Tuesday, October 30, 2012


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


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


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


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


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


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


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...


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


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


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...

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Don't they say when it rains it pours?  Just when I get Brenda home and stable, my friend (let's call her B) called to say she was really ill and needed to go to the hospital.  I rushed to her house and she was in a bad way.  I called 911 and an ambulance came to take her to the hospital.  After hours in the emergency room, they finally decided to admit her.  Initially it looked like a case of dehydration from a cold but as the day went on it began to look like something else maybe going on.  She was unable to hold even water down even after two bags of fluid and some medicine.  After the third bag of fluid she was still in a bad way and felt just like she did when we called 911.

I felt bad that I could not monitor Brenda all day but I knew she was only a phone call away and my friend B had no one who would sit with her while she was going through this horrible ordeal.  As we all know, when in the emergency room or hospital an advocate is the best thing to have.  Someone who knows their way around the ER or hospital system and is not scared to speak up to a doctor or nurse.  Especially when you are in a bad way.

I eventually had to leave once I knew she was going to be admitted.  They were going to run tests but many of them would take a while to get results.  I knew she would be going up to a room and going to sleep.  I will call in the morning and see what is going on.

I would like to have a day that didn't include a hospital this week!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I go to pick up Brenda and she is SO ready to get out of the hospital.  SO READY!  We debate on whether she should shower at the hospital or shower at home.  I know this sounds like such a little thing but it turns into a BIG thing.

Brenda decides to shower in the hospital in their lovely shower.  She takes a really short shower, gets out and sits down to dry off.  At that point she proceeds to sweat profusely and get light headed.  I go get a nurse and Brenda's eyes start to roll and she gets lifeless.  Luckily she is sitting down.  The nurse gets another nurse and they talk about getting her to lie down.  They go get another nurse and between the four of us we get lifeless Brenda on the bed.  There was talk at one point of putting her on the floor but Brenda kept shaking her head.  She was not going to be put on that dirty floor!  Even in her state!  She never lost conscienceness but she was close.

Once she laid down she began to feel better.  Her eyes came back to normal and she stopped sweating.  Turns out that her shower was too hot and her veins opened up making her blood to flow faster.  This made her blood pressure drop.  The nurses were impressed that she didn't lose conscienceness.  After a short bit she was okay.  She got dressed and ate some lunch.

This meant no going home.  We had to wait until the doctor gave the okay.  Another hour wait since the doctor was in surgery.

We are so thankful that she took the shower in the hospital and not at home!  Imagine if she took the shower at home and this happened?  It took four of us to get her from a chair to the bed.  Imagine me trying to get her into bed if she got lightheaded getting out of the shower at home!  It would not have been pretty!  Now she is under strict orders: no showers for 48 hours!  When she does shower, only cool showers. 

She is home and all is well!  Thank you all for your good thoughts and comments.  I sure appreciate it.  This is my first time being on this side of a crisis.  Brenda is always the person sitting in the waiting room and taking care of me.  I always thought, gosh she has the easy part.  Now I see it is not so easy.  It is stressful!  All the running back and forth taking care of dogs, trying to get some work done, taking care of the patient, waiting to hear news, so stressful.  I feel exhausted.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Brenda has come through the surgery with flying colors! Thank you for all your kind thoughts, cards, flowers, and comments.

Here's what happened:
The surgery took much longer than expected. The fibroids were huge! The doctor said she was actually sweating when she was getting them out. She said she really had to work to remove them. They were between 5-7 pounds. Just like having a baby! She said a uterus is normally the size of a small tangerine but hers was the size of a small watermelon and it was ugly! I am sure Brenda will be more comfortable now.

Tomorrow Brenda will be discharged. Yesterday the-insurance-company-who-shall-not-be-named sent a letter stating that Brenda was authorized to stay in the hospital for one day, the day of her surgery. The breath was sucked out of me. I had just left her in horrible pain in a hospital bed. She was in no condition to leave the hospital!

First thing this morning I called the-insurance-company-who-shall-not-be-named and found out who needed to be contacted by her doctor. We can not afford a two day $30,000 hospital bill. The doctor assured us this was all okay and taken care of. Phew!

Tonight she has chills and fever so I am a bit concerned. They have given her some pain meds with Tylenol so she should be okay. Believe it or not, besides the fever, passing gas is the only thing keeping her in the hospital! We are wishing for just one fart...

Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 15, 2012


Everyone in the waiting room is crowded around a computer monitor. Not sure what that is for but I am assuming it is like at the airport an arrivals and departures screen telling folks about surgery times. Brenda has just gone in so I have some time to wait. She has been so excited to get this surgery done but this weekend she got very anxious and this morning she got VERY anxious. Poor thing. I wanted them to give her Ativan but they couldn't.

