Wednesday, July 31, 2013


This week my partner, Brenda, and I got into a heated debate about electricity.  Brenda is concerned about electricity leaking appliances.  That means appliances that are plugged in and turned off but are still running in the background.  Appliances like computers, coffeemakers and microwaves.  Even if they are off, they are still running because they have a clock or some sort of thing running in the background.  Here is a List of 30 Electricity Leaking Standby Appliances

I tried to tell her that not all appliances leak electricity.  Lamps, lights, old fashioned coffee makers, blenders, etc do not leak electricity.  They have an off switch.  The off switch is the same as unplugging the appliance. 

The professionals say we should use a power strip but I don't want to plug my TV or DVD player into a power strip and then turn the power strip off all the time.  I would have to reprogram the TV and DVD player over and over again.  I think that is silly.  I know it sucks power but who wants to reprogram their Wii all the time?  Who has that much time? 

Anyway, I guess until I can convince Brenda that lights don't leak electricity, we will continue this debate!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Let's play MadLibs.  Since I can't say what I want to say,  I will put spaces where I can't put words.  I will give you numbers and you list nouns.  Then you put the numbered nouns where there are spaces.  Then read it out loud and see how funny it reads. 


Okay, I got a phone call from a 1._______ today to talk about 2.________.  I can't tell you what it is but it is killing me!  It was a hard phone call to get and harder to hear.  But I can't tell you.  I don't want to write anything that could get me into trouble.  The 3._______ was not very nice.  Almost made me cry.  But then I got angry, very angry!

I have to call a 4._______ so I can deal with the 5.________ and 6.___________.  Then I will be much calmer.  The 7._________ will take care of the 8.____________.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, July 29, 2013


Today I went to see my RA doc.  She didn't do many of the usual things like take my blood pressure or test my hands.  Instead she just wanted to hear about the cruise.  She was upset to hear it didn't go well.  Shocked, really, that I couldn't find food for the first few days.  Then I told her about the fall.

She looked at my knee and read the emergency room papers.  She said, "they must have been frightened with this amount of antibiotics they gave you."  I guess they must have given me a mega dose of the IV antibiotics at the hospital. 

Then she looked at my knee and said it looked like I should get an MRI.  She is also concerned about the indentation in my lower leg.  She said all sorts of medical terms but I couldn't keep track. 

Only four more days until I see the doc.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Yesterday we went to the park to see our neighbor "flag" that is where you take, usually, tie-dyed fabric and wave it around while you dance. It is fun to watch.  It was fun to spend some time in the park. 

Then it was movie night and we watched "Salmon Fishing ion the Yemen", which was good.  We were laughing. It was different than I thought it would be. 

Today I went to a sort of street fair. I got some free treats for the dogs, bought my book club book and spoke to a guy in a bike store.  It was nice to get out and be outside.

Then I went food shopping.  I was tired then so I relaxed by watching more of The Game Of Thrones Season Two. I am catching up. Before I took a long hot bath. 

I think I over did it. My knees and hips are killing me.  I had the chance to borrow a bike at the street fair but I turned it down, I didn't think my first time riding a bike in 20 years should be at a street fair with little kids all over the place on scooters and dogs everywhere. Also, I was by myself and that didn't seem safe. I did feel like I was chickening out but with my record of getting hurt, it is probably better if I played it safe. 

Tonight I will just relax and go to bed.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, July 27, 2013


We were all set to watch The Call at movie night this month but the only person to show up had already seen it. So we picked another movie Salmon Fishing on the Yemen. It was really good! It was funny and had a great story.   

Today we went to a flagging event. It had such wonderful colors and patterns. I brought a picnic.

I am so tired. I am falling asleep typing.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, July 26, 2013


I told Brenda about my idea of buying a bicycle and she got excited.  She thinks this is a great idea.  She wants to go shopping too.  This weekend we have a bunch of stuff planned. Let's see if we do any of it.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I have a job where I get to meet a lot of people. Some of these people are not at their best. Recently I came in contact with someone in a domestic violence situation. It was hard to sit and listen to them explain their situation and tell me their fears. It was hard because years ago I was in a situation where I was not physically hit but mentally "hit". So I understand how difficult it is to untangle yourself from that situation. But how important it is to get out. 

I took a bit of time to talk with her about how strong she was and how she could do anything she wanted. I helped with resources and told her they would help. Restraining orders, therapy, legal assistance.  I told her when you are in it it seems too enormous but it only took one step for me. If I could get out she could do it too.  He didn't like it but that didn't matter. I found out I was stronger than I thought. 

