Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas Day is drawing to a close, and we will be heading off for yet another meal. We began the day at Daughter's house. SIL fixed a really nice breakfast, and then we got to sit to watch the grands while they opened their gifts from Santa. It was really nice.

Doodle Bug is definitely OCD. As she would tear a piece of wrapping paper off, she would look for the appropriate place to put it! Both Lady Bug and Monkey Boy decided DB's toys were the ones with which to play. What a surprise!

Then we went to Son's MIL's house. I just love her mother who is visiting here from Louisiana. She is such a delight. There was enough food there for the masses. It is always so good. The cousins got to exchange gifts there. It was very nice.

In a bit we will be heading back to Daughter's house where there is venison stew awaiting. G just walked in stating he is not a bit hungry. I know what he means. But we did say we would be there.

Tomorrow we are heading to the SSB for New Year's. We will be there until January 4. I will try to stop by from time to time. In the meantime, I hope you had a blessed Christmas, and I hope you hve a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This morning I was not going to post - anything. I was in a deep funk. The world looked drab, and I couldn't think of anything positive about the day with the exception of the fact that I was breathing and moving about.

Then I met with our Realtor who sold us the other property. We have the house on the market finally. It will be a month after leasing it that we will realize any monies from it because around here the listing fee is a month's rent. Well, that's ok. I want it on the MLS listings.

She was amazed at the change in the property. She made two suggestions, one of which is on the books - a cleaning service to do the windows and so on. That is going to happen. So as soon as we sign the papers and return them, we will have the house on the market.

The real thing that moved me to post was a Christmas card from my "step brother." We are not related in any way by blood. My father married his mother when they were both getting to be elderly. Ron and I seldom had any communication at all. He has five kids, and we really didn't know any of them at all.

When his mother got so sick and I stepped in, that seemed to change things. He inherited a lot more money because of my dad then would have happened before. When Dad died, he inherited even more.

So there has been some communication now. In fact when we went to Disney Land for Lady Bug, we visited him at his newly opened restaurant. We had a lovely time. I got a Christmas card three years ago. He had been treated for colon cancer. Then I got my diagnosis.

We didn't hear again until today. I believe he lost the restaurant because he is selling insurance. But more than anything else, he has had cancer again.

I certainly will be including Ron and his family in my prayers. I think they have had some very hard times. I think the bills were stacking up big time from what his wife said in the letter.

I am not in such a blue mood anymore. I have heard from several people today. So far I have not had a recurrence of cancer. This is another day for me to be grateful, not down.

I hope you have found something of value in this day.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Separate ways

Sunday at the kid's Christmas program, I got to thinking. I am a bit sad that my daughter, son and we go to different churches. It's great we all go to church, but it would be nice if it was the same one. I can see problems down the line when Wiggle Worm and his future siblings get old enough to be in programs at their church, and that happening on the same day as his cousins. I have to admit, I did enjoy it when we all went to the same church.

Later that evening, at Daughter's birthday dinner, my DIL was bemoaning the fact that her brother won't be coming here for Christmas at her Dad's house on Christmas Eve. I found that amusing - in a sick, distorted way. You see, Son and DIL will be at her Dad's on Christmas Eve after he gets off work, and then they plan to be at her mother's house on Christmas Day. Now, we are invited to her mother's for both Christmas Eve (I would feel really strange with DIL not there) and Christmas Day. But, do you see any time there for them to spend with just our family? Nope - not just us.

I so wanted to quote that old adage to her:
A daughter is a daughter all her life,
A son is a son until he takes a wife.

That is so very true. It was true of my husband, my SIL, now my son, and now her brother. She was so upset because her SIL's family live in the same city with her brother. I think it may be something that happens because there is so often strife between two women - especially MIL and DIL. I really try to not let that happen. It was a factor in my marriage. If she weren't so thinned skin, I would have said something. There are times it's just better to keep one's mouth shut. And I did. And the twinge of hurt is still there.


Monday, December 21, 2009

What a Sunday!!

We began our day in a normal, peaceful way. We went to Daughter's church because the kids were in the Christmas play. I thought I was going to have to hog-tie G. But, he got over it. They did a great job. Not that I am prejudiced or anything.

