Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Checking in

Yipes, this appears to be my 1000th post!  I really had planned to do something a little more special like look back at where I have been.  But then, life has a way of getting in the way.

When I began this, cancer was looming really big.  I had a business selling candles that has morphed into other things - namely children's clothing.  I had one granddaughter, now I am expecting my sixth something...  probably a boy.  That would make us three and three (unless DIL decided to have another which will definitely be the end).

But since we got back from the SSB, I have been running.  It all began with the appointment with Dr Death (oncology) yesterday.  That went well.  My CA27.29 was up to 24.  The nurse said that was no worry.  The cut off is 38.  Well, ok - but right after the mastectomy and chemo it was something like 10.

I have pictures that are still in the camera with the exception of this one.  This is when we stopped to let Simone have a walk before we really hit the road home.  Her first potty break.  This is an example of our dirt roads.  If you look carefully, you can see the dead persimmons off to the right of the road, and there is absolutely no grass beside the road there in the fore ground.  Ranchers are selling their herds of cattle and even goats and sheep in record numbers.  There is no food for them except what can be bought, and that is so expensive.  Hay is something that cannot be found.

.  It is so very dry up there even the cedars (junipers in reality) are dying.  Live oaks and elms are also dying.  The whole area it basically a tinder-box waiting to explode in flames.

I will try to download more of the pictures tomorrow and bring some out of the folders already here to try to show the difference between good times and bad times up there.  

Be back tomorrow!


Monday, September 19, 2011


\In my continual whine - the knee is getting better.  When I woke this morning (to thunder and heavy RAIN), I could tell it was much better. That is a relief.

Simone has her stitches out.  That means no more e-collar.  That is great news.  Last night (or early morning rather) when the storms arrived, she was afraid of the thunder.  That means she wants to be on my side of the bed.  There is not a huge expanse of space there, so the collar bumped and scraped along as she muscled her way there.  Turning around brought even more noises!!  But she is free of that thing.  She can get into her crate again (Yipee), and go outside without supervision.  Sunbaths again for the old dog.

Yes - indeed we are getting some rain again.  I am anxious to see if there was rain at the SSB.  If there was any with these storms, there will be a touch of green beginning again there.  It doesn't take much.  Being a semi-arid biome, it, like a total desert, will green up fast.  Takes full advantage of any good weather.

 Bad news is that apparently the drought has caused a real problem with the pool.  It is leaking water faster than we can fill it.  We were going to have it re-tiled and re-plastered this winter, but it looks like that can't wait.  There are times I think we just ought to hammer up the concrete and fill it with dirt.  I really don't want to do that.  I really think I will swim again - someday.

I will take pictures when we are at the SSB.  I have some already stored on the computer of better days.  It will be a study in contrasts.  I will also get pictures of the table.  When it was still at the lake, it took some blows from the break ins.  It no longer has the perfect finish on it, but then even before the break-ins, my brilliant step mother let a candle burn all the way down.  Daddy tried to repair it, but there is a big dark ring on it still.  Some people would pay good money to have a table distressed like this one!  But with this burgeoning family, it almost seats all of us.

Last night at Sunday Dinner, my DIL dropped the bomb that this coming child (#3) may not be the end.  I nearly fell off the couch,  I am beginning to think it just keeps putting off her returning to school for her professed hope of becoming a nurse.  I really think she believes deeply that she won't succeed.  She just wants to stay at home.  So having babies, then home schooling will  allow that.  But even if there is a fourth, that will be the end unless she finds another Ob/Gyn.  Her doctor doesn't like more than four caesarians. ( now spell check tells me that is wrong, but there is no choice for the correct spelling - so if it's wrong - blams spell check!)

And so my life continues.  We will be taking off in the morning.  I know I can't depend on my phone to become a hot spot.  It is so irritating.  I pay for a service that works here, not there.  I hope we can get out of this contract soon.  It is set for next August, but perhaps ...  I can always dream about a better service.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can we talk here?

We're all friends, right?  And friends shouldn't feel self conscious when admitting absolute stupidity, right?  Well, that's what I am getting ready to do here.  Right here in the blogosphere.

