Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lab slow yesterday

Took my dad down to get a blood test at the lab yesterday and ended up spending twice as long as expected because the computer kept having to be rebooted to try and get it to work with the printer. Apparently they just got a new label maker and it is causing the computer to not talk to any of the printers. Finally the woman sent the paperwork to the lab to be printed there rather than reboot her computer again. Which was a good thing, since we had several other things we had to do in town and some of them places were closing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Orlando Fun Tickets: Walt Disney World

Looking for a great way to surprise the family this summer? How about a vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida? You can get great deals on all of the different Disney World theme parks and discount Disney World tickets by visiting OrlandoFunTickets at the preceding link.

OrlandoFunTickets can help you get the best discount prices to let you have the most fun for the least cost when you visit the Disney theme parks in Orlando. Follow the link to find out more about what they have to offer, then start planning your ideal family vacation to the theme parks that were made for families.

Sooo tired

All I want to do right now is go to bed and let myself recover from how overstressed I have got, but I have to stay awake for a few more hours at least before I can rest. That is one of the things that sucks about being a family caregiver, you can't pick and choose your sick days. Shoot - you can't even have sick days most of the time. It would be nice to have just a few days that I could have nothing at all to worry about or think of and could just recharge my batteries through vegetating about nothing.

Took my dad in for a checkup

Me and my sister took our dad in to see his doctor today for his bi-yearly checkup. I feel horrible, so wanted to sit in the car, however, that only lasted until they took my dad into the back, then my sister made a beeline for the car to tell me that I needed to go in and go back with him. Really nothing that she could not have handled, just someone needs to be able to talk to the doctor and make sure that I get all the details on any changes in medication or diet or anything like that. My sister said she had lots to do, however, so she’s out in the waiting area and here I sit, feeling lousy and distracting myself by working on my sites as I wait for the doctor to finish off with other patients.

I will give my dad’s doctor a lot of credit though, we can call in before his appointment and find out if she is going to be on time or not, and if she is running late then the nurses will juggle his appointment time to compensate for how late she will be. This reduces the time he has to sit in the office waiting to be seen by a very significant amount.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Midwest Auto Recycling

I am not really sure anymore just how many cars my dad or other members of the family have rebuilt, from replacing the engines or transmission, to even once switching the entire rusted out chassis on a car for an identical one with a bad frame and suspension. Finding a engine always entailed first having to call around to various wrecking yards looking for a match, then needing to make sure that the engine was going to work right when we bought it.

For those living in Milwaukee, WI, there is midwest auto recycling, a used auto parts recycler that specializes in rebuilt engines and transmissions.

CARFAX has verified all of the miles on the engines, are completely assembled and started so that they can be inspected for compression, oil pressure and cylinder leaks before being cleaned and ready for the end consumer. Transmissions sold by Midwest Auto Recycling are test driven, then visually inspected and cleaned. Engines and transmissions are also backed by one of the strongest warranties in the nation.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

Getting ready to plant a garden

Today was spent getting flowers planted out in the front planters and working on getting an area for a garden fixed. I have some small sugar pumpkins growing in the window in the dining room, and just checked my cantaloupe seeds that I had started last week and they are sprouted and ready to be planted. I have some Miracle Gro top soil in a small container that I am going to transplant them into until the place for them in the garden is ready.

I was actually surprised that they started to grow, since they are from a store bought cantaloupe and I am used to things from the store not producing growable seeds. I'm not sure what has been done to it, but it has been years since I have been able to get the seeds of any sort of fruit or vegetables to grow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Training Assistance Dogs

This is me and my dad's dogs, Nanook (Aka: "Polar Bear", or just "Bear" for short) and Cheyenne (AKA: "Shy Girl", or just "Shy" for short).

I intend to teach Bear to be an assistance dog for my dad once he is old enough, so have been keeping my eye out for any books or anything that might assist with how to train assistance dogs. If anyone knows of any good resources for how to do that, I would really love to hear about it.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Men's Watches for Father's Day

Father's Day is just around the corner, and ViaLuxe would like to invite you to take a look at their selection of fine men's watches.

ViaLuxe asked for me to take a look at their website and their Milus Watch selection. With over 50 Milus watches to choose from, their selection is sure to have something that matches any taste or style. If not, then they have an extensive selection of brand names from which to select the perfect Father's Day gift for any dad.

The site also offers more than watches, offering a wide selection of jewelry from brand names such as Hearts on Fire, Beaudry, and Chopard. With a design that is reminiscent of being in an old turn of the century watchmaker's shop decorated in leather and richly stained wood, the website is as pleasing to browse through.

From to the grinning top hat wearing skull of the Corum Bubble Baron Samedi Watch, to the expensive style of the Hublot Novelties One Million $ Big Bang watch with a face encrusted in diamonds, there if something for any dad at the ViaLuxe website. I prefer the more classical looking pieces such as the watches by IWC or Omega. I particularly love the IWC Da Vinci Watch with the moon phases, but I have always been a bit of a sucker for watches that feature the phases of the moon. The Omega wathces with their metal bands remind me of the watches my dad always had when I was a kid, particularly the Constellation My Choice Automatic watch by Omega.