Later Daughter and I went to see "Precious." We both read Push, the book it is based upon. We knew what we were in for as far as the language and violence. We both thoroughly enjoyed the movie - if that's what how you want to phrase it. The acting was wonderful. The subject matter is another thing, but these things happen to girls.

What really surprised us was this woman came in to the movie with a little girl not more than ten and another little girl about two. The part of the movie where she entered was some of the worst language, and it went on for a long while. I simply could not believe she brought her children to this movie. It is definitely not a children movie. I really don't understand some people these days. I was very uncomfortable for those girls.

The movie was a good time for us - part of Daughter's 36th birthday celebration. Best of all, it cost us nothing because I had passes from my dentist. His hygienist was ill, and they didn't call me before I got there. It wasn't a problem anyway. The dentist is just right here. G had a gift card that we used for two drinks ($9.50 worth). She drives a company vehicle, so we didn't even pay for gas!

All hell broke loose when I got home however. I walked in, talked about the movie a bit, and G asked "Is the generator still running??" I said apparently, but our neighbors have power. This is about 5:15. We were to meet the rest of the family at 6:15 for dinner. He had been sitting for two hours with the generator running. The problem was OURS! We called the utility company. They did come out - about the time we were leaving. The generator company had me leave messages. The utility company said the problem was ours; we had service. Something was not letting the generator switch back to local power.

We went on to dinner with the generator humming away. I really felt bad for the neighbors, but hopefully since it was cold (for us, I know!!!) hopefully they had their windows closed. It ran all night. I will say, it was kind of neat though. We know it will run the house - at least what we were using for the night. And the motor isn't really that loud. Now in the still of a post hurricane night, that may be a different story for the neighbors. We will just have to provide refrigerator space and ice to make up for things!

This morning, the guy whose "emergency number" I called and left a message, said I didn't do those things, but he sent a crew anyway. They got here about 10 this morning. So we used about 20 hours of natural gas to run our lights. The repairman gave me his card with his direct number. I hope we never need it.

All turned out ok, but for a while there, I wasn't sure. The repairman said he would try to get the company to pick up some of the gas bill, but that really isn't that big a thing. I'm sure it will be about $40, but we now know more about that nice little chest that is nestled behind our garage and keeps the home fires burning!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Cristmas Traditions

This is a strange topic for today since I am in such a funk about everything in general - even Christmas. But over at RevGalPals, they challenged us to talk about the traditions we have in our families, since all families have different ones. Well, this year I haven't done a single thing - much less follow a tradition.

These are the categories:
1. Traditions you always do: (keeping in mind I haven't done these) We decorate for Christmas the first Sunday in Advent. My daughter's birthday is December 18, and she always loved having the house so festive for her birthday. We would also go back to San Antonio to celebrate with family. She thought (even though she later knew it wasn't true) that her birthday lasted two weeks or more.

2. Things I always cook or like to eat: I would bake dozens of cookies. This year - I don't need them. So there has been zero baking. I like to try to do a fruitcake or two. G likes them. This year - no.

3. Traditions I would like to start: Our family being more proactive in helping others. This includes giving to Lutheran World Relief, the various programs that provide things like cattle, serving at one of the city wide meals. I would like to see us turning Christmas to providing for those who have little.

4. Traditions I would like to discard: Gift giving. Sounds like Scrooge doesn't it? My grandchildren have more things than they could ever use. My children aren't in need. My extended family isn't in need of anything.

5. About our family: As an extended family, we have curtailed the gifts. We just enjoy each other's company at Christmas and New Year's. Our closer family is still giving gifts. We have our private exchanges, and G and I go with Daughter's family. Son's family is having their first Christmas with Wiggle Worm. We'll see what that brings.

We are so fortunate to be where we are in life. We are so fortunate to have our families. I need a better attitude this year!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Many steps

Yesterday was the appointment with the bariatric surgeon. He's the one who also did my mastectomy. What a dichotomy. I guess that is a strange combination, but I like him. So . . .

I knew that I had to go on a three month medically supervised weight loss plan to satisfy my insurance, but it was the rest of the hoops I have to jump through that worry me. What this means is I really don't know when I am going to have the surgery. My plans (what a fool to make plans, right?) were to have the left knee done in January and the right knee done in April. Well - with the bariatric surgery having to be done in at least three months, I have a scheduling problem.

