Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Major life changes

Sadly, I must put the blog on hold right now. The reason is that I have so many commitments that I no longer have time for it. I see a psychiatrist, a therapist one day a week, a mobile therapist one day a week, and a case manager once a week. And not to mention seeing a regular medical doctor every so often. That doesn't leave me much time. So after awhile, I just had to face the fact that there's only so many hours in a day. I might get one or two days free in my schedule. And my therapist assigns me "homework" which takes a time, too. But it's been a blast, and I don't intend for this to be permanent. The last time I took a sabbatical, I came back after awhile. So this won't be permanent. I just need to take time for myself. (That's another thing I have to "take care of"--Blaine........) Please know I care about all of you. And I'll miss you. And hopefully it won't be too long of an absence. Take care---I love you all......

Friday, April 08, 2011

Technology Smecknology.....

See the two phones up there? Obviously the one to the left is my landline and the other is my new cell phone. Previously, I had thought I was all "modern" because my landline phone had a little pedestal which enables the phone to be elevated up into the air--- and so you can see it and get your bearings if you are ever lost in a cornfield.

But I'd been wanting a new cell phone for awhile and so Blaine helped me buy one. I picked one out of the hundreds of Sprint Phones he "approved" of on the internet, gave him the money, and told him to pick it up on his way home. And thus, he came home with something he called a "Smart Phone". But it looked normal enough for me so I wasn't too worried.

That was my first mistake.

Then I emailed my sister and told her I'd gotten a new phone. She asked: "Is it a Smart Phone? Mine is and I couldn't live without it."

Smart Phone? Why, I asked her? Are there Dumb Phones? Are there Genius Phones? Are there phones for people who surpass even the term "genius"? And she replied that I would "love" the phone because you can play Scrabble on it and also use your email account. I told her I hadn't a clue how to operate the damn thing.

(I secretly thought I must need the "Dumb Phone".)

Then I made my second mistake. I asked Blaine why they are called "Smart Phones"......

And he began the longest soliloquy I've ever heard extolling the virtues of the various things you could do with "data", Kindle, spreadsheets, serials and conference calls on the phone.

Finally, as my eyes were beginning to glaze over, I simply asked:

"Okay, how do you answer it if it rings?"



Monday, April 04, 2011

And The Food Was Crap, Too.....


The above picture is what happens when you're gone to the hospital for three days----you come home to find that your cats have no discipline and feel that they can jump onto the table to stick their head in Blaine's dinner. And when I caught her doing that, she nonchalantly moved and pretended to be looking at the lottery tickets. (Yeah right---like Little Baby is going to play the lottery....or can read, for that matter....)

Anyway, Thursday I woke up and was very dizzy, lurching around like a drunk (I know...no jokes please) with an unbalanced gait and slurred speech. I called my therapist and he immediately flipped out and started hollering about how he thought it might be lithium toxicity since that is the most recent drug they've stuck me on. He consulted my Case Manager who was adamant that I had a choice: either get Blaine to immediately take me to the hospital or he would call 911. Ridiculous. But my Case Manager doesn't play around--when he thinks something should be done, he's going to get it done his way come hell or high water.

As it turned out, Blaine was able to get off work immediately to be able to come take me to the hospital. And even though my lithium level came back normal, the ER doctor still decided to admit me to the hospital as an inpatient to figure out if I'd had a stroke or something. And thus began my 3-day odyssey into the land of incompetence---and it was a circus from start to finish. And later in the first day I was in the hospital my Case Manager came to see what they were going to do to me and then sat for one hour in my room talking to me. I was surrounded by people making decisions for me.

I didn't mind most things because I knew they had to do their tests. I didn't mind the Speech Therapy consult, nor the Occupational Therapy consult, or Physical Therapy consult. I didn't mind the head CT nor the head MRI. I didn't even mind the fact that there are apparently only two nurses in the entire hospital that can get an IV into me without sticking me 18 times. But when I found out that the neurologist and the psychiatrist who had been consulted were going to delay their exams until Monday, I hit the roof and I'll tell you why.

I am a nurse.

And thus, I well know doctors' shenanigans. I know every one of their tricks. I know how they love to skip-to-my-lou right out the hospital door on Friday afternoons, leaving their wretched patients to languish for the weekend. And I was having none of it. Listen, I put up with doctors' and their crap for 22 years as an RN. And I was good to them. I tried always to make their jobs easier. And now, here I am, 22 years later, on the other side of the fence. And I didn't like being a victim of the system one little bit. I know America tries to lay claim to the best health care in the world, but let me tell you---IT'S CRAP. Next time, send me to Canada!

Saturday morning, after finding out that the neurologist and psychiatrist were going to wait till Monday to come deal with me, I quickly decided that there was no way in hell I was going to be stuck in that damn bed, hooked up to an IV which made it impossible to even crochet or knit to pass the time, for the whole weekend. You can't get any sleep in the hospital because every hour or so somebody wakes you up to take your blood pressure or something. And when you have an IV, you have to call someone to help you go to the bathroom. (It's their rule---even though I felt perfectly capable for unplugging the IV plug and pushing the IV pole into the bathroom.) Soon, you're so sleep deprived that you become homicidal. And you start hallucinating that the staff all look like giant green grasshoppers.

