Day 36 + 37: In-laws and Art Therapy

The 4th was great. I eluded the hugging of my building (leasing office staff brings hugs and snacks) with the aid of my in-laws. Hugs and snacks sound and are nice…but I’m not a hugger and much less to people I see maybe once a month and mostly only to pay rent or complain there’s no paper product in the gym’s bathroom.
My rules on hugging:

If I have you in my phone you are on the acceptable hug list, however – coworker hugs must be earned (ie minimum of three months and several personal conversations. If I greet you as “friend” when I see you, hugs are ok). Family hugs are always welcome less I’m mad at you…which if I am, you will be aware. I glare and I don’t talk to you. If I’m not talking,  you may be in the doghouse. Leasing office staff doesn’t meet the criteria (Mapes IS moving up though.)

So Chuck (dad-in-law) picked me up since I can’t drive on my meds, hooked me up with McDonald’s sweet tea, and we rode across town toward the Stuard Homestead. We pit stopped at Michael’s for my new sketch book and paint brushes for my minis. Chuck is quite the art guy. I think an art jam needs to be had whilst listening to classic rock.  Good in-law bonding fun times will ensue! 🙂

We got to the house and we vegged on the couch and watched tv. It was a blast. I got cool in-laws. I got super lucky in that department. Luckier than Mary (mum-in-law) having scotchguarded the couch befor Livvie (her teeny tiny Yorkie) peed on it. And that was really lucky. Very nice couch. Lol.

We chatted about life and family and I got to learn more about them both. I also got out of the house and got in some good ol fashioned socializing which has helped my mood tremendously. Thank you both for an awesome day and for being awesome people.

Art I did yesterday;

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Art I did today:

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Sketching traditionally has been soooo good for rehab on my hand. Limbers it up. I haven’t had success digitally with my wacom but will be trying that soon. Hard to hold it and draw while I have the bum wrist.  But I got some of my mojo back, and I’m gaining speed. My detail work is still tough. Intricacy is something that will take more time,  along with steadiness.

Had a lovely lunch with the hubbs too. He was so helpful and attentive and so much more relaxed thab he’s been. I don’t think he actually is, but he out his a stress aside and we just talked. It was lovely.

I also planned a lunch art jam at the mall on Saturday with a friend from my mural group at Valencia. Very sweet girl from a large family. I’m really excited to catch up and geek out over art stuff while munching on food court fare. Gonna be fun.

How was your today?  Let me know in the commenta below.

*going to shop for a stand to hold my celly so I can make my mini painting videos. Got a samsung galaxy s3. Anyone use one?*

Day 21 – Must be Tuesday…

Let’s start out with the Gym stuff, since I’ve been burying it these last few posts:
Today, I worked out for 13:20. I walked .62 miles, burned 51 kCal, and did so at 3.0 MPH. Yeah, I know, kinda lame on the time, but it was faster. I just wasn’t feeling it today, but I didn’t want to NOT work out, so I went.

GYM JAM OF THE DAY:
“Rise” by Yoko Kanno // Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST

(Figured all the videos weren’t what I wanted, so why not go AMV with it. May have spoilers, so watchers, beware.)

People keep asking me: “What program are you on?” “What’s your caloric intake?” “What’s your weight loss goal?” “Is this doctor-mandated?” “What’s your diet like?”, so let me take this opportunity to answer.

I am NOT on a program. My caloric intake it probably too high, but I’m not counting. My weight loss goal is to lose 25 pounds. I have no time frame in mind for that, but sooner would be better. It is NOT doctor-mandated. I did this for me, of my own free will, and it’s probably the only reason I haven’t quit like I did every other time I tried this. My diet is largely unchanged. I have taken some suggestions offered to me under advisement (Thanks Nick for all your helpful tips), but I’ve not made a ton of changes. I drink lots of water, and I try to limit my sweets, which I hadn’t been doing AT ALL.

This entire thing is about change. My goal was to get healthier, and get off the couch. I want to be around for a very long time, and I don’t want that time to be miserable. On Sunday, while I worked out, I wondered what my kids might look like one day, if I ever get blessed enough to have some. (2-3 ideal, 5 is the cap :P) So my WHY for all of this is LOVE, really. I want to see my nieces and nephews grow, and have nieces and nephews of their own. I wanna see my older brother finally marry his fiancee (I figure I’ll be in my 80s by then, but at least I should have shriveled up a little bit so I can fit into my bridesmaid gown. <3).

