Saturday, June 30, 2012


Spent some time doing a little bit of yard work today. While I was putting together the new weed wacker, I suddenly had a bruised swollen finger. I don't know what I did or how I did it. It hurts a whole lot and is really bruised. Now I know what " black and blue" means. My finger looks black.

Now the question was, did I break it? I have no idea. I decided to call my brother who has broken his finger quite a few times. I figure he is an expert or as we say in our house "he has a degree in broken fingers". He says if it were him he would not go to the emergency room but he would call his primary doc Monday morning and get an x-ray. That is what I am going to do unless it gets worse between now and then. Of course if it gets better, well better for me! No x-ray!

Tomorrow is the first day of JUST A FUN BLOGGER CHALLENGE. I was sent some questions from fellow blogger Wren. (thanks Wren!) Now I need about 14 more suggestions so send them in. I have decided to do them in the order they are listed on my random list. I will add any other suggestions to the end of the list. If anyone wants to join in, feel free!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Creating My Own Blogger Challenge

I have been thinking of creating my own blogger challenge. I have a bunch of ideas already but would like your input. I want this challenge to be different; more fun. My problem with most challenges is that most of the topics I don't want to write about. So I thought about ideas that would be fun or interesting to write or read about.

If you have any ideas to write about, I would love to hear. My list so far:
• puppies or kittens. Discuss.
• favorite color. Why?
• favorite song?
• name 5 things on your bucket list.
• Favorite dessert. Why?
• post a picture that makes you smile and write why it makes you smile.
• favorite meal. What is in it and why is it your favorite? Describe.
• if you had all the money in the world where would you live and why?
• favorite book and why?
• mountain, beach, desert, or plains? Which is your favorite?
• what do you love on your pizza? Why do you love it? Deep dish or thin crust?

Here are eleven questions. I am looking for some more. Send me your ideas. I only need 20 more ideas to fill up the month!! I need your help!

Feel free to join in. I am starting tomorrow, July 1. If you are stuck and need a topic to write about, use one of these. It will be fun to see if others are writing about these topics too. I'll call it "JUST A FUN BLOGGER CHALLENGE"

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Something on the Roof of My Mouth

Okay, went to see my primary doctor today.  Still have the fevers but my White Blood Count has declined. That is a good sign.  Means that if I have an infection the antibiotics worked.  The next step is to go back on the Enbrel and see what happens!  Doesn't that sound like fun?

Here is what will happen: if I have an infection, taking Enbrel will cause the infection to get bad, real fast and I will know right away where the infection is located.  If I don't have an infection, maybe being on the Enbrel will make the fevers go away.  Let's give it a try!  Just check with my RA doc and away I go.

While at the doctor's office I also pointed out a sore I have on the roof of my mouth.  He looked at it and said it was some sort of auto immune sore thing.  Not a blister like I thought.  Super! Another auto immune thing.  I forget what he called it but it is not the type of thing that will just go away on its own. Not a canker sore.  He gave me some medicated mouthwash.  Directions "Swish and spit".  Sounds so romantic!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Let's recap my past couple of weeks:

I have rats that I have not yet gotten rid of.  The exterminator has to come one night and lay 100 traps to catch as many as they can. Then come the next morning and pick up the carcasses.  Fun job!

I have a bird in my chimney. Stuck or just living there, you decide.  Animal Care and Control couldn't get it out.  The chimney sweep company didn't seem interested.  The food doesn't seem to entice. 

I have had a fever for more than 6 weeks.  Lots of antibiotics, yeast medicine, blood work. 

Can things get any weirder?  I guess I shouldn't ask.  Just inviting more weirdness.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tried Bread

Today I tried putting pieces of bread at the bottom of the fireplace to see if that would entice the bird out of the chimney.  No luck so far.  Although I had to keep the dogs away from the fireplace.  They could smell the bread and wanted to eat it.

