Saturday, December 29, 2012

ZOKU HEAVEN

We made Zoku Popsicles tonight. It was really easy. Last night we put the Zoku in the freezer because it takes 24 hours for the machine to freeze. Then we put cranberry-cherry juice in the slots and let it freeze. The we put lemonade in the slots and let that freeze. Once it is all frozen, we used the tool to remove the ice pops. Since we don't have the Zoku storage holder yet, we wrapped them in Saran Wrap. We did eat one and it was good. We ended up making six pops since that was how many sticks we have. We are planning on buying the storage holder since that seems useful. Maybe for my birthday someone will buy me the accessory pack with the designs. I am sure if you have seen Zoku you have seen the pops with the lines and the faces. To do those tricks you need the accessory pack. I want to make sure I use it enough before I buy too much stuff.

My sister-in-law asked me what I thought about Zoku. Brenda and I had a lot of fun doing it. It is a lot of waiting time. When I do it again here's what I would do differently:

1) make sure the ingredients are chilled. The cranberry juice was room temp and that slowed the process because I was pouring something warm into something cold.
2) I would not stand and watch the pops freeze. It was tedious and boring. I would put a timer on and come back and check on the pops.
3) do some research and shopping. Although cranberry and lemonade was fun and tasty, there are so many fun things you can do with Zoku! My next try will be soy fudgesickles.

If you enjoy lots of Popsicles, I would say look into it. Brenda and I reminisced about our days when our mothers made the Popsicles with the Tupperware pop makers and Kool-aid. Those were the days!

Until tomorrow...

BREAST EXAM

I am waiting to get my favorite thing: my breast exam! My yearly deep mammogram. I am wearing my tiara. For those of you new to this blog, my friend gave my this tiara when I had a breast cancer scare a few years ago. I now wear it to all breast cancer appointments. I call it The Power of The Tiara. It words off all bad things. The women at the desk always ask how I would like to be addressed. I say Your Highness. A tech years ago addressed me as your highness through the entire appointment. It cracked me up.

There are a bunch of women here, including one who is reading The Hobbit. We had a lovely chat about the book vs. the movie. I am surprised the office is so busy considering it is a Saturday and New Years weekend. I guess others are in a hurry to get a mammogram before the end of the year.

The tech who did my mammogram was not too warm and fuzzy. I accidentally got my chin in one of the X-rays and she had a conniption. You would think she was paying for the X-rays herself. Probably my worse mammogram experience in my 17 years of mammograms.

I have to wait two weeks for the results so fingers crossed! I am always on edge until I get the results.

To help make the day better we went to the movies. We saw This Is Forty. I thought it was so funny. There were stupid moments but some really funny moments too. It was so much more funny than Pitch Perfect. I would have not thought that by the previews but I don't ever find vomit scenes to be funny especially when I am eating! This is Forty had one stand out and that was Melissa McCarthy. She was hysterical. Turns out she was also in a preview for a movie Identity Theft. It looks very funny.

Then we came home and watched Big Miracle, the movie about saving the whales in Alaska. It was such a moving movie. We have been on a movie kick recently. We watched Madeas Witness Protection, Ted, Cold Light of Day, and Arbitrage. Plus I watched almost the whole season of Weeds.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

THANK YOU NOTES

I am very old school. I believe that if you are given a gift, you should thank the person with a note. A handwritten note. Not a text, not a tweet, not even an email (except in extreme situations). I believe a handwritten note shows that you took the time to appreciate the person and the gift.

I like to get the thank you notes completed as soon as possible after receiving the gift. Not that it is a task I want to get done as soon as possible but I want to complete the task while my excitement about the gift is still fresh in my mind. I enjoy writing how wonderful/useful the gift is.

I have a pet peeve about folks that don't say thank you at all. No note, no phone call, no email, no nothing. You never know if the present arrived at all. I guess that is why the USPS created delivery confirmation.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

PUFFY KNEE

I woke up with a swollen knee today. ugh. I went to my final physical therapy appointment and I didn't do any of the exercises that would irritate it. I rode the bike for only 5 minutes. Then my hips started getting sore. We spoke about my ski trip in a few months. I am forbidden to ski or ice skate but she said I I can snow shoe and inner tube. I can also sit by a fire and sip hot soy cocoa. I went home and rested until my rheuma appointment.

My rheuma doc was shocked that my knee was swollen. I rarely ever get any visible swelling. In fact she could not remember the last time I had a joint that was visibly swollen. My joints get red a hot but not too much actual swelling. She is putting me back on Plaquinel and we are hoping to taper me off Prednisone once my knee is better. We will see how that works out. I have wanted to decrease the Prednisone for years. I would love to be able to lose the steroid weight!

I spent the rest of the day on the couch with my knee propped on a pillow. I was very tired and napped the day away. I guess I am flaring pretty bad today. Tomorrow is another day! May it be flare-free.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Things that went wrong and right this holiday.

While making cookies, I dropped the "gems" not once but twice. The first time the gems went all over the table and some went on the floor. Luckily the dogs were in the other room. Then when I was cleaning up, the bottle of gems fell out of my hands and fell on the floor at the top of the stairs. About a quarter of the gems flew out and down the stairs. I was not a happy camper! Hundreds of the gems all of the floor again.

We made cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries. Now that I know how easy it is to make, I will never buy cranberry sauce from a can again. It tastes so good fresh.

We put the wrapped presents under the tree on Saturday and caught Happi trying to unwrap them. We had to watch her like a hawk. She just loves to unwrap presents!

I waited until the last minute to purchase our yearly ornament. I had to go to many stores to find a frame ornament to put our photo in. I finally found one out of pure luck at a Hallmark store. It is on our tree.

My parents came to visit and they were ill. Now Brenda isn't feeling well. Cross your fingers I don't get it.

I got a Zoku! It is a Popsicle maker. I am excited to make some Popsicles.

I bought a pond pump so I would not have to use a bucket to remove water out of the pond. It worked once and then the second time the hose kept slipping off. I need a clamp. I bought one but it was too big. I have to take it back.

The Little Dog has been a pill all day. She is a growly dog. Spent a big bit of the day in her cage.

Until tomorrow...



MY VERSION OF THE CHRISTMAS EVE POEM

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (or a rat).
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The 3 and 4 legged children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pork chops danced in their heads.
And Brenda in her ‘kerchief, and I in my mouth guard,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the sidewalk there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the blinds and threw up the window.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

RAIN HAIKU

Rain, rain go away
Please go to another place
Want to see the sun

Christmas means snow white
Not these cold and rainy nights
Bring me the Heat Miser

My hips and joints ache
From all this walking around
Spreading Christmas cheer

In spite of the rain
Wish you a Merry Christmas
And Happy New Year!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

MY PRECIOUS, MY PRECIOUS

We had a fun time with my parents. First when they arrived my dad fixed my door handles on my French doors. The handles have been loose for months. So I am grateful that the handles are now fixed.

Then we jetted off to the movies to see The Hobbit. Since it was nice we decided to take public transportation. It was a bit tough on my knees.

The movie was okay. First there were at least nine previews. All but one of the previews was about the world ending. It was horribly depressing! Oblivion, The Croods, Pacific Rim, After Earth, Escape from Planet Earth and more. I know the two of these movies are animated but each of these movies has something to do about the world as we know it ending.

Finally the movie began. I am not always a fan of the 3D movie. The glasses get on my nerves. I wear prescription glasses so the double glasses are a pain. They slide down throughout the movie.

The 3D was not overdone which I appreciate. But the movie was 3 hours long. The beginning was a bit slow. I will admit I dozed a bit in the first third of the movie. It picked up as the story went along. Overall, I liked the movie. I didn't feel ill like some of the reviews reported. Once I woke up I was entertained. Oh, I was not the only person in the group, I won't name names, who napped also! It was either a slow beginning or we were all tired.

I also had a bout of restless legs syndrome occur in the first one-third of the movie. That is always tough. I can't get comfortable and I feel like I am annoying everyone around me.

My final review is if you love Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you will probably like the movie. It is part one of the trilogy of Hobbit movies.

After the movie we went to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant. The food was good. I love me some falafel.

Now I am resting my knee and hips. My knee is swollen. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

Until tomorrow..