So that morning, when I ventilated my complaints to my day nurse, threatening to leave the hospital AMA ("Against Medical Advice") he persuaded me not to do that and promised he'd try to help. He said he'd try to get my main doctor to hurry up and come. And he told me that when she got there to insist she discharge me at once and allow me to simply make office appointments for the delinquent neurologist and psychiatrist.

And that's exactly what I did. (Bless that nurse's heart.)

And by the way---when I was admitted, they immediately took me off ALL my meds. Yes, ALL OF THEM!!! And it didn't matter that I explained that I was a patient of the such-and-such psychiatric center and that I can't do without my meds more than a day or two before I begin to show cracks in my sanity. And also that two of my meds are anti-seizure meds. They are used for psychiatric reasons, but if taken away "cold turkey" one's body interprets it as "there is now no barrier to having a seizure."

So when I asked WHY my meds had been discontinued cold turkey, while explaining that it had taken 2 years for my psychiatrist to come up with the cocktail of drugs that calms the toxic drumbeats of my bipolar, OCD, PTSD, and anxiety/depression condition, they answered that they took me off all of them to see if there was a possible "drug interaction" that caused Thursday's condition, symptoms of which were no longer present--- and the doctors who would best be able to look at things intelligently, the neurologist and the psychiatrist, were NOWHERE TO BE SEEN.


There were lots of other things which happened that showed substandard care. My head CT came back with a description of somebody else's abdominal CT. Lovely!!!!

Oh, so that's what was wrong with me! I had a pancreas, gall bladder and common bile duct in my head!

So by Saturday morning I was in tears. Just when I was at the peak of my bawling, my helpful day nurse came in and exclaimed: "Good God, Bo! Don't cry! Then they REALLY won't discharge you--they will INSIST you wait for the psychiatrist to come on Monday!" I could see the wisdom in his advice so I tried to get straight, using about 100 Kleenexes until I look composed.

Finally, my doctor got there and I told her to immediately discharge me out of that hellhole. "But what about that neurologist and psychiatrist?" she asked. I replied: "I'm not about to sit in this stupid bed all weekend while they play golf and let their patients sit in the hospital an extra two days in order to pay for their next divorce and Mercedes.

(In case any doctors read this, please know that I helped doctors for 22 years as an RN and I was in a near insane mindset by this time.)

So my doctor (seeing in my demeanor that I meant business) wrote out my discharge instructions, which included instructions to make office appointments with their psychiatrist and neurologist---which I have no intention of doing. Those two yay-hoos can whistle Dixie before I go see either of them.

As for the diagnosis----do you know what I think was really going on Thursday morning? After I had a chance to think about it, I realized that it was most likely a really bad flare up of my Meniere's Disease, which I haven't had an attack for several years and forgot all about, which the damn neurologist would have known had he shown his ugly head. It sure as hell wasn't Lithium toxity because that level was normal. And it was not drug toxicity because I've been on those meds forever. Okay, I'll grant them the fact that the symptoms in my body of the fairly new regimen of Lithium are not entirely known yet, and they instructed me to take half of my usual dosage which I am willing to do until I can hook up with my own psychiatrist. They also advised me to take OTC dizziness medicine, which the first pill took away any lingering symptoms, furthering my suspicion was a flare up of my Meniere's Disease.

So Blaine took me home from the hospital and was very nice to me for the rest of the weekend. He had my trust check cashed for me, he'd cleaned the whole house, done all of the laundry, and he had his brand new gas grill going so to make whatever I wanted for dinner. (I wanted chicken), and he'd bought me a new pair of jeans.

And so ended my very unpleasant safari into the jungle of the world of the damn hospital system. What makes it all worse is that this particular hospital is supposed to be one of the most luxurious, high quality hospitals in the area. Hell, I would have been in better hands with a witch doctor.

Oh, by the way....I just took the below picture last night to show you the hail storm.



Saturday, April 02, 2011

Sorry for my absence. I had a physical issue and had to go to the hospital. One word of advice---if you're ever sick, make the hospital the LAST FRIGGING PLACE you go. (Let me get situated and I'll explain.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ali Baba and the Forty Beers?


The lights go out and I can't be saved,
Tides that I tried to swim against,
Have brought me down upon my knees,
Oh I beg, I beg and plead singing....
("Clocks", Coldplay)

I wish I was as relaxed and unconcerned as Little Baby evidently is above.
Sigh... I'm not going to lie to you. I totally screwed up. And I admit it. You don't need to chastise me because believe me---I've already done it for you.

It happened recently during a couple of days that Blaine and I had had an argument about something stupid. Blaine and I don't fight often but when we do it can get pretty intense. But the problem is that when the fight is over, Blaine goes back to normal as if nothing happened. But I'm not like that. After a fight is over, I get melancholy and sad, a condition which can last for days.

During those times that I'm sad, Blaine tries to cajole me out of it, buying me presents and being extra nice. But I feel traumatized and it takes me a few days to snap out of it. And this particular argument led me to do something quite unhelpful.