Monday, May 12, 2008

5-Hour Energy

I tried one of those 5-Hour Energy drink things the other day and while it tasted like highly concentrated berry juice, it did kick in fairly quick and gave me a nice long lasting boost of energy. I had bought a 2 pack and was going to try the other one, but my pup Cheyenne got her teeth on the second one. I saved it with only a few teeth punctures and put it out of her reach - I thought, but it's gone again and I can't even find the empty bottle this time.

She did have a exceptional level of energy the other day about the time it vanished... raced circles around her brother who had collapsed and went to sleep on the floor while she was still hyper and racing around - so I have a good idea on when she got ahold of it. I'm just hoping it didn't have anything bad for dogs in it.

It's nice they help, but they're making things worse

I'm sure that we are not the only ones that have helpful family members that are less than helpful. The members that will take on doing something such as taking the care recipient for a few hours, but are not exactly helpful in providing care while they have them.

My mom and I have a problem with even though my dad is only supposed to be smoking a set number of cigarettes in a day, whenever he goes out to spend time with one of my siblings and their family - he is let smoke as much as he desires. Today he came back after spending some time with them and had not only smoked all the cigarettes that we had sent with him, but had someone buy him a pack of cigarettes and smoked half of that pack as well.

Me and mom are afraid he is going to end up on oxygen, but can't figure out how to convince them not to let him chain smoke while he's out with them. It's about the only break we get, so we hate to just say "no more" to his going even though they are making things worse in the long run.

I'm just not sure what to do, but I figured I would put it out here so anyone else that has this kind of situation will know they are not alone in the catch 22 situation of needing the help, but frustrated by the lack of care given when the helpers are helping.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wedding Flowers

Summer is closing in, which means that it is time to be thinking about things like weddings. If you are planning a wedding, either for yourself or someone else, then Fifty Flowers would like for you to take a look at the wide selection of bulk wedding flowers that they have to offer.

Fifty Flowers carries all of your favorites such as roses, calla lilies, and peonies. They also offer wedding flower packages, including table arrangements, centerpieces, and bouquets. Want something very special? Take a look at the six foot roses. A few six foot roses flanking the altar with scattered rose petals leading the way up the aisle... that is the makings of the perfect fairy tale wedding.

To find out more, visit the Fifty Flowers website at the link above.

Can I turn in my resignation?

There are days when I just want to scream and give up. Today is one of them. Not only am I in pain and miserable from the infection that has my face swollen up, but my dad has decided that since I can not support his weight to let him walk holding onto my shoulder he is going to scream at me for anything he can think of to get mad at me about. Normally I have no problem with letting him hold onto my shoulder to walk rather than use the side-walker or four foot cane, but right now it hurts me to have weight on my shoulders. About the only thing I can do is hide out in my office and try to work on my websites, but even that is not foolproof since as the primary caregiver I can't hide completely.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No sick days for the weary and in pain

The trouble with being a full time family caregiver is that when you are sick there is no one that can step in and take over. Last night I started getting a bad toothache, my front upper teeth hurting really bad. I took pain medication for the pain and used Listerine and a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to try and combat the infection, however, this morning it was still bad, so at around 2 p.m. my mom called my oldest sister to come take me to the Urgent Care Clinic in Wasilla.

I logged in at about 2:55 p.m. and was seen just a few minutes later by the check-in gal. I was very happy with how quickly the doctor came in to see me, but not very impressed by his bedside manner. I admit that I have bad teeth, and I know that going to the urgent care clinic to get amoxicillin is not going to cure the underlying trouble, but I really do not need to have the doctor stand there and lecture me about my not being able to afford to get my teeth fixed. It is because of lectures like the one I got today that makes people avoid going in for help when they need it.

I would love to be able to afford to get my teeth fixed, however, the last dentist I went to see told me that I had to give them $3,000 upfront before they would do anything for me. And that was best case if I did not have broken teeth (I do) that needed to have surgery to remove the roots.

I would be glad to pay that, however, unless a dentist wants to give me a line of credit and let me make payments on the work, I just can not get my teeth fixed right now. I really don't need the urgent care doctor trying to make me feel like I am wasting his time when I go in with an infection seeping its way up into my sinuses.

I got the medication I need to fix the infection, though, and am keeping an eye on my temperature (was 100.1 at the doctor's office, then went down to 99.5, was up to 101.4 a little while ago and feels like it is going back down again now. I've got me some G2 Low Calorie Electrolyte Beverage that I had bought for reviewing on my diet blog, and am sipping that to replenish my liquids. Other than that I am having Slim Fast, apple sauce and sugar free Jell-O for lunch and dinner tonight, I'll see how I am doing in the morning and probably have similar diet for the next few days.

At least it'll be good on my diet, I'm currently at 195.2, we'll see what my weight is after a week of liquid diet and hiding out on the bed while my mom does what she can to keep things going without me. I'm still having to get up whenever my dad needs to move around or if my mom has to have help with something, but I'm trying to be good and not get up any more than I have to for at least tonight.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Investing in Gold

I don't know if it is providing care for my parents, or the realization that I am closing in fast on the big 4-0 myself, but I have been thinking more and more about investing over the past year. I know that one of the things I want to invest in is gold and other precious metals, I just need to be able to save up enough to make an investment.