The nurse said that when I was over the knee, then we could look at the gastric surgery. She said that I don't want too many surgeries too close together. Hmmmmmm - I am looking at getting three surgeries in about four months. I think that's going to be too many.

Here's what I have to do for the bariatric surgery:

1. Go to my general practitioner. Get him to follow me on a diet for three months, at least.
2. Have additional blood work done and get a cardiac clearance - which I will do the middle of January anyway for the knee.
3. Get a gastric clearance. That means scoping my stomach. And doing an ultrasound of the gall bladder. If there is any problem there, it comes out at the time of surgery. The nurse said since they were already doing that, they would probably do the colonoscopy. I don't really mind the colon stuff - just the prep for it!! I'm not due until July 2011.
4. Meet with a nutritionist. I would think this should be done at the get go, but it can be done at any time before surgery.
5. Meet a psychiatrist. Now that should be interesting.

I figure that if I go through all that, I just might solve my problem eating on my own without losing part of my stomach. As I said, I now have a scheduling nightmare. At first, I was going to make the appointment with the general doc immediately. But I know I cannot drive for three weeks post surgery. So, that would mean that I can't get the first month check in on time.

What I think I am going to do is wait until I am more mobile post the first knee surgery. I will make the appointment with the general doc, and I can go in on a regular basis. So in other words, I think I will have the bariatric surgery after the second knee. I think that will be the best way to go. I think there will be less recovery from the bariatric surgery than from the knee. I just don't want to have the summer the time I am laid up with knee recuperation.

So, there you have it! Isn't this just so exciting!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Son's friend's mother died yesterday. I don't know the specifics, but I know the respirator was turned off and death happened at some point. I just hope the passing was peaceful. She has been through so much the last few months.

On another note, I witnessed the passing of a friendship yesterday. I reached out to a friend, and the response was cold. That was the absolute ending this time. Sad.

I still had absolutely nothing in place that would be termed Christmas decorations. Last year, I bought some LED solar light strings on closeout. The weather here has not been conducive to solar anything, so they just sat in the living room. I decided I would throw them onto the bushes outside yesterday afternoon. Two sets did nothing. Two sets lit - for a while. I know they require six hours of light. It is still overcast today. I doubt they will get the light they require.

I did manage to get all sorts of medical appointments set yesterday. I was amazed that I could get the regular gyno set up. I have to wait one year between appointments. That anniversary is January 26 - the day before the great surgery. I was able to set that up! That's good. I wasn't looking forward to "that" appointment after having the knee done!

My appointment with the bariatric surgeon was moved to this afternoon. I'll let you know about that one.

Have a pleasant day.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I don't know the exact cause, but I have really been feeling depressed. I sometimes get this way - especially around this time of year. The other day, someone at work mentioned to G what a wonderful season this is. He replied to them that he isn't especially fond of this time of year. He's right.

During this season, as I think I have mentioned before, we have lost my mother, my step mother, my dad, his dad, and a favorite aunt. Just a bit ago, Son called. His friend, who was his Best Man at his wedding, is having to make the decision to remove his mother from life support. This hits me hard. The closeness of out two sons, and she was a breast cancer survivor. The cancer had come back with a vengeance. She was going to San Antonio for experimental treatments that she couldn't get here. That is a bit amazing to me because we do have the premier cancer center here. J's mom had cancer before me. I think she had been a seven or eight year survivor. J is convinced that the cancer was still there, and the medication to stop the production of estrogen (I don't know which one she was taking) just held the cancer at bay.

At any rate, this looks like the end for his mother. I have so much sympathy for J. He, like me, is an only child. I know how hard that is. I don't know if having siblings helps at a time like this, but I do know how horrible this time is for an only child.

I just don't know why I feel so empty inside. I am so lonely. I'll be glad when this season is over. Perhaps this mood will leave with the season.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a date

The big day id January 27 at 9am. I met with the surgeon today. I didn't realize how severe my knee problem was. The surgeon was amazed at the x-rays. He is concerned about me making it to the 27th. He told me to be very careful where and how I walk.