Here's how it went down:

The other night, after we had finished with the argument, Blaine had to participate in a conference call for his company. And the call went on for so long that he didn't have time to drink 2 beers he had brought home to drink after work. So he simply left them in the refrigerator and went to bed. Blaine doesn't normally leave beers in the refrigerator but this time he did....

The next day I was still very melancholy and moping around the house feeling sorry for myself. It was Thursday, my long day at the psych center. I was so totally out of sorts that I called in sick. Then I moped around the house some more, knitting here and crocheting there, watching TV but not really listening to it, and continuing to pout as if I were some sort of martyr. Finally, I got hungry and went to the refrigerator to get a couple of Laughing Cow cheese wedges and some grapes for a snack.

And then I saw them...... the two beers.....

A million thoughts went through my brain. And none of them good. I am supposed to be a recovering alcoholic and I should have done what my therapist, Jack, has told me to do a bazillion times when faced with trouble (and alcoholic temptation is DEFINITELY considered "trouble"). I should have put in a request for a "coaching call". Jack or one of my other therapists always return requests for coaching calls to see if they can help you either feel better or avoid negative behaviors---like drinking alcohol.

But did I call for Jack? No I didn't. I could have called the mobile therapist or my case manager. But I didn't call them either. The three of my therapists are always nagging us patients to call them when we get into trouble but instead I just forged ahead in my self-pity and martyrdom.

I didn't call any of them.

I didn't call any of them because I was busy thinking thoughts I shouldn't have been thinking. "Nobody will know", I thought to myself. Because it was the one Friday that my case manager wasn't coming. Nobody was coming. And I didn't have to go anywhere.....

One thought kept sneaking into my head: "You're supposed to be a a recovering alcoholic---clean and sober..." but I ignored it.

And then another thought sneaked into my head. "Blaine was mean to me in that fight we had...."

I'm sure you know what happened next.

I grabbed those two beers and put them by the couch. And I began drinking them while I sat there watching TV. I was hoping the beers would relax me and get me over my melancholy mood.

So I sat there, bundled up in an afghan, sipping the beers. I wasn't getting drunk. My tolerance for alcohol is so high that it would take an entire keg to get me drunk. But I drank them anyway. And I was feeling some sort of vindication about the fight with Blaine. I felt that I "deserved" to drink the beers.

Because, you see, that's why they call the disease of alcoholism "cunning, baffling and powerful". It will get you as soon as you let your guard down. And I had definitely allowed my melancholy mood to let my guard down.

But I didn't feel that way while I was drinking the 2 beers. I was sniffling about the fight and blaming it all on Blaine in my head. Pouting. And pouting is another one of those emotions which can cause an alcoholic to let their guard down. And I'm champion pouter. If pouting were an Olympic sport I would always get the Gold Medal.

And then it happened.

Someone knocked on the door loudly.

What the hell? I thought to myself. And then I went and asked through the door "Who is it?" And to my utter mortification I heard a familiar voice answer me saying: "It's your case manager."

Oh. My. God. A thousand F-words were swirling around in my brain....

Stupidly, I said to the voice on the other side of the door: "Are you sure?" And the same voice answered back "It's not a mistake. It's your case manager, Bo. I was wondering why you called in sick today. Let me in."

I answered: "Dammit, you're not supposed to be here today!"

But he answered back "And yet here I stand, right Bo?"

And you know, for just a moment I thought of running and hiding the beers but who was I kidding? He'd know the minute he walked in from the smell of beer. So, I screwed up some courage.....and I let him in.

He walked in, holding his ever present clipboard, surveyed the situation, gazed at the 2 beers on the floor by the couch---and then turned and looked at me standing there looking like a fool with a baleful look on my face.

"What is going on, Bo?" he asked, eyeballing the two beers on the floor by the couch.

"Um.....I drank two beers," I answered. And then, feeling like "in for a penny, in for a pound", I told him the whole stupid story.

He didn't get mad. But he did sit with me a long time to discuss things I could have done instead of drinking the two stupid beers. The most frightening thing he said was: "You know, Bo, you're lucky you didn't get the inclination to drive down to the corner liquor store to get a big bottle of vodka, which was always your booze of choice."

"It never even occurred to me," I said. And it was true, thank goodness.

Anyway, it ended up that all three of my therapists continued to talk with me about this event in following appointments during the next week and now the incident is in the past and we've moved on. But one thing for sure is that I know that I need to be very wary of my negative moods. They can do damage. And I don't want there to be another alcohol incident.

* * * * * * * * * *

At group that week, Jack asked me what I had learned. And I replied: "It's kind of like what happened in the stories of Aladdin's magic lamp--- I found that if I rubbed a bottle of booze my case manager will magically appear on my doorstep".......



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dream.....


I'm thinking about, when Blaine comes home one day, to be in my sloppiest sweatpants, a stained sweatshirt, hair that looked like I'd been through a hurricane, no makeup, the house a complete mess, the cats meowing loudly for food, 3 cat puke areas (on carpet), the dishes dirty, the kitchen floor un-mopped and the living & dining room un-vacuumed, and his newspapers and Popular Science magazines lying around all over the place.

As his jaw dropped, I would say: "Thought I'd show you what I do all day by not doing it."