So far, this little experiment has been successful. I’ve been moving, and I’ve got more energy. I am trying to make healthier choices without feeling like I’m punishing myself or not enjoying my life to the fullest.

Now, as it is Tuesday, it is also a day of DELICIOUS TACOS! The TACO TEAM assembled today for deliciousness at Tijuana Flats.

TACO TUESDAY IS UPON US!

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The normal crew had a couple new additions. Topics of conversation seemed to linger on topics that weren’t exactly something I could jump in on, such as “when you wear red sunglasses when you’re at the beach or pool, it’s like x-ray vision on girls’ swimsuits” and the like. Very dude-ly. I prefer the, albeit brief, conversations about how the auto-draft utilities for our apartment complex didn’t work right for us as well as for the guy we referred to come live here, and about how we never check our snail mail, cause snail mail isn’t the future.

My tacos had a wheat tortilla instead of flour, but I figure it was divine intervention telling me that this taco was not on the suggested food list, so this little tortilla should be just a little healthier. Alright, alright, Universe. I’ll eat the wheat tortilla. I get it!

I got to see my Fella, which is always good. I adore him. He works late a lot, and I miss him dreadfully. Yesterday, I forgot to eat dinner when he wasn’t here. Once he got home though…OMG TOTALLY HUNGRY NOW!

I haven’t gamed today (That may change soon…). I instead used my day talking to friends, reading articles, watching vlogs, ordering photo prints, and learning about perfect-forward security (Shoutout to Grebe for this lesson. I think I get it now.) I did see the Top 25 for the Diablo Art contest. Not super impressed. Some were great. Some were not. Wish mine had made it in. Here’s the list, if ya wanna see. (IGN Diablo 3 Art Contest Top 25)

I also have been brainstorming names for my mini-painting Etsy shop, as well as for Mama’s blanket shop that I will be operating for her. I think I got one for Mama, so I started taking pics and preparing to set everything up. I want it to be polished from the start, so I am trying to get all my ducks in a row before I unleash these beast stores onto the public. Etsy peeps and Pinterest peeps, I hope I can count on you guys for a little word of mouth come launch day. ❤

See y’all tomorrow.

Day 18 + 19 – Game On!

Saturday was Game Time for me, for real. Charles and I quested all day. Nothing say quality time like two rogues exploring Azeroth without aggroing anything, picking pockets, and taking silly pictures of us in the various costumes we collected by doing so. Let me share a few with you now!
Costume Time - 1
Costume Time - 2

We were exploring Townlong Steppes. Many Mantid there. We were looking like a bunch more bugs too, but I picked my favorites. I don’t think I went very long without a disguise on. I wish they gave enemies dance animations. So far only the Yaungols have danced, using the Tauren moves. Guess they are both varieties of cow men.

Anyways, gaming Saturday was fun. Gaming Sunday – ALSO FUN!

Sunday started with my Sunday workout. Lots of peeps in the gym, by no one was on the treadmill, so I was a happy girl. I did make the mistake of wearing a white shirt though…we live, we learn, we look like we’re only wearing a bra. :s Oops! Darn sweaty shirt!

WORKOUT STATS:
15 minutes at 2.5 mph, 15 minutes at 2.7 mph, + 2 minute cooldown
1.32 miles in distance, 106 kCal burned.

I was on top of the world on Sunday. Did some people watching while I worked out instead of Netflix while enjoying some jams. Two things came to me as I did this: 1. No one stops for the stop signs at the entrance to the complex on Sunday. Be careful crossing the road there, people! 2. I think someone stole the unplugged TV from the gym. It wasn’t there anymore and if someone came in the side door, the camera in the gym wouldn’t have that section of the room in it’s cone of vision. More as it develops on this breaking story!!!

Came home and gamed some more with The Fella, and we did Scenarios for the first time. I’m a Darkspear Revolutionary now. Power to the Darkspear Trolls! I don’t much like Garrosh anyways, so this works for me, and being a troll, I feel like it’s my duty to my people. 🙂

We watched the Giants/Colt preseason game at Buffalo Wild Wings last night. Giants didn’t do so hot. Poor Fella was so depressed. 😦 They looked really good right at the start, but they didn’t make anything happen to keep themselves in the game. It’s preseason though, so they were probably phoning it in. Preseason football is such crap. I think it should be worth something, like some kind of advantage, so teams actually try a little bit. I dunno what that advantage would be…Free mulligan on a coin toss? Bonus money? Free 10 yards to be used some time during the regular season? Come on, NFL – you guys can think of something. Make this more interesting please!!!

