Friday, December 27, 2013

Coping 101

My little corner of the world will never be quite the same. At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013, David Curtis Sweeney, my Daddy, succumbed to an aggressive case of lymphoma. We'd received the diagnosis on Thursday evening and hasn't really had time to absorb the enormity of it all before he was gone.

For Daddy's sake, I'm glad he didn't linger. He passed peacefully with Mom holding his left hand and me holding his right. When my turn comes, I hope I'm lucky enough to be wrapped in a comforting blanket of love like the one that surrounded Daddy when he slipped away.

I want to write more about him, and I will. As Mom puts it, "He had a good life, and we had a lot of fun." There are stories to tell, and I will tell them.

But not just yet. First I need to heal a bit more. But the stories will be told soon, I promise. Not today, but soon.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things for Which I'm Thankful

It's been over a month since my last update. It's been a very busy time; Daddy has really had a rough time in the past few weeks.

On October 28 he had a radiofrequency ablation performed. It seemed to take care of the extreme nerve pain he'd been suffering in his lower back, but the injection sites were very painful and didn't seem to be improving.

On November 7 I took him to the doctor who treats his rheumatoid arthritis (a regular follow-up for his RA). When Daddy told the doctor that he was still having injection site pain, he asked if Dad was still taking his pain meds as prescribed for his RA. Actually, it had been having such a bad effect on him (drowsy, weak, apathetic) that Mom had weaned him down to half his regular dose. The doctor insisted that he be given the full dose as prescribed.

So, Mom gave him the full dose that day; the following morning he couldn't even transfer himself from the couch to a wheelchair. He fell in the floor, and Mom and I couldn't lift him; he was dead weight. We had to call in friends to help us get him back on the couch. What a nightmare!

On the following Friday (November 15), he and Mom had a lab appointment to have their blood work done for an upcoming regular checkup with their primary care physicians. I took them to the lab (and then to another doctor's appointment for a small skin cancer on Daddy's nose), then we took him back home. He got back on the couch, exhausted, and said he'd take a nap while Mom and I went to run a few quick errands.

When we returned from our rounds, we ate a Chinese take-out lunch and rested a few moments. I planned to come back the next morning to help Mom with cleaning their dog's enclosure and such, so I said I'd go on home and do a bit of household drudgery.

As I reached the end of their driveway, I heard Mom shout my name. I stopped the car and she ran up to the window. Dad's primary care physician had called and said that his lab work showed that he was extremely anemic and to get him to the ER as quickly as possible.

The next three days were a blur of tests and transfusions. We learned that his hemoglobin was down to 7.1 (should be 12). They gave him a total of 3 pints of blood over that weekend. He went through periods of confusion which was really frightening for us all.

Mom stayed at the hospital with him at night; I came home and fell into bed each night then was up and out the door early each morning to go back to the hospital

An EGD revealed that his stomach lining was very irritated (probably from pain meds he's been taking for the past year), he had a hiatal hernia (which we already knew about), he had a small polyp in the top of his small intestine (which didn't seem to be an item for concern), and a couple of spider veins in the small intestine that were probably the source of the blood loss. The gastroenterologist said that he wanted to do a colonoscopy as soon as Daddy's stronger, but that he didn't want to do it while he was so weak.

On Monday afternoon (November 18), they moved him from the hospital to a rehabilitation center. Because of all the inactivity in the past year due to the back pain, his back, arms, and legs had become so weak that he couldn't walk properly any more.

For several days he didn't seem to be making much progress; I feared that he'd simply given up. Then suddenly yesterday was a better day. He'd done well in his physical therapy session and his appetite finally perked up. I'm hopeful that this is the turnaround we've been anticipating.

So Thanksgiving is going to be different in my little world this year. Instead of the usual overabundance of home-cooked goodies, Mom and I will go to the rehabilitation center to have turkey and dressing with Daddy there. Even so, there are many things for which I'm thankful. I have a loving family, good friends, good health, and a sometimes-slightly-insane cat to keep me company. I have a comfortable apartment where I feel cozy and safe. I have my knitting to keep me centered and sane. I have a gorgeous grandson in Australia who likes to laugh with me on Skype.

