Thursday, March 15, 2018

Home Sweet Home

Well, not quite germane to my situation, but close enough.


I have not been home for 4 months, while I have been in assorted hospitals, rehab, more hospitals, etc. you get the idea.  I now have a new knee, and am able to walk somewhat with a walker.  I also have "drop foot"  as a result of all the cutting and such, and it is slowly coming back to normal.  So good to sleep in my bed, use my bathroom, eat meals with my son.  I still cannot do stairs, so LR, DR, Kitchen are all unreachable.  I have the bedroom, bath, laundry, computer office (!) and I am quite content.

I have had two close calls with surgery, one where my blood pressure plummeted during the operation, and one where I had an emergency intubation when I stopped breathing in the recovery room.  I will think mighty hard about any general anesthesia in the future.  Although the blame for who is responsible for the panic time is still up in the air.

I will try to keep this blog up to date from here on out, I have missed doing it, although I only have a handful of followers right now.  That's OK with me anyway.  I  will have to re-read my past posts and see what I have already discussed.  I have plenty of time for doing this...

Bye for now...

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

More Bad News

This will be my last post for a while.  Turns out my replacement knee is infected, and tomorrow it comes out.  Then for the next 6 weeks I have daily IV antibiotic.  Then two weeks to see if the infection is gone; THEN another surgery to put a new knee in.  All that 6 week/two week I won't be able to walk/ put weight on the knee which will have a cement spacer during all this.  I cannot use crutches, I have tried in the past, and a walker won't work with no weight bearing.  I think I will be inpatient for this time.  I'll try to catch up if the facility has a router.

I am incredibly mad-sad-pissed-worried-etc.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Not very spooky

In keeping with Halloween, here is my strange-not-spooky tale.  I was working late in the lab when I went down the hall to the vending machines for a Diet Coke.  I put in my change, pressed Diet Coke, and - nothing.  I muttered, and that was my last bit of change, when there was a kerlunk! from the Pepsi machine next to the Coke one, and out dropped a Diet Pepsi.  I looked around for the candid camera, or whatever, but there was no one there anywhere on that floor.  I took the Pepsi, said, "thank you" and went back to the lab.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

So Far to go

The knee specialist told me last week that my knee needs surgery to stabilize my knee cap; but once they see what is going on in there, they may remove the prosthesis entirely and put in another one, of a different type that will be secured to the two parts and be stable.  I won't know what the decision will be until I wake up.  If they have replaced the knee, I will be back at ground zero in terms of therapy, rehab, and exercises.  I am so so sorry I had this done, even though the doctor said after the replacement that the ends of my tibia (?) were becoming green and black as they deteriorated.  The specialist and my original doctor will do the surgery together.  They blame my fall at home for the poor progress.  Who would have thought a simple fall onto 3 inches of carpet and padding would be so dire?

Do you recognize this?

When I was married (at the ripe old age of 19) we didn't have enough money to "make a bean sandwich for a piss ant" as my mother-in-law once said.  So for a cheap evening, we went to a drive-in theater that was showing a marathon of spaghetti westerns by Clint Eastwood.  They were, "A Fistful of dollars", "A few dollars more" and "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".  They were called 'spaghetti'  because they were filmed in Spain (and not Italy as often said), and I crashed after the second one.   It wasn't until many years later that I saw the ending of the one I missed.  I think Clint made a princely sum of $15,000 for the first one, his first as the starring actor.

Once we had kids, movies were off the table, between admission prices, babysitters, snacks, dinner at a diner.  Of course now when I could go to any movie at all, there isn't much to watch.  The last movie I saw in the theater was "Avatar" and the 3-D effect left me with an excruciating headache.  And all the scenes where the perspective is a fall down for a long distance triggered my fear of heights.  All in all, not a 5 plus experience.

This an oldie but one of my favorites from Bloom  County.  No more Hare Krishnas in airports now, and no Bloom County either.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Here is my beautiful Poco palomino from a long long long time ago.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


I got all showered and made up, and then my stupid knee started failing every stride, so I didn't get to go to my appt. with the financial guy.  Bummer!  As we used to say.  I spoke to the doctor - an actual doctor on the phone! and he is setting up an appointment with a knee specialist "this week".  His final admonishment was "don't fall" so I guess I had better be extra careful at least until I see the specialist.  I just hope there is a solution outside of more surgery.

