Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Hate My Head

I think I'm getting another migraine. I've had a very stiff neck all week, then this morning I get a pain on the left temple. Nothing major, but it lasted for a little while, not an ice pick like I usually get. Then a sensitivity to sound and light hit me like a freight train. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it was pretty sudden. Funny how this waits until J leaves for work to come on.

I took some aspirin. I'm drinking some green tea. I have things to do today.

Time for some thoughts on the past month. I believe I mentioned that we are noticing our budget working this month. Which is great since J got promoted, and we should see his pay raise this month. We'll stick with our current budget and put the money in savings. But this means we can afford J's new computer sooner rather than later. In fact, we're probably buying it today.

And we are starting the switch to Mac.

We made the decision a while ago, which was part of my decision to go with the iphone. J desperately needs a new comp, so we're getting his now. My dell is still doing ok, so we'll hold off on upgrading mine. Plus, we need my dell to get the things off our external hard drive so we can reformat it for mac.

Anywho, other things. This would be my second or third migraine this month. So that front isn't so great. I have some plans to start doing yoga on a more regular basis. A simple sun salutation that I can do every morning. I think it would be a good way to start my day. I'm considering trying a second yoga class during the week, too.

That is, unless I were to find a job. My friend asked me a question last night that has me thinking. I have been so spoiled living here. I get to stay home with my critters. I go to lunches and hang out with friends. I shop. I mean, really, I am spoiled rotten. But at the same time, I do miss having my own money to spend. I feel guilty when I guy things for myself because it's J's money. A part time job would be wonderful. I could make a little money and not have to give up my social obligations. Full time might not let me do that, especially if it's not a regular schedule.

But that's just thinking at the moment. Of course I'll write about it if it becomes more than just thoughts. Those are all the thoughts I can manage right now. Stupid head.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain

J got promoted! Yay! His folks flew out for it, and yes, Rembrandt was there as well. He's going to be just as popular with this unit as he is with our old unit. The promotion was nice and simple, relaxed, and we bought the first round of drinks (and dinner for us) at the German Club afterwards. Just one round, so that no one gets drunk on our tab. It actually saved us a little money.

Speaking of money, now that we've been following our budget for 2 months, we're noticing some savings. So we're going to stick with it, just as it is (tweeks when necessary), through the deployment. Even with J's pay raise. The extra money from the pay raise will be filtered into some investment plans, and we'll up our payments on J's jeep. We need to work on building our savings back up to what it used to be.

J's deployment is really starting to sink in now. Thinking of things that I will be doing alone instead of with him, like Christmas. But I'm looking forward to a quiet Christmas, as I've said before. Even if mom has a hard time thinking of me alone at Christmas. If I can't spend it with J, I think I'd rather just be with my critters. I'm sure I'll accept at least 1 dinner invite.

I'm also looking at taking on FRG leader with a friend. We agreed the only way we would do it at all is if we did it together as co-leaders. So I have to get trained up on that. Oh goodness.

Finally, before I go fix some lunch, I'm headed to Maryland next week! Ah! I get to meet Sophie!! I'm not entirely sure how my days will work out, and won't know until I get there, but I'm thinking I can run in the mornings with Soph in her stroller. Yes, I've already given her a nickname. Soph. With a long O. Anywho, I will be taking care of her while her folks are at work, so you mommy friends be ready for giving advice! She's going to turn 3 months when I'm there. I also have some sewing projects that Misty's mom started and didn't finish. I'll see what I can help with. Misty has a borrowed sewing machine, so if I can get the projects done, she can give the machine back. AND, this is a big and... WE'RE GOING TO REN FEST!

If you know me, you know I'm a huge geek, and you might have an idea of how much I miss my ren fest in KC if you hear me talk about it. OMG. I'm packing my costume pieces, and we're going to find a way to dress up Sophie, too. Yay! I can't wait. I will be missing out on Oktoberfest with J, but at least I get ren fest.

