Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net
. . . . .
. . . . .
» Tuesday, July 10, 2018
FOR TODAY, JULY 10, 2018
Outside my window...
...still sunny at quarter to seven, and hot, 89℉. I do hate daylight saving time. I want it to be all cozy and at least getting close to sunset by the time we finish dinner, not bright and sweltering.
I am thinking...
...that I'm sad that Ikea is cheaping out lately. Part of our home is furnished with Ikea, and they've quit making what we thought was the nice stuff and they're going back to all that ugly 60s stuff. Plus the "lock screws" on the Billy bookcases are now made with plastic rather than metal.
I am thankful...
...I have finished assembling the bookcases I bought!
In the kitchen...
...James made Trader Joe's chicken and apple sausage for supper tonight, with a side of three-cheese potatoes. It's about time to start up the dishwasher again.
I am wearing...
...a blue-flowered white ribbed tank top, aqua colored shorts, and white socks.
I am creating...
...more space for books down in the library. On Sunday at Ikea I bought a short wide Billy (30" wide), a short narrow Billy (15" wide), and a Gnedby (technically a CD shelf). I assembled them all today and stocked the wide Billy with my linguistics books. The place where they were can take my overflowing history books. I had several ideas for the Gnedby, but am probably going to move my paperback young adult books (like L.M. Montgomery) there. Then my mystery books, which are also overflowing, can overflow around the corner to that spot. Not sure what's going in the narrow Billy, perhaps my books about books (Murder Ink, the Dorling-Kindersley book about Sherlock Holmes, Heidi's Alp, etc.). There's also another bookcase that most of the books in it will be recycled. James' "Backwoods Home" magazines are in it, but it can fit other stuff.
I am going...
...to continue on the library project tomorrow morning, at least that's the plan. In the afternoon, I have to go with James to the nephrologist.
I am wondering...
...how I got all this stuff done before I retired! Well, because it didn't get done. That's why everything's in a mess.
I am reading...
...Edward and Alexandra, about the lives of Edward VII of England and his wife, the Princess Alexandra of Denmark. I've always thought "Bertie" got a bad rap from his mother Queen Victoria; he was too much like her before she became besotted with Prince Albert. Maybe if she had given him some responsibility, he wouldn't have gotten involved in all the scandals he ended up in the middle of.
I am hoping...
...things will continue to go well for James. I worry so much about him, and about the upcoming surgery, but he needs to have that Foley catheter gone. It is so much trouble and we can't seem to keep him in Statlock holders.
I am looking forward to...
...working more on the library project. I still have to get rid of all my flowers from work. I don't actually want them, but they do hold nice memories, so it's hard.
I am learning...
...that there still aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do!
Around the house...
...James is in the recliner, Tucker has dragged his blanket at James' feet to sleep, and Snowy is budgie-burbling quietly in the background. I'm about to change the channel to watch something on PBS.
I am pondering...
...the wonder that is the rescue of the Thai boys and their coach. We have been following that closely. So glad they were able to be rescued!
A favorite quote for today...
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ― Alan Bennett
One of my favorite things...
...coming up this weekend, the Hallmark Ornament Premiere!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Going with James to the doctor tomorrow, I hope more work on the library, Ornament Premiere on Saturday.
A peek into my day...
LOL. Just click on the links to the bookcases! That was my day!
If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.
Labels: Simple Woman's Daybook
» Sunday, July 08, 2018Post Independence
Friday I'd headed up to Town Center in the hopes of hitting JoAnn, only to have forgotten the coupons. 🤔 Oh, well. Instead I went to Barnes & Noble (since I didn't forget that coupon) and then did most of the shopping at Publix. I got us some generic beef and gravy for supper, and some nice pork chops for the cookout on Saturday, plus hummus and crackers to share.
Also watched the last of the Charleston house segments on This Old House. This was what was called a "Charleston single," built in the 1800s. The house is actually turned sideways to the driveway and the "front door" leads onto a full-length porch before you get to the house doors. I understand putting modern appliances and plumbing fixtures in, but it pains me to see these beautiful old period homes with modern furniture in them and these stark white decorating schemes. I wouldn't want to dust Victorian tchotckes, either, but I wish there was more of a balance. All that chrome and white seems so cold (and I still hate stainless steel appliances). They also worked on a second house, in a historically black neighborhood. It was so badly damaged they couldn't finish it before the show ended, so they posted the "reveal" on Facebook. Why not just make an extra episode?
(Oh, and Friday afternoon I finally got the Audacity recording program to work on my computer after several years of not being able to use it. On this computer as well as the previous one, the newest version of the software (the older one would no longer work) would always say it could not find a source to record from. I finally bought the cheap version of Total Recorder to record and then would edit on Audacity. Well, last week TR quit working; stuff I recorded came out garbled. It's done this before, but the only thing I could do to fix it this time was make TR my default recorder. This disabled Audacity for editing. I'd looked for answers to the recording-on-Audacity before, even asked Audacity (they responded in technical gobbledegook I didn't comprehend), but I tried searching again—and this time found something that was understandable and worked. It was as simple as going into sound in Windows Control Panel and un-disabling the recording setting! Apparently this is something Windows does automatically. Stupid thing.)
Saturday morning and early afternoon we were planning to do some chores. This got postponed when James' replacement tablet showed up. He has an Ellipsis from Verizon, but it fell and the screen cracked. We have replacement insurance, and we had ordered a new one. To our surprise it was delivered before noon by the "brown truck of happiness," and we spent most of the time deleting all the rubbish they put on it, and putting useful things on instead (like James' e-books).
