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Monday, November 30, 2015

Clots Of Fun!

 So, I had my appointment with the hemotologist today - I had the bloodwork drawn two weeks ago as some of the labs were not the garden variety. No plain jane CBCs for me! Nope - lupus coagulant panels, ANA, etc - 11 vials of blood in all. Thank goodness for my amazing veins, I've had plenty of student nurses over the years practicing thier first blood draw on me - and not one has missed. The tech that drew my blood was amused to say the least at how efficiently I filled those tubes. So I was at the Cancer Center today because that's where hemotology hangs thier hat of course.  It's always interesting because as they do my vitals I get asked about my appetite, meds, any unusual bleeding, if I've fallen lately. The last one makes me crack up as I fall at least once a month - between reading/walking and not paying attention it's a frequent thing. Dr. Mag is amazing, she's one of those specialists you wish was your PCP. So. The results. Concerning. I tested positive for the lupus coags again so it is for real, there were a couple of other ones too. What this means is it will not make me form a clot but if I DO it will be a clot of the most epic proportions. It will form with super speed - heck, I'll probably be coughing them up like hairballs. So - well, that was pretty much it.
 I am still on a baby aspirin a day but now I have to REALLY take it. Every day. I did not mention that sometimes, when I can't remember the last time I took one, I will take 3 or 4 of those tasty orange candy flavored suckers. And yes, I do have a degree in nursing - that's why I can somehow weirdly justify such behavior.  If I have any surgery I have to call and will be aggressively be anti-coagulated for a week or two. I am not allowed to sit for hours on end on long trips, any signs of a clot - call and go to the ER. But I am not being put on coumadin, etc.. because once I start that it is for life and the doctor feels since I have had no problems it's not necessary at this point.
So once again I find myself in that familar yet weird grey area. Aside from having to lose weight I'm in excellent shape - no high blood pressure, no diabetes, don't smoke, social drinker, exerciser fairly regularly, I take calcium because I love it, a vitamin, and those orange baby aspirins which I've just about written poetic odes about - that's my entire medication list. I have glaucoma that like the coagulation issue it's there but just followed. A little laser surgery about 4 years ago and that's it. I've had two masses, calcification of the chest wall, a hysterectomy - all benign but I am predispositioned to tumors.But lurking in the background is my genetic demons - high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma. So in a nut shell - I'm a perfectly healthy genetic hot mess.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


I make a mean stew, really. I have few things I'm actually good at - I can knit well, excellent at baking, I can grow zucchini likes nobodies business AND I read like a fiend. This is not really bragging as the list of things I am NOT good at is a rather long and extensive list. If it was actually written down it would most likely cover a few pages. But I digress - I have made stew for years and yesterday was the perfect day. It was the last day of hunting, cold, rainy, damp and uncomfortble. It's not hard to make, just time consuming - stew is one of those dishes you don't want to fool around with too much. I dredge the meat in flour, brown it in oil and on high heat, add broth and seasonings. Once it starts to boil I throw in a full can of beer, turn it down and simmer for two hours. Turn it up, add your pototoes and carrots,cook on medium for half an hour and you're done. Over the years I've learned to streamline it a bit, I use little potatoes that don't need peeling and cubing, baby carrots that you can just dump it. Even though I don't eat it, there is nothing that smells better than a steamy stew on a winter's day. David and his friend Rich had  their last day of hunting so it was a perfect time - and it was finished with pumpkin pie of course. Speaking of pumpkin pie we had a great Thanksgiving of course, as we do every year we did the trek to NJ to see our friend Ray.  He is a creature of habit, but so are we - like a good stew, there is comfort in routine, isn't there? We ate at The Stack of course, a few trips to the book store, we sat and had coffee around Ray's table. We did take a side trip to Wegmans, I did not like the Poconos but that is one of the three things I miss about that area. The other two are The Knitter's Edge one of the biggest knitting stores I've ever seen and of course my old job and co-workers at the pediatric office in East Stroudsburg. But I digress - Ray enjoyed our visit as did we, we also did Home Depot and AC Moore - none of which seemed to be on the Black Friday hit list I might add. On Friday David did a few minor repairs, I picked up the trash in front of the house, we had one last meal together and off we went. It's a bit hard being so far from him - we have been friends with Ray for about 35 years, he used to come visit up quite often. During the warm weather we would see him every other weekend, every home we've bought has had a room for Ray to stay in. Where ever we landed he would be along for the adventure - we drove many a backroad to take pictures, did festivals and exhibits, ate at every restuarant you can think of. Back further on Long Island when Mikio and Setsu were alive we ate dinner out Saturday nights, brunch every Sunday without fail. We had other people come to eat - Alex, Ann, Pam, Pat ,and it would go on for hours. We spent many a meal discussing artists, politics, debating everything under the sun and then some. Both of my boys to this day can hold thier own in any political debate - what good days they were! I wish Ray lived closer, but we'll take what we can get, we are truly the keepers of his past - and ours.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Switch And Bait