I went this morning to get my latest in the long line of blood tests.  Tomorrow I will hear what my White Blood Count is and see if I am up or down.  I also get to go see my dermatologist tomorrow.  I am going to have her check me for skin cancer.  Might as well since I will be there.  Cover all the bases.

Until Tomorrow....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Guest Has Not Arrived

I waited all night and all day and the bird didn't come out of the chimney.  I can hear the bird cooing and moving around in the flue but s/he has not come out.  Pieces of a nest keep falling down so I know s/he is up there!

The dogs keep laying in front of the fireplace with their ears perked listening to sounds coming from the chimney.  They can't figure out why there are sounds coming from the fireplace.  Sometimes they jump up and look at the fireplace in a confused way.  It is funny to see.

I just want this bird to come out before it dies of hunger or thirst!

Health Update: I am feeling much better.  I took it easy this weekend.  The flare seems to have subsided a bit.  My ankle is a bit tender today because I think I used it too much.  No pain no gain! 

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hearing Noises

Yesterday I heard noises in the living room. It sounded like a far away humming. There is construction going on down the street so I didn't think that much about it. Then it sounded like it was in our "eves" we have a Spanish type roof with the red half moon things that birds like to nest in. Sometimes the birds coo. So I didn't think anything about it.

This morning I woke up and the noises were REALLY loud and there was scratching. It was coming from the fireplace in the living room. It sounded like a dove or a bird of some sort. It seemed a bit panicked.

Who do you call for this situation? Let's get real, I can't exactly climb in the roof and fix this problem! I can barely climb a flight of stairs these days.

First, we called the fireplace company but they were closed. Then we called Animal Care and Control they said birds climb down into chimneys and get stuck all the time. They said they would come over and get the poor thing out.

Joe fromAnimal Care and Control showed up and looked everywhere for that bird. He could not find it in the fireplace or on the roof. So after 45 minutes he left and told me to call again if I heard it.

I ran my errands and when I came back, there were the bird sounds again. I called and he came back. This time he took the vent off the fireplace on the roof, took the vent of the side of the house for the drier, looked in every opening on the roof, and checked the fireplace again. Turns out our flue is very far up into the fireplace so a person can't reach up to feel if a bird is stuck there. After about 1.5 hours, he gave up. We decided to leave the flue open and see if the bird can figure out how to get himself. We put a screen in front of the fireplace opening so he can't fly around the room. Now we wait and see. He said they would come back and pick up the bird once it comes out.

This threw a wrench in my days plans. The big question: why are we being over run with non-domestic animals all of a sudden? Don't we own enough animals? Didn't we do our part by adopting 2 dogs, a bird and fish? I don't need anymore animals!

Let's hope the bird comes out soon! Never a dull moment!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ready, Set, FLARE

Got the cast off and what do you know?  FLARE!  Not the kind in the sky.  The kind you get and suddenly you can't walk without searing pain.  My knee feels like a knife is going through it while it is swollen all at the same time.  Walking across the room is like willing myself to walk on glass.  Stairs are something to avoid at all costs.  I would pay someone to go downstairs to get my toothbrush. 

This is unbelievable.  I finally get the cast off and now I can barely walk! How is my ankle?  It hurts less than my knee!  It only hurts a lot if I twist it.  I can walk slowly and carefully. 

I called my RA doc and she is afraid to put me on Enbrel with the fevers and the weekend coming up.  So she wants me to go on Advil for the weekend.  Like taking really bad candy that makes my stomach burn.  I promised I would try it.

I have a call into my primary to find out when I can go back and get a new blood test and see what those pesky white blood cells are doing.  Are they up?  Are they down?  Who knows.

Meanwhile doing the physical therapy for my ankle is a bit difficult while sitting with my legs propped up on a chair.  I guess I needed more rest!  I have more movies that I didn't get to watch when I had surgery, so I will watch them over the weekend.  I will finally watch Rebecca!  Yay!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Cast is OFF

The day has come! I finally got my cast taken off! My foot doesn't look pretty but it feels good to get that thing off.