Monday, March 14, 2011

A Knitting Conundrum Day....

Woke up to this new snow today. And it seems so odd because we just had about a week of beautiful, spring-ish weather. But for now, this alien snow has cancelled my planned trip to Walmart because I never can de-snow the truck like Blaine does.

But I'm not without things to do on a day when I'm snowed in. For instance, I can look at the back of my uncle's sweater and think "Good-- I got that part down." But now the conundrum is what to do with the front of the pullover. I want to put a decorative, masculine, yet easy, panel up the front. But I've looked at all my cabling books and can't choose what I want. So I just sit here looking at the danged sweater, hoping that something in the knitted cables book choices will speak to me.

One thing about snow days is that I appreciate the fire more. We have an "adjustable" fire in that when the room gets cold, the fire clicks on. And if the room gets warm, the fire clicks off. And today it's pretty much on all day. But that's fine with me because between the weather and the fire, my brain concentrates on my knitting projects more....

Um....except I just took up a crochet project that I told myself I could work on for short breaks when I get tired of knitting the sweater. (But the truth is that I simply wanted to design something out of granny squares.)

Okay, the below granny squares are made from Malabrigo bulky in the colorway called "Brilliante". And I'm going to design a cardigan with them. It will be a spring sweater because of the large holes between the blocks of double crochet. And I'm going to design it with knitted areas as well as crocheted areas. I'll put the progress of both garments on the blog as I go.

Wish me luck!

Anyhoo, I guess I better get started as the hours are rolling by. But first I'm going to make myself some hot tea that Blaine bought for me. It's one of my favorites (next to Constant Comment), Twinings Earl Grey.



Tuesday, March 08, 2011

It May Not Be The Most Effective Grocery Shopping Method, But We're Used To It...

It's a rainy day.....and here I sit in my knitting chair, knitting. And I'm also pondering something else...


Now there's an interesting creature if I've ever seen one. There's a lot of eccentric qualities he has, but I'm only going to talk about the one that drives me the most bonkers.

And that is the fact that he is a champion grocery shopper. If there's ever made an Olympic sport for grocery shopping, he will win the Gold Medal hands down. (And I swear that the next paragraphs are the God's honest truth about how the two of us go about getting most of our groceries--it's Blaine's preferred method, not mine.)

Here's a typical day:

Blaine calls after work, from his cell phone---he's calling from the grocery store: "Bo, do we need anything?"

Me, from my knitting chair: "Let me look...." at which time I search the refrigerator and cabinet. Then I come back: "Yes, we need crackers, onions, 2 bottles of Vlasic Zesty dill pickles, lemons, a bag of frozen shrimp, and a red bell pepper."

We hang up. Of course, he doesn't write down the list.

Next, the phone rings again. It's Blaine. He says something like: " I'm on the pickle aisle. Do you HAVE to have these stupid Vlasic Zesty dill pickles? They are so expensive you wouldn't believe it, especially since you want not one but TWO jars. But there is a huge jar of pickles in another brand than Vlasic, and it is very inexpensive."

Me: "Yuk, I hate those other stupid dill pickles. They're crap. I love my Vlasic Zesty pickles and I go through one jar very quickly. That's why I want two jars of them."

I can hear him sighing into the phone. We hang up.

Sure enough, he calls back a little later. Blaine: "DAMMIT. I was so busy getting some interesting looking salad dressing and some ketchup that I went on for a few more aisles--- and I realized I had forgotten the pickles! Now I have to go all the way back to that aisle to get your damn pickles!" And he hangs up on me.

A little while later, he calls again, from the coffee aisle: "Hey, how low on coffee are we?"

Me: "Low. And the way we go through coffee you'd best get some more."

Blaine: "What do you think about Costa Rican coffee this time?"

Me: "I don't care what kind of coffee we have. Whatever you pick is always good." We hang up.

Then Blaine calls YET AGAIN.

Blaine issues an edict: "I'm taking a stand. Stop making me go back & forth in here!!! From now on, organize the grocery list so that it follows the flow of the grocery store's aisles. For example, put all the produce first, because I go through that section first. Then tell me anything needed on the ketchup, salad dressings, chow chow, and pickles aisle. Then comes the canned goods aisle, like for soups, beans, etc. Then comes the rice/pasta/dried beans aisle. Then I cruise the meat section. Next comes the dairy section and then comes the bread aisle. If, per chance, you want frozen goods they are right after the rice aisle. So-- tell me---you ARE going to do that way of organizing the groceries list in the future, right?"

Me: "You have got to be kidding me." This time I hang up. But he calls back.

Blaine: "No, I'm not kidding! Because while I was in the dairy section you told me about needing lemons!!! Goddang, Bo! Now I have to go all the way back to the damn produce section to get your damn lemons!"

Me: (Not having a good comeback so trying to think up a rather weak one.) "Hey, why can't you write the list down when I first tell you what stuff we need instead of calling me on every aisle? And by the way, you complained about the cost of my Vlasic Zest dill pickles. And yet I know you've probably spent about $14.00 on less than a pound of imported coffee. "

And then we get into a war of who wants the most expensive grocery items. I'm always curious about the thoughts of other shoppers who are hearing him bark into his cell phone things like: "Your stupid red bell pepper is way more expensive than the green ones! And how much have you spent on yarn this month young lady?"

