Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting a Facelift and other thoughts on surgery

 Maybe one is not supposed to admit to plastic surgery. After reading a recent article in Time magazine, I realized that a lot of folk are not being silent about "having things done".
I'm no stranger to plastic surgery, I had some procedures in my 20's when feeling a bit self conscious about my appearance. In particular, my nose, which on reflection was not bad at all. However, with frequent negative comments from the first ex-husband about the nose, I felt my self-confidence eroded and did the procedure. As I look back, no regrets. I'm happy about my past procedures.
Now, I'm planning on a lower face lift. My hairdresser has been after me to have it done for some time now. I decided to go ahead after a man, who I met recently, guessed, without hesitation, my age at about 60. This is, of course, true and was not a negative comment at all; but, I realized the tell tale signs of age were there. Now, he's an artist and attentive to detail, nonetheless it made me realize I'd like to appear a little more ambiguous when it came to my age. A little hesitation before answering would be nice. I am proud to be over 60 and to have all the life accomplishments behind me that I do. Still, it remains a youth oriented culture despite the large number of baby boomers around who are now seniors and elderly. Some of us just like to look our best, too. I have a good dermatologist and have taken good care of my skin but that doesn't help with underlying structure. Losing weight, while wonderful for my health (no blood pressure meds!), does accentuate the sagging of the face. I tend to pick the most flattering photos for my Facebook and blog posts but I'm posting one here that illustrates those soft jowls and turkey neck I want to be gone.

So, September 1, I will be having the procedure done. September 30, I plan to have a procedure in my plastic surgeon's office to tighten up my saggy arms. They are the result of weight loss as well as age.

Having just had a total knee replacement I'm a bit nervous about having more surgery. I realize that a total knee is an incredibly major procedure and not the easiest recovery, though I'm being told I'm doing way better than most folk. The knee was a very necessary surgery and well worth it, I might add. I'd highly recommend the procedure to anyone having significant knee arthritis where the operation has been advised. So many folk say "I wish I'd done this sooner". I, too, think I'd have liked a referral for this long ago. The knee replacement and the injections in my neck and in my finger joint have really helped me cope with living with arthritis. I'm still challenged by pain and restrictions but feel more hopeful that getting older will not be as dreadful as I was imagining just 6 months ago.
Also, I want to look my best and look forward to the results of my plastic surgery.
There are risks and limitations to surgical approaches to solving the signs and symptoms of aging and illness. It's not an easy decision to make. I'm nervous about the surgery; yet, I feel it's a good plan for me. Sure, I could have complications. I'm confident that even if adverse occurrences, ultimately, I'll be fine.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Post-Op Recovery

Here I am at Blogging after my knee replacement. I have not had too much trouble with conversation though, a little. I was falling asleep writing simple Facebook posts of a couple of sentences. With the pain, the drugs and fatigue I just said, "Avoid keeping up on the blog. Just too much."

I'm still on the powerful prescription drugs though taking a little less than before. The pain still comes but is much better controlled. I never did have the really awful pain after surgery that folk experience. I had a successful nerve block which worked well for about four days. I'd highly recommend that as pain control to folk planning surgery where a block could be a pain control option. Also, if planning something like an elective knee replacement, really work hard at exercising almost daily, as much as you are able for at least 6 weeks pre-op. I did well in my recovery and I told everyone who was impressed with my progress that "I trained for this". I really believe that it helped. I, also, needed to work on walking without a walker or cane because of my chronic neck problem. That was highly motivating. Still, it's a long recovery and I will not be really recovered for another 8 weeks.
Photo of knee at 4 weeks. I think it will look pretty normal in 2 months.

It's hot here in Sacramento. You may have all heard about it if you are watching the USGA Senior Open. It's being held at Del Paso Country Club, just across the street from me. I think it's been very well organized. Very little disruption to our daily lives. Weather is a little cooler for the last two days so golfers should enjoy it more; spectators, too.

I brought my niece down from Canada to help me. She's been driving me around, making sure my to-do-list is getting completed; and, just generally, has been fun to have around. I'm not sure what I'd have done without her.

The gardens are growing nicely here and over at my other house, where my son lives. Love the fresh produce of summer!

Lots of spring/summer repair work needs to be done to spiff up the houses and the yards but it's all getting done, bit by bit.

Of course, summer is the time to be lazy, rest by the pool, read books and visit family. Getting lots of that done, too.