It is still painful but that is to be expected. I have my marching orders. I have to walk without limping and do my exercises. The exercises are to 1) stand one the bad foot, 2) lift my toes up, and 3) do sort of mini squats.

On to rehab and recovery. Oh, and I can drive my car again! Yay!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tomorrows The Day

Well, tomorrow is Cast Removal Day. I can't wait. I want to wash my leg. Shave my leg. Moisturize my leg. See my leg again.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rats 0 - Me 1

I got one!  The snap I heard was the snap of the trap getting a rat.  I was so successful that I set more traps tonight.  Let's see if I can get some more or if I was just lucky one night.  Or maybe they are just so smart that they have caught on.  Maybe I just caught a dumb one.  You know, the slow one in the group!  "Aw, Joey got caught.  Yeah, he always was a little slow."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Think I Got One

This evening my partner came running in to tell me that she saw a rat.  She was practically hyperventilating.  She is terrified of any pest.  That includes spiders, mice, rats, small dogs...

She saw this rat and wanted me to set the traps early.  I went and set the traps and then took the dogs out on leash and kept them away from the traps.  I moved some of the traps to new locations and followed the guidelines from the Rat Guy.

I was watching TV tonight and I think I heard it!  SNAP.  It is a distinct snap that only comes from a rat/mouse trap.  I will take the dogs out on leash again tonight and check and see.  Wouldn't it be great if I caught one?  If the Rat Guy says we only have about a dozen, getting rid of one means we only have eleven left!  Maybe I can do this!

Four days until Cast Removal Day!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rat Update

The rat pro came today and I now feel like a rat pro myself! He showed me where the rat burrows are located on the property; there are three. He showed me where the rats run along edges of the property. He showed me where to set the traps to catch the rats. I did not set the traps in the correct places which is why I didn't catch anything!

He also set out a plan to catch the maximum rats and told me how I could do it myself if I wanted to. Or I could have the rat pros come and do it. The plan is to put out 50-100 traps in one night and see how many get caught. He said looking at the amount of damage, poop, and burrows he thinks there only 12-15 rats. Not the 50-75 I thought we had. That made me feel better. I also found out that rats are a patriarchal society and the male rats kill the other male rats so they don't breed like rabbits. So rats don't multiply too quickly. They don't really travel from burrow to burrow. They also don't visit each other like on the Disney movie Ratatouille. And he assured me they don't talk or cook in French restaurants!

Tonight I set the traps in the right places and I will see what I get. Wish me luck!

Watching that high wire guy Nick Willenda walk across Niagra Falls. Crazy!

Until tomorrow..

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stay The Course

Got my test results back today and my white blood count has gone from 1200 down to 1100. That is good. So I am to stay the course and keep taking the antibiotics for the rest of the 10 days.

At that time we wait a few days and if the fever has still not gone away then I go for another CBC and check my white blood count again. If it has increased than something is wrong, if not, well then we are back to square one. If the fever goes away at the end of the antibiotics- I am cured!

We will know something early next week! Just in time for cast removal day!

7 days until cast removal day (CRD) The countdown begins!!

Until tomorrow...

Unique Gift Ideas

Over the years I have had a tough time with presents for my parents.  It is hard to buy presents for people who can buy themselves the items that they need. So I am always on the lookout for creative ideas.  Especially gifts that can be used up. Things like food items.  Some ideas I have given are soup, wine, croissants, candy, and a ball.

The biggest hit so far I think was the soup.  I think it was a hit because they also send cookies.  Who doesn't like soup and cookies?!  The company let's you pick out the types of soup you want to send. Then they send cookies that you pop into the oven!  Freshly baked cookies!!

The candy was the biggest disappointment.  I think it was some bacon flavored candy that was supposed to be delicious.  I think I read about it in the Oprah magazine.  Everyone said it was horrible.  I think it went into the trash.