But a little later (after we both tire of the "you spend more than me" game) he redeems himself. I always tell him to hit the magazine aisle to tell me which new knitting magazines are there. (And the magazine aisle is the other side of the pickle aisle so he doesn't mind stopping there.) One time, after he told me of a particular magazine, I said: "OH, I want it!" And then he actually had a second thought and said: "Wait---go look at your magazines---I think I bought this one for you already."

I ran to check---and sure enough, he was telling the truth! He HAD bought me that particular knitting magazine. The fact that he remembers little things like which knitting magazine he bought me causes me to realize that he is surely my knight in shining armor. How can I complain about the little things when he is such a sweetheart? (I call him Sugar Bear, which he puts up with, which is another one of his good qualities.....)

And the rain goes on......and I know that around 3:30 pm he'll call me from the grocery store.....and I need a couple things.....



Monday, February 28, 2011

The Sock Parade

See the above house socks? They are going to be mailed to Blaine's mother, Mary. And why, you ask, would I be doing this? It is because I finally gave up. She wore me down and I finally caved. (The above socks are my "Mardi Gras Socks" and my Opal tiger socks--and you can enlarge all the pictures by clicking on them.)

Anyhoo, it all has to do with my stupidity of knitting Mary a pair of house socks about a year and a half ago. I try to make one family member a knitted present every year. But giving Mary a pair of my socks created a monster. She began bugging me to knit her some more socks. But whenever she would bug me to knit her some more, I told her that I have a lot more family members (on both sides of the family) that I haven't knitted anything for and they were my priority for awhile. And furthermore, I told her I am currently working on my uncle's sweater right now and that it could be a long time till I finish it.

But none of this stopped her. She kept asking for more socks. Day in and day out. Every Christmas she asked---and every Thanksgiving, every Fourth of July, her birthday, St. Patrick's Day, President's Day, Cinco de Mayo and every family occasion at one of Blaine's family members' house. What was really maddening was that she also asked every time she called on the phone with myself or Blaine every weekend....

I was starting to go nutsy cuckoo.....

And then I had an epiphany.

Remember all those house socks I knitted last year? I only knitted them to see if I could play with color and stitch types. But I never wore them because they can get snagged on a nail on the metal joins between the dining room and the kitchen, and also the join between the hall and the downstairs bathroom. (This house is eons old.) So I just let the socks sit, fallow, in the knitting room.

And my epiphany was that I could give THOSE socks to Mary (she wants house socks instead of street socks.) The socks were knit for my size---and Mary has my size. So I told her on the phone that I would give them to her if she didn't mind that I never knit matching socks or sleeves. I told her that none of the socks were exactly like their mate. She said she didn't care. So Blaine told me he'll pick up a box to mail them when he's on his way home from work.

Below is a pair of "circus socks" and some camouflage socks I'm going to give her.

Then above is some "Leopardies" socks and some aran socks, each aran sock made with a different pattern. And then, of course, the Mardi Gras socks and some Opal tiger socks at the top of this post.

And ya know what I'm going to do? The box I mail the socks in will contain a nice note with a P.S. And the P.S. shall read:

"That's 6 pairs of socks, Mary. Now you're good for six years...."


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prayers Needed

I am praying very hard for New Zealand, due to the earthquake.

And yes, I know there is heartache, hardships, and even war (civil and otherwise) in other countries right now--- and my heart goes out to the innocents there, too. Each night as I watch the news about it I get tears in my eyes--and I pray for those victims too.

Heck, I think I'll pray for the whole world---and I'm not trying to be funny here. I really mean it. Having lived overseas until I came back to America for college, I have developed a deep love for all of those in other countries and their cultures.

Please God, help us all.....



Sunday, February 20, 2011

If I'd Had The Nerve, I'd Have Drawn a Clowny-Face on Blaine With Lipstick Or Something....

First of all, don't think that just because they look totally innocent while sleeping that they actually ARE innocent. Don't believe it for a minute.

And secondly, as you can see how Leonard sleeps diagonally on the floral print pillow, which is mine, I end up getting pushed out of bed. It happens every time I get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water or something---everybody adjusts and there's no room for poor Bo. Worse yet, sometimes Blaine absconds to his side of the bed with an iron grip on my snuggle pillow....

And thirdly, at the top right of the picture you can see my poor tattered snuggle pillow---you can barely see some of the stuffer pillow sticking out at the top of it. And it's lost all it's corner tassles but one.

I knitted this snuggle pillow in 2001 and I've gotten so attached to it that I've repaired it umpteen damn times. I can't sleep without it.

And with regular repairs, hopefully I'll keep using it till I'm 92 and old enough to wear purple and a red hat....

Those idgits never even woke up when I took that stupid picture. Blaine would probably murder me if he knew I'd put it on the blog. But he never reads my blog, thank God.

Heh Heh Heh.....



Friday, February 18, 2011

A Down Period....

Hello, I know I've been awful quiet lately but I've had some issues I've had to deal with. But I won't be gone long---I'm trying to dig out now. (Oh, I used that expression about the heavy snows: "to dig out", heh.) So perhaps you could call what I'm digging out of as "emotional snow".