Remember when I said that I made the mistake of getting on the floor to treat Simone's incisions?  Remember when I was stuck there on the floor - not being able to get up?  I am also the woman who doesn't get into the pool because I am afraid that I cannot pull  myself up the steps.  Well, last night I was absolutely, positively insane.

My feet and legs were killing me.  I wanted a hot bath more than anything else in the world.  I haven't immersed my body in the tub in about a year - perhaps less.  I do remember it being rather difficult to get out, but I could.  So - I got in the tub.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Now I don't know how to accept help in getting up (or out).  G wanted me to take a bell or something to ring if I couldn't get out.  That wasn't going to happen - regardless.  I thought I had a plan.

Well - you know how things like that go.  But here's what I thought.  I would put a bath towel in the bottom of the tub.  It would give traction.  That would be the answer.  So the towel went in, the water was begun.  Then I was going to lower myself in.  That's when the traction held.  I plopped with a splash.

But I drew the hot water.  I sat there for a while.  I was in heaven.  Then I was going to get out.  Right.  It wasn't going to happen.  In the time between the last time I was in the tub and this time, I apparently have gotten weaker.   Even the loss of weight wasn't going to help me.

I don't know how long I sat there evaluating my dilemma, but it was a while.  Finally I came to the conclusion there was going to be one way and one way only.  So I wadded up the towel that was already there, added another to make padding.  Then I managed to get my right knee on the "padding" but it was at an angle.

Up I went - threw the left leg over the edge of the tub and  - fell back.  Well.  Isn't this a situation.  I did it again, and I was free.  But then and now, the right knee is hurting.  I don't believe I did anything to the knee cap.  I think it may just be soft tissue injury, but it does hurt.

So, since this is the week we will have to go to the SSB, I will see what happens with the knee.  If it isn't better - I will call the Ortho.  This is also the side that I landed on when I missed the last step on the "killer stairs" in our house.  We all have fallen on those steps - even my sure footed son.

Stupid.  I cannot believe how incredibly stupid I was last night.  I guess it was the rain that we finally got (hurrah), but something certainly short circuited in my brain.  Invincible I certainly am not.  I guess I forget that I am getting old, fat and out of shape.  If I ever have that wild desire again to get in the tub, I hope I have the sense to come back to this (if I haven't destroyed my knee) and remember what I cannot do!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

People are just amazing - not!

Yesterday we ventured out to buy a small vacuum cleaner for upstairs.  We have a canister vac - one that uses water for its filter.  It is too heavy to lug up and down the stairs.  So I wanted something other than the one that is up there.  It is really just a hand vac that has a handle that goes in it and a stupid little thingy for using on the floor.  Doesn't work well especially in a world of threads and bits of fabric because try as I might - those things are on that floor.  Plus when anything has to be done in the attic recesses,  crud gets pulled out and deposited on the carpet.

So we went to the store that replaced Mervyn's here in Swampland.  The K**l's store.  I found a vacuum that I THOUGHT was $99.  This was after  my $10 card for their anniversary.  When we checked out - no it was $159 - on sale and minus the $10. Well - OK.  I did like the machine.  So we loaded it up and headed out for the rest of our shopping trip.

When I got it out and put it together, I was wondering why the top of the canister for the dirt didn't fit properly.  As I turned it over and over, the HEPA filter fell out.  It. Was. Filthy.  That machine had been used.  A lot!

I was so upset (use your own word here - they will all fit the situation).  So I repacked it.  G came in, and I told him what had happened.  I expected a real storm of words - especially with his moods of late!  He was calmer than I.  So I called the store and was assured they would make it right.

We took it back this morning.  I had my credit card credited, and got another $10 store card.  We went back to look at the machines, but there was nothing I really wanted.  I don't want the $500+ nice one.  I want something that is fairly powerful, bagless, and above all - inexpensive!  They didn't have it.

I had already looked at their add.  I knew they had one for $80.  I ordered it to be delivered.  Of course - it will be next week, and we all know where we will be next week!  Joy.