Someone recently gave me the croissants that I have given others and they were fabulous.  They come cold and you put them in the freezer.  The night before you take them out and leave them out all night while they poof up.  Then in the morning you put them in the oven for about 12 minutes.  Croissants anyone!?

I sent my dad the ball for Father's Day.  It is a regular ball that the company writes on and sends in a box with the ball showing through.  It is a really cute gift.  Not just for kids either.  My dad thought it was great!

If you have any great, unique gift ideas please share!  I love a unique gift.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Today I stopped by the surgeon's office and she fixed my cast problem. My new blue cast has been rubbing my little toes. Not sure if it is my arthritis or the cast but it has been horribly painful. Every step hurts.

I saw the doctor and I thought she was going to replace the cast. Nope! She just cut a slice in the cast right near the little toe. Relief. I can walk without the pain. Yay! One more week.

While there I also got a new blood test to check my white blood count. Tomorrow I will have more information to use to figure out what is going on. I started to think: I wonder if these rats have anything to do with the fevers and the high WBC? I hear rats can spread disease. Got to get an exterminator!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not One Rat

I put out five traps.  I saw one rat.  I caught zero rats.  I called a pest control company.  No answer.  I called another. Left a message.  Yelp says he is the 5 star guy to get rid of rats.  Let's see.  I need the five star guy.  This whole thing is creeping me out.

What is it about rats that are so cute when they are in Disney movies but so icky when you see them in your backyard or in the subway?  Is it that Disney draws them cute and gives them adorable names?  Ratatouille.  Now isn't that cute?  I don't stop eating cold soup because it has a rat's name.  I want to adopt the little critter.  But that rat I saw last night sent shivers down my spine.  He slithered along the bushes and went inside one.  I was trying to get the dog inside before she noticed the pest.

I saw Happi try to trap a rat or mouse once.  Now picture this:  Happi has one front leg so she had this mouse (I'll say mouse because it sounds better for some reason) trapped with her front foot but it was wriggling.  She didn't have another foot to hold it so it wriggled free.  Happi wasn't ready to let it go. She hopped back on it and tried to catch it again.  But the mouse got away.    He doesn't know how lucky he got.

Health Update: Still have the low grade fever. Put a call into the doc.  Waiting for a call back.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Traps Have Been Set

I asked my neighbor to help me.  Turns out I didn't set the rat traps correctly and I have not caught anything.  So, my neighbor came over this afternoon and wouldn't you know it, it is really easy to set the traps.  I just didn't know how!  I hooked the bar onto the wrong thing.  Now the traps are ready to snap.  Just like that show on the O Channel - Snapped!

We set five traps and now we just wait to see what happens.  We put the traps under boxes so the dogs won't get their noses caught.  My neighbor was so nice he said if he was around tomorrow morning he would even dispose of them for me.  I told him I was not squeamish and I could take care of it.

Tonight at 11 pm I will take the boxes off and see if we can catch us some pests.  Let's hope they like honey-roasted Skippy peanut butter.  I just want the rats to be gone.  Another neighbor said there is a rat poison that is in a container that dogs can't get into.  I may look into that if this doesn't work.  He said it is a box that the rats have to go into and the poison is in the box.  That way the dogs can't get into it.  It still makes me nervous.  Rat poison can be fatal to dogs.  My parents dog got into their neighbors rat poison.  They caught it in time but the dog always had medical problems stemming from it.  I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my babies from rat poison!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 8, 2012


This week is almost over.  Just a few more hours.  I can't wait.  I have been burning the candle at both ends and I need a mindless break.  Last night I actually watched TV without doing any work, no computer on, no IPad on, no checking emails on my phone.  I was "unplugged" except I was watching TV so I guess I was "plugged" in one way.  I just watched some mindless TV and ate a candy bar.

A good candy bar from the great country Germany.  They make great chocolate.  It was a Ritter Sport and if you have never tried one, you have not had good chocolate.  Ritter Sports are my absolute favorite imported chocolate.  Of course if I lived in Europe I would probably have many more favorite brands of chocolate but since I live here in the USA, I have to judge on the chocolates that are imported. 

