Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowing, snowing, snowing


I am watching the snow from the inside and wishing I didn't have to go outside. While it is pretty to look at, it's not very fun to walk in, especially with a bad back and ankle. I am terrified of falling down.

When I was a little kid I loved days like this. I couldn't go out very often because I was asthmatic so when I did go out, time was limited. One of my favorite memories was when my brother, sister and me all had colds and couldn't go out and play in several inches of freshy fallen snow and my Dad bundled all up and we watched through a window as he built a snowman. My mom donated one of her headscarves, and he put rocks for eyes and mouth and buttons, a carrot for nose and sticks for arms. My mom has a photo of it and I need to borrow some of these images to scan and keep for myself and my kids.

The weather this year has been very blustery and freezing cold. We've had more freezing rain than I can ever remember. Over the weekend, the house and fence, deck, trees were all coated in ice. Usually, ice melts off rather quickly on the house and tree limbs, but not this time. And Saturday night the house was making booming noises and sounded like beams were splitting. Anyone know what would cause that? It sounded as if a giant was slamming his fist against the side of the house and roof at random times. The deck makes a similar sound as boards contract in the freezing weather, but never heard anything boom or make a noise in the cold before.

Tomorrow is Christmas eve. The best thing about the holidays is getting together with family and friends and eating food that we really shouldn't be eating and exchanging gifts and seeing the kids' eyes light up as they open their presents. Though I am a bit nervous about walking outside, I am looking forward to getting dressed up a bit and going to visit friends. First we will visit some long-time friends at 4 and stay for a bit and then we will be heading to our best friends Pam and Eddie for dinner and to spend the evening talking, playing cards and just chit chatting by their fireplace. Then Christmas day we are going to my parents' place which I look forward to the most. We do miss the old days though when the kids were all little and playing with each other and all dressed up in fancy outfits. All of us together. Now it's hard to get everyone together. The grandkids are scattered, and some have kids of their own. My middle son now has in-laws so is in Albany, NY with all of them. My daughter lives out east and has Christmas "gigs" and can't make it home, unfortunately. Our oldest son lives nearby so we can look forward to him coming over and being with us and giving him his presents and then going with us to my parents' house for dinner.

Then soon it will be all over with and New Year's eve will come and go and before you know it 2009 will be underway. What happened to 2008? It seemed to have flown by. But I missed all of autumn with spending weeks in agony and in and out of the hospital and emergency rooms. I am so thankful I have the hubby I have. He has been my rock in all of this...as he always is (even though he loses his patience with the medical staff at times..only because he cares).

Hope for happy and healthy new year for everyone. Hopefully I can manage to stay out of the hospital this coming year and recover from this back crap and ankle crap and get back to normal. I am sure by spring I will be near to normal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

Hobbies

I am still confined to just walking, limited sitting time and can lay down in between. I still can't do too much of anything. I have been writing letters paragraph by paragraph, and then challenging myself to read at least a page or two before nodding off. I am getting back into blogging little by little.

I bought myself, online, a coloring book of kaleidoscope designs. I started coloring them with crayons but had to have my daughter dig out my professional colored pencil set before she left.

I have plenty to keep me busy with all the pen friends I have via snail mail and online, and reading and blogging, etc. But I am getting sick of being in the house and when Jon gets home he has been out already all day since 4 a.m when he leaves to go to work. So, to take me out is very difficult for him. But last night we did go out to Wendy's for chicken nuggets and a root beer and then stopped by the Verizon store in town to look at the phone I am getting after Christmas when our contract renews. I want the new DARE phone. I was looking at it back in the summer when it first came out, before all this surgery happened. Last night I got a better look at it and I really do want that phone.

I have therapy tonight. Not looking forward to that. I just go for my ankle right now since they can't work on the back till doctor says. The other day when I went to therapy, the day Mary took me, the therapist said the scar on my ankle was really kinking up and she rubbed the hell out of it and it hurt really bad and though I didn't scream and holler like some people do, I simply asked "Is it supposed to hurt that bad when you do that?" and she sympathetically said "yes, I have to break up this scar tissue or else you will never regain normal motion". Since she did that it's been sore as hell. I still do my exercises for it, it is getting loser so I imagine it will get better soon if I keep working at it.

I go to see my ankle doctor on Wednesday. He will say how much more therapy I have to do and to figure out how to work the harder exercises into my back routine...things I can do for the ankle that won't interfere with the back. I do not want to pop a screw of do like the therapist said mostly happens...when people fall or whatever after having fusion it usually blows a disc above or below the fusion, or breaks a vertabrae above or below the fusion. So, I need to be extremely careful.

I am still with my stupid aluminum granny walker. I walk away from it a few steps now sometimes. I am not really supposed to be doing that, but I am careful and don't walk into open areas without it. Going out is a real hassle with it. Get me in the vehicle, then fold up the walker and get that in the vehicle, then where we go I have to wait for him to get the walker, then climb out of the vehicle, and then stand up with the walker. It's been over a month since my operation and it seems like I have not progressed much at all. Still moving the same ways as I am told, rolling side to side in bed, no reaching behind me or twisting to get stuff. Using my grabber tool to pick stuff up that I cannot reach without bending. I will be so glad for the day when I can move freely again. Well, as free as I can. But doctor assures me the day will come and though some motion will be limited, it will be normal for me and I will be in good shape.

So enough time on here, I better go do some walking.

My new coat


Here is a pic of the new coat my husband has ordered for me for Christmas. I told him awhile ago that I would love a long winter coat since my butt gets so cold with the shorter jackets. I get so cold nowadays. He told me to go to the LL Bean site yesterday and we were looking at it again and he said to buy it. I told him that we could see how things look after hospital bills are paid off and he said just get it, so I did. I can't wait. I might just sleep in it. :- )

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mary went back home today...sniff

Our daughter, Mary arrived home on November 26th and spend Thanksgiving here with us and went home today, December 3rd and I spent the entire morning crying. I usually do cry when she leaves, but not all morning. I guess it's because she pays attention to me. She was sick when she got here, and we spent the whole time together. She even took me to a therapy session. I don't have to ask her for even the simplest things. And if I do ask her for something it isn't "in a minute" or "later" she does it right away. Some say that is because she was only here for a week, but I don't think so.

Even the times I have visited her when I was well, she was very helpful and patient. And even as a little kid she was the same way. I miss her very much already and wish her music hadn't taken her so far away. She is a trumpet player in an orchestra out east. She also has students, is an adjunct professor out there and does solo and ensemble gigs. So, her whole life is going out there.

