Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I guess I am the epitome of a hard headed German!  Knowing what the CPAP machine did to me night before last, I used it again last night.  Yesterday I was pretty miserable.  G gave me some A**egra to take.  It had an effect almost immediately, though I sniffled and sneezed all day.  Forget tissues - I was using super absorbent paper towels -a lot of them.

So last night I slept with that thing again.  Today I am getting no relief.  That is bad because we are set to lunch with G's last aunts.  I look like Rudolph.  My cheeks are chapped from the tissues and towels.  I have not had allergies this bad in years.  Every little odor sets me off - badly.

So we will see.  All this makes me pray all the harder for rain.  I think it would help -even thought probably not cure anything.  G suggested I have a cold.  I wish.  It would be gone tomorrow.  This feels terminal.

Now back to getting this weight off - again.  That made the CPAP use not needed the last time I lost it.  I really do hate that machine too.  It has head gear reminiscent of the head gear for braces.  Only the little piece fitting over the nose blasts you with air.  Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in all the air.

Well - do visit with the aunts, we have to (gasp) go into town.  They live within the loop.  We never go there. When G asked when to leave, he followed up with "it's either going to take us 30 minutes - or two hours."  How true.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big news

At least around here, this is big news!  It looks like we will finally be looking for a break in the drought AND high temperatures.  The blasted high that has settled in over the entire state is going to move to the southeast (sorry guys).  That is supposed to open a route for sub-tropical moisture to move in.  It means rain as well as temperatures in the LOWER 90's.  There is a feeling of cautious anticipation by the citizenry, but of course the weather clowns are ready to take credit for this change in weather.

I know there has been criticism for the coverage of Irene.  I have been guilty of that kind of coverage myself - then there was Ike.  But now there is rain as a possibility, those clowns have started all over again.  I would rather they get excited about the rain though.  They have  been telling us how many days in a row we have been without rain and over 100.  That absolutely inflames G (good choice of words there GK!).  Hew sets off on his tirade again, over and over.

Enough of that.  I went to my GP yesterday.  He concurs that my symptoms may very well be as a result of stopping the other drugs.  But to be sure, I swear he took a gallon of blood for every test known to medical science.

As I was leaving, he remarked that I might have a touch of sleep apnea.   Well, hello - I did.  Instead of the t-shirt, I have the machine.  I told him I lost a lot of weight after getting that thing, and I haven't used it even after finding that lost weight along with the fans of all those pounds.

So I decided to use it again last night.  I don't know too many Texans who are not having allergy problems right now.  There is all kind of stuff in the air - mostly dust.  I am with them.  Well, after having air forced into my nose all night, I just thought I had allergy problems.

I remember my poor daddy going through several handkerchiefs when his allergies were really bad.  I am that way today except I am using really absorbent paper towels.  I think I made a bit of a mistake last night.  I don't know if I will use the CPAP tonight or not.  I didn't sleep more soundly at all.

Please pray that the weather people are right, and we get some rain and relief from the temperatures this weekend.  It is really time!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Open Letter

Dear Daddy (yes I am a southern girl and he will always be my "daddy"

Today is your birthday.  You would have been 99 today.  I especially thought of it when there was a picture of a lady who is 100 today.  Her picture shows her to be healthy and vibrant.  That is something you would not be today.

Your body was still going fairly strong.  I guess all those days of being a postal carrier who was on foot delivering the mail to each and every home was certainly good for your health.  Your poor knees - not so much. I remember how much you really loved that career.  Your patrons loved you too.

You said you didn't like dogs, and I thought that was because I am sure you had to deal with more than your fair share of them.  But in actuality, you had dogs on your route that you loved and they returned the love.  They would join you along your walks.  The love you showed to our dogs was evident!

You have been gone for six years now, but you were gone long before that.  The mind was ravaged by dementia.  You weren't the same.  You never got mean like so many with dementia do, but the real you was hidden so far down - if it even existed anymore.