Friday, December 21, 2012

FAMILY IN TOWN

It is raining and cold but my Dad and Step-mom are in town. We met and went to dinner. Tomorrow we are going to go see The Hobbit and have dinner. I better go to sleep or I will be napping through The Hobbit!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

O' CHRISTMAS TREE

Today we bought our Christmas tree. We went all the way across town to get it.  There are closer Christmas tree places but they are more expensive and their service is less than stellar. The place we went to had a bunch of trees and they were patient when we changed our mind.  The guy cut the tree, wrapped it and then put it in the plastic bag. I have a convertible so we have to put the tree in the car. We drove it home and put it in the stand. After doing some work I put on the lights (this year I remembered to check them BEFORE putting them on the tree) and decorated it. I decided that this year would be a Disney year. I have a bunch of Disney decorations so I put them all on. But first I put all our decorations. Each year Brenda and I have been together we have gotten a decoration so we have twenty decorations on our tree. I also have some sparkly decorations to fill in the holes.

We have also had some Christmas presents arrive so It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I got Happi's test results back: Happi is healthy. Now we just have to see how she is tonight. We put her back on dog food. No more chicken and rice. She will miss that chicken!

I went to physical therapy. My ankle has been feeling much better. The exercise has been working. Riding the bike and walking the dogs. Who knew?

Until tomorrow...


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS

The presents for the family are all wrapped and sent. The Christmas cards are signed and mailed.  I started baking the Christmas cookies. All the shopping is done.

I guess it is time for Christmas to arrive!

Today I took Happi to the vet. He said Happi looks great. She didn't get sick last night so that is a good sign.  He took blood and such and I will get the results tomorrow. The vet thinks she has an intestinal virus. She is a gutter eater and she might have eaten something bad on a walk. As the doctor calls it a "burrito fritto".  It is hard to keep track of two dogs on a walk.

Some more good news: the hot tub may be ready next week! Yay!  I need a hot tub soak.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 17, 2012

HEAD IN A VICE

I have had cluster migraines for days. They are so unpleasant. Every day a migraine one or two times a day. So annoying. I just want to stick a spike through my forehead. Hopefully the cluster will end soon.

Poor Happi has been getting sick for the last few nights. We switched her to chicken/rice mix to see if she stops getting sick. I am taking her to the vet tomorrow. She is also refusing to go out back again. Last time we think she encountered a raccoon. She goes out the door, sniffs and runs back inside. Poor thing holds her pee all night.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

HIPS

I went to an arts and crafts fair today. It required a lot of walking although it was a lot of fun. Then this evening I went to a Christmas party. There was limited seating and I stayed for 1.5 hours before I had to leave. My hips were killing me. I was also hungry, there was only carnivore food to eat. So I came home and heated up some food and sat down. About 10 minutes after eating, I was sound asleep.  I guess i pushed it too hard.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, December 14, 2012

NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT

Nothing to say.

Saddness.

Wanting to cry.

Thoughts going out to those in Newtown, CT.


Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DR. VISIT HEARTBURN

I went to the doctor today and he gave me a wake up call about my heartburn.  I didn't think heartburn could do anything long term.  Well, I was wrong.  Long term heartburn can cause esophageal cancer.  That sounds awful.  I certainly don't want that!

I guess I have to take that nasty Carafate.  Yuck.  

I am tired and still have to do my Enbrel shot.  I better get going. 

I already did 90% of my Christmas cards, so I am happy.  I might get them posted before the 15th!  yay!

Until tomorrow....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

HMMM... HOW CAN I EVER DECORATE...

Did you ever think, Hummm, how can I ever decorate my house as well as my neighbors?  Okay it may be a litttle hard to see but some woman just could not compete with her extreme Christmas house decorator neighbor and decided to come up with a fantastic response: "Ditto".  If you look on the left side of the photo she hung (with her neighbor's help) a ditto sign.  I thought this was brilliant.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!



Here is the whole article.

I have decoration envy.  I don't have the correct talent or tools to be an extreme Christmas house decorator. I can decorate the inside well enough but the outside I have to settle for lights up the bannister and outside the windows.  Nothing fancy.  I am not saying I want blow up Santa on my roof or Reindeer flying down the front of my house, but some nice icicles off the edge of my roof or a big wreath would be nice.  I just don't have a ladder long enough.  Every time I ask to borrow my neighbor's he wants to do the task for me (he is so nice) that I hesitate to ask him.  Last time I wanted to borrow his ladder to power wash my windows and he did the whole task for me!  Nice, I know.  I just feel guilty.  He has his own stuff to do. 

For now I will have to settle for my sparkly snowflakes and colored lights and mini Christmas tree.  Merry Christmas!

Update on USPS: The postman picked up the packages but I have to say, I don't know if it was the barking dogs (they were behind a locked door) or if he was just having a bad day but he had no Christmas cheer or even a smile!  He looked nothing like the smiley USPS man on TV!  

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WRAPPING IT ALL UP

Tonight I wrapped almost all the Christmas gifts.  I wrapped all the gifts that needed to be shipped.  I got them all wrapped and in boxes/packages and ready to ship tonight.  Then I went on the USPS website and paid for the postage AND arranged for the USPS pick up.  Tomorrow it will all be shipped!  Yay!

If it all works out, I will be a happy girl.  I just have a few gifts left to buy online.  Then the gift buying for others will be over.  Then I can go to the mall and just walk around.  That is what I love to do during the Christmas season.  Walk around and see Santa and buy some chocolates and see the decorations.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 10, 2012

BOOK CLUB DINNER

Tonight was the book club potluck dinner at my house. It seems to have been a success. The food was good, the dogs behaved, my dish came out great.  I made roasted  Brussel sprouts with a mushroom sauce.

It was such a great time that no one wanted to leave! They were here for almost four hours.

I have to go to sleep!

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS

I spent the weekend decorating for Christmas.  I put the lights outside, sparkly snowflakes on the front of the house and colored lights going up the stairs.  I put a little Christmas tree (I used to put it in my office when I worked in an office) in our entry way.  Lights going across the fireplace.  I have more to do but I did what I could this weekend.

I had movie night on Saturday night.  Okay, it wasn't as successful as I wanted it to be.  I was told to find a funny movie.  Now, my opinion of funny movies is that everyone finds a different thing funny.  Brenda and I find very different things funny a lot of the time.  She loves the Three Stooges and I can't stand them.  It is like pulling out my fingernails to watch them.  I spoke to a few people and was given the recommendation "Rock of Ages".  It went over like a lead balloon.  The group is between 60 - 35.  The older folks didn't know most of the music and one of them hates Tom Cruise.  The younger folk had some chuckles.  The movie was not a hit with this crowd.  No more funny movies!  We agreed to meet up again in January.

My bookclub holiday potluck is tomorrow and I decorated.  I have not yet figured out what I am making.  I have to bring a vegetable.  I need to work that out in the next few hours.  I have to set the table and go get the flowers for the table.  Then make the veg dish.  I already bought the wine and drinks.  I also need to get some appetizer type thing.  My day is already planned out!

I will give you an update on the dinner.  I am just happy I am staying healthy through this time of the year.  I got a flu shot last week so I feel like I have the shield around me.  Like a superhero! 

Any ideas for a veg/grain side dish, let me know!

I have 5 endorsements!  Don't forget to  nominate me for 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award!  I need those endorsements!!!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

CHRISTMAS CARDS

I love to send out Christmas cards. I love to get Christmas cards.  I love everything about Christmas. I have been wearing Christmas clothing since the day after Thanksgiving.  Enough said.  I enjoy the Christmas season.

As I said I like sending out Christmas cards.  I know it is hard on my hands but I try really hard to make it as easy as possible.  I have mailing labels that I update year to year.  I have return address labels that I print out.  I make one sentiment and use it for almost all of the cards so I don't have to think too much.  I just take my time and write the same thing over and over. 

Occasionally I get creative and do something big like a few years ago when I made homemade cards.  I invited my friend Ana over to help me.  She has down syndrome and she was really excited to help me make cards.  I even made stickers with a photo of she and I on it to put on the back of the cards saying made by...  We glued a photo and  put glitter around it and stuck labels. It was an all day project.  Ana did the glittering and she had that glitter everywhere!  But boy did we have fun.  We had the music going and we danced.  The people getting the glitter cards were less than delighted when the glitter went all over their house.  Hey it is the holidays.  Glitter is a must!