She is lonely too a lot (her boyfriend is working in another town and they have a long-distance relationship), but she just can't do what she is doing there here in Chicago. Chicago is more of a Blues town, music-wise. It's nearly impossible to make the Chicago Symphony...have to wait till someone dies for there to even be auditions for anything. And though there are show orchestras, etc it's very difficult to get into those. Our east there are many more better paying wedding gigs, and other events. For some reason Chicagoland is very cheap about what they pay musicians for those things.
I hope to get well enough to go out and visit her for a week in April. That will be the five month mark and within the average time frame of the fusion being completed. So, we shall see. If I can't get out there I want to pay for her to come here again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New furnace

So how long will it take him to get this installed? He wanted to do this about a month ago when all this back stuff happened and delayed his plans. It's always something. Can't plan anything around here.

The furnace came at the end of last week and he was anxious to install it over the weekend but guess what? He measured wrong and the coil thingy or whatever it is called on top doesn't fit correctly and will have to be "modified". And also our present air conditioner doesn't fit so in spring he has to buy and install a new air conditioner which I am not happy about. Everything he does turns into an ordeal.

So, he is going to different stores making sure he has all his parts before turning the a/c off this coming weekend . . . Thanksgiving weekend when our daughter will be home visiting us. He says the heat will only be of for a couple of hours. Shall we all take bets here how long it will really take him? I think I should have a secret back-up plan for a place to go get warm since it is very cold here now since it's nearly December. If a guy installed it they would indeed have it done in a couple hours, but that is $2,500 to do it. So, he is doing it himself for that reason.

He says it will take a couple of hours, and I am saying it will take at least double that time that he says. At least Miller has her heater tank, but the rest of us won't have anything since the gas will be off. Last year it was the water heater and that took him two weeks to do. I told him to wait to do the heater till spring, but what do I know.

Therapy

Therapy is really difficult, and I am only going for the ankle at the moment. I have about a dozen exercises, one of them being this one pictured, that the hospital therapy department gave me to do at home till I can start the big stuff.

My therapist, Carrie, told me I was twisting while standing up from a seated position when I lean on my walker and whatever else I have nearby to push up with. I didn't realize I was doing that. So, she had me attempt to stand up alone without touching anything. I could not do it. I tried about a dozen times with sweat dripping down and finally I managed only with the help of the therapist's hands in front of me. It's like I have lead weight in my butt. My ankle is still real weak so that doesn't help. She says I will be able to do it in time.


Then she had me walk without the walker. That was also difficult. She was trying to get me to loosen up and I was too tense. It's still sore to move and I am also afraid to fall. She says to keep trying and before long I will regain my regular walk and relax. She had me cracking up as she held out her arms and said "come to Mama". LOL! That's what it feels like, a baby taking their first steps alone.

She says this is about three months after I start the back therapy after December 12th when I get the green light from Dr. Lim, the back surgeon, to begin. I am definitely going to have to wear lighter gym clothes because I pour sweat doing just the simple things right now. I have shed another 8 pounds from all this back crap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sock aid...great invention!

I have found this handy little gadget (along with the EZ Grabber) to be so helpful since I cannot bend and put on my own socks and shoes. Now if they only had something for underwear and pants!

I'm back

I won't be making every day posts for awhile since I am unable to sit here for very long. While recovering from my ankle surgery, and because I was struggling to take that damn boot cast on and off, I blew my back out. I had surgery to remove part of L-5 in my lower spine in 2004 and this time it completely blew out. Also, L4 was also herniated. S1 was degenerated and nothing but bone rubbing on bone there.

So, had spinal fusion surgery on November 3rd and have been doing my best to get moving again. This has been one of the most painful recoveries I have experienced, but the post op pain from this is nothing like the sciatica and horrible back pain I had before the operation. The pain was hot and searing and going right down the leg into the foot I just hand ankle surgery on. So, had to interrupt the ankle therapy and have this done. Before they did surgery they tried an epidural. The first attempt was a failure when the damn anesthesiologist put the needle in the wrong place and I felt nothing but pain and he wanted me to come back and do it again in a week. NO way was I going back to someone who says "oops, wrong place, have to try it again!" I found another spinal specialist who urged me to try the epidural again. I did and this one did not take even though the spinal surgeon who did it injected the steroid into the right spot.

The only option was spinal fusion. So I agreed, wanting to get the problem solved sooner rather than later. It was unavoidable so why prolong the wait. So, after five hours of surgery, I now have six screws, metal rods and some mesh cylinders, etc. in my lower back. There are also plastic discs between the vertabrae which are not shown on these images.I sort of feel like I have a rod up my back and a bunch of hard stuff in there. I am told that I will get used to the feeling once the pain goes away.

Here is a couple of photos I found online similar to what I had done.




Things are starting to get easier, like getting in and out of bed which has to be done without bending my back at all. Tricky. Then sitting down and getting up. I can't twist at all and have to make sure my hips and shoulders are aligned at all times. I can't sit too long or else it hurts really bad. I have ten pages of therapy exercises to do twice a day. And I had to walk farther and farther each day and have to try to get up to a mile at one time. Right now I am about a half a block.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I can't believe I watched My New BFF

Well, I caved and watched Paris Hilton's My New BFF last night despite saying I would not watch that garbage. She is so full of herself it isn't funny. And what's with all these contestants who want to kiss her ass just to be her so-called "friend". Paris doesn't know what a friend is. She thinks that a friend is someone who caters to her every spoiled rotten desires, and who will do anything to kiss her ass and make her happy. She is superficial, immature, and so full of herself. Stuck up, royally. How can she ever be true friends with anyone if she is so in love with herself.

Reality television sucks, generally, but this one is just pathetic. Are there no writers left to produce any quality television shows anymore? Not many from what I have seen lately since being laid up and watching more tv than I should. I need to start leaving the television off like I usually do and read the stack of books I have sitting here.

Back to crutches...boo hiss

Well, have full-blown sciatica on top of this ankle surgery I am trying to recover from. So, have to use the crutches again to keep from walking funny..."waddling" I call it.

Walking with the boot makes me walk like C3Po...and makes my hips move funny and out of whack. Therefore causing a disc in my back to bulge and press on the nerve that travels down my butt, down the back of the leg and into the ankle and foot I just had surgery on. Not pleasant.
So, must risk bursitis in the shoulder again to get the back straightened out. It's one thing after the other lately. But, I will get through it, I always do.

Jon has been a huge help and very understanding through all of this. I don't know what I would do without him. But he is getting tired, I know. Working, and doing errands, doing stuff I usually do, and has his stuff to do on top of it. And then last night I got bitchy. I try not to get bitchy with him because he doesn't deserve it right now. He is doing his best. But it drives me bonkers when he says "in a minute", "later" or "tomorrow". He hasn't said that for anything I need personally...but yesterday when I mentioned that the pool needs chlorine really bad because it's dark green, he said he would do it tomorrow. It takes one minute to pour chlorine into the pool. I am the one who usually takes care of it, and if I could get down the stairs, bend over to pour the container I would do it myself. If he waits another day it will only get that much more difficult to clear up before closing it up.

