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cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
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» Sunday, August 29, 2021Black Sunday
I lost a friend today.
Even though she and her husband were both vaccinated, they caught COVID-19 a few weeks back. He has recovered, but she was medically fragile and was sent to the hospital. Her health wavered up and down, but finally her lungs became too stressed. This morning I got a message from a mutual friend that she was failing, and she passed on just before noon.
We were not just friends but for several years she was also my supervisor at work. I couldn't have worked for a better person, strict but fair, and I learned many things under her tutelage.
My favorite memory of her comes from one of our Twelfth Night parties. I was going from room to room talking with people, and when I got down to the den I had to burst out laughing. She and her husband have always been big dog lovers, and there they were, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the coffee table, spreading crackers with cheese spread. And then feeding them to our dog Leia, who had stationed herself between them, gratefully accepting all their offerings!
So, somewhere out there at Rainbow Bridge, I imagine Leia has found Betty, who is still feeding her cheese and crackers.
» Saturday, August 28, 2021The Hits Keep on Comin'
Well, it's been a week.
Sunday night as we were heading for bed, James admitted he was having a pulling pain across his chest. He tried lying down and it didn't feel better. We gave him a nitroglycerin and then a second one, but neither helped. Normally, at this point I would have been getting dressed to take him to the emergency room, but we'd read the report about the hospitals being at bursting point, and didn't know if we went to a hospital if we'd be turned away. So we ended up calling an ambulance, and they took him off to Kennestone Hospital. No visitors until they assigned him to an ER room.
From James' account:
The newly expanded Emergency Department at Kennestone Hospital was full to near bursting. It was a half hour before I could get off the gurney that I rode in the ambulance ride. I then was in a room labeled "Transfer Bed Storage" that was subdivided with portable screens for several hours. I was then moved into "EMS Receiving" (I think) before I was moved into a room in the "Clinical Decision Unit" in the hospital itself. Linda was waiting to see me in the ED waiting room, and was told she could see me once I had a room in the ED, but once I was moved into the main hospital, she couldn't come in due to CoVid restrictions.
I had a number of conversations with the nurses and orderlies I met during my movements and all were overworked and highly stressed as they were very shorthanded. Apparently people at all levels are leaving in droves. The orderly who moved me from the ED to the CDU said he had four people on his shift quit that day. They and the nurses were quitting because the hospital was mandating the CoVid vaccination a mandatory requirement of employment and they did not want to get the shot. This kind of boggled me since I told a little white lie to get the vaccination as early as I could.
While he was going without sleep and food, I got what little sleep I could, walked the dog, had something to eat, and went to the emergency room, which, as James recounted, was stocked full. While I was sitting there, a woman came in, with her left hand in bandages. Apparently she'd been in a car accident the day before and was now in great pain. When they told her how long the wait was, she burst out into tears. Another dude was hassling the check-in staff, and the security guard had to escort him out. After a while I was turned away, so came back home. James kept me posted on what was going on. I was worried he wasn't getting his medication, which was confirmed when they kept complaining about how high his blood pressure was, but he hadn't had any blood pressure meds since Sunday morning. They finally gave him the lisonipril, but wouldn't let him take the carvedelol because it might interfere with the stress test. At one point they told him he wasn't getting the stress test that day. So he took a nice big drink, and only then did someone walked in to tell him he was getting the stress test. Which came up with...almost nothing (but at least he finally got something to eat). He did have a value that was off. But he didn't have a heart attack. Or fluid on his lungs or heart. Or COVID. In fact, his creatitine was down to 2.15, and his A1C is 6.4! So they sent him home with orders to see his cardiologist and get another echocardiogram (although the one he had three weeks ago came out fine).
He's been having trouble with his allergy all year, waking up every so often sneezing copiously, eyes itchy, and stuffed up, and is now wondering if he's been sneezing so hard that is what caused the chest pain. (Tuesday I did a wholesale clean out of his C-PAP, scrubbing everything with soap and water, then alcohol, then a water rinse.)
And then he finally gets his shower Monday night, and...argh, another big blister on his left calf. So we're back to non-stick gauze and coban tape.
