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Monday, January 31, 2011

I've Got My Tonic, Got My Gin - If It Snows I'm Stayin' In!

 The biggest problem with the snow here is not that it snows. It's that it never goes away. No melting or reducing just layer upon layer upon layer - deeper deeper deeper. The deck is piled up pretty good, someone asked if I was going to shovel it off - no. The house stood empty for 2 or 3 years before we got here and no one shoveled it off then, did they? Hopefully they will not be famous last words. They're predicting a massive storm starting tonight and ending Thursday morning - 6 to 18 inches, ice, sleet - the works. We shall see. I have a good stock pile of yarn just in case and I'll probably fill an extra bucket or two of water so we can at least wash up and flush the toilets. Everyone here is tired of the never ending forecasts, the red draping our area on the weather maps at all times. I'm tired of snow in my brace - why didn't the person who invented this thing think of a way to close the toe up?? I'm shaking snow out of it 14 times a day no matter how careful I am. I've been asked about 300 times if it's helping - it's only been on for 3  or 4 days so it's a bit early in the game to tell if it will help long term. It still hurts, but a little less. Even though it's a  clunky thing I can walk more than I've been able to in the past month and this morning, before I got up, it didn't hurt at all. Just for a minute - but it's funny how when it doesn't cause you pain that you realize how much it does bother you. I've gotten used to the constant pain, I anticipate it's going to hurt before I even move and brace myself for it - but it takes so much out of you, doesn't it? It's's just there and you learn to deal with it. Taking something does no good since it doesn't hurt the same amount all the time, not moving makes it tolerable - how do you medicate that? So, I'll wear the clunky brace as long as I have to - the only really thing that's becoming an issue is keeping track of my left shoes. Since I'm not wearing the left shoes they stay in the closet and the rights are all over the house. So at the end of the night I pair up my shoes since someday, I might wear two again!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day Two

 This immobilizer is a pain in the neck.  I can actually walk fairly well in it - once you get the hang of walking without bending your foot it's a bit awkward but do-able. The pain part is A) answering WHY I'm wearing it, it's not like I can say I have a bad sprain or something. It's severe plantar facscitis and that leads into yet another conversation as most people don't know what that is. The other issue is I can't walk that far but that's not a big deal, I couldn't walk that far before. We went shopping today but all of my grand plans were scaled down - I was going to the mall, two bookstores, the yarn store, the Asian grocery, Wegmans and BJ's. My foot can only do so much so it was the Asian grocery, one bookstore and Wegmans. The Asian grocery was hilarious, we usually go early so it's in and out - we got a late start so the very small parking lot was overly full - they were parked out front, on the sidewalk, behind us.... while we were trying to get out there were two people trying to get in - the person next to us for some reason decided to do a 3 point turn in a perilously tight area, we just sat tight til she was done (it was actually like a 16 point turn and the whole thing was silly, if she'd just backed out it would have been a 2 second operation) and then we skedaddled. That store is a small affair on a side street but it gets seriously packed, I've been in there when the line extends halfway through the store. The reason being of course the food is great and the prices are better. I pay about $3 for 12 oz of tofu in the supermarket and there for fresh tofu it's a $1 a pound. Specialty rice is about the same as opposed to a much higher price in the regular store.  But back to the immobilizer - so far, so good. My food still hurts but not as badly and I can a walk without a lot of pain. When I got up this morning for the first time in months it was not an ordeal, so maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Good News Bad News