Anyway, as The Terminator said: "I'll be back."



Friday, February 11, 2011


The above is what happens when your husband doesn't check the legs of his sweatpants for stray socks when he does the laundry---especially wool socks that I had knitted for him.....


Okay, I know and appreciate the fact that I have a gem of a husband because he does all the laundry. But what happened was that I was picking up clothes off the floor by his side of the bed. And I noticed there was only one of his favorite house socks---the ones I knitted for him to wear with his house slippers in the mornings when he gets out of bed---a pair of socks which he had asked for. He loved them. And when I called downstairs to ask where the lost sock was, there was a long pause.....and then he sheepishly said: "I.... uh.... accidentally washed it. It was in one of the legs of my sweatpants."

When I took a deep breath in order to have enough breath to say WHAT!? YOU PUT A WOOL SOCK IN THE WASHING MACHINE???? AFTER I TOLD YOU TO NEVER, I MEAN NEVER, TO PUT ANYTHING I KNIT FOR YOU INTO THE WASHING MACHINE?!!!!....he beat me to the punch and pitifully said: "I know, I know....you have always told me to NEVER put anything you knit for me in the washing machine. (Is 'pitifully' a word?)

And his statement kind of burst my balloon of my planned flip out. So I simply told him in a normal voice echoing the same thing: "Blaine, I repeat---NEVER put anything I knit for you in the washer."

Blaine: "I won't."

After he went to work this morning my curiosity got the best of me and I went down into the basement. I found the sock and to my utter mortification I saw that he had been trying to stretch the sock out! He had stuck a beer can and also a tube meant to make oil and vinegar salad dressing inside the sock. But it hadn't worked. Most of the sock was felted. And it had shrunk to to the size that would fit an 8 year old.


(A tube to make oil and vinegar salad dressing??? REALLY? Lord have mercy.....)




Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Okay, I'm Getting Sick Of This Damn Snow...

Yep, we had another damn snowfall. And, as usual, the damn snow plow hasn't come to our street.

And what's at issue at the moment is that the mobile therapist is coming today. But she likes me to drive my truck on our outings because "that will get me used to doing things outside of the house".


But I know that Blaine wouldn't allow me to drive on these road conditions--- so she can just whistle Dixie if she expects me to drive.

The main roads are plowed but the neighborhood streets and town side streets are largely unplowed. And we live on the downslope of a hill.

So I'm just going to ask the mobile therapist to drive. If she doesn't want to, we can just sit in the living room and either have a therapy session or twiddle our thumbs. (And I'm wondering if she can get through this unplowed street to our house herself.)



Sunday, February 06, 2011

Superbowl Sunday

Slowly, our neighborhood digs out from what the authorities here are calling "The Blizzard of 2011". And I totally agree with them--it definitely was a gigantic blizzard. Now all you can see is the pyramids of snow from the shoveling of driveways and sidewalks. I think they look strange.

But today is a consolation prize for football fans---it's Superbowl Sunday and Green Bay is playing against Pittsburgh. I'm rooting for Green Bay because I have never liked to remember my years in the city of Pittsburgh since graduating from nursing school there.

Nursing school practically killed me and so I don't really like to harbor those dark memories. If you want to know what happened to me and my 2 intrepid classmates in Pittsburg, read the "Who ya gonna call?" series of blogposts. There's "Part One" through Part Five". (Part One starts out slow because the whole blogpost came out of me griping about Blaine watching ghost hunting TV shows, which I think are fake---and my saying that I could tell a real ghost story of something which happened to me in nursing school. And then the whole story of my nursing school experience came tumbling out.....)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, Superbowl Sunday.

The above is a picture of Leonard, moving into position on the top of the couch, ready for the standard Superbowl Sunday couch ride. Notice his tongue sticking out in an act of defiance. Leonard doesn't like getting his picture taken.

Below is when Blaine joined Leonard and they both got into their main "Superbowl Watching Position". Looks like Leonard is already asleep. Never mind that it's not time for the Superbowl game yet---they just wanted to claim the couch before I could, dammit.

I guess the enjoyment I'll get out of the game is my knitting and watching the Superbowl's TV commercials. The Superbowl's special TV commercials are something that people wait for all year. (Remember those frog commercials from a Superbowl a zillion years ago?)



Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Dig Out Day....And There's Chili!

Well the blizzard finally stopped......and this is what it left--- plus drifts due to the high winds during the snow storm. The snow dropped upon us was around 12"-14" deep, depending on where you were in the Kansas City area.

My beef is that because of the damn idiots who parked their vehicles on our neighborhood's street and the 2 cul-de-sacs, the plows haven't come. But fortunately, all the neighborhood's SUV's have bravely struggled around the cul-de-sac and then up the hill, "flattening" the street snow to the level that might possibly allow those of us without 4-wheel drive to get out. (Except for that part at the point where your shoveling effort ends and the street begins---where there's a bump of snow.)

Blaine shoveled the whole driveway---ours and the landlord's--- as you can see above, which is good because that pays back a favor to for our landlord, who shoveled both driveways after the last snow episode.

