Reading with U.S. Cellular


Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S7 Smart Phone.  This is one of those posts.

Did you know that March is National Reading Month…Yahoo!!  A whole month is set aside to one of my favorite hobbies.

Many of people enjoy reading, and smartphones put books, magazines and preschool reading lessons right into their pockets.  In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 90 percent of smartphone users said they never or rarely leave their device at home, which means they can always have a book on them.  Access to a nationwide network means customers can read best-selling novels, trending articles and the latest local news whenever and wherever they want.

This is totally me.  I take my phone everywhere but for me, I have audio books stored on mine.  I don’t listen to the car radio anymore…it’s audio books for me.

During National Reading Month, U.S. Cellular encourages smartphone and tablet users to check out the latest reading apps and dig into a library of reading material at their fingertips.

Image result for audio books images


What are some of the most popular reading apps?
Flipboard is an Apple App Store and Google Play Essential. It lets users personalize their news experience by selecting publications and topics they care about.  Barnes & Noble’s award-winning NOOK eBook app gives users access to more than 4 million books, graphic novels, comics and magazines.


What reading apps do you recommend for kids?
Apps like Homer and Hooked On Phonics use games and videos to help kids learn to read and cultivate a lifelong love of learning.  The NOOK catalog also offers up books, graphic novels and comics that young readers know and love.


What tips do you have for making the reading experience more enjoyable on a smartphone or tablet?

Adjust brightness settings so the screen isn’t too bright in a dark room, or too dim in daylight.  Take breaks to avoid eyestrain, just like reading a book.  Check settings to prevent the screen from dimming while reading.  Make sure to download any reading material before putting your device in airplane mode while traveling.

I’ve told you before for audio listening I’ve given up my MP3 player and now exclusively listen either on my phone or my tablet.  I love not having to wear headphones.  I use my phone for so many things now days.  I’d like to think that I could go back to a regular phone, but I’d miss my smart phone and all it does for me…especially the option that allows me to be a reader on the go.


Doctor Day


Friday morning we headed to Lacrosse for my follow up doctor visit.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  Something had kind of been said when I last went in October but nothing was completely explained.

For those of you who are new readers or don’t remember, I was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer last year on March 4th.  I went through the process of taking Radio Active Iodine and have had good reports ever since.

Well here I am a year later and it’s time for the dreaded check ups.  It was easy throughout the year to forget that I had cancer…easy to wash it all away in busyness…but Friday was my reminder day.  Yes, this is a part of my life and yes, I need to continue to manage it.  So from what I was told initial tests look good.  BUT there is a series of things I need to do before we know I’m in the clear…at least for another six months.

If cancer is going to reoccur it is most likely to reoccur sooner rather than later so I have to go through the long testing process.  It goes a little like this….

Today I start the low iodine diet.  I will be on this through April 7th….the diet is not fun but it’s do-able.

This diet and other things I have to do is to get my body ready to accept and devour the radioactive iodine.  To do that I have to be HUNGRY, HUNGRY for iodine…hence the diet.  Last time I also went off of my medication.  That was the worst part of the whole process.  I was a zombie, over emotional and exhausted.  This time, I’m not going off my meds.  Instead I am driving to Lacrosse for a shot…well actually two shots.  I go on Monday the 3rd then again on Tuesday the 4th.  Wednesday the 5th I am back to Lacrosse to take the Radio Active Iodine pill and Friday back again for the scan. The scan machine is something like this….

Image result for Radio active iodine scanner

For us, the trip to Lacrosse is two hours away….so over the course of a week, I’ll be in the car for 16 hours traveling between the clinic and home.  It’s all do-able but I feel bad as providing childcare is not possible.  I begged and pleaded for the shots to be able to happen at a closer to me satellite location but the doctor said that it’s $1400 per shot and they won’t let someone who doesn’t do it regularly administer them as if it wasn’t done according to protocol, insurance won’t cover a second shot.  As far as the Radio Active Iodine, satellite clinics don’t have the facility to store them.