 During lunch yesterday I went out to do some small errands and my doctor called me on my cell phone. The good news was all of my blood work came back negative so I don't have anything metabolically going on, no arthritis, Lyme's, infection, etc. I was relieved to hear that. The bad news of course was it IS my foot, all of that damage is purely physical so there is no drug that will cure it. My three options - with surgery being down the road as a very last one - would be a very intense ultra sound treatment or an immobilizer for about a month. The ultrasound I've pretty much discounted, it's no longer being covered by insurance, there's no guarantee and it would cost close to $200 a session and the closest place to get it is about 60 miles from here. The surgery can be done eventually, but that's if all else fails - they would actually cut the tendon with the theory it would re-heal in a stretched position but that would be the last thing. So that left the immobilizer which is just as attractive as you think it is - a big, black thing that goes up to my knee with Velcro straps all around. Since I was already out at lunch I just headed down to his office and was fitted for it, that will be it for awhile. At this point I'm willing to do anything to make it stop hurting and be able to start hiking again in the spring.  The bad thing is it snows all the time so I managed to get snow in it like 400 times yesterday, this will take some getting used to. The snow is piled up all over at this point - the problem with this place is it never melts,  just layer upon layer of snow. It gets to the point there is no where to put it - I shovel off the stairs on the deck and it just slides back, the mound reaches the 5th step now . We got a gas delivery right before the last snowstorm so we're good for awhile - I'm still in love with our vent less gas heater which we use when the power goes out. Which it has about 4 times in the past 6 weeks. I have water stored downstairs also in the event of,  I so miss having city water instead of a stupid well. My knitting of course continues - what else do I have to do? - I've gotten to the very annoying part of the Shipwreck Shawl. It's yarn over, knit 2 together so it makes a mesh pattern - but I'm forever digging at the stitches as it's hard to catch the 2 together with this yarn. It's gotten a little better as I've released my tension but I still have to keep an eye on it as if you get off it rearranges the entire pattern. David has been working a lot lately, his new job keeps him busy and with him working 2nd and 3rd shift it's rearranged our mornings. I sneak out to the living room to let him sleep in  and come home to an empty house in the afternoons. Next week he'll start doing some night shifts which he's dreading - I personally always loved the night shift but that's me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Winter Is Just Dragging

Did you ever notice how much more you get done when no one else is home? David worked Saturday and today and I've gotten the laundry done, the bathroom cleaned, mopped the floors, kitchen's cleaned, counters are cleared - and now I 'm sitting with my foot up since it's being a bit of a screamer today.  I cleaned the some cabinets,  fridge and freezer  out too - it was completely higgle piggle and I had no idea what food  I had to eat. I discovered I have enough kidney, aduki and white beans to withstand a nuclear winter, the eggs were only usable for attempted murder and sadly, the portabella mushroom remains uneaten. I'm working my way up to it, but am deciding whether I should just hide it outside and hope some mushroom loving animal eats it OR leave it in the vegetable bin until a strange smell emits and it liquifies like it did the last time I insisted on buying two. If I put it outside I have to hide it or David yells because he says the bears will come hang around the house again or the deer will be pesky and I'll be chasing them. So I guess I'll go with the pretending not to see it.  I had my blood drawn Saturday -  the tech was grumpy at first since she had to draw a lot, but took one look at my anti cubital and brightened right up. She laughed and told me I'd made her whole day, then proceeded to be quite chatty. Everyone has their pluses and minuses, my plus is I have the veins of a god. They're huge, don't move, don't infiltrate and  barely need a tourniquet. I've been practiced on by my co-workers and new nurses - they never disappoint and of course, I am a little ray of sunshine to phlebotomists everywhere as you can pretty much hit the target without even trying and have a decent conversation while you're at it.  She had all the blood she needed and I was back home by ten. Hopefully there will be some resolution by this week, as you all know I am VERY tired of all  of this .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Results Are In.