Any other news? Not really. I guess I better check the weather in Maryland and start a packing list. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Time For More Updates

Project: Family

The reunion was a success! It was good to see some cousins that I haven't seen in a while, and great to see my sis and her family. I came home with more than I left with: anniversary gift from the folks, early birthday gift and books from my sis, and a wool coat and rocking chair from my great aunt. The rocking chair was bought for auntie's mother long before I was in this world, but none of her kids wanted it. It's gorgeous! I also got my god mother's wool coat. It's very 80s, but I'm removing the shoulder pads. Amazing what a difference that makes.

Now, the in-laws are coming to town this weekend, just for the weekend. J's getting promoted on Friday and they wanted to be here for it. We'll only have Friday and Saturday with them before they head back on Sunday.

Project: Healthy Charla

Blood work was done. My cholesterol is on the higher side of normal, but still normal. Thyroid is all the normal range. The only thing not in the normal range was 1 thing on the iron panel. And I can't remember exactly what it was at this moment, but I have plenty of iron in my blood. Which is probably why it takes forever for my bruises to go away.

On the migraine front, the maxalt seems to work, or at least help, but I then get rebound headaches. I'm still not entirely happy with my head, but I know, it's a slow process. I still have acupuncture on my list of possibilities.

Project: Whip My Ass Into Shape

Didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hoped. The traveling wasn't so much an issue, but the migraine was. I did do a 6 mile run last Friday and felt great doing it. Then I decided to have a couple drinks friday night, and ended up drunk (at home, fortunately). Apparently, the combo of migraine meds for a week and then alcohol (and maybe something else?) messed with my system and I have a sour stomach that won't go away. I just walked this morning since I was still worried about having a stomach bug, but a chat with mom eased my worries about that.

I might try a bike ride tomorrow, and I'll be taking antacids probably all week. Ugh. Gotta try for a long run on Friday though.

Project: Clean House

Yeah, this totally got side-railed with all the migraininess the past couple weeks. Trying to get back on track this week and stick with it. Today I managed to get my chores done and take out the trash and recycling. Hopefully I can keep it up all week. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: eSalon Home Hair Dye

I saw an add for this website, eSalon, that makes hair dye specifically for you, sends it to you, and you dye your own hair. Sounds great, right?

I went to the website, filled out the form, and snapped a pic with my webcam to submit. Easy peasy. 

The next day, I had an email asking me to call them on their toll free number. I called, talked to a girl about my hair and my hair dying habits, and she said it cleared up some things and everything was good to go. A day or two later another email said my order had shipped. It got here quickly, USPS. 
This is what I got...
Made for me?
the box
the necessities
the tool kit, cost extra
So far, so good!

I didn't have time to dye my hair right away, so it sat for a week. I dyed it on a Thursday night, and wondered a little at the color of the dye while applying. I've been dying my hair for half my life (quite literally) so I have some idea of what different colors look like when applying. 

Here's where my problem started: I ordered a Medium Brown Copper, and I'm not seeing much copper. Need illustration? I thought I was getting this:
Medium Brown Copper (from

When I look in the mirror, it seems more like this:
Medium Brown (from

I don't see any copper in it. Jason doesn't see any copper in it. It doesn't look bad, don't get me wrong. It's probably very close to my natural color. But it's not what I wanted. I wanted that coppery red tone to my hair. I can only just start to see it when I compare my photo with the two above:
no, I don't smile for photos

What do you think? Do you see the copper? It's definitely not like their picture representation, and my hair has always colored very true to the color, so I'm thinking they didn't put much copper in it. Undecided as to whether to try them again or go back to the boxed stuff at Target. Those of you that know me IRL, you can let me know when you see it. Those who liked my brunette will like this. Guess the redheaded me will just have to wait a little longer to come back out.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bad Days

Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go your way? Today is one of those days. Nothing major, but I've had so many little things go wrong today. Ugh.

Now I'm at home and not leaving. I'm wearing my Dr. Who shirt, watching Dr. Who on netflix, and drinking Kava tea to help me relax. I'm washing a load of clothes to get all packed up for the weekend.

So, I went to the Doctor the other day. He had the lab draw blood to test my cholesterol and thyroid. He gave me a prescription for tramadol, and told me that I can take aspirin or tylenol with it, which I hadn't known before. He gave me a new prescription for Maxalt, which is a triptan. I've had trouble with triptans before, but maxalt is a different one, so we'll see how it goes. Oh, and I'm still taking the verapamil.