We had a great time at Alice and Ken's on Saturday night. Ostensibly it was a party to celebrate their new backyard, but it was spitting rain, so Ken grilled out under the carport again. I like the backyard. There's a concrete patio and the rest is in ivy and pine straw. No grass to cut in back! It was the usual crowd of friends, plus Clay and Maggi drove up from Warner Robins, and some of Alice's church friends came. James' marinade of the pork chops was prime, and we also enjoyed yellow rice, baked beans, the hummus, chips, fruit salad, watermelon, and Clay's bourbon fudge. (Yes, you could taste it.) Juanita surprised everyone by showing up without her cast (she had to have a broken bone fixed in her foot).
This morning we slept in, I walked the dog—on a rare summer morning that was sunny but only warm, not burning, and breezy, simply lovely; if it was in the 70s all summer I would not complain!—and we ate breakfast, then went off to Ikea. I can't proceed down in the library without buying a few small bookcases to fit in the spot where the desk once was. We got there at 11:30 and the place was already crowded; we didn't realize till we checked out that there is a Back to College sale this weekend.
Sadly, the restaurant doesn't offer any of the variety it used to. There was a nice looking salad that was ruined by feta cheese, a salmon plate with baby greens that would have been okay had I not wanted to burp up fish all afternoon, the usual meatballs, chicken tenders (ugh), and vegetable balls. I didn't want to eat fifteen meatballs, so just got cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots from the salad bar (other choice was lettuce) and ate one of James' meatballs and a couple of forkfuls of his mashed potatoes. We shared a slice of chocolate cake for dessert, and then marched on into the showroom. Saw a desk chair that looks promising. I don't want one with armrests—armrests are for supervisors who don't do any work—and this one had nice back support. Trouble is I'm in love with a drafting chair at Sam Flax, but it costs over twice as much.
Anyway, we picked up some S-hooks, an aluminum holder for wooden spoons, ginger cookies for me and chocolate ones for James, and three bookcases: a short full-width "Billy" and the same height but narrower one, and a full-size "Gnedby." I need to transfer some books (not sure which yet) so that my overflowing history book collection has somewhere to go. I've accumulated a bunch of World War I and more Victorian books since we got the original bookcases.
I also bought a cotton bedspread to correct a dumb mistake I made during the winter. I replaced our fall quilt (which had always been a bit too garish but was all I could find in my price range) with a comforter, which was stupid, as I'd already relegated our nice denim comforter to the closet because it was too heavy most of the year. This bedspread, in a cadet blue, has a nice waffle texture and is light enough to be used as an extra blanket if needed but not smothering.
Stopped at Publix for forgotten things and milk, had teriyaki chicken and ramen noodles for supper, I washed and dried the bedspread and put it on the bed, as well as sorting pills for the week, and then we finally watched A Capitol Fourth. I loved the Boston Pops and the super fireworks on Wednesday (Bloomberg is doing a great broadcasting job; go screw yourself, CBS), and Rita Moreno's performance was a blast, but Capitol Fourth, for once, had better musical guests: Jimmy Buffett, the Beach Boys, Pentatonix, and more. When Renee Fleming sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" I got goosebumps. And you should have seen Tucker and Snowy staring at us when we got up and danced to the Beach Boys! I think Tucker thought we were having a fit.
» Monday, July 02, 2018A Bit of Luck
It didn't look like a very auspicious day at first. I got up, walked Tucker, ate my breakfast, washed the kitchen floor, and then went to give Tucker his breakfast. He had two bits of dog food left from last night, and I picked up one and then...what was that black spot moving on the other?
Ants! Son of a bitch!
I shrieked and began killing ants under the dog's dishes and on the baseboard headed for the door (there couldn't have been more than a dozen; I think I caught the scouting party). Once that was done I raced for the closet panting "Don't panic! Don't panic!" and refilled my vinegar bottle, and then proceeded to drench the baseboards near the deck door and the deck door and the deck doorstep and then outside against the house and around the door. I dumped out Tucker's water, took his food outside (because it had been sprayed with vinegar) in a bag, and washed both the water dispenser and the food bowls and then wiped them off at the bottom with vinegar and wiped the clear plastic tray under the dishes off with the vinegar as well.
Once I finished up I called Northwest Exterminators and got them to send someone out on Tuesday. [Later 7/3: He came. The ants had a nest under the plastic storage container on the deck! Opportunists!]
And then because I didn't trust the vinegar to do the whole job, I went out to the garage and got the Ortho and sprayed outside, and then did another pass inside with the vinegar.
::glare:: Ants! I hate ants.
On top of this we had to go to Kaiser this afternoon to see the gastroenterologist. James was wary about this appointment because he was afraid they were going to ask him to have another colonoscopy. He had one two years ago—which came out clear—that drove his creatitine levels to hell. But the consultation was not what he feared. They are still trying to track down the cause of his anemia, and problems in the GI tract are a primary cause of that. But in this case the doctor is still pretty sure it is his kidneys, and does not want him to have another colonoscopy. So we left there pretty well relieved.
We drove home through Kennesaw Battlefield Park and downtown Marietta. I said, "You know, if we could find a parking space, we could stop at The Corner Shop [the British store]." Lo, a car pulled out of a parking space! So we had a nice visit there and we bought James some lemon cookies.
It was about 3:20 and James said idly, "But what are we going to have for supper?" Then "Hey, we can go to Golden Corral!' It took us a bit to get there, but we were able to indulge in the Senior Early Bird special, which we got skunked out of on Saturday, which is a meal and a drink for $8. The trick is that they don't put steak on the buffet until four. Oh, they have popcorn shrimp, fish, roast and fried chicken, meat loaf, pot roast, bourbon chicken, sliders, barbecue pork, burgers, fixings for tortillas, lots of salad fixings, fruit, and other things, plus dessert, but no steak before four. So we just had appetizers at first—the chicken soup was surprisingly low in salt and the roast chicken is almost as good as the old Old Country Buffet that used to be on Buford Highway—and then at four lined up for our steaks. Their blueberry pie was good, too. I had that with one chocolate chip cookie and a marshmallow dipped in the ubiquitous Chocolate Fountain.
