previous post, you might want to scroll down and read that first.

This is a very important part in the events of the last week. I want to tell you a bit about the particulars of my heart attack. After my stint was inserted the cardiologist met with husband and sons. He showed the video of my heart pumping and showed before and after shots of where the stint was inserted. The video showed the front left portion of my heart not working and clearly showing damage. The left ventricle showed an ejection fraction (the amount of blood pumped out of the heart) of only 40%. Normal is 50 or above. The doctor told husband that this number of 40% would never get better, but because of the stint, it should not get worse.

The next day the Echo Cardiogram was preformed on my heart and showed quite a different story. The left front portion was clearly working, and the ejection fraction was now at 56 % ! The cardiologist asked, "How can this be?" I know how, and the next day when he repeated to me that he did not have an answer for that, I told him, "I have a good God." GOD IS GOOD. I do not know why I had a heart attack, but through this event in my life, He is being glorified. I want everyone to know that God still works in our lives today performing miracles and doing what we cannot imagine. All last month at church our minister has reminded us of Ephesians 3:20, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." That verse has always been a favorite "life verse" of mine, now I know another reason it is so precious.

Heart Attack !?!?

The extra pronunciation marks are for disbelief. It is still surreal. I had a heart attack. It occurred on Tuesday morning, May 27th shortly after school began. Now, I can look back and see the signs that led up to this moment, but first I will tell you the events of that day.

My day started out normally, I was almost glad to get up and go to school because we only had 2 ½ days left till summer break. I was sitting at my table in the class while the teacher I work with was explaining the day to everyone. Suddenly, I began to have some slight indigestion; I had experienced that the day before so I really thought nothing of it. I left the room to go to the copy machine down the hall and while there the chest pain began. It was located in one very definite spot just to the left center of my chest. It made me want to hold my hand there, but it still was not severe. I walked back to the class room and told the teacher right away that I was not feeling right. By this time my lower left arm felt achy, much like if you had been doing lots of yard work or painting. She asked me if I wanted her to call the nurse, but I declined. She then asked if I wanted to go see the nurse, I said I better and started walking down the hall. We have a huge building. I estimate the walk to the nurse’s office at over a city block. I made it about half way and began to get just a little short of breath. I knew by this time that this could possibly be “the real thing” although I don’t think I fully accepted that fact. I saw an open classroom with the teacher sitting inside, but her class was at one of their special periods. I walked in, took a seat and asked her to call the nurse. (All of our classrooms have telephones, which was a huge blessing.) Without even waiting on the nurse, I asked her to call my husband, and then an ambulance. Before the ambulance came I developed one more symptom, that of a dull pain in the upper middle of my back. Five symptoms all-together, one building on the previous: indigestion, chest pain, pain in my arm, slight shortness of breath, and upper back pain. Shortly the ambulance came and I was on the ride for my life. My heart attack was quickly diagnosed in the ambulance due to the EKG, so I knew in minutes that this was the real thing. When we arrived at the hospital my husband was already there, the doctor and ER staff knew of my true condition because of the ambulance report so they were ready and waiting. My husband did not know as of yet. I could not tell him, so it was a few minutes until the nurse told him that this was a true heart attack. Our boys arrived shortly and I was the one that told them. I was very impressed by the speed and quality of care from my local hospital. My own doctor was consulted by phone and instructed them to air lift me to a larger hospital to our west. Talk about adventure. By that time my pain was under control and I actually enjoyed the ride. The next hospital was completely prepared for me, as they were ready and waiting in the cath lab to do the angiogram and to insert a stint. Shortly I was wheeled into my room which was a “step down’ unit from ICU. I did not come home until yesterday (Friday) due to some set backs. Having your heart rate drop to 30 is not a good thing. One other time it dropped to 40. Both times can be attributed to drugs that I was placed on at the time. I am on restrictions, mostly common sense after a heart attack type stuff. My cardiologist does not seem to be a dictator, and when I asked him what type of diet I should be on, he said, “ If it is good for you, eat lots, if it is not good for you, not so much.” However, I was visited by a nutritionist and was instructed in a little more detail about what to avoid.

I have to take it easy for a few weeks, then I return to the doctor and follow that up with a few weeks of cardio rehab. So, most of my summer has been planned out for me. There is more I want to share about all of this, but this has taken too long so I will hold the rest till later.

Bottom line- I am alive !!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bathroom ~ Before / After

The first two pictures show the 11 year old sponge painting, and a color scheme that could promote nightmares. I must say I am much happier with the calm, homey look we have now. Remember, I have a very small bathroom, with a window in the middle of the main wall. I think we did the best with what we had to work with. I love it.

Some of the pictures are a bit washed out due to the flash, so the color does not show up. You will have to scroll down and see the color and imagine it on all the walls.

I am waiting on a few "pretties" for the finishing touches, and I am going tomorrow to look for towels. I have NEVER had a complete set of matching towels for a bathroom, so I will check into that.