The real upshot of this whole thing is I honestly believe that machine will go back out on the floor for some poor soul to buy - again.  It is filthy, and I told the woman at the returns that the power attachment was not there.  I saw her write no information about that thing.  I am really upset with them - I thought they were VERY reputable.   I just don't know.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Another hot, dry day.  That means staying in the house, which doesn't really bother me, but it is driving G insane.  That, in turn, is driving me insane.  He begins his tirade on global warming again and again.  He is so irritable about the whole thing.  He insists that he is  not staying here in the heat and dryness next summer.  That is really stupid.  I don't know where or what he is thinking about doing, but it is stupid.  Plain and simple.

Last night I had about enough of it, so I asked why he is getting so upset about it.  Really.  It doesn't make sense to rail and rant about something if you cannot really do something about it.  I have too many other things that I CAN do something about.

I agree that there is climate change.  It is obvious.  I try to explain that some possibly be a natural cycle in nature - which I really believe.  I also know humans are just about to put the final insult on our world.  But ranting and raving about it, threatening to spend thousands of dollars to live someplace else for several months to get away from the heat ...   It would really be funny if he follows through on that and ends up where heat follows - or gets into flooding conditions.  Stupid.

Enough of things that smack of politics.  I don't do that here.  I try to stay away from politics and religion.  Sometimes things sneak in, but that isn't what I focus on.  I get enough around here.

Simone is still restless at night.  That means she is banging and scraping furniture in the bedroom.  Either that or she is trying to get into her crate which is an impossibility.  I am trying to give her more and more time without the e-collar.  She is pretty good about not attacking her stitches, but I have to put it back on if there is a chance I might not be really watching her.

Last night, I decided that I would put the antibiotic ointment on the stitches.  She doesn't like to roll over - at least right now.  G gets upset with her, and the other night he said he wished I would do the ointment.  So I did last night.

I had her in the bedroom with me.  I got on the floor with her and made her roll over.  I was able to get a lot of ointment on her.  Then it came time for me to get up.  I realized I had made a crucial  mistake.  My ortho guy has told me not to kneel.  He fears titanium pressing on the floor with the thin little knee cap between.  Well, there I was.

After about 10 minutes my solution finally came to me.  Thank goodness we had the attic taken in several years ago when the kids were teens (to get them and their teenage messes out of the way).  I had made the mistake at that time to put the stairs in the closet space that was in the hallway - just outside the master bedroom door.  I had always  disliked that placement - after it was too late.  Last night I was delighted with that placement.  I scooted out the door and pulled myself up the steps until I could stand.

Yesterday afternoon I went to work on more of the baptismal blankets.  My machine HAD been working like a dream.  Note the operative word there - had.  I completed the shell which is so very stitch intensive.  I moved onto the date.  That's when all hell broke loose.  The thread formed a huge "bird's nest" on the back side, ripped the stabilizer, and stretched the blanket.  The machine and I fought for at least an hour.  I came back down to cool off.  I was about to pitch that machine out the window and say good riddance.  Anyway - after I went back, there were still some problems, but I completed the blanket.  It isn't perfect, but by that time there was way too much invested to just throw it away.  (I guess I need to serve you some cheese after that whine!)  I only have (ONLY???) five more to go, and then I am free for a while.

So this is the excitement in my life.  A grumpy husband, a sly dog, and terrible weather and fights with my sewing machine.  Sigh.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ch ch ch changes

We changed our minds about trekking off to the hinterlands this week.  There were several factors involved in this decision.  Not least among them was Simone and her "buddy."  I was having visions of her trying to get loaded into the truck, and then riding for five to six hours.  I had thought about leaving her part of the back seat up because G sometimes stops short and quickly, and she falls to the floor.  But then I thought of having the cat carrier on the other part of the seat, and the seat being up.  A vision of Simone trying to ride ON TOP of the cat carrier also came to mind.  Not a pretty sight!