We got home to hear a helicopter hovering somewhere west of our house. We turned on the news to see that indeed it was just up the road. A man had come home from work and found armed robbers inside his apartment! There was a standoff, but the guy is okay, thank God! They had two of the robbers and were looking for a third.
Had to take Tucker out before dark tonight; someone was shooting off Roman candles last night and gave the poor dog the shakes. We are giving him a Petco-recommended valerian/melatonin "cookie," but it's really no help when the boomers start going off. Just one scared him tonight, even though there were nothing but poppers going off and fireflies flashing when we walked.
» Sunday, July 01, 2018Minimalist Weekend
Because James has been in and out of work, we've been kind of in and out of money. All those thirty dollar visits to the doctor and to Urgent Care add up quickly. So we didn't eat out as usual on Friday night, but had some chicken legs that were already cooked in the freezer.
Saturday morning we did our shopping at Publix, making sure to get supplies for James to make breakfast burritos this weekend. They only had three packages of the low-sodium low-carb wraps that he uses instead of tortillas, which are usually too fragile for the roll of the burrito. So after we went home and put all the stuff up and had a little snack, we headed back out for a treat: a frozen hot chocolate at Books-a-Million. On the way we stopped at another Publix and managed to procure another three packages of wraps.
We had a nice time out. Petco was adopting dogs, so we went to check them out. There was a group of larger dogs playing together in an enclosure; one bull terrier (who ended up going home with someone) was playing dominance games with the others. Other dogs were lined along an aisle. There were some puppies, and also a couple of dignified adult dogs.
Of course I visited the budgies, too!
We spent about an hour in the bookstore looking around. I picked up a remaindered book, and then we enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate. No one quite makes it like the Joe Muggs coffee shop they have.
Now we were hungry and we headed for a treat. We had read several places on the web that Golden Corral has a senior Early Bird until four o'clock, under eight dollars with a drink, every day but Sunday. We can't afford to eat at Golden Corral any longer and we were really looking forward to it. But after fighting through construction traffic on Cobb Parkway, we arrived to see that it did not include Saturday. James was tired, so we did not drive all the way back up to Town Center to Fried Tomato Buffet, which is the next cheapest buffet to eat; we just had dinner at Hibachi Grill.
The sun blazed on us everywhere we drove. By the time we got home we were hot and tired, even through we'd been in an air-conditioned car. I know we shouldn't have laid down after a meal and I regret doing it, but the bedroom was dark and seductively cool, and we were both asleep for about an hour. In fact, James got up before the alarm I'd set and I slept on another half hour. Summer just sucks all the energy out of me.
Spent the evening watching two movies on TCM. The Mask of Dimitrios was a 1944 movie which starred Peter Lorre as a Dutch mystery story writer. While he is in Istanbul, a man named Dimitrios, a famous criminal, is pulled out of the Bosphorus, and he becomes fascinated with his story, following a trail of the amoral man's different capers across Europe. Along the way a man named Peters (played by Sydney Greenstreet) befriends him and he learns much about the treacherous Dimitrios, including one very big surprise—maybe more than he really wanted to know. This is a classic movie which I'd never seen. Lorre and Greenstreet play well together and Zachary Scott, in his first starring role, is a great treacherous villain.
Following was Errol Flynn in Footsteps in the Dark, which was a comedy mystery. Frances Warren is a wealthy insurance broker with an equally wealthy mother-in-law who lives with him and his wife. He's bored with his job, so in his spare time he writes mysteries under a pseudonym with his chauffeur as his typist, and, like Rick Castle decades later, hangs around the police department to get ideas for his books (the cops in this one played by Alan Hale Sr. and William Frawley). His wife and MIL know nothing about this; in fact his MIL is in a snit because his latest book, Footsteps in the Dark, lampoons her hoity-toity women's club meeting. But all his late nights "at board meetings" (really following the police around) arouse their suspicions, just about the time he's checking out a burlesque performer named Blondie White (Lee Patrick, who played Topper's goofy wife in the television series, has a fairly dramatic role here). I enjoyed it, but it's not a belly-buster of a comedy by any means. Supposedly Flynn loved doing it, too, but it did not do well, so they never made a sequel. I would have liked to have seen it, since it is intimated at the end that his wife is equally bored and would be joining him in his sleuthing.
Today I did chores (washed towels, did hard drive backup, finished my June book reviews, sorted pills) and went to Kroger, where I ended up playing "Where's Waldo?" All I needed was milk, no-salt mushrooms, and a Smart Balance low-sodium. I stopped at produce to buy peaches, plums, two ears of corn for Independence Day dinner, and some mandarin oranges, then descended into a maze—they'd rearranged the entire right side of the store! A lady and I wandered around bewilderedly for five minutes figuring where they might be, then I shagged down a friendly Kroger employee. She was working from a list because she'd come back after being off for a few days and didn't know they'd rearranged either. It took us another five-ten minutes to find the mushrooms, which are currently under a sign that says "cookies." And after all that I didn't get the Smart Balance because the Smyrna Kroger, at least, doesn't carry the low sodium version. Arrrgh.
Listened to "The Tech Guy" this afternoon, and then two episodes of "A Way With Words," then finally chilled out to music.
Publix had shrimp rings on twofer this week, so James took them and made shrimp scampi of them for supper; a nice butter-garlic sauce and shrimp over linguini. Happy tummy time.
Now watching The Incredible Dr. Pol.
» Friday, June 29, 2018Adventures in Medical Land
Warning! Major medical neep!