And Daddy's slowly getting better. Yes, I'm thankful for all these things and a host of other things too numerous to list.

Sometimes life is tough, but there's always something in our lives that deserves a little gratitude. I hope that you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and take a moment from the turkey and football to give a bit of thanks!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Busy Week Off

Last week I had a week off from work....well, I should say a week away from the office because I actually got a lot of work done while I was off. :-) A long-neglected walk-in closet got a quick reorganization, and I got some shredding done. (How does all that junk mail pile up so quickly?)

With Daddy still dealing with his back issues (he has a procedure scheduled for next Monday; keep your fingers crossed!) and unable to drive, I spent some time running errands with Mom. Mom actually has a valid driver's license but hasn't actually driven to speak of in several years.

We had a very sad occasion to attend last week. A dear friend of the family, Audrey Taylor, passed away. She'd been very ill for several years, and though we'll miss her we're glad that she's now at peace.

In the neighborhood where I grew up, Taylor's (we never called her "Mrs. Taylor"; it was "Taylor") house was the one where all the neighborhood kids congregated at one time or another. She let us all use her upright piano to practice our lessons. She organized arts and crafts for us in her living room. She made the best seafoam candy I've ever eaten. We made ice cream in her back yard in the summertime and had snowball fights in the front yard in the winter.

She was a large part of the childhood of all the kids who grew up in that neighborhood in that era. We loved her, and we'll miss her. Sleep well, Taylor, you've earned your rest.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Can I Have a Nap Before Bedtime?

It's been a busy week so far, and this is only Tuesday. Not excruciatingly exhausting, mind you, but busy.

Sunday was spent doing all the household drudgery I hadn't done on Saturday (which I spent running errands). You know, I can remember when I'd work all week, get up on a weekend morning and start doing the housework and be finished by noon. I still QUIT at noon, but I'm rarely finished! Oh advantage to getting a little older is that when my energy level went down, the timing was such that I started wearing bifocals. So, I have more cobwebs and dust, but I can't see them as well as I used to. :-)

Monday I worked until 1:30 at the office, then went to my doctor for my regular 4-month follow-up. All was well; my triglycerides were a little high, but they're pretty changable so the doctor wasn't too worried about those. I got my flu shot, which didn't sting as much as last year's shot. (Yay!) On my way home I stopped in my apartment manager's office to report a drip in a valve where the water goes in to my water heater. She sent the terrific maintenance guys right away and they fixed it in a jiffy. (Yay again!)

This morning I felt a little achy from the flu shot. Not enough to stay home or even to say I'm sick. Just a little achy. We had a biometric screening on campus today, so I went over first thing this morning to be sure that the folks conducting it had what they needed. They really had their act together and were already well underway to setting up. When I went back at 9:00 for my screening, everything was running like clockwork; I was impressed.

We had an in-service training from 10:00 until noon, "Give 'em the Pickle". It's apparently been around awhile, but it was the first time I'd been through it. When I got back in the office, the afternoon seemed to zip by; I was really busy, so it went quickly

And now I'm in my beloved recliner with Tilly and the remote control, preparing to spend a few minutes catching up on the television shows I've missed in the past week or so. Hopefully I can stay awake until bedtime. :-)

Today's random thought: As I was driving to work this morning, the timing was such that I was driving past a row of street lights when they shut off as the daylight grew brighter. Why does that make me feel a little off-center, as if the power had gone out or something

Have a good evening, everyone.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

I Love Fall

I love fall. I love that the sky looks crisp, clean, and clear after the muggy haze of August. I love that little nip in the air in the morning that segues into a lovely warm afternoon. I love the smell of drying leaves. I love the beautiful golden glow that appears in late afternoon signalling the beginning of the end of the daylight hours.

I miss the smell of burning leaves, since no one seems to do that anymore. Or maybe it's against city ordinances? I actually don't know since I'm an apartment dweller and don't need to know such things.

I love sitting on the deck in the early evening hours after work and knitting until it's too dark to see properly. I love that a hot cup of coffee feels comforting while sitting there in the rapidly cooling air. I love knowing that soon a frost will come and hopefully help with my allergies. I love knitting mittens with the knowledge that I'll soon be able to wear them.