 I've had a Kobo Mini ereader for years, I use it almost every day and it's one of my favorite toys. It's really, really tiny so it fits in my purse, pocket, etc... But due to it's constant use I've noticed the battery is starting to tire. Now, Kobo stopped producing the Mini a few years ago (it doesn't hold a lot of books) and I had given up hope. But a week or so ago they were having a 3 day sale ONLY, it was an updated version with a sleep cover, not badly priced either. I ordered it straight off of course and began to wait for the alloted 7 to 10 business days to be over. The other day I got a weird email apologizing for a order error that was caused by their shipping  software, I would not be getting the grey cover but a ruby silicon back. They would discount me $10 back if I took it - I thought about it and emailed back no, I wanted what I ordered. I got another email that they had recieved my "request for assistance" and would contact me when they knew something.
 That was just weird.
I emailed them again that I wanted what I had ordered and got another email stating they got my request for assistance - and they had refunded my money in full - emailed again stating I just wanted what I ordered. I got my Kobo the next day and not only was it the wrong cover, but there was a bunch of stuff blacked out on the back of the box. The Kobo itself was not white, but black and looked nothing like the one on the website. I went back to the internet and found an article about this - apparently EVERYONE got the ruby silicon cover. Because there were never any grey covers. The reason being was these were 3 year old Kobo Mini.... demos. The ones they use as displays I think when you go to the store. Which was what was blacked out on the back of the boxes - Kobo is doing frantic damage control and are still claiming it was some weird sort of error. But really? How do you "accidently" black the word Demo out on  every item you send out? Or accidently send out an entirely different cover and then admit the one you had promoted doesn't even exist? So, am I mad? Nope! Because in a novel effort to avoid lawsuits, reporting and disgruntled book worms (seriously - you're going to piss off an entire legion of science fiction fans - we're not right in the head to start with!) Kobo sent everyone that ordered a mini a letter that a) stated I would be getting a full refund including shipping costs and b) keep the Mini for free! Because you can't sue for a free item, can you? So, I have my money and my Kobo, sort of like having your cake and eating it too, isn't it?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Girl

 Our Molly is the original Sunday Girl - that's the day we usually take the dogs out walking since there's no hunting. We went to a different part of the game lands today, it's the first time I've been out walking since I had that fall and hurt my hip so badly. It's just been this week I can get up a flight of stairs using both legs instead of one stepping it like a little kid so I haven't even thought about going for any extended walks or hikes - but today was the day! Molly just knows she is going to go for a ride and starts twirling and leaping, she bounces into the van and bounces out, races up  the hill, down the hill, chases Reuben, in other words she gets her money's worth. On the down side she somehow managed to find and roll in a cow patty - yuck! But other than that it was a great walk, I love this time of year around here, it is just right for walking and hiking. Cool enough so you don't get overheated, warm enough for a light coat. Reuben flushed 3 pheasants while we were out, he's still a bit of a runner but is calming down as he gets older. Molly is starting to get the idea so maybe someday she can go too, but she's still so gun shy David is hesitant to take her. But like I've said before, if she goes it's great, otherwise she is my companion - whatever makes her happy.
 In other news, I finished my latest pair of socks and am now on the next project. I will be knitting baby things soon, my youngest son Jackson and wife Brandi are expecting - twins! I am so excited that I'm going to be a grandmother, what a wonderful thing. We don't know if they're boys or girls yet so I am putting off buying some things for now. But we have some time to get ready.
I have had a quiet sort of weekend, I didn't get the job I had wanted, not so much feeling disappointed as I am feeling sad and a little betrayed, but it happens and I will deal with it. I'm just stepping back and breathing deep, too old for knee jerk reactions. And right now we have so much going on, all these things running in the background! David continues to work on the house in Waynesburg, he's made good progress but we've decided no more two story houses! It's fine if you're working with a crew but him working by himself it is not fine. Everything has to be transported up and down stairs and ladders - sheetrock, plumbing, heat vents, all to a second story. The roof has been a nightmare, a 100 year old steep roof two stories up - for the first time he's worn a safety harness and hated it. He told me it was inconvienient but I retorted falling two stories might be a little bit more offputting! He has 2/3 of it done and also has to do the siding . He is just repainting the gutters, he had thought about having new but the ones on the house just need cleaned out and painted. They're original to the house and suit it. He's replaced all of the windows - they were dangerous single pane (old enough to have imperfections in the glass!) sash and weight frames, but don't get upset - he gave them ALL to an artist who does paintings on old windows. So they were not destroyed and will continue on. He's actually let the whole neighborhood pick through and a lot of it has been re-used or turned into art projects.  One of the neighbors made her Halloween decorations out of the old boards he took out. Some things will be offered free, others might be put on Craigslist for a low price - that way people come get it - and we don't have to transport it.