James had his urodynamics test on Monday. This is basically a test to see how much pressure his bladder builds up before he feels various urges to void. He said he now has a better idea of women's visits to gynecology; they had him up in stirrups. Needless to say, this was not a pleasant test, and they discovered that now, without the Foley catheter, he can no longer void at all. The doctor told him there would definitely be some sort of bleeding as the test had irritated the areas tested, so we expected blood in his urine. Without being too graphic, there was quite a bit. What really frightened me is there was also blood coming from the entry point of the catheter. It was not flowing, but it was dribbling, and I got quite upset and did not sleep most of the night. Of course this was contagious and James was also restless most of the night. Nevertheless, he got up and teleworked until he could call the doctor at 8:30. The doctor called back about an hour later and assured him that unless he was developing signs of an infection (fever, swelling, etc.) or the blood was gushing out, this was normal. (The blood loss was more like a menstrual flow, which is normally only a couple of tablespoons.) James went back to work feeling relieved and I crawled onto the futon and slept a blessed three hours.
Later Tuesday night we thought we had a problem: when you have bleeding in that area you have clots. Clots block catheters. James had no output from noon onward. So when he finished work he cooked dinner, because if we had to go up to Urgent Care to get it flushed out it would take hours and we wouldn't eat until late. While James was moving around in the kitchen evidently the blockage broke loose, so we didn't have to go. But around bedtime it looked like it was happening again. Since we were seeing the urologist early Wednesday morning, we just showered and went to bed. (The only good news was the dribbling blood was gone.)
Needless to say James was under a lot of pressure on Wednesday morning, and was so full he was having overflow around the catheter. This "runoff" caused a little relief, but not all. And of course we had to drive all the way out to Kaiser Glenlake in rush hour traffic. (Didn't I retire not to have to do this crap anymore??? Even riding in the truck instead of driving myself I was stressed out.)
The moment James' name was called we told the nurse what was going on. She reported to the doctor, who told her to take care of it before he came to talk with us. She was really sweet. I asked if I could watch because we have an irrigation kit here at home and I wondered if I could do this instead of always popping up to Urgent Care. So I watched carefully. She did something different than the nurse at the emergency room at Wellstar did back in April; instead of irrigating first, she put the empty syringe—with the plunger all the way in—at the end of the now open catheter tube, then she very gently pulled back on it. Pop! out came the clot and the waterworks flowed. After a while, James smiled. 😌 I bet! Apparently, I even came in handy; the nurse needed three hands to do the entire process and I provided a couple.
Dr. Starr came to talk to us after that. He said that last week's MRI, because the catheter was not properly inserted when it was taken, definitely showed the proof that James' bladder is backwashing into his kidneys. Kidneys don't work backward; this is probably what has caused most of his kidney problems. The first step is called a TURP. You can look that up for yourself. General anesthesia, overnight stay, and it will hurt for a while, but what's best for his kidneys. So we are going for it if his cardiologist and nephrologist and GP sign off on it. As always the caveat: it may not work, or may not work forever. It's presently scheduled for August 27.
So home we went. James went back to drinking his water and teas, but he was way behind on it, and when his output didn't meet the usual numbers by evening, we wondered if it was just that. So we went to bed, but I woke up at 4:30 Thursday morning to find James in the bathroom and nothing in the night bag. Well, boys and girls, time to see if I was watching carefully yesterday. I scrubbed my hands, decanted the irrigation kit, got the syringe in proper position, then we popped off the container bag and I put the syringe in place at the output end and very gently pulled back the plunger.
Pop! out came the clot and then came the deluge.
Wow. It did work.
And then I cleaned up and we both went back to bed. In the real morning, everything was clear and flowing, if you get my drift.
Yes, I truly didn't realize that once I retired I'd get a crash course in nursing.
» Friday, June 22, 2018
FOR TODAY, JUNE 22, 2018
Outside my window...
...partly cloudy and otherwise very green. Summer is here in full force. I wouldn't mind if that meant warm days and cool breezes. But when it goes up to 90°F plus, that isn't summer, it's Hell. I miss June in Rhode Island; it used to be very civilized. However today it is nearly 80 up there. Not much better.
I am thinking...
...that I'd like to have a mandarin orange, so that's what I'm going to do. 😊
I am thankful...
...that James is feeling better, though he's still having side-effects from the UTI he had. He will be going for a test on Monday, so we can discuss with the doctor then. In the meantime, if we can get through the rest of the afternoon, he will have worked 40 hours. He does that so rarely anymore.
In the kitchen...
...it's reasonably clean. The dishwasher is open to dry the dishes I washed this morning, and there are a few lunch things in the dishpan. Nothing defrosting this afternoon as we usually go out on Fridays. Tonight we have an O'Charley's coupon we want to use.
I am wearing...
...grey shorts, pink-flower dotted tank top, white socks and beige scuffs. It's the only way to be really cool.
I am creating...
...I've begun the long process of finally updating my web pages. By the time I got done with work the last few years, I didn't want to sit at a computer anymore. I'm just going to take it slow and do things when I feel like it.
I am going...
...to keep wishing that life stays boring. If that means no pleasant surprises, so be it. I am tired of the nasty surprises.
I am wondering...
...how James' tests are going to come out. I hope there is a positive enough response that we can go on to the next step. While this won't be pleasant for James, it would mean that eventually he would not need a Foley catheter.
I am reading...
...a great book called On Trails, which is ostensibly about hiking the Appalachian Trail but is also about trails in general and how they form: animal trails and human trails alike. I love it; the scientific bits about trails are fascinating and so are the stories of hiking the Trail.
I am hoping...
...that bills will quit coming and I can actually have money left over from my check! Now I have to pay the dialysis bill and the bill for my new eyeglasses. That pretty much wipes out a whole check.