I do understand his procrastination, no matter how frustrating it is for me...he is tired, has sore feet and . . .

we should really own a condo and have a homeowner's association do the maintenance. But he won't agree to it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Boot and back pain

I had my stitches out and my lower leg and foot is now in a boot cast like pictured here at left. I am getting around the house with using only one crutch now and sometimes no crutch at all. But it's not easy and it's screwing up my back, which was one of my fears going into this.

I have been trying to be careful and have been doing my back therapy exercises that I have done off and on since my back operation in 2004, but they aren't working very well right now. I can only sit here at the computer for a very short time because I get terrible sciatica pain all through my rear end, down the back of my leg and into the ankle I had surgery on. It's agonizing when it gets going. Hence, why I haven't been writing as much lately.

I think it's from the bending over to strap this on and off. I can take it off when I am laying down or sitting with it elevated and iced. Well, the bending takes its toll on my lower back and now I think that the part of L5 disc that they left in is now blown or the one above or below it is bulging and hopefully not herniated. It's hard to walk with this thing too, it is pulling my back out of whack when I walk. I sort of walk like I have a stump. I can't flex the ankle so it's sort of like a Frankenstein walk.

Plus the crutches make my shoulder joints hurt and I now have bursitis in my right shoulder where I had it before. And the scabs on the incision are so sore and rub on the inside of the boot. I have gauze over it and soft post-surgical tape and a white sock and it still stings when I walk or move. :-E

okay, enough complaining and I need to get off of here. I can only sit for a few minutes at a time. Just wanted to let my readers know where I've been.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reality television is mean


I have watched a bit of reality television before I was laid up, but now that I can't get around very well, I have been watching way too much of it. While I have always liked orograms like Top Model, America's Best Dance Crew, and fun programs like that, other shows like the Island are aweful in the way that people are so shitting to each other. This isn't how people should behave towards one another in the real world, and most people don't. But people are becoming increasingly stuck up and mean. Rude. I am afraid that the young people of today that are growing up watching this trash are getting the idea that this is how it really is in the world. It's not, or at least it shouldn't be.

Even Top Model is "de-evolving" in how one should treat another person. The girls on the show call each other bitches or worse. The program "I Love Money" is absolutely awful in how they connive and trick each other. Lying, cheating, doing whatever it takes to win money. Island and Survivor are the same thing. So far America's Best Dance Crew and Making the Band have showed great sportsmanship and respect for one another, but most of these reality shows do not promote respect or even civility towards other human beings.

If I had kids now I defnitely would not have cable.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beautiful blue


I found this on a Flickr blog and think it is one of the most beautiful photographs I have ever run across.

Long days

Before surgery I always complained how fast the days flew by and never seemed to have enough time to do the things I want to do. Now that I have been practically bedridden after the op on my ankle, I find that the days are crawling by and have time to watch television, write letters, read, blog, etc. So, that's the good part about all of this (other than hopefully getting a normal ankle out of all of this later).

I am also getting a work out, and the joints aren't liking it much.
Hubby went back to work yesterday and I really miss his help, especially at meal times. It's a challenge just to make breakfast and lunch. The crutches are bugging my wrist and hand joints and am getting bursitis back in the right shoulder. My ass hurts too from sitting all the time with my leg up. It has to be constantly elevated and iced.

Yesterday morning I hobbled into the bathroom to brush teeth and wash my face and go potty (which has me sweating from the effort), then went into the kitchen where Jon said he left me a bowl of cereal before he left for work to eliminate the need for me getting a bowl and figuring it out how to get it from the cabinet to the table while on crutches. Well, he poured me my son's Marshmallow Maties and I HATE wet marshmallows. Since J & W moved in with us (their kitchen is still not done yet) our cabinet is full of all kinds of cereal. I have a few different kinds I like...CoCo Krispies, Frosted Mini Wheats, Captain Crunchberries, Cheerios, and Golden Grahams. So, what does he zero in on? The one cereal of my son's that is way in the back. SO, I had to go dig out the cereal I wanted and the bag of Marshmallow Maties, and sit and put all that cereal back into the bag without messing up the zip lock thingy. Then poured my cereal in the bowl, hobbled over to the fridge and put the gallon of milk on the table that is pushed a couple feet away from the fridge so I can easily set stuff there. Then I scoot it to where I want it as I walk. Then when I am done I get up and put the chair in between the sink and the table and set the bowl on the chair, walk to the sink, then pick up the bowl to rinse it.


After I get done with that, I crutch it into the diningroom to wake up little Miller, my Beardie Dragon and then turn her light on and say howdy for a minute. Then I hobble back to the fridge and I figured out I can carry stuff around in plastic grocery bags hanging on my crutches like a bag lady does with a grocery cart. Not real easy to balance that way, but what am I going to do?
I then go to the freezer and get my ice pack and put it in the bag and go to the bathroom once more and come back and get settled sitting up in bed here with my ice pack and laptop that my son and DIL are letting me use.

I am learning all of the characters on these lame television shows that I vowed never to watch. The Hills, I Love Money, I Want to Work for Diddy, New York Goes To Hollywood, Gs to Gents, The Island, Making the Band, and also reruns of Sex and the City (which I have seen all of them about seven times now) and Two Men and Boy (whatever it's called), and one of my favorites, Will and Grace. I just started watching the new episodes of Top Model even though Tyra is getting to be more and more obnoxious. I am actually looking forward to ditzy Paris Hilton's show where she is trying to look for a new best friend.


I blog alot. I have done a lot of writing here and other sites I write for. I also write for an atheist blog elsewhere, and I comment on other blogs of different subjects. I read the news, search for information and learn stuff. But the laptop gets burning hot on my lap after awhile and I have to stop. I never realized how hot a computer gets. They really need to figure out that laptop problem. People could get seriously burned! I still have a red spot on my thumb from this one.


This morning I got up and did the bathroom routine and then went in to make my breakfast. This ankle is hurting real bad when I stand up now and I suspect it's because of the stitches...they are getting very tight and need to come out. It's been a week today since the operation. I don't go till Friday to get them out. Then will get a lovely new walking cast. But it has to be better than this plaster thingy. It's like walking around with a concrete block on my leg.


I went in to get my breakfast and no bowl on the table. So, had to inch it down the counter to the spot where I could scootch the chair to the midde again and put the bowl on it, hobble back to the table and hobble to the fridge, get the milk and put it on the table...scootch it down. Sit down and pour the cereal, pour the milk in...shit...don't have my spoon. Have to get up and go over to the drawer and get a spoon, hold it in my mouth hoping I don't fall and ram it down my throat. Then have breakfast. Hubby said to always keep my phone with me when he isn't home so I tucked my top into my jogging pants and stuck the phone into the front of my shirt. It works. What I really need is a fanny pack.

