Jul 24, 2009

Construction Next Door

Our builder has finally started building a house next door to us. We've been here six months with an empty lot next to us. I already checked with the sales lady and our construction manager but we won't have new neighbors for a while. Although our builder doesn't usually start a house until someone puts escrow down, secures financing and picks everything out at the design center, they want to have houses on inventory for all those people who will be taking advantage of the new home buyer tax credits.

Today they are pouring the concrete for the foundation. It's quite interesting. Since they can't get a concrete truck in, they have to use a boom pump truck. Yesterday they started the foundation for a house right across the street. There's going to be a whole lot of construction going on around us for a while. But it's better than an empty dirt lot blowing sand all over you while you are sitting outside or all over your vehicles and weeds growing up on your grass that you have to pull and weed-eat. I'm getting used to all the noise and crews around all day. It's the early Saturday mornings I don't like.

Jul 23, 2009

Health Happenings

Okay, so I know I said I would post some good health news a while back. I forgot. Sorry, but I have some more to add now which reminded me. First, I had my yearly visit with my gastroenterologist in June and I expressed to him how great I have been feeling since my visit last June. How I feel like I don't have a disease at all. Of course I do but since I take my medications regularly and have been having great results I just don't feel like it. So he let me taper my medications down. I am so happy to go down two less pills a day. It's a really good thing. Even though he added 1000 mg of calcium over my multivitamin which is two pills a day and nulls the two he took away. But I don't care. It's two less ulcerative colitis pills I have to take which is a great thing. And I'm super happy about it!

Now on to the latest health news. Roger and I went to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio yesterday for his semiannual MRI and visit with his radiation/oncologist. We knew it would be the same as usual but it was even better. It looks like the scar tissue/junk that is still in Roger's brain where the tumor was removed has gotten smaller by 1 millimeter. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is! We never thought it would go away or get smaller so fast. Roger had his craniotomy in March 2006 and his radiation ended at the end of the summer that year. So it's been three years and we are already seeing a decrease. Awesome!! The edema (aka fluid accumulation) hasn't changed much but like I said, we know it will take years and years. So to have the scar tissue area decrease in size is another great blessing. And three years cancer free! I think we are on cloud nine! We can't help but praise the Lord for yet again taking care of us.

And last but not least, Roger has decided to get serious again about his physical recovery from the paralysis he experienced after the craniotomy. He was rear ended in my vehicle a month or so ago and it aggravated his hip which is still not strong. So not only did he get a referral for physical therapy for that, but we also bit the bullet and purchased a Wii and a Wii fit. We started the EA Active 30 day challenge this week. And it's great. It's a really good workout for Roger and will help him to build his strength back up in his right hip and leg muscles. Which means we will soon be able to go for long walks and rides on our bikes. I can't wait to get back on the trails on our mountain bikes together. I will continue to do my regular morning workouts and workout with Roger in the evenings so we can do it together. Although the Wii EA Active workouts are good, they are kind of like a warm up for me so I'm not going to stop my other workouts. I recently went up to 2300 meters twice a week in the pool and have added weight resistance twice a week to my workouts. But the Wii is so much fun too. I can totally see Wii bowling party nights at our house in the future. Watch for your invitation!

Jul 11, 2009

Austin Farmer's Market

Roger had to be at work at 7:00 o'clock this morning and since he was going to be up that early I decided I'd get up early too and head down to the downtown Austin Farmer's Market. I would normally go to the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market because it is closer to where I live, but I went to the Austin Farmer's Market today because I read in Edible Austin's e-newsletter that there was a new vendor selling 100% pure Texan olive oil. We have some friends who love olive oil and dipping spices with bread for appetizers and snacks with friends. We are visiting them at the end of July to go see a Cirque du Soleil show in Houston and I wanted to bring them a bottle of 100% Texan olive oil as a gift and so we could check it out with them and see how good it is. The last time these friends visited us in Austin, we opened a bottle of olive oil pressed in Italy from olives grown on a College Station lady's farm in Italy and sold at the Brazos Valley Farmer's Market where my parents sell on Saturdays and Wednesdays. It was good but now I'm interested to see how olive oil made from Texas olives taste. Of course I'll let you know.

While at the farmer's market I enjoyed a tasty turkey empanada made from market ingredients from a local family of great cooks and good iced coffee roasted in East Austin. I also enjoyed live music from a local band, Wiretree. I really liked their sound, so much so I bought a CD. Then I bought something I have been wanting for a long time, an orchid plant. The orchid lady in Spring, Texas gave me all the instructions. I have always heard orchid plants are way easier to take care of than most people think. We'll see. I'll keep you updated on it.

I was happily surprised by how large the downtown market has gotten. It used to be a short, little strip of pop-up tents and was kind of a joke. But it's now up to four or five double sided rows and they even had to take over part of the parking lot next to it. The Sunset Valley Farmer's Market is at least twice as large as the Austin one is, but they have a lot more space in Sunset Valley. It was a really nice morning. I had some nice conversations with people sitting around me under the tent with tables and chairs. I talked to a young Indian family where the father really liked the band. I talked with two ladies about the habanero plant they bought. It was already full of fruit. And I talked to quite a few people about their dogs. There were dogs every where. Super cute ones too. Lots of mutts and purebreeds, but a few I could tell were a very well groomed and behaved standard poodle, a goldendoodle puppy that was super sweet and a super cute little jack russell terrier that was every one's friend. Especially if you had food with you. But it was starting to get really hot. I was glad I brought my own water although they had coolers of water for the public. I actually stopped at the information table and asked some questions. The volunteers that man the table are really nice. I even got a Market Card which is stamped with market purchases and you are entered to win fabulous prizes. I think the prize is $10 in market bucks. Not bad. If anyone ever wants to venture out there early on a Saturday morning, let me know. I'll make any excuse to go to the farmer's market, especially with friends.