Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Laundry Day

Its a necessary evil - doing laundry - but not a hard one, right? You gather up the clothes, throw them in the washer with soap and turn it on...

Easy peasy....until you have to do it with a broken leg. And that 3 step process turns into a multi step process:

  • empty out the hamper
  • go around the house gathering tote bags
  • fill the tote bags with the laundry - eventually balancing on one leg while using the walking boot to try and corral the one sock that keeps trying to get away from you
  • balance the tote bags (2 in this case) and crutches while wheeling yourself over to the garage door.
  • open the door - which in itself a multi step process - and throw the tote bags out into the garage
  • cuss when they fall over and dump clothes out
  • get out of wheelchair onto crutches and very slowly and carefully go down the steps into the garage
  • place crutches against something so they wont fall down while you bend over, one legged, and put everything back into the tote bags
  • toss totebags a little closer to the washer
  • cuss again when you find that same *^$#@ sock has escaped again
  • gather up that sock and throw it towards the tote bag and grin like a fool when it actually lands on top of the tote bag (the dog already knows you are crazy so ignores you when you yell out "All right!!")
  • gather up crutches and hobble your way over towards the washer
  • stop once or twice to push tote bags closer to washer - using the walking boot or one of the crutches
  • get off crutches again , open washer to make sure it is empty (hubby sometimes forgets to transfer clothes from washer to dryer) and hop close enough to get laundry soap scoop out of laundry soap container
  • throw soap in washer and turn it on (after making sure neither son or husband has changed settings)
  • lean backwards and gather totebags and dump them into washer
  • hobble back on crutches towards steps
  • lean around corner and place crutches against the wall in the house so that you can reach them when you get in, and they dont fall over before you get back inside
  • go up the steps - on butt backwards
  • use cedar chest and wheelchair to stand up, and turn around and get into wheelchair
  • wipe sweat off forehead, huff and puff a bit while the dog looks at you with pity in his eyes

Easy peasy....and soon I will have to repeat a modified version of this to transfer clothes into dryer.

Maybe another time I will tell you about emptying and filling the dishwasher - another task I need to do today. And another one of those easy peasy tasks...

Psst, dont tell hubby, but I took a shower ALL BY MYSELF today!!!!!!! And it went fine!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day and Catch-Up!

I just noticed that I posted my last entry on what was my dad's birthday!

I hope all the dad's out there had a lovely day. We went over to daughter's house for a very good lunch - and I am still hoping she sends me her recipe for her pulled chicken sandwiches!

It was a lovely day - sunny - warm - not too hot. We ate outside - daughter, son in law, 3 grandsons, in-laws, friends, and eventually son and girl friend. It was nice - I ate too much - and I totally forgot that I had my camera with me!

Oldest grandson is convinced we are all going to Disneyland in August. Guess he just does not understand October.

I am happy and relieved. Went to the MD today (guess that will be another $800+ charge!) but according to the Xrays my ankle is healing - and I am having good callus formation. I am a little concerned cause now it says 'slightly displace' which no one told me before. The one disadvantage of not working is not being able to look at the Xray myself and see how the changes look!

Anyway - I am looking at 4 more weeks off (which will be the 8 weeks total that he told me in the beginning) but the very good news is that I can start putting some weight on that leg now! He wants me to not put more than 50% on it and warned me it could tire out very quickly, but it makes life easier! I have tried walking that way around the house and I must admit, that so far, it is much slower. But I do feel more secure!

So, another Xray before I see him again July 22 - and if all goes well, I can return to work the week of July 27. But maybe now I can have a teensy little bit more enjoyment of my time off, sicne crutches will be a little bit easier - altho slower - this way ...it means a little bit more independence!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care Crisis in US

For all of you wondering about the health care crisis in the United States, I have the perfect example.

I just recieved my insurance claims for two visits to doctors.

The first was the Urgent Care MD, who spent, I am not sure 15 - 20 minutes with me. He examined all the Xrays. He examined my leg - carefully examined it. He spent time with me describing what was going on - what wil be going on - offered me pain medication prescriptions. Had me fitted with a boot and taught how to walk on crutches. His bill was $730.00. Oh yes, he advised me to f/u with my primary MD when we got home.