This year I have a new strategy.  See, every year we have cards left over.  Well, you can't send the same card the next year, can you?  We don't.  We go out and buy new cards.  Since I am a crazy tree hugger, I have to find 100% recycled paper or some sort of non-tree paper cards to send and that takes time and money.    This year I came up with a wonderful plan: we are going to send out all those cards left over from previous years!  I wrote a little note to put in the card telling everyone about our marvelous plan to be economical, environmental and entertaining by sending them cards from previous years.  Some folks will get photo cards of the family from a few years ago. Some will get a humorous card we sent out five years ago when we first moved.  It should be funny.  We will see if anyone remembers the cards from previous years. 

Anyway, the cost from Christmas cards this year - 0.  Except the stamps and my time to print out the notes.  Well worth the time to clear out the boxes of old cards.  At any rate I am having fun!

Don't forget to  nominate me for 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award!  I need those nominations!!!

Until tomorrow....

Friday, December 7, 2012

PASSWORD CONUNDRUM

Don't you hate it when a website refuses your password?  Because I know I put the correct password in.  I know the password was phonecall.  I know it was.  But for some reason the website will not recognize this password. 

So I have to press the "reset" button.  I HATE the reset button.  Why?  you ask.  Because some websites send you the new temporary password right away, boom there it is in your inbox.  And on you go with your task.  But others don't.  It is a crap shoot and here I am waiting to buy something or do something and now I have to wait.  For who knows how long.  The steam is going out of my energy in performing the thing I was going to do.  Today I was going to buy office supplies.  I made the list, checked it twice, and sat down to log in.  No luck.  Either your user name or password is incorrect.  Huh?!  I know what they are.  I enter it in three times, no luck.  I have to hit the reset button, ergh...

It just arrived.  I timed it.  It took 12 minutes for the temporary password to arrive.  Twelve minutes!  Usually by now I have moved onto another project because, frankly, who has 12 minutes to wait for a temporary password to arrive?  I sure don't.  I had allotted 12 minutes for this entire task. 

What in the world takes 12 minutes for an automated system to send me a temporary password?  They already know it is me and my user name and email match up.  It should take 30 seconds to 1 minute to send a temporary password.  It can't be that they are suddenly inundated with users that need temporary passwords.  All of a sudden thousands of users forgot their password and need temporary passwords... 

I don't know what takes so long but if I were in their marketing department, I would take a long look as to why.  I know that if I was any busier, and didn't have this blog post to write, I would have moved on and would not have bought my office supplies today.  It would have been their loss.  I think I missed my calling to work in Marketing.  I could just go around and tell companies what their problems are and how to fix them in order to increase their business.  A Fixer!

Okay, well, I got my temporary password, time to get back to business and purchase those office supplies and keep America's economy rolling right along!

Don't forget to endorse me for Health Activist Unsung Hero!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

VISIT TO THE NUTRITIONIST

Today I went to the nutritionist and faced the music.  I didn't lose any weight.  I was supposed to lose at least 5 pounds.  I lost not one single pound.  Not one.

Why you ask?  My excuses are 1) my ankle, 2) the weather, and 3) Brenda's surgery.  I know these are not good excuses. 

So this time we didn't set a goal.  We spoke about how to have snacks that are nutritionist and that I can keep in my bag.  I have a problem because I get hungry sometimes when I am at a clients and I have nothing to eat.  I need something to keep in my bag that won't spoil and that is nutritious.  His suggestion is SoyJoy bars. I am going to try them.

Don't forget to nominate me for 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award!  I need those nominations!!!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NEIGHBORHOOD HOLIDAY PARTY

 Today was our neighborhood holiday party potluck.  As you may remember I am co-captain of our neighborhood watch.  The other co-captain hosted the party (he has the bigger house.) 

I decided to make Modern Cheese Balls.  That is what the recipe is called.  They are basically goat cheese rolled into balls and then rolled in various things.  The four things are chopped up wasabi peas, granola, ginger snaps and Parmesan cheese & fennel seeds. 


They were a hit.  Well, once people knew what they were they were a hit.  I should have made a sign.  I had to explain what they were to each person.  Once they tried the goat cheese balls, they loved them.  The wasabi ones were gone first.  Then the granola, then the Parmesan cheese.  This was a good thing to bring to a party for gluten free people.  I am not sure about the ginger snaps and the granola but the Parmesan and wasabi balls are gluten free. This was a really easy recipe to make, it was just a little bit time consuming.

The best thing at the party was a vegan, gluten free chocolate cake.  It was SO good, you would have never known it was vegan.  YUM!

I also got some positive comments on the Santa plate.  It is a cute plate that I think was my grandmothers. 

The party was a lot of fun.  I always have a good time with my neighbors.  We have a good group of people in our 'hood.  I also think I may have recruited a new book club member.  It is a new person in the neighborhood.  She seems real nice and she is interested in books. 

Don't forget to nominate me for 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FEELING BETTER TODAY

I don't know what happened but I feel better today.  I drank some tea.  Went to bed early last night.   Today I feel better.   Today I took it easy and drank tea and soup.

It makes me wonder how that happens.  How is it I can feel like total crap at 8 pm on Monday and 8 pm on Tuesday I feel just fine.  I know with my RA that happens all the time.  I feel like I was run over by a truck one day and 12 hours later I feel just fine.  Also the reverse happens where I feel on top of the world one day and 12 hours later I feel like I was run over by a bus.

But how is it possible that I can have a sore throat and feel like I have a fever one day and the next morning I feel fine. Just like any other morning.  Sore throat gone, no fever.  I thought colds lasted for days.  Let's see how I feel tomorrow.

Don't forget to nominate me for 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 3, 2012

COMING DOWN WITH SOMETHING

Today I felt it. That tingle in my throat. Oh, no, is it a sore throat? Maybe. Aches in my neck, back, arms. Stiffness in my joints. Could it be anything else?  Even my scalp hurts.

I got into bed with some tea. I hope I will feel better tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...

NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD

I got a very surprising email this weekend.  I have been nominated for a 2012 WEGO Health Activist Unsung Hero Award.  The Unsung Hero Award is "The member of your community who may not know how amazing and valuable they are."  ME, Amazing?! Really?  I need people to endorse me to get the award.  If you wish to endorse me, click on the WEGO Health badge, enter your email and click Endorse Me
 

This is so exciting!  First Happi gets first place in the dog show and now I get nominated for a Health Award!  Whoever nominated me, thank you.  You really made my day.  I had to insert this award badge into my blog, so I learned something new too!  Today has been a wonderful day.

So much makes today a great day.  The rain came and went and nothing floated away, drowned, came crashing down and we didn't lose electricity.  I fixed my table top all by myself.  Okay, my brother did an over the phone consult and the guy at the hardward store bore out the holes but besides that I did it all myself.  We had a table top made years ago that fits over our current dining room table.  When I bought the table second hand the person lost the leaf.  I hired a guy to make a table top that seats 6-8 people.  It is very nice but when we moved one of the pieces that holds the table top on the table fell off, okay got ripped off.  I thought I would have to have a professional person put it back on.  But I consulted with my bro and he said he thought I could do it.  Today I sanded, filled the holes, sanded again, glued, and drilled.  All fixed.

I also cleared out more stuff from my office (it is never ending, it feels like) and went food shopping.  The store looked like everyone thought a hurricane was coming.  Store shelves were empty.  It was a storm for goodness sake.  

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NEW FRIEND

Today I met in person a business associate I have been talking to on the phone for a few years. I will call her H. H and I have been "phone friends" for some time. She is associated with one of my clients so I talk to her quite often. We have talked many times about getting together but this and that has always gotten in the way. But today was the day!

We met at a mutually located restaurant. She lives about 2 hours away so we found a favorite restaurant at a mid-point.  I sent her a photo ahead of time so at least one of us would know what the other looked like.  As soon as I heard her talk I knew it was her.  She has a very distinct accent.

We had the best time!  We talked about work, family, the holidays. I brought some photos to show her. We had great food; which always makes it a good time!  Then 2.5 - 3 hours later we said good-bye with a promise to meet up again soon.

Isn't it interesting how some work associates make the jump to friends and others don't?  I work in a sensitive area in my work so I am not always afforded the luxury of having work associates become friends. I have to be very careful who I associate with outside work hours.  H is removed enough from my clients that there is no conflict in my friendship.

But back to my question, who makes the leap from work associate to friend?  Some work friends are friends as long as you work at that location but as soon as you leave, the friendship doesn't survive.  I have two friendships that survived my last job and no friendships that survived the previous job.  The two friendships have survived for many years and both people left the job prior to me leaving.  At first we would talk about what was going on at the company since they left but once I left we had to find other topics to talk about. Those two relationships survived the transformation.

