Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trying Another Neurosurgeon


After the depressing news about what my surgical outcome might be, I have been looking for non-surgical options.  I found a neurosurgeon right around the corner from my house who practices something called “neuro-muscular re-education”.  Has anyone ever heard of this, or tried it?  I’d love to get some feedback.

He has a website, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing.  Here it is.  The only thing is that you have to make 20 visits in one month, which also means 20 co-pays in one month.  I can’t afford $800 ($40 times 20 visits), but they said they will work with me on it.  Supposedly, they have a 90% success rate.

I was able to get an appointment for this Friday morning to have a consultation.  Hopefully I can find out more information, and not get yelled at for asking questions.

I’ll let you guys know what he says after the consultation.  I have to get rid of this pain!  It is soooo bad, but I think I’ve mentioned that before.

Cat Cat face

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wowee! What a Birthday Surprise!


Even though I’ve already had a great birthday month, since my boyfriend took me on a trip to Mexico to celebrate, I got a wonderful surprise today!

I went to the bead store to pick up a few items during their Small Business Saturday sale. Spend $25 and get a $25 gift card back from American Express.  Can’t beat that!

Anyway, when I walked in, Ella said “I have a surprise for you.”  I said, “Oh, did you get those jewelry polishing cloths in?”  (I’ve been waiting for them)  She said no, they hadn’t come in, and handed me an envelope.  At first I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I couldn’t even process what I was seeing.  She had handed me a $125 gift certificate from my daughter to use at the bead store!

I was so stunned!  We don’t even usually buy gifts for each other in our family, we give each other a card and spend time together doing something fun when a birthday rolls around.  I had to pay for today’s purchase on my Amex card so that I could get the $25 gift card from them, but that’s OK.  I don’t want to spend my store certificate yet, I just want to…..hold it for a little while.  Then I will use it little by little when I need, or even want, beady things.  $125 is sooooo much money to me.  I can’t believe I actually have that much money, just to spend on beads and nothing else.

As soon as I got home I called my daughter and I couldn’t thank her enough.  She was happy that I was happy, and blah, blah, blah, we had a happy-fest, lol.

So that was a much better surprise than a polishing cloth.  And when they do come in, I’ll have the money to buy one.

Cat Cat face

Thursday, November 24, 2011

“Surgeon” Visit


Well I finally saw a neurosurgeon yesterday, if one can call him that, and what a wasted effort that was!  The man should not even have an M.D. license.  I left his office in tears.

My pain management doctor sent me over there because I am having terrible pain in my back and arm.  An MRI showed three herniated thoracic discs.  She did not want to try an epidural because I had such a bad reaction (seizures) to the Medrol I was given, so she is afraid to give me any more steroids.

The “surgeon”, and I call him that very loosely, took a look at my MRI.  He tersely said that the only thing he could do is remove a disc, but it might not work and might leave me paralyzed from the neck down or just paralyzed on the left side.  I asked what are the chances of that, and he said 20% of being paralyzed from the neck down.  I asked him what are the chances of just the left side (like I would really try the surgery after hearing the first answer anyway!) and he said “Why are you asking so many questions?  Don’t you trust me?”  I told him of course I trusted him (ok, I lied to him about that), he has done surgery on me before (failed surgery, I might add) but that I needed some facts to base a decision on.  He said I don’t need to make a decision, he is the doctor.

I won’t bore you with the whole conversation, but at one point I finally asked him what he would advise if it were his daughter sitting before him.  I can’t live with the pain, not even with medication, what options do I have?

He actually told me that I ask too many questions and that he cannot work with a patient like that, and did not want to be my doctor anymore!  Even though I was in tears, I remembered to ask for my co-pay check back on the way out of the office, because I am not paying to be treated like that.

I went back to my other doctor, and she said she will refer me somewhere else, and will not refer any more patients to this “doctor”.

In case anyone is interested, this guy’s name is Dr. Yonas Zegeye.  He practices out of several offices in South Florida and a surgery center in West Palm Beach.  Don’t ever go him, EVER!  If you are referred to him, run fast in the other direction.  He has a God complex so big that you could fit the entire world inside of it and still have room.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Besides the normal family and friends, I am thankful that I realized what a jerk-head this doctor is before I allowed him to come near me with his knife.

Cat Cat face

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beads from Mexico

I didn't find all that much that was very different from what we have here in the USA while I was in Mexico, but I did find a few surprises. And who can resist buying beads in any bead store?

Here’s a picture of all of my loot.

all beads

At the top left, though you can’t see them very well, are silver-colored cell phone/purse charm holders. I never see them in silver color here, so I picked up a few. I also liked that they have lobster clasp attachments instead of the split ring I usually get on mine.

Then, on towards the right, just some different colors and sizes of seed beads. I can never have enough hematite, heehee.