I am looking forward to...
...Hair Day on Saturday. The last time we were able to get together with everyone we couldn't stay long because of the stupid catheter falling out. No fun spending time at Urgent Care rather than with your friends.
I am learning...
...well, I figured out how to make a permanent link on my FTP software to upload my web pages. It quit working about the time we had the broadband put in, but it was not the broadband. I had to call tech support and they walked me through making a connection, but I had to figure out what it was actually doing so I could make the permanent link.
Around the house...
...James is teleworking today because it's supposed to pour about the time he usually gets out of work, so he's hitched up next to me at a portable desk. At my left Snowy is singing because I'm playing the Leo Laporte podcast. Tucker is asleep under the dining room table. When I finish this I'm going to take him out to the mailbox.
I am pondering...
...what to clean next. I know what I really need to do is in the kitchen, but it's kind of a grimy job and I really don't want to do it. Yeah, poor me. I'll get to it eventually.
A favorite quote for today...
Since it's now the horrid season of sweaty, sweltering, simmering, smelly summer, here's a nice fall quotation!
“I was drinking in the surroundings: air so crisp you could snap it with your fingers and greens in every lush shade imaginable offset by autumnal flashes of red and yellow.”
― Wendy Delsol, Stork
One of my favorite things...
...I'm listening to it! Leo Laporte, "The Tech Guy." Fun tech tips but too many sad stories about losing all your files or your photos. People! Back up your files! Back up your phone camera photos! Don't lose this stuff!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Hair Day is Saturday. I am still on the fence about getting my hair cut (don't know which style; don't want a haircut that's "work" and don't want to have to put any "goop" (hair spray or...ugh...mousse) in it), but James needs his done. We are bringing rice to go with Shannon's chicken.
A peek into my day...
A cuteness of Snowy!
If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.
» Sunday, June 17, 2018The Great Hunt in the Steamy Country
So we slept in this morning, or rather I slept in, because James informed me that he hadn't slept very well. (I'm wondering if it's because he's planning to go into the office tomorrow. It's tough on him these days going in; he has to get up a half hour earlier when we both sleep best in the morning. Plus it's just more difficult with the catheter.) In fact, when I got up I found he'd already swapped out the towels like we do on Sunday, and he was installing the new shower head.
(Digression: We had a fairly nice shower head with a separate wand. You could set it to shower, or wand, or both, and you could switch from shower to wand with a button on the wand. Except some time ago the button, which was always a bear to switch back and forth, broke off. Luckily it broke in the open position. Unluckily, I am too damn short. I could switch it back and forth at the top, but I had to do it on tiptoe using the tips of my fingers. PITA. So in February we bought one of the Moen magnetic ones. One shower head, but you can take it off and on and it sticks up with a magnet.)
It's been sitting next to the sofa since February, and then all the rubbish with the hospitals and urgent care got in the way. I put it in the bathroom yesterday because it was in my way while vacuuming.
Looks good. Still needs to be tightened down a little bit, although it might be the washers needing to swell up.
After breakfast and the ritual dog walk—it was late enough for the heat to already be hellish—we went out to Sam's Club to fill up the truck and then next door to Walmart. As an assist to his problems, the urologist has ordered James to get an athletic supporter. Did you know Walmart doesn't carry these? They have helmets, elbow, ankle, wrist, knee supports, tape wrap, mouth protectors...but no athletic supporter. We did get other stuff, including more sugarless hard candy. However, this meant instead of going to Publix, then going home to get out of the stifling air, we had to go up to Town Center, because there are no sporting goods stores in this area anymore.
First we went to Dick's. They had them, but upstairs with the basketball gear. But pretty much only in youth sizes. I did buy a rear-view mirror for my bike, because what Walmart sells is terrible. Then we went to Academy Sports, same thing, except they were with the baseball stuff (which makes more sense to me). We are going to have to order online.
Then finally to Publix. Dog biscuits were on BOGO, so this was a must. 😀 By the time we got out of there we were exhausted and thirsty, so we picked up a limeade at Wendy's and headed home; it was nearly suppertime! So I stuffed the towels in the washer and sorted the pills for the week—I have James' medicines on the shelves in order of when he takes them, with the twice-a-day in the middle, so I pretty much sorted them this week without even using the paper lists I made, which kinda makes me sad; I know these pills better than I know my friends' phone numbers—and then had a chance to sit and cool off as he started making dinner. We'd picked up some round steak at Publix (since it is Father's Day) and had that with a rice side. For dessert we had a peanut butter Twinkie. We found these in Walmart; the cake part is dark chocolate and they have used a good peanut butter, so these are actually pretty good.
Television has been so abysmal today I was watching Fixer Upper when we got home, and I really don't like Chip and Joanna, and then after the news it was Guy's Grocery Games.
» Saturday, June 16, 2018Well, That Was Pleasant
These days have become so rare. Thank you, God, for this day. We woke naturally without alarm and did morning ablutions. I walked the dog and then ate breakfast; James made a small English muffin breakfast sandwich to hold him through until lunch with the guys. Soon he was off to his club meeting and I got to my vacuuming. I can't do it when he teleworks; he's either on the phone or he's relaxing at lunch or break, and the roll-out desk and side table are smack in the middle of the floor. With him happily on his way to his club meeting, I could move chairs and the desk and get all all the crumbs and fruit bits and the dog hair everywhere. I emptied the stupid cup at least four times, one after the bedroom/hall, one after the dining room, one after one half of the living room, and another after the other. Shook out the dog's blanket, moved the recliner, even vacuumed the spare room and part of the craft room.
And when I got done with that, I vacuumed the stairs, too.
