geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about random_stuff (old posts, page 2)


Over the weekend I planted some seeds for plants I eventually want to plant outside on my balcony. I started out with courgette (zucchini), sage, thyme, rosemary, Tropaeolum, mustard and several types of beans.

Some have already started germination, even the tiny thymeseeds start to look green. Others, not so much yet. Patience....

Tidied up balcony.

Installed a rack. I installed a rack for my empty pots and to put my herbs on.

Perhaps I can put some plants that like shade on the middle layer.

Hike over artificial island.

20090510-224531-1 This afternoon we hiked over a small artificial island (it's a Dutch thing). We saw a very weird larva there.

Bf said it eats through wood so I told Nano to sit and stay away from it so it wouldn't jump at her and bite her.

Ofcourse she didn't listen and attacked it, tossing it in the air. It did seem unhurt, I suspect she wanted to toy with it because we paid more attention to it than to her.

And then, the trackpad died.

The most interesting thing just happened. My mouse-pointer stopped working. I rebooted, and it wouldn't move until I turned on mouse-keys and moved it around with the keyboard. Clearly some wire broke or gave up. Yet another sign my iBook needs replacement, but as of yet, no money in the MacBook-fund.

I can manage without a trackpad, right? :)

New nephew enters the world.

Just now the phone rang and I thought 'What idiot calls me at 23:30?'. Turned out, my younger sister gave birth to her son and called me to tell me ;)

I have a brand new nephew!

My worm, the scar.

Scar . Of all the medical issues I have, the only one you could technically see is my scar. The scar, looking like a little worm still, of course isn't the issue itself, but at least it shows something.

Today I read a blogpost by Priscilla Gilman that hit home. I feel pretty exhausted today, which may explain why I cried, but it's not just that. The same thing happened when I read Michael Nobbs' Beany (#1, 2 and 3). On page 13 of #1 Michael writes about that story with the frog in cold water, slowly heating it up so the frog doesn't notice it gets boiled alive. I had used the same example only days before, and he then wrote about his life getting smaller and smaller. I cried there too.

I've been ill for much longer than I've had my diagnosis. About two years ago I got the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. A little over a year ago I learned about my genetic defect, resulting in the removal of my stomach. Six months ago, after they took it out, I learned I already had cancer in my stomach (I had it taken out as a prevention, damnit). Yesterday I learned that my terrible attacks of pain in my big toes probably mean I also have gout. Tomorrow my doctor will call me with some bloodtest-results, because I just keep feeling so bad. The never ending fatigue has to come from somewhere, as does the hairloss, the flaky skin, the fuzzy head, the insomnia. Most easily shove it towards 'stress' or 'mental issues', but I don't buy that.

Most days I feel I'm running on sheer willpower, not human energy.

And it's getting harder to summon up that will.

And people keep on telling me I look great...

Firetruck fun

Firetruck at work Today at work we received a visit from the fire department and two of their trucks. I got to spray a hose while the firewoman stood behind me to make sure I wouldn't tip over (hehe).

We also went onto the ladder, the kind with wich they get people from burning buildings. We went up to roughly 25 metres (of the 35 possible) and then my fear of heights kicked in and I asked them to stop.

And now I feel annoyed because, damn, 35 metres, I could have done that! So, next time, all the way up.

The cold, it has come.

Nano on ice. It got cold, which made my RA worse. Nano on the other hand seems to enjoy it. We had a little bit of snow this morning, and the pond nearby froze up. Unlike me, Nano does not fear the ice and she ran off, several metres onto the ice, looking around for ducks. They had left.

Preparing to re-enter the world of the working.

Yesterday wore me out, I fell asleep after dinner (again) and slept till morning (again) on the sofa (again, much warmer than the bedroom).