After breakfast I managed to do the bowl thing with the chair again, rinse the bowl, go wake up Miller and then got my plastic grocery bag again and put an ice pack in it, hobbled to my room, took two Vicodin and blogged and napped till lunch time.


Yesterday for lunch I had a couple of granola bars because I just didn't feel like dealing with making a sandwich and back and forth to the refrigerator and trying to get a plate and figure out how to carry this crap. So, it was Fanta and granola bars yesterday. But today I had a little dish of macaroni and cheese that hubby made yesterday with my guidance.


To go back a bit, last night Jon decided to make macaroni and cheese and discovered that I don't just dump Creamettes and cheese together. That's what he wanted to do, and I told him that would not turn out at all. So, had to tell him to melt a stick of butter and he said "a whole stick!?" and I told him if he wanted it like I make it then must follow the recipe. Then I said flour and he dumped in too much at once and didn't add the milk soon enough. It was a big lump. So, I had him slide a chair by the stove which I kneeled on and stirred and told him to put the milk in...he says "you need THAT much milk?" He is cheap and wants to stretch things out as far as he can, but can't skimp with macaroni and cheese or lasagna. Anyway, it turned out good.

And that is what I had for lunch today. I was able to carry the little container between two fingers while using the crutches at the same time. I am becoming talented. I zapped it and carrying it hot was a different story. So did the scooting on the chair thing again. Then after lunch I got my ice bag again and stayed put and waited for Jon to get home from work.

Tonight he made stir fry with chicken pieces, green peppers, tomatoes, red onion with Mrs Dash seasoning, and rice. He was just going to have the chicken stir fry stuff and I said you HAVE to have rice with stir fry. It was too much for him to put rice and water in a bowl and zap it as directed. So, I had to go in there and do it. Jeff came upstairs so I asked him to get me the bowl and cling wrap, etc. It was done in 15 minutes, no stirring, no bother.

It's like this whenever I have an operation. I get help the first few days and then he gets tired of it and he starts taking short cuts and not being as accomodating.
Three more days and I HOPE that this will not be as painful once they take the stitches out. I know from past surgeries that after stitches come out it sort of feels unsupported however, that pinching and stinging crap goes away almost instantly. I can't wait for Friday. And with a walking cast I hope I get, I can start putting some weight on it again and though will have to use crutches, it won't be so hard.

Got real nice card from the nursing staff at the hospital saying they hope I am feeling better . . . handwritten! I have never gotten that from a hospital before.

Time for Gs. They are down to the final four. ;-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Raining

It's been raining and raining and raining here. Streets are becoming flooded. I hope our sump pump holds up. It's 20 years old and I have never heard it run so often, nearly constant. In some towns, houses are filling up with water. Fortunately, it isn't that bad here because we aren't near any creeks or rivers. There is Hickory Creek that runs through the center of town along the Amtrak tracks, but they recently rebuilt the road and improved the drainage system, but this is the first major rain we have had since it has been built so I wonder how it's going to hold up.

With being in a leg cast I can't go anywhere anyway, but it would be nice to see the sun again. It would be easy to get depressed when it's so gray. So,I will write in cheery yellow and keep myself cheered up while watching clips of old movies and keep singing a happy tune in my head.

Here is a fitting clip for today...Gene Kelly and Singing in the Rain:

Beautiful commercial

I find this commercial starring the gorgeous Christina Aguilera to be absolutely beautiful:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Enchanted is a charming fantasy movie

We need less reality in entertainment and more imagination like this to give our brains a rest and a treat.

On the road to recovery...again

It's been some time since I have written. I was busy for awhile making arrangements for another operation. This time it wasn't as serious as in the past but something that needed to be done. I had a split peroneus brevis tendon in my foot and ankle. How it happened, who knows. I have sprained my ankle a couple times in the past, and could have gotten a little tear and then over time of the tendon rubbing and rubbing it tore more and more till it totally split. I have been having a hard time walking for any length of time, especially on store floors. And driving always made it hurt bad, even just driving up to town and back.

I have been complaining about this to doctors for a long, long time. I mentioned it to several doctors during my hospital ordeal in Aug./Sept. 2007. They said it was gout in my ankle. But from what I researched online, it didn't look anything like gout. I know from having several gout attacks what gout looks like. It's hot, red, swollen and the skin is shiny. And it hurts like nothing else. My ankle just ached a lot with use. Then when I didn't use it, it felt better. I showed it to several doctors since last year, including two rheumatologists, and my family doctor who also blew it off as gout ankle. Exhasperated with the ankle pain when walking or driving, I kept complaining to my current rheumatologist. She sent me for an MRI to check for RA degeneration in the foot and ankle. Well, while I do have some degeneration in the toe joints and some in the ankles, the MRI showed an obvious tear in the ligament that was causing all my ankle pain.

So, I went to a surgeon who specializes in foot and leg joints looked at the MRI films in the office and said it would have to be repaired. If I chose not to, it would never get better on its own. So, I said let's do this thing. He got in contact with my rheumatologist and family doctor and started planning for surgery.

Now, you would think that something so clear would be easy to set up and get it over with, wouldn't you? This was Thursday and they said they would call me on Tuesday after Labor Day with the schedule date. Well, he has a real ditz working in his office to schedule these things. First of all, she didn't read my medical history form before scheduling it the first time and scheduled it at a place where they do not have the experts to handle difficult intubation and patients who have problems. So, she had to reschedule.

SO, she called me back and said that it was then going to be scheduled at the same hospital we always go to. I thought, ok...this will work out then. They have my history on file, and we are familiar with them. It was all scheduled and then I get a call that says it is the same name as our hospital but the surgical center, which I thought was weird because it was a different address. They assured me they were part of the same hospital. I was planning for that date, Jon took his vacation for that week, and then a couple days before the surgery the surgical center called and told me "Just want to make sure you know what your portion of the bill will be" and told me it would be $2,000!! I asked why we had to pay that much when I have met my deductible for the year and she said that when we choose to go out of network, that is our cost! I told her why would I want to go out of network when we have perfectly good insurance??? I told her I could not believe I was going to have to reschedule AGAIN. I phoned the doctor's office and was quite upset. I told her I want to get this done so I can recover before the holidays and said I can't believe I would have to reschedule it again! So, she told me she would try to get me in to a hospital on our plan that was 25 miles away. Sheesh!

