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Monday, April 24, 2017

Earth Day 2016

Even though I have a reel mower which uses no resources and does not vibrate your hands and deafen you and drown out the sound of the birds, I had someone use my gas mower. This mower is new and only uses 100% gasoline, no ethanol.  None of this is completely earth friendly, but the best I can do.

Instead of dumping leaves in the street, I had them dumped into Dominique's pen and she is composting them for me. I am not sure what the leaf truck does with them, but I do I take care of them.

I ate food in the refrigerator even though it killed my back to get so low. This way, I won't allow something edible to spoil.

More LEDs were installed to use less energy.  I had one burn out after three months, but I took it back and got another instead of using the incandescent ones I have still.

I ate eggs from my hen, scrambled like I like them instead of using store eggs. Dominique eats well, but no commercial chicken feed.

I think I only drove to get J home. A tornado warning sounded when she was here, and I did not want her walking.

When I scrubbed a few pots, I used a drop of Dawn, vinegar, and baking soda instead of a commercial product like Soft Scrub or ZUD. I used the same on sinks, too.

Finally, I turned off the switch that controls the 60 watt bulb that keeps Dominique's water from freezing in winter. I just kept forgetting!

My efforts at being a good citizen of Planet Earth are not earth-shaking. Some of you do much better.

update: I also did not use the dryer. All my efforts are usual for me, not just a special one-time effort.

Your turn
How did you celebrate Earth Day? Any special activities or festivals?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Disaster Brace

It was closing time on a Friday when I was wheeled to the brace room. If I had walked, it would have been an hour past closing.

Everyone in the room was scurrying to get ready to leave. I had a brace installed on my right hand. I say "installed" because it sure did not fit like it would if I had been fitted for a brace! I mentioned it hurt in a certain place and she said, "That is how it is supposed to be." I complained my hand was tingling after 30 seconds. She said, "It has to be this way to immobilize the thumb." NO, it does not. I said it hurt in a different place. She said, "It will stop hurting after a while." NO, it did not.

During this I mentioned it could be adjusted. She commented that there was no adjustment, that this was an off-the-shelf brace. Well, I watched a doctor ask specifically where the brace on my left arm hurt and watched him force the metal to fit me like a glove. It can be done. This ain't my first rodeo! This old woman knows how braces feel and can be fitted.

When I told her the best brace was the kind that is a slab of plastic-like stuff that was heated and molded to my hand and reheated in the places it was too tight and chaffing. She called the name of it and repeated that this was an off-the-shelf brace and the other was a custom brace. Still, I am not new to this and watched real fitters make one that supported wrist, reduced motion, and did not hurt at all.

Oh, by the way, I could stick my hand in the brace along with the arm since it is so loose there, one reason it chaffs, all the motion.

Well, I will have a custom brace! I now have sores where it sits hard in the wrong spots. I am chaffed where the top and bottom of braced were tightened. And, that is after just sitting in the car and riding. I know I could relieve all this with gauze, but how easy is it to treat yourself one-handed, especially when you must work with left hand only? Sure, it can be done, but with a "professional" doing the work, it should be done correctly. Well, it was a few minutes to 5 pm on a Friday evening.

Actually, I could get as much relief from putting my hand in the cardboard box the brace came in and taping it to hand and arm. Monday, I will complain. This brace is not worth over $200. Plus, I read somewhere that I have ten days in which to return it. I will.

Your turn
Have you ever had a brace on arm or elsewhere? Did the tech readjust to get a good fit? Have you ever had the kind that is molded to your arm after heating? Do you hate it when people assume you know nothing and just lie to you?

Day Finally Over

Friday, I told exbf just to be here by 11:30 or noon instead of 9:30 as usual. So, he gets here at 10:15. He always sits in the car waiting for me when he comes IF we are going somewhere. It is so hard for him to get to house and up steps. So, today he opted for sitting in the car for over an hour.

For his snack I packed cut up short jerky stick and string cheese stick, in one snack bag. and about 8 tiny slices of bread about 1.5 x1.5 inches square or smaller. They are crunchy, so it feels like substance. I cut an apple into slices. He ate half those at lunch when we stopped along with a chicken sandwich on an artisan hamburger bun and yellow mustard. I had chicken on same type bun with Miracle Whip and half my apple. I brought a bottle of water for each of us.