I still miss you each and every day.  I don't find myself deciding to be sure to remember something to tell you - as often.  I don't have the feeling that something will happen (the phone calls) at 5:30 every Saturday.  Those things have faded some.  But there is always something that makes me think of you.

When I think of all the things you experienced in your life, I wonder what you really thought of our country.  You saw so many changes - things that people didn't dream of.  I never asked you that question.  But then I was so stupid that I didn't ask you many questions, and I didn't listen well when you talked about things from the past.  I am paying for that now.  I want to know more about the family.  I have so many questions that I will never find the answer for.

Yes, today would have been 99.  I firmly believe you are in a much better place.  Your last years, while relatively safe for you, were not happy ones.  You were the escape artist of the memory unit.  You really kept them on their toes.  But as time went on, you gave up.  I could see you deteriorate rapidly.

 Once the sharp dresser - you looked like a bum.  Sorry - but you did.  I know they did a lousy job on your clothes.  I had to give up trying to do your clothes myself.  The incontinence was just too much for me.  I would have to do three or four loads a week.  Your hygiene also had slipped.  I suppose those ladies did as much as they could.  I know they were working for peanuts, so I have to be glad they did what they could.  I wish I could have had you here with me.  I guess it's really  no excuse, but I just couldn't keep up.  Once again - you wandered too much.

So, Happy Birthday Daddy.  I so miss you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


As I watch the news reports about this storm as it chugs up the East Coast, I also pray for all of you in its path.  I have never been to NYC, but my impression is that it is the LAST place I would want to be in a hurricane like this ones seems to be.  I know about the winds, the power outages, and the flooding.  The last place I would want to be is in a high rise apartment building.  Around here, you are to put coverings over windows (which WE never have done, but....)  How can you cover those?  What do you do until power is restored - unless you are luckier than we were.

These are just the thoughts of a simple "flatlander" Gulf Coast resident.  I haven't seen most of the area where this storm is heading.  I have been further north - like New Hampshire, but never to the south along there.  I really do hope you get through this storm well.  What's the deal with these "I" storms??  Ike is the once that really made believers of the folks in Galveston again.  They didn't get the hint with Katrina.  That storm went so far to their east.

As for us, we are huddled under the a/c vents looking for the season's record breaking heat today  and tomorrow.  Sorry our little 1/4 cup of moisture is being pulled into that storm to drop even more rain.  We are left with dry, HOT, HOT air.  I have to listen to G go on and on about how he is not going to put up with this heat next year.  He is correct, we are supposed to be lucky (?) enough to have another high pressure area over us the rest of the year and again next year.

So with that, I am scaling the stairs to my sanctuary to slave over hot sewing machines.  I have the granddaughter's dresses to finish and complete the final draft of the shell for the baptism blankets.  I will take it tomorrow to get everyone's approval.

Have a cool, safe weekend.  We had a reporter on TV who would say; "Good golf, good tennis, or whatever makes you happy."  Oh, and he was the TV reporter who inspired the movie "The Best Little Whore House in Texas!"  Just a little factoid for today.  Gotta go - the brain is getting toooo weird.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Odds and Ends

There are some things I really don't address here anymore, and cancer is one of them.  I know it is in my information section, but I just don't really write about it.  That doesn't mean that the thought isn't always in my mind.  All I have to do is take a shower or otherwise change clothes.  I see the scars.  Yesterday, I was changing clothes and got a terrible cramp in the muscles in the area where the mastectomy was and reconstruction took place.  Reminder?  You bet!

Then I have an appointment with Dr Death in September.  That always brings you back to the reality that regardless of the fact you are getting close to the "magic five year survival,"  it might come back.  With the other things that are going on right now, I have to wonder.  My headaches - withdrawal, sinus (since Texas is turning to flying dust), brain tumor ...

There is pain in that right side of the thorax.  One of our dear friends had her breast cancer return and that was a symptom.  But then I think there is some nerve damage from the muscle being pulled from my back to my breast.  But I will bring it up in a couple of weeks.