Well, wrote the entire piece without nodding off! Will add some photos later and hope to post this soon. Feeling very accomplished!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No longer a jungle, garden started

 It was but is no longer, a jungle despite our drought conditions. Almost scary to walk out into the yard. Now it is beautiful. The weeds are gone and the scraggly plants contained.
Joe helped start a garden for us since Cal has had hip surgery. Cal is actually getting out to the garden a bit this week. I plan some updates on how the garden grows. Here's a few photos from May 1 when the garden went in behind the oleanders. The area of of power line easement at the back of our large yard gets the most sun and is where Cal plants the biggest garden.
I'm going to try and get some morning photos of the yard to post.
Naturally we have tomatoes since it is Sacramento. The Farmer's Market held weekly is only a couple of blocks away so we do not grow everything but there are peppers, melons, cucumbers and squash in this plot.
The other garden has potatoes and chives and not much more at the moment.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday, May 1st Live Podcast

 We are having a live show at The Digiscrap Geek Podcast. Even if you are unable to attended, there is a link on our site to enter for prizes # dsgpromo we will record the show for future listening, of course.

Join us, if you can. We will have active chat available.

Happy National Scrapbook Weekend!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Back to the Blog

 The household is settling down once more. My husband had a hip replacement but is recovering. Just took this photo last night. The kids brought food and I could not resist this photo of Cal and grandson Austin with their hairy faces. Too cute!

Slow on the scrapbook front. With hospital visits and art home work I'm pretty busy. The art homework is a bit behind, too.
Sill here are a few of my recent pages and finished art project. The pages have been done for Get It Scrapped and for fun on the community blog, too. It's my favorite scrap site on the web.

The embellishments are from #Freckled Fawn and #Little B, cardstock #Club Scrap, #Prima flowers,patterned paper #Ken Oliver Crafts, #Simple Stoies DIY overlay 

Supplies: kit is from #The Digi Files 72, a collab, LoveLivesHere. Journal card - Becky Higgins, Project Life, Cherry Ed; shadow styles - #mommyish and #One Little Bird; glitter style - mommyish, fonts - Garamond, Avenir,  scattered hearts from #WM2(squared) xoxo kit

I used the matchbox die as a starting point for my page and included the journaling and another photo inside the matchbox, next making the size of the patterned paper rectangles to match the matchbox.
Supplies: Cardstock #Bazill, patterned paper - #Jen Allyson lime twist MME; buttons, Baker’s twine - stash; matchbox die and white chipboard - #Little B, die cuts - OUR LIL’ MONSTER, Noteworthy, #Bo Bunny; chipboard word art - Bundle of Joy, #Echo Park, stamp - #Dear Lizzy, dimensional sticker - Ready, Set, Go, #Amy Tangerine, #AC

Pastel drawing After Claude Campion

Our gardner are here today working on the yard. I think Cal will be able to get in a small garden with our younger son Joe's help. Should motivate him to recover more quickly as he loves being out there in his garden. I must do a post on the yard. It is wonderful! It really had been neglected. Cal's hip was just getting to be too much of a problem and he would not admit it. I think it will be better now since his surgery. But, I think we'll still be keeping the gardner. It's an awfully big yard!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Welcome Folk and Fiskafriend Blog Hoppers

The Power of Community Blog Hop

Sorry for the repost. Blogger did not let me edit the prior post, so I deleted and have re-posted.
Hi, everyone! I love my first on-line community of friends and wanted to participate in the Fiskafriends Blog Hop to celebrate our friendship. Although the initial community has ended, a new Facebook community has started "Fiskafriends". This is a private group open to any numbered Fiskateer.
As for my personal story, you may already know that I am one of the hosts of The Digiscrap Geek podcast. Listen here at iTunes.
Some of you also know I'm a disabled retired physician, an avid photographer and scrapbooker and an artist.
I am happy to have you visit me today.
One person who comments on my blog (and leaves an e-mail address or Facebook link or twitter link, so I am able to easily contact you) will be entered in a prize for a 3 month subscription to Get It Scrapped. This prize is separate from the equally fantastic blog hop grand prizes. Get It Scrapped is an on-line community with terrific classes in page design. Paper, hybrid and digi scrappers are all welcome at the GIS site. I'm privileged to be on the creative team there.
I hope you'll take some time to review my blog posts at Karen's Corner of the Web. I have some of my photography, art and scrapbook pages featured here.
I designed two cards for you today. Now, I do not do a lot of cards. Cards have small real estatwhich constrains my love of lots of patterned paper and layered embellishments. Still, I do some and I try to follow Lisa Dickinson's adage for color, pattern, texture, shine, even in a small space. That's one of the many treasures of design information you'll find at Get It Scrapped.
Cards are the perfect way to use little pieces that may have been sitting in your stash forever. Standard letter size cardstock 8.5 in x 11 is easily divided in half to 4.25 x 11 and folded makes a nice A2 standard size card. Envelopes are easy to find. Odd sizes are fun, too. Lots of companies make good boards or templates for designing custom envelopes for your cards.
My pink Easter card is A2 and my turquoise card is 5 x 7 inches.
A white piece of cardstock is very useful when using material that is colorful and hard to stamp. Stamp your sentiment message on the white cardstock and fasten it in the card. It helps if you are prone to making mistakes with your stamping, as I often do. It also helps to use a stamp that is intentionally messy as this alpha stamp from Ki.
Some tips I have include using foam dimensional adhesive when attaching die cuts or chipboard pieces to your card for a little more textural interest. Don't be afraid to mix different lines of materials, just look for similar colors. Lace and ribbon are simple ways to add soft texture to your piece. I like stitching with thread, when I have the time. Don't forget to look at ways that items can be modified. My Easter eggs were actually a balloon dimensional sticker that I cut up.
Do share your card designs if you'd like with a link in the comments.