I hope this friendship continues. H was very nice and quite fun. We had a lot in common.

Until tomorrow...

POOP IN THE HOUSE

No, not my poop! It is the little dog Lucky's poop. It has always been tough to housebreak Lucky. Don't get me wrong Lucky loves to go out side. She just doesn't always like to "go" outside when it is raining. Both our dogs have an aversion to the rain. I know most dogs don't like the rain but our dogs will hold their pee for 12 hours just so they don't have to go out in the rain.

Lucky has a special kind of dislike of the rain. She will stand by the door shivering with her big eyes begging to be let in. I will force her to go down the deck stairs and she keeps running back up. Then as soon as she gets inside she will skulk off and poop in my office or in the kitchen. Real sneaky-like. The kind of walking dogs and cats learn to do where their license doesn't jingle on their collar. You don't even hear them coming. We call it creeping or skulking. Lucky has mastered it. That is why I have to keep her tied up at night. If I don't she will creep off and poop somewhere and get into trouble.

Anyway with all this rain, Lucky has been in punishment three times today. She just won't poop outside when it is raining. Our pets we love them. This rain is not stopping any time soon so Lucky better get used to it.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FEELING SUPPORTED

Now you might think I am writing about my ankle, but I am not. I am writing about a situation that occurred recently when some was very condescending toward me. It was a work situation and the person was, in my opinion, very rude.

Today I was given some good news in the form of a phone call by a superior to her. She was told to back off and stop being so pushy. Hurray! I thanked the superior very much.  This pretty much made my day.

In my experience folks that act condescending, rude, pushy in the workplace eventually get their comeuppance. I have outlived many of these types and they eventually get what is coming to them.   You just have to keep your head down, do your work, bite your tongue and ride out the storm.  Most times that works.  Supervisors usually get tired of their BS.

Someday I will tell you about a place I worked. Give you a good laugh!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2ND PHYSICAL THERAPY SESSION

Today was physical therapy session number two.  My therapist is really working me this time around.  Floor exercises and then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.  She seemed pleased that I kept my promise of three days on the recumbent bike and walking my dogs almost every day.

I asked her about wearing regular shoes.  I am tired of wearing sneakers every day.  She said I should bring my shoes to the next appointment so she can assess.  She is worried that my shoes are more clog-like (they are) and therefore I can step wrong and twist my ankle.  But we will see what she says.

I have therapy appointments through the month of December to see if intensive therapy makes a difference.  I will have another physical therapy update next week.

Tomorrow a terrible storm is supposed to come through our area.  Kinda wish I could wear boots!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

REMEMBERING ENBREL

I have a problem remembering to take my Enbrel.  Okay I will tell the truth.  I have trouble remembering to take almost all my medications.  I want to take my medications (okay I will try to stop lying), I want to take most of all my medications.  I don't like to take the potassium because it doesn't taste well.  I don't like any of the medications that I have to drink. They make me nauseous.

I will remember to take the Enbrel out of the fridge early in the day but then forget later on when I need to take it out.  I get caught up doing work or watching TV and it slips my mind.

I was supposed to do my Enbrel shot last night but remembered to take the medication out of the fridge at midnight.  Too late to wait the 30 minutes for the medication to warm up and do the shot.

Tonight I remembered to take the shot out at 10:45pm.  Kinda late but I can still do it and get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

I used to have a system but then I stopped taking Enbrel when I had my surgery.   My system was to take the medication out of the fridge at the beginning of Grey's Anatomy and then do the shot at the end of Grey's Anatomy.  That way I had something to remind me to do the shot each week.

I have to create a new system.  Now my shot is done on a Tuesday so I have to pick another show.  I guess Parenthood will have to do.

Well, I am off to do my shot.  Got to get up early for physical therapy and we are expecting a gigantic storm so I am thrilled.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 26, 2012

TO FLARE OR NOT

Went to see my rheuma doc today. She asked how it was going. I hate that question. How is it going today? Okay hands kinda swollen. How's it going since last visit three months ago? Gee I don't know. Lets see: Brenda's surgery, I got the flu, shot in my ankle, MRI of leg, no tumor, vacation, fat lobula, and back to physical therapy. Hard to remember it all in one visit. I get home a realize I forgot half the things I was going to tell her.

She is concerned that my ankle is not healed yet. She also wants to check my potassium levels. I told her I have been bad about taking the liquid potassium.

She also brought up changing from Enbrel to Humera again. I don't want to for so many reasons. It is a pain to change meds. I like Enbrel. It is easy to use. Going through the authorization process is such a pain in the butt.

Anyway, I go to see her again in a month.

I will see tomorrow if my swollen hands are the beginning of a flare. I sure hope not.

Until tomorrow...

CONDESCENSION

Have you ever had someone talk down to you?  Or talk to you in a way that you almost feel like they are your boss or a general in the military and you are a private?  I have some like that in my life right now and I am at a loss as to what to do about it. 

This person sends me emails that are the type that my old boss (who I called "The Devil") used to send to me.  Maybe that is why these communications are really needling me.  She says "please" but you know she doesn't mean please.  She means do it.  Comments like "Please be available for this meeting".  Now we all know what "Be available" means.  It means I don't care about your schedule get your butt to this meeting.   I just don't think a colleague talks to another colleague in that way. 


I just don't treat people this way.  I come from a different place.  This type of communication causes me such stress.  On Saturday I got an email that, I am not lying, got my blood pressure to rise.  I don't even have high blood pressure but I swear I could feel it go up.  My hands were shaking and I had to put my phone down.  The email was full of "Please do this."  "Please do that".   

Then to top it off, I cc the person I report to and she keeps taking him off the cc list in her response.  I hate that!   

This weekend I spent a lot of time clearing out.  I filled a quarter of the recycle bin!  I am in a throwing away mode.  I cleared out so much paper and stuff.  I have a bit more to go before I have an organized office again.  I also had to clean out the pond filter again.  I also cooked brussel sprouts again.  I made some honey butter sauce and they came out really good. 

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 23, 2012

E-WASTE

Today marks the day we finally got rid of the old TV out of the dining room. Yay! Easily four months ago our very large, very heavy, very old TV died. We inherited the TV from my stepmother's mother. It was a nice TV to watch television on. It had a large flat glass screen but an enormous tube in the back.

Today the e-waste guy came to pick it up to recycle. His helper canceled on him so I had to ask a neighbor to assist. They estimated that the TV weighed 175 pounds. The two of them struggled getting it down the stairs and into the truck. There is no way Brenda and I could have gotten that TV down those stairs by ourselves.

We are so happy to have it gone and to have the space back in our dining room. While I was at it I also recycled an old laptop, monitor, scanner and camera.

All this clearing out and cleaning out is renewing my soul. I have been needing to light the load for a long time. Maybe start out the New Year right.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I hope you all had a very nice and safe Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving is very low key. Since Brenda's surgery we decided to take it slow. At 3:15 we met our neighbors for a bit outside to toast Thanksgiving and to wish each other well.  It is our yearly tradition.

Then we ate and watched the football game. I spoke to a few family members. Then I watched a movie.

Yesterday we received a phone call from Sam. If you remember Sam has been a friend for almost 20 years and out of the blue decided he didn't want to be our friend anymore. See post.   Out of the blue he calls to make sure we know about a mutual friends funeral this Saturday. He wanted to make sure we were going and that we knew we were invited to the after gathering. We have already decided that we will not discuss what occurred at the funeral or gathering. We are not the West Coast Housewives!

Ankle Commitment update: walked the dogs but probably ate too much stuffing, mashed potatoes and stuffed acorn squash.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

THERAPY COMMITMENT

Today was physical therapy. Yay! I went in and my therapist said I am having pain because I have to strengthen my ankle and I have to gain more confidence. More confidence that I won't hurt my ankle when I step down. The way to do that is to keep up the therapy exercises, walking the dogs and using the stationary bike.

So, I have made a commitment to walk the dogs just about every day/night and ride the bike between 10-20 minutes at least 3 days a week. Plus, go to therapy every week to keep on track.

There it is in writing. Tonight I walked the dogs. During therapy I rode the bike for 10 minutes. I am going to get strong again so I won't be so frustrated. I know skiing is out of the question this winter but I can still go on the trip and participate in other activities like inner tubing.