That’s the weekend, kids. More to come soon for the Monday edition. I’ll be sharing some photoshop brushes as well as posting my first miniature that will be up for sale. Hope to find a buyer before I paint so they get to choose the palette! 😀

Day 12 to Day 14 – Where have I been?!

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I realize I’ve missed a couple days, but it’s been kinda busy, so … my apologies. Been jumping through hoops and working on projects and trying to pack a lot into my days, and some of those days I have not gotten time to blog. I’ll try to do better.

GOOD things to report though. Sunday’s workout was pretty good. 31 minutes at 2.5 mph, 1.31 miles, 104 kCal burned. I had the gym pretty much all to myself – a perk of Sunday Workouts – up until the last five minutes, when househusband from the other day came in. Exchange of nods, but eyes on the prize. I think I’m gonna require a full 30 minutes minimum out of my workouts. If I am under 30 minutes, I’m sweaty and tired when I leave. 30+ minutes, I’m sweaty and tired, but I got a little more pep in my step after, which makes me think that 30 minutes is when I hit my stride. So if I can push through til 30, I can push beyond it. SO no less than 30 minutes, barring major owies.

I’ve been making preparations for the last few days (bloodwork, medical clearances, etc.) to schedule a surgery on my wrist. See, several years ago, like…circa 2007 and working at EA, I had a ganglion cyst form in my right wrist. Little bump, kinda hurt. I call it my “Full Sail Sports Injury.” (Joke being that Full Sail doesn’t have sports, and if they did, I likely would not have played them. I’m very funny.) It was agitated by repetitive stress between art, gaming (WoW), and gaming (QA tester at EA). For about a year I had it, til one day I had to turn off a fire alarm and forgot to use my brain. I grabbed my computer chair to stand on, and I fell, of course. I fell on my right hand, and the cyst burst – all internal, nothing gross or icky, ‘cept for the name ganglion. It’s a gross word.

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It was gone for a long time. Then, in 2010, it started to form again. It started small. And it stayed small, because despite my desk job making scrapbook paper, I had recently retired from WoW, and it got a rest. But it was there. Over time though, it started to hurt more and more. My wrist would get so sore I would put it in an immobilizer brace and my hand would lock up entirely. I think the cyst was pinching a nerve or something, but I’m no doctor. One night I couldn’t open my hand from Dinner until I fell asleep…and it released by morning…but at 2 am, it was still locked. Miserable. I knew I needed it taken care of, but I didn’t have insurance, couldn’t afford the surgery, since scrapbook paper design is not the most lucrative position. I just used my brace more, heat pack or ice pack at home – whichever felt best – and taking long PC-free breaks on my personal time to let it rest.

I moved to the card job, and it was more of the same. Clicking was far worse, and I was making vectors, so clicking…holy ow (not meant to be cow), was it painful. I powered through the pain, since there had been talk of insurance coming once the company took off. October 2012, the company sank, and still no insurance. So I played on. It would eventually go away, but it was then I realized it was getting noticeably larger.

It’s hugeness didn’t fully strike me til a few days before my wedding. My mother gave me a bracelet to wear, which I was glad to have, so the bump wouldn’t be in my photos, plus it was a beautiful bracelet, and from my Mama, whom I love dearly. I wore it proudly, and it hid the unsightly thing for the whole of the evening. It was a magical night. I didn’t even feel the pain til the next day from wearing a bracelet over it for all the hugging and posing and lifting my pretty, heavy dress. It was just getting out of control.

But still I did nothing. “It’ll go away, just like last time.” I was kidding myself.

A few weeks later, at the bridal shower for one of my dearest friends, the lovely Sommer (who’s now a full-fledged member of the wedded bliss club), the issue could no longer be ignored. By anyone, apparently. One of the guests, the daughter of another friend of mine, actually poked at it and said “What is that?” She didn’t look disgusted, but genuinely interested, which was unique.

I suddenly felt like the bearded lady. Very sideshow.

