Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Can it be?  Karen is back for another day - in succession!  Yes, it is true.  I am actually here, again!

Tidbits today.  First, Christina (DIL) went back to her "new" OB/GYN yesterday for what is her final visit. She needed to finish up after the TWO procedures.  She will still never return to that doctor, but I can see a little more what is going on here.

I really do think this woman hasn't been in practice long enough.  She presents herself as being unsure of herself.  In other words, her bedside manner doesn't exude confidence.  She appears (at least to Christina) very nervous and unsure of herself.  She hums and haws a lot.

Yesterday, she kept saying something along the lines of "I just don't know what happened."  It is true that no fetal tissue was found in the second procedure.  There was just some infection in the second tissue when it was closely examined.  I honestly believe (with my pre-med studies - so I am a real expert here, right) that she had already miscarried before she went in for the regular appointment.  It was late, and I would have thought she would have noticed, but that would account for the fact that no fetal tissue was found.

She was clearly pregnant.  The previous ultrasounds showed a fetus, and the heartbeat was there.  She would get ultrasounds beginning early because she was considered high risk.  She has had other miscarriages, but...  Anyway, she is cleared and on her way.  She will never see this doctor again.  And they are seriously thinking of not trying or allowing another pregnancy.  You know how I feel on this.  Perhaps all will end well.

I had a strange call last week from one of my dear friends.   It scared me then because another mutual friend had a stroke the month before, and naturally I was thinking perhaps Kathy had another stroke.  But it was not that!  This friend wants me to write an article for the magazine she edits.

Well, ok.  I just wish it were something I knew more about.  I wouldn't hesitate at all, but this is going to be a bit of a challenge.  This is a quilting magazine.  I.  Do.  Not.  Quilt.  Another person submitted a quilt she had done on the embroidery machine.  Sharon and her colleagues know nothing about machine embroidery, and she knows I do it all the time.  So she wants me to extrapolate my knowledge into machine embroidery quilting.

I HAVE quilted on my machine.  It was just small pieces, but I did quilt.  I didn't really know what I was doing, but I did it.  My machine does have stitches that they claim are quilting stitches - a stippling stitch.   I have never used it.  I have other acquaintances who really do more quilting than embroidery with the same machine.

Really there is no deep, dark secret that I can see.  I am afraid that the readers would think it was an extraneous article.  I think the reaction would be something like "so what's the big deal?"  Machine embroidery is so easy once you get the hooping down.  As long as you can secure the fabric that will be embroidered or appliqued tightly, you can do almost anything you want.

But I think I will write something.  A new adventure!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Happy times!

I went to the Retinal Specialist today for my eye injection for Macular Degeneration.  The new drug is working better than any of the others.  There is no leakage, and I am put on a five-week recall rather than four.  I am thrilled.  I have waited years for this kind of news.  I told G that I felt like a kid who had been studying for a really difficult exam and got an "A."

This is especially good news because I was afraid with the new rulings from Medicare that regulate my Advantage plan I would be paying over $400 rather than over $100 for these injections.  I would certainly move some things around because my eyesight is more important than almost anything else in my budget.  I won't really know until the bill from today is submitted to the thieves that run the insurance company, but I am hopeful.  I met my deductible (no kidding!!! probably and the some), so this time, it was back to the $100 range.  I will just keep my fingers crossed.


Katie had her last swim meet on Saturday, and I went.  If I had not, I would not have seen her swim at all.  Water polo begins now with her first game later this month.

Her expectations for the results were low.  Our school does not have many swimmers who can afford club sports.  So that means that they are not year around swimmers that swim every day - excluding school practice.

I watched her 200-meter butterfly.  In a field of 24, she placed 11th.  That isn't bad since she has only been swimming the fly for five months this time.  But it was the 200-meter freestyle relay the girls were placing their  hopes on.  If they placed 6th or above, that meant they would be going to regionals.  If they made regionals, they would get their letter jackets.  That is the only reason she wanted to make Varsity as a freshman - and really even the only reason she would be on the swim team.  Her love is Water Polo.  Well, they did it!  They are going to regionals this weekend, where they will get their little butts kicked.  But congrats, girls!
Katie is on the left.  Some, if not all of these girls with the exception of Katie are seniors!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back at the SSB

Yep - here I sit with the remnants of whatever I had last time adding Cedar Fever to it.  'Tis the season for the mountain cedars (junipers) to be sending their pollen out in copious clouds to form the little seeds to spread the vile plant to and fro!  I am very allergic to this crap  stuff,  I get a little emotional around it too!