So, I checked with our insurance and did her job for her and made sure that this hospital was on the plan. They were. It was rush-scheduled for the day that had been planned at the other place. The anesthesia staff was great and they were very careful. I had the whole anesthesia team in there before the operation. They convinced me that a spinal anesthesia was safest for me even though I was afraid of problems since I have had terrible experience with spinals with my three c-sections and have had back surgery and back problems the past decade or so. But it went well this time. They have new methods and new equipment and the needle is very thin like a strand of hair.

I was taken into the operating room, and they gave me something to relax me, and my whole lower half of my body was totally numb. They turned me on my side, put an oxygen mask on me and then started an IV drip of something and I fell asleep. Didn't wake up till after they were done.

The thing about a spinal which is nice is that you don't feel any pain when you go to recovery and the pain of the operation comes on gradually as the anesthesia wears off. They give gradual amounts of pain medicine as the pain increases. It's much more manageable. It took a long time to wear off though. They had to move me to a regular room to wait, gave me dinner and then finally went home in time to go to bed. I woke up in the night in big pain though. The first night and the day after wasn't too fun, but things are getting better each day...though the stitches inside the cast are driving me nuts. And if I move my foot a certain way I go through the roof!

Hopping around on crutches is making my joints sore. But maybe I will get my muscles built up. I am a weakling.

I get the stitches out and this bigass cast off on the 19th, and then a walking cast. Will still have to use crutches again while I am getting used to walking on the foot again. I wonder what kind of therapy I will have to do. Hopefully stuff I can do at home. That would be great.

So...second year in a row I am laid up for my birthday. It was a year ago today that I came home from the hospital after my gallbladder/Lupus fiasco.

I say this after every operation..I hope there will be no more surgeries in the future and will try not to have anymore.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Juno

This is a very sweet movie. It's about a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant and is mature enough to understand that she is not mature enough to raise a baby. I won't give it away, but she decides to give the baby up for adoption and finds a couple who seem like they would be perfect parents for the new little one. The story takes a surprising turn and not what I expected to happen. But, like I said, I won't give it away. The young actors in this film are quite good, as are the adults. I am not so sure I would be able to stay as rational as the parents of this girl if my daughter at age 16 came and told me that she was pregnant, but the parents in the film were great and very supportive through the whole thing. Good flick.

Luggage deal!

For years we have gone without a set of real luggage. We would just stuff our clothes and belongings in duffel bags or little carry-on type bags, the kind that comes free when you buy $35 worth of Lancome. Jon would just cram all of his stuff into a couple of backpacks. Things we didn't want wrinkled we would just hang on the clothes rack at the back of the van.

Every trip I always say we need to get real luggage, and complain what a pain it is to have to carry dozens of small bags and loose clothes on hangers into our hotel rooms. But after the trip is over, we always say we will get luggage later and never do.

Well, my friend Pam can sniff out a deal like nobody I know. All I have to say to her is I would like to find this or that for cheap and she will find it. When I was over at her house last week, I mentioned that I really need some decent luggage. At least a couple of suitcases to put our clothes in. A couple days later she called me up and asked how a set of 6 pieces of burgundy luggage on wheels for $8 sounded. I said she must be joking and she said nope, it was for real. Her two daughters-in law were having a garage sale and a family member of one of them was selling this luggage set they no longer wanted and let it go for $8. I told Pam of course I wanted it and so now I am the proud owner of a set of like-new luggage for 8 bucks. Now we just have to plan a vacation somewhere now.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It only took six months (snark)

After six long months, hubby finally finished rebuilding the engine in our son's car (pictured here). Jason's car broke down last February and since he was low on funds, Jon decided to repair it himself for him to save him the money of repairs or buying a new one. Well, his intentions were to get it done in a couple of weeks. Then a couple of weeks turned into a couple of months and then three months, four months, five months and six! All the while I didn't have a car to drive because Jon gave Jason his Impala to use in the meantime. So, all this time Jason has had a brand new car to drive, Jon took my van and I had nada. I had to wait for him to come home to go anywhere. This wasn't a big deal while I was having the gout attack and couldn't drive anyway, but now that that is over with I miss my wheels! So, this means that Jon gets his car back, I get my van back and can go out and see people when I want, make doctor appointments when I want without consulting people's schedules, and go out and spend money when I want...which is awesome.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sears sold us a lemon washing machine

Remember the washing machine we bought that I wrote about here? Well, after three repair visits over a four week period, we turned the thing on two days ago thinking it was all finally fixed, but after doing two loads of laundry, the damn thing leaked water all over the laundry room floor. So it's going back and hopefully they won't try to sell it to some other poor suckers.

I wanted to send it back after the first time it didn't work and demand a new one. But Jon said to let them try to fix it. I wasn't happy about that idea because that's just like having a used one that has been tinkered with. I wanted a nice fresh new one. Well, now that is what I am getting...hopefully.

They called to say they are bringing us a new one and taking this piece of crap away and hopefully to a scrap heap because that is where it belongs.
I do like the way it washes, and how it spins everything till it's all practically dry, but if it's not going to keep having problems, then I will just keep the old one.

Lucky we do have the old one here that still works so we have something to use. If I had to drag baskets of clothes back and forth to the laundrymat I would be really pissed. Especially since I don't have a car during the day since hubby hasn't finished with our son's car yet and he still has our other car in the city. (Since February!) If anything gets finished around here, I will be amazed.

Monday, August 04, 2008

"Why does Batman talk like the offspring of Clint Eastwood and a grizzly bear?"

That is a question many film-goers want to know. What's up with the voice?

The voice of Christian Bale's Batman is raspy and almost like a whispery growl. When I heard it first in the last Batman movie I nearly laughed out loud. This time I knew what to expect, but it still sounds rather silly to me.


Here is an interesting article to read about the voice of Batman: Bale's Batman voice too much?


All-in-all, this Batman flick, "The Dark Knight" was excellent, great acting especially by the late Heath Ledger who played Batman's nemesis, The Joker. This Batman was darker than all the rest, and there was an actual plot that could be followed. Despite the voice, Christian Bale's portrayal of Batman is the best to date.

UPDATE: After an anonymous commenter pointed this out, I did some research and found out that Batman's voice is produced by a voice modulator in the cowl of his Batsuit.

How the Batsuit works.

"
The microphones in the ears are combined with special earpieces in the cowl that give Batman superior hearing in the field. The microphones can also be used to amplify Batman's voice and broadcast it through a discreet speaker in the suit. This is what gives Batman's voice that distinctive, disembodied and unearthly sound."

But it still sounds funny. Overly evil.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Batter Blaster

I found this great new product...pancake batter in a can and the pancakes turn out really good! I was a bit skeptical, but am a sucker for trying new things. But this is great. It's organic, low in fat, low in sodium and tastes delicious. And there are about 28 pancakes in each can.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

August already!