I thought I would be able to work Thursday but was told that I’d likely be exhausted and that being I was radioactive, I can’t have babies sit on my lap or in really close proximity.

So there you have it…I have a week off of childcare.  It’s not what I thought was going to happen…not what I wanted to happen but here it is happening.

I debated and debated about simply going off of my medicine rather than taking the shots like I did last time but I was so miserable.  I was so run down I ended up in the ER and was a crying, blubbering mess.  Kalissa and Hubby both had no clue what to with me.  The complete exhaustion lasted for two full weeks and after I was still far from feeling good.  It took closer to 6 weeks before I was feeling like myself.  My doctor said that it wasn’t the Radioactive Iodine that does that…it’s the going off of meds that does.

This time I suspect having a week or so of feeling slow but not the complete exhaustion.  That sounds so much better even if it means long car rides and an inconvenience for my childcare families.

This scan will “light” on any thyroid cells that might be remaining and might have traveled in my body.  If something does “light” then that means I have cancer again and that I will have to go through the Radio Active Iodine treatment again.  My doctor says that all along my numbers have been good and my body has reacted favorably to treatments so although it is always a possibility, she doesn’t expect that anything will “light”.

This is good news.

Better news is that if nothing “lights”, I likely won’t have to go through this process again unless my blood test numbers flair or something else occurs.  I will however have to be back and forth to Lacrosse every six months for a few years and if we continue to get good blood readings, that will eventually spread out to yearly.

We have a plan and will have to work the plan.  I don’t love it but it is all do-able and in the scheme of things, no big deal.

A Day Away…


Hubby and I have been trying to get away ever since Christmas.  We typically take a weekend and leave.  We tried once in January…a couple times in February and once in March.  Either Hubby’s boss was going to be gone (and they both can’t be gone on the same weekends), we had another commitment or I was sick.  Finally this weekend, the stars aligned and we were able to leave.

Kelli was awesome and took over childcare duties on Friday so we could have an overnight away….Typically when we go, we try to be gone two days, but we had a commitment on Saturday that we had to be back for.  It wan’t what we usually take for time away but, neither of us were complaining.  We were thankful to get what we got.

So what do we do on a day away??  Not all fun stuff…  It started out with a trip to the doctor to get a blood draw for me.  I have my one year cancer screening coming up and I needed to get the blood work done in advance for that.  Hubby did some errands while I was doing that.  Neither of us get away during the day and some of the errands are hard to do if we can’t hit day hours when some stores are opening.  He got some glass cut for a project that he’s doing (more on that on another day)  I was thrilled that the glass got cut as that makes my project one day closer to finished.

After that we stopped at a flea market.  It was small and junkie but Hubby was thrilled.  He got some things that he’s going to fix up and redo for the antique market in Clear Lake this fall.  This trunk was one of the items.


It was only $10.  We were both happy with it.  He’ll clean it up…fix up a more appropriate looking handle and sell for  a higher price.  It’s super sturdy.


He got a couple other wooden boxes there…

Then we went on to Ridgeway, Iowa.  We stopped at a architectural salvage place there called NEI Architectural Salvage and Skräp Work.  We are still on the hunt for a few pieces of trim for our house.  This trim pieces is what we really want.  As much as look, this one is very hard to find.


When the people built our house -over 100 years ago- they didn’t take a lot of care in their placement of the trim.  For example, here is the arch going from the living room to the front entry.  Notice how the pretty decorative trim pieces are cut? [Read more...]

HELP…I need more fabric!


Help readers…
Remember I pulled my Santa Fe String Star quilt to work on for a UFO?  Well…I pulled Star Struck too.

I’ve been cutting sashing pieces and have just not discovered that I don’t have enough of on of the sashing fabrics….  This one.


It’s a Civil War reproduction but I don’t know any more than that.  I only have about 5 inches left to cut from and all the information on the salvage is GONE!  UGH.  I thought I originally got it at Whittles Fabrics and have an email in to Cathy to see if they might have it….In the mean time I thought I would send out an SOS.

This is the quilt I am needing it for… [Read more...]