Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Blooming Things

It seems like almost everyday that I discover something new blooming in our yard. I quite like taking a daily walk just to see what else is out there. Today offered what I believe are a couple types of flax, more scarlet gaura, some Texas vervain... and some weird not-gourd thing.

Stiff-Stem Flax
Blue Flax
Scarlet Gaura
Texas Vervain

There are couple of these things in the yard. One looks like it has bloomed (or whatever it is they do) but this one looks... well, weird, but also like it might be getting ready to do something. No clue what it is or will do but I'm keeping an eye on it in case what it does is something interesting.

Weird Future Bloom Thing

ETA: It's a seed pod from antelope horn milkweed (thanks, dad!). The blooms of the plant look like this:

Antelope Horn Milkweed

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Mudbugs

It was Mudbug Madness again last weekend. As always, a good time was had by all - but this year was even more fun by the addition of Dan's sister and her boyfriend on top of the usual suspects. Naturally, I managed to not get a group picture.

Mudbug Madness
Mudbug Madness
Mudbug Madness
Breakfast of Champions: Pie

I even managed to get some yarn shopping in (yes, I needed more yarn) and that expedition managed to result in free pie. Dan might have finished that off at breakfast the last day. Super tasty (or so I heard)!

A New One

More fun stuff keeps popping up in the yard. This morning, it is Western Salsify, aka Western Goatsbeard. I found one that had gone to seed yesterday but managed to find some blooming today.

Western Salsify
Western Salsify
Western Salsify aka Western Goatsbeard

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Yard-ular Flowers

We now have some Skeleton Plant, Lemon Mint, Texas Thistle, (more) Two-Leaf Senna, Yucca and Basketflower blooming in our yard!

Skeleton Plant
Lemon Bee Balm & Firewheel
Texas Thistle
Two-Leaf Senna
Lemon Bee Balm

Thursday, May 22, 2014

All Signs Point to Yes

Got a call from my gastroenterologist's office: the biopsies taken during my endoscopy confirm celiac disease. Not really a surprise, but it's nice to basically wrap my diagnosis up in a big official celiac bow.

This means now that I get a checkmark beside all five of the things doctors look for when diagnosing celiac: symptoms compatible with the disease, positive blood tests, genetic markers, intestinal damage found via endoscopy, and symptom resolution on a gluten free diet. That last one was kind of sketchy for a bit but it seems that this super strict diet I'm on has finally calmed stuff down so I'm not reacting to everything. I'm not ready to switch to an all-rice diet, but so far it seems like I can sneak some in without horrible ramifications, so yay!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Goal Accomplished!

My main goal for 2014 was to knit twelve pairs of socks. Well, guess what? I have finished pair twelve!

Sheep Socks

I wanted to hit my goal with some special socks, so these are my first ever colorwork socks - and they are covered in sheep! Since they are colorwork, they are a little less flexible than normal socks, but they fit great (though a tiny wiggle is required to get them fully over my heel - not my only pair to need that!) Definitely a special pair to finish of my dozen for the year.

Sheep Socks

And speaking of my "12 socks in 2014" goal, I can't believe that I actually finished a dozen socks, even less so that I did it so early in the year! I was worried when I committed myself to the endeavor that I wouldn't be able to make it. I never thought I'd do it with so much time to spare!

The Ravelry group I'm in (12 Socks) allows anything foot-related to count towards the dozen socks for the year. In my dozen, I have two pair of slippers.

Felted Slippers

These are awesome slippers, of course, but a pair of slippers that takes maybe sixteen hours to complete compared to a pair of socks that takes around thirty... It's not quite the same, is it?

For that reason I've decided to do my dozen socks for the year the hardcore way - all socks. Of course, this means I really only need two more pair and I'm already partway into one pair and have the yarn & patterns for two more pairs waiting on deck, so I don't think this will be much of a challenge, but then I can really own it when I say "I've made a dozen pairs of socks this year."

So I shall call these sheep socks pair 12a. Keep an eye out for pairs 11b and 12b. (And 13.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Early Morning Happened

I had my endoscopy this morning. Very early this morning.

I'm still a bit wonk-tastic from being knocked out and can see why I'm not allowed to drive or make any legally binding decisions today, but overall I'm good. Results were thus:
  • Damage in my small intestines consistent with Celiac disease but nothing horribly destroyed
  • An ulcer worth taking a picture over but not worth actually mentioning
  • Food still in my stomach which is apparently evidence of stomach motility issues, something often seen with connective tissue disorders
  • A really sore hand from the IV
I really hope the hand thing doesn't prevent me from knitting today (though I'm not sure if my head is on straight enough to work on my current socks as they are colorwork and thus require me to follow a chart). I do think a nap will be in my future so maybe I can do some post-nap knitting.

Anyway, biopsy results should be back either the end of this week or the beginning of next and I still have an appointment with a rheumatologist at the end of the month, but excluding those two things, I have no medical-related plans.

Fun fact for today: when I woke up from anesthesia, I started talking about yarn. We all see what my priorities are.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In Bloom

More wildflowers are popping up in our yard. It's getting quite colorful. (Click through to Flickr to see it larger.)

Our Backyard

The purple is vervain, the yellow is mostly thelesperma, the red is indian blanket, all with some Englemann's daisy, bastard cabbage, nodding thistle, frilled puccoon, Englemann's salvia and other goodies mixed in.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Deal

Today was my gastroenterologist appointment. Here's how things ended up:
  • I have an endoscopy scheduled for Monday. The doctor feels that there will be enough abnormality even though I've been gluten-free for six weeks, especially as I'm still reacting to things.
  • I was given a prescription for prednisone to take care of my joint pain in the short term. It is set to taper down gradually over the next four weeks so I'll be on a low dose when I see the rheumatologist.
  • The doctor said that I definitely have celiac but my blood work is "interesting" enough (and I'm still having issues) so he thinks I also have some other immune abnormality, likely a connective tissue disorder. He said the rheumatologist should be able to figure it out more specifically. Whatever it is, it is not something that will resolve with a gluten-free diet but will require lifelong medication & management. Joy.
  • I am to stay on my (crazy restrictive) gluten-free (grain-free, completely non-processed) diet and continue to avoid things I react to (like rice, which he found to be kind of unbelievable but apparently not super uncommon as he said he's had people feel like they were reacting to water) and, as I feel better, have little mini food challenges to see what I can add back in.
And I think that's it. Not exactly the good news I was hoping for (as I was hoping the joint issues would be celiac related and thus eventually resolve), but at least the endoscopy happening so soon and without a gluten challenge is exactly what I was hoping for so mixed results, I guess. Already I can tell a difference due to the steroids though - I'm actually able to type without jolts of pain. Yay medications!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I'm Blind!

Pair eleven for the year - super bright socks!

Neon Socks

Nothing too special about these other than the fact that they are so neon that they glow even in the dimmest of lights.

Yay socks!