Happy Thanksgiving! I will write all about the amazing food I cook.

Go Cowboys!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

PRE-PHYSICAL THERAPY

Starting physical therapy again tomorrow.  After getting the shot in my ankle with the really long needle, I felt better for a long time.  I could walk without pain.  I could almost walk fast.  I could almost close to jog across the room.  I could go quickly down the stairs.

Well, that has gone a bit by the wayside.  After the 10 sessions of physical therapy, I had the bump on my leg. It turned out to be a fat lobula so it was nothing.  No tumor or anything serious.  Then Brenda had her surgery and I got sick.  One thing after another.  I stopped physical therapy in order to deal with life.

Now that life has calmed down and I have gotten things under control, I am ready to go back to physical therapy.  Now that my ankle hurts it is time.  Isn't that always the way?  Once your body part hurts, then it is time to go get help.  Hopefully she can help me strengthen my muscles and ligaments. Get me strong again.

I am excited.  I want to get my walking going so I can go back to walking more and losing weight. Yay!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 19, 2012

PREPPING FOR THANKSGIVING

Is everyone prepping for Thanksgiving?  I did my shopping on Sunday.  Okay, not all my shopping but all the stuff that I could get that would not spoil in the next few days.   I also forgot to get cranberry sauce.  Can you believe it?  Cranberry sauce!  What is Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce?

I have to pick up the rest on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Just a quick run to the store.  Okay we know it will not be a quick run but a slow walk through the store and checkout line.  

This year we are having a low key Thanksgiving.  No one over. Just us.  I am cooking an acorn squash with some wild rice stuffing, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mushroom gravy, green beans, salad, and apple crisp.  Enough food to last for days. Yum! Leftovers.  Brenda is having a Cornish hen.

What are you having for Thanksgiving?  Anything exciting?  Any family recipies?

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ORGANIZING

Yesterday I cleared out weeks of built up unopened mail. Today I invoiced my clients and began cleaning up my desk. My job requires a tremendous amount of paper. Sometimes I feel I am being swallowed up in all the paper.

My biggest problem is when my bag gets too full I pull papers out and pile them up. Then they sit until months later I get annoyed and then I move that pile to another pile. Then the piles grow. Now I have those piles to sort through.

My dream is to have an uncluttered office. A place that is less stressful. A place I actually want to work in and be in by the end of the year.

Until tomorrow...

JUNK MAIL

Okay, raise your hand if you like junk mail. No one. Are you sure? Okay. I personally don't like most mail at all.

I get mounds of mail. Yes we all get mounds of mail but I get more than most. I have my home address where I get a regular amount of mail. Then I have a PO Box where I get a whole other regular amount of mail including all my business mail. Sometimes I get the same mailer three times! To my home address, my business at the PO Box and my person at the PO Box.

Today was my least favorite day. Today was part two of Operation Clean Up Mail Pile. Last weekend I worked for hours to decrease the pile by 2/3 before movie night. Today I wanted to get rid of the pile completely. I did it. I worked my way through the 16" pile of letters. Plus I went through a bag of old mail that had been sitting. It was just junk stuff but it needed to be gone through before being recycled. Now I have a very large bag of recycling.

Each time I go through the mail pile I swear it will never get this bad again. It doesn't for a while then it creeps up again. I try, I really do! Just life gets in the way.

I should remember how sore my hands are going through all that mail in one sitting. All that opening and ripping up and sorting is not good for joints.

Today I will revel in my clear table and make a pledge to keep the mail pile off my clean table.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 16, 2012

SOON TO BE HOT TUBBING

(Not our backyard or our hot tub)  HotSpring Portable Spa
Not sure hot tubbing is really a word (or two words).  But I am so happy I am going to break the word law and use it.  The hot tub service guy came out today (in the rain) and fixed the hot tub!  He pulled out the motor, panel where you program it and replaced wires and the main plug and voila!  It works. 

Now we have to have the service folks come and move it and clean it but the hard part is done.  It took 1/2 hour and cost less than $400.  I can't believe I waited this long! 

We then called the retail outlet and ordered a new cover. Since our hot tub is 16 years old, they have to make a cover that will fit with a tight seal.  Our cover is in horrible condition and if you know anything about hot tubs, the whole idea is to keep the heat in.  So a bad cover can cost a lot of money by not keeping the hot tub hot.  The service guy agreed with me that our cover has seen better days.  He is also going to get me a new door for the motor since the, ahem, rats, chewed a large hole in the current door. 

We also ordered a cover lifter.  I have wanted one of these for years.  I have an awful time getting the cover off the hot tub and can't do it by myself.  It takes two of us to get it off and then we have to find somewhere to put it.  We don't want to put it on the ground because it gets dirty and the dirt gets in the hot tub.  We don't have grass in our backyard so putting in a grassy area is not an option.  Don't even get me started on getting it put back on.

We also ordered a step to get in the hot tub.  We had a step made out of wood but it has since deteriorated and we are throwing it away.  I would be afraid to step on it for fear my foot would go right through it. 

So it will take about one more month to get it all done.  We are going to have them come out all at once to do everything.  We want them to move the hot tub away from the foliage so maybe any critters will be less inclined to live in the hot tub.  The service guy says this is a recurring problem.  The critters like to live in the hot tubs whether they are in use or not.  Lovely!  I was hoping once we turned it on it would dissuade them from living in the unit.  No such luck.  Urgh!

I can't wait to take a hot tub. Tonight would have been a perfect night.  Cold and rainy.  Yum!  Well, one more month.  We have waited this long, a few more weeks won't kill us.  At least we should be able to use it by Christmas.

It is funny, as soon as you say you have a hot tub, it is like bees to honey.  Everyone suddenly wants to come to our house.  People who never showed any interest in visiting before suddenly want to be my friend.  I guess it is like owning a truck.  You own a truck and when folks need to move something, suddenly you are their best friend. 

I will dream of a steamy hot tub tonight.  My achy muscles and joints will wait in anticipation.

Until tomorrow...

RETURNING PHONE CALLS

I am probably the worst person at returning phone calls.  I just hate returning phone calls.  I am not sure why.  I have a hard time even listening to the messages.  I get so busy that forget to check the answering machine until another phone call comes in and then the answering machine picks up on the second ring.  I can't get to answer the phone fast enough and that means I need to go into the kitchen to turn off the answering machine in order to talk to the person on the other end.  Then I get lazy and just let the machine pick up and listen to who is on the other end.

It's not that I don't want to talk to people, it's just that the whole phone thing is a pain.  First you have to look the person's phone number up.  Then you have to get the phone and dial.  Then comes the good part, the talking to the person.  But if they aren't home, you have to leave a message and then the person calls back.  Sometimes they call back at an inconvenient time and the process starts all over again.  Rinse and repeat!

Have you noticed that people don't leave their phone number anymore?  I find that people just assume you have caller ID and don't leave their phone number.  I hate that!  I don't have caller ID so I then have to look up the person's phone number to call them back.

On the flip side, I am really good at answering emails.  Usually I answer them very quickly.  Nothing to look up!  I guess email is the way to go to contact me!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

MORE ABOUT PERSONAL SPACE

A few weeks ago I wrote about personal space.   I had a situation with a person who just didn't seem to understand her desk was her space and my table was my space.  I understand I am a contractor and she is an employee but it really isn't welcoming when I come to their worksite and the workspace I am given is covered with her stuff and her coat is on my chair. 

Well, the personal space situation has reached a pinacle this week.  I was in a meeting and I didn't bring my cellphone with me.  It was on vibrate and in my zippered up handbag.  I come back from the meeting and I walk in the office and she has my cellphone in her hand.  She quickly explains that it was ringing a lot and she thought maybe there was something wrong and if it rang again she was going to answer it.  She thought maybe it was Brenda trying to get a hold of me.

My first reaction was "what was she doing with my phone?"  I thanked her and took my phone back.  I checked it and it said it rang three times.  Two times from Brenda and one time from a client.  Brenda has a habit of calling a few times in a short time if she wants to tell me something.

I talked it over with Brenda and I got more and more anxious and angry about it.  "What was she doing going in my bag and taking out my phone?"  What a violation of personal space!

Today I spoke to her about it and told her that I understand she thought it was an emergency but it was not okay to go in my bag and take out my phone, it made me uncomfortable.  I have clients calling and it would be awkward if she answered the phone.  If my phone was ringing that much she should have let me know and not taken the phone out of my bag.  I told her to please not do that again.