I sound like such a whiner.  But these thoughts live in the recesses of my mind.  G went to the bank to try to deposit some of the monies from his mother's estate.  They pulled out an actuarial table.  He was told he has 18 1/2 more years.  I wonder how many I have?  Do I really want to know?  Aren't there far too many variables in my life?

OK _ enough gloom and doom.  I really believe if I don't think about the Little C it will just go away. (Dreamer!!)  G is still wandering around here mumbling "global warming" with every news cast.  I have tried to explain to him that we have a variety of factors involved with the weather, and yes, we humans have done a really good job of ruining our environment, but he is absolutely sure the high that settles over  Texas in the summer (last for sure and apparently in the future) is caused by coal burning electricity plants.  Now it would make more sense for us here in Texas, where there is an abundance of clean burning natural gas, to use that gas for powering out plants.  But that would mean the politicians ( and I don't care if they are Democrats, Republican, or Tea Partiers - all want the same thing - re-election) would have to use some COMMON SENSE.  That is lacking in each and every one of those jokers in political offices from local school boards to the White House.

Oh, right - I don't become political here.  Forgot. But I do think they are all clowns, and when you cut through the outer BS, they are all the same.  Just deeper BS.

So I sit and listen to him complain about global warming and ranting that he will not stay here next summer.  He will go somewhere else.  I finally told him the other night that I wasn't going.  I didn't add that I wasn't going to come home to find the house falling down on our heads because the slab dried out and cracked into 50 million pieces, the pool was the Black Lagoon - at least the four cups of water that would be left, and the pool equipment burned up because there was no water going through it.  Stupid!

Oh - here come the men in the little white jackets to pull me off my soap box.  Sorry!  Sometimes I get a little wound tight.  This is one of them.  Time to go play nice again.  That means three loads of laundry before I head off to sew dresses.  Yep - still put that baby off.  What excuse can I find today?  Gotta go look for one. Later ...

Peace be with you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy, Happy Day!!

WE HAD RAIN LAST NIGHT!  Sorry to shout, but you cannot imagine the celebrating going on around these parts.  It has been so dry and hot.  With Irene on her path, we are looking for high temperatures this weekend as she pulls out our remaining moisture.  But it actually rained again.  It may not for another really long time.  That's what the meteorologists say.  And we will be under the same high next summer too.  Ugh!

I am gradually re-integrating back into big city life.  I really needed to go to the grocery store yesterday, but Doodle Bug (the youngest in daughter's family) caught the bug that was going around the neighborhood while we were gone.  I went over to sit with her for a while, so that dashed all my plans for yesterday because two hours stretched into four.  Oh well.  I am so glad I can do it for them.  I know how hard it was without family here.  Glad I am here.

Today we went to lunch with Daughter.  Then to the grocery.  That is really the time to go.  I haven't felt well myself for a while (2 weeks).  I had a small lunch - in fact I didn't feel full when we left.  That soon changed, and by the time we reached the store the thought of food was rather sickening.  Oh and by the way, as of yesterday morning, I have lost 22 pounds this summer - most in the last 45 days.  For some of you lucky ducks, that would make you a skeleton, but, believe me, there is still way enough to keep that from happening to me!

I am getting ready to head up to begin sewing dresses for the two girls.  I was able to complete cutting them out yesterday.  That was a relief.  Now to the machines.  I have to do the final stitch out of the shell design for the baptismal blankets.  Pastor sent me an email last night.  We have a baptism Sunday, but I don't have to have it done - just the final approval.  So here I go to slave over the hot machines!!

Our prayers around here and across the state are for more rain.  Our property up there is so sad.  It is a sea of yellow.  It has happened before, and will again, but we dearly need rain.  Wells are drying up.  Ranchers are selling off.  Sad.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hello again

I AM still alive!  We have been gone for a week in the dry Texas Hill Country.  It is really bad.  If we have any deer this time next year, I will be surprised.  We have about 20 head of cattle - a bull, cows and calves - for the next 30 or so days.  I don't know what they will find to eat by the time they go home.  It is such a terrible situation.  Ranchers all over our little community are selling off their herds.  Nothing to eat.