I am tired, but happy.

The last two pictures show the wall color closer to how it really looks.
I am not sure I like the configuration of items on this "toilet" wall, but the shelf is already hung and it is too hard to change. I might play around with the star magazine basket when I get my other "pretties".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

I am so blessed

The first picture is of the group of high school girls from church that I am fortunate enough to spend time with. They meet at my home every other week and we sit together during youth hour on Sunday mornings. I love these girls. They bring laughter into my life and at the same time keep me accountable in my Christian walk.
The second group is of another silly group of girls. (Sadly, one could not make it at our monthly girls night out, but in this picture the rest of us are enjoying our new rain bonnets, courtesy of one of the girls.) This group also brings laughter into my life and keeps me accountable.
I boast a lot on this blog about my bargains and my good deals, but this is what my life is really all about. While I might be establishing a reputation for bargain hunting and deal catching, the things that will matter most are relationships. My relationship to Christ and to people are what I really want my reputation to be based on.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's official, I have become my mother!

If you had known my mother, then you would know that I am proud to become her in any way I can. However, I used to get so mad and not understand her logic when it came to grocery shopping. My mother would go to the grocery and come home with what I thought was the most ridiculous assortment of items. I mean, who needs 19 pounds of chicken all at once, but no hamburger, and why would anyone purchase 6 packages of napkins, and no potato chips to use them with?
Guess what I did this week? Yep. I bought 6 packages of napkins so I could use coupons and get them for 47 cents each, and today I bought 19 pounds of chicken for 79 cents a pound. I finally get it. Buy what is on sale, or what you have the coupons for, buy lots of it, and round out the stockpile one way at a time. A few weeks ago it was pork ribs and Grillin’ Beans. Next week maybe I will get that hamburger. Eventually our freezer and pantry will have a vast assortment of sale items and we will be sitting pretty. Actually, I already am sitting pretty and this is finally paying off. Because there is little we "need" at any given time, I can focus on the sale items and keep my cost low. My weekly shopping came in under my lofty goal of $50.00 this week, including a few trips to Walgreens.
As a side note to my Walgreens’ trip, I finally had one of those golden moments while shopping. Walgreens actually paid me money! I bought 4 bags of Dove Chocolate, and two packs of Trident. I had multiple coupons, plus a $3.00 register reward. When all was said and done, the clerk said, “Looks like we owe you on that one.” She handed me back $1.61 ! That was a first for me, and I am still giddy inside.
So, Mother, I hope I have made you proud. You taught me how to spend wisely. It just took me a while to put it into practice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Quick post tonight. My brother the traveling carpenter has returned! By the end of this weekend our bathroom should be completed other than paint! I am turning summersaults inside as I type this! Soon I should have pictures to post.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

For Tyler

I had a request to post again, and to include this picture. I have not updated for a while because I have been too busy shopping. The above items (sorry about the poor angle, the other end of the table was full of scattered coupons) cost a total of $35.51. They would have cost $111.16 before tax. I took advantage of coupons, store rebates, Walgreens' Register Rewards and sales. I went to 5 stores in one big outing to save gas by planning my route and doing it all at once. I will not go into detail on what coupon I used and how each deal played out, but I will tell you what that $35.51 actually bought. Of the items on this list, 10 were totally free after good coupons.

4 boxes Liv Active Cereal
4 boxes Nilla Wafers (husband's one addiction)
2 pks. spaghetti
2 one pound pks of bacon
2 one pound pack of sausage links
2 pks Dove Chocolate
2 Act II Popcorn
1 Large J&J cotton swabs
5 Brownie mix
1 Tyson Fajita Kit
1 clear rinse for dishwasher
1 Rubbermaid container
1 Zantac
1 feminine product
1 qt strawberries
1 3 pk Trident
2 jars seedless jam
2 toaster pastries
2 3 1/2 pound peanut butter
1 vegetable oil
1 Bertoli Pasta Sauce pouch
1 Bertoli Pasta Sauce jar
1 6 pk root-beer
1 frozen hash browns
1 bby carrots
2 frozen peas
2 Ortega Taco Seasoning mixes

This does however take a LOT of work. I am finding that to do this well and consistently, I need about 2 hours a night for coupon clipping, organizing, research on the internet to see where the deals are, planning my shopping trips, pulling together necessary coupons, and actually shopping. I am not complaining. This is basically a second job. Many, many people who work in education moonlight on the side. I am moonlighting in my own home and making money by saving money. I can look at the above list and pick out about 10 (or less depending on what I pick out) of the 47 items and my $35.00 would have normally only gone that far. Now I have stretched our money further than i thought possible. I averaged about .74 cents per item, which would basically be a good deal on any one of them.

Today however, my mind must focus on the household . I must catch up on cleaning and organizing. I am behind in my coupon filing, and tomorrow is another day of coupons. The cycle continues.