Since I had not put on my makeup, I had him stop for that and lunch which we ate in the car. we had time it perfectly and got to the doctor's office a few minutes before my appointment. He even had his snacks in pocket as day progressed. I put the snacks in snack bags so he can put them in one pocket and bottle of water in the other pocket.

I was afraid the wheelchair pushers would not want to push exbf since he was not a patient, but they were so nice to him. We got there at 2 pm and saw doctor at 4 pm. We finally left after 5 pm. Shockingly, we missed the horrendous traffic rush hour on the Parkway and drove home the back way--through the country.

When he pulled up here to drop me off, I came in and got a full gallon of milk for him and a stack of saltines I did not want and the Tupperware dinner bowl with his dinner. Oh, I remembered to give him his cornbread for dinner.  His dinner was huge chunk of boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked in crockpot and frozen in two-breast packs. Last night I cooked field peas and snaps and some frozen butternut squash with a pat of butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

When I asked him at 10 pm how he liked the butternut squash, he said he really loved the spice I put in it. He did not recognize it as cinnamon. He would have taken off the pat of butter if I had not mashed it into the cold squash. Of course, that contributed to the deliciousness. It was funny that he said the field peas and snaps were his favorite. I had packed the bowl full instead of just a helping into each compartment. He said there was enough for another meal. The guy sounded really happy about that fact. He makes me smile over his food comments.

Okay, the thumb now.  The doctor was puzzled. He said he could find no evidence of a crack in the xrays. He mashed my thumb so that it was really hurting. He commented that there was a bit of arthritis, but nothing unusual, not much, and maybe it was arthritis pain. I totally disagreed that this excruciating pain could be caused by a little arthritis. I told him about my fall and how the right hand had hit, but I brushed the grass away and ignored it because of pain of left arm, head, nose, and teeth.

I mentioned the burn and all the strange movement of pain from tip to base of thumb. He had no idea and commented that the burn looked healed. When I told him the burn never looked any worse than it did now, he just looked puzzled. When I mentioned the nurse's comment about staph, he commented it did not look infected. So, staph can hide and show up later? He agreed. He assured me the meds for bronchitis would take care of any staph, but he would look for it anyway in the MRI results.

He said that there are ligaments in hand just like other parts of the body and it could be a torn ligament. So, MRI is ordered. Yes, I knew about ligaments being all over body.

He was very nice guy, more so than many doctors. He listened instead of wanting to "move on." Friday was a long, long day. I have to get up too early tomorrow, so a nap will be on the agenda on Saturday.

More about the news and huge brace tomorrow.

Your turn
Have you had arthritis pain that made you feel like screaming in pain? I know nothing about arthritis except people complaining. Does it come on like a knife stab? Do daylong doctor appts out of town drain you?

Thursday, April 20, 2017


I told you about my fall right  HERE.  I also mentioned staying in bed all day once this last month. I have had severe allergy problems--earaches, sinus pressure, and malaise.  I felt like I could not safely drive to the doctor office and maybe I would get better. I did get better but not well.

As long as I do not have ac in the car, I will be ill. So, even though I cannot afford it, it must be done. I was hoping I would hit a pothole just right and it would come back on like it did a couple of times last year. No such luck!

Finally, on Tuesday night, I was really feeling horrid. On Wednesday, it took me three hours after I awoke to get to the doctor office where they had needed to do blood work for something else. The nurse practitioner kept mashing my forehead. I finally told her I had a head injury and the pain in one spot was worse and not sinus related. She told me to go to a neurologist because of the continued pain and possibility of a concussion.

She did all the obligatory things--look in nose, ears, throat, listen to chest front and back, feel neck. Finally, she asked me about coughing or chest pain. Well, I coughed some and took guaifenisen and it quit. I know that g word is not spelled right and I don't care. I told her I could feel scraping in my chest when I breathed. She said she suspected I might have pneumonia. Xray said no pneumonia, just bad bronchitis. Steroids and antibiotics were prescribed.

She left and said some of the reading of the blood would be done right now and she would see what was going on. I had a nurse call her back because she did not tend to another problem.