So this is to be a quick post to let you know that I did survive my cold turkey stopping of the pain meds.  It really was rough for a while, and perhaps I should have sought  medical advice to do it.  I honestly thought I wouldn't have a problem - at all.  Well ...

I quit a week ago Friday.  By Saturday, my head was splitting.  There were the other associated "problems" too.  When we were getting ready to leave on Tuesday morning, I couldn't think about what I really needed to pack, but we are pretty self sufficient there.  My main problem has been not sleeping well, but that happens sometimes up there.  I sleep like a rock or I don't sleep.  Such is life there.

I am better than I have been in a week.  But more than anything I am not in pain.  My back doesn't hurt.  My knees don't hurt.  I can climb stairs better than before.  Things are looking up.  I still have some other problems, but I am planning a trip to the GP to check them out, and I have a standing appointment with the oncologist in September.  So I will have other things checked out.

I am NOT saying the Pain Clinic was all bad.  The spinal injections absolutely helped.  I just couldn't see being on opiates the rest of my life.

Glad to be back with internet!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Well, I did what I planned to do - I quit all my pain meds.  You remember this all began with the first knee replacement that will be two years in January.  The knee pain wasn't the factor - it was my back.  So later that year I was put on hydrocodone, Lyrica, Elevil, and later a muscle relaxant.  

I decided I was tired of all that.  As I said, G thought I was over medicated.  I tended to believe it too, and even though I didn't take the prescribed amount of the hydrocodone, I was anxious to quit.  I didn't really think the pain clinic was doing anything anymore anyway.  Just getting me hooked.

So - I stopped all of those pills, just as I had planned, never believing there would be any physical problems.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  Either that or I have had a strange flu.  Saturday I developed a splitting headache.  When I get one of those, I also get diarrhea (nice -sorry).  But my sinuses were clogged, so I thought it might be a sinus headache.   

We planned to eat dinner out with Daughter and SIL, so I just sucked it up, and out we went.  The headache was nearly blinding.  I slept fitfully that night.  Sunday morning came around, and there was no way I could chance church.  The headache endured.

Last night I really was not a lot better.  It was another night of waking every hour on the hour.  Today, there are still vestiges of the headache, and nothing is really "right" yet.  I just looked at some of the things of withdrawal.  It is a laundry list that could fit anything, but it fit me too.

I am in hopes that tomorrow is a new day because we are scheduled to pack up and drive the 5-6 hours to the SSB.  

And I thought I wasn't hooked.  I have probably 500 untaken hydrocodine pills.  That, to me, meant I was far from any dependence.  I don't know.  I  don't know, and I guess I will never know.  I am not going back to the pain clinic - that I do know.  I was in pain with the pills.  I do  not have the pain now.  Why???  Well, lesson learned.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today I am going to try something.  It actually has me a bit nervous, but perhaps I won't fall asleep anytime I get too still.

G has been telling me (well once) that he doesn't think the Pain Clinic is doing any good, and he feels I am over medicated.  That well could be since I really don't know the exact count of medications I am taking unless I look at the bottles or read my list that I carry for doctors' appointments.

When I told him I was going to do this his response was "well, you moan and groan when you move anyway, what could it hurt?"  Point well taken.  So we'll see what happens today.

I have really hit a wall after running ragged with LB.  I need to cut out her dress so I can get it made before we head off to the SSB on Tuesday.  I thought I would get it done last night, but alas, the fabric is still sitting in a chair.  At least I got the pattern pieces separated.

And that thought brings on another rant.  Those of you who sew and use a pattern.  Does it bother you that the companies cram 10 sizes of four "looks"  into one envelope so that you have to open all the six by six foot pages of the most delicate of tissue paper to find all the pieces you need?  Then the trick is getting them back into the same envelope?  It makes me think of the phrase "putting toothpaste back into the tube.