And so I did. I spent about 1/2 hour in the waiting room, and another 15 - 20 minutes in the exam room. He then came in. Spoke to me, held my Xray up to the light, had me take off my boot so he could take a brief look at my leg/foot, told me to come back in a month after having it re-Xrayed. Oh yes, and he told me I didnt need to see an orthoped. My total time with him was probably 10 minutes, and that was becuase of Disability paperwork he had to fill out. His charge was $843.00.

Does anyone else see my issue with this? The MD who actually treated my fracture charged less than my doctor, who spent a minimum amt of time with me.

But there is nothing wrong with the health care system in this country.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Is Summer Really Coming???

If you look closely you can see we finally got some warmth....it was 71 degrees yesterday - today it was 93!!!! Now, this weekend if the Summer Solstice.....and it is only supposed to be back in the 70's again!
Had another exciting day. Went out for breakfast. Then went and had a repeat Xray done of my ankle. And then this evening, I got to go to the Farmer's Market and put up with the rude and oblivious crowd there. But it was so nice to be out!
And then I got to see my boys! The little one had a MD appt so they came to seeme afterward!
Will be busy this weekend - Saturday is errand day; Sunday will be the Father's Day brunch at my daughter's house; and Monday I have a MD appt!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Finally spoke to the Management Company - and they listened to our outrage. And in fact told us that the owners of the other property were outraged too. Sounds like they will be going to small claims court to get the money back from the person who suckered them. So they are supposed to be sending us back our check - and then we will mail them a more decent amount. Altho realistically - we probably should wait to find out what the court says about the money charged??!!!

Just got a phone call from the credit union we do business with - not long ago I filled out a survey. And out of a 1000 people - I won the $100 VISA gift card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so psyched! Now I can no longer say I dont win anything - this is two things I have won this month!!!! Maybe it is payback for the owies I have had this month? Now, what can I use that gift card on.....hmmm.....

Another Christmas project done. 3 more to go... I should keep track of all the books I am reading too on the sidebar as well as the knitting projects....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend update!

Weeks ago, this section of our fence (on the house we rent) blew down. Had the tenant find out the landlord information from the house next door - and we contacted the Management Company. Becuase some of their back fence also blew down, the management company said they would find out costs and let us know how much. Our tenant was more than willing to do the work for the price of the materials alone, no labor. But we went along with the management company.
We had already talked to the insurance company and knew what it should cost to REPLACE and REBUILD that section, so when we got the invoice from the company we mailed the check. Stupid. Becuase then we got a chance to see the work on Sunday. Yeah - $500 paid for the same section of the fence to be placed back up - and TWO new boards (see the bottom board and the diagnoal one?????). Damn......I wish I made over $400/hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wouldnt you love to have that kind of job? So we have a phone call and an email out to the Management Company to see what to do about this????????????????????????

Our herb garden....

If you can see there are some tiny tomatoes!!! At least on one of the 3 plants!

And one of our squash plants have baby sqaush on it!

Look at the change - see how much the corn has grown? The baby one has caught up to its brothers!

Our crazy dog and our son's crazy dog - who had come over to go swimming! He is a swim-aholic.

Our lazy dog - he has such a rough life - he was so tired he fell off (one of) his bed and it didnt even wake him up!!!!!!!

My February Lady sweater getting ready for the Fair.....after I tried a bunch of different buttons on it. Never did find the ones I envisioned, but I really liked these rose ones (see the close up above)

Saturday I got out of the house. Had to go by work to do paperwork to renew my liscence - everything is due this month! And then we had to go to the nursery - to take back some fertilizer.....bought peppermint, spearmint, and a curly leafed parseley to add to our herb garden! I say our, even tho hubby has (and is) doing all the work.
Sunday we went down to Monterey area to visit. Stopped by the house as above. And then went to visit friends. The guys went and played golf. And the wife and I sat around their house - she jsut had foot surgery! So gimpy and gimpier sat around, caught up, and enjoyed the sun when it came out - but at least she can walk on her foot!!!! The just re did their kitchen, their fireplace, a bathroom, put hardwood floors in and it looks beautiful!
And hubby and I got to eat at our favorite restuarant - which was a little off again. But he got his squid fix (and barely shared any with me at all!!!) and it felt so good to be outside in the sun and smell the ocean!!!!!!
And now, I am back on my throne. Lucky me. Three weeks done. I go in for a repeat Xray this week to see if the healing is happening. I hope so - and then I see the MD next week to see how much longer I am on house arrest!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday! Happy Birthday to You!