It is just funny.  I really never thought I would have to have that conversation with a full grown adult who has two full grown adult sons.  After I had the conversation with her I told her boss.  I told her boss about the personal space situation and her going in my bag.  I wanted her to know now just in case it becomes a problem in future.

Oh, the hot tub folks are coming on Friday to make an evaluation!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TIRED

I am so tired. Like can't keep my eyes open kinda tired. Trying to watch Private Practice. ZZZZ...

Until tomorrow...

WHAT IS TODAY?

Okay something is going wrong. Last Thursday I missed my friends book signing because I forgot. I sat down to watch TV and around 10 pm I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be somewhere. Too late.

Then I missed my nieces birthday. Then I parked in a metered spot today and got a ticket because I thought today was Sunday and didn't feed the meter.

Then to round it all out, I was putting on my PJs and settling down in front of the TV with critical work earlier tonight when the doorbell rang. It was J from book club. They were meeting down the street and were wondering where I was. Especially since I PLANNED the meeting!

What is wrong with me? Am I losing my mind? I blame it all on retail stores. They are rushing us more and more each year. Some stores had Christmas decorations up before Halloween! They keep rushing us more each year. Hurry up Christmas is coming! It is crazy and making me crazy!

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm Blue

I went to the doctors today and had my cast replaced. She ran out of white cast stuff so I have a blue cast! I will have draw some crazy picture on it.

We talked about my fevers and she is convinced they are not from the incision. The incision looked good and she took out the stitches.

I called my primary doctor and we spoke about my test results and my appointment with the surgeon. My white blood cells are high so I have an infection but the question is where? Sinus? Urinary? Deep in the surgery site? Hard to tell. Meanwhile I am going to take antibiotics that are broad spectrum. I will also take anti-fungal medication to keep the yeast at bay.

After five days I call and give an update. I do have to admit my ankle is throbbing a bit tonight from being wrapped and unwrapped. Oh, I am no longer using the crutches!

Now we wait and see! Yay!

Until tomorrow...

BASEBALL

Sitting here watching the World Series with the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers. For those of you who don't follow sports, that is baseball.  The Giants are winning and from where I sit that is a good thing.

This started to bring up some good memories for. When I was a kid my dad used to take us to New York Mets games. The company he worked for had box tickets at Shea Stadium. Not box tickets like they have now high up in the stadium with food and booze but the old fashioned boxes. A box meant you were close to the players, we were right off third base. There were no special features other than we were close to the players. We were about ten rows up and we could see all the players coming in and out of the dugout.  We ate peanuts (in the shells) that we brought and bought soda.  If we were really lucky we got ice cream. Sometimes we brought our lunch and sometimes we got hot dogs.  We all wore our baseball caps and  we got the stat sheets so we could keep track of the baseball players stats.  Since we sat off third base we had to pay attention when we heard the crack of the bat. No, I never caught a ball. I was more likely to be ducking. I saw too many people get hit with a ball. Off third base the balls usually go up to the higher levels when there were fly balls with right-handed hitters.

We would take the train to the stadium then walk through Flushing Meadow. These were times that I loved spending time with my dad. Even though he usually had one eye on the game at all times. But it was great. My brother and I would go walk around Shea Stadium.  We always wished we could meet the players but that never happened.

I still follow the Mets. They will always be my team. But during this World Series I will be rooting for the Giants. Go Giants!

Until tomorrow...

HAPPI IS A WINNER

Yesterday we took the dogs to a dog event and dog show. It was a local event for a middle school. Our neighbor children go to the school and we try to support the kids/school as much as we can.

We were only going to take Lucky (the small dog) since she easier to handle in crowds. She is only 10 pounds and I can pick her up and easily carry her. Our neighbor told us to bring Happi (the big dog) too. So we did.

We loaded up the dogs in the car and drove over to the school. The dogs were on high alert as soon as we pulled into the parking lot.  We got them out of the car and walking down to the event. There were tons of dogs of all sizes.  There were booths with vendors. We started to walk around and check everything out. We skipped the auction. We heard there was a category for dogs who were adopted and were mixed breeds. Both of our dogs fit in that category! We had to choose one to enter. First, we scoped out the competition. we looked around; no other three legged dogs! We thought Happi's story could win her the prize. So, we entered her. There were a bunch of small cute dogs so Lucky would have to wait until next year. She could enter the small dog category next year when we more prepared.  She is cute but there were ALOT of small cute dogs.

Then we had to wait around. And wait. And wait. Finally, the time came for Happi to do the cat walk with Brenda.  Happi worked it. The other dogs were good to.

Then we sat and waited.  Five minutes later they announced "The Winner is Happi!!!"  Brenda and I ran down the carpet yelling Yay Happi!

Happi's prizes were a water bubbler, a gift certificate, new collar, new leash, professional photo of all of us, and free nail trim. Oh, yeah, and a 1st Place Medal.

What a great day! Next year will be Lucky's turn.

Until tomorrow...

MOVIE NIGHT HAS ARRIVED

Tonight was movie night. We had a great time. There were only three of us because Brenda was tired and S's friend got ill. We watched The Godfather II. This was a continuing saga from an earlier movie watching night with S where we watched The Godfather. See post Sleepin' with the Fishes to read the story of why we had to watch The Godfather.  I can't believe that was more than a year ago.

So S, K and I met at 7pm at my house. We spent the next hour catching up. Then at 8 pm we decided we better start this movie! We took one snack/pee break and the movie ended at 11:30 pm. Those Godfather movies are LONG.

I will admit I started to doze a few times.  It was so long and it was hard to keep the characters straight.

I also will say other than me using my iPad to look up the characters, there were no electronics used during movie night.  We did have plenty of snacks. Chocolate macaroons, vegan chocolate cookies and veggies and dip.

We decided to do it again next month up something lighter and more upbeat!  We will save Godfather III for six months from now.   So, movie night was a success!

Tomorrow I will tell you all about our fabulous dog day.  I will provide photos of the day!

Until tomorrow..

Friday, November 9, 2012

REMEMBERING

We all know I have a lousy memory.  I can't remember when I was a kid never mind what I ate yesterday for lunch.  So remembering dates is really hard for me.

I have tried many things to remember dates.  I have tried the post-it method, you know putting post-its up to remember things.  I have tried apps on my phone.  I tried the little notepad method.  Carrying around a little notepad to write notes on it.  I have used a calendar, a computer calendar, a write on/wipe off calendar all to no avail.  No method seems to work.


Why do I write about this you ask?  I realized last night that my niece's first birthday is this Sunday.  Did you catch that?  Last night, Thursday night, I noticed that my niece's birthday is in a few days.  I didn't even remember.  I saw it on a calendar.  I didn't even have it on my electronic calendar.  I didn't even put it in my electronic calendar!

Now it is too late to send a card or present and have it get there on time.  If she were older, I could send her an electronic present, like an Itunes card but 1 year old babies don't really need Itunes.  So I will be late with my present.  Ergh...

I wish my brain was connected to my body.  So tomorrow I will have to go shopping and get that little tyke something.  I have an idea but since my sister-in-law reads my blog, I will keep my idea to myself.

If anyone has any great ideas on how to remember birthdays, I would love to hear them.

Don't worry Reese!  I have not forgotten you.  I am just horribly late as usual.  Happy 1st Birthday! 

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jaws

I have been grinding my teeth since I was born.  Probably ground my teeth in the womb.  I am one of those people who grind my teeth so loud I wake people up.  It is an obnoxious sound.  I have been known to wake myself up.  Before you ask, yes, I wear a night guard.  A very expensive, custom made night guard.

If I forget to wear my night guard, I wake up with a sore jaw.  I know I should wear it all the time when I sleep but sometimes I forget to put it in when I go to bed.  A few hours later my grinding wakes me up and I put it in.  I can even grind if I take a nap.  A few times I forgot to wear my night guard for a full night and I end up with a REALLY sore jaw for many days.  It gets hard to chew food.

Teeth grinding is called bruxism.  Bruxism is teeth grinding and clenching. 

When I was a kid I would sometimes sleep in my mom's bed.  She would wake me up every few minutes telling me that I was grinding my teeth.  As if I had any control over it.  Like I have any control over my dreams.  How can you tell someone to stop something that they do in their sleep?  They don't know they are doing it.  Especially something they have been doing since they were born!  Waking me up didn't stop the grinding it just made us both sleepy and grumpy (I was sleepy and she was grumpy!)