The horse continues to show signs of a stroke, but she doesn't seem to be in pain or distress.  She still nickers at us, but no whiney with her tongue poking out of her mouth.  She can't  crib either, and has substituted flapping her tongue up and down.  Weird horse.  At least she can't scream at what she thinks is another horse when all she is hearing is kids with high voices yelling.

I am afraid we have a skunk visiting in the garage, this after trapping and releasing 3 possums.  You know what a skunk will do after the door slams shut.  And as soon as you pick up the crate again.  Please don't be a skunk, even a coon is OK.

When we lived in San Francisco, I boarded my palomino horse in Golden Gate Park, and my stall was one under the bleachers that faced the polo field.  From inside his stall I could see a triangular space way up high, and there was a family of coons that lived up there.  There were two ways to get out, one was to go down to the last stall and down the wall, and other was to plummet onto my horse as he stood there peacefully dosing. He did not appreciate them at all.  Finally I camped out and waited until the family exited for the night, and then I stuffed the opening and nesting site with chicken wire.  Nasty job.  I thought coons were cleanly animals, they even wash their food, but take it from me, their nests are filthy.  I wore a surgical mask and long gloves and a tyvex overall, gross.  And while I was at it, I stuffed chicken wire above the wall between my stall and the next to stop the pigeons from perching there and crapping all over the horses.  My horse wore a blanket to keep him clean, but it didn't cover his neck, so, ick.  A Palomino, if you don't know, is golden with white mane and tail, so dirt shows up really well.  I used to shampoo his mane and blow-dry it afterwards, I was in a bunch of photos I guess, with all the tourists strolling through.  Gosh I miss that horse,  had him shipped from SF to WV when we moved, and he lived until he was 22.  I wonder if the polo field and the stable are still there, it has been 38 years.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I went to see the ortho doctor yesterday, and it was discouraging.  He moved my poor knee through all the various movements, and shook his head and said it is definitely a very loose kneecap.  He said, "I know you don't want to do surgery again."  So he fixed me up with a knee brace, called a J-brace, and said to come back in 4 weeks.  My knee now is *very* loose and I don't know if it is from the exam or a by-symptom of the new brace.  It has even "popped" while I was wearing the brace.  I am thoroughly discouraged.  And I am sure no one wants to hear any more about it.

When I cleared up all the papers and such from my parent's home, I just glanced through them all as I filled black trash bags to be sorted later.  When that time came, I was appalled at the minutiae in them.  There was a receipt for a 25 cent spring for a 42 Packard, as an example.  They also saved all of my report cards and those of my sister too.  I had never seen hers, so I was amazed when I looked through them and realized that she *never* passed a single subject.  They were all Fs.  All of them.  And yet she was promoted to the next grade.  I studied hard and was discouraged when I got a "B", so I guess my parents kept her cards confidential so she wouldn't be jealous of my good grades.  Anyway, by the time she moved here, she couldn't read or write, but boy she knew how to spend.  She begged money from our parents (who were not well off) every month, but she had nothing to show for it, not furniture, dishes, clothes, collectibles, what she spent all that money on I have no clue even now.  Drugs?  Booze?  Gambling?  It is 13 years since she passed away, and I still don't know.  My parents died two and five years before she died, in credit card debt as far as they could be.  Both were in a nursing home, Mom for 4 weeks and Dad for 3 years, and never got to be financially secure in all those or previous years.  She didn't visit them either, I think she moved on to her church for money, more fools they.  My folks even had triple mortgages on their home, which I only found out once I was their executrix.  There was no love lost between my sister and me;  and in fact I had no contact with her the last two years before she died (as the result of a fall on an icy sidewalk).  I know at her funeral we were treated as the pariah by the church members but not by the pastor, who knew her manipulative ways and told the others, in the nicest way, at her funeral, bless his heart.

Water and Bridges.

I think it is time for a wee nap, once I struggle into bed.  The kids just got back from the grocery store and brought home some white chocolate macadamia cookies, yum.  Maybe after dinner...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Days Gone

We had KFC for dinner the other night, and it has changed.  I don't know if the whole franchise has changed recipes or if our local Kentucky Fried Chicken has gotten poor.  But the chicken was greasy (nothing new there) soggy (yuck) and tasted completely different.  We don't get fast food very often, but I think that will be our last purchase from there for the foreseeable future.  Fried chicken is not rocket science.

