I am a 61 yo wife (42 years!) to Ornery, Mom to Elizabeth (40) and Ryan (35), and Grammie to Micah (11) and Makayla (9) (aka the m&m's)
About my health journey I have always been overweight. I starved myself to fit into my size 13 wedding dress in 1979. The smallest size jeans I can ever recall owning was size 16. Two pregnancies left me with 100 extra pounds that never would go away, no matter what diet or exercise program I tried. And believe me, I tried them all! I thought I had finally found a diet to cure me when we did the hcg injections with 500 calorie diet. I lost a lot of weight, which all came back and brought friends. 😟 It also wrecked my metabolism.
I became somewhat crippled around the time I turned 50. I quit driving, then had to quit riding as well as it was too painful in my hips and back. I could no longer stand erect, and leaned over a cart to walk at all. Many days I cried every step from my chair to the bathroom. I developed lymphedema and ended up in the hospital twice in a year with cellulitis. Both times I was very close to death. I worked with every chiropractor, nutritionist and natural medicine doctor I could find to seek a remedy. I knew better than to try conventional medicine as I have always reacted badly to meds and I refused to have surgery to lose weight.
In February of 2020, we started reading about the carnivore diet. All the people who shared about the dramatic health improvements convinced me to try one more thing. No matter what program I did, I was always diligent to follow the rules, so cheating wasn't an option for me. Within 6 weeks I noticed a dramatic reduction in my pain, and could feel myself getting stronger. By the end of April I was able to climb 4 steps to get into Ornery's truck, so I was finally able to leave my house. He was so delighted for me to be able to see things outside the little world I had been living in.
Over the next year, I was able to give up my big cart and start using a walker. I am still not fully erect and tire quickly, but between my wheelchair and walker I can do so much more than I could before. Now I only need 1 step to climb into the truck, and rarely have to ask for help. I have tackled painting the garage doors, weeding in my garden, and can even walk short distances without cane or other aids. I was able to attend church in person Palm Sunday and have attended most weeks since.
In order to get here, the only big change I have made is the diet. I didn't think I could survive, much less thrive, without vegetables, fruits and grains. But I learned about anti-nutrients, inflammatory seed oils, the healing benefits of salt, saturated fats and more. I have only shed 35# so far, but I had a lot of healing to do. I am hindered somewhat by my inability to exercise much, but I am doing what I can. My next big goal is to retire my housekeeper who comes once a month to clean for us.
What I like about Swapping When I first joined SwapBot, my goal was to find pen friends. Over the years much has changed, both in my life and in what I am looking for. I no longer feel the need to join every group, or load my dashboard with swaps. It's not the end of the world if I don't get a heart with my ratings, although I still aim for it. My life is really full and rather than SB being my reason to be creative, I have grown more comfortable with exploring on my own. The postal delivery system has gotten so crazy it's a good thing I am not depending on mail to bring happiness! I am still delighted to get it, though!
Since my children are grown, it's just Ornery and me in our beautiful color-filled home. We live in NE Oklahoma near Tulsa. About 8 months of the year, my yard sports a variety of blooming plants, the more the better as far as I am concerned. One of the hardest things I had to give up when I was no longer able to walk was working in my yard. I have gained enough strength back to do some of it myself this year.a
If you look at my Instagram feed, (link above) you will see equal parts garden/yard posts, and whatever odd crafty project I am immersed in at the moment.
I enjoy a wide range of crafting things, and occasionally dabble in poetry and creative writing. I used to blog regularly, but when I switched to doing most things on a tablet instead of a computer, I gave that up. Now most of my updates are on Instagram.
I have made numerous skirts and doll clothes for Makayla, and have made bads and ends for around the house such as pillows, curtains, Christmas stockings, fabric shopping bags, etc. I also enjoy embroidery, but not counted cross stitch. I recently stitched a dozen flour sacking towels using those old fashioned Aunt Martha's iron on transfers. In 2020 a friend @patchworkchickadee pointed me to Anne Brooks, a textile artist in UK who started #sew4thesoulbook and I made my first fabric book of scraps of fabric and slow stitching. I enjoyed the project so much, I made a second one with the theme of little houses. My next big sewing project is a wall hanging-quilt as you go project. My houses will all be in the blues and greens colors.
It all started with a demonstration on a triloom at Silver Dollar City. Elizabeth talked her dad into helping her build a loom, and I watched her weave in my livingroom for a couple of years. She sold dozens of beautiful shawls, and while I loved watching her, my hands and body did not fit well with such a large loom.
A couple of years later, she got a table top tapestry loom, and I decided that might be more my speed. So Ornery built a simple frame loom for me, and I have made several tapestries on it. I now have 3 different sized looms to create on, and way more yarn than a body needs! A pen pal recommended that I try some note cards with weaving on the fronts, and it is an extremely satisfying way to use my yarn. I do enjoy playing with the beautiful fibers! Sadly, I never could master crochet and knitting doesn't hold my interest.
MIXED MEDIA ART
I am happiest when I am in my studio or playing with color in some fashion. I don't draw anything other than stick figures that you might recognize, but fortunately, I happen to like abstract art better than realism, so it turns out I am okay with that lack of skill. I am not a master at any of the mediums, but I do like to dabble in:
I have a substantial collection of ATC's and Altered Rolodex cards. I have several binders filled with amazing mail art, which is probably my favorite collection of all. Some of my ATCs are in frames on the wall in my studio, others featuring little houses (my favorite theme) are on the wall in my dining room.
I am a huge puzzle fan. I have over 100 in my collection, mostly 500 piece, but a few 1000, and several 300 piece, which lately has been more my speed, just because they work up quickly and are easy to handle.
I have several (10? 15?) fairly regular pen pals, but I am always up for exchanging letters with new friends. I enjoy receiving mail, which was the reason I joined Swap-Bot all those years ago!
While I really enjoy writing letters, I am not great with sending "extras". However, I like to think that my letters are worthwhile even without the extras! 😁 If you write to me, I almost always write back.
I am a very reliable swapper. If I don't think I will be able to send, I drop from the swap. Always. Even when I was hospitalized, I managed to send my swaps on time. If you have not received a swap from me, please let me know as soon as possible. I generally mail the day partners are assigned, or at the latest a day or two after.
Likewise, I am a very prompt rater. There is nothing worse than spending time and effort to create a personalized swap only to wonder if it ever arrived.
I really appreciate you being willing to swap with me. I try very hard to please my partners. If you are interested in a private swap, please send me a message!
For swaps that require personalization, tuck-ins, gifts, extras, etc., here is a list of my preferences.
HAPPY TO RECEIVE THESE THEMES OR ITEMS
PREFER NOT TO RECEIVE
These are preferences, not mandates. However the scented things will not stay around longer than the time it takes to rate them.
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