All this rubbish, and tossing out some other stuff, and dumping an old keyboard in the recycle box, and then cooling off by brushing my hair with cold water and sitting under the fan, took three hours. Finally I was able to take the car down to the Ray Library to pick up The Private Life of Tasha Tudor. I also saw something called The Strange Case of Dr. Doyle, about Arthur Conan Doyle on a Jack the Ripper tour. There is a character in it named Adelaide and it was so coincidental I had to see if this is where they got the inspiration for the character in Houdini & Doyle. I checked later and she's not, but it still looks intriguing.
From there I went by Krystal to get two plain pups (mini-hot dogs) so my stomach would quit growling at me, then stopped by America's Best to look at eyeglasses. To my disappointment, they have no rimless frames, but I really don't want to deal with Visionworks again, and they do have acceptable frames. I want to get one pair of glasses and one pair of sunglasses as my old prescription ones will no longer do. They distort my vision. They have a deal to buy two $59.99 frames with a free eye exam. These cheap frames are fine, as I sure as hell don't want some weirdo celebrity-named crap. I made an exam appointment, looked at frames, and got an idea of the price: for two pairs of glasses it would be only $400, but for two with one as sunglasses it will be $550.
James has some vision insurance, but I don't know who it's with.
Then I went across the parking lot to Kroger and bought milk and peaches and desserts before coming home (one of the peaches didn't survive the trip). I was just pulling the bags out of the car when James got home. He'd had a good time at the meeting. One of the guys made a big Nautilus model (from the Disney 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) with not only light but sound.
We had supper at Hibachi Grill and watched it get darker and darker outside as a storm crept up. Lightning was spiking in the north against the ominous grey-blue-black clouds as we came out, so we covered the power chair before going to Barnes & Noble. Thankfully it didn't rain, although we got spit on lowering the power chair. We wandered about for quite a while and I bought The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes with my coupon and he got an anthology of military science fiction with his. I looked at the summer issue of "Bella Grace," but it's too expensive, and besides, I spent all last summer doing the prompts in the 2017 issue complaining about how much I hate summer. Waste of money just to complain.
Watched something mindless for the evening, Howie Mandel's Animals Doing Things, which is basically funny animal videos. Cute. Really mindless, though. During the commercials I read the Tasha Tudor book, which was not a hard read; it's mostly photographs of Tudor's lovely garden and of her lifestyle. She lived very simply, wearing long dresses (she would say that when she died she would probably go back to 1830, where she always felt like she belonged) and other vintage clothes, used a wood stove to bake, and always had a Christmas tree with candles. For all the books she illustrated and wrote, she didn't even have an art studio, she painted on one end of her big farmhouse table.
I like mindless. I want to be bored.
» Wednesday, June 13, 2018Well, That Was Interesting (In the Chinese Sense)...
When James' urologist lined up a course of examinations for his problem, he didn't include an MRI, but a couple of weeks ago he wanted one added to the "investigation." He just said "for a further look," and I really would have preferred a better explanation, but today we went: had to get up at 6:30 to beat rush hour traffic (didn't I retire to avoid this crap?), neither of us having slept, James because he was having an MRI and me because even the thought of him having an MRI made me want to curl up in a fetal position), and I drove in case they had to give him a sedative for him to get through the MRI. And of course this was at Glenlake, the most irritatingly-located Kaiser location, right near the office buildings around Perimeter Mall and near the new Mercedes-Benz headquarters they are building (and damn, it is an ugly building).
But he got undressed and prepped to go in. They let me sit in the power chair outside the door to the MRI room (actually outside the door to a CT scan room) and wait for him rather than go out into the waiting room. He walked in there looking pale and apprehensive, but he did walk in. I would have been in a fetal position screaming for my mother; I get claustrophobic in small elevators. Heck, I was perspiring sitting in the chair outside the room. I finally plugged earphones into my phone and listened to Leo Laporte and read my copy of "The Simple Things." He walked out seventy minutes later, still looking pale, and in the car told me that he had the "panic button" in a death grip the entire time, but never hit it. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
So he hadn't had breakfast, and oatmeal and yogurt wear off quickly. It was now 10:30 and we were starving, so we figured we'd head home via some restaurant and have lunch. Alas, we got halfway home, at Interstate North Parkway going over the river, when the urologist called James. He wanted us to turn around and go back to Glenlake immediately; his nurse was awaiting our return.
What happened????? The nurse who replaced his foley catheter—the one that fell out on Saturday, remember?—at Urgent Care on Saturday, after four hours of us cooling our heels, put it in improperly. It was in his urethra, not his bladder as it should be, so once again, his bladder wasn't emptying out properly.
So back we went to Glenlake, up to the fourth floor, let him know we were there, then James had to have the catheter reseated. 1200ml of urine promptly filled up the bag. I repeat: !#$!@#%!$!!@#$!
We just came home and had lunch and fell asleep; so much for him working this afternoon.
» Monday, June 11, 2018...Followed by an Elevator Day
We were getting ready for bed last night when James finished taking his shower and suddenly felt very weak in the knees. He continued to feel like that for a few minutes, so I had him sit down and take his blood pressure. It was 88 over 48. A minute later it was 92 over 50, and then it went back down to 88 over 48, and when he took it a third time, it was still there.
There was no help for it. He got dressed and I got dressed, and we went to Urgent Care. He had already taken his nightly medications, including the Ambien, so he slept all the way there. Ironically, the same nurse was on duty at the front desk as on Saturday, and the same nurse that checked us out on Saturday brought us into the back tonight.