Our plan is that I wait a short time and then I go home and let the dogs out for a quick walk around the block and get back before she wakes up. Poor babies are locked up all day.

Waiting rooms are weird places. A bunch of folks are chatting and the lady in charge is VERY elderly and hard of hearing. She is cute and probably a volunteer. Not so good at answering questions though.

All the rest of the folks are staring at their electronic devices. Hey, we could be at my brothers movie night! Some folks talking others staring at devices. Ha ha.

Well, I have run home and let the pups out. Keep Brenda in your thoughts.

Until later...

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have to do my Enbrel shot tonight.  Last week when I did my shot I had an oops.  I use the sub-Q needles and not the sure click pre-fill applicator.  There are parts that have to be put together to give myself the shot.  I didn't have the bottle of liquid screwed on all the way to the plunger and the liquid poured out.  I watched $800 worth of liquid pour out.  It was almost funny.  Or sad.  Not sure which.  Tonight I will be more careful although in all the years I have been giving myself shots, this is the first time I had that happen. I once had a needle come undone...

I just saw that Enbrel commercial with Phil Mickelson.  Our family got into a discussion about that commercial last week.  I was telling them how I hate that commercial because it makes it sound like if you take one shot you will be cured and out running a marathon!  I have been taking the shots since they have been on the market and I have not run a marathon yet.  No disco dancing all night long.  In fact, I have gone from wearing high heels to wearing sensible shoes!   This weekend I have a new pain in my hip joint that made walking quite painful so I don't see any disco dancing in my future either!

The discussion became about whether Enbrel worked for Phil Mickelson or not.  Which I said it probably does but it may not work for everyone in the same way.  It is not the miracle drug the commercial makes it out to be.  Phil could not play golf, took some shots and now his is winning tournaments.  I think that is great for him but the commercial should have a disclaimer that says "results may vary" or "results not typical".   Some folks hear I am on Enbrel and think I should have the same results as Mr. Mickelson but it doesn't work that way.  Plus the commercial doesn't mention what other drugs Mr. Mickelson may be taking in coordination with Enbrel.

Anyway, tonight is my shot night.

Tomorrow is Brenda's surgery so it is early to bed!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, October 13, 2012


On vacation we ate Mexican/TexMex a few times. (I am still clear on the difference between Mexican food and TexMex) But it did mot satisfy my craving for Little Chihuahua. Tonight we went to my favorite burrito place, Little Chihuahua. They have fancy burritos, not plain beans and rice burritos. I order the Black Bean and Fried Plantain Burrito (pictured below poorly). It is delicious. Like, dream about it good.

The salsa and black beans give it a spicy kick while the fried plantains are sweet and delicious. The roasted red peppers give it a roasted taste. The whole thing just tastes so good that I have dreams about this burrito. They also have a wild mushroom burrito that I want to try but I can't get past the black beans and fried plantain burrito.

Isn't it funny when you have a food that is so good that you dream about it? A few years ago we went to Vegas for my brothers wedding and Brenda and I ate at the restaurant Todd English's Olives at the Bellagio. I can still taste the food. It was that good. I would go back to Vegas just to eat.

Do you have a food you dream about?

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Today I went to the ankle doctor because my ankle still hurts. Surgery was May 9, today is October 11 so why is my ankle still hurting? It has been 5 months. I get that I heal slowly and it should still ache a little but it should not hurt with every step.

The doctor agreed. She wanted to have me get an MRI but the chances of The-Insurance-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named giving me another MRI are slim. So she gave me a shot instead. She took a big long needle and shot something into my ankle. We now wait and see if that fixes it. If not an MRI in January when I pay for it.

So far today it feels better. Yay!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


After a month I finally got the MRI on my leg. The verdict is that I have an asymmetrical fat lobule in my calf. It is not big or bad enough to be a lipedema.

It is not a bruise or torn ligament or cancer. I don't know what to do about a fat lobule but I am sure a doctor will tell me soon. It is not life threatening. Life is good!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 8, 2012


Sitting here in the waiting room of the MRI department thinking about the nice nap I will soon get to have. I love to take a nap in MRI machines. Wrap me in a warm blanket and I am good to go. I fill out all the paperwork and told them where all my metal is located (markers in my breasts and clips in my ankle) and now wait. I got here too early because I never know what the parking situation will be.

Hospital paperwork is so funny. First they make me verify my name, social security number, date of birth, address and then have me fill out another form with all the same information on it. Doesn't that seem stupid to anyone other than me? Couldn't they just make the form so they could have me verify it and then they print it on the rest of the forms that need the information?  I am telling you I could revamp healthcare and save the industry! I would be hailed as the Lee Iacocca of health care.