I have been grinding for so long I have ground down and cracked almost all my back teeth.  I have crowns on all my back teeth.  I have to get gold crowns because I grind so hard that I would crack the porcelain ones.  I tell Brenda that I have a fortune in teeth!

Sometimes I find myself clenching my teeth.  I try to be conscience of doing this during the day.  I clench and then I get a headache. 

I try very hard to remember and wear my night guard these days.  I know that not wearing it means wearing down my jaw bones and could mean bad stuff for the future.  It is really hard to replace jaw bones. 

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creaking

I had that cold/flu/bronchial thing last week and went on antibiotics. I am feeling better. But that also means I had to stop taking Enbrel.

I stop the Enbrel and my joints get creaky. I start walking like I am an old woman. One flight of stairs suddenly seems like climbing the Empire State Building. The hardest is going downstairs! Each step feels like I have a ton of bricks on my back. Every morning my hands are swollen and stiff. My feet feel like I have steel bars in them; like Wolverine.

This weekend I will take Enbrel again. I like to wait until I have been off the antibiotics a few days before I go back on the Enbrel.

What happens when you stop taking your meds?

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SEEMS LIKE WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT

Gosh I was settled in for a long night of watching election results and by 8:35 pm the answer is in: Barak Obama is President. It happened so fast. It makes me wonder how in the world these news stations figure this out so fast.

Another interesting piece of news is that you will soon be able to legally buy cannabis in the state of Colorado. I guess the term "Rocky Mountain High" will have a new meaning. I think this great for those who need it for medical reasons. Medical marijuana is super but really it is costly and a bit of a hassle. The medical marijuana card costs $125 per year just to have the card. Plus you have to see a doctor to get the card and you have to buy the marijuana. It ain't cheap!

I no longer have to worry that my healthcare will disappear or I will be dropped. At least for four more years! Hopefully by 2016 people will be happy with the changes and nothing will change. Wouldn't that be nice? Not having to worry about healthcare? Just worrying about my health. That is the way it is the way it is supposed to be!

Anyway, the election is finally over and the ads have stopped (yay!)

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 5, 2012

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE

One thing I won't miss after tomorrow will be the ads for the elections. I get so tired of hearing the same advertisements over and over. It is like seeing the same Viagra commercial again and again. I also get disgusted with the amount of money spent on all the commercials. The amount spent could feed small countries!

Then the debates. Asking the same questions over and over and hearing the same answers.

Tomorrow will not come soon enough for me. Here is another ad. Ergh...

Vote!

If you can please donate to your favorite cause to help those on the East Coast. The Red Cross is not the only place to donate. If you are a pet lover you can donate to the Humane Society to help rescue pets.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

HOT TUB: FIX OR BUY NEW

For those of you who read my blog all the time, you know my hot tub has problems. For the rest of you I will recap quickly.

When we moved into the house it had an outdoor hot tub. We used it frequently until we had construction done on the house and then we had to drain it and store it. It is in a far corner if the backyard. A few months ago the City tore up the streets and rats began eating every thing in their path. Fruit trees, gardens, and hot tubs. They ate the insulation and some of the wiring.

Today was the day to go look at hot tubs. We met this nice salesman who showed us everything. He also explained that the customer service folks would be able to fix the current hot tub. This made me happy especially when I found out the cost of a new hot tubs would be $7,800.

The new plan is to get the current hot tub fixed and buy some accessories. Now that I know it can be done, I am really impatient. I want it fixed now!

My achy muscles will be soothed shortly.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 2, 2012

SPACE THE FINAL FRONTIER

Personal space. I don't normally have a personally space issue. I don't care if people sit close to me or stand too close. Hopefully not within spitting distance.

I do think there is a natural distance one should sit or stand from another person but when people are friends I may sit closer. If I am ill I stand even farther away.

When I am sick I try not to cough in elevators or sneeze in groups. If others are ill I hope they will do the same.

Recently I have had this situation with someone who repeatedly puts her stuff in my area whether I am sitting there or not. I will be working and she will put her coffee mug on my workspace because she doesn't want to accidentally knock it over on her workspace. I will arrive to work and her papers will be strewn all over my designated workspace and her coat on the chair.

I try to give subtle hints like walking in and saying "look at all this stuff in my work area!" and I move it and move her coat. Today she wanted to put her big binder on my work space and I said no. But I know next time I show up it will be there.

What would you do with someone who moves in on a space that is designated as yours?

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

STORM NEWS

We saw photos of my brother's neighborhood. It looks horrible. Under many feet of water. His house is not but the neighborhood is. I have not heard if they have electricity yet.

Brenda's sister still does not have electricity. Unfortunately she was not prepared. She called yesterday and I was appalled to hear that someone charged her $1 to charge her phone! Talk about price gauging. It probably cost pennies (if that) to charge a phone. Then I saw some adorable little girl in New York who has set up an Internet cafe at her house so people can charge their phones, computers and electronics or check their email. All for free! She just wanted people to be able to let their families know they were safe. She said she felt lucky that her house had electricity and she should share it.

Brenda's sister has also had a hard time finding gasoline. She waited on a long line earlier in the week but after taking her stepdaughter back to school, she needed more gas. None to be found. She also has been told her work is shut down indefinitely. That means no income.

Thank you for all your concern for my family. This has been quite a week.

Today we took Brenda to her two week check up. Everything is fine. She admitted she is happy she had the surgery done. Thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

I am feeling better. Coughing less. Yay!

Until tomorrow...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Today was fun.  Our neighborhood has been working really hard to bring the kids back.  The kids around us have been going to other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat.  Our neighborhood is so empty.  For the last few years we have been making a concerted effort to bring the kids back.  Some folks offer the kids candy and adults wine. Others made hors d'oeuvres to hand out.  There is music playing and lots of folks decorate.

This year a woman around the corner had a bunch of families bring their kids.  Thirty of them.  I bought three bags of candy and I only have about 20 pieces left.  That was 150 pieces of candy!  I was so glad I bought the third bag.  It was so fun seeing all those kids.  I wore my tiara and I had a wand with sparkly stuff on it.  Like a fairy godmother handing out candy.

I wanted to tell you that the antibiotics seem to be working.  I am coughing less and less.

I also went today for my yearly check up with the breast surgeon.  Her physician's assistant checked me out and she says I look good.  I have to go for my yearly mammogram and then an MRI.  That would be my 5th for the year!?

Today was also the San Francisco Giants victory parade.  Black and Orange everywhere!

Update on family: Brenda's mother lost her phone service.  Sister still no power.  My family I have not heard from today but I saw photos of their town on the internet and it doesn't look pretty.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

STORM SANDY

My family lives on the East Coast.  It has been a nail biting couple of days.  Watching CNN for hours.  Checking our phones for texts.  Waiting for news.

My partners mother in Southern New Jersey never lost electricity and is fine.  No flooding to speak of.

My partners sister in Northern New Jersey has been without electricity for a day now.  She was told she had to report to work today!  Can you believe it?  In the middle of this mess her company told her to report to work.  She was worried she would lose her job.  So she risked her safety to go to work.  They should be ashamed!  Who is thinking of going out to a restaurant to eat in this disaster?!

My brother and family live along the Jersey shore and they decided to stick it out through the storm.  Their house is up high.  They say only their garage is flooded.  They have no electricity and no internet and no cable.  Roughing it!  They prepared for it and they seem fine.  They have been texting to give us daily updates.

My heart goes out to everyone touched by this disaster.  The photos of my old stomping ground are devastating and heartbreaking.  The hours I spent at Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island as a child and now to see the photos.  Broke my heart!  The boardwalk at Atlantic City is gone.  So sad.

Everyone be safe!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 29, 2012

JUST A LITTLE SICK, AGAIN

Well, I have caught a cold or flu.  I went to see my gut doctor today and she heard my cough and called in my primary immediately.  They both listened to my chest and wrote a script for antibiotics.  I know some folks don't like to take the antibiotics but I have a history of pneumonia that comes on quickly.  I have to stop these types of cold/flu things really fast or I am down for the count. 

A few years ago I got a cough, it turned into a really bad cough that turned into bronchitis and then pneumonia.  Then I got some reaction from some medication.  I was sick for almost 4 months.  Don't want to go down that path again.  I always seem to get sick during October/November. Something about the change of season, I guess.