June is a Birthday Month!
Eric's birthday was Monday - hope it was a good day Eric! Even with cleaning carpets!

And today is Owen's 4th Birthday! I can still remember holding this little guy on my lap, letting his sleep on my chest while his Mom was at work....and he is already 4 years old! WOW! Happy day honey bunny! (This is an old photo - when he was only 3-1/2!!!)
June 19th is (was) my dad's birthday.
And my birthday is coming up on the 26th!
The other big birthday months are September (Katie, Kaia, and Luke) and December (Earl, Jessy, and Tom).
John (July), Jack (August - altho my mom's birthday was this month also) and Connor (November) have months all to themselves!
I love having a June birthday - altho I hated it while in elementary school. Summer birthdays were always lumped together in the last week of school instead of having your own day to celebrate. But when I got older I realized how great it was - having a birthday 6 months after (or 6months before, depending on how you look at it!) Christmas! So I got to have presents every 6 months! And the weather was always better....and it was strawberry time for my very favorite cake....but enough rambling about my birthday...
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY OWEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday chattering

As much as they are my sworn enemy - these squirrels entertained me well today as they chased alon the fence, chattering away - playing hide-and-seek in the ivy. I did have to draw the line when they started tormenting the dog and teasing him. (You might have to enlarge the photos to actually see the squirrels).

I got my February Lady sweater blocked ; tomorrow I will sew on the buttons and it will be ready to be taken to the Fair this weekend (it looks so pretty I am almost sad I will not be able to wear it for a month or so!). I also finished the bootees I am entering. And of course, the one cross stitch picture is ready to go. And I have to give credit to hubby - altho I got it dampened and blocked, he is the one who carried it outside so it would dry - as I watched to make sure that it did not blow into the pool (I dont think chlorine would have been good for it!) nor the squirrels play trampoline on it!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Gloom

That is what the coastal communities usually call the weather in June. All the out-of-staters come in to visit wearing their shorts and tank tops and cant figure out why it feels like winter! Shhh, we only tell really special people when the best time to visit is! But this year it is even hitting us further inland.....both the outside weather and the inside weather!

Yesterday we had a lovely - but way too brief - storm! Rain and hail and thunder and a little bit of lightening! Love the smell of spring rains!!!
I was standing at our patio door but that wasnt very close. So I went to the front door where I could truly appreciate it - and a man came up to the door and handed me a lovely bag. From a place called Edible Bouquets. The lovely thing about the bag was that it was handled so I could take it with me easily as I hobbled and hopped back to my perch on the couch.

My co-workers sent me a luscious gift! Now to preface this - the worst thing about being stuck home is finding something to watch on TV and then not being able to eat what the movie made you hungry for! Yesterday I watched "The Waitress" and I was DYING for pie.....well, I really mean, PIES!

But what was in the box was something even better! A virtual field of luscious ripe, sweet, strawberries - each covered with some type of chocolate and rolled in different goodies!! YUM! Luscious AND good for me! (Did you know strawberries have more vitamin C than even oranges? And Vitamin C was one of the recommendations the Urgent Care MD made for healing!!)

Here is my constant companion. Yesterday he protected me against squirrels, the pest control man who had the audacity to be walking around the backyard, the kids he could hear behind the fence, and the mailman who rang the door bell when he dropped off some boxes....My ferocious defender - when he isnt busy snoring that is! He will be in for a rude awakening whenever I am able to geo back to work and he doesnt have the life of Riley any more!

Hubby had his visit with the MD today. His BP is up and the MD is switching meds. Hubby is so disgusted with work these days - and I am sure I am not helping since I cant hold up my 1/2 of the work and all here at home. He is being wonderful - and very patient - and that is what I really hate - being a burden (hey, I think I hear my dad's voice in my ear saying the exact same words!) especially when he is not happy with other things. Hopefully he will be able to go and play golf again this Sunday - he has earned it.