So I have ranted enough for one day.  I really have to get moving before noon.  I am sitting here in my pjs ; I have read all my blogs and then some new ones.  It is just difficult to get the motivation to do much of anything.  I DO love a peaceful Saturday!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Tired, tired, tired

I have been 10 year old Lady Bug's play toy for the past three days.  Only three??  It seems like six months.  Please let me explain.  I adore each and every moment I spend with her.  She is such an amazing girl.  But she is active.  She wants to help - and she wants to craft with me.  So guess where we have been spending our time.  Yep - in the craft room.

This morning when we were up there, I was shaving the embroidery machine stitch the shell for the Baptismal blankets.  I was going to make her a bandanna blouse which is the exact same thing as the dress for the little girls. As both machines were purring along, she sat up from what she was doing and said "it is just like a craft room here."  No kidding!!  I guess she just thought it was a messy bedroom without a bed - I don't know.

Spending time up there means I can't fall asleep on the couch or some place like that.  I do like my naps, though I would vociferously deny such a thing.  But I am beat this afternoon.  We had pedicures scheduled for G, me, LB, and Daughter.  When I got home from that, I should have cut out a dress for her.  I was just too beet.  Then the little towns papers arrived.  There is a kin in the one that I don't have in my list, and I cannot find her ancestors.

We seem to have such fun when we are together.  I know my days are numbered.  Soon, far too soon, she will be a teen.  Then she probably won't want to spend time with me crafting.  So I do cherish each and every minute.

NEWS FLASH - There was just something falling from the skies here.  It is something I vaguely remember.  It is wet, but almost disappears as soon as it hits our dry, fissured ground.  It was cooling while it fell.  Now it has stopped, and there is steam coming off the ground.  When I looked this stuff up, it was called rain.  Well, my gosh - we actually had rain.  Probably a scarce .01 inch, but it was rain.

Here's hoping you get some of this wonderful stuff if you need it, and here's to praying that this heat will stop - soon.

Peace be with you.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Here and there

The weekend was, as I knew it wold be, busy.  The kick-off is meeting daughter and family along with their present BFFs for dinner at the local Mexican Food restaurant. That will  be another story.  It's fun, but mainly it's good because I don't have to cook.

Saturday was Monkey Boy's birthday party at a laser tag place.  Needless to say, we DID NOT participate in the games.  But we have missed so many of his parties - along with the other two's parties - that since we were in town, we should go.  Got to talk to some of Daughter's friends (and mothers of the boys of course.).

When I got up Saturday I put on my glasses when I got out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen.  I have a condition where my eyes will be blurry because of the excretions from the tear ducts. Whenever I looked up that morning, I couldn't see.  I could see fine close up, but distance was just a blur.  In fact my eyes are blurry now - but close up. I kept waiting for it to finally clear, and I still could not see far.  

I finally took the glasses off,at  only to discover they were my READING glasses.  My new progressives are in a wire frame - like I would always wear before last year when I got the thick frames,  So I was trying to look at far things, I couldn't see.  I guess when I took the readers off, I put them were the progressives should have been. Que estupido!  Now I can tell the difference by feel - IF my fingers are not numb.  The readers have a little twirl on the ear pieces.

Sunday was church.  I managed to piss G off because I wanted to get there 30 minutes early.  We now have two services with 30 minutes between for social.  The folks I wanted to see all are in the early service because that's when Children's Church is.  So it was just my luck again.  They all went to the baby's room meet about who was going to teach what during Children's Church.  So no fellowship there!

The afternoon was great and worked like I wanted it to.  We were taking Lady Bug to the little suburban theater's yearly Mellardrammar.  She loved it.  Popcorn was thrown at the villain. She threw the popcorn she didn't  eat during the time he wasn't on stage.  But she absolutely loved it, and being an interactive play, it was great.

After the play, Family Dinner was held at Daughter's house.  Monkey Boy and Dad were at a baseball thingy.  THAT's another story.

So that was my weekend.  Fun filled.  I had great fun - loved it when we were on our way out of the play when the fella playing the villain admonished LB to "get your PARENTS (!!!) to buy better seats next time."  He certainly made my afternoon.  I haven't been mistaken for her mother in 10 years! 