I love watching the trees gradually fade from their deep lush greens to the varied hues of the season. I love seeing lovely pots of mums all around town, even though I don't have any myself. (Allergic, y'know.)

I love driving home from work in the afternoon with my car window down and the air conditioning turned off, wind whipping my hair into a frenzy. I love waking up in the morning and finding that TillyCat has snuggled up against me under the covers, attempting to steal a bit of my body heat before I get out of bed.

I love that I don't need the air conditioning very often at home, but it's not quite cold enough to turn on the heat yet. I love schlepping around in flannel sleep pants and wool socks on weekend mornings to ward off the chill.

Yup. I love fall.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

An Uninterrupted Lunch, Please

It's been pretty busy in my little corner of the world lately.  So, I decided that instead of waiting until I get home and try to find a few minutes for a quick blog post that I'd take my lunch break at the office to make an entry.  My office door is closed (and locked), my lunch is spread out on the desk (wheat crackers and hummus), and Pandora is quietly playing in the background (James Horner radio, one of my favorites).  Now let's just hope that no one taps on the door or rings my phone for the next few minutes.  I can ignore both, but I just hope I have an uninterrupted lunch break today. 

My Dad's back is still giving him grief, and now we're dealing with a pain management center to try to get him back on his feet again. He's just worn out with feeling so much pain all the time, and I can't blame him a bit.  Been there, done that, y'know?  I was very fortunate that back surgery helped my problem.  Dad's not been so lucky, I'm afraid.  We're hopeful that the procedure he's going through next will be the answer.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Lately I've spent any free time with Tilly TabbyCat and my knitting....and trying to keep Tilly out of my knitting.  *LOL*  For those of you interested in knitting, I'll post more about that on my knitting blog (see link to the right) after I get home tonight, hopefully.

Amazingly, I still don't miss having TV cable service.  Sometimes I still miss TiVo, though.  I really need to look into some way to have DVR capability without subscribing to a service.  All I need is a way to set up to record at a certain time on a certain date.  I don't need the search and TV listing service.  I don't get enough channels now for that to be a big deal to me.  If anyone has any suggestions, drop me an e-mail, okay?  And keep in mind that although I've been computing forever, I'm still a novice in a lot of areas.  *LOL*

Well, I'd better get back to work now.  Isn't it amazing how quickly a 30-minute lunch break can zip by?

Have a great evening, everyone.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I Love A Rainy Night

This afternoon when I heard rain on the roof shortly before leaving the office, I couldn't help but smile.  I love gray, rainy days.

I love to be at home during a thunderstorm, curled up in the recliner, knitting in my lap, Tilly TabbyCat beside me, remote control and a hot cup of tea at my side.  I know I'm in the minority on this one; most folks prefer bright sunshine.  Not me.  Give me a good drizzly day any ol' time.  :-)

I should have known it would be rainy this week.  Actually it started a little later than usual, since this is the week of the Virginia Highlands Festival.  It's normally really hot and really rainy during that week each year.

Sorry, visitors and vendors.....I still prefer the rain!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A Good Thing About Tuesday

It's been a rough couple of weeks in my little corner of the world.  I won't belabor the bad stuff, just trust me.  So, when I got in bed last night I promised myself that I would have a better attitude today.  "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," and all that.

So, I've made a real effort this morning to find something good in today.  Here it is:  At least it's not Monday anymore.

*LOL*  Make it a good day, folks!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise

I wish I had something wonderful to write about today, but it was just another Tuesday.  I awoke with the knowledge that my sore back (I injured it slightly on Saturday; nothing serious, I'll just be uncomfortable for a few days) had not improved.

I also knew that it was going to be a particularly busy, unpleasant day at the office.  My appetite wasn't very good, so I didn't have a good breakfast.  I had a bright spot at lunchtime, watching part of "Endeavour" on my Kindle Fire during my break.

The afternoon was long and relatively stressful, so I was relieved when quitting time finally rolled around.

The best part of my day was the enthusiastic greeting I received from Tilly TabbyCat when I unlocked the door.  After I had dinner, she and I settled into the recliner while I knit for a bit while watching "Chasing Amy" on Amazon Prime.  (I'd never seen it, even though Kevin Smith is one of my guilty pleasures.)