 I waited until today to call about my MRI results - what I wanted to hear was to stay off of it for awhile and come back in a month. What I actually heard was internal edema, especially along the lateral aspect of the ankle, severe inflammation of the tendon and surrounding area, large amount of scar tissue, possible tearing........have you heard enough? I have.  The first thing we're doing is blood work to rule out RA, Lymes, etc... as according to the podiatrist after all I've done my foot should not look this bad and we need to look in other directions. I am just tired of it hurting, keeping it up, not doing anything. If they do surgery the way I'm going they'll have to do a combination tendon release and gastric bypass. I can't hike, my exercise is extremely limited and I can only do so much before it gets very painful. I get bored, I eat. I got on the scale finally yesterday and was very alarmed at my weight - I've never weighed this much! So I've stopped eating junk food - I stocked up on fruit and low fat cheese, no sugar hot chocolate and am planning my meals much more carefully. Since I no longer work every weekend or late into the night I have to admit - to myself - I no longer have the excuse of no time to make a real meal. And of course since I'm eating healthier, David's starting to eat a little better too, it's so easy to slide into the Cereal and Junk Food Mode, isn't it? I make both of our lunches every day and am slowly getting it under control. The weather isn't helping either, it's just cold now with intermittent snowstorms. I finally figured out how to plug up the laundry sink downstairs for emergency water - it holds enough to flush the toilets and stuff if the electric goes out and I can just drain it when the weather gets warm. The driveway is a mess and David is regretting being a Cheapie Pants and not having it plowed - if it snows again we ARE getting it plowed as at some point the gas truck will have to get up the hill to give us a refill. And if it even looks questionable they won't come up - at this point you have to take a running start to get up it. I will be glad when this winter is over, it's only fun if you can play in the yard, not if you're stuck on the couch.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Sound Of Silence

 We've been rocking for the past few weeks, haven't we? Tommy and the girls, Mom and Fred, Janet and Diane, Adam and Jackson. The guest room has been getting quite a workout, one gets out, the next gets in. So tonight it's quiet - back to work, back to real life. Adam left this morning early early - his bus left at 5:45 am but that means he'll be hitting Norfolk at a not too late time so that works out for him. He's got another day to noodle around before he goes back to work. He did make it to NYC despite the snow and his mother wanting to kill him. For anyone thinking I was over reacting please note the initial plan was to just show up in NYC during a predicted snowstorm and see what happens - I have told them if they don't tell me I can't object but that doesn't seem to sink in. We had fun the last couple of days Adam was here - we took an exploring ride to NJ, a nice place to visit if you'd like to sink into a coma. It was so BORING, the mall we'd put into the GPS was a strip mall and it wasn't even mildly interesting. So we headed back and had a nice dinner at Perkins, then home to watch all the movies we'd rented. We saw Will Farrell's Land Of The Lost, Dinner for Schmucks and Scott Pilgrim which both of the boys insist I watch as they knew I'll like it. I liked it the same amount watching it with Adam as I did with Jackson and will leave it at that. Sunday was just putzing and then out to my favorite china buffet. Adam was off at 4:45 this morning as you have to be there half an hour before the bus is. Back to work which was busy just trying to catch up - the  next two weeks will be busy for both David and I - me just in general and David has gotten a new job working in a local community. He now only has a 20 minute to drive as opposed to almost an hour and a half so he's a happy camper. However, he still has to finish up the job he has so he'll be working 12 days straight. I continue to work on the Shipwreck Shawl, I'm at the This Will Not End part of the knitting.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Left Foot

I had my MRI this morning, I had to run because I thought it was at 9:30 and it was not.  I did OK, I'm very claustrophobic and although the MRI was only up to my waist, I still had a couple panic attacks. I was laying there with my foot taped to a cage, covered with a couple blankets (it was very cold) with headphones playing Johnny Mathis and other early 60's hits, unable to move for over an hour. If having to listen to The Lettermen and their ilk for an endless amount of time won't make you run screaming down the street, nothing will. After  the test I got a call from Adam his bus would be in around 12 so I headed home. David wasn't  home so I called him and that would be when he admitted he had snuck to the garage to have a timing belt put on the Honda. You know, the one we are saving so much money on. The one with the rust removed, dents banged out, a computer diagnostic test, a full paint job and now a new timing belt. I went to pick up Adam and got another call from David as the garage was running late and that would maybe be why he admitted going there in the first place as he needed a ride home.  Hmm. David got home in time to go to work, Adam and I noodled around  then went to see the movie The Green Hornet - I'm not much on chick flicks but I LOVE a good explosion and lots of bullets. We went to the little movie theater down the road from us, it boasts 7 theaters!! and it does indeed have 7, all the size of a living room. The concession stand is staffed by high school students that love to chat and if you have to go to the bathroom during the show you need to duck or your big head will be in the middle of screen. It seemed like all the patrons were used to it as no one complained.  But it was clean and not overly expensive ($14 for two tickets) so I would go again. Pearl is busy hostessing Adam at the moment and he is liking it to a point. But that's OK - as long as the Hostess is happy, that's what matters, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Ate A Mushroom! And I Meant To!