But the good news is, the MD faxed in the prescription to get me a wheelchair. Wonder how long that will take?????? My shoulders are doing better with the crutches but now I am getting cramps in my right upper arm! Always something......

Got two big boxes from Amazon that I ordered him for Father's Day. Now I dont know what to do with them, cause they are not what he wants....speaking of Amazon - recieved a package from daughter yesterday with hubby's traditional Father's Day Amazon t shirt - and for me, a tote bag! I need all of those right now - they come in very handy!! Thank you Kates.

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions what I can have sent to my 4 year old grandson for his birthday next week since I cant get out shopping or to the PO??????????

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For Women and the Men Who Love Them!

My Brief Life as a Woman By Dana Jennings Dana Jennings. (Lonnie Schlein/The New York Times)

As my wife and I sat on the couch one night this past winter, reading and half-watching the inevitable HGTV, I started sweating hard and my face got so fevered and flushed that I felt as if I were peering into an oven.

I turned to Deb and said, “Man, I’m having a wicked hot flash.” And she said, “Me, too.” Then we laughed. You laugh a lot — unless your hormones are making you cry — when you’re having menopause with your wife.

I was in the middle of treatment for an aggressive case of prostate cancer last winter, and it included a six-month course of hormone therapy. My Lupron shots suppressed testosterone, which is the fuel for prostate cancer.

When your testosterone is being throttled, there are bound to be side effects. So, with the help of Lupron, I spent a few months aboard the Good Ship Menopause with all the physical baggage that entails. It’s a trip that most men don’t expect to take.

The side effect that surprised me most were the hot flashes — not that I got them, I was expecting that, but by how intense they were. They often woke me in the middle of the night and made me sweat so much that I drenched the sheets. In midwinter I’d walk our miniature poodle, Bijou, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I sometimes felt as if Deb could fry eggs on my chest. (It’s also a bit disconcerting when your hot flashes are fiercer than your wife’s.)
When it comes to hot flashes, ladies, I salute you. After my brief dalliance with that hormonal phenomenon, it seems to me it’s an under-reported condition. And it’s certainly under-represented in the arts. Where are the great hot flash novels or movies? How come there’s not a Web site or magazine called “Hot Flash Monthly”?

Hand in hand with the hot flashes came the food cravings. I lusted after Cheetos and Peanut Butter M&M’s, maple-walnut milkshakes, and spaghetti and meatballs buried in a blizzard of Parmesan. Isn’t it funny how cravings very rarely involve tofu, bean curd or omega-3 oils?
Then there was the weight issue. During the six months I was on Lupron I gained about 25 pounds. That was partly a byproduct of the cravings, but it also stemmed from the hormonal changes triggered in my body.

And I hated it, hated it, hated it. I had never had to worry about my weight, and I began to understand why media aimed at women and girls obsess over weight so much. It was strange and unsettling not to be able to tell my body, “No,” when it wanted to wolf down a fistful of Doritos slathered with scallion cream cheese.

When I wasn’t devouring a king-size Italian sub or smoldering from a hot flash, it seemed that I was crying. The tears would usually pour down when I got ambushed by some old tune: “Sweet Baby James” and “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” by Carly Simon and, yes, “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore. Not only was I temporarily menopausal, but it appeared that I was also turning into a teenage girl from the early 1970s.
There were other side effects, too, like headaches and fatigue. But when I started drinking Diet Coke for the first time in my life, my son Owen couldn’t take it anymore. He said, “Dad, are you turning into a chick?”

So, what else did I learn during my six months of hormone therapy?

Even though I only got to spend a brief time on the outer precincts of menopause, it did confirm my lifelong sense that the world of women is hormonal and mysterious, and that we men don’t have the semblance of a clue.

And, guys, when your significant female other bursts into tears at the drop of a dinner plate or turns on you like a rabid pit bull — whether she’s pregnant, having her period or in the throes of menopause — believe her when she blames it on the hormones.

One more thing. I don’t really know whether menopause likes company — you’d have to ask my wife that — but I do know that it really, really likes HGTV and Peanut Butter M&M’s.