At the top right are some round colored disks. The holes are in the center, and I think they are some sort of thin shell. Just underneath those are one of my favorite finds. Flat oval beads made of wood in several colors. The hole is on one of the ends of each bead.

The four red hearts are for Xmas earrings, and I couldn’t resist the two cute little pieces of turquoise to make earrings for myself.

I couldn’t resist picking up the two finished pieces of beadwork. If you can’t see them well, they are a butterfly and a puffy stuffed peyote fish, and both are keychains. I’m not sure if I will keep them or give them away as gifts. They are both very well made, and sold for less than $7.00 USD each. I feel bad for the girl who makes and sells them, she could charge more than that, they are well worth much more. If she had been a street vendor, I would have paid her more for them, but I bought them in a gallery so there was no way I could ensure that any extra money would get to her.

Here is a better picture of the fish and the butterfly:

fish and butterfly

The black round beads are just glass pearls that I thought I might use with my hematite. The holes are large, about 1 to 1½ mm, and there is no color flaking around the holes. I feel lucky to have found this strand. The ‘pearls’ are good quality. They are strung on a twisted nylon cord.

The other necklace with the charms and also the small group of bluish glass beads are vintage pieces. I don’t know what kind of beads those are on the charm necklace, but I’m sure I’ll be saving that set for a while before I get a really good idea for it. The clear round glass beads (if you can see them) appear to be vintage Swarovski. There are three of those silver charms on the necklace. I don’t know what kind or quality of silver it is. One of the silver charms is tarnished in the center with a greenish color.

I saved the brown beads for last because I’m hoping someone might know what they are. Here is a better picture of them.

brown chips

The tag says “ivory chip”, but I’m sure they aren’t ivory. They are very pretty, and kind of pearlescent. I’m not very good at identifying stones. I tried looking on the MineraliA company website, but can’t find any similar looking stone chips.

The one other thing I bought lots of, because they were only a dollar each, were rubber bracelet blanks. It’s funny, we were just discussing something similar to these on the Beading Daily forum because we don’t find these bracelets with clasps like this in the USA. I think the ones pictured in the forum are leather, though, and the clasps are different. The clasps on these are stainless steel, and I intend to use the bracelet by making a beaded “slider” design around the rubber. They came with stainless steel sliders already on them, but I am going to remove those. They are just folded around the rubber. Here are some pics:

clasp openback of silver design

closure closedfront silver design2

all silver fronts

The top four pictures are clasp open, clasp closed, back of slider, front of slider. The bottom picture is all the different designs on the front of the sliders. They are made of stainless steel.

If I can get the sliders off neatly, does anybody want them? I will probably never use them. Maybe one of you metalworkers could use them as templates? I think I have about 20 of them.

@KipperCat, I don’t know if you read my blog, but I know you’ve been obsessing over these. If you do read my blog, let me know and I’ll send you a couple of the rubber bracelets to play with.

Cat Cat face

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Blogger Template

I finally got so tired of looking at that dark green page that I changed my template to a light blue/white color scheme. I like it a lot better. Much brighter! It was very easy to change it.

Also, I changed my comments so that the little box pops up. I like that better because it doesn't take you away from the page that you're on.

I also like that the change moved my "fish tank" to the top of the page instead of the bottom, so now people can see that it's there, and they can play with my fish. Move your mouse around the tank and they'll follow it. Click your mouse to give them some food, and they'll follow around eating it. I have lots of fun playing with them.

The only thing I don't understand is why there are black lines around my pictures, but maybe when I add new pictures those won't be there. We'll find out on my next post.

What do you guys think of the changes?


Notes From Mexico City

What a great trip! Even though I have 3 herniated discs in my back, so I was in lots of pain during the trip (seeing surgeon tomorrow), I still had a great time. I brought my heating pad and used it often.

I have a few notes, all unrelated, just things I observed and did during my trip.

  • I would never be able to drive in Mexico City. I don’t drive that well here in the US, LOL. There don’t seem to be any rules of the road. At least nobody ever seems to get pulled over for violating any. At one point, we were standing by a circle (or glorieta, whatever you call them). People were driving around it in both directions. I have no idea how they didn’t all hit each other. There are other intersections with no signs or lights, and it just seems to be whoever can get through fastest, goes. It’s crazy, and you have to be a bit of a maniac yourself to drive there.

  • The people everyplace we went were the nicest, most helpful people I have ever met in any country. Those who didn’t speak english struggled to understand my bad spanish, and we all made it through our conversations with a good laugh. Even people we met on the street tried their best to help answer our questions.

  • David found a casino there (he can find one anywhere, lol). He went there twice, and ended up winning 9000 pesos, about $650 US dollars. That was a nice highlight to our trip!