They hitched James up to take his vital signs and now his blood pressure was back up to where it should be. But the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn't his heart, so we settled down for about five hours of tests. They thought he was a little dehydrated (how on earth when he drinks so much!) and gave him an IV of saline, some potassium, and, because his urine is still showing up with an infection, IV antibiotics. (I'm sure hoping that will help!) He was able to sleep through most of it; I spent the time trying to doze by leaning my head against his pillow, and, later, turning a chair sideways and then resting my head on a wadded-up sheet between his legs. For the last hour or so we were there they brought me a recliner and I kept my sheet for a pillow.
Well, they found no heart problem and didn't have any explanation for the blood pressure drop, although they though taking the Ambien before his shower might have caused a vasodilation and made it drop. The doctor was more concerned because his creatitine was at 2.8, which was higher than the last score (2.1), and wanted to keep him to "get it down." However, he has been taking furosimide for several weeks. The first thing the nephrologist did when his creatitine score started creeping upward was take him off furosimide; he only went back on it when he started to retain water. And when they took a second test right before they let us go, his creatitine had already dropped to 2.7. While he was there he did have a kink in his catheter line; the moment they cleared it the score dropped. That, the furosimide, and the Cipro may have combined to raise his score. I was afraid it would go up once he went back on the furosimide again. He will just need to drink more.
We got sprung about five o'clock. When we emerged the birds were already greeting the dawn even though it was still dark. The fastest way home was the freeway and it was already crowded with people heading to work. When we got home I took Tucker outside, and then we changed our clothes and crawled back into bed right at six and slept until after ten.
At noon James logged into work and worked for the rest of the afternoon (five hours). I was feeling terrible. Breakfast made me nauseated and I did the minimum of chores and then fell asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours listening to instrumental Christmas music. Later we had supper and I fell asleep again. We spent the evening watching Hunt for Red October.
» Sunday, June 10, 2018A Real Elevator Week
It's been...an eventful week. Several of the events were pleasant. Some were not.
Monday, for instance, I got some good housework done, and worked on a project I'd long thought about, a tribute page to author Gladys Taber. I finished with it and uploaded it on Tuesday.
However, James came home from work with a painful problem stemming from his infection. So he teleworked on Tuesday, and I went with him to see his cardiologist, who was pleased with his progress, and then we had to go back to Urgent Care to have the problem seen to (even though in visiting the cardiologist, we were one floor down from his urologist, but we couldn't get an appointment, and we were told he would be better treated at Urgent Care—go figure). He had an ultrasound which noted that there were no serious problems; they just extended his antibiotic. Unfortunately he was just going to have to "get through" the pain.
Wednesday and Thursday I did an errand for James, the laundry, washed the kitchen floor, and completed my monthly computer backup.
Friday James had such little sleep I went with him to his iron infusion just to make sure he didn't fall asleep. He told me he slept through the entire infusion. I took the truck and went to JoAnn and to the library, taking out The Art of Tasha Tudor, The World of Louisa May Alcott, and The Edwardian Lady (about Edith Holden, author of the Country Diary). James was just emerging when I got back.
Last Saturday was a nasty bitch of a day. James had ordered new batteries for his power chair since he is losing power very rapidly even with little use. The chair is almost four years old and batteries only last a year or two. They called us during the week and we went to Batteries+Bulbs to get them; they had promised to install them as well. Well, the poor guy was the only one there, so he had to keep serving customers while doing the install. After over an hour he came out and had to confess he couldn't do it. There are two types of batteries that fit that chair, and he had inadvertently ordered the type that had the straight posts, not the tilted posts that we need. So he will have to send the batteries back and order the right kind. Terrific. James has his club meeting next week!
So we went to Sam's and picked up milk and a couple of other things; however, they did not have the mandarin oranges we went there for. We headed home to put the stuff away and go to the open house for Colin Butler, who just received his Master's Degree. James decided to empty the catheter bag before we left.
His catheter balloon must have become deflated, because the catheter fell out. Damn.
We still went to Colin's party for about a half hour, then spent almost four hours at Urgent Care. There were many more people there than Tuesday, and also last Saturday, so we had a wait. All we wanted was the catheter replaced, but they asked a whole bunch of questions and we had to go through the whole stupid thing about why he's wearing the catheter. I swear I need to write it down. I am so sick of telling the same story over and over.
We got out of there after seven and had supper at Fried Tomato Buffet because something else nice besides Colin's party had to happen today. We feasted on barbecue ribs and chicken'n'dumplings, then came home and I watched the nice Perry Como special they recently did on PBS.
Today has been quiet, but frustrating because James is still in pain. This is very hard for me to know I can't do anything to help. We did go to Publix to get him some lunchmeats and bread, but then came home because he was so tired out from the pain. I spent the afternoon washing towels, sorting James' pills and re-doing his meds list, and finally trying to fix the cover of a used book I got in the mail yesterday. I ordered two used books from Amazon Marketplace in May. They were both mailed on the 23rd, then spent fifteen days cooling their heels in a post office facility in Pontiac, Michigan! They were supposed to be delivered on Monday. When they weren't, Amazon went looking for them and apparently gave them a kick in the butt, because both packages suddenly left the facility the next day, and were delivered on Saturday. One book, which was described as in "good" condition, had a good inch and a half of the lower front cover chewed up! I contacted Amazon immediately and the vendor gave me a refund, but the book still looked horrible. It's an amateurish "fix" but it looks better than being chewed.
» Saturday, June 02, 2018A Quick Escape
Well, we woke up this morning facing a very unpleasant task. Friday morning James woke up having pain when he urinated, and what he was outputting was dark like stout and unpleasantly fragrant. After all the efforts we have made to make certain the site stayed sanitary, he still had what looked like a urinary tract infection. The urologist's instructions were clear: because of the foley we couldn't let it linger. So this morning we had to go up to Kennesaw and Urgent Care. This was a bit flashbacky because the last time we were there was April and they thought he was having a heart attack (instead it was the fluid on his left lung) and the time before that it took us an hour to just get in the office because of all the flu patients, and then we were in the room for so long they had to feed us because James' blood sugar was tanking.