I am getting an error code from blogger, I think the internet here is down.  I am not about to write a long post and then have it lost, so I will wait a bit and see if it comes up.

When I was a kid, eating out anywhere was a real rare treat.  We went to BarBQue barn, or Pizza Hut, or really rarely to the local steak place.  My dad was agreeable for any food, except for steak.  We never fixed it at home, and I would be horribly embarrassed when he ordered steak.  He wanted his steak Well Done, no pink whatsoever, and would send it back multiple times before he got his shoe-leather steak done  the way he liked it.  The other thing was, his criteria for a good restaurant was how much butter they gave you for the bread.  If it was a big lump, and no steak, he was content.  At least in Miami back in the 50s there was not much of a possibility you would see someone you knew while you were eating, or even if you were shopping at one of the big box stores.  The exception for my family was Sears.  Mom and I and my sister went to Sears one night and she ordered chain link fence to be installed in the back yard, and it was on her Sears credit card.  When the sales lady called for approval, it was declined.  I'm not sure why, but at any rate, the lady called a supervisor to see if he would approve the sale.  Much to Mom's dismay, the supervisor was Mr Marks, who lived across the street from us, with two daughters my age that I played with.  She was nearly in tears (and my mom NEVER cried) but he didn't say anything, just signed the approval and disappeared.  I don't think we ever charged anything anywhere after that.  At least until my married sister cried for money, month after month, and they tapped out their credit cards, but that is another story.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I was walking with my cane in the kitchen, and Blam! my knee gave out and away I went.  The only reason I didn't hit the floor is that I grabbed the freezer.  I hate this; what if it gave out as I came up the stairs?  I want my walker at hand, so I can have at least a chance of catching myself.  We are going to try a neoprene brace (the kind they sell at the drug store) and see if it stabilizes my knee.  I am so sick of all this; I thought I was improving with my cane, getting close to walking free of pain and weakness.  Damn.  Surgeon next week.

I have been getting a box every month from Birchbox, cosmetics, a mix of skin care and makeup.  I just love to get my box, play around with everything.  I also get a box from Cosmetique, not as nice as the Birchbox.  I may cancel it, I'll give it another month to see if it improves.  Many years ago I was getting things from them (we're talking 15 or more years) and can you believe it, the palette of  eye shadow was exactly the same?  I know because I went through all my drawers a few weeks ago, and there it was, untouched.  I hope it was a one-off thing.

I  called a lawn management co.  that has been treating our lawn for years.  The thing is, the lawn springs out of the ground from all the treatment, and C can't keep up with the mowing.  So I asked them to drop the treatment and come mow/trim the lawn.  C says he can do it, but he already has so much to do, between cooking, cleaning, taking care of the horse and cats/boxes, laundry, driving me to my appointments, collecting my scripts, if you can think of anything else he does it.  So I will see how the lawn mowing goes, and how much it costs, to decide.

It is nearing 5 am so I will end this pity party and go back to bed.  And here is hoping Irma didn't hurt anyone, and that the damage to home and work can be quickly repaired.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

It's smee!

Well OK, just this time I will post a very recent photo, taken Sept. 5th.  And an amusing cartoon, too.

Bye for now...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is this OK?

I have been sitting in my new chair and propping my operated-on leg up to help reduce the swelling and the improve the blue tinge in my foot.  Last night I was up in the small hours and my knee did its agony when I tweaked it the wrong way, no fun.  It has been weeks since the original surgery to replace my knee with a prosthetic one.  My message is, unless you are dragging your leg up the stairs, don't do it.  I am so sorry I did.

I am afraid to come down the stairs, afraid of falling again.  I fell a few years ago on the lower set and broke a rib, and on the upper set of stairs I fell and broke my ankle, so fear is an understandable result now.  What if my knee chooses that time to give out?

Monday I was off on a safari to walmart; I didn't plan to get out, just go for the ride.  As we began to get in the car, Maybe (horse) nickered at us from the water trough, and something didn't sound right.  To make a long story shorter, she had had a stroke, and what I saw was her tongue hanging out of the right side of her mouth.  She had the symptoms all on the right side of her head;  ear, eye, pupil,  posture, the whole set of symptoms.  We went to walmart just to get what we needed and then call the vet when we got home, but who did we run into at walmart but the vet.  I think you can find anyone at walmart if you hang around long enough!  Her prognosis won't be known for a week or so; better or worse.  C brought her into the barn so the vet could examine her, but when C tried to halter her yesterday, she did the "I'll kick you!" message, and so she didn't get her shot.  She is on bute twice a day mixed in her grain, we shall see how it goes.  She is 25.  Aren't we having a good time in the last 18 months?