Monday I gave Tucker a bath. Tuesday I brought Tucker home from his walk limping again, this time on his left forefoot. This time when I washed and treated and bandaged it, I left off the Elizabethan collar and he restrained himself and managed not to gnaw at the foot until I took off the bandage before his nightly walk (at which time he was walking fine). But all day he waved the paw at me every time I looked at him. At times it was comical; I'd say "Hi, Tucker" and he would look up at me pathetically and wave the bandaged paw.
The weekend has been much calmer (well...I hope so, since the day's not over yet). Thursday we went to deposit a check at the bank and got James' truck inspected so he could renew his car registration. Only when we finished with that did we get to do the Lidl/Publix/Kroger hustle. I ended up getting milk at Kroger because one of the gallons of skim milk at Lidl was leaking and we couldn't tell which one. Well, I committed one hell of a boo-boo after this. Neither of us had slept well. We got home and schlepped all the groceries upstairs and got them put away, and then James, at the request of his boss, worked five hours because they were shorthanded. I fell asleep on the sofa.
At Kroger, on the manager's special shelf, I found a pound of ground beef for $3. It was 15 percent fat, but if we get one of those, James usually either cooks it and then drains it, or fortifies it with TVP (soya), which thins out the fat. Well, I had brought in the milk from Kroger in, but forgot the bag from Kroger. Only when I started prepping to make supper did I realize the yogurt wasn't upstairs, which meant neither was the ground beef. I had to throw the meat away. Wasted three dollars and good food. The yogurt was room temp when I brought it up. Don't know if it's still good or not.
Friday James had his every-so-many-weeks appointment at podiatry. He had two toenails that looked like they were becoming ingrown, so the nurse had to do a lot of work on him. I am back on "betadyne duty" for a week, making sure where she treated doesn't get infected. The podiatrist is worried about the little sore on his "ring toe" on his left foot, although he's had it for months. It looks a whole lot better than it did in the spring; it just won't dry up because it's between his toes. I've been ordered to put betadyne on that, too, and not cover it so it dries up. Odd that they didn't tell us that before.
We needed something from Costco, so made the trip; it wasn't there, but we picked up a few other things. Stopped at Barnes & Noble and I committed book: they have their Book Haul this month, and I found The Secret History of Home Economics at fifty percent off, and the same discount as well on Wintering, which caught my attention at the beginning of the year. It was one of the nominees for B&N's Book of the Year. On the way home we stopped at Publix for the eggs we'd forgotten.
This morning we skinned out of the house with minimum breakfast, in search of what we needed at the Kennesaw Costco. And there we did find it. Also found James some new almond-flour crackers that he can snack on without amping his carbs. Had some nice samples there as well, including organic lemonade, sundried tomatoes and cheese on crackers (which tasted like a mini-pizza), coconut-flavored dark chocolate covered almonds, and an outstanding piece of bratwurst that didn't come up on me.
As a replacement for missing breakfast we had lunch at Otter's Chicken (great wings there), and dropped in at Hobby Lobby to revel in all the autumn decorations. There's a light at the end of the smothering, stuffy, sweaty tunnel that is summer.
Spent the early evening watching horse racing from Saratoga, and then later Law & Order, because literally nothing else watchable was on.
Hey, all you people in New Orleans...be careful out there.
» Saturday, August 21, 2021First One Thing, and Then Another
Did some good cleaning during the week, so hoped to have a bit of fun during our three-day weekend. It didn't work out totally, but some nice things did happen. Unfortunately, some bad news came with it.
Thursday we went shopping as always. When we went to Lidl we found a nifty prize. I've mentioned they have this meat bin called "too good to waste" that has meat about to hit its expiration date, which they sell for $1.50. Well, they also have a table up front with these cardboard boxes, 8 1/4 square by 3 3/4 that they put loose fruit and veg into and sell for 30 cents a pound. We bought one about a month ago with baking potatoes and some mandarin oranges in it. Well, we lucked out yesterday: we found one crammed full. It had one ripe lemon, a single Roma tomato, eleven red potatoes, three huge and then five or six smaller carrots, and the rest of the box comprised of Dutch gold potatoes. We had the tomato with a cucumber salad on Thursday night, have put the lemon in the fruit bin, the potatoes in the potato bin, and used the three big carrots in James' "bachelor chow" base mix and the rest are in the veg dish. Whole thing cost us $1.59. Lidl. We also made the usual trip to Publix and to Kroger (where I found yogurt and two nice steaks in the Manager's Special bin), and because we had Hair Day scheduled on Saturday, James used the afternoon to make the base mix for his breakfasts. We really couldn't have gone anywhere after lunch anyway as it started storming.