  • Xochimilco, an afternoon or evening boat ride, is one of the most fun things to do in Mexico City. If you visit, don’t miss it, and bring lots of friends if you can.

  • I haven’t been there for several years, but the city was much cleaner than the last time I was there. They are into recycling in a big way. Both the air and the streets were cleaner. There is no longer smoking allowed indoors anywhere.

  • The food was as good as ever! I couldn’t get enough of it.

  • We went to Chapaltepec Park. Plan on spending two days there. There is LOTS to do and see in this huge park.

  • Take a trip to Coyoacan on the weekend. Lots of street vendors, and the best ice cream in the world!

  • Also not to missed, the Frida Kahlo museum. Both her’s and Diego Rivera’s paintings are amazing, the history of their lives is interesting, and their studios are wonderful to see. Especially their very eclectic book collection.

  • We took a three day trip to my favorite little town in the world, Buenavista de Cuellar, which is so small you can walk from one end to the other. All of my friends there remembered me, and one offered us his house so that we didn’t have to stay in a hotel. I still want to move there one day. One day…

  • We rode the regular bus to Buenavista. The buses there are great, reasonably-priced, with large comfortable seats, bathrooms and TV. Nobody tried to board the bus and kidnap us or cut our heads off. Surprised smile We felt completely safe both inside and outside of Mexico City. Most of the stories you hear are greatly exaggerated. Just don’t go looking for drugs and you’ll be fine.

  • Speaking of bathrooms, I have always wondered (and this is a little gross), if you can’t flush 2 squares of toilet paper down the toilet (you put it in the trash bucket), then how does it manage to flush Number 2 without clogging?

  • I rediscovered Micheladas. Even though I don’t drink anymore, I had to make an exception for these. I had forgotten how good they are! And horchatas…non-alcoholic and a great drink. I found out you can even get them frozen.

  • I noticed a much increased police presence, both in cars and just walking on the street. Probably Mexico’s answer to our silly governments warnings against traveling there.

  • I’m sure there is lots I’m forgetting to say, so don’t be scared by reports of heads cut off and take a trip down there yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Edit to add: I forgot to say, we saw "Occupy Mexico". There was a small peaceful encampment in front of the Mexico City equivalent to Wall Street.

I also bought some interesting bracelets. I’ll do a separate post for those because it’s image heavy.

Cat Cat face

Happy Birthday To Me!

I have not bought anything for myself for quite some time due to budget issues.  My recent vacation, and all the bead purchases I made during it, were a present from my boyfriend. (what a great boyfriend and great present!  He’s the best!)

But my birthday is Monday, so I have just placed two books on pre-order at Amazon as a birthday present to myself.  Heck, I can cut out $32.00 from somewhere else.  It’s worth it.

First is Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry: Ideas and Techniques for Original Designs by Maggie Roschyk.  It is scheduled to be released on December 19, so I’ll get it fairly soon.  I just love Maggie’s designs, and I’m sure her design hints will be invaluable!

Maggie book

My next pre-order was for Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects by Sabine Lippert.  It is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2012.  I’m sure by then I will have forgotten all about the order so it will be a surprise when I receive it.  Exciting!  I have always been a fan of Sabine’s work, and can’t wait to have this collection of her projects.  Plus, this book is a hardcover!

lippert book

I can’t wait to get them, and will write reviews of both as soon as I do!  Hop on over to Amazon and get your own!

♫  ♫  ♫  ♫ ♫ …Happy birthday to me… ♫  ♫  ♫  ♫ ♫

Cat Cat face

Friday, November 04, 2011

On Vacation

I’ll be away for two weeks.  My dear boyfriend is taking me to Mexico since this is my birthday month!  We’re leaving tomorrow morning.  My daughter will be manning the house while we’re gone.  Please, no parties!

I can’t wait to shop in all the bead stores down there!  I have a friend there who will be taking me to the best bead stores.

See you all when I return on Nov. 20!

Cat Cat face

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

QR Codes (those funny square barcode things)

This is so cool!  I found a website where you can make your own QR code to connect to any website you have!

A QR code is that little square picture that people can hold their phone up to, and it magically transports them to your website.  Of course I can’t use it myself, because I still have a ‘dumb” phone, but people with smartphones can do it.

I made one for this blog:


One for my ArtFire store:


One for my jewelry Facebook page:


This is fun!  I almost wish I had more web pages so that I could keep making these all day, heehee.

Cat Cat face

Earring Spinner

I found this at Marshalls after-Halloween clearance sale.  Four dollars, and I think it will make a great earring display!  It even has a lazy-susan bottom, so it spins around.

My boyfriend says I should leave it orange and black, I’m thinking I should paint the orange parts black.  What do you think?

earring spinner

Cat Cat face