In addition to investing in an IRA, I want to make some purchases of gold from Monex when I can get to a point I can buy precious metals. The hard asset professionals at Monex can help with depositing my investment into an independent bank or depository, so I don't have to know all sorts of things about that stuff. Or they can also help arrange for personal delivery, which would probably be my choice since I would love to be able to hold the stuff in my hands. I would need to get a safe deposit box for it then, but I think it would be nice to be able to know I have an investment in gold that I could rely on when I am ready to retire.

Don't feel like getting up today

I'm not feeling very much like going into town today, but I have to. My dad needs to get another INR check on his coumadin levels this afternoon and I need to go take him up to the blood clinic - despite having had a lousy night's sleep.

That's one of the problems with being a family caregiver. A nurse or non-family member can just say they don't feel good and are not reporting for work - a family caregiver has to be ready to do things 24/7/365 - rather they are feeling bad or not.

I have been trying out the assorted Energy drinks, and it is tempting to drink one of them to wake me up this morning, but I now that would not be a very good idea. I really do not need to get into the habit of drinking one of those things first thing in the morning. I think instead I will take a couple of aspirin and go back to bed for a few hours, see if I can ditch the headache that I have been getting.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Is a Search Engine Optimization kit right for your online business?

Ashop Commerce has a page on their website that briefly explains how each search engine has different determining factors when they list websites, particularly merchant websites, in their search engine results. The page is for their Kick Start Search Engine Submission Package that is designed to help you promote your online store using top search engines.

Using search engine optimization (SEO), they can help you get higher placements on search engines. SEO is a method of designing a website to minimize the number of broken or undesirable links, while increasing desirable qualities such as proper content placement, links to complimentary websites, getting the right 'key' words on your website, words that will better identify your site to the search engines as being about the things that you are trying to sell.

While they are costly when compared to doing the same things yourself, services such as the SEO starter offered by Ashop Commerce can get your site quickly listed in the higher levels of search engines, while leaving you free to focus on things other than SEO. If you have limited time to dedicate to working on your business, and have set aside money for marketing and promotion of the business, then using a SEO starter kit like the one offered by Ashop Commerce might be right for you. However, if you have plenty of free time and limited funds, then you might consider if you could do the optimization and search engine submissions yourself - at least for now.


Where to find stuff to sell online

Finding something to sell in an online store can be as easy as turning a hobby into a business. Do you love to create things from polymer clay? Maybe you enjoy making baby clothes but everyone you know has older children now? Perhaps you are an avid model railroader and love to build scale miniatures for train sets? Or small dollhouse rooms?

I know a person that sells doll making materials through eBay. She is a dollmaker herself and just started buying large amounts of the things she uses and resells them to others in small amounts - just enough for a doll. I have bought quite a few things from her myself. (search for MorezMore on eBay).

When your care recipient moved in did you have to clear out a library worth of books that had been tucked into the spare bedroom? If so, then how about taking that huge collection of books that are now away in the garage or basement and turning them into an online used bookstore?

And finally there are wholesale drop-shippers. I'm pretty sure that you will need to get a business license, but then you can order things at wholesale cost as they are ordered by your customers and have them drop shipped (shipped directly from the person you bought them from to the person you sold them to).

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Considering a home based business?

With all of the talk about online shopping and being able to run a business from home, it makes sense that an online store would be a good way for a family caregiver to earn a little extra money from home. If you have been thinking that an online store would be the right choice for you, then Ashop Commerce would like to invite you to take a look at their shopping cart software.

With the Ashop ecommerce software you can easily add the convenience of a shopping cart to any website, allowing you to open your own online store. In addition to some sort of online store software to build a storefront and shopping cart, you will need to have a website and some kind of merchandise or services that you will be selling.

In later posts I will be covering some ideas that you could use for building an online store. Suggestions for things that you can sell online or ideas on how to set up a website for selling home made crafts or items purchased through wholesale outlets. Suggestions to help you with creating a home based business using ecommerce software such as the shopping cart software offered by Ashop Commerce.

Diabetes symptoms

Since my mother has diabetes, and I am often concerned by the possibility that I too might develop it, I decided to go looking for what the symptoms are. I found it to be a little less than informative when the American Diabetes Association listed the following symptoms for diabetes:

* Frequent urination
* Excessive thirst
* Extreme hunger
* Unusual weight loss
* Increased fatigue
* Irritability
* Blurry vision

Mmmm.... Okay... how does one exactly determine if they are urinating more frequent than they should be, or more thirsty than they should be? And if they are thirsty, then frequent urination is a side effect of that. Anyone that has ever tried that 8 glasses of water a day trick can tell you that. Or just try drinking tea on a regular basis.

Extreme hunger and weight loss don't generally go together however. I don't think any of those symptoms pertain to me, though, so I'm hopefully still in the clear as far as diabetes risk goes.


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