Peace be with you!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Where is it?

I know it was here just a minute ago, but where in the heck did July go?  I know I am anxious to get out of this heat.  I know I was rooting for Tropical Storm Dan to give us a little moisture.  He turned out to be fickle!  But who took July away?

This summer has been a real challenge for most of us.  Not only is it dry, but the heat is like living in the clothes dryer.  Well, someday it will end.  I don't want another winter like the last one either.  We had too many freezing days.  My fruit trees are just beginning to come back.  That is a real trick now that it is hot and dry.  I don't know if they will ever be the same.

The big event on this week's agenda was going to the Embroidery Club meeting.  I am getting better and better with my machine, and it is going to be difficult for the organizers of this club to find things that I need/want to learn.  

We did beautiful lace snowflakes today.  They are impractical.  I don't want/need them for decoration, and they wouldn't sell at all.  I would have to charge $50 for each one according to the suggested pricing on all this embroidery stuff.  They also take 60+ minutes to complete.  I guess that wouldn't be so bad if I could set 10 machines going.

And so, another day of finding fault with things.  I guess I sounded rather pompous with all that.  I don't mean to.  I still have a lot of things to learn with that machine.  It can almost fix dinner.  It has features I haven't even considered using yet.  

So now it is time to lug the 50 pound machine up along with its 20 pound machine trolley.  I also need to re-organize the craft room.  I have put some things away so securely that, wait for it ...   come on you can guess the answer ... I can't find them.  What a surprise.  I still cannot find my other wedding ring.  It is someplace verrrrry safe - at least I hope it is.  So it goes with things in the craft room.  Things that will be found after I die, and my kids are repulsed by all the stuff I have,

Oh, I watched a little of the program "Horders." Bless his heart - my dad was a horder.  I never thought of it as a sickness, but what else do you call it?  He wasn't a crafter that needed stuff like he had.  He reupholstered furniture, but that was it.  When he was living alone, you couldn't walk through his house.  

I guess I'm like that a little, but as a science teacher, we used everyday things for our equipment.  Even as just a regular teacher, you never knew what you could use for bulletin boards and the like.  I do about 5 different crafts.  I use a lot of different stuff.  I know as soon as it is in the trash can, and loaded on the trash truck, I need the item.

Right now I am looking for some colored "jewels" to put on girl's hair things.  I remember putting them someplace out of the way.  Well just where is that place.  I'll bet I find my ring there too!

Peace be with you.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Wow - a new form for Blogger.  I am so surprised I can hardly type, but then again that's really not new!  Can't type anyway!

My weekend was a killer, and most of it was my own choosing.  

When the subject if Vacation Bible School came up, my response was NO.  Been there, done that, used to have the t-shirt.  I was absolutely sure that was my answer.  I did VBS for years and years, and being the church organist full time it was, of course, determined that I would do the music program.  Does anyone realize how surly and non-participatory pre-teens are?  I absolutely hated trying to get those little monsters (and mine were in that group when the time came) to sing and learn the new songs for Sunday service.

Then I stepped out of the frying pan into the fire.  I was VBS director for two years.  Where was my mind?  I surely don't know.  At least I had a co-director.  But still, I must have been drugged to have said yes.

So all the times VBS was brought up in our little new church, I mentally said - nope.  Not me.  Until two weeks before the day.  I decided to go to one of the meetings.  I decided that they probably use another hand.  It was all on that Saturday, and it ran from 9-5.  We should have played that song by good ol' Dolly.  But I didn't know the ramifications of that.

I went to the next meeting.  That was easy.  They were after church.  I was already there. Daughter was signed up to work, and all three kidlets were going to be in classes there.  Sure, I'll do it.  I will just help out.  Music, er no, I don't do no music!

Saturday rolls around.  I get up at 6:30.  I have only done that a handful of times since my retirement.  But, this was for church and the children after all.  Up and