So tomorrow I head up to Denver. I get to see my folks, my sister and her family, and my cousins that live there. We're taking my nieces to the zoo. And having a family reunion.

I say "so" too much in these posts. I need to stop that.

I think my head hurts. What an odd statement, but I better go take something. Then I'm making myself some comfort food for dinner. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Projects Update

Project: Clean House

I've been through 1 month on my cleaning schedule. I did not complete the whole schedule, thanks to some migraines. However, I think I did pretty good. I also learned to adapt. Some weeks I only spot mop, some weeks I vacuum twice just because I have a dog that sheds a lot. All in all, I think it's going well.

On a side note, I tried a pinterest bathtub cleaner. It's 12 ounces of vinegar (heated in the microwave for 2 minutes) and 10ish ounces of dawn dish soap (I just bought a 9 ounce bottle and used it all). I mixed it in a re-purposed cleaner spray bottle and covered my shower and bath with the blue mixture. It sat for a few hours before J needed to shower his field grime off. I tried the dry rag, like the original instructions said, but found it easier to use a damp cloth to suds up the cleaner and then spray it all with the shower head. For those of my friends that live in military housing at Bliss, you know the texture on the bottom of the bathtub? It cleaned through that. I will be using it for my once a month tub scrub.

Project: Whip My Ass Into Shape (i.e. do a tri and a half marathon over a mountain in 3 weeks time)

My sister's doctor has suggested she up her cardio to combat the high cholesterol that apparently runs in our family. He said she should train for a half marathon. Whether she runs a half marathon or not doesn't matter, just that she train for it to increase the amount of cardio she does. He even recommended a training program that's 10 weeks long.

Well, well. The Transmountain Challenge is 10 weeks from today. So I said I would train with her. I won't follow the plan exactly. In fact I've already shifted the schedule by 1 day to fit with the days I usually run. And I will throw some days at McKelligon Canyon in place of other days on the schedule. My cross training will involve biking and swimming for the triathlon training.

I seem to do a little better on getting the distance built up if I have a schedule to follow. When I realized the half was only 10 weeks away, I realized I needed to get my butt moving.

I'm also trying out J's old armband tomorrow. If it's comfortable, I'll get one to carry my iphone in when I ride and run. The test is just to see if I can stand running with something strapped to my bicep. Of course, tomorrow I also have 2 dogs with me. We'll see how far that gets. I'm dog sitting a gorgeous girl until tomorrow. Thought I would try taking her and Rem for a run tomorrow. Mauja is a sweetheart.

Project: Healthy Charla

Doctor's appointment is Wednesday morning. J is pulling a swing shift for work this week, so he has the mornings with me. This is beneficial. I've been having mild pain every day since Monday. I'm tracking it all with the notepad app on my iphone, so I can report to the doc. I may have J drive me to the appointment, in case the doctor wants to try a pain killer shot. Last time, he was going to give me a shot to stop the in-progress migraine, but couldn't do it because I drove myself.

I will also be talking to the doc about cholesterol and thyroid histories in my family. Time to start tracking that stuff. I'm over 30 now. I know I'll have to do a fasting blood work for cholesterol (and thyroid if he wants to check that). Ideally, we could get that out of the way on Thursday. If not, it will have to be next week when I get back from Denver.

Project: Family

First ever Cohen family reunion next weekend in Denver. Unfortunately, J doesn't get to go with me. At least we don't have to worry about the critters for the weekend, I guess. Anywho, my sis and her family will be there, so I get to see my nieces. Of course mom and dad will be there, and my cousins that live in Denver. I'm looking forward to it, though it would be better if J could make it. Even found a park near our hotel where Dotti and I can run together over the weekend.

Did I forget anything?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oy Vey

I had that migraine at the end of last week, right? Thursday and Friday. Felt better Saturday.