We will be doing the left first because it's the worst. The bone is breaking apart, and I have little pieces of "stuff" floating around in the knee. It has been there so long that there are secretions around the pieces making them even larger. He likened it to an oyster making pearls. The bone fragments irritate, so there is secretions added to the bone.

I feel somewhat better than I did. He was very reassuring. He actually has a personality! He gave me a cortisone shot to ease the knee somewhat while I wait for the surgery. He actually gave me a script for pain pills. I asked if they were for post surgery, and he said no - that he knew I was in pain now.

So . . . there you have it. My bariatric appointment is for next Thursday. That could probably be squeezed in between the knee surgeries. That is if I go through with the bariatric stuff. We'll see.

Hope you are all in one piece with only natural parts!


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Busy, busy

I think I am going to have to begin with the "day-timer" again. This is a busy, busy time.

I went to the bone doc today. I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. Wow, that was fast. We will be discussing the dreaded knee replacement. The first doc nearly scared me away from it all. He told me how much it hurts, and many people refuse to have the second one done due to the pain. He said to schedule the second six months after the first, but look forward to a year of hellish pain. Yipee! Sounds just groovy!

When I returned home, there was a call from my OTHER surgeon. My insurance will cover the bariatric surgery. But I have to jump through some hoops to get it. It will be a few months. I have to be on a managed weight loss program. That means them prescribing a diet and watching. Then I will be a candidate. So I see him next Thursday.

In the mean time, I have to have a physical to make sure I am fit for the knee replacement surgery. It's not a little snip-snip like I understand the gastric sleeve is. I am due to see the heart doc soon anyway. So I'll just see about moving that appointment up.

All this and the holidays too. Am I crazy? Well, yes, but that's another story. Am I scared? You bet ya'. But something has to be done. I can't go on this way. I can't walk. I told the nurse at the bariatric doc's office what was going on. Looks like I will have the knee done first. Well, that can't be helped. That is unless the knee surgeon sayd he wants the other first. \

We will see what is what!


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Too much attention

When I went to the (wrong) Christmas party at the sewing machine place, they introduced a new person who would be doing classes. They also stressed checking the web site for things going on at the sewing machine place. So I did.

I found that this woman was going to be offering a class on a casserole carrier. I have been wanting to do these for a long time. Yesterday I called to get the details. They were scarce. Even the store had no idea. They didn't have her telephone number either.

So, I loaded myself into the car and headed over there this morning. I had no sewing machine - just me. I walked in, and she was in the classroom. Apparently she didn't get word that the other woman had dropped out - so it was just the two of us. She had the fabric - already cut out. So I went off to find a spool of thread.

It was just the two of us! I had full attention. I was using a machine that I didn't know. The first had a bobbin that you put in from the front. I am used to a drop in bobbin. They swapped out the machine.

The worst part, and the part where I had way too much attention, was using the wide bias binding. I don't do well with that stuff. I had to go around this huge circle adding a shoe lace in. The first round, I missed about a half of catching everything. I know she thought I was a real ditz.

We were there for the full three hours. And then some. I do have a casserole carrier, and I can tell you this: when I make them, they will NOT have bias tape holding them together.


Monday, December 07, 2009


Daughter's friend, the one she and Lady Bug accompanied to "A Christmas Carol" yesterday, can bring vendors into her building. I think she only has one or two at a time. She offered space to me.

That sounds really great, but I don't have the items for a "one man show." Most of the items that I made for yesterday's event were specifically for this area. They were in local school colors, and in fact really were monogrammed for that event.

I have ideas for some other things, and I may take NR up on her offer at a later date. It's a shame because this would be a great time to sell. People are thrilled to find easy gifts. I may talk to Daughter more to get her input. Perhaps we do have enough things. But we only have ten wreaths, and other things are vary limited.

Regardless, the pressure is off. I will now set my sights on the July show. Last year, I could have sold hundreds of the neck coolers (they hold water and some say cool you). I heard the organizer say she would find someone for next year. Well, Dora, here I am.

So like other manufacturers, I will shift from Christmas to hot summer stuff. We will see how the break that comes post knee surgery works in. I know I can't bring the craft stuff down - I will have to get myself back up so I can climb stairs. But that has to happen so I can go to the SSB. It is at least six steps to get in there!!