This year has been going by incredibly fast, hasn't it? It seems that not that long ago we were welcoming in a new year and now it's two thirds gone by. Is it just me or does time seem to go by faster and faster with each year we age?

It's hot and humid out today. Typical summer August days. Makes me want to watch the film "A Long Hot Summer" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Maybe I will drive over to the video store and see if they have those.

The picture above is of my favorite collection...House Mouse Designs. They are so cute.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Update on barium/dye crap

Well, this was a crappy weekend. The I.V. dye and barium they gave me (or one or the other) made me really, really sick all weekend. I was up Saturday night with burning joints and diarrhea. and was in so much pain had to take pain medicine to be able to sleep. Then all day yesterday I was sick to my stomach and everything hurt. I phoned into the urgent care center and they say that sometimes happens. The barium can cause a number of reactions including constipation, nausea, cramps, or joint and back pain. No one warned me about that before the test, and I have had this sort of test before, years ago with the drinking of the barium crap.

Anyway, feeling tired but better today. Still having some achiness but am drinking water like a fish trying to flush this stuff out.

When the hell are they ever going to invent a real Star Trek tricorder?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Don't be fooled when they tell you this is just like a milkshake . . . it's not.

I had to go for a CT scan of my left adrenal gland today, and I suspected I would have to drink something nasty when they told me to get there an hour early. I was right. I signed in and filled out the usual medical information forms and a few minutes after I had been sitting there a man comes out with two bottles like the one pictured here and tells me they are barium "smooties" that are "berry flavored." The image on the label is misleading. The label makes it appear as if this concoction is some kind of yogurty-fruity blended drink when it is nothing like that at all. It's still barium. There is simply no disguising it. It tastes just as nasty with a hint of berry flavor . . . barely. I was told to chug one in ten minutes and then about twenty minutes later to chug another bottle. I tried to drink it fast but after three gulps it wanted to come back up. I am not a baby, and have been through lots of medical tests that require drinking of weird crap and things that make you sick, but when they try to disguise this stuff as something else, it just makes it worse. They should have just left it clear like it used to be so it's not so thick.

After I drink it then they tell me it could give me diarrhea. Great. Just what I was looking forward to! Every time I go in for medical tests feeling good, I always come out feeling bad. This day was no exception. On top of the barium cocktail, I also had an I.V. of iodine dye. But that just makes you feel warm for a bit. The barium crap made me feel gross and I had places to stop on the way home. I made several "pit stops" before leaving the medical facility, and since I had had no breakfast and my medicines I take every day requires food with them, I had to stop and get a sandwich even though my stomach was churning away. The place I stopped to get a sandwich was a place that is popular in the area called The Creamery. They sell ice cream and sandwiches. This one was all outdoors but I thought they would have a restroom since their other shop does in another town. Well, it didn't. I ordered my sandwich and ate it as I drove to the grocery store where I had to stop next and knew they had a restroom there. The more I ate, the more my stomach churned. By the time I had finished I felt like I was going to explode.

Doesn't it seem that whenever you really have to "go" that traffic is crawling? I got stuck behind a woman who was driving so slow I could hardly stand it. Stomach churning and then pain starting and the pressure! Eeeghads! I made it there with no "accidents" and took me about two hours to grocery shop and I was in the ladies room longer than I was in the store itself. Then, only thinking about getting out of there I didn't "smart shop" like I usually do and ended up spending $175! I was like those contestants on the shopping game shows where people have a certain amount of time to grab and fill up their carts and get back to the check-out. That's how I was shopping. I just wanted to get it done. I bought way, way too much fruit. Hubby is going to have to give up the Snicker's bars for awhile and help me eat this produce.

So, another fun day. NOT. Test results should be in by Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hypermiling

Click on cartoon to enlargeSince before gas prices rose above $4.00 a gallon, hubby has been doing as depicted in the cartoon above...hypermiling. I know that we all need to slow down to conserve gas, and people don't need to squeal their tires when the light turns green, nor do they need to race up only to stop at a red light, but it drives me batty when he plays the hypermiling game (pardon the pun).

He accelerates super slow when the light changes from red to green. It takes him nearly a minute to get up to just under the speed limit and he stays under the speed limit no matter how much traffic there is, no matter if we are on the super expressways and tollways where we live. People are whizzing by at about twenty over the speed limit and I feel like we are going to get run over. At least go the speed limit! But no, he wants to save fuel. It does save money, but is risking safety IMO. He also coasts to a stop when he sees a red light or stop sign ahead. He takes his foot off the gas a few blocks way from the intersection, probably driving the people lined up behind him mad. It feels like I am riding with grandpa when I go anywhere with him. When I am doing the driving he calls me "lead foot" or "hot rod" because I am merely driving normal.

I hope if gas prices keep going up that his speed doesn't keep going down.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a week!

This has been a week of total stress. Our oldest son, Jason who lives in Chicago became very ill with intense abdominal pain early Tuesday morning. I was on the phone with him many times, keeping tabs. The poor guy finally staggered in pain for two and a half city blocks to the UIC Medical center to the ER there. And while there he vomited all over, and was quite sick and in intense pain and what do they do? They gave him two kinds of LAXATIVES and pumped him full of morphine and discharged him, telling him to come back if it got worse. Diagnosis? Constipation.

Now who the hell gets that kind of pain and vomiting from constipation? I have had pretty bad constipation in my life and never a level of pain to make me want to pass out like it did him. He had to walk back home that way (he should have called us), and then was in horrible pain all night long.

The next morning, Wednesday, he phoned me and I then phoned hubby to go and get him (I had no car since Jason has our car still in the city). Jon took him there and got him settled in and then drove home to get me. We stopped by Jason's apartment for my husband to pick up the car and I took the van and drove to the hospital's ER. When I went in I was told that I couldn't park in the ER lot if I wasn't dropping someone off. I told them my son was in the ER and I needed to see him. They said I had one hour to move my van! In the suburbs we can stay parked in the ER lot with no permit as long as the patient is in the ER. Not in the city! The parking situation is awful.


So, I went in to make sure he was being taken care of, and to find out what was going on and then went off to find a damn parking spot. I couldn't park in the hospital garage with the van. The van was too tall. So, the only places to park were by meters and you could only put in enough money for two hours at a time! So, had to keep going back to the van every two hours to feed the meter.
While I was sitting there by his bed, he looked sicker and sicker to me and when I touched him he was burning up. I pointed this out to a nurse who said they better check his temperature. (Ya think????) I asked what his temp had been earlier and they said they never took it! Then they took him away for a CAT scan eventually, then later came back and said it looked like it may be appendicitis. I started getting nervous because they were taking so long. When I pointed out the fever though and they finally took it, it was 102. Then they started paying attention.