To our relief, there were only about six other people there, the nurse agreed that this sure did sound like a UTI, and the doctor concurred. A tech did a bladder scan to make sure James wasn't retaining any fluid, then they sent a sample to the lab and this was the longest we had to wait, for the results of the test. Sure enough, nasty little bacteria were present. They gave James a prescription for Cipro, we picked it up at the pharmacy, and then we were off. It was only a little over an hour.
We had lunch at a place we could see from Kaiser TownPark: Capriotti's. It's a soup/salad/sandwich place on the same idea as Panera. Unfortunately they had no chicken soup today, but I had a very nice clam chowder—it even had real clams in it! (sorry, Shoney's joke...)—and tuna salad sandwich. James had a "Bobbie," which is basically Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, and turkey chili. Not bad. I would not be adverse to stopping by again when we are in the area (although I hope it's not at Kaiser TownPark). Very sad, though, to notice the Uncle Maddio's in the same area closed.
We stopped at Barnes & Noble for a bit. I bought a gift for someone and James got the DK book The Story of Food. The we went home via Batteries+Bulbs. The battery in the power chair is slowly starting to die. James doesn't use it when he's at home, only when we go out or on a trip, or when he goes to work, and he doesn't use it much at work, but he's been coming home in the afternoon with it down two notches. It won't get him through DragonCon, that's for sure. He's had the chair 3 1/2 years and with hard daily use I hear they last only about one to two years. So we ordered the set of two (it needs two for some reason).
By the time we got home it was 4:30, still hot as all get out, and muggy. We just went in and undressed and I put on Jurassic World. It's passable. It doesn't have any sense of wonder like the first, though, which is its biggest problem. Also, the parents of the kids in the story (two brothers) and the aunt of the kids are freaking annoying. The parents are presumably about to split up, presumably because Mom the executive can't seem to even take time away from her job for her family, and the aunt is the same driven businesswoman. Chris Pratt as the male lead is cute, competent, and it was kind of nifty the way he used the velociraptors' imprinting instinct for him. No one cared when Vincent D'Onfrio's baddie died because he was such a twerp. More idiot upper management!
Afterwards we put on From the Earth to the Moon so we could pay tribute to the late Alan Bean with "That's All There Is," and then of course we had to watch "Spider," because it's our favorite. Here I am still pissed 20 years later that HBO did not give us a CD of the original score to this series. All they releases was the opening and closing themes with a bunch of stupid pop tunes that were played in the episode. Mason Daring's music was brilliant, and there are other lovely themes. Marc Shaiman's wistful theme in "The First Wives' Club" is a particular favorite. James requested the first episode.
[Later: Sunday was quiet. We went to Kroger because we had coupons, and then to Microcenter to replace James' keyboard. He has become fond of the wireless one he uses while teleworking and wanted a permanent one for his computer. Sunday night we started to catch up on the Hawaii Five-0 episodes we have backlogged because I had read there was a scene where Adam's kidnapper put ants all over him. I gave the remote to James so he could control the DVR once the scene happened. Luckily it was at the beginning so I could close my eyes and plug my ears!]
» Monday, May 28, 2018Holidays in Hush
It was a very low-key holiday weekend. The high point was Hair Day on Saturday morning. Charles brought sandwich fixings and Lin made oriental salad—the lunchmeats were delicious, but if we got a message one day that said the only thing they had for lunch was Lin's oriental salad, I'd be perfectly happy! I had two sandwiches and four helpings of salad. Phyllis and Mel were able to come and it was nice to see both of them feeling better.
We were so full we didn't even have supper. That evening I saw the musical film Singin' in the Rain for the first time. I've heard about this movie for years and never have seen it. It was funny and fun to watch, but I wish it had been on when James was in the hospital. We could have used a movie like this to pass the time!
Since we'd done all the shopping on Friday, we had Sunday to ourselves. James went down to the man cave, I did chores and read magazines. During the evening we watched the National Memorial Day concert from the Mall in Washington, DC. The stories are always inspiring, but the music was excellent this year. Nobody "warbled" the National Anthem.
James gathered karma points on Memorial Day by working. It's double time and hopefully will make up for his two iron infusions. I slept late and then started working on a web page about Gladys Taber.
God bless all those who gave their lives so James could horse around with his models and I could get some sleep. There is no amount of thanks that can ever repay their sacrifice.
» Friday, May 25, 2018Cleanup City
So I finally went out last weekend and bought a battery-powered hedge cutter. I should have done it years ago; I've probably killed as many heavy-duty electrical cords with the electric one as the battery-powered one cost. Monday morning I plugged in the battery and went to work on the bushes. It works a treat; the hardest part was cleaning up the cut-off branches. I had to quit when the sun worked its way around to the front of the house, but St. Francis can see out again.
Later on that day I finally shelved all those books in the library, and packed my work stuff in a Xerox paper box. Doesn't take care of it, but gets it out of the way.
Later in the week I pulled my "old" typewriter (old being an operative word, as my manual Smith Corona went the way of the dodo bird in the early 1980s; its replacement, the electric typewriter "Treasure" in the late 1980s—this was an electric typewriter I bought at Lechmere about 1989 or 1990) out of the closet, just to see if it worked. Surprisingly, it did, but only for a few minutes, and then I started getting error messages out of it. Not sure why. But that keyboard still felt good! You can't get a typewriter keyboard feel even with a clicky computer keyboard.
Otherwise I've been cleaning up little things: washing floors, scrubbing bathrooms, the like, and went to a doctor's appointment with James.
Tossed off a small watercolor painting this week, too. My weaknesses are all very evident.