I don't know what she will do but if she does get out it leads to one ending and I don't want to hear she was killed.  

Anyway I hope it helped in some small way.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Today I called and made an appointment to see my doc next week.  I saw a story on ABC news about a stomach virus that has hit 6 states across America.  It is a cyclospora infection.  The reason I am worried about it is that starting on 6/30 when I got off the cruise I have had serious stomach issues.  I thought it was from the horrible antibiotics I was taking but I have been off them for weeks now and my stomach is still not settled down.  It is better but not great.  I also want to see an orthopedic surgeon about my knee.  We will see what he says.

After yesterday's grilling adventure, I had five ears of corn left and I had to cook them before they went bad.  So I opted to boil them.  I liked the grilling a lot (and so did Happi!) but I got home late and I didn't have the time to do the grilling thing.

I am watching one of my favorite cooking shows, Master Chef.  I fantasize that I could go on that show.  But then they have to make something crazy like eclairs and I know I would suck because I don't know how to make eclairs.  I am rooting for the vegetarian.  It is the first time they have a vegetarian on the show make it this far.  She is such a trouper.  I could never cook some of the things she has cooked. Oh, no, my girl just got voted off!  How sad.  I wanted a vegetarian to win.

But Master Chef makes me hungry.  I basically eat through the whole show.  All that food.  Especially if I am hungry, forget it!  In fact right now I am thinking about the soy ice cream in the fridge.  Yum!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I went to physical therapy today and the PT looked at my knee.  She felt my knee and said I should definitely see a knee specialist.  It is possible that I injured my tibial tubercle.  The technical term for the bone below the knee cap.  That is where I landed when I fell and it feels different on the knee where I fell.

Last night I sent the letter to Celebrity Cruise letting them know officially that I was injured on the cruise.  I know you are thinking what took so long?  The first week, I was without the internet so I could not send it.  The second week I was just getting my life back on track and I had the doctor's appointment and the breast cancer biopsy.  I really could not think of anything else.  Last week I wrote the letter and this week I sent it with all the forms from the hospital emergency visits.

Tonight I decided to grill some stuff on the grill.  I grilled some corn, grape tomatoes on a stick, a yam cut into slices and some apricots.  The apricots didn't come out so good.  They stuck to the grill even though I put oil on the apricots and the grill.  I think peaches are better grilled.  I just love to grill.  I really need to read the vegan grilling book.

I have been thinking of riding a bike.  Knowing my history, how much trouble can I get into riding a bike?  I don't want a fancy bike.  Just a bike I can ride.  I am thinking of asking my friend and neighbor to help me get a bike and go riding with me.  She rides everywhere.  In fact she is going to be in a long ride  in the fall.  You know one of those rides from Seattle to San Francisco or New York to Boston.  I just want to ride down the street!  And back.

Until tomorrow...


I got my first call from my new Enbrel distributor today.  The Insurance-Company-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named felt it necessary to yet again change my distributor.  This will be my fourth distributor since I have been on Enbrel.  They seem really good and they were really helpful when I left for vacation by getting me my prescription a week early before I left the country.

This week I called a week in advance just like I used to with the old distributor and I got a really nice surprise.  I was told the Enbrel would be arriving tomorrow.  What?!  I don't have to wait a week to get my medicine?  Now I really like this distributor. 

Then they asked me a bunch of questions that were different from the previous distributor.  One of the questions was: Have you had an infection in the last month?  Well, yes I have!  I told her about my accident and infection and she questioned me about it.  Was it gone?  Was I sure?  How long did I take the antibiotics?  Did I get cleared by a doc?  I was kind of impressed.  Once she felt confident that I was cleared, she said she would send the medicine.  I like them more and more.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Today I returned my capris to Kohls. I bought the capris before we went on vacation and took them out to wear them on the cruise and the rivet/button came right off. I never got to wear them on the trip. Today I took them back and got a $21 credit. Then I went to buy another pair and the cost is now $24. Last time I tried to do a swap at Kohls the person told me I could not do that, I had to return and buy again.  

I was standing in line to purchase them and a guy, who seemed to be the manager, asked me if everything was okay and I told him the story. He said he could take care of that. I said I can get them for $21? He said I can do better than that. I was charged only $10!  That was very nice of him.  Makes up for not being able wear them and schlepping them 10,000 miles. 