We called the furniture store in Kerrville where we ordered new chairs for the dining table.  The ones we have I have always hated.  They are the most uncomfortable things ever manufactured on the face of the earth.  My dad made this table - using a sheet of plywood.  So it is 6x8.  He did a masterful job on it.  It was in the lake house, and while we just left a lot of the furniture there (a goodly portion had been destroyed either by the vandals directly, or by exposure to the elements with the windows that were broken out), I couldn't leave this table.

The chairs, however ...  My mother found them.  They are ladder back with rattan seats.  They are from Mexico, and were exactly what she wanted.  They have little knobs from the legs that are sticking up on the front of the seats that gouge into your thighs when you sit in them.  With our tile floor, G invariably will get up and push the chair back too quickly,  The back leg grabs in the grout line, and over the chair goes with a "whap."  So we went to buy new ones (I could have bought two tables to go with them for the same price.  (Shameful!)

We called yesterday.  The chairs are in, but cannot be delivered until the 22nd.  So putting all things together, we are staying here until next Tuesday.

Simone is still miserable.  I called the vet's office.  She has to wear this collar until the stitches come out.  Another reason to postpone the trip.  Those buggers can come out sooner.  So Monday is the target date.

She decided that 2:30 this morning was the time to get up.  I think her ear itched something fierce.  Of course between her bouncing off all the furniture like a pinball, and the thump, thump of her foot on the plastic collar, I was wide awake.  How many days again???

I am so lazy about downloading pictures from the camera.  I know it is easy, but it't not as easy as I want it.  I will do that later today.  I will have some pictures tomorrow - one of my poor baby, and some of the SSB in the more recent better times there.  When it was green instead of dirt red and burned vegetation yellow.


Monday, September 12, 2011


Simone is getting along fairly well.  She certainly is not used to the e collar.  She rams into objects (and us) on a regular basis.  I tried to give her a respite from it this morning, but she had to remain in my sight.  I know as soon as she would be out of my sight, she would begin the licking and gnawing on the stitches.

I took a picture before we removed the bandage.  I will upload it this week.

Even if I get it uploaded this week, I doubt that I will be able to post it until next week.  We are off, through the fires, to the SSB.  I say through the fires because unless we go WAY out of the way to drive through San Antonio, we have to go through the Bastrop area.  So - through the fires.  I think they are a little more contained than they were.  At least I hope.

The problem with being at the SSB (that stands for Sting, Sticks, or Bites - because that is what everything there does - it is rough land!), is that my dear phone - with its supposed internet capabilities - does not work well there.  AND I still have about a year on the contract.  Then I can go back to my old carrier.  You really do get what you pay for.  This was a tad cheaper, and the service is waaaaay worse.  Lesson learned.

If I cannot visit you all, have a safe and pleasant week.  We will be back here in Swampland (that is quickly becoming desert) next Tuesday.  I will visit you on Wednesday!


Thursday, September 08, 2011


I was all set to write about how stupid I am.  You see, I thought I had an appointment with Dr Death (the oncologist) today.  Nope - it is the 27th.  How in the world I wrote today down in my calendar, I don't know.  I was wondering why they didn't call to remind me about the appointment yesterday.  Now I know.

No - my thoughts are far away from that situation.  We took Simone to the vet this morning for her teeth cleaning.  We both were apprehensive.  She is an old dog.  We have had her six years.  So anytime there is general anesthesia involved - there are risks.

G wanted to be sure someone was here by the phone all day.  So I went on my trip, and then he left for his errands.  About 30 minutes ago, the vet clinic called.  She is doing well with the anesthesia, BUT.  It is always the "but" that gets you.  The "but" is that the vet found two tumors on her belly.

Boxers are very prone to skin tumors.  I know that.  Our first baby, Taz, died of a throat tumor.  When we adopted Simone, we knew it was something that they can have.  The vet aspirated some cells, and they appear to be mast tumor cells.  These can be non cancerous, or - cancerous.  So I told her to remove the two.  Well, a few minutes ago I got another call.  There were two more.  One behind the knee, and the other in mammary tissue.