Friday we bit the bullet and went to Walmart. I like to open the window in the library on cooler summer mornings and was tired of the fan downstairs rattling because the bearings are wearing out. Online it noted the Powder Springs stores did have some left. We also needed a new tarp to cover up the power chair; the old one was leaking. We also bought James some sugar-free candy, got him some new slippers because in working at home he wears through them very rapidly, and I found the second season of His Dark Materials on DVD. We also dropped by Lidl to see if they had mandarin oranges (nope) but did get two focaccia breads that are good for a light lunch. Then we had a nice lunch at The BBQ Place with Alice and Ken. To finish the day we gassed up the truck at Costco.
Friday night we found out Hair Day was canceled because Sheri had badly sprained her ankle, so Saturday morning we took the three UPS units out of their box in the garage and put them in the truck. Boy, did I get pissed. Last month I specifically texted Microcenter to see if we could recycle the old UPS units at their store and was told yes, provided we could show proof of purchase. So we took them there—and those little suckers are heavy—only to be told they can no longer accept recycling because the State of Georgia requires them to pay to ship it all to Ohio, and they have to pay freight charges across Tennessee and Kentucky on the route there. If I hadn't called it would have been different! So we had to haul them home and cross fingers there is a Free Recycling Day this year. Our recycling boxes are chock full with old junk, including the microwave.
We did stop at Publix. James went next door to get a Mexican dinner at Willy's and I finally found the mandarins (but still no juice boxes) and got myself an Annie Chun dinner.
What marred the week was finding out that two friends of ours, who'd finally felt safe enough to take a little weekend trip to Tennessee, had both come down with COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated. He was at home having taken monoclonal antibodies, but she was in ICU and had been intubated. This was very disheartening news, although he did update Facebook a day later and said they had spoken, so I guess she is no longer receiving breathing assistance. Latest news is that she is receiving oxygen and has a feeding tube to help improve her nutrition.
This is not only horrible news, since they were super careful last year and didn't even come to Friday lunches, but is making it more difficult to make a final decision about DragonCon. People on Facebook have pointed out Disney World and other things are open, and people have been flying without severe problems, but it's still frightening. We have been teetering back and forth about this for weeks and this news has made it worse, as we have seen that other vaccinated older people have gotten sick, and one already vaccinated man has died days after he urged other people on the news to get vaccinated.
» Saturday, August 14, 2021Get Lost, Summer; You Bother Me
A summer-swelter week all around. We spent as little time outside as possible, although this didn't help me when I had to trim the bushes outside. Luckily I did it in the morning, in the shade. Thursday we did the shopping (Lidl, Publix, and finally Kroger for yogurt) and then came home; it wasn't worth enduring the heat for anything else, even a bookstore. (The heat, however, has not stopped people looking at the house for sale next door; we probably saw at least six families today, just in leaving and coming home.) Friday we just grinned and bore it since we needed to pick up a prescription and also stop at Costco (at least we had lunch picked up from Tin Drum), and by Saturday we were fed up with being inside and went to Hobbytown and to JoAnn, but hurried home without doing anything else except to stop by Popshelf to get James more burritos for quick breakfasts.
Did get some things cleaned up this week: changed the bed, so had "drop sheets" for cleaning off the ceiling fans. My "extendable" ceiling fan cleaner doesn't seem to want to extend any longer, so I had to do the living room fan on tiptoe standing on top of my stepper. That was fun. Not.
Had a bit of a outing on Tuesday: stopped at Dollar Tree for soap and found 2022 calendars, so I have my lighthouse calendars for next year. Surprisingly they had no fall items out yet, but still had tons of Independence Day items. Picked up more lavender-scented soap as well and had a nice chat with the cashier.
Had a friend in the hospital briefly for a non-COVID-related infection, but he was released after being given intravenous antibiotics. I'm sure he had a tiresome time alone at Urgent Care and in the hospital. They won't let people in again due to the upswing in COVID cases. It has made us rather fearful. We are both thinking of not going to DragonCon.