I spent most of the day continuing to not move much on the sofa. I did take a lot of time finding the perfect backpack for me. My other backpacks still work fine, so technically I probably shouldn't buy yet another one (but I still have less backpacks than most women purses or shoes! so ha). My daypack can hold up to 20 liters, which suffices for either groceries or going anywhere and bringing my own food and drinks (some of it at least), but not both at the same time, which means I can't decide to pop buy the store after work (I'll start work again soon, so I will want to buy food on my way home to save time and travel)

My other, slightly larger backpack, could probably do both, but borderline, with its (I think) 23 litres. It would get tight but would fit with not too many groceries. It feels a bit uncomfortable though, when it gets heavy. It's more or less very handy for clothes and laptop, but not so much for groceries. The hip-band doesn't do much for distributing the weight.

imgSo I found the Vaude Gallery Air. It holds about 30 litres (a bit much, yes) but has straps to tighten it, so it becomes more flat. It has a raincoat (yay) and can expand with an extra 5 litres (yay). It has a great back (I have the same thing on my really large backpack) so you can have ventilation between your back and the pack, or wear it tightly to your back. imgI needed a thermos (yes, needed, I don't drink as fast as normal people and with a thermos I can take my time and still enjoy a hot beverage), I looked around at Siggs and found the Metro Mug. It holds 380ml or 13oz which means I can take a pretty large amount of hot beverage or soup (maybe even stew) to work with me. Or, I bring soup, have that, and fill it up with hot tea and milk at work. Win-win! Mmmm tea with milk.

imgI also ordered a normal water bottle, even though I won't drink water from it. It comes with its own cup. I could use it for beverages that don't need to stay that hot or cold. It has an optional neoprene jacket to keep it cooler / warmer for a longer time, so I may purchase that if needed. Or, I could just fill it up with booze ;)

I have plenty of containers to bring food in, and after searching found a handy small ovendish that I'll bring along to work as well, in case I need to heat something up (I don't like heating stuff up in plastic, eek). I have several and should it break I won't cry over it.

So, my backpack survival kit will contain: - nifty backpack - Metro Mug, with soup or tea with milk (mmm) - waterbottle+cup with some other beverage - about 3 portions of food / snacks, either in mr Bento or in my separate containers - cuttelery (possibly getting a new set for this) - cloth/towel, for drying used stuff and wipe hands with (might just cut up an old t-shirt for this) - ziploc bag with medication (1 dose MTX, 1 dose folic acid, several naproxen / paracetamol, 2 dose of plaquenil, spare set of contacts, small bottle of disinfectant for hands, 2 sachets of ORS salts, 1 (lip)balm and I probably forgot something) - with the weather probably safe to add extra set of gloves, hat, scarf, jumper of some sort, extra pair of socks

Just the basics. At least I can say, I've come prepared...

At first I thought I wanted to bring too much, but the more I think about it, the more I know I've only listed the bare minimum.....


Some time ago I had to go to the hospital.

Due to a genetic mutation I have an extremely high risk to get (and die from) a particular nasty kind of stomach-cancer. To prevent the getting and dying part, I decided to have my stomach removed (a total gastroectomy). Because this runs in the family I have seen what it can do to someone and what happens when the stomach gets removed. I've had five family-members before me, and two after me having the same procedure.

One can live without a stomach, it just takes time to adjust.

It has taken a bit more time than I expected, though, but I'll manage. Due to complications I had to stop taking my rheumatoid arthritis medication for a while, which caused it to flame up. I have started them again and now have to wait for things to calm down again, which takes a month or two.

Dealing with this consumes a lot of time (which I have plenty off) and energy (which unfortunately, I have very little off), and I try to still do fun stuff. My RA tends to flame up during winter so I suspect I have a bumpy ride ahead of me still. During this time my fridge has started to act up, something I do not want as the lack of stomach acid also means I have far less protection against evil germs in food. Luckily I saw it as an opportunity to channel my creativity into designed a new area for my fridge and pantry (with drawers, yay!).

I have found ways to boost my energy a little, so I plan to do more fun stuff (and update my poor blog a bit more cough). I'll probably post random content, of anything that keeps me busy, and drawings where possible. The RA makes drawing uncomfortable and I don't want to see drawing as something painful, I have to limit it for now.

So, who has the stomach for some horror-surgery-stories?

I just couldn't help myself!

I only abandoned my site a little bit...

Painting I made in 2007

Getting back on my feet from my little RA-blow takes a bit longer than expected. I have received medication that works (fabulously) and all seemed to go well again, until this itsy bitsy thing with a low amount of white blood-cells popped up, which made the doctors stop the medication. My white count went up again, so last week I restarted treatment, yaay.

I have not completely abandoned my creative projects either, I have made some nice photos and I started the painting in the picture (stuck with it now, though). I also have bought a sewing machine and managed to sew up a skirt, a dress and a top. It just goes a bit slow.