 I wanted these off.  I want to try to stop any spread.  I told them  to take them off all the while knowing there will be more and more.  Our next question was to send them to the lab or not.  We aren't.  If they are malignant, we could go to an oncologist.  I cannot see her surviving chemo.  I don't want to make her absolutely miserable.  I would rather try to make her comfortable for the last days of her life.

When you have pets, you know this will happen some day.  You will lose them.  As much as you want them to be with you forever, you know it won't happen.  When we adopted her, it was thought she was already 5-7 years old.  I don't think that was the truth.  She is old  now.  We think about her leaving us, but we don't verbalize it - until now.  It is facing us now.  Understanding the fact she will leave us doesn't make it one bit easier.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I feel like I have a new career

I really feel like I am now a meteorologist!  It seems that the weather has become the only topic I write about.  Boring.

But here I go again.  Lamenting the fact that the rain chances that we had last week - at one point a 50% chance - dwindled away to  nothing (well a FEW scattered showers) that left us dryer than before  because of the winds from Lee.  Great.

We have major wild fires in the state.  As of just a few minutes ago, one that has been burning for three or so days is zero controlled.  That is really scary.  It is not a concentrated population area, and there have been 600 homes lost.  And still the rain chances for the remaining part of the week - zero.

I just looked at my stats when signing on - next week I will hit 1000 posts.  All boring, but wow.  That's a lot.

To get to thinking about other things - Lady Bug is going into a year around swim program and meets.  She has made the Silver classification which is a little more advanced.  I think that is so great.  She only began swim team summer before this.  She didn't know how to swim then.  She wore the floaties in the pool - now she is a silver swimmer.  She is so excited.

I got into making the baptismal blankets yesterday.  Wouldn't you know - the first one botched up.  My fault though.  Instead of trying something new on a scrap - as I should have - I thought I was just too smart for that.  I ended up with the blanket bunched in the middle of the design.  Those babies (the blankets, not the baptised) take me about two hours or more to complete.  This will be a loooooong project!

I finished Doodle Bug's dress that matches her sisters, and I have about half of another set for their cousin - Little Bit.  I don't know if DIL will like it or not.  She likes to take her business outside of the family.  Instead of perhaps paying for the fabric and throwing in a bit, she goes to another business and pays them $30 for the dresses.  So be it!

It is almost time for me to head back and chain myself to the machines again.  I moved the furniture around on Saturday, and I paid for that yesterday.  I am so out of shape!  I was so sore.  I got a little concerned when my back had a few twinges.  It would have been so easy to get back into those bottles of pills, but all I have to do is remember the three week withdrawal.

I go to Dr Death on Thursday.  I forgot to get the blood work done last week, and since it needs to be fasting (again) I made an appointment.  The only morning appointment I could get was tomorrow.  I know he will not have the results.  The only result I am interested in is the breast cancer marked (CA 27.29).  I am going to tell him about the pains I am having.  I think I have nerve damage from all the surgeries, but the little nagging fear is that I have the cancer spreading to the ribs.  Perhaps he will order a CAT.  Don't know.  We'll see.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Too much to hope for

Once again, our hopes have been dashed.  I probably won't get a drop of rain from this storm.  It, too, is going to our east, therefore, no rain and higher temperatures because all the moisture will be pulled to the storm.

I should have known as much.  At the end of the week, all we could do was watch our rain chances dwindle.  We are  not on water conservation.  That means we can water only on Tuesday and Fridays, and something like 12:00 midnight to 9 am, and some other time in the evening.

Well - enough for that.  Shadow certainly didn't leave my side too often last night.  He plastered himself right up against me.  That cat is one hot body.  Just what I needed!  He probably won't get anywhere near the bed when it gets cold!

Daughter and I went out to get more supplies today.  I have to get the pictures posted sometime.  Actually, I need to get photos TAKEN sometime.  She took the one of Lady Bug's dress that I finished last Saturday.  I haven't been back up there except to get thread colors I need for the embroidery of the shells on the baptism blankets.

I guess this weekend I will lock  myself up and work of dresses.  Now if I can get an inventory up so I can sell some of those suckers!