Then I started cooking. Brenda and I had a disagreement about cooking in 2013 and cooking in the 1960s and 1970s.  I feel like the cooking our mothers did was different than the cooking I do today. And not because I am a vegan/vegetarian. Because it seems like the cooking back then seemed simpler. The meals were simpler. Besides the fact that TV dinner had come into vogue, most of the meals I remember we ate meatloaf, potatoes and some sort of veg. Broiled fish and rice and veg. Many times the vegetables were frozen except in the summer when we went to the roadside markets and got string beans or when our garden veggies were ready to eat. 

My mom was part of a group that cooked fancy dinners so sometimes she would try them out on us like beef Wellington.  But still they were the meat, potato and veg combination. 

The reason Brenda and I got into this discussion was that I said I could not see our parents cooking like I have been cooking. Tonight I made Fettuccini with Walnuts and Zucchini Ribbons and added Basil Walnut Pesto.

Tasty!  I just can't imagine our mothers making a dinner like this.  I don't remember seeing fresh herbs or toasted walnuts. I just cook differently. It does take longer.  But I will have enough for a few days. 

I also made Oven-roasted Cauliflower. It tastes so good.  Not as good as the roasted broccoli. 

Then I had some overly ripe strawberries so I thought ZOKU! I took the strawberries and some sugar water and threw it in the blender and popped that in the Zoku. Now I have these tasty strawberry pops. Perfect for a sunny day.

What a day!  Now I have to work this evening to catch up! 

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Today we actually went to the movies. It has been ages since we went to an actual movie theatre to see a movie.  We went to see Red 2.  It was good. It was funny and full of action.  Helen Mirren is great. John Malkovich is really funny and had some hysterical clothing.  If you want action this is the movie to watch. 

Until tomorrow...

Friday, July 19, 2013


Today I had a great lunch. Last night I cooked a barley salad. My lunch today was leftover green beans, barley salad and orzo salad. It was so pretty I had to take a photo.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Since the day I got off the ship from my vacation 6/30, my stomach has been messed up. Since I began taking antibiotics on the same day, I was not sure if my upset stomach is from the meds or from something else.  No matter why my stomach is messed up, after more than two weeks, I am tired of it.  I think it is time to call the doc.  

Is it a reaction from the antibiotics or some type of norovirus? I have no idea but I guess I need to find out soon.  

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


We have all lost the TV remote.  We find it in the couch, under the couch, in a drawer, in the dogs mouth, in the dogs bed, basically all over the place.  About 1.5 years ago we lost the back cover to our remote.  One night the remote went flying off the bed when one of us rolled over and pulled on the comforter.  The remote went one way and the back and the batteries went another.  Since it was late at night I just left it and thought I will find it in the morning. 

The next morning I found the remote.  I found the batteries.  No remote back cover.  Over the last 1.5 years we have searched under the bed (we have a base type bed) and behind the bed.  We searched in the drawers under the bed.  We searched all the items around the bed.  We searched in the closet (thinking it flew under the door of the closet).  No where.  The remote back cover was no where to be found.  Brenda found a piece of cardboard and made a back cover that she taped on.  Every now and then I would get frustrated and search for the back cover.  I knew it had to be somewhere.  It could not have just disappeared!

Yesterday I grabbed my clog type shoes that I have not worn since my ankle injury.  I wiped the dust off and something was in the toe of the right shoe.  Guess what it was?  The remote back cover!  It has been more than 1.5 years since I bought those shoes and had to stop wearing them almost immediately.  So now we have the remote back cover again and I can stop obsessing about where the back cover is.  I can relax!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


After six years in book club, I have learned a few things from being in the club.

  1. How to pick a book for a group to read.  It is a talent picking a book that a group will like and that a group can discuss in depth.  It doesn't have to be a book that the group ultimately likes but they have to like it enough to want to read it and therefore choose it initially.  Whether they ultimately like it, well that is always up for grabs.
  2. How to not be a nay-sayer. There are a couple of Nay-Sayers in the group. When they make their point they frequently start with "no, I think..."  I feel that puts down the other people in the group.  I like to give my opinion without disagreeing with their opinion.  They don't have to be wrong for me to have my opinion.
  3. People like certain types of books and gravitate toward them.  Our book club reads all sorts of books but there are a few people who always gravitate toward the same type of book.  The same type of writing.  The long prose with flowery sentences that have long descriptions of a thing.  Like a paragraph describing a cloud.  That type of writing drives me crazy.  I like to read for fun and not to learn something or to spend an hour reading a description about a flower.
  4. Some people like to talk only about the book and others like to add information their personal experiences.  
It is funny to be a group.  I am usually not a joiner.  In my job it makes it makes it difficult for me to be a joiner.  I am also not a joiner anyway.  I never joined a gym.  No team sports once I was out of school.  No groups.  The most I did was volunteer.  In college I joined a few things but I was always the outsider in the group.  Even in high school I was the person who was in the group but was so far out on the fringe and was in so many groups, no one claimed me.   I was in a lot of yearbook group photos.

Anyway, the decision continues.  Do I stay with the group or do I drop out?  I think I stick it out for now. There are only three more meetings this year.  I like the two new members so maybe they will tip the balance.

I cooked a fantastic pasta salad today.  It is Pasta Salad with Roasted Broccoli.  It tastes delicious.  The broccoli tastes so rich when roasted.  Yum!

Until tomorrow...

Monday, July 15, 2013


Tonight was my bookclub meeting. So much happened. I left my clients early so I could finish cleaning up and making the dessert.

I decided to make a vegan dessert. I bought pears to make Maple-Pecan Baked Pears. Basically you take 4 pears and cut them in half. Brush them with lemon. Put them in a greased pan cut side up.  Combine in a bowl chopped dates, chopped pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Mix and spoon into pears. Cover the pans and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve two halves warm with vanilla non-dairy ice cream.

The bookclub said they liked it. There were no empty plates.

There is a member in the bookclub who has a small dog. She brings her dog everywhere. Says the dog can't be left alone.  I thought I had made it clear that it would not be smart to bring her dog to my house since I have two dogs who are not used to having another dog come in their house. It is not the best time to introduce another dog into the house during bookclub. She has never brought the dog to my house.

Tonight she called to say she would be coming but would be late.  No mention of a dog.  Then she showed up and said "I hope you don't mind that I brought my dog" while she walked in.  I said "I wish you had asked when you called."  I have two semi wild dogs.  So I spent the whole night trying to keep my dogs calm.  Unfortunately Little Lucky could not stay calm so she had to go in her cage.  So, my dog had to spend the night in a cage because her dog was in he house. Then she wanted to feed her dog dinner.  Great!  That sounds like a disaster. My dogs would tear her dog up for food.  We had to sequester her dog in order to feed it.

When she left she said thank you letting me bring my dog.  Did I have a choice?

Now comes the decision. Do I want to continue? I know I keep talking about it. I am just not happy about the books and the people.  Another person who I like dropped out tonight.  That makes it less desirable.  Not sure how to make this decision. I started the bookclub so how do I leave it?

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have on and off been watching the Zimmerman trial.  I watched most of the closing arguments since I was working from home that day.  I watched when the jury came back with a NOT GUILTY and I actually screamed at the TV.  NO! 

How can a person who is not a cop, carry a gun and shoot an unarmed teenager who is on the way back from a convenience store and not be found guilty of something?  Despite all the other stuff.  It is incomprehensible to me. 

If my leg was better I would out on the streets marching.  The jury got it wrong.  Juries get it wrong sometimes.  OJ is another example.  Juries don't always get to hear everything and therefore they can't make an informed decision like those of us trying him in the media.

I will just have to do my protesting from here. 

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Since last Saturday Happi has been scratching. It has been relentless. All day all night. Chewing, itching, scratching. Drives me crazy. I spoke to the doc earlier this week and we put her on Benedryl. Made it a little bit better. Today a different doc saw Happi and she thinks Happi is allergic to flea bites. She found an infected one on her back.  She put her on antibiotics.  Then she also put Happi on these oral flea meds. We are testing them to see if they works.  Maybe I will sleep tonight.

Just saw the Trayvon Martin decision. When will we get it right?

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 12, 2013


My knee is bruised from my fall. My breast is bruised from my biopsy. I feel like one giant bruise! 

But this is my final day of the horrible antibiotics. I can't wait to be done with them. The cleared up my infection but wreaked havoc on my digestive system. I will not miss them.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Well, someone is working overtime!  The hospital called today to check on me and they also gave me the results.  It is benign fibrocystic breast tissue.  Yippee! 

Fibrocystic breast tissue is NOT fibrocystic breast disease. This incredibly common condition simply means that your breasts have denser breast tissue and that “lumps and bumps” are common to the feel of your breasts. 

I have to go back in six months to have another MRI.  As I have said before, I am sure by the time I am 80 I will have a lovely glow from all the MRIs, CT scans, x-rays. 

I am relieved.  Thank you all for sending your good thoughts my way.  Between the Power of the Tiara and your thoughts, it all came out okay.  I am feeling much better today.  The pain is subsiding and will feel much better today.  I am taking it easy and working from home today with my feet up in my pajamas!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Today was my breast biopsy. I was dressed and had my tiara on at 11am. I got to my appointment at the time my voicemail said to be there: 11:30 am. They said you are one hour early. The man left the wrong time on my voicemail. The appointment was 12:30. It was not worth going home so I sat in the hospital lobby and read the news and emails on my smart phone.  At 12:30 I went back for my appointment.

I was given a lovely set of hospital pants and gown to put on while they put in an IV. Then after signing consent forms, I was taken into the room. I had to take off my gown, climb up on the MRI table and lay down on the contraption. All without putting pressure on my knee. This MRI is done with you laying on our stomach. In and out I go in the MRI machine. Then the doctor comes and shoots me with lidocaine. The first set of shots didn't hurt at all. Then came the second set... Okay that made the pain in my knee go away!  Then back in the MRI machine I go.

Just when I think it may be over, the real work begins.  The doc sits down and says now I am going to do the biopsy. Oh! Last time I had a breast biopsy it was an ultrasound guided biopsy. I liked that better because I could watch it on the monitor. I am such a medical geek. With this biopsy your face is in a  thing like when you have a massage. This was not like a massage!

So the biopsy begins. Get ready for pressure.  There was pressure and then the sharp pain. There was pain over and over. It was unexpected. I don't remember that from last time. She must have pushed in five times. After she did that I began getting hot just like when I was on the airplane. I needed fresh air and some water. But I was not allowed to move. They put me back in he MRI machine for one minute. Then we were done. They got me water and fresh air. I felt better immediately.  They wrapped me up and sent me home.


Now hours later, it is painful.  I am sure tomorrow it will feel better.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Today I went to physical therapy for my neck.  The funny thing is that my neck hurts less since my knee injury.  When I fell on my knee on the cruise, I wrenched my neck.  That movement seems to have made my neck feel better.  Isn't that funny?  Hurt one thing (my knee) and help another thing (my neck).  I need to do my exercises and use the TENS machine and take advantage of the good feelings.

Tomorrow is my breast biopsy.  It is going to be a MRI directed biopsy.  I have been told I will be face down in an MRI machine.  I can hardly wait.  Just what I need: more bruises!  Think of me at 11:30 tomorrow morning.  I will be the one in the tiara.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, July 8, 2013


I went to see my primary care doctors substitute today. She was very nice. She said my knee looks like it is healing although slowly. She cleared up my confusion surrounding the antibiotics. She said I need to take it four times per day even if the doses are less than 6 hours apart. It is more important that I get the medication.  She also cleared up my confusion about my stomach problems; it is the antibiotics.  

She said it would take some time for my knee to heal completely. The bruises are deep and the trauma to it was severe. I just need to keep an eye on it and to make sure the infection doesn't return.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 7, 2013


This is a chronology of our cruise vacation.  Since we didn't have easy access to the interweb while on the cruise or in New Jersey, I kept track of the highlights so I could post all at once when we returned.  It was hard not to post every day and I appreciate those of you who wrote that you missed my posts!  I missed you too! 

Friday 6/21/13
Today was all about running around: taking the bird to boarding, dropping off the dogs at the boarding facility, finishing up last minute client requests, going to the bank, pharmacy, post office, etc.  Then setting rat traps (thought I would do it one more time while we were gone), filling the pond, turning down the hot tub, charging the iPod, iPad, computer, phone, camera (crazy isn't it!), putting audio books on the iPod, and movies on the iPads.  The packing it all up.  I was still going at it at 12:30 am.  Ugh.

Saturday 6/22/13
Woke up late because I didn't hear the alarm go off at 2:45 am.  I think I dreamed that it was going off and didn't wake up!  Finally at 3:05 am I woke up and got going.  We made it on time to the airport but there was tension in the house from a lack of sleep.  Lots to do in the morning.  Turning everything off, finish up the last minute packing.  We got to the airport and for the first time my bag was over weight.  I had to pull out clothes on the sidewalk and shove them in Brenda's bag to make weight so they didn't charge me $100 for being a few pounds over.  The plane was so full.  There was this one girl who had this enormous suitcase and she was bound and determined to shove it in the overhead compartment. It was not going to fit and there was a line of people waiting to sit down.  She ended up taking clothes out and I have no idea what she did with them.  It was so obnoxious.  She had no business bringing that huge suitcase on the plane.  We slept almost the whole way across country from exhaustion.

We landed at Newark and took the shuttle to our hotel.  We are staying here for the night and hook up with the cruise tomorrow.  Brenda's sister and family came to visit since they live close by.  My brother B and his partner B are also going on the cruise and they are also staying at the same hotel.  We all met up and went to dinner.  We had heard mixed reviews about this restaurant but it turned out very nice. The service could use some assistance but the food was quite good.  It was fun to see them and catch up.  Brenda's grandnephew is getting so big!  I can't believe he is 10 years old.  Now I am going to sleep so I am bright eyed and bushy tailed for the cruise tomorrow.  I have my Dramamine patch on so I will not get seasick!

Sunday, 6/23/13
Day we go on the cruise.  But first I have to tell you about the continental breakfast at the hotel.  I am not a buffet eating girl.  I tend to avoid them and now my doctor has forbidden me from eating at them.  The only option I had to get any food at the hotel was the continental buffet breakfast.  The hotel was fairly full and the line for the buffet was long.  First the guy in front of me starts coughing.  Then a lady takes her used water bottle and fills it up from the water spicket.  It would have been fine but she shoved her used bottle with all her germs on it right up on to the spicket.  Yuck!  Then I see two people take food with their hands and then put it back on the food platter.  Disgusting!  I opted to eat cereal from this container that you could not get into that had a turn knob to get the cereal into your bowl and a cup of tea.  Then I went back to my room and ate a protein bar.

Then we went to the airport to return the car and get subway sandwiches.  That was quite an experience.  They made my sandwich fine. Then they made Brenda's sandwich but the woman accidentally gave to the guy in front of me in line.  He opened it and gave it back.  Well, Brenda was not going to eat it once some guy opened it.  So I had to go back a third time to get a new sandwich made.

Finally we got on the boat.  It is nice.  Not as big as I thought.  Our room is nice. 
  We love our balcony. When we boarded we had to do the fire drill.  They took Brenda and I long way around to get to our Muster  station.  I swear I may not ever find that place again.  They should not expect to see me in case of a fine.  Plus the life boats are one floor down and I plan to jump!

Here is the problem area.  I have been worried about a couple of things for this trip and one of them is food.  I am practically vegan and I find it really hard to get food when I anywhere outside the West Coast.   This is no exception.  First most of the people don't know what vegan is.  Second, despite me calling to make sure there would be food, there isn't.  It is nice that the menu tells me if it is glutten free or lactose free but that is not helpful in some cases.  They also do not list all of the ingredients.  The waiter felt sorry for me the first night and brought me extra food he knew I could eat.  But even extra's of a beet salad is not enough to sustain me.

Monday, 6/24/13
Today was spent exploring the ship.  It has some nice features: pool, hot tubs, mineral bath pool, spa, etc.  The pool is filled with salt water. Too cold for my blood.  I am thinking of a mineral bath. One thing though: that stupid staph thing or whatever on my chest has come back a bit. 

I had a veggie burger for lunch. I spoke to the maitre de and he said making food for me should be no problem.  I just needed to look at the menu the night before and tell them what I want.  Then we relaxed in the shade for a little bit.  Then we got dressed for dinner for Formal Night.  There were women here in sequin dresses.  Crazy!  I saw one woman here in a fancy dress with a price tag still attached.  I know what she is doing!  I was not in a sequin dress.  At the end of the dinner, I asked to see the menus for tomorrow.  It was a different waiter and she was not as helpful.  I didn't see anything I could eat or transform.  It all had dairy in it.  I don't know what to do.  My meal was a Portobello mushroom and spinach.  Sad thing is I can't eat garlic and they cooked it in garlic.  Now I have an upset stomach!    Anyway, I got frustrated when there was nothing I could eat.  I kinda stormed out and got upset.  I returned and apologized.  Brenda calmed the woman down.  We decided that it would be better tomorrow. 

At least I have something to eat for the morning.  I just get so frustrated and hungry that I can't always think straight. 

Tuesday, 6/25/13
I had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast.  I found out they had soy milk so that made me happy.  My step sister and her boyfriend spoke to someone who told them that there was a separate menu for vegans!  What?!  So after lunch we went in search of this person.  We didn’t find him but we found Sriz and Mickey instead. My saviors.  They sorted the whole situation out.  Mickey is a vegetarian so he totally understood.  I actually cried from happiness.  I was going to eat on this trip!  They called the Executive Chef and he said it was no problem, I just had to tell him the night before what I wanted and he would cook it.  It was a bit too late for that night but we were set up for the next night.  Each night Sriz would come and ask me what to cook and my meals were specially made and delivered. 
We just hung out on the boat and read books and walked around.  Getting a bit boring...  We had family photo night. We all wore khakis and white shirts.

Wednesday, 6/26/13
We docked in Bermuda and got off the boat today!   View from our window. 

Brenda and I took a ferry to Hamilton and then a bus to Horseshoe Bay to snorkel.  The snorkeling was okay.  Not too many fish.  I was covered with sunscreen, hat, and rash guard. It was interesting to take a local bus and travel with the locals.  I didn’t eat much lunch and didn’t feel well for dinner.  They sent dinner to the room. It was a meal of tofu, veggies and couscous.  Best meal yet!  I felt well enough later to attend the glass bottom boat trip.  It was okay.  We really didn’t see many fish.  I spent a lot of time with my head out the window.  They showed us a site where a ship ran aground.  

Thursday, 6/27/13
Another day in Bermuda.  Our only full day on the island.  We decided to go to St. George’s.   I heard there was good snorkeling there.  We missed the first ferry so we had to wait around for the 11 am ferry.  It takes 45 minutes to get to St. George’s.  On the way over we heard that they changed the return ferry from 3 pm to 3:30 pm.  I needed to return around 4 pm to do some work.  Since that was not going to work, we got some take-out food and ran back to the ferry and came back to the dock.  We decided to try Snorkel Beach close to the dock.  It turned out to be the best snorkel place.  We saw many different color fish: white, black, blue, purple, yellow striped and really big fish.  Brenda saw a cannon.  It was a lot of fun.  I am so glad we bought snorkel equipment to take with us.  After snorkeling, we went back to the boat where I did my little bit of work and then went to the adult thermal pool.  It was quite soothing.  I had masala potatoes and veggies.  Each night I had a super sorbet!  We attended the only show of our cruise.  It was an illusionist.  He was funny.  We stayed for a few tricks.

Friday, 6/28/13
We were docked until 4:15pm.  We got up early and got going.  We went to the little market to get T-shirts and return Brenda’s waterproof money holder.  It was leaking.  Then we went right to Snorkel Beach. 
  Once again we saw all sorts of fish.  They were all over the place.  Schools of minnows come right up to you.  We ate lunch and Brenda went in again with my step sister.  I was exhausted.  I went in twice.  That was enough.  We were back on the ship by 2:30 pm.  We wanted to be on early enough that we were not in some big line waiting to get onboard.  We relaxed and watched as we pulled away from the island.  Then it was another formal night and photos of the family.  We stopped off for drinks before dinner.  I had this great non-alcoholic drink called a watermelon tropic. Delicious!
Everywhere you turn there is someone taking your photo! 

On the way back to our room after dinner, I tripped over the cleaning bucket in the hallway.  I was following Brenda and I didn’t see it.  I fell flat on my knee and on my face.  I was crying on the floor.  My knee was already swelling.  I got back to my room and the assistant room attendant apologized.  He got me some ice.  My knee was already turning black and blue. 
  It was not pretty. It was intense pain.

Saturday, 6/29/13
I woke up and my knee was stiff.  I had taken a pain killer so I slept soundly.  I decided I should go see the doctor after breakfast.  I limped around and went to see the doctor.  The receptionist basically said that it would cost to see the doc but he probably would not be able to do anything.  Here are plastic bags for ice.  So I limped around all day.  Meanwhile the ocean was tumultuous.  People were getting seasick left and right.  For some reason it didn’t bother me.  Yes, I had the patch but so did some of the folks getting sea sick.  The rolling just didn’t end.
We had to pack up and get our bags ready to be taken downstairs by 11 pm.  I had to organize to have my Enbrel stay in my room in the fridge.  That was a huge negotiation.  You would think I was negotiating a peace treaty!  “I am sorry this just isn’t done.”  Why?  “Because”.  Why can’t it be done?  “Because he has to do inventory”.  Well can’t he do inventory now and take the stuff out?  “no”.  Why?  “Because that is not how it is done.”  Finally I get them to agree to let me keep the Enbrel in the fridge but then I have to have the ice pack refrozen and I have no freezer.  Another negotiation.  This whole trip has been one long negotiation!  

Sunday, 6/30/13
At 5 am a knock at the door.  My ice pack has arrived.  At 6 am I get up to get going.  Shower, pack and get down to breakfast.  We have to vacate the room by 8 am but our disembark time is 9:50 am.  Lots of time to kill.  We start watching a movie but then the whole family shows up.  We all start reminiscing about the cruise.  One by one we all disembark.  Finally it is me and Brenda.  Yeah!  Back on land.  In a car and South to Brenda’s mom’s house. 

We are at her house for about an hour when we decide that my knee looks worse and is very hot.  I need a hospital.  We all get in the car and go to the emergency room.  I get called in right away and get x-rays immediately.  They come back clean.  Nothing broken.  Then blood work.  All clear.  The consensus is that I have another staff infection along the lines of mersa.  Cellulitis is what it is called.  A skin infection caused by bacteria.  The theory being that I fell down and got an abrasion on my knee and the bacteria got on my knee either from the carpet (can’t imagine what is on that carpet!) or I had it on my skin previously or soon after the fall.  Anyway, I got it and it got bad real fast.  In the hospital they outlined the red and hot spot with a pen so they could see if it got bigger or smaller.  I got some drip antibiotics and a lovely knee stabilizer.  I also have to take antibiotics every 6 hours for 10 days.  I was told to come back the next day.  Every person at the hospital asked me if I filled out an incident report on the ship.  A what?  No one told me about an incident report.  We went out to dinner.

Monday, 7/1/13
Got up and went over to the hospital and had them recheck me for infection.  Seems the infection has subsided a bit.  The redness has decreased but the hotness has not.  The doc said to stay the course and to come back if I develop a fever or the redness returned.  I am to follow up with my own doc when I return home.  We went food shopping and I did a little work.  Brenda and I went to Applebee’s for some food.

Tuesday, 7/2/13
We went to see a family friend of mine.  She is much older and we took her out to lunch.  It was good to see her and catch up.  Lots of running around and in a hot, humid and rainy New Jersey.

Wednesday, 7/3/13
Last day in on the East Coast.  We went to Brenda’s dads grave site.  Then out to dinner at Applebee’s again.  We had a worst waiter.  It was beyond funny.  He told me they were unable to swap out items in a salad.  Huh?  Turns out yes they can.  Then when everyone’s order arrived but mine, he asked where my salad was?  I said I don’t know you tell me!  My lettuce was full of sand.  I informed him and the manager came over and told me we would not be charged for it.  When we got the check, he gave us a credit for the salad but never initially charged us for it.  He was such a ditz.  We packed for our early morning flight.

Thursday, 7/4/13
Got up at 5:30 am so we would be ready to leave at 6:30 am.  Well we didn’t leave until about 7 am but we got to the flight in plenty of time.  We were worried about it being July 4th, it had been raining and we had to return the rental car prior to our flight.  I had a wheelchair ready to take me through to the gate.  It was really great to have so I didn’t have to walk that whole way. 

The flight was going along fine until about 2 hours until landing when all of a sudden I felt very hot.  I am not sure if I had a fever or what.  I suddenly felt this overwhelming amount of heat and got up and went to the back of the airplane.  I had a very nice attendant who helped me with ice.  I didn’t get ill but I needed to cool down.  It took me a while to cool down and they allowed me to sit down and gather myself.  I think these antibiotics are wreaking havoc in my body.  We landed early and a wheelchair took me right to baggage claim.  We took a taxi home and I collapsed.  I sat in front of the TV until I fell asleep.

Friday, 7/5/13
I gathered up the rat bait I set and washed down the backyard.  I found a corpse of an eaten rat.  I guess a rat died and something in the area ate it.  Another rat down.  Then I went and got the pups.  They were so happy to come home.  Unfortunately they brought home fleas.  I am not happy about that!  Happi seemed to be breathing funny.  Gonna monitor that!  Went to get Sunny the bird.  Then I rested for the remainder of the day.

Saturday, 7/6/13
I ran some errands and then rested most of the day.  Had to clean the pups bedding.  Got Chinese Food. 

What a day!  The airplane crash at SFO was so scary!  The number of times I have flown into SFO.  It is a tricky airport to land at since it is a short air strip and it is surrounded by water.  I always hold my breath and my partner when we take off and land.  A miracle that so many people got out of that plane alive.

Sunday, 7/7/13
Went food shopping finally!  We had NO food in the house.  Today is a day of catching up on work and blog and stuff.  I have not even unpacked!  I have a doctor’s appointment at 8:15 am tomorrow about my knee. 

Just heard that the plane that crashed at SFO had two casualties; two 16 year old girls from China.  So sad. 

Until tomorrow...