Exhaustion finally got the best of me, and now I'm in bed checking out a few things online before settling in with another episode of "Endeavour".  I'm behind and want to get caught up before PBS takes the videos off their website.  (I *heart* you, PBS, and am very sorry I can't see one of your affliates with my antenna.  *sniffle*)

So, my less-than-stellar Tuesday comes to an end.  Tomorrow will be better.  Right?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another New Toy

You've probaby noticed that I've not been blogging much lately....I blame my Kindle Fire.  It's terrific for Facebooking, web surfing, playing games, Skype, etc., but I'm not fond of long text entries using the onscreen keyboard.  It works fine, mind you, but I'm unbelievably slow using it.

So, I bought myself a bluetooth keyboard which arrived by UPS just a few minute ago.  Hooray!  Now I can type again!  *LOL*

Therefore, you may be hearing from me more often.  Not that you've been missing much.  Life is as usual with one happy exception:  Tilly has made herself quite at home in my life, and we've become bosom buddies.  The little cat who seemed standoffish in the beginning has become a very affectionate little companion.

This evening I'm having some back pain (overextended it Saturday night putting some things away in the closet like a dunce), so I'll make this a quick entry.  More later when I'm a bit more comfortable.

Aren't new toys the BEST?  :-)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Say Hello to My Little Friend

Chantilly TabbyCat ("Tilly")
Meet Chantilly TabbyCat, who will be called "Tilly".  She's a lovely little girl, about 6 months old, who came into my home Thursday evening.

Here's how it came to pass:  those of you who know me remember that I was devastated when my mini-dachsie, The Infamous MeggieDog, passed away after a long and happy life.  I honestly didn't think I'd ever have another pet because it caused me such heartache to lose her.

Several friends and coworkers had offered me cats and dogs at one time or another.  I always replied politely that I appreciated their thinking of me, but I just wasn't ready for another pet.  "Maybe when I retire," I'd say.

Then last Tuesday one of my coworkers came to me and asked if I'd ever gotten myself another pet.  I told her I hadn't, that I just hadn't been able to do it yet.  She told me that her son and his girlfriend had adopted four kittens, all under a year old.  Then his girlfriend's cat allergy became so bad that they needed to find homes for the kittens.  My coworker had taken the cats into her home until forever homes could be found.  She already had four cats of her own, so having EIGHT in the house was really more than she could deal with.  She asked if she could bring photos over for me to see.  I had grave doubts, but agreed to look at the photos.

There were 2 girls and 2 boys.  All four were perfectly adorable, but I kept being drawn back to the photo of this little gray tabby with gorgeous eyes.  I learned that she was about six months old, had all her vaccinations, and had been tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS (which I didn't even know about!).

So, I agreed that I would take this little sweetie and give her a good, loving home.

She arrived in my office late Thursday afternoon, just before the end of my work day, in a pet carrier.  She seemed a bit bewildered by the strange surroundings but quickly calmed down.

As I drove her home, she actually fell asleep!  I'd already prepared one of my bathrooms for her with food, water, litter box, and a bed.  I opened the carrier door; she stepped out, looked around for a moment, looked at me, then hopped in the litter box and made use of it.  One hurdle out of the way!

She nibbled a bit of kitten chow and sniffed her water dish.  Another hurdle.

I left her in the bathroom while I had dinner, then let her out to explore her new home.  Everything was going really well; she would check out a new area, then come back by my recliner for me to give her a quick stroke down her back.

It occurred to me that I should check to see how much slack was in the collar she was wearing, so I slipped a couple of fingers under the collar and leaned forward to take a look.  What I'd forgotten was that my recliner makes a bit of a banging noise when you lower the footrest on it.  It banged, and the next thing I knew I was holding an empty cat collar and bleeding from a two inch scratch on my hand.  Poor baby!!

She'd run under the couch, so I just left her there, speaking softly to her from time to time.  When bedtime came, she was still under the couch, so I went to bed and left the bedroom door open in case she cried so I'd hear her.