A surgeon was called in to read the scan results, and then they were scurrying around, but still seemed not to be moving fast enough. They finally took him to surgery around 4:45pm (he got there at 7 a.m.) and the surgery seemed to take forever, too. A doctor was supposed to come out after the operation and tell us how it went and what they did. We sat there and sat there. Two other families were also waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery. Each one called on the phone to see what was up and were told their relatives were either in recovery or in their room already. So, I finally called and they said Jason was still in surgery. Then another hour went by and I called again. They said that he was in recovery and doing well. I asked "isn't someone going to come back and talk to us?" and the person said "no one came back to talk to you?" I said "No..." So she said someone would. And someone didn't. So the nurse called us back to the recovery room and paged a doctor who was involved in his case. The surgeon had left already, never speaking to us. An assistant came to talk to us and tell us what went on, that Jason's appendix was badly infected and nearly ready to burst. Lucky they caught it, yadda yadda. They act like heroes sometimes when they could have saved the patient a lot of suffering by being on the ball better. Jon expressed his displeasure and said he was going to complain to the higher ups. He expected more out of a top university medical center. The assistant apologized.


Jason was taken to his room and after he was settled we went home. We drove both vehicles back to our house, which was not fun to fight Chicago expressway traffic after a hectic and stressful day. The next morning I went to work with Jon at 4 a.m. to eliminate the need to find a place to park that didn't cost $17 a day. He brought me over to the hospital around 11 and had to drive back to work. I stayed with Jason all day and no one ever came in to help him get a bath, no one changed his bedding. His food came late. No one knew anything about when he was going home. Finally after dinner Jason started telling them he was ready to go home, find the doctor. They had to hunt one of them down. He got his discharge papers about 6 but we didn't get out of there till nearly 9 because they didn't leave any discharge instructions for wound care. They never changed his dressing on his puncture opening in his navel where they took his appendix through. A doctor came in and changed his dressing and then we were on our way. We were all pretty crabby. Jon was the crabbiest. He doesn't cope well with medical situation. He hates incompetency especially when it concerns him or his family.


Jason came back to our house for a few days to recover and hopefully will be well enough to start his new job on Monday (These things always happen at the most inopportune times.) But he is now on the road to recovery and glad this little event is nearly over with.

Sears sucks

The Sears guy came back today to fix the washer and guess what? They said the wrong part was bad. Now we have to wait another week! I just want to ship the thing back, but hubby says when the new part comes in he is just going to put it in there even if it might void the lame warranty we have. I just wanted to send it back and get a fresh one somewhere else. It isn't new if it needs this much work already.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mr and Mrs Mallard make a home in our still covered swimming pool

We've been so busy with other things this year like redoing our basement, keeping up with home maintenance and other things that we have not had a chance to get our pool opened up. Difficult to do everything ourselves, and no help. This is the first year we haven't had our pool open on Memorial Day weekend because we just haven't had time. So, in the meantime the wildlife have found it makes a nice little pond. A pair of mallards have claimed it as their temporary home. Once we get it going and the chlorine in they will wonder what the heck is going on. Hopefully they will find somewhere else and not keep coming back because I don't want to have to be cleaning mallard poo out of there all the time. Yuck!

Here are some photos of the ducks enjoying what we should be enjoying right now...and at the bottom one of the many rabbits that also have found they like the long, long, long grass that we are having trouble keeping mowed. I can't mow the grass because of my bad back and the RA, etc. Hubby has a tremendous amount of stuff to do. I think we might just have to start hiring people before things really get out of control.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New front load washer . . .

. . . doesn't work!

We bought this new washing machine back around Memorial Day along with a fridge and stove. The fridge and stove arrived ok, but they had lost our washer. It took days to find out where it was, and it was delivered finally and we didn't get around to hooking it up until the other day. Jon took his bedding down to try it out for the first time and it wouldn't even give a blink of a digital read-out. Then when he went to open it to get his clothes out, the door wouldn't release. He was trying to get someone on the phone to ask what he was supposed to do now, and could not get ahold of a live person. Only that recording crap with a message that if we want someone to come out and get it there would be a $75 charge.

He went over to the store where we bought it after work one day and they scheduled someone to come look at it for yesterday. The repair guy came, and said it was a broken main control board, so he ordered a new one which should be delivered to us, and he will come back out again next week to replace it. I wanted a NEW washer, and this one seems used if they have to do all this repairing already. Not a good sign.

Stardust by Nat King Cole

My favorite song brings back so many childhood memories:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Kidney stone

Unfortunately for him, hubby had a kidney stone and finally passed it yesterday morning. He has a very high pain tolerance, so this thing was what was probably giving him some persistent back pain for a couple of weeks, then when it finally started to come out he couldn't stand it. He said it felt like someone kicked him in the gonads.

The pain came on suddenly after dinner Monday evening. He ate some leftover Kung Pao Beef and we were thinking that maybe that was it. Then when the pain started to worsen and he started to vomit, then we thought "oh no! not another blockage!" Back in 2000 he had an intestinal blockage caused by a blood clot and had 18 inches of his small intestine removed. I was hoping that was not it.

When he finally agreed to go to the ER he was pretty sick. I had to stop along Rt 6 to let him throw up and thought for a minute I was going to have to call 911 on my cell phone. But we managed to make it to the hospital finally. They took him back while I waited and waited for someone to call me to the desk to take care of paperwork. When no one was calling my name for about twenty minutes I told them I was going back to see how he was doing and to just come and get me when they were ready. I saw them chatting it up behind the desk and it was a quiet night for an ER so they were just taking their sweet time.

When I went back he was hooked up to a BP machine and they were putting an IV in. They said it was one of two things, a blockage or a kidney stone. I hoped that it wasn't the blockage thing again. That would require major surgery and possible loss of even more of his intestine. They whisked him off to get a CAT scan and then came back and said it was indeed a kidney stone. They gave him some morphine and we had to wait till it took effect to be able to go home. They gave him pain meds and they gave him some Flomax to dilate the urinary tract to help the stone pass easier.

Now he is pretty much back to normal. Hopefully he won't get any more of those.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Green Jello - Three Little Pigs

Grunge style...this is great!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Prednisone can cause high blood pressure

I had been on Prednisone for the past couple of months, and it really helped me get over my last gout attack. While I am on it all my Lupus/RA joint pain practically disappears, BUT when I am on it too long I get a persistent irregular heartbeat and my BP skyrockets. Before this last round of Prednisone treatment my BP was 120/80 or around there. But it's been gradually increasing. Three weeks ago I was at my RA doctor's for a check-up and my BP was 143/89. She still told me to stay on the Prednisone for the next six weeks even though the gout attack had abated. A couple days later I went to see my regular doctor and it was 148/93 there. He wrote me a prescription for Cozaar, a blood pressure medicine. I asked him if that was a good idea to take more medicine when I am on so much already. He said that it " shouldn't" hurt me. I asked him why would my BP be so normal for so long then jump up like that. He said just to fill the prescription, that it would help. I was skeptical so didn't fill the prescription.