Anyhoo, now Blaine's in the kitchen making a pot of his famous chili, yay!!!

Blaine says he's not going to allow me to go to therapy for my "long day" at the psych center tomorrow. He doesn't want me to drive on poor road conditions---he doesn't trust that the city will plow well enough, salt well enough, or whatever. That's fine. He took tomorrow off and so I'd rather stay home anyway, to be with him.

After all.....I've got to make that chili pie with the chili leftovers!!



Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Blizzard Shows No Signs of Stopping...

The shovel shows where Blaine had shoveled a pathway for his car to get into the garage. Now, that place where he shoveled is gone, buried under the snow. He said a cussword when I told him about it.

The problem with these pictures are that you can't see the blowing of the snow. But trust me, it's blowing hard and has just increased. The weather man said that this is the worst snow storm he's seen in all the years he's been in Kansas. And now, due to the blowing snow, visibility is so bad that they don't even know if the plow trucks will be able to get out on the roads.

See those idiots parked on the street down there? That's why our neighborhood's snow plow trucks get mad. You are SUPPOSED to keep your damn car OFF the damn street so that the plows can do their damn jobs!



They Weren't Foolin' When They Said It'd Be A Blizzard!

I'm beginning to wonder if Blaine's going to be able to drive home in this mess.

They haven't plowed our street yet. Which is okay because all the snow that's going to drop hasn't happened yet. But I'm worried about Blaine because there's a layer of ice underneath the snow....

Update, 12:30pm :

Blaine just left work and says he'll make it in this snow. He said he's even going to try and stop at the grocery store in this mess. Let's all cross our fingers that he makes it home safely!

Update #2:

Blaine made it home but is now trying to get up the driveway and into the garage. No such luck. He's out there slipping and sliding. (As is another neighbor down the steet). Finally, he had to go get the shovel and is shoveling snow out of the way so he can make it into the drive.



And The Snow Goes On And On......

Blaine is at work. I'm wondering how he'll get home.

The Snow Is Not Stopping....

The camera doesn't show it but the worsening snow is being blown sideways by strong winds.



The Blizzard is Coming!! The Blizzard is Coming!!

The Blizzard hath cometh.......

It was a lighter when we woke up--a faint amount of flurrying. So Blaine went on in to work. And then I took a nap on the couch since I still sleepy and didn't have anything to do.

When I woke up, it was a heavier snow fall---like these two pictures. I just hope Blaine gets to come home when he wants!

I'll keep you guys posted!



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blaine's Method for How to Hunker Down for a Blizzard...And There Will Be Chili!!

Well golly gee, the weatherman instructed all of us to prepare for a coming snow episode. Well, we thought we were prepared---you can see our snow tools up above, which we figured would be satisfactory.

But now we're not thinking they'll be of any help. Because the weatherman said it would be so bad starting tomorrow that we should put "ice melt" on our driveways and sidewalks TONIGHT. He said there would be light snow showers and freezing rain beginning on Monday morning. Then he said that Tuesday there would be a damn blizzard which would likely dump 10" to 13" of snow on the ground! And then on Wednesday there might be some more snow showers.

TEN to THIRTEEN INCHES? That's a lot for us. And there's still some snow on the ground from the last snow episode!

So Blaine went down to the hardware store and got the ice-melt and loaded it into his "spreader". The spreader is the tool where you load your salt or ice melt and then hand crank it out to spray it on the areas you want.

Lock and load....

He started with our driveway and spreaded it on both our side and our landlord's side.

(Is "spreaded" a word?)

Then he reloaded and gave everything another layer.

(And this was the day he had gone out and got the truck cleaned---including removing the salt layers from the last snow storm....)

Poor Blaine. He spreaded a lot of layers, hoping he could prevent major problems in the next few days.

But personally, the weather forecast is so bad that I doubt this ice melt layer will do diddly squat.

I'll take pics of the progress of the storm and put it on another blogpost. Oh yes, and Blaine went to the grocery store (with my long list) to prepare for not being able to go to the grocery store for a couple days. He got everything he thought we'd need to hunker down for the blizzard. And guess what? He got the ingredients to make his famous chili---which he'll probably make on Tuesday, the blizzard day---yippee!



Monday, January 24, 2011

Cleaning Day

(Wondering if the following statement will fly when Blaine gets home:)

"Hey, it's not my fault I didn't clean. Little Baby blocked the vacuum cleaner and Leonard knocked over my mopping bucket."



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Little Baby Fashion Show

Trying to stay awake in case the Tuna Fairy comes.....

Dreaming of tuna, no doubt....

I have no idea how she can curl up into a ball like that....

Pretending she's posing for a nekkid cat magazine.....January's pin-up cat....

Again, waiting for the Tuna Fairy, guarding both bowls (and the cream saucer)...

Oh....found a ray of sunshine to sleep in....(and I don't need to tell you who she's dreaming about)...

Another nekkid cat magazine pose....



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Public Service Announcement..... Or How to Turn In Your Citizenship Card For "Namby Pamby Land"...



One day little girl,
The sadness will leave your face,
As soon as you've won,
Your fight to get justice done......