Now I have to set about cleaning this messy house. It is so cluttered. I would like to have help come in every other week. That would be so nice. But I wouldn't allow them in right now!! So it's off to de-cluttering now!


Sunday, December 06, 2009


Here it is 11:54 am. on Sunday December 6. I should be looking for a parking place up at the park so I can be setting up my booth. But here I sit at the breakfast room table.

I really thought the powers that be would cancel this whole shindig. It is in the 40's, overcast and drizzling. We had real snow all over the place day before yesterday. It seems that Holiday in the Park is going on without me. I called to withdraw. I don't think there will be much traffic.

The chairperson said that even if the snow was canceled, they would have the vendors there. I keep telling myself that there won't be much in traffic, but truth be known, I have worked hard to get ready.

I'm not really totally ready. The two week down time with the machine in the shop really put me behind, but I thought I could sell some stuff this time. Now we will never know.

I know it would be miserable out there. The ground is wet, and I think will get wetter because there is going to be more rain before the 4:00 ending time. I don't have warm clothes here. They are all at the SSB.

Still I am bummed. I am really let down. I was all set - now . . . Oh, well. I guess we will have a Christmas in July table at Round-up. Or perhaps we will set up our own craft show (not).


Saturday, December 05, 2009

What's wrong with these pictures?

Other than the fact that it was really overcast, so they are dark, this is the early snow here in Swampland. It got heavier, but Daughter and I went to lunch, so I missed those pictures. The real internet is up today, so I can get these to load. As I have said before, the 3.6 speed just doesn't cut it!!

It is rare for snow to stick to the ground here, but it did. All the shrubs looked like they were sprayed with the canned snow.

We certainly didn't need the umbrella today to block the sun.

Didn't need the fan to blow cooling breezes. In fact, it got to 25 last night. It is 11:23 local time, and there is still snow on the ground in the shade. We are not used to this - at all. I worry about how many plants we have lost. There hadn't even been a light freeze to temper them. We have so many tropicals. We got some into the "green house," our out building, and gave them an electric heater. I am just hoping!!!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well -

I*'m still on air card because I just don't have time to call you-know-who and wait, then set up an appointment for them to come out for a service call.

The surgeon Daughter went to is the one who did my mastectomy. I like him a lot - if you can imagine that after what he had to do! His chief type of surgery now is bariatric surgery. Even though he is not one of my preferred providers, he will do the surgery for what the insurance pays. If it is 80% - he accepts that and doesn't bill for the remainder. I have to admit - I am thinking very seriously about it. I keep weighing the pros and cons. So far, I haven't done it on my own. The knee thing is looming on the horizon (if I would call the bone doc).

I started on the embroidered Christmas cards yesterday. I also got a call from daughter. She has accepted another engagement on Sunday. She, after all these years of doing this, forgot the show was Sunday. I'm a bit bummed. But she said Son in law will help. Hmmmm. Not sure about that.

The tree company is working on the trees at the other house today. I wish G could be there instead of me. They just had a question that I am not sure of. I didn't mark the trees with G, and , um, there is a language problem there too. I don't really know what they are asking.

It hit me this morning that we have to prepare that house for the immanent 26 degrees too. We are not ready here, and I don't know where the vulnerable places in that house are. Gotta call the contractor to see if the plumbers changed out the water cut off for the house. That is the way I WANT to handle it.

Better run - have a good day.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Short, sweet (?), sorry

Comcast is still MIA so I'm on the air card, and it is limited.

Daughter went to the surgeon. She has mitral valve prolapse, so she should be on antibiotics prior to any procedures, but we forgot about that. He did another ultrasound, found something that was not to his liking, but we have to wait until Thursday for the biopsy. She has to take the antibiotics two hours prior to the procedure.

Thanksgiving went fairly well. After three days, G was tired of Doodlebug. When anything doesn't go her way, she howls. So they left on Saturday to see Son in law's family. It was time.

We did get several hair bows made as well as ten wreaths. If I can get away from this card and its blazing speed of 3.6 Mbps, I will upload some of them. The show is Sunday.

So with all that is going on, I must head upstairs. I have wrist rattles, girl's coins purses and cards to make before Sunday. Feel like a hamster on a wheel!