Thank you all for the wonderful well wishes, tips and advice, and sympathy during my husband’s recent ordeal with kidney stones.  We think it has passed.  When it first subsided we weren’t sure whether or not it had just moved away from the offending area, but having experienced no pain in a couple of days, we are hopeful that he passed it.

I thought it would be obvious when it happened.  The doctor says that seventy percent of sufferers do not know when it happens.  I suppose there is so much pain involved anyway that it isn’t as clear as one would think.  Some people screen their urine in order to be certain.  This is especially important if you have had the sonar stone bursting technique due to the ability to measure the grains against the size of the stone to be certain that it has all passed.

So our fingers are crossed and our refrigerator is full of cranberry juice and bottled water.  As so many of you have said, it isn’t enough to hydrate during an issue, he must stay hydrated ALL of the time, as must I.

Now for another update!

I have changed my blogroll.  You may have noticed that it is missing from the sidebar area.  It lacked the links for so many blogs I follow.  Some were due to changes in the web addresses of the blog sites.  Some were just blogs I started to follow after preparing the initial widget.

The thing is – I don’t like the process of working with widgets.  I know how to do it and have done it, but it isn’t an easy, no-brainer for me.  It requires much concentration, trial and error, and frustration.  For a single photo or automatic link it is not such a big deal.  For an ever-changing list of sites, I decided to do something a little bit easier for me.

Thus, the new page labeled ‘Blogroll’ which is so easy to use and may actually be updated by me on a more regular basis.  Even this hasn’t been error free for me though and I may have failed to save an address before moving on to another addition, so if you know I regularly visit your site and you don’t find your blog address listed, please send me a comment and I’ll correct it.

I would also like to encourage those of you who think there’s a great novel inside of you to be thinking of the upcoming novel-writing challenge:  National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo which is just around the corner.  During the month of November participants are encouraged to write 50,000 words.  It’s a great jump-start for many of us and I have participated for many years – having actually surpassed the word count last year.  Yeah!

What made it successful last year?  I’d say the preparation.

Year after year I went into November without an idea in my head, thinking – incorrectly – that it was necessary to begin with nothing and come away with a novel.  That isn’t the case at all.  Although actually writing a single word is prohibited, the planning is not.  One should have an outline, a plot in mind, characters already formed.  That way, the preliminary work is out of the way and the writing can begin.

If you think this would bring out the words you’ve been waiting to share, please link up and sign in for the challenge.  There are great tips at the site and month-long pep talks as one normally starts off like a bull charging the arena and then falls into a mush pit, bogging up at the quarter to third portion of the challenge.  Knowing that everyone has this happen, makes it easier to soldier through.  I have learned much from my participation in previous years.

Will you join me?


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  1. So glad to hear he’s doing better 🙂 Awesome news!!

    I’ve never been able to figure out how to add a page; maybe I’ll be inspired now to try .. I follow a lot of bloggers, too, and the current widget limit is 50 if you show them in text form, which I do. I know I follow more than that … Thanks for the push to try it again.

    I won’t be joining you in the challenge b/c, lately especially, I’ve had too much other stuff going on. But – I know you’ll do great and I look forward to your updates about it 🙂


    1. Widgets just make me nuts for some reason. To add a page, just click on your blog name in the upper left corner and scroll down to ‘New’ between Edit and Comments. Your choices will be post, page, media or link. Click on page and add what you like. Then updating is as simple as adding a link – no widgetry (is that a word?) involved.

  2. Glad to hear that hubby is better; let’s hope that old stone is LONG GONE! I’m afraid I don’t have a novel “inside me”, but I can sense how excited you are about the upcoming challenge!

  3. Hoping your husband is pain-free and recovered soon. My husband knows all about kidney stones. He had three rather large ones blasted with lithrotripsy 10 years ago then passed all the fragments later. Water water water was the key.

    I love the idea of the novel writing. I have about 10,000 words to a novel already done, but I’m afraid November I have too much going on with college classes to participate. I wish I had more time!

    1. If you managed to write a novel in a month, with your classes and your schedule and the family and the children – I think the rest of us would just give up. If only you didn’t have to sleep! There’s a few hours of time we could both use.

  4. I sympathize with your frustration with widgets. I’ve not managed to add a blogroll at all for that very reason. Of course if my daughter spent 5 minutes with it she’d probably figure it out and she’s not a computer wiz. They talk about it like a language, my generation are not native speakers, hers is.

  5. My dad went through that this past spring. He was clear out here in the Mid-west at a horse sale and had an emergency procedure to have them blasted. Clearly, not a good time nor good timing. Crazy thing is he’s has always been a big water drinker and a fan of herbal tea…I guess some of us are more predisposed? Even so, I bet he drinks more water now than ever.
    I hope your husband is completely through with the whole ordeal and it never happens again – I bet he does too, poor guy!

    I’ve never had the urge to write but I sure admire you guys that can and look forward to seeing what you create this year.

    Oh! And hey, thanks for putting me on your blogroll. How very nice. 🙂 One of these days I’m going to make a separate page for one too – I like it.