 I am not posting a picture of snow - if you need to see it, look out your own stinkin' window. It will pretty much look like our snow, give or take a few inches depending on where you are.  We got out around noon - not because we were snowed in, but because we are being slug-people and not moving too quickly. We wanted to get Adam's return ticket and were told that we would have to do it at the bus station, it could not be over the phone or online.  So, off we trundled off as it's only a few miles. Greyhound enjoys employing people that speak the language well enough to bug the shit out of you, but not well enough that anything can done easily - David was not entirely sure she could even read English the way she was peering at the screen. So after explaining 14 times what he needs she then tells him that the ticket can only be paid in cash. This would have been nice if she had said that when we called earlier, but they do have an ATM at  the station. That is not working. So we go a little down to the gas station who's ATM is so ancient it actually has a thing you swipe your card down the side. And it doesn't work. I am getting a little paranoid. We go across the street, finally get cash, get the ticket and an hour later are back on the road.  We did a little shopping and bought a few things, including Portabella mushroom caps. I do hate mushrooms but years ago I had a Portabella burger at Pocono Brewing Company and they stopped making them - and no one on the staff remembered how to make them.  So every once in awhile I'll buy the mushrooms and attempt to make them by marinating them in various concoctions. This one was not too bad - but it is a squishy and weird thing and I was a little nauseous while I was eating it. Mushrooms have this strange rubbery thing going on, bouncy and wet, sort of reptilian I suppose.  The texture of the burger the restaurant made was dryer, firmer - and I know part of  the marinade was balsamic vinegar with some Worcestershire sauce, but the rest escapes me. I'll give it another go with the other one later in the week. Adam should be here tomorrow night or Friday morning, his plans got a bit delayed due to getting snowed in on LI.  I guess that's what happens when you travel in winter. It's been nice to have  some downtime - I'm scheduled for an MRI on Friday morning which I'm not looking forward to, but since it's just my foot I'm guessing I won't have to get in the all the way. Because I can't as I'm very claustrophobic. To the point I will be cremated as I can't even think about being buried, dead or alive. Enough of that. I'm done with the Madeira Pattern of the Shipwreck shawl, I move on to the last section and then it's on to the new project after I force myself to finish the Socks Of Guilt which are, as I write, sitting up on the bookshelf being all martyred and stuff. Bastards.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Good Bye To You

Jackson left yesterday with little fanfare. He and Adam had revisited the local bar but it was much more low key the second time around. One of the reasons Jackson wanted to go was to have a drink with his friend Josh who turned 21 that night, the other reason was their cousin Big Bobby. There are a lot of Bobbies on the Lester side, there's Bob (David's father), Big Bobby, Little Bobby and a very little Bobby who is only 5 or 6. But they like Big Bobby the best, you would have to meet him - and then you would like him best too, calling him a character is an understatement. Jackson had a good time, he was a wee bit disappointed about not being able to get to NYC but overall, he did and saw everything he wanted to and that's what's important. Adam will be staying on LI for a few more days to get some time in to see people, I came back because A) I have a very hard time remembering Adam is not 6 years old and can indeed navigate around without my help which leads to a lot of Eye Rolling and Sighing on his part and B) I need a little vacation from my vacation. I need a day to lay around and sleep, then I will get back to my break. Adam is trying to plan a trip into NYC which is where we were having our disagreement - with the possible snowstorm coming I think staying overnight in NYC is not a good idea right now, getting stranded in NYC in 80 degree weather is uncomfortable, getting stuck there in 10 degree weather is dangerous. Oh well, it's not my business. I made very good time getting back - under 3 hours and was missed by The Hostess and Vincent The Indoor Cat Until May. Or So. David didn't hop around as much but he was glad to see me too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On The Road Again