About 12:30 I heard my Roomba start running (it was against a wall in my bedroom).  The poor kitty had apparently come in and decided to check it out, stepping on the start button!  I turned the Roomba off and settled it back into its dock.  The kitten was nowhere to be seen.  I crawled back into bed and went back to sleep.  During the night I woke up a few times when she crawled up onto the bed to see what I was doing.  As soon as she saw that I was awake, she'd hop down and go under the bed.

The next morning, she was doing fine but still wouldn't get close to me.  After all, she thought I'd tried to kill her with a recliner!  Luckily, by the time I got home that afternoon, she was allowing me to pet her again.  She was still a bit cautious, but at least she wasn't under the couch.  She quickly warmed up to me, though, and slept next to me in bed that night.

And so we have become great friends.  :-)  She was up early this morning, playing and watching me with great interest as I went about some household chores.  She helped me make the bed and fold a load of towels.  After a few hours of busy play, she decided it was nap time and disappeared.  I let her get settled in and went to see where she was napping.  She's under my bed, catnip mouse at her side, happily sleeping.

I hope you all have as good a Saturday as Tilly and I are having.  :-)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cutting the Cord

People who know me and my love of television and movies probably won't believe this, but I called to have my television cable disconnected.  Yes.  Disconnect.  Over, done with, gone.

Why did I do this, you ask?  Because I'm watching very little broadcast television these days.  Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own taste in television viewing, and I'll constantly defend your right to watch whatever you want to watch, I swear.  But as for myself, I don't like "reality" television.  I don't like dancing and vocal competitions.  I don't like shows about people who expose their children to beauty pageants and screaming dance instructors for the sake of "fame and fortune".  And I really, REALLY don't like shows that show the worst possible view of people who live in my beloved South.  (Does anyone actually think that Honey Boo-Boo and her family should be on television....honestly?)

So, a few weeks ago I kept a log of how much broadcast television I actually watched in a week.  It was very, very little.  Don't misunderstand....I watch television, but it's almost all streamed through the computer.  I subscribed to Netflix, but recently switched to Amazon Prime after I purchased a Kindle Fire.

The only thing I really watched on cable that I can't get online is local news.  So, I bought myself a $35 indoor antenna and hooked it up.  Guess what?  I get 13 channels OTA (over the air).  Included in the channels I receive are these networks: NBC, CW, CBS, ABC, FOX and TNN.  I also get a 24/7 weather channel and a couple of "retro" stations that will satisfy my need for the occasional episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

And what do these 13 channels cost me?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

I only have two regrets:
  1. I'll need to learn to sit through commercials again since I can't really justify the cost of the TiVo subscription.  Oh well.  Maybe I can find another way to "pause", too.
  2. I don't get a PBS station.  But, I can watch the PBS shows I like on their website.

My internet service will cost me a small bit more each month since my cable and internet were "bundled", but my net savings after giving up cable and TiVo will be about $75 a month.  Sure, $900 a year isn't going to make a huge difference, but that's $900 I can use for something I'll actually USE.

I have a second indoor antenna ordered to put on the small television I keep in the bedroom; it should be delivered tomorrow.  I wonder if the reception on that one will be as good as the one in the living room.  I hope so, but actually as long as it will pick up my local NBC affiliate so I can watch the news while I'm getting ready for work I'll be happy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Things I Wonder About

Such a busy, busy month it's been!  My Aussie family arrived on March 28, which also happened to be my parents' 60th wedding anniversary.

My visitors were able to stay until April 19, and we had a perfectly wonderful time!  My sweet six-month-old grandson, Nio, seemed to grow daily while they were here.  In three short weeks, he cut a tooth (his second), learned to sit up unsupported, learned to scoot backward, learned that standing up is more fun than sitting down, and began to call me "Nan-Nan".  *sigh*  I sure miss them!!