One of the favorite things to do in this country (since I suppose that's what all the old time Germans did) is to go out into the fields and cut down one of the blasted "trees" and haul it into the houses as the beloved Christmas tree.  I cannot visit those folks.  At.  All.

At this time of year, when the pollen explodes from the things, you just see a smoke like plumb lingering around the bush.  They are laughingly called trees, but really just a bush!

But I am getting some better from the bug I encountered at New Year's Eve.  Now if I can just dodge the pollen for four more days, I will be doing much better.

When DIL suffered her miscarriage, she had to have a D and C to make sure all tissue was gone.  This was especially the case since the ultrasound that determined no heart beat was done and showed the fetus and amnion there.

It was done, along with some bumps in the road that weren't part of the procedure.   For example, the hospital not telling them where to wait to be called.  But two weeks after the procedure, her ob's office called her to come in.  There was no fetal tissue in the sample that was sent to the lab.  She needed to be checked again.

So they went in immediately.  Another ultrasound was done.  There was "something" there, but no one was sure what it was.  They could recognize what was probably a blood clot, but there was something else.  The technician was using a new machine that she wasn't familiar with (????) and couldn't really read the procedure.  The doctor wasn't sure at all.  (DIL doesn't like her.  Her original doctor retired, and this is a new, young, unsure one)  So they schedule another D and C.

This time, the sample was immediately sent to pathology.  And guess what - no fetal tissue again.  I really hope she changes doctors after her appointment to follow up that is scheduled for next week.  There is something grossly wrong here.  I hope she gets a good explanation.  But I think they don't want to have to face something like this.  Brian indicated he will probably "go under the knife" and that will be that.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I am getting back to normal (as normal as I could possibly be).  The coughing and all is beginning to decline, but still lingers a bit.

Yesterday was a much-needed trip to the grocery store.  On Thursday, we did go to the meat market to pick up the venison sausages (pan and link) we had made there.  Of course,  I took the opportunity to buy some various meats from them.  It is so much better than the regular grocery packaged stuff.  Included in that purchase were red snapper and shrimp.

Last night, I decided to use the shrimp and fish to make Snapper Pontchartrain.  It.  Was. Delicious.  I found the recipe from my favorite restaurant.  It was quite labor intensive, but it was fantastic last night as well as lunch from the left overs today.  I even have more of the sauce that I will use the next time we have cod or halibut.  But that exhausted me!

Today is Katie's 15th birthday.  It seems like she was just born yesterday.  Our time with this sweetheart is growing short.  She will be flying out of the nest soon.  I rejoice in her growth, and she is maturing into such a beautiful and talented woman, but I miss her as a baby!

The baby in the family, little Holden Gregory, is now 4.  Here he is with Katie, Delaney, and Reagan in the background.  He is such a sweet boy who always can make us laugh.  His family is interesting.  His brother is blonde, you can see Delaney is dark brown, and he is a red head!  I wanted to put in another picture that really shows his personality, but I have no cooperation from my computer.

Monday, January 11, 2016

And from the hospital wing

Not really, but we both are snorting, sniffling, blowing and coughing.  I hate getting anything like this because my body just loves to hold onto it!  Forever it seems.

No real news from this place.  We have almost barricaded ourselves inside.  There was no church on Sunday.  I had already made that decision.  If I still was coughing, then I would be at home.  Well, with G being sick also, there was no question.

My daughter called to see if we wanted to come to dinner.  I could see no reason to infect all of them.  I am already a little worried because Katie, her dad and sister came over Wednesday to pick up her horns that were mounted.  Karrington kept hugging me - which I loved, but I am so afraid she will pick this stuff up!

The weather has finally gotten cool enough for a fire.  The first one after cleaning the fireplace out.  This year we not only cleaned out the fireplace, we had the chimney cleaned.  So the first fire really just smoldered.  AND it was a lot of work constantly poking, adding paper, etc.  Last night we achieved a good fire.

The fireplace in this house is an integral part of the heating of the house when it's cold.  For some reason, the system really isn't balanced.  We have had the entire thing changed - from the unit itself to the duct work.   The master bedroom gets sauna hot if it is set to have the den/kitchen warm.  In the summer the reverse is true, but I like a cold bedroom!

So we have squeaked through another day.  Perhaps  I will be well tomorrow!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

This and that

My mind is telling me to not write today.  But I am a hard headed German.  So here I go.  Some are just statement of fact and some are what I am feeling right now, and those feelings are not shared by all.

First - the crud still hangs on.  AND I have found that the greatly promoted Mucinex (or however that stuff is spelled) does nothing for me.  In fact, I think it made me worse.  Every 4 hours for two days, I religiously swallowed the vile stuff.  I never felt any relief, in fact, I felt somewhat worse (from what I could tell!).  So yesterday I stopped it.  I did feel better.  I don't know if this is just part of the crud running its course or I really benefitted from discontinuing the med.

Second - I consider myself a rather open minded person.  If I had to be labeled politically, I would honestly say I am an independent.  I don't like the concept of political parties.

What brought this up?  We have a web service around here called "Next Door."  It can serve a good purpose.  Ours had sort of degenerated into mostly lost/found dogs and cats.  This is rather tiresome, and with my animal rescue mindset, it also distresses me.  A lot!

Some yahoo decided he would stir the pot with something he deemed important.  He brought up the Primary Election.  Now, the voting demographics of our combined neighborhoods is well known.  Why he decided to list all the candidates on one questionnaire about who would vote for whom, I cannot understand.  But he did.  That post has become a cesspool.

Just the other day, someone suggested that we begin the new year with careful thinking about what and how we post.  That suggestion has completely been ignored.  And so many there are putting things in there (and not about the candidate, but other definitions of ideologies) that are completely incorrect.

This coupled with Facebook has made me want to leave the social media altogether.  I want to write "people - say what you want.  That is your Constitutional right.  But make it factual."  That would be directed to one person especially.  She and I have had a run-in (at her doing), and I have muted her.  But then I get curious and come to the computer to look at what she says.  She. Is. An. Idiot.  Today she blatantly stated confused two forms of government. To me, it made her look really stupid.  This woman is a wolf in sheep's clothing.  She comes across as such a sweet and caring person while in truth she is a vile, hateful person.  She will attack with little provocation.  She is caring only if you meet her stupid standards.  In other words, she is a complete hypocrite.  I am so sick of hypocrites.

Sorry for the rant.  Sometimes it just feels really good to let it out.  I should simply drop that neighborhood "rag sheet."  There are sometimes redeeming qualities about it though.  I just need to consider my action about it carefully.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

It hangs on

Here we are - day six of the crud.  I am beginning to believe this is allergy not cold.  For one thing, G doesn't have it.  Also, a cold would have gone away by now, and there is no infection.  There is just plenty of mucus (I know, TMI, sorry! But it is pertinent information)

I had my monthly appointment for my eye injection yesterday.  I knew this was coming - they put a mask on me.  That's ok because I would do the same thing in their position.  I contemplated changing the appointment but I really want to stay on the schedule because the liquid behind the retina has decreased.  The doctor tells me that we may be able to stretch the appointments to every 6 weeks if this new drug is successful.

And that is going to be very important.  There are new co-pays with the insurance.  Guess what - they are NOT in my favor. Because medical costs are sky-rocketing the insurance companies will only pay 80% of procedures like mine (which means the drug that is $2000 a pop) rather than the 95% they previously paid.  We are talking I now pay $422 each month to not go blind.  What a choice.

There are "co-pay assistance" programs out there.  I have tried twice previously to apply.  I will try again, but we "make too much money."  That is a laugh.  My annuity payment has not increased since 2001.  I cannot get my complete social security money because dear Mr. Tom Delay decided that teachers with an annuity (as well as some other classifications of retirees) just didn't need that additional money from Social Security.  I wonder which teacher(s) pissed him off when he was in school?  I guess his previous occupation of exterminator cooked his brain with the chemicals.  But that is neither here nor there - it is something that I now have to deal with.
Katie is once again excelling.  Her  first semester as a Freshman in high school was good.  She managed all A's and a B in geometry.  Our school district doesn't believe in giving finals in Middle School, so her finals ate her lunch - thus the B.  But with everything else she does, I think she did so great - especially since her classes are all either the Gifted/Talented or Advanced Placement.  Good showing for a 14-year-old!

Her Varsity swimming is going well, but water polo is really going well.  She will be heading to Riverside, California again this year to compete for a place on the National Junior Olympic team again.  This competition is tough for the Texas girls.  We just don't have the coaches that the California girls have.  Last year she was so close, but "close only counts in horse shoes!"  But she is getting well known in the country.

I am off to the drug store.  I am going to stock up on drugs!!  I don't have cough syrup, nasal spray, all that great stuff.  We only had a bit here, and I didn't bring any of it back from the SSB because I surely want it to be there since we are at the end of the earth!