  6. Howdie,
    Glad the hubby is feeling better. Fingers cross that that is the end of it.
    Who ever thought November was a good month to turn off the world and write a novel? I think it’s the next least practical to December. I’ve given up aspirations to write a novel, having decided that blogging fulfills the writing bug in me.
    Thanks for putting me on your blog roll. I’d prefer to be included by the blog name, rather than my own name. Kind of a fun identity thing.

      1. Thank you. Email, name and blog name are all prefilled in in the comments area, so I guess your software chooses what to call me. Or. . . maybe I need to change the “Lee I” part to include my sardines?

  7. Good idea re. the blog roll. I kep changing mine as bloggers come and go. It’s diffiuclt to keep up and the widgets are fiddly.
    I’ve just signed up for the NaNoWriMo although I don’t know where to start to be honest. I suppose some forward planning would be useful 🙂 It’s more to discipline myself to write everyday.
    Any further tips gratefully received

    1. The best tip is just to focus, focus, focus. Warn your blog fans in advance so that they won’t be expecting a lot of activity from you during November. And try to get a clear picture of the characters involved and an idea of plot before the first day of November. That’s pretty much all I can offer. It got me through to my first ‘win’ last year. I haven’t even started the planning yet for this year but the days are clicking by so I need to take my own advice and start thinking! Great to have you on board for this year’s challenge!

  8. Glad your husband is doing better Renee.

    I’m sort of thinking about November but can’t commit!

    1. You’ll know when and if it is right for you. The thing I like best about it is that it forces me to keep my head in the story. Sometimes we start things and then get distracted – at least I do. So having the discipline of the deadline works for me.

  9. Glad to hear your hubby’s on the mend! Don’t forget about watching that Seinfeld episode. It’s a hoot.Too much on my plate to participate in that NaNo thing. But, good luck with it!

  10. OMG, I once had a kidney stone. It was more pain than childbirth and that’s saying something. I hope your husband never experiences that again. I remember the doctor telling me that whatever I’d been eating…avoid it. I didn’t know what he meant until I started to think of a rich artichoke dip that I’d grown fond of…too fond. I munched on it all the time with crackers. No water touched my lips. It was insane. I dropped the dip and started drinking massive amounts of water. Although they say if you’ve had them once, you’re more susceptible to passing another…that was more than 18 years ago. Here’s a toast (with water) that those bad boys are gone for good! P.S. Don’t know if I’ll be able to do NaNoWriMo but am thinking about it.

  11. Great tips on the stones. Sorry to hear that you had them though. Yikes! I seem to recall that you participated last year in the nanowrimo challenge. Am I imagining that?

  12. Glad to read the good news about your hubby! I’m still working on last year’s NaNoWriMo project, think I’ll pass this year!

    1. Well, there you go Patti. Last year’s project has turned into something you’ve been working with ever since. Once you have it edited to your approval, then you can jump back in for another go.

  13. Great news for the hubby. I bet he appreciates more than me though 😉 Good luck with November. I’m toying with the idea, but not 100% yet.

    1. That’s how I got started – thinking about it and trying it without success. Finally – I got it right. Let me know if you decide to take the challenge.

  14. That’s a relief about your husband. Whew. Hope he’s in less pain now.

    I’m not sure if I’ll do NaNo this year although I usually um and aaah a bit beforehand then end up signing up. It is fun and a good way to focus. It’s more than likely that I’ll do it again….. Haha.

  15. I had no idea that there was anything more painful than childbirth. Sheesh! Am I correct that one way to make sure you don’t get them is to drink lots of water? That’s easy!

    You know I think I may just join you in NaNo. I work full time so I’ll have to do a lot of juggling… I guess just putting my blog on hiatus would give me all the time I need.

    1. I work full time too, so I know the time constraints. But, last year I put my blog aside for the month – maybe checking in and updating once or twice – and did manage to complete it. Of course, I let the family know that they were in charge of dinners. Let me know if you sign on.

  16. I am glad to hear that your husband is feeling better. And just like you I too had created a blogroll page few months earlier other that going with the widget. And not to forget once again all the best for the NaNo. I am sure just like last year, you are going to rock this year too. Good luck!

      1. Yes, it’s much easier for sure. And most importantly, it provides enough space to share all the links we like.
        Renee the release date of my book is either October 28th or in the first week of November. But I hope I will go for the second one, as that day is a festival of a goddess who according to Hindu mythology killed a demon that day. Now I do not have to wait for few more weeks, as my mom is there to hold the first copy in her hand. But yes, I am really nervous about this attempt of mine. 🙂

  17. Renee, I’m so sorry to read about your husband’s kidney stones and happy that he is better. I suffer from kidney stones as well and they are quite painful. Unfortunately, mine are created by a mineral the body makes, or so says the neurologist when he had the last ones analyzed. Thus, it’s not something I can control with diet. Hydration is always a good idea, as is cranberry juice. I don’t think I’ll ever have it in me to partake in the NaNo project but I’ll be rooting for you! 🙂

  18. You’re amazing! You’ve done NaNoWriMo for years? I’m so impressed, Renee – I think that is huge.

    Good luck with “not an idea in your head” this year. Will be interesting…

    Glad your husband is over the worst.

  19. Glad things are more comfortable around your house.
    You are really getting it in gear: updating with a new page and getting ready for a writing long distance ran. (good points about planning before Nov – hadn’t considered how impt that could be)

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