I was able to take some time off and worked only 5 days during the time they were here.  Of course, I've paid dearly for that since I returned to work Monday but I'll try not to whine too much about that.  *LOL*

I'm awfully tired this evening, so this long-overdue blog entry will be regrettably brief.  Before I close, though, I find myself wondering about a few things:
  1. Will Nio recognize my voice the next time I speak to him on the phone?  (maybe)
  2. Will I cry if he doesn't?  (probably)
  3. Is my Aussie family having fun on their trip to Fiji?  (I hope so)
  4. Does every owner of a Kindle Fire love theirs as much as I do mine?  (probably)
  5. Will I regret my recent decision to order a set of plum-colored luggage?  (I hope not)
  6. Will I have enough hand-dyed yarn to complete the entrelec beret I'm knitting?  (I really, REALLY hope so)
Okay, enough wondering for tonight.  :-)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Not the Flu, But Still No Fun

I'd been sick all weekend....fever, chills, body aches, headache, general yuckiness.  I was still too sick to go to work yesterday.  This morning I went in for just a few hours to get one task completed and pick up some work to take home in case a predicted snowstorm actually hits us tonight.

By the time I left the office I felt so crummy that I went by the local urgent care center.  I was running a fever, so they tested me for flu.  It wasn't the flu, thank goodness, but I do have a bad sinus infection.  Antibiotics for me.  *bleah*

I went by the drugstore to pick up my medication, came home, and climbed into the recliner with knitting and watched TiVo all afternoon, catching up on stuff I hadn't felt like watching earlier.  It's raining now.....a lovely dreary steady rain.  Makes me feel all cozy and safe in my little corner of the world.

And so, I'm going to take my medicine, sip some hot soothing tea, and call it a night fairly early this evening.

Here's hoping you're all well and safe on this rainy Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's only TUESDAY??

This has been a long week.  A long, ugly week.  And this is only Tuesday.  *sigh*

Okay, so what's been wrong with this week?
  1. Work stuff that I'll refrain from discussing on the internet, since Big Brother may be watching (for those of you who do not understand that reference, please read the excellent book "1984" by George Orwell).
  2. Sinus problems that have been dragging on for weeks.
  3. Exhaustion caused by items 1 and 2 above.
  4. Nothing tastes right; probably caused by item 2 above.
  5. I've had a sudden attack of "I hate my hair" syndrome.  Not unusual.  This happens from time to time.
  6. I need a snow day.....really, really, REALLY need a snow day.  And the best we're going to get are a few snow showers Thursday.  Phooey.
Now, what's been right with this week?
  1. Louise has been in the hospital, but is improving and will hopefully be home very soon.
  2. Daddy's improving a little more each day.
  3. I finished knitting a scarf for Mom on Sunday.
  4. I learned how to crochet one of those Sashay scarves last night from a YouTube video (I've already knitted several, but hadn't learned to crochet one).
  5. It's been a gray, rainy day.  I love gray, rainy days.
  6. Dessert tonight will be a pear.
  7. I'm close to finishing another pair of socks.  I've nearly finished the heel, and the rest of it is just knitting my way up the leg until I run out of yarn.  Good television knitting.
Okay, good outweighs bad, as it usually does.  Sometimes it's just a little difficult to see until you actually make a list.

Maybe it won't be such a bad week after all.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Adios, Taco Bell

I used to enjoy Taco Bell.  I never really considered it to be "Mexican food", but it was okay for fast food.  For years I was a fan of their steak taco salad.

Then they started putting rice in their taco salads.  Don't get me wrong; I actually LIKE rice.  But I don't like rice in Mexican dishes.  I especially don't like it when rice is used as a filler.  I learned that I could order a taco salad and request that the rice be omitted.  I got along with that pretty well for awhile.

Then I developed an aversion to meat.  This was a real shock to me, because I'd always loved beef.  I mean really loved it.  Anything from filet mignon to ground round.  Loved it.  But a health issue that caused me to be in severe pain for several months robbed me of my joy of meat.  Not just beef; I couldn't eat chicken any more either.  I'd been allergic to seafood for years, so I found myself depending on peanut butter and legumes to get my protein.

You'd be amazed how difficult it is to find fast food that doesn't involve either meat, chicken, or fish.  Taco Bell's bean burrito became my go-to fast food.  This afternoon I went through the drive-thru to get myself a bean burrito after a particularly rough day.  I wanted a treat.