I noticed on Tuesday that I was having minor pain off and on. It went away on it's own, but since I have a doctor's appointment next Wednesday, I decided to make a note of it. I also noted more minor pain yesterday, and ended up taking some ibuprofen at bedtime. Today I had more pain, still minor, but more present so I took some ibuprofen this afternoon. I then had a visual aura, and soon after couldn't control my body temp. I sometimes flash between hot and cold before and during migraines. So I broke out the heating pad for my neck and shoulders, and drank a coke for the caffeine. 

I chatted with my mother on the phone, and made myself some dinner - creamy tomato basil soup (great recipe) and a couple crumpets (which the commissary is now out of, dangit!). I didn't feel hungry until I got up to get some dinner, then I was starving. It was delicious, but I'm feeling more pain now and will have to take more ibuprofen. I'm still flashing between hot and cold a little. 

I'm enjoying the little notepad feature on my phone so I can track the pain and what I do even when I'm not at home. Makes it easy. 

I'm hosting my craft group tomorrow, which usually helps me relax. I enjoy that group. I may be going out to dinner with J's former unit. Hopefully J can make it as well. Otherwise, my only plan is to make a walmart run, so I can rest and relax and try to avoid this migraine. Not much planned for this weekend either, so more relaxing. 

I hate that I have to basically put my life on hold like this. It interrupts my fitness, because I find it hard to work out when I have a migraine, and I'm sometimes afraid to work out if I feel one coming on. This would be somewhat OK if I weren't training for a triathlon and half marathon. I like how active I've been and want to keep pushing it, but then I have to stop and rest because my head hurts. 

So I'll talk to the doctor about trying a different daily medication. Might ask about a different pain killer, too, since the tramadol isn't stopping it and makes me itch (not an allergy, just a side effect). 

I will also be talking to him about my cholesterol and thyroid. High cholesterol apparently runs in my family, and we have a history of goiters in women. A good friend would like me to get my thyroid levels checked as well. Since I have to have blood drawn for cholesterol, I don't see why they couldn't do that as well. 

That's all, I guess. Just frustrated and had to get it out. Wish me luck on avoiding this migraine. I'll update again after the doc appointment. Maybe not till I get blood work results, but we'll see. 

Controversy (pronounced the British way)

I've been having a mental debate about this post. Not sure if I should write it or not. Strangely enough (or not really strangely at all when you really think about it), I was inspired by a post written by a friend of mine who has pretty much the exact opposite view in this issue. She's a conservative Christian, I'm a weird heathen.

So, Chick-fil-A. Honestly, I don't get it. I have friends who love this place and always want to eat there. It must be a southern thing. To me, it's just chicken. Good chicken, better than some other fast food chicken, but just chicken. I would pick Carl Jr.'s chicken tenders over Chick-fil-A.

And I honestly don't care how the owner or CEO or whoever feels about homosexuality. How he/she feels doesn't change the flavor of the chicken, and won't change how I feel. No, I don't agree with the organizations they've donated to, and I don't necessarily agree with company money being donated to such controversial organizations, but you know what? It's not my business. And with as little as I eat there anyway, it's not even really my money.

I have friends getting all upset and butt hurt about it. I just can't bring myself to care that much. I may think twice before eating there next time, but I'm not going to tell my friends that they shouldn't eat there. That is their decision. I honestly expect this to blow over before too long and see people move on and enjoy their chicken.

Basically, I have a friends whose views on homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. are very different from my own. Just because we don't agree on that doesn't mean I don't want them as my friends. I have lots of friends who don't like things I like. I have 2 good friends who don't eat tomatoes or drink tea (2 of my favorite things), but I still eat with them. We are entitled to our opinions. I am not going to push my opinion on any of my friends, who are my friends partially because they don't push their opinions on me.

The post that inspired this one? I didn't read the whole thing. I skimmed it. I'm going to keep following her blog, because I do enjoy some of her posts and like knowing what's going on in her life. She's a much more dedicated blogger than I am, and it inspires me (sometimes) to try to improve my own blogs. Maybe I just need more inspiration. (A paycheck would be great inspiration. Anyone? No?)

So yeah. Chicken sandwiches. Enjoy them where you want. Gay marriage? Yes, I strongly support it, but I am not going to tell you that you need to support it to. I'll leave it up to you.