We've been having a good visit with the boys - Jackson and David came back from LI on Wednesday morning, Adam's bus arrived at 8pm as scheduled. On Thursday I did a big turkey dinner just for them with all the trimmings - biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes. We ate like there was no tomorrow, but of course there was.  I had a doctor's appt first thing - this foot just drags on (no pun intended!) and I am now scheduled for possible surgery since we've run out of options. The surgery would be fairly minor - a tendon release but not something I look forward to. After I came home I took them to the Lehigh Valley mall which is a much bigger and much nicer place to shop. I did a little shopping myself and was waylaid by a hand cream salesman who grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go - we all know how good I am with unauthorized touching. I was a bit freaked out for the rest of the day but survived. David put the turkey in the oven while were up there so we wouldn't have to rush so it was fun. We took off for LI yesterday morning around 10 with the snow showering around us, it got thick at time but nothing unmanageable and we made it here it under 5 hours despite fender benders and slick roads. The boys went to Bubs - that's a local bar that all the kids hang out in, Adam was joking he'd be seeing his graduating class later on.  Mom and I picked them up around 6:30 to  go out to dinner - we did an Asian fusion place which was nice, then dumped them back at the bar around 8. They must've come home around 2 am - Jackson was having a little barf fest, apparently sushi and beer are not a good combination. He will survive. He leaves tomorrow morning and  Adam will be staying for a few more days as he has a longer leave then his brother and not so far to travel. He's here til the 19th so hopefully he'll get to  see some of his friends and all of his relatives.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WIP - A Disaster In Progress

I have restarted the Shipwreck shawl and am making a proper mess of it so far. You would think I would have marked somewhere the row I left off. But that would make too much sense, wouldn't it? It would be like where I fixed the pattern for sock #1 which I started back in MARCH and didn't bother to write that down either since I was certain I would remember. So I saw I'd left row 7 on the counter, found my place on the Bleeding Heart pattern and began - I was sure I was on the 2nd set. Midway through I realized the stitch markers were only 10 apart and the pattern called for a 12 stitch repeat. Curious. So I fixed it on row 8, very proud at my ability to fix it and as I started row 9 I discovered that pattern only had 144 stitches per row and I had counted 290. Curious. That would be when I figured out I must have completed the Bleeding Heart and moved on to the Madeira pattern which has......a 10 stitch repeat. Mystery solved. So I will have two rows of Bleeding Heart smack dab in the middle but am intending to pass it off as something I meant to do - Artistic License instead of Glaring Mistake. It's a plan, go with it.  And I still have the last half of the socks to finish - they're parked up on the bookshelf  emitting accusing looks  on me daily - The Socks Of Guilt.  I secretly hate them and would throw them out but I've already knitted one and a half so I will soldier on - and hope I meet someone with one big heel. David and Jackson will be heading back here tomorrow morning - I would have liked them back a day earlier but Jackson's time is limited and David hasn't seen his parents in a couple of years, so what's a day? I actually had a fun day just messing around by myself - coffee, couch, knitting needles and TV, what more can a girl ask?. I did have a bit of a scramble this morning, not only can't I remember what row I'm on but I can't remember that Tuesday is Garbage Day. Tuesday has been Garbage Day since we moved here over a year ago, yet every week finds both David or I flying out the door  like Jesus is making a Special Guest Star Appearance  at  the bottom of the driveway ( of course if that happened I would have been wrong all these years, wouldn't I?) The other thing I've been having great fun with is my Kobe ereader I got from Borders for Christmas - I LOVE that thing! I've figured out how to download books and of course the first one I downloaded was P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, one of the world's greatest books.  Adam is expected tomorrow night and once he's here I can stop worrying. Until they have to go back.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Give Me A V!