I was happy to see a black bean burrito on the menu.  I really like black beans, and thought this sounded wonderful.  When I got home I unwrapped the paper from the burrito and took a big bite.....of mexican rice.  *bleah*

And so after years of enjoying quasi-Mexican fast food, I bid farewell to Taco Bell.

I'll miss you, Taco was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Update on Daddy

Night before last, Daddy had the worst pain he's had since injuring his back.  I suspect that if he'd been taking pain meds regularly after his surgery, this wouldn't have happened.  He began taking them on a regular schedule yesterday, and today he was much, much better.

I went to visit him and Mom today and had the opportunity to see his two tiny incisions.  Each has one tiny stitch; if the stitches weren't there, I'd have had trouble finding the incisions!  I'm always amazed  by the advances in medicine.

He's still tired, of course, but his pain level seems to have subsided appreciably.  I'm very grateful.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quite a Week

It's been a very busy, tense week in my little world.  On Tuesday, Daddy finally had his long-awaited much-needed back surgery.  He had a repair of a compression fracture, and all seems to have gone very well, thank goodness.

The hospital visit, though, was less than stellar.  Don't get me wrong; he received excellent care.  But he'd been told to arrive on the morning of his surgery at 11:00 a.m. with surgery to begin at 1:00 p.m.  As usual, we arrived a little early, around 10:30 a.m.  They took him back to the short-stay surgery area right away and put him in a hospital gown.  Then they left him on the gurney in a curtained area until AFTER 4:00 P.M.!

Keep in mind that he'd been admitted for back surgery.  Then left ON HIS BACK on a gurney for nearly SIX HOURS.  Not good.  He was exhausted, hungry, and thirsty before they even got him to surgery.

The procedure went beautifully, but because it was so late in the day when they finished it was decided that he should stay overnight for observation.  We learned that "overnight" is a relative term.  By the time he was released and we'd picked up a prescription for an antibiotic that he was given, it was 2:00 p.m. before we got him home.  Nearly a full day after we expected to be able to get him home.

He was tired, irritated, and suffering from nicotine withdrawal by the time we got him out of the hospital, but luckily his pain level was not as severe as he expected.

This afternoon he was doing better, still having a little post-op pain, but much better than yesterday.  I can already see an improvement in the way he holds his body, so I'm hopeful that the procedure has actually helped his problem.

What a week.  I'm glad tomorrow is Friday!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

A Busy Morning

I've been a slug all week. I'm still recovering from a vile sinus infection, so I've been really tired.  The stress level at the office was even higher than usual this week, so that added to the fatigue.  Last night I actually fell asleep in my recliner and woke just after 4:00 a.m. with a vile migraine and a fever blister.  Happy Saturday.  *bleah*

I had a lot of housework to do since I was too tired to do much of anything in the evenings after work this week, so I'd made myself a "To-Do" list for today.  It was so long it made me tired just to READ it. So, I decided to just take each task on the list one at a time and work in 20/10 increments (20 minutes working/10 minute break).  I'd just work until I ran out of steam and quit, no matter where I was on the list.

I did pretty well for about 3 hours, then just ran down. That's okay, though. I checked off several tasks, and maybe after lunch and a little nap I can check off a few more.

For now, though, a bit of knitting and Netflix sounds pretty good.  :-)

My Dad finally got a surgery scheduled to repair the compression fracture in his back.  He'll have surgery next Tuesday; we're very hopeful that it will help alleviate the pain he's been suffering for the past several months.  Keep a good thought!  The procedure is interesting, and minimally invasive, so his recovery time should be relatively short.  Mom asked the PA how long it would be before Daddy could get on a treadmill, and he said probably a week or so after surgery.  I asked Mom if she'd checked to see how long it would be before he could drive, but she'd forgotten that. I suspect Daddy'll be much more anxious to drive than to get on the treadmill.  *LOL*

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sinus Headaches Suck....Just Sayin'

About this time last week I awoke with a miserable sinus headache.  Over the course of the next few days it never went away.  It sometimes lessened in intensity, but sometimes it triggered a migraine.  My regular migraine medication (Maxalt) would help the migraine, but the sinus headache remained.

Yesterday it was more intense than it had been previously.  Feeling truly crappy, I dragged myself to the office.  As the day wore on, I felt worse and worse.  Finally, at 3:00 pm I gave up and turned in a sick leave request for the remaining 90 minutes of my workday.