Have a good holiday.  I will probably not catch up with you until Monday evening or Tuesday morning - unless I have another animal incident where said animal wants to confess his or her stupidity!


Thursday, September 01, 2011


Yep - this is me, Shadow, the cat.  I just hijacked Mom's little place here.  I have a terrifying story to tell.

I went outside with the dog this morning.  No one saw me.  I just slipped out.  It has been over two years since I was outside.  It looked interesting.  SO I went.

Mom saw a black cat walking along the window in the den.  She didn't know it was me.  I am so clever.  I just strolled along the ledge between the window and the gas grill.  I heard her tell Dad that she better move the stained glass piece because if I had been in that window when that other black cat walked along there, it surely would have been broken.  Tee-hee.  They didn't realize. Did called me "Butterball" which is his nickname for me, but he didn't really know. I am so clever!

All was really good.  I was enjoying my vantage point there on the ledge.  And then, I got the liver scared out of me.  The guys with those loud machines showed up.  At first one stayed in the front yard, but then one came into the back with me.  Well - it was far enough away, but I was still scared.  Then this really loud thing came in.  It was blowing air everywhere, and all the dirt was flying with it.

I have never been so scared in my entire life - not even when I was thrown out in that forest as a baby to make it on my own!  I tried to climb in the window, but of course it was closed and locked.  I clawed that screen right off the window trying to get away.

Then I got in the bedroom window that is in the corner.  I was still so scared.  It was the only place where I felt like something had my back.  My heart sank then.  Mom left.  I didn't know what to do.  I was really sunk.  How would I ever get back in, but she came back about two hours later.

I heard Dad tell her that I looked sick.  You think? Yes, I was sick - with fright.  Mom said to keep Simone
away from me.  When an animal acts that strange, it is usually rabies.  I. DON'T. HAVE. ANY. OLD. RABIES.  I. AM. SCARED!

After a bit, Dad looked out the door to see me right up against it, screaming.   I heard him go tell Mom that he thought the "sick cat" was me, Shadow.  Sure enough, when he opened the door, I ran in.  What a relief.  I thought I was a goner.  We have an old, big, tomcat around here.  He was in the back of the yard.  If he had seen me, well it wouldn't be pretty.

So I guess I wasn't as smart as I thought.   But I am safe now.  Rabies? - Please!

Busy day

We ventured into the Big City yesterday.  We went to Aunt W's house first.  Actually it is a condo in a verrrry nice part of town.  The people who had it  before they bought it, bought two condos and made it into one large (2700 square feet) unit.  I absolutely love it.  My big drawback is "no animals."  I do love my animals too much.  I have always had pets.  I probably always will (hence biology major me!).

They are trying to sell the place so they can move to Dallas where Aunt B's children are.  I personally do not thing it is a good move - and I will talk about that more later.  W says she thinks it isn't selling because the HOA fee is $1300 a month.  I nearly fainted when I heard that, but that includes ALL utilities.  And if there are repairs...

Aunt B is in a rehab hospital right now.  She had been there about 3 weeks, and isn't expected to be released until Oct 1.  She fell 3 times in one day.  It was finally discovered she had been having TIAs.  These used to be called  mini-strokes.  The place they were going in Dallas requires she be completely independent.  No wheel chairs or walkers allowed in the dining room.  I don't know how they can require that of old folks who would be living there!!

So B's daughter is saying she will put her mom in assisted living and W can have a room there somewhere, and they can see each other.  They planned to live in the condo until one of them died, and then decide.  Don't think this will be a good move for W at all!

We then took Daughter's 35mm SLR to a camera shop to be repaired.  I figured paying for repair wasn't a bad deal when she said she had bought another camera.  The shop advertises repair on line.  When we walked in, the guy rudely told us they don't repair.  Well - he lost a customer with me.  There are a lot of people who sell cameras!  It wouldn't be there.

But they did give us the address of repair places.  It was 3:30 - in busy Big City, but we went to one of the places.  He couldn't do it, but suggested we contact the manufacturer, and send it off.  So we will try that.

We made it home without too much traffic.  We both were dreading the trip though.  Felt like a real country bumpkin too!