This was the final straw. When I looked at my wrist, I felt like I was looking at the spine of my undead rogue sticking through her cape:

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The pain in my wrist was now dull, but constant. It hurt nearly all the time. Anytime I do anything fun (pulling the trigger on a paintball gun, clicking my moves when picking spells to cast in WoW, placing windows in my Sims 3 Mansion, etc.) and that require finer detail or control (handwriting my wedding thank yous – those cards are small – or sketching intricate folds into a commission for my favorite art patrons) – the pain builds and builds til I can’t take it. I can only fill out 2 thank yous at a time. I sent out 90 invitations to my wedding. Do the math, when I want to thank everyone who came as well as those who sent gifts. I almost gave in to logical thought, and asked on FB if peeps would mind a printed version with a handwritten signature. People were understanding, but at the same time – I felt bad and all the love I felt that day from friends and family deserve the proper written treatment. I couldn’t do it. I’d rather be stupid late than cold. Just not me.

So that brings us to now. Now when I am playing phone tag with surgeons, waiting for estimates from surgery centers, and getting medical clearances. My thyroid levels were of specific concern, but they have stabilized, thankfully. I got my clearance this morning, now I gotta wait for Charles to get time off to come with me cause I’m gonna be doped up something fierce while the go in and cut this little bugger so it’s likelihood of return is less than 10%, which would be amazing. Since April’s wedding shower embarrassment, a second cyst sprung up right by the first. Now I look like this:
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Like what I did there? Anatomical references when showing weird body parts – kinda fun to me. Hehe. The second cyst is tiny and not visible in the shadow of is predecessor, but it’s there, and it’s growing, and it suuuuuuuuuucks. HARD.

I should hopefully be getting surgery either this Thursday or the Thursday following. Once I find out Charles’ schedule, I can get the appointment made. Once the surgery is done, I may be brief with posts, but heck, this one’s getting long and I didn’t even cover today’s exercise totals yet! Which were great!

First, a gym jam, cause I love to share music with you guys:
Not like, classic music here, but I love it. Very mellow and driving, nice for the last few minutes of your workout while you push through til you hit your goal time and start your cool down. The vocalizations in the background are mesmerizing. Serena’s kinda…cookie-cutter-young-pop-tartlet, but I enjoy her energy. The video is lovely too.

So after my appointment this morning, I hit the gym. I was feeling extra peppy to start cause the gym was empty save 1 girl lifting weights, and I had just gotten the all clear on my EKG and medical clearance. I was strong like bull.

I watched Weeds again, since it seems to be in a less … naked all the time … part of the show (showtime and HBO love them some bewbies.) and I knew it grabs my attention enough to keep my eyes off the time and all that. I realize it’s gotta be something I haven’t seen before, and it has to be something I’m invested in. The show’s definitely not aging gracefully, but it’s trying to stay alive, and I really wanna see where the characters end up. I went for 2.5 mph today, since my goal was time first, speed second. Once I get to where I can hit my goal at 2.5, I’ll move to 2.7. Then on up.

I walked for 42 minutes, over 7 laps, for 1.77 miles, burning 140 calories. Burn, baby, burn! I felt like the king of the world walking back to my apartment. I got home, and I started getting changed, and I realized something horribly embarrassing, which I’ll share with my blog readers, cause I love you guys and I share my shameface with the ones I love – My grey capris were sweat-soaked, and not in a flattering way. I looked like I had a cat face on my butt. Nose in the middle, with whiskers pointing outward. But you know what…the shame was ok. I still felt amazing, despite the minor embarrassment, because I walked my longest time. When I got off that treadmill, I was pumped. I felt awake and alive and…sweaty, but it was a great feeling.

I’m making an effort to improve myself, and it feels good. Really, really good.

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Met the hubbs and friends for lunch, and now I’m home again, blogging before relaxing and trying to knock out a pending commission for the sweet Lady Annmarie, my favorite “Pizza Bitch” ever. (That’s her superhero name, guys. Super Pizza Bitch. She is super. One of my best clients and favorite people, honestly.) I wanna finish it before the surgery so she can get the framing done. It’s gonna be the first piece I submit as a print on DA, order said print, then immediately take down once the order has shipped. I’ll explain this in November. Dunno how long I’ll be down for once I get the surgery done, maybe just a week, but I gotta get this one out the door.

Hopefully I’ll see y’all tomorrow and post some surgery updates. Wish me luck!