I drove to my neighborhood Walgreen's and purchased over-the-counter sinus medication and nasal spray.  When I got home, I checked in with Mom and Dad, took a dose of the sinus medicine, sprayed my nose, nibbled a few crackers, and went immediately to bed.

I slept for a few hours, then awoke for awhile in the middle of the night.  (Just in case you wondered, there's not much to watch on TV in the middle of the night.)  I finally dozed off again and slept until 5:00 this morning.

I'm feeling a bit better.  The headache has subsided, but I feel a little dragged out this morning.  Several area school systems are on an altered schedule or closed today because of weather conditions.  Oh, how I wish we were on a delay.....I really dread getting out in that cold breeze this morning!

Okay, enough whining.....time to get in the shower and prepare to face the day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weird, Weird Weather

Okay, keep in mind that it's January 30 and I live in northeast Tennessee.  When I left for work this morning, I carried a lightweight jacket over my arm.  That's right, in JANUARY I left the apartment WITHOUT A COAT.  It was in the low 60's, and the air had a strange, tropical feel.

The wind was beginning to kick up a bit, and as I looked to the west I saw that cloud cover was beginning to skitter across the moon.  My commute in the morning is mostly west to east (meaning that on a clear day I'm driving into the sun both on my way to work and on my way home in the afternoon).  As I drove to work this morning, I saw scattered clouds in front of me, but in my rear view mirror I saw an ominously heavy mass of dark clouds.

Just as I arrived at work, a light sprinkle of rain began to fall.  I was happy to get inside before heavier rain arrived.

We're under a tornado watch until 1:00 pm today, then the temperatures are supposed to fall drastically with a chance of snow tonight.

So, the moral of the story is:  If you don't like the weather, wait a couple of hours.  It'll change.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ever Have One of Those Weeks?

I've been trying to get rid of a headache since last Friday.  Well, the truth is that I'd probably had it for a day or two before that, but I've become so accustomed to having a mild sinus headache that I don't even notice it until it's gone.  Winter sucks.

Yesterday I thought I'd finally shaken the headache.  I wasn't WELL, but I was much better.  Then, wouldn't you know it, I got behind a school bus on my street, and the diesel fumes touched off my headache again.

Today it's dull.....bearable but just irritating.  And first thing this morning I had to go have blood drawn for my regular checkup next week.  I have a dime-sized bruise on the inside of my elbow to prove it.  *ick*

When I got to the office I found out there'd been a minor disaster.  Nothing that can't be fixed, but bothersome none the less.  The rest of the day turned out to be a series of minor irritants.  A bit like a swarm of tiny gnats on a warm summer evening.

This may turn into an evening that involves taking a long, relaxing shower, sipping a hot mug o' tea, and slipping into bed early with my Kindle.

Oh, yes, that sounds quite lovely.  The best thing to do with a crummy day is to end it.  Good evening, all, and I'm hoping for a better tomorrow!  :-)

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Should Be Ashamed

I can't believe how lax I've become about blogging.  I'm always notoriously slow about correspondence, but DANG this has gotten out of hand.

Yesterday an old friend mentioned on Facebook that she enjoyed reading my blog.  Then I thought, "Oh, wow, I wonder how long it's been since I blogged."  Too long, that's how long.

It's not difficult for me to blog.  In fact, I rather enjoy dribbling thoughts out onto the composition screen.  So why has it suddenly turned into blogging once every month or two?

  1. I've been really busy.  Baloney.  I'm always really busy.  I always find time to do things I enjoy.
  2. I've not been feeling well.  True enough.  But that usually doesn't stop me from blogging either.
  3. There's nothing interesting in my life to write about.  Heaven knows THAT has never stopped me from blogging.
So what's the deal?  Truth is, I have no idea.  I think I've simply gotten out of the habit of blogging.  I'm writing this entry during my lunch break at work, but that isn't always possible.

I think I need to just set aside blogging time, just like I set aside time to do everything else in my life.

Here's hoping I'll be back much sooner than has been usual for me lately.  Have a great week, everyone!