The home health nurse just left this morning, she will be coming weekly until Oct, this in addition to the physical therapist who comes twice a week.  After that, once a week for him as well.  If I could just conquer my fear...

 So far no new visits from possums, the have-a-heart trap works great, and baited with peanut butter it doesn't attract the cats.  So grateful not to have skunks or porcupines, touch wood.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Post doctor post

I'm back from going to see the ortho doctor, for him to see the progress on my replacement knee.  It has come along quite nicely since the revision surgery on July 12th, and the exercises have contributed to that as well.  It was great to be outside, this boxy bedroom may be large, but after weeks in here I am ready for a road trip.  Not that it will happen... I didn't need the wheelchair, only the walker, and Dr. P was amused by my hand foam padding, "handeze", that has soothed the calluses on my palm.  Earlier this week C came home from a Walmart run with a quad cane, I had practiced with one in the rehab hospital.  This room has 3 inches of carpet plus padding and is not the best place to use a cane, it wiggles around so much.  But I will see.  The therapist will come tomorrow and I am sure he will want me to work on stairs.  Shudder.  I have a very great fear of falling, with good reason.  On the other hand, I don't want to write off half of the house because 13 steps can't be done.

I keep getting messages from Yahoo that I cannot sign in with an unsecured address.  I haven't tried to sign in anywhere unusual, but I changed my password.  I didn't write it down and now I am stuck using a mystery password.  Hopefully it won't matter.

I got a note from H yesterday, it was brief but at least I heard from her.  She didn't follow up on any of the things I put in my last message which wasn't brief, so I don't know if she got it after all.  I think our friendship is slowly sinking.  She moved away 4 years ago, and tho she regularly travels to see her grandson and therefore passes right through this area, she never stops.  I even used bribery, that I would gift her my golf clubs which I only used once, but that didn't work either.  She has a huge number of friends, while I have many many less (like 3), and it would be hard for her to understand the isolation that causes.  Then there is this damned knee surgery, but we won't go there.  Anyway, sadly, it is probably past time to move on.

I want very much to get my nails done, but logistics interfere, and so I have bare nails for the first time in a very long time.  They look peculiar short and without polish, but it won't hurt to let them grow and get smooth again.  Gel nails are really strong and absolutely do not pop off, stronger than my natural nail which means they must be soaked in acetone to remove them.  Mine are all gone because my nail outgrew the gel tip, a matter of several weeks.  We women are such slaves to our appearance  ;-)

Speaking of appearance, I have been getting some cosmetics through eBay and thru subscription sites, a new wrinkle for me.  I enjoy fooling around with makeup, tho I usually don't use it day to day, once I retired and didn't need to impress anybody.  I struggle just to keep showered and my hair colored.  Speaking of which I need to get it colored now, if I can maneuver in and out of those chairs.

The eclipse was a non-event for me; I slept through the whole thing I am embarrassed to admit.  C said it didn't get any darker than a dusky-like time, although the darkness confused the crickets and began to chirp.  Someone had a really neat solution to looking at the sun, they just used a colander and moved it up and down to focus the image on the ground, a whole lot easier than making a pin-hole camera, but a similar method.  The photos I have seen on line show the sun very plainly, but no solar flares off the corona, probably only scientists are interested in that detail.  Or maybe I am surfing too widely to find the right images.  Anyway, another eclipse is due in 6 years which will pass directly over here, I must try to time my nap better.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


The only reason I know what day of the week is the local newspaper, C puts it on my breakfast tray.  Even so I get off-track about appointments, what day they are scheduled and where they are.  I see the surgeon doctor on Thursday this week, and I hope he has an uplifting explanation on the reason for the exquisitely painful thing that makes me want to go back to bed and never emerge.  I don't trust my knee, I don't see how I can give up my walker when it will hold me up until the pain dissipates.

Enough about poor-me problems.

I really really want to hear from H, I am desperate for someone outside of  the house (and my therapists) to help me focus on everyday things that have nothing to do with knees.  I know she is very busy with her job, and most likely writing a note to me feels like another hurdle to face.  She has been a friend for a long long time, first as a therapist and then as a friend, and she knows me like no one else in my life.  I am afraid if I seem to be nagging, etc., she will give me a pleasant goodbye.  My other close friend is my nail lady, and as I mentioned before I can't get in her house to get my nails done, with the walker.  If I could just convince myself that a walker isn't necessary now.

Whoops, there is that knee thing again.

I have a chip in my front tooth, a souvenir from my surgery, but the dentist's office is small and crowded.  C has a dentist appointment tomorrow, so he can scope out the in/out of going there for me.  
I hate going to the dentist, but now it fells like a safari expedition.  The chip isn't that worrisome, it is one on the back side of the tooth.  This is the second time I have gotten a chip from anesthesia, don't you think the surgical people could guard against this?  Maybe they do, and I just don't know.

The cats are still trying to get in this bedroom every time the door is open/closed.  We now have a squirt bottle with water that can be used to back them off for a few moments, in theory.  There is so much stuff heaped in here to make room for me and my walker, there are dozens of hiding places for a cat.  They eventually do come out to be scooped and expelled, so it doesn't seem like there is much incentive to sprint in here.  "Other side of the door" syndrome it seems.  I go out in the hallway to sit on the bench there and give them all scratches and belly rubs.

I am enjoying my cross stitch projects, there are two currently being worked on, I switch back and forth when I get bored with one.  Of the "Kitty Trio" one I have finished one cat and begun the second one.  The first one was a black and white, and the second cat is a tabby, much more difficult to do, changing colors every few stitches.  The second project is a sampler for 45 years of marriage, and it is bigger but much simpler in design.  I have tentatively lined up another pair of projects, but I won't begin them until these are done, or nearly so.  Then I will need to gently wash and press the finished item and take it to Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore to be framed, big $ I am afraid, I am very particular in selecting mats, glass, frame and it all adds up.  And last of all I need to figure out where to hang them, not enough blank walls to go around!

The mess in Va. is weighing on my heart, I am surprised at the number of protesters and counter-protesters involved, and the hate-filled white supremacists who think these violent confrontations are part of "free speech".  Clearly they are delusional, and slept through history class, if they think Hitler is a model for anyone at any time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

all things considered

I have had a rough couple of days.  It is especially painful when things have been sliding along so well, but Monday around 5:30 am I started to swing my legs back onto the bed when my knee seized up and I felt the most excruciating pain.  I put my leg back on the floor, and after I cried for a while, I called C to help me back into bed.  Today my knee still is stabbing me when I make an incautious move.  The therapist came yesterday and said there is nothing wrong with my knee, it was just one of those nerves getting pinched.  I am not trusting my knee now, especially for tricky moves like in and out of the shower.  The pain was an easy 10, then.  I am so sorry I have gotten this replacement done, my knee would have given me another year or more before becoming critical.

This computer, the Mac Air, is getting wonky as I write this, I hope there is nothing really wrong with it, just one of those "nerves"  getting "pinched" there too.  I would hate to have to send this for repair.

We will be getting hay delivered next week, 150 bales.  It seems like a lot of hay for one horse, probably will last until the last of the year.  The farrier comes on Friday to do the trimming of her hooves, and we will be set for another 8 weeks of that.  The vet came while I was in the hospital and trimmed the growth on her right ear, it was a bloody mess, but we are trying to keep it from occluding her ear canal and setting up the condition for an ear infection.   She is not calm enough for routine treatment with an antibacterial dressing.  I hope she doesn't go rapidly with this condition, as it is, the vet fee is $300 for  him to come out and excise it.  And it makes her rub and scratch at it on the posts, opening it up again.  I am starting to think of putting her down.  C has suggested giving her to the
shoer, but I don't  think it is a good idea for her; she has never been  turned out with other horses, she has been stall-kept when necessary (weather), and at 25 is too old to breed, etc., or to change her ways.  I will have to make a decision soon.  I had to put her mother (dam) down several years ago, she had damaged (broken?) her right hind and after weeks of treatment could no longer stand or walk.  I found her brother laying in the field, dead, causes unknown.  So much for drifting into an eternal rest.

The last year and a half have been one loss after another, starting with the death of my husband, and I am afraid it will continue with the death of this last horse, having taken the dogs too.  Several of our cats are aging a lot too.  If I can get a good shot at the damned possum in the garage that will be one loss I won't mourn.  Filthy animals.  Maybe a have-a-heart trap is the answer, bait it with peanut butter so the cats aren't trapped by accident.  Amazon to the rescue.  Update:  The trap did the trick and we released him waaaay out in the woods. Update to update: we caught another possum the following night, and saw a third one that is very large; May have a coon too, since we find cat food in the water bowl, where coons like to "wash" their food.  We are setting the trap every night; there has been rabies found in the area...

Saturday, August 12, 2017


This MacBook Air is starting to request sign in for every app.  In return, I have written  all the passwords down; it is a nuisance.  Hope it is just a transient problem.

C killed a millipede last evening, it is so icky.  I don't care that they eat other bugs, it is just too gross looking.  The thought of having one ON me is too creepy, I would have to take a shower then and there, and hope the single one is all there is.

My knee is doing pretty good, all thing considered.  The therapist (s) are coming 2 or 3 times a week, and I have been faithfully doing the exercises that they recommend, they are all OK except for the "sitting push up" ( rising out of a chair half-way and then sitting down again for the next one),  that one really hurts.  That, and the one where I prop my heel on a cushion, and let gravity pull the knee straight.  I have to lift my leg off the cushion when I do 10 minutes of this.  I hope I will be able to whip through the exercises soon, without breaks.  As it is, it takes me 30 - 40 minutes to do these.  So much fun.

I have all of my nails short, and the nail lady who does them is unavailable, as I would have to walk across her lawn, And then maneuver inside the tiny house to get to the little corner where her nail stuff is located.  She has offered to come here, but for now I will just wait and see how compromised my walking is.   It looks weird to see my nails au natural , I have kept them done for around 15 years, maybe more.  I am one of a handful that she still has, after closing her shop 2 years ago.  Maybe I will give them up altogether, we shall see.

This is really boring, all this minutia of my life, and it is 4:30 in the morning so I will quit for now.  Ciao.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Knee deep

Well, OK, I missed the last week of June and all of July, and the first week of August.  I had knee surgery on June 26th and It Did Not Go Well.  I fell and split the incision open, and had to have revision surgery, and 4 weeks in a rehab hospital.  Now I use a walker and a wheelchair for the foreseeable future, and I am upbeat about being home and being able to use the internet.  Of course there are those pesky bills, but I am sure all will be OK in that department soon.

Right now I can't do stairs, so I am restricted to the bottom floor, where my bedroom, bathroom, and computer room are located.  Outside of the kitchen I can't think of anything I need upstairs for now.  I am a little cabin feverish but being at home is so great I am not looking for any expeditions that might cause me to fall.  There are home health therapists scheduled for home visits too.  I am not permanently restricted, just until all is done healing.

Our cats are feverishly trying to get here in the bedroom, but they are not allowed in, I cannot put away non-cat safe items (like Yarn) so they must settle for peeks through the door.  Except for Beans, who has a magic ability to materialize between your feet when she even thinks the door will open, It is a little spooky, but she is promptly returned outside the door.  I am very pleased at how much cleaner the room is without cats, barring the post-fall stains on the brand new carpeted floor which are really hard to remove.  A small price to pay.

Since C is home full-time I can call him if I need any help, I just call him on his cell phone.  R is helping me with showers in the morning and on weekends, which was the main drawback in the hospital.  I feel that I have been incredibly lucky in the long run.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Moving right along

Last week I bought (on Amazon, of course) a "smart switch" with the goal of being able to turn a lamp in  my bedroom on and off through a command to Alexa.  Foolishly I thought the switch plugs into the receptacle , you plug the lamp into the switch, and there you go.  Foolish, I know.  The actual set-up is far more complicated, downloading an app to my smartphone, login, click "skills", etc. etc. Twelve entire steps, none of them intuitive.  So back it goes until they make a plug-and-play version.  Since it came through Amazon the return is simple, thankfully.  From the reviews, about 75% of the reviewers sent it back.  Even allowing that bad reviews predominate in any roster of comments, that's still a lot of irritated customers.  Including me.

I'm all prepared for my hospital surgery on Monday, just need a few last minute things to carry in my tote bag.  The heaviest item isn't the clothes, etc., but the slippers.  Why they are so heavy I haven't a clue; maybe it's because they are "designer" slippers, and the extra hype for the name makes them weightier? It is C who will have to shelp the bag around when the time comes that I will go to my room.  I'm surprised I will have 3 - 5 days in the hospital, followed by 2 weeks of therapy in my home, 2 - 3 times a week, then a follow-up visit with the surgeon at 2 weeks, it sounds positively generous on the part of Medicare.  Best to get this done before the Republicans get around to chopping benefits.  I wonder, do legislators also get Medicare at 65?  I have the same BC/BS coverage that they have (federal annuitant coverage, after 35 years in the federal service) which is my secondary coverage now that I am past 65.  And I wonder if their coverage includes treatment for blithering idiots?  I guess so.  Treatment for hearing, that precludes being told what they don't want to know.


Saturday, June 17, 2017


Isn't this a pretty tote bag?  It is crocheted, and it was on SALE!  I admit I am a bit of a hoarder of purses, but I have only 2 or 3 tote bags, some very large and some quite small, so this one is Goldilocks, just right.  I looked at straw/rafia bags, but they feel so stiff in the hand (unlike this one), and have a limited life span as the straw gets brittle and cracks.  The totes I have have been with me for many years, and I anticipate that this one will last as long too.

Anyway, my big news today is that I got an email just for me; not a sale's pitch, not a campaign plea, not a notice that my bill is due.  This was an honest to goodness message from an old friend.  I don't hear from her very often.  My BFF died of cancer about 3 years ago, and we sent mail back and forth weekly or so, and I miss her very much, both the absence of her friendship and of her letters.  Everyone is so busy, I know they aren't retired like me with scads of free time, but I wish I would get a note, and short is OK.  I remember getting letters from  my grandmother when I was away at college (decades ago), and scarcely sent back a reply, I was so busy.  She died suddenly at finals time for me, and I didn't even get to the funeral to see her old neighbors and friends.  I still feel remorse at how cavalier I was in those days.

I cleared off the bed in the spare bedroom today, being a flat surface it accumulates everything on it from mail to laundry.  I have my Zappos shoes all packaged up and ready to go on Monday, once we found the package tape.  And I found the notebook that holds my retirement information, I knew it wasn't lost, I just couldn't put my hand on it right then.  And I gathered up all my cross stitch stuff and took it downstairs where I can sit in my new chair, prop my feet up, turn on my Ott light and stitch away.  Alexa plays music for me, although we have a failure to communicate once in a while.  For instance, I wanted to hear cuts from Bob Seger's album, and there were presumably only 2 songs available, so Alexa kept switching from one to the other.  I finally got us on a Tom Petty groove, and then Don Henley, and Phil Collins, and by then I was tired of stitching.  But it sure beats having to find the right CD and physically switch them as they finished.  So, what do I do with 400 CDs now?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spam calls

I got one of those mean-spirited scam calls, perhaps from overseas based on the accent.  He started telling me that he was from Microsoft and that there was a problem with my computer.  When he paused for a breath, I asked him if he felt any kind of remorse for trying to scam money out of old people who were too gullible.  He shouted, 'you cannot lecture me!  You are not my mother!' and hung up.  Wow, there is still some vestige of honor sparking in con artists, I guess.  That, and the power of moms the world over.

Tomorrow I see my family doctor to get clearance for my surgery on the 26th.  I saw her about a month ago for a check up and so I don't foresee any glitch from this.  I went last week for the usual lab work, urinalysis, EKG, chest X-ray and I assume if there were any problems I would have heard by now.  I would hope.  As an aside, many many years ago my father was scheduled to have back surgery, and he had the workup similar to mine.  The weekend just after I was working in the lab, and I looked at his lab results, which was strictly forbidden, a firing offense, if discovered.  When I looked, it was a shock to see the lab work indicated an infection.  I called my mom that night and told her what I knew, and my only worry is that no one would catch the results and overlook a potentially critical problem.  So we decided she should call the clinic and say that he is showing signs of a bladder infection, and since they were there a couple of days ago, maybe someone could check the results?  Oh wow, they told Mom that she was a wizard for catching that, and I'm sure some 3rd year med student got reamed for not checking the labs.  They postponed his surgery until he was clear.  It still would have gotten me fired if we told the truth.  And none of it matters now, but still I have written here vaguely enough.  Mom and Dad are long gone (Mom would have been 99 in July), and I am long retired; no records could still be around as proof.  One of the few times I broke an important rule; but I may have saved my dad's life.

So I will inquire about my labs when I see Dr. J tomorrow, just in case.