I can't wait to stop coughing!  I sound like a barking seal.  Every time I talk I start to cough.  Makes it hard to work.  I worked from home today and will tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

EXTREME STORM SANDY

It seems that Storm Sandy has began it's surge. It looks like it will hit landfall along the Jersey Coast. Right near my brother's home. Has he evacuated, you ask? Hell, no. He and his family are riding it out. They have water in the bathtubs, everything battened down and all electronics charged up. Now they are just waiting for it to pass on by.

They evacuated last time and they said it was more of a hassle getting out and coming back since they live on an inlet. Their house didn't even lose electricity!

This time they are riding it out with many of their neighbors. The rest if the family will be glued to the Weather Channel monitoring the progress of Storm Sandy.

Oh, by the way, I think I got a cold from a client. Okay, I can't be sure it was from her but Thursday she got something from her son who has bronchitis. She sounded horrible on Friday. I used her office on Friday and didn't wipe it down like I usually do. Last night I didn't feel right and this morning I woke up with a stuffed head and a cough. Not good. Sounds like a 48 hour incubation to me. I did my little chores and made some soup and took it easy today. I am not interested in staying ill.

The Giants just won the World Series! The celebration begins!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ANOTHER LOSS

Our neighborhood had another loss. Our neighbor Ray has passed on. He had lived in our neighborhood for more than 40 years. We met him when we moved into the neighborhood 8 years ago. He would walk around the block with his dog Buster. Lately he has been housebound and we would see him sitting in the window.

Ray had a great smile and a great sense of humor. At his "celebration of life" today we saw photos of him in his younger years and, boy, was he a looker! He was so handsome!

Now that Ray is gone, Buster has gone to live with a nice family where we hear he has room to run around. We hope to see him again but know that will probably not happen.

It was good to gather as a community although I wish it were for a happier reason!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BURNING SCALP

About a week ago my scalp began itching. At first just a little bit. Then a bit more. Then two nights ago my scalp began burning. Last night my scalp burned so much that I was unable to sleep. I also did what every doctor tells you not to do, I went on the Internet and read all about itchy scalps. I was wide awake thinking I had lice or mites or something else. I could feel those bugs crawling I knew it. The burning was unbearable.

First thing this morning I called my dermatologist and made an appointment. Then a went to the pharmacy and bought a lice comb. The comb showed no lice. That calmed me down some. My scalp felt a bit better all day. Still itchy but less. It didn't burn too much.

Late in the afternoon I went to the doctor and she checked: no lice. She only saw a very pink scalp. No scabs or sores or anything. She said with nothing to look at she didn't know what was wrong. Could be vitamin D deficiency. Take more vitamin D. Or it could just be more crazy RA stuff.  Who knows? Let her knows if it doesn't get better.

She gave me some drops to put on my head. If I run out, she gave me  a prescription. Let's see if this works. I need a non-burning head sleepy night tonight.

Have any of you had this strange symptom?

The Giants won again. Go Giants!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BACK ON THE SCALE

Okay, life is beginning to slow back down.  It is beginning to get back to normal.  Time to get back on the weight loss bandwagon.  I have been walking the dogs more frequently, trying to get in shape.  I have also been walking Brenda!  She needed to walk and I needed exercise!

This week I am going to start the stationary bike.  We have it in our "exercise area" in our garage.  I made this whole carpeted area in the garage that has our stationary bike, free weights, hula hoop, treadmill and pilates equipment.  There is even a TV and VCR/DVD player with cable.  I just have to get my lazy butt down there to use it!

If I would just make the time and go down and get on that stationary bike and ride for 30 minutes a day and then take the dogs out 1-2 times a day, I would see some results.  At this rate, I will not see any changes before my weigh-in in December.  I was supposed to lose 5-7 pounds in 3 months.

My ankle is still feeling really good.  I actually forget that it is supposed to hurt!  I am still wearing the sneakers but I have gone out twice with my clogs.  Just for a short distance.  It felt good to wear something other than sneakers.  I am SO tired of sneakers.

My goal this week is to get on the stationary bike a few times.

Weight update: 178.7 lbs  ugh...

Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 22, 2012

EXHAUSTION

For the last month I have just been exhausted. Not sure why. Just damned tired. All the time. Sometimes I will sit down to watch TV and fall asleep. In the middle of the afternoon. Or I will be working, typing and I will start to doze off.

It is hard to explain to people that kind of fatigue. I just can't stay awake unless I rally and get up and walk around. Then sometimes I can manage to get some momentum going and pull myself out of it but not always.

In the past month it has been hard. I have even been going to sleep at 8pm and 9pm and sleeping to 8am and still I feel like I could sleep all day. Of course then I get the cycle of migraines because I am so tired.

I think I maybe out of the cycle of sleepiness and of the migraines for now which is good. It really effects my life (especially my work) when I am so tired all the time!

Go Giants!

Until tomorrow...

HANGING WITH THE KID ACROSS THE STREET

There is a kid that lives across the street who is 12 years old.  I will call him A.  A is just so adorable.  He occasionally comes over our house to watch a ball game. Tonight he came over to watch the Giants/Cardinals game.  He is so funny how he sits and watches the game.   I was that kid growing up.  I was a true Mets fan and would watch the games. I knew all the players and teams.

Today we ran into one of his dads and told him that the game was on and if A wanted to come over, he was more than welcome.  Not five minutes later our door bell rang and he was ready to watch the game.  His dad told us he had been a bit difficult today back talking to his parents and giving them a hard time about doing his homework.  During the game we worked in a talk about what it was like when we were kids and what would have happened to us if we had not done our homework and back talked to our parents.  We reminded him that it is important to be nice to your parents because they hold the keys to your future.  Do you want to drive a car?  They literally hold the keys.  Think twice about how you talk to your parents.

It was funny because he told us that he got in trouble because he spoke badly to his parents.  We asked him what happened and he said that he woke up and two hours later he still had not eaten breakfast.  That was when his dad wanted him to do his homework.  He told his dad "I have only been awake for two hours."  We laughed.  I imagined what my parents would say if I said I had only been awake for two hours and could not start my homework.  We told him that next time he should put his gameboy/phone down and eat breakfast and do his homework first.  Then play the game.  Then he would not get in trouble!

He may come over tomorrow night to watch the game again. Depends on if the game is on with the debates...

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

STUFFING

It is that time of year when I begin to crave stuffing. It is the beginning of autumn and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Some people call it dressing but I call it stuffing which is funny since I don't stuff it in a bird. I guess I should call it dressing. I think it is a cultural thing. Depending where you come from. Kinda like hoagies, grinders or subs. It all depends on where you come from.

Today I made some stuffing because I wanted to try out a new recipe. I make some great stuffing usually, people comment on it even, but I wanted to try something different. This new recipe was Swiss chard, mushrooms and chestnuts (although I could not find any so I used pecans) mixed with the stuffing mix. I also threw in some cranberries for some sweetness.

At the end of each stuffing season I buy some extra bags and freeze them. That way I can have stuffing any time of the year. I never understand why stores don't sell stuffing mix all year long. Do they think people only eat stuffing two times a year?

The stuffing I made today came out okay. Not the best and not what I am going to make for Thanksgiving. I have another recipe to try with apricots and pecans and cranberries.

What does your favorite stuffing include?

Until tomorrow...

Friday, October 19, 2012

UPDATE DAY

Today's post will be an update day. First, there were no hospital visits today. Although my friend B is still in the hospital while they figure out why she is so ill.

BRENDA RECOVERY: today was not a good day. Yesterday was a good day but today not so good. Just a sign that recovery is a bit up and a bit down. I keep reminding her that she had a major organ removed as well as pounds of unwanted fibroids.

ANKLE RECOVERY: I got a shot of stuff shot in my ankle last week and it has been feeling better. Today I feel some weird pinching beneath the skin that seems weird. I will soon resume PT.

BUMP ON MY CALF: It is a fat lobule. Don't know what to do with it but it isn't cancer so I am happy.

RAT SITUATION: now I am not saying the rat situation is solved but it seems to be better. While we were away on vacation and the dogs were boarded we put down bait traps. It didn't seem like any of the bait was touched but it doesn't take much to kill a rat, does it? I also found out our neighbors cat caught a very large rat and eviscerated it. Unfortunately the cat moved away. I wish there was a rent a cat place. At least the dogs are not running out the door on the hunt like they were before.

Well, those are the updates.

Until tomorrow...