My blood pressure kept climbing, all the way up to 165/102! I knew something had to be causing it, and wasn't housebuilding. I have put up with more stressful things in the recent past and didn't have a blood pressure reading even near that. So, after getting fed up of feeling crappy I decided to taper myself off. Since I have been off my BP has ranged from 129/79 to 131/83 (once it was actually 107/79).

So, if I have another gout attack or flare of RA I am going to take the Prednisone for ten days then taper off. I don't like being on it, and don't need any more problems because of medicines.

I've been a little busy lately

I haven't posted in awhile because we have been quite busy remodeling our basement and adding rooms because our son and daughter-in-law moved in with us and will be living with us for the next year or two while he goes to finish his accounting degree.

We have been wanting to get the basement finished for years but lacked motivation to do it. Now we have a reason and it's coming along nicely but is A LOT of work, and it's sort of hard for me with all the medical crap I have been dealing with. BUT I am doing it, and getting back a lot of my strength in the process. I just need to be careful not to overdo it and know when I need to stop.


But we have the bathroom almost done down there and so we now have a three bathroom, four-bedroom house...and soon to have a second full kitchen complete with side-by-side fridge, full range, dishwasher, and lots of cabinets. The laundry room has cabinets and we just need to finish the walls in there...but first things first. Finish the bathroom, then the kitchen...then the laundry room walls, then the exercise room walls and then finish the dropped ceiling and it's like we have two houses in one! I am so excited about this. And it should increase the value of our house quite a bit since it is related living now.

It hasn't been easy for hubby either. He was a lot younger when we first built this house. We proudly can say that we built this house ourselves, all except for the concrete basement foundation, even did the sewer pipes and plumping underneath the basement floor before they concreted it. We did the electric, plumbing, drywall, cabinets, trim...everything. Took us 4 1/2 months only. But we worked long hours, had three kids who were so good to go though all of this. I made them a little corner of the basement for themselves to watch television and play while Jon and I were busy. At the time they were only 8, 7 and 5 years-old. We were going back and forth from our other house which was half an hour away and had to come here to take them to school and then after school we would bring them here and work till their bedtime or later.

All of this remodeling brings back memories...and we are also remembering how hard it was. And now we can't bend so well anymore, and tire easily. But we are doing it....again. Hopefully it will be done soon so we can enjoy the new projection tv that he just bought. The screen is HUGE...108 in. diagonal!

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Pet Peeve of Mine - Savers Cards

Click on cartoon to enlarge







Why can't stores simply put stuff on sale instead of making people carry around these little idiotic plastic cards to be presented to get the sale price? And what is even more senseless is that if we say we don't have the card they just use the "in-store manager's" card. So what's the point? And it's hard to find a grocery store that has old-fashioned sale prices where everyone can take advantage without having to present a card to get the deals.


It's not only grocery stores anymore. I was in Hallmark a couple weeks ago and they talked me into getting a Gold Crown card to save up points so I can get money off on my umpteenth purchase or something. I filled it out to get the little bit of a discount that day, but chucked it when I got home because I don't go there very often enough to ever get the points to get the "deals". Ace Hardware in our town now has the savers card, so does PetSmart, Borders, CVS drugs, and a couple other places I have been asked if I want to sign up for "the card".

Now I understand why the old people
long for the olden days when life was simpler because I am becoming one of them.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wonderful short animation

This is a short work in progress by Wes Ball

There is no title yet, but I will call it Bear Makes Friends

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just Married!

Well, the wedding went off without a hitch! My son is now a married man, and I now officially have another daughter! I can't believe it's all over with so quickly. Family came from out of town and are already back home in far-off states. My daughter left to go back east today (sniff) and I had to tearfully say goodbye to her again. I hate goodbyes and wish we all could live in one city together. But life takes us different places and everyone has their lives to live.

The service was so pretty and went so well for their being no rehearsal. Everyone was on time, the weather cooperated, not too warm, not cold at all. Sunshine. All of the bridesmaids looked so beautiful in their peachy-pink just-below-the-knee chiffony dresses. There were four (one being our daughter Mary who looked so pretty, as usual). The other girls were very pretty too, and looked so happy for their friend. The groomsmen were all very handsome in their tuxedos and pink ties and gray vests. Our oldest son Jason was a groomsman and nice to see him all spiffied up. Nice to see all the guys spiffied up, actually, including my hubby who has only had a tuxedo on ONE other time in our 33 years of marriage, and the first time was to our wedding in 1975! So everyone was shocked to see Mr. Sport Coat in formal attire.

Whitney and Jeff make a beautiful couple. Jeff looked very tall and handsome . . . Whitney made a gorgeous bride...her dress was very stunning..the little rhinestones in the flower embroidery twinkled. The tears of happiness in her eyes glistened with the reflections of candlelight. Everyone said afterwards how they could see it in her eyes how much she loves Jeff and how much Jeff loves her The way they look at each other made everyone weepy...lots of happy sniffling. I had a reading to do and actually made it through without choking up too much, and Whitney's very handsome brother did another reading. They exchanged their vows which really had everyone pulling out the Kleenex, and the Grandmas presented the rings, and then the Apache Wedding Blessing and all was done...they are now Mr & Mrs!

The reception was a blast. The dinner was good...slow being served, but that was okay. Better than a rushy meal. There was a wedding toast by the best man, and then little speeches here and there. They asked Jon to say something last minute and I get a bit nervous when he gets up to speak because you never know what is going to come out of his mouth! He did fine though...but when saying something about joining families he included his and then Whitney's family but forgot to mention MY family...he realized it after the fact, when it was too late to fix it...but oh well. I am glad they didn't call on me to improv...I would have passed out. I had my speech planned but absolutely suck at improv. So, without having anything prepared, he did good.

The dancing part was the most fun...Jeff has no inhibitions about dancing and was doing the Night at the Roxbury "shoulder shake" to everyone, even going up to the photographer and trying to dance with him. It was a riot. Then all the guys were on the floor doing the head thing. Once in awhile when something Jeff and Whitney heard a song they wanted to sing and dance with each other they would seek each other out, run up to each other and start jammin' out. It's so cute how they are so "connected".

We were all there till Holiday Inn threw us out. It went by too fast. I could have partied all night and forgot all about my gout foot, my aches and pains were all gone for that one wonderful day. And I really don't feel too bad afterwards, either. Maybe it's the happiness.

To Jeff and Whitney...CHEERS TO A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER!