Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love Fall....the late summer haze has disappeared, leaving everything looking sharp and crisp. You can see slight color changes on the edges of the trees. A couple of good frosts, and we'll have our colorful fall foliage to enjoy. We've had a lot of rain this season, and I'm not sure how that will affect the colors. We'll know soon. :-)

I'm completely utterly bored with my leg pain, so I'll just say I still have it and will be glad to have the surgery to get RID of it.

I've been trying to finish up some of my knitting projects so that I can start my Christmas knitting. The sad fact is that I should have started my Christmas knitting some time ago but have been addicted to knitting socks. *LOL* More on that will be posted on my knitting blog.

My sweet little MeggieDog hasn't been feeling well for the past week. I decided to increase her dosage of canine aspirin (still within the recommended dosage listed on the label) and it seems to be helping. In fact, last night she emptied her toy basket all over the living room floor and "killed" several of her favorites. It was wonderful to see her having such a good time again.

I see that this is my first post since the Friday of my vacation week. It's been a real blur of activity since then!
  • Vacation Day 8 - Saturday: I honestly can't remember what I did, so it must have been knitting and watching movies and listening to my audiobook. *LOL* Speaking of audiobooks, I'm working my way through Debbie Macomber's wonderful "Blossom Street" series. I've listened to the first two and enjoyed them very much. It's nice to sit in the recliner, knitting with Meggie curled up beside me, listening to a story of women who meet in a knitting class and how their friendship develops.
  • Vacation Day 9 - Sunday - The Last Day: I didn't do much at all that morning, but went to Mom and Dad's for lunch (ribs....*drool*). Then Mom and I went to a gathering of some of her first cousins at a nearby park. Mom hadn't seen these cousins in many years. It was fun to realize I had a LOT of relatives in my neighborhood and didn't even know it! They were lovely people, and we had a really nice visit.

And so, on Monday Cinderella turned back into a pumpkin and returned to her concrete cell, otherwise known as The Office. As expected, that first week back was a tough one, but I survived it.

On Tuesday, I went to Madrigal practice to turn in my music. After long consideration I finally decided that after going home from two practices in agony I just wasn't going to be able to do it. The extra three hours away from my recliner (where I can get in a relatively comfortable position) were just too painful. I was very disappointed, of course. I really, REALLY wanted to sing The Messiah. But with my luck, I'd have tortured myself all the way through the rehearsal period just to have my surgery scheduled too close to the performance date for me to be able to stand up to sing. Rats, rats, RATS. Oh well....one more thing to add to my "one of these days" list.

One of my e-mail signatures is "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." I have to remind myself of that from time to time. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacation - Day 7

I just can't believe it's already FRIDAY. Holy cow. This week has just zipped by, and of course I've not done half the things I'd hoped to do this week. Oh well.

My last blog entry was early Tuesday morning, so I'll catch you up on the "exciting" things I've done since then. *LOL*

  • had blood drawn for diagnostics for my PCP, who I see next Friday
  • dropped by K-Mart to see if I could find some linseed oil for wicker repair - wasted trip. Our local K-Mart is so poorly stocked these days that if you have 3 items on your shopping list, you're lucky to find ONE of them.
  • had some time to kill before my next diagnostic, so I decided to drop in on a local yarn shop (the only one in my hometown) that I'd been meaning to check on. The owner was very sweet. Her stock was down a bit because of setting up a booth for a local music festival this weekend, but I still managed to find some things to buy. (Imagine that....*LOL*) I assured her I'd be back.
  • had my dexa scan run. This is a non-invasive procedure and would have been completely painless, except it required me to lay on my back. This of course makes my leg hurt. Sure stirred up my pain level. Ick.
  • went to Lowe's and found linseed oil. Should have come here in the first place. *makes face in general direction of K-Mart.
  • went to Mom & Dad's and looked over the wicker furniture that Daddy had pressure-washed for me. I was amazed at how much of the flaky white paint had come off. Upon examination, I decided the rocker would be more work that it was worth to try to save. I rubbed linseed oil into the chair, but decided it wasn't helping enough to bother with rubbing it into the table. I did some "patch and repair" work on the chair and table and consulted with Daddy on what type of paint to buy to finish them.
  • went home, ate supper, took meds and collapsed.


  • took the car to Wal-Mart for oil change and service. There was a two hour wait, so I shopped for awhile. This, unfortunately, nearly crippled me. After I checked out, I limped back to the Tire & Lube area and knitted until they'd finished.
  • went to a nearby I-Hop and passed a new milestone: I ordered my first "senior special" for lunch. *ROTF* This accomplished three things: 1) made me reflect on the fact that being 55 isn't all bad; 2) gave me a chance to take my pain meds and let them kick in; and 3) allowed me to enjoy some of the best pot roast I've ever eaten ANYwhere. At an I-Hop! Who knew?
  • dropped by Food City to pick up some ginger gold apples they had on sale. These are my all-time favorite apples, but are usually very pricey. What a treat!
  • came home and put things away, then fell into the recliner.
  • later in the afternoon, I took the paint I'd purchased at Wal-Mart down to Mom & Dad's. Daddy painted the chair while I painted the table. He'd advised me to buy 4 spray cans, but I should have bought 6. *sigh* Luckily, after we'd run out of the white paint, he remembered that he had 2 cans of ivory in his shop. This was enough to finish the furniture and gave it a lovely "old wicker" look. It's still a little fuzzy and doesn't look like new by any stretch of the imagination, but it'll do fine for another year or two. When it gets bad the next time, I'm going to put it in the dumpster. I'll never again have any furniture on my deck that I can't fold up and put in a closet for the winter!! I have to admit that I'm looking forward to getting it home, though. I love sitting on my deck this time of year.


  • housework
  • laundry
  • more housework
  • more laundry
  • repeat until bushed....*LOL*
  • I did manage to spend some time yesterday afternoon out on the deck with MeggieDog winding some skeins of yarn into lovely center-pull balls. My friend Beth had found this yarn at a yard sale at an insanely good price. (Thanks, Beth!) As a bonus, there were two crochet hooks tucked into the yarn. Now I just have to find something fun to make with it. And keep myself from starting on it until I finish the projects I've already started. *G*


  • it's not quite 7:00 am, so I've not done anything yet other than make a pot of coffee. That's going to change as soon as I close up this post, though. *LOL*
  • Mom invited me to come down for lunch today....a new Mexican lasagna recipe that sounds just wonderful!

I still can't believe it's Friday already. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MSNBC Has Lost Its Mind

First, one of my favorite webpages, "Clicked" on MSNBC suddenly stopped updating on June 29. I just learned that now they're shutting down "Test Pattern", which was my all-time favorite entertainment webpage. Sheesh.

Luckily, Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (who was the original author of "Test Pattern") still writes a wonderful witty blog called "Pop Culture Junk Mail", which I've loved since the day I found it. I highly recommend it.

R.I.P., "Clicked" and "Test Pattern"....it surely was fun while it lasted!

I'm on vacation this week, but not planning to stray far. Sunday I went with Mom and Dad to visit some good friends of ours. We had a really good time, and stopped at a nice family-style restaurant for dinner on the way home. Yesterday I had an unfortunate sinus headache and my leg pain was really awful. So I lost most of yesterday to the recliner. The good part of that is that I got all my laundry done. *LOL*

Today will be busy. I have to have blood test run (fasting, so my system is currently screaming "COFFEE. I NEED COFFEE.") first thing this morning, then I have a dexa (bone density) scan scheduled for 9:45. I'll have to run get a bite of breakfast between tests, but thankfully should have plenty of time.

Daddy came early Sunday morning with his small trailer and hauled my wicker furniture down to their house so he could pressure-wash it for me. It was in terrible shape; an old boyfriend had spray painted it for me several years ago with the wrong type of paint. The paint would flake off on you every time you sat on it. I love going out on my little deck, and the crummy furniture was really taking the fun out of it.

Daddy washed it and succeeded in getting most of the old stuff off it, removing all the flaky bits. He said that now the surface is "fuzzy" in several places, though. I did some research on the wonderful world of the internet and found that tung oil or linseed oil is in order. I'll run by Lowe's after my dexa scan and pick up a bottle and see what we can do. I told him that if it turns into a BIG project to just put it in the trash. I've had the furniture long enough that it has certainly been worth the money paid for it. I would like to save it if we can, though.

Okay, gotta get in the shower so I can go get poked and prodded by still more health professionals. Such is my life lately. *LOL*

Friday, September 11, 2009

Latest Health News

So why am I awake at this unbelievable hour? Beats me. I was exhausted when I went to bed, fell asleep quickly, and didn't think I was unduly worried about anything. But up I came at 3:33 a.m. I decided it would be a good time to do a little internet research and catch up on some e-mail and blogging since I'm in relatively little pain first thing in the morning.

I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday about my back cyst/leg pain issue. It turns out that the treatment is going to be a little more involved than just excising the cyst. The cyst was actually caused by some fluid leaking from a damaged facet in my spine. If they remove the cyst, another one will form. Yuck. So, he feels that I'm a perfect candidate for a facet replacement that is currently in FDA trials.

These were my options:
  1. Remove the cyst, with the knowledge that this surgery would have to be repeated, probably very soon.
  2. Spinal fusion: the cyst would be removed, and the lumbar joints would be fused to prevent further leakage and cyst formation. This would, of course, result in limiting motion.
  3. Facet replacement: the damaged facets would be removed and an anatomic implant would be used to replace them. This eliminates the compression and therefore the pain. It also allows proper motion of the lumbar spine.

I asked about the recovery time on a facet replacement. He told me that it's normally a two- to four-day hospital stay and that after I leave the hospital I should be well enough to return to work quickly. He said that he has patients fly in for the surgery, leave the hospital, and go catch a plane home. No "recovery" time really at all. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Fix it. *LOL*

And so, I'm now waiting for the next appointment (in about a month), which will be a screening to determine my eligibility to participate in the FDA trial program. Back in a holding pattern. Such is my life these days. But that light at the end of the tunnel seems a little brighter.

Well, I think I'll go get my yummy new sock yarn that arrived from KnitPicks today....uh...yesterday and wind it up into happy little cakes. Sock yarn makes me happy. It's great to be a creature who enjoys such simple pleasures. *LOL*

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What a Week!

Boy, am I glad this week's over. There was lots to do at work, and I just couldn't get my pain under good control this week. But now it's the weekend (YAY!) and a long weekend to boot.

Labor Day weekend, of course, has long been considered the unofficial end of summer. To be perfectly honest, my summer has been the pits, and I'm not all that broken up to see it go!!

Warning to Readers: This paragraph contains massive amounts of whining and complaining. If you do not wish to hear me whine and complain, feel free to skip this paragraph. *LOL* I'm tired of feeling too bad to go camping. I miss waking up in my tent on a Saturday morning with MeggieDog curled up asleep behind my knees. I miss hearing the birds chirping as I'm wrapped up warm and cozy in my sleeping bag, waking up slowly and watching daylight slowly light up the top of my tent. If I hadn't had knitting to occupy myself this summer, I don't know what I'd have done! End of whining and complaining rant.

And so, on this lovely Saturday morning I'm taking a break from household drudgery to updated my blogs. Had I mentioned before that I've started a blog devoted to my knitting? I'm going to place a link on this blog to the knitting blog, which you can find at Cricket Knits a Bit. I'm not a great knitter, but I certainly enjoy it!

I went to this season's first rehearsal of the Madrigal Singers last Tuesday evening. I guess it's not really the Madrigals this year, because we've invited many other singers to come join us. The plan is to do only one Madrigal concert this year at the Arts Depot. Our "big" concert this year is going to be selections from Handel's "Messiah". Oh, boy, I'd really forgotten how beautiful it is! It's going to be a lot of work, but should be a lot of fun, too.

I'm probably (hopefully) going to have surgery at some point during the rehearsal period, but we've been provided with some wonderful instructional CDs which should be a lot of help. Even if I'm unable to attend a rehearsal, I should be able to work on the music at home. I plan to load the sections we're going to work on onto my Zune so they'll be available to me away from home if I need them.

Have I mentioned how much I love my Zune? I enjoy downloading audiobooks from my local library onto my Zune. That way I can "read" while I do my housework or knit. Sometimes I listen to music or podcasts, too, but audiobooks are what I enjoy most right now. I can borrow them from my library for 14 days and can download them directly from the internet. I don't even have to go to the library!! How great is that?

Ah, household chores are calling.....busy times, busy times.