Don't forget to join the Fiskafriends Blog Hop at http://fiskafriends.blogspot.com/. Start there, if you wish to be eligible for the sponsor prizes. You do not have to be a Fiskafriend to visit the blogs and comment on our bloggers' pages. The hop is open to everyone. International visitors are welcome. A variety of projects and blog pages are featured as our First Fiskafriends Anniversary Theme is Anything Goes! The blog hop begins on March 27th at 6PM (PDT) and will end on March 29th at 11:59 PM PDT. The full contest rules and blog hop list will be revealed on the blog on March 27th. 

The Power of Community, Fiskafriends Blog Hop, http://fiskafriends.blogspot.com/
Jean Bullock, #8889,  http://ez3dpopups.blogspot.com
Susan Slomski, #6150,  http://sueinct.blogspot.com 
Cindy deRosier, #4113,  http://www.cindyderosier.com
Tifany DeGough, #5942,  http://inkblotsbytrd.blogspot.com 
Cheryl Waters, #002,  http://blog.artsyfindings.com
Jean Marmo, #7358,  http://pagesintime.blogspot.com/
Teresa Godines #6857  http://purplebunnypapercrafts.blogspot.com/
Michelle O'Driscoll #7586  http://scrapbookingsos.blogspot.ca/
Nancy Carroll  #11488   http://nancecarroll.blogspot.com
Maya Oren-Dahan #351  http://mayadahan.blogspot.com
Amy Martin Jones #8546  http://thetigershaven.blogspot.com/
Karen Poirier-Brode #2858  http://www.karenscorneroftheweb.blogspot.com
Tanya Napier #5407   http://mamabirdy-happinessishomemade.blogspot.com/
Pamela Haskin #8040  http://www.cottagebelow.com
Stasia Sloma #9314 http://www.stampzone.blogspot.com/
Tracy Moloney #6773 http://tracyscraftyadventures.blogspot.com.au/
Kim Chenez #5612 http://scrapbooknstampingfun.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Photography portfolio Spring 2015

Photography class is done for this semester. I wish I'd learned more about photography when younger, though. Getting into interesting angles is not something this body of mine enjoys. Joe acts as my grip to carry my tripod and fetch things while I'm on location sometimes. He and I are both really cognizant of Paul Estabrook quoting "Photography is a huge waste of time."  Waiting for the perfect light for the library photo involved a lot of boredom and mosquito bites. The photo, the sunset and the frog chorus we heard were pretty cool. I do not think I'd have liked the film processing very much then. I do like Adobe Photoshop.
I struggled a bit with these photos. Fortunately, my family, the local skate park as well as the awesome scenery around here got me what I needed. I ended up liking these photos even though I found a number of assignments took me outside of my comfort zone. I think my style definitely indicates a scrapbook slant. I think you'll see a slightly photojournalistic approach apparent in my collection.
It's definitely not a professional level of photography but I can see improvement in my photos. All it takes is some practice and study to get better. I know it works for my other art and scrapbooking. As one learns, the processes get more automatic and the next step is easier to reach.
I am waiting to see what feedback I get in class on Monday.
I'd love my readers' feedback, too.
All photos are © Karen Poirier-Brode 2014.

intro slide uses Amanda Yi Designs TheDarndestThings alpha and the fonts: Pastiche Brush and Traveling Typewriter