("True Grit", Glenn Campbell)


You know, a new scam pops up every day. Especially those types that prey on the elderly. And we, as guardians of our aging parents, need to be sharp---and frequently question them when it comes to their utilities and other large expenditures. Even if they sass you back in a Southern Accent. You've got to be on your toes.

It all started with my beloved Mumsy emailing me the following: "Rats. Satellite dish out and I can't reach the company--and me here with no good book."

I got the name of her satellite company and told her I'd try to get a work request put in for her since she's not good with those type of technical things. She said: "Oh, and the guy says don't call the regular Direc TV number---he said to call this one here."

Ok, it's difficult for my mother to manage technical things like satellite TV dishes, cell phones, and ATM machines. (But she can use powerful saws to cut her mosaic tiles and is a whiz bang with an electric hand mixer.) But she has a hard time explaining things on the phone to slick talking phone operators.

But not me. I'm a bulldozer of a consumer---and I don't, per the popular GEICO "mean psychiatrist" TV commercial, "need to go to Namby Pamby Land to pick up some courage".

Noooooooo, I am a savvy consumer and I suffer no fools. And the reason I don't need to go to Namby Pamby Land to get courage is that I already have it. The shit that I've had to crawl through (literally and figuratively) in my lifetime has painfully burned plenty of courage into my skin, whether I wanted it or not.

But my mother is a Southern Lady and sometimes gets flustered. And she would never think of being "rude" to another person. So she needs my help with some matters, even if I am across the country and out of my natural habitat of The South.

Anyhoo, here's the scam:

Last year she went to buy a TV and got to talking to the shop owner. She made a slight, chatty complaint about how Direc TV wanted her to renew her contract by buying a new box. Immediately she is referred to a "guy" in the shop who makes her what she didn't realize was a devil's deal:

If she'd allow their company to handle her Direc TV account from now on, she'd get an "individual Direct TV account", with the same Direc TV deal she had before, only without having to buy the box. And also that she wouldn't have to go through Direc TV's regular telephone voice menu hoopla for repair calls---she'd deal one-on-one with Direct TV's repair department to get better and faster Direc TV service.

The only catch is that she had to change the name on her account to her middle name....

Great. So she falls for the deal the nice young men offered her, never knowing it's a common scam, sometimes called the "back door" scam. She falls for it and signs on the dotted line, which said "American Wireless".

So. To make a long story short, guess what I found out when I took her information and began investigating why we couldn't get a simple repair call put in to Direc TV?


1. She is not a customer of Direc TV and they never heard of American Wireless.

2. She has Direc TV equipment. She thought that meant she was still a Direc TV customer. Nope again.

3. She gets a monthly bill statement on a paper bill which has realistic looking Direc TV letterhead. I had her look closely. And (as she would say) Oh my word. The bill statement showed an incorrect address for her, and there was another lady's name & address on there for some weird reason--- and the payment money was going to a suspicious address in Arkansas. Also, they convinced her that she HAD to let them take the payments automatically out of her credit card, which might explain why the addresses on the paper bill didn't have to make sense.

4. She can't get ahold of anybody at American Wireless for a repair call. Whatever happened to her getting better customer service if she switched to their repair guys? I called their damn number till it rang for about a zillion times and the cows actually came home, which was all for naught because I never got an answer.

(This may be the one time in my life when I actually wanted a voice recording to answer, if only to immortalize myself claiming that I would "wipe the floor of I-35 with you yella-belly, egg-sucking, mother-cheatin', dog-ruinin', card-cheatin', couldn't-hit-the-broad-side-of-a-barn-with-a-cap-pistol, assholes whenever I finally got ahold of them".....)

Today, my mother is still having a hard time believing she was fooled. She doesn't understand it. She is not like me---she doesn't frisk people at the door, ask for identification, ask 250 pertinent questions, or do background checks. Just kidding, I don't do that---but I can smell a scam a mile away. They would never have even TRIED to screw with me because, although I might look like a small person from Geico's "Namby Pamby Land", I'm actually from Maddie and Rooster Cogburn's "True Grit Land", and am usually loaded for bear when it comes to people cheating me or my mother.

(Or is that Sarah Palin Land???? Let's not go there...)

Okay, there are several morals of this story:

1. If you have a beautiful Southern Lady mother, watch her closely.

2. If your mother is cheated, do not spare the cheaters. If you have to, go get some courage from Namby Pamby Land. But whatever you do, go for the gusto---get those damn cheaters and make sure they cringe the next time they hear your name.

3. Tell them you know the county's Asst. District Attorney.

(But don't tell them it's because the Asst. District Attorney and his brother once saved your ass from a drunk driving conviction by plea-bargaining it down to a lesser charge, behind Judge's Chambers, with the Asst. District Attorney lecturing you in a stern Texas accent: "Now Bo! Don't yew never drink no more booze ever agin', you heah me? And Ah mean it this time, dammit!"

(It goes like that in small Texan towns, sometimes.....but ya gotta come from "True Grit Land".....)


Epilogue: I was able to negotiate a fabulous "Come Back to Us" package from the REAL Direc TV--and admonished my Mumsy to consult me on big decisions--and dammit if she didn't sass me again.