I may have told you this. But, I burned myself about two months ago picking up a kielbasa fresh from the oven. It stuck to the foil as it sat on the stove, so I held on for another two seconds. It really burned and I hurried and stuck my finger under cold water as I shrieked. Exbf was concerned then wanted to know how badly I was burned. I was not worried, just hurting. I have asbestos fingers.

The part of my thumb that was burned was, looking at the back of your hand, on the right side where I had it between index and thumb. Two days later, that part was very hard and white. Bummer. Still, there was no sign of a blister since I rarely blister when burned. Maybe a medical professional on here can tell me why I just get a thick white spot and no blister 99% of the time.

Two days after that, the side of the thumb that was not burned was now swollen, hard, and white. Then, the skin below the nail bed...down my thumb, was swollen and red. Then, the nail bed turned white, like it was blanched from pressing it, only whiter, then my nail turned almost black. For two weeks I used no nail polish just so I could see what happened to the nail bed and thinking maybe it ought to air out.

THEN, the first joint was tender like I smashed it, alternating with a strange crawly feeling in the first joint. Then, the pain moved down closer to my hand, beneath that joint. Finally, the pain extended below the second joint from the nail. As I tried to turn the key in the car, there felt like there was a ping feeling in base of thumb. So, I cannot turn on the car of press in the button on the gear shift. Twisting to use my left hand and arm is not fun. So, J turns on the car and shifts when she is with me.

To back up a little...The nurse practitioner at the urologist last month said the problem sounded like a staph infection with the pain in joint. I mentioned that yesterday and the nurse was not amenable to hearing another opinion. yikes.

Exbf is driving from beyond B'ham to come here tomorrow and drive me to Huntsville. For those of you that don't know, that will be about a 220 mile drive for him tomorrow.  I will not expect or allow him to buy lunch or dinner, so that must be done tonight. Plus, I pack us snacks and him a snack that can be eaten in dr office without getting out chunks of fruit or eating a sandwich. The few times he has had to be out so late with me, I give him the choice of my heating dinner or him just taking it home. He growls that he will just take it home.

With a 2 pm appointment, I expect to be out by 4 pm and home be 6 pm. Then, he has a 1.5 hour drive home. I will be nice always am nice to him. Plus, I will tell him not to get here until 11pm instead of 9:30 am when he usually comes here.

The pants I wanted to wear tomorrow were on me and the other two gray pair were dirty, and I did not want to get out a pair with tags still on. I had to mend a tiny hole in them and noticed another. THEN, as I turned them wrong side out to wash them, I noticed a tiny hole slightly below the waistband. I never mended that hole. By the way, these are knit pants and I can mend without it showing. Have you ever tried to handle a one-inch needle with your thumb in a splint? Well, the splint came off for ten minutes. The nurse said take it off instead of getting it wet, but to be careful with the thumb.

Today, the doctor office called me and told me to come in soon as I could so they could splint my thumb and then go soon after that to orthopedist. I said okay and then called back and asked why. It seems there may be a crack or break at a bone at the base of my thumb after someone else looked at xray of hand. I can only guess the burn has nothing to do with the cracked/broken bone. ???  But, the progression from thumb tip to base seems suspicious.

Yes, I can type without a thumb but for this last week I truly understand the importance and usefulness of an opposable thumb.

For all my tumbles while skating or whatever, I have never broken a bone. I did break a little toe once when I slammed into a chair.

I read this over after posting, and the mistakes are legion. I don't feel like going over it again. work with me. Plus, I told it out of order.

Your turn
Have you ever just felt bad and it turned out you were falling apart? That is how I feel. Is this old age? lol

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WHO did WHAT? WHERE? Handcuffed?

My antenna is sort of half put up, last time with the plastic zip ties, you know--the ones that can be used as handcuffs. My reception has been a bit off, so I looked up and noticed that the figure-8 antenna bought from Walmart was leaning outwards. I thought that nothing good could come from this leaning antenna. However, I just figured having my antenna completely fall off was the worst that could happen. No, it is worse than that.

I pass right by this every time I go to the clothesline or chicken pen. On another day for some reason, I saw something out of place from the corner of my eye and glanced upward. There in the v between post and antenna where it leans outward was a bird's nest. I don't know if there are eggs or not since I cannot see in the nest and have seen no sign of the bird. The nest is messy. Someone should have climbed a ladder and taken the nest down if there were no eggs. It may be too late.