Ritter Sport is made by a company, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co.  The company makes a 100 gram square-shaped bar that is divided into 16 smaller squares, creating a four-by-four pattern.  These bars come in 29 original varieties and they have many seasonal varieties.  This season I saw Milk Chocolate Strawberries with Cream.  My favorite is Peppermint. It is dark chocolate with creamy peppermint filling.  Yum!  Today I was at the store and they were on sale for 2 for $5.00.  I bought Alpine Milk Chocolate and Praline. I am not so sure about the Praline but they didn't have either of my favorites which are Peppermint or Cappuccino.  So I get what I get.

I think I have waxed lyrical long enough about Ritter Sport candy. If you have  sweet tooth and that sweet tooth includes chocolate, and I mean really good chocolate, find yourself a Ritter Sport.  You will not be disappointed!

Have you tried a Ritter Sport?  Did you like it?

Until tomorrow... 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rats - 1, Me - 0

The score is Rats-1 and Me-0.  I put the rat traps out the night before last and caught not a single rat.  Of course some time in the middle of the night it began to rain.  I guess rats don't like the rain. Who knew?

"Rat Trap" by Surachai

In the morning I hobbled out on one crutch to cover up the traps.  I am worried that birds will fly down and try to eat the peanut butter and get the smack down!  I don't want to catch some unwitting bird.

Tonight I try again! I want to get rid of those destructive creatures.  I am not an animal killer I am a lover.  But these vermin are killing my backyard.  I swear if I could get someone in to do this for me, I would.  They just want to put out poison and I can't have that with the pups.  They are already so curious about the covered traps I would worry having anything they could put their noses near.

So forgive me for wanting the rats to move out or risk the death in the trap.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Our lemon tree has been completely devastated. The leaves have been eaten. The lemons are gone. The bark has been peeled off. And the branches have been broken off. I could not figure out what was doing it. At first when it was just the leaves, I thought it was slugs. But it kept getting worse.

I called my neighbor who is a gardner and he told me the horrible truth. We have rats! We are the fourth neighbor to ask him about this problem. One neighbor had his vegetable garden eaten up. Another had his lemon tree chewed up. My theory is two fold: 1) our neighbor with two outdoor cats moved away so they are not controlling the rat problem anymore and 2) there was this run down yard 1-1/2 blocks away that was overgrown that recently was cleaned up. All the animals that lived there had to move somewhere! Maybe my backyard.

I asked how to rid myself of these horrid creatures. This is where all the fun comes in. Rat traps! I went to the hardware store and bought five of them and got instructions on how to set them. Who knew wearing rubber gloves is mandatory because rats can smell you on the trap? It took forever to set the first one. I kept thinking it was going to shut on my hand.

The traps are set and under pails waiting for the cover of darkness when I will uncover the traps and hopefully catch me some rats!

I will give you the rat update!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Doctor Who Believes Me

I went to see my primary yesterday. He is back from his trip.  I found out he was not on vacation but at a conference.  I told him about the temperatures I have been having and he believed me.  He said he was concerned because, as he said, if it was anyone else he would not be concerned but I don't present like other people.  He said he thinks something is going on. Some sort of infection.  It always amazes me when the medical community catches up with my diagnosis!

Then he sent me down to get tests.  First, chest x-ray.  I swear I will start to glow pretty soon!  How many chest x-rays can a person get before it becomes detrimental?  Second, blood work. No fainting this time.  I ran into the phlebotomist that I almost fainted on last time and she was very concerned for me.  Third, peeing in a cup. 

It has been 24 hours and I have not heard anything from my doctor so I assume there is nothing wrong so far.  He said he would call with news.  I am sure all the tests will be in on Monday. 

If these tests all come back fine, the next step will be "off with the cast" to see if there is an infection.  

At least my doctor believes me.  I am so lucky!

Until tomorrow...