MRI is finished.  I asked the woman to not give me the updates before each MRI test.  "This test will take 3 minutes".   I had a migraine and wanted to fall asleep.  I love sleeping in MRI machines.  Put that blanket on me and wrap me like a burrito.  I will fall asleep.  This place even gave me ear plugs instead of those bulky things to put over your ears.

I will get the results in a few days.  I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday morning. 

Wish me luck!

Until tomorrow...


Here we are coming from vacation and we are stuck on the runway. Of course I have to pee. I was waiting until we landed but being stuck on the runway has put a kink in that plan.
Yay the plane is moving!

After sitting on the tarmac for 20 minutes we finally go to de-board the plane.  Finally on solid ground!  Back home.

 First thing to do was to pee.  Then pick up the luggage and home sweet home.

Metal Tree at The Art Museum of NC
Cows on Parade in Raleigh

We had a very good time in Raleigh visiting my brother and his family.  Visiting museums, playing with babies, watching movies.   We saw the cows on parade too.  Watched my brother and his wife run a race.  Met new friends.  Just a fun time all around!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Isn't it great when you meet new friends? The feeling that someone "gets" you. The possibility of having someone to talk to or email or go to the movies with. 
It can be such a let down when that potential friendship never blossoms. You call, they email but you can not rekindle what you had when you met.  The friendship just withers. It is sad but you are at a loss as to what to do to nurture it.
This time will be different you say. You will work harder to stay in touch and find things in common.  Friends are hard to come by.
Two days until my MRI!
Until tomorrow...

Friday, October 5, 2012


There are many different types of gatherings. Family gatherings, work gatherings, and gathering with friends to name a few. This post is about gathering with friends. I have been privileged to be included in "movie night" at my brother's house. Movie night is when a bunch of friends come over every Friday night to watch two movies. Each person either brings their dinner or eats before they arrive.  Sometime in between the movies there is some sweet like cookies or cake.  The movies are chosen by what the group wants to view.  This group seems to like the same genre of movies.  While I was there there were up to 12 people attending. There is a core group but any additional folks are welcome.

The funniest part is that many of the people bring their electronic toys. So people are working, playing video games, blogging, web surfing, etc. while watching (or not watching) the movies. It is very funny to see.  Although quite helpful when I ran into a blogger error on my iPad!  All those computer geeks in one place...

I have thought about doing a movie night once a month at my house. It is quite fun to gather with friends to watch a movie. It is a great way to hang out with friends.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, October 4, 2012


People have been sending me postcards since I was a little girl. I have hundreds of postcards from all over the world. Friends and relatives know to send me postcards when they travel. Sometimes I take out the boxes and look at the postcards and remember people sending them to me. Some of the postcards are my postcards I sent to people and they saved them and gave them back to me for my collection. Some have my little girl handwriting on them. Since my dad traveled for business, he sent me postcards from all his destinations. Even now that he is retired he still sends me postcards from all his vacations.

I love the surprise of opening the mailbox and seeing a photo of some far off destination. This is why I send postcards to people. I want them get a surprise in the mail. I know I love getting postcards in the mail.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This week I needed to shop for two bags. Ask any woman how hard it is to find the perfect bag. I have been looking for one of the bags for months.

First, I have been trying to find a leather bag in which to carry my iPad for a long time in vain. i have searched stores and the internet. either the bags are not right, the wrong size or TOO expensive. I need a bag for my iPad not because I am spoiled but for safety. I worry about it being stolen. Where I live people have been mugged for their smartphones and iPads, so I don't want to carry it out in the open. So I end up leaving it at home which contradicts why I bought it! I want to use it at doctors offices as well as blogging and recipes.

Second, my airline carry-on bag handle broke so I needed to buy another one. Luckily it didn't break running for a flight! That would have sucked!

My sister-in-law and I went on a shopping spree. In two days I bought a new carry-on bag with sturdier handles and a cool bag to carry my iPad. The black and brown photo is the iPad bag.

It was fun having someone to shop with. I went to a store where I had never seen so many bags, purses, pocketbooks, clutches, etc. in my life. It was eye opening. My sister-in-law helped me wade through an overwhelming experience.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It only took a month, to the day, to get an appointment for a MRI but I got one! Yesterday I got the call that I am authorized. That is good. That means I can get the test done and The-Insurance-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named will pay for it. The test will be on October 8, Columbus Day. Hip, hip hurrah!

Today someone noticed the bump on my leg so I guess it isn't going away. Sometimes I wonder if I am imagining it. You know what I mean? This has been carrying on for so long it seems like maybe it isn't real.

Now I can relax because I finally have an appointment scheduled. Whew!

Until tomorrow...