» Saturday, August 07, 2021Happily Horsing Around
Ah, summer Olympics time again. NBC primetime seems to have this fixation on beach volleyball. Or volleyball. Or other mind-numbing sports. Thank goodness for the NBC Sports app, and that we still have minimal Dish. Download the NBC Sports app, sign in through Dish, and I could watch all the equestrian events I wanted. In fact, this week I found out I didn't need to download the sports app at all; I could get it through the Roku box. First I watched a little dressage, and then this week I've been watching show jumping. They actually did cross country before show jumping, but cross country is the most fun to watch, so I've done some of the jumping first. The individual show jumping had a killer jump-off for the three medals. The winner was Ben Maher (from Great Britain) on a cinnamon-colored horse named Explosion W (nickname "Ginger" or "Carrot"). What a rider! What a horse!
"Rab had gone into one of the many stalls and backed out a tall, slender horse, so pale he was almost white, but flecked all over with tiny brown marks. The mane and tail were a rich, blackish mahogany. His eyes were glassy blue." Tail and eyes are wrong, but my goodness, it's Goblin from Johnny Tremain!
In the midst of horsy happiness, did the usual housekeeping chores on Sunday and Monday, finished my July book reviews before getting too far into August, and finally put our vaccination cards away somewhere safe (which means we'll probably need them back out sometime soon).
The weekend went a bit better: we got all the shopping done Thursday morning and then James had to go to the dermatologist for his checkup in the afternoon. She put in an order to have his right forefinger x-rayed; it's been enlarged since she removed a wart from it by freezing. Last week it was hot and swollen, as if in a gout attack, and the swelling went away. So we had the x-ray and then headed home.
(Oh, funny thing: James has sort of a small sore between his left pinky toe and left "ring" toe—you know, "the piggy who didn't get roast beef" toe—so we had the dermatologist look at it. She said it was a small ulcer caused by his toes rubbing together, and advised us to get something called DuoDerm hydrocolloid dressings. So, remembering what the podiatrist was always advising, I asked "What about MediHoney? Podiatry is always recommending that." She made a face and commented something about podiatry's "fixation" with "alternative medicine." I wanted to fall over laughing.)
I frankly don't know how I will manage DragonCon if I can't even get up early to go with James to go for an echocardiogram (he hasn't had one in a while, so Dr. Shash ordered one for Friday morning. We didn't even get up that early, only at 7:30, but I was in and out of the bathroom the entire time at home and when we were at TownPark. (I could have gone in the back with him and I was "pottying around" instead.) TownPark itself was a zoo; everyone was jockeying for parking spaces and I've never seen such long lines. One guy was in line (with a mask, thank goodness!) saying he had a slight fever and a cough! Good God, why did you come in the main building? Go next door to Urgent Care, you idiot! We had lunch when James was done, wings at Otter's Chicken—really, something I shouldn't have done, considering how lousy I felt, but thankfully it didn't bother me.
Saturday James went off to his club meeting, so I took the library books back (James also enjoyed The Secret History of Home Economics). I know it's because I'm still a child of the old libraries, with the wooden shelves and chairs—even as a teenager the clunky grey metal shelving in the "new building" at the Providence Public Library looked ugly to me, especially since they had a beautiful children's library room that they no longer used with dark wooden shelving, miniature wooden chairs and tables, and a big mural of literary characters on the wall. The old Arlington Library was like this, too, all dark wood shelving, warm and embracing and comforting. I'm not happy with the remodel at the Switzer (main) Library although I've always known it with metal shelves. They were at least tall metal shelves until the remodel, but they're now at least two shelves shorter, which means there are definitely fewer books than there used to be. I know they went for the grey/blue/white color combination of the furniture and rug to make it look cool, but under fluorescent lights it looks cold and reminds me uncomfortably of the waiting rooms at every Kaiser facility and at the hospital (at least with more comfortable chairs), which, based on the last five years, does not make me stick around and want to browse!
Also stopped at Bernhard's Bakery on the way home (yay for florentine cookies and Ritter Pfefferminz bars) and Publix because the Mableton store had only white grape juice on BOGO when we went Thursday. Good thing I grabbed a new chicken salad for James, because he accidentally left last week's package out on his side table last night; I noticed it when I was vacuuming.
Closing ceremonies for the 2020 Olympics are tomorrow already. Thank goodness I can go back into the NBC app and watch more equestrian events (team jumping and cross country to go).