Jackson looks good, he managed to pig up his room in record time but he'll clean it before he goes. I hope. We had a good couple days together, nothing too special but it was fun just to see him again. I sent him and David back to LI on Sunday - as you remember David had missed his trip there due to an unexpected truck repair and I know his parents were disappointed. Adam ended up changing his plans and won't be here til Wednesday so I changed Jackson's plans so he would have enough time to see everyone on LI. I had to work today so it worked out well. I am planning on us all spending one day together which will be Thursday because David is working on the weekend so he can't come with us. Today was my last day of work and then I'm off for two weeks - I don't think I've ever had such a long vacation! It's making me a bit anxious - what didn't I do, what did I forget, what if something happens when I'm gone? But other people have gone on vacation and I've survived it, so I suppose they will survive without me. In other news I finished the baby sweater this morning, frantically adding the last touches before work. I wasn't able to get a picture of it because David took the camera to LI but hopefully the mother of the recipient will take a picture and send it to me. It came out better than I thought it would. Now i can finish the socks and the shawl -although whether the socks get finished or not is up in the air. i just don't like the pattern, it's a bit cumbersome or something and it's like a punishment. On the other hand I already have one an a half socks finished so we'll have to figure it out. But I have two weeks to do that, don't I?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I was laughing with an aide the other day - years ago when we were kids we used to figure out how old we would be in the year 2000. I figured out I would be THIRTYNINE - as close to dust as you could get! I would be almost  FORTY, most likely dead since that was a very advanced age. I am now on the verge of 50 and still this side of the ground, who would have guessed. With it being New Year Day it's of course very easy to get smarmy and nostalgic, isn't it? To make a boat load of Heartfelt Resolutions that will be forgotten by week's end.  But resolutions do have a purpose - they make you feel super guilty and give it another go. I received a Victoria's Secret catalog and a Weight Watchers coupon on the same day in the mail - if that's not a cosmic kick in the pants, I don't know what is. So I will resolve to lose weight, I just need to find a fun diet to do it with. I've done WW, South Beach and that one where you eat nothing but protein - Atkins?? - I just remember it doesn't work too well for vegetarians as there is only so much cheese, eggs and tofu dishes one person can eat. My other resolution is to sit on the couch and knit - it works for me. Jackson has arrived in one piece despite all the dangers that lurk out there - according to David I think I'm the only person that can do anything without something happening and feel the rest of the world needs my guidance. So I resolved  I would NOT call Jackson repeatedly offering travel advice and making him call me every step of the trip.  He called me from the airport before his plane took off - at 1 am and after sitting in bar with a Canadian he'd met while waiting for his plane - serves me  right, doesn't it? I picked him up from Longhorn Steak house where he was cheerfully bolting down a burger and beer with his Aunts - they had picked him up from the airport and drove him halfway. New Year's passed quietly, Jackson was exhausted from the red eye so he pretty much slept the night away.  I managed to plan his vacation to his satisfaction - it's difficult to make sure everyone sees him and he sees everyone he wants to see in such a little time frame. He kept saying it was so strange to see everyone after being away for two years - and it is. Adam will be arriving midweek - that will be strange as it will be the first time in FIVE years we will all be in the same room at the same time. We went through a long period where we didn't see Adam because he had been stationed overseas, now that he's stationed in Norfolk we can see him a few times a year at least - but now Jackson is living across the country so we are in the same boat with him! Oh well, I'll enjoy what I get and not worry about the rest - Happy New Year everyone!