However, signs say there are no eggs yet. No bird has been spotted on the nest. No bird is squawking at me. No bird is dive-bombing me. No bird is trying to draw me away. I say there are no eggs! YET!

The antenna is on a  metal/steel pole that holds up the corner of the house which is a porch over the entrance to the basement. The antenna has a clear view of the sky for reception and with a porch roof over it, it must be the perfect place for a nest. Considering how many trees are around my house, surely there must be sites as good or better to raise birds. I hope this bird does not dive-bomb me.

Oh, obviously these zip ties can be stretched, so if you are handcuffed with these zip ties, just keep pressure on them in order to free yourself. Or, try one of these methods. There are other sites and maybe other methods, but I picked this site at random.

Your turn
Where has a bird built a nest that is not convenient to you and your mobility or activities? Have you ever had a bird dive-bomb you if you get too close at home or at work?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Free Lunch and Third Time Is the Charm, I hope

Tuesday, J and I went to the free lunch at a church. We had hamburger steaks (ground beef in patties),  with gravy, more gravy ladled over the top, green beans, baked potato, buttered and heated bread. There was shredded cheese, butter, and sour cream to add to the potato if we liked. It was all great, but I should never eat beef. Yes, I am suffering.

It was delicious. The only hitch was the sugar in my "unsweetened" tea! It gags me. So, I had water. But, since I like water with a meal, it was fine. There were two cookies in a sandwich bag for dessert. I managed to snag home made ones. There was a huge bowl of all sorts of apples and oranges. I took a Granny Smith and ate it that night. Great little outing.

Last week, I forgot to go to a free lunch at a demonstration. I must watch and make notes more closely.

I did not get leftovers for Dominique since the beef made me ill and I had to leave. Next time.

Remember the seeds that germinated and grew about 7+ inches at J's house? Well, she was proud of their fantastic growth and then disappointed when they were leggy. So, I had her redo them in more seed pellets and sandwich bags. She kept them at house where she is staying.

She was busy and not home; I worried. I told her to bring the seeds to the car when I came by. She did, so proud once again. Nope, leggy--more than 4 inches high and lying down.

Since she was very confident in her planting ability and remembered how to use a toothpick and raise the cloth on the pellet and how to use same toothpick to gently bury the seeds the second time, I will replant cucumber seeds to germinate the third time. I will keep them this time since she does not know how high they should be or what are actually leaves.  Plus, she forgets to look at them.

The seed packet said 10-14 days to germinate. Anywhere from 2--6 days is the longest I have ever had to wait. Of course, it takes another 2--4 days for them to be ready to transplant. Of course, I will watch the plants to determine the right time to transplant.

She said she forgot to look at the seeds in the sandwich bag, but she must put things where 5 cats will not get them, so they are out of her sight, too.  When it is time to transplant them, I will call her to come here and show her how.

I have let things get leggy all on my on, so this is not too bad if the third time is the charm.

Your turn
Will you promise to knock beef out of my hand if you ever see me trying to eat it? Have you ever let germinating seeds get leggy?

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Mother Would Be Proud of Me!

When I was young and at home, my mother would not allow me to do one thing because she had no confidence in me. Otherwise, she had complete confidence in me. At any rate, I begged her to let me try.

OH, NO, she would call in my little sister or little brother! She swore I could not hit a fly with a flyswatter. If she saw a fly and I was about to hit it, she would tell me in a firm voice not to try because I could not hit a fly. She was right, but I always tried to redeem myself by hitting one. We did not have a huge fly problem, but one fly was reason for a high alert. She and my father would not tolerate allowing one fly to live for one moment after it was spotted.

Yesterday, I hit a fly with the swatter! Cheer for me! I just wish I could tell Mama! In my head I said, "Oh, I wish Mama could have seen that!"

There were not many things I tried that I was not proficient doing, but this thing really, really mattered to me. I think it scarred me. Even now, I mostly miss flies, but I keep trying! Silly me.

Your turn
Did you ever have one thing you continually could not do or almost never could do and really wanted to be able to do it and prove yourself?