❤ – Panda

((EDIT: animated gifs – SOURCE: buzzfeed.com – I love them, their lists make me giggle))

Day 6 + Day 7 – Netflix

SORRY I MISSED YESTERDAY! It just got away from me! I will include yesterday’s activity with today’s post! ❤

Yesterday was kind of a slow and low day. I am trying out a new schedule, exercising every other day to see if I can build up to every day, then keep pushing. Maybe one day I’ll get to jogging. That’s probably still a ways off. 😛 I did slow cooked BBQ Meatballs and made meatball sandwiches. Really simple recipe Bottle of your fave BBQ sauce, can of pineapples (in pineapple juice), and enough meatballs that everything gets covered. Cook for 6 hours on high in your slow cooker (Turkey meatballs get done a little quicker, but 6 will guarantee cookthrough, so better safe than sorry) then served on a roll with provolone cheese (or swiss or whatever. I like a mild cheese with BBQ sauce.)

Leftovers are great for pizza too. Just chop em up, put em on a flatbread, and put on some pepper jack cheese (I like a little kick with the pizza) or cheese of your choice, and throw em in the oven or toaster over til the flatbread turns golden on the edge. I made these for Joann’s farewell shindig before she left Orlando, and it was a hit, I think.  They keep for about a week, in my experience.

Chatted with Mum some yesterday. Leveled my lowbie hunter to 25 (GLYPHS ENABLED! WHAT WHAAT!!!!), and worked on some projects. My exercise yesterday was hauling my groceries upstairs. It’s brutal.

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And onto today!

Started the morning out with a doctor’s appointment. I’m happy to inform you guys that my thryroid levels have normalized and I am in optimal range. Doesn’t mean I have to take less meds or anything, but my body should start working better now. I do need to work on my blood sugar (on the high side) and cholesterol needs tending to (Doc recommends cutting fast food. Probably not a bad idea.). I also need to get my liver looked at. I might have something called “Fatty Liver”. :s Not a bad thing despite his name, but it means if I do, this number will always be a little…off. Hard to see if something actually were wrong. I’m putting my liver on a diet. 😛

Got my exercise on today. More people at the gym than anticipated. Someone was on my machine, so I had to use the other treadmill. It’s fine. I’m just a creature of habit.

I started listening to my music, but I was already feeling kinda tired, which is not the best way to start off your exercise, so I decided to change it up. My phone detected the leasing office’s free wifi, so I hopped on, and started up Netflix. Let me just say:

Netflix is pretty much the best thing to happen to my exercise routine so far.

1. I get to watch my shows (Watch Weeds right now, season 3. Not sure I love it, but I enjoy it, and I always wanna see more.)
2. Distraction from the numbers on the machine.
3. Good replacement for our powerless cable tv down at the gym
4. No commercials. ❤

I worked SO well. I was so into the story that I didn’t look at the panel on the treadmill for the WHOLE of the workout. When I got tired, I hit cooldown. I walked for almost 35 minutes at 2.5 mph, and burned 114 kCal while walking 1.44 miles. Woohoo! Thanks for the good workout, Mary Louise Parker.

Image compliments of The Place: Celebrity Photos

Image compliments of The Place: Celebrity Photos (LINK)

I’m gonna need to pick some more shows to watch now. Weeds is enjoyable but also not the most PG, seeing it’s a Showtime show about a drug dealer, but you know…
Recommend more shows for me? Pretty please?

Got a lot to do today. Work on commission pieces, more housework (It never ends) and waiting on a call from the doc back. A got a couple levels lookin’ a little low, so I put in to ask her a question about it, but she’s lunching, so I gotta wait to hear back…which likely end up as a game of phone tag, but come on…who doesn’t like playing tag? 😛

GYM JAM OF THE DAY:
“She’s So Mean” by Matchbox Twenty:

Can’t go wrong with a little Matchbox 20. I adore this group, and have since like…forever. I agree with one of the video comments:
“If you don’t like Matchbox Twenty, the terrorists win.” from “ThatDudeWithTheWords”

See y’all tomorrow. ❤

Gym Jam – “Treasure” by Bruno Mars

Love his music and love the throwback video for this song. When I pick music for working out, it’s gotta have a beat and be something that can take my mind off of the screams coming from my legs. This definitely does this.

BTW, totally envious of the peeps who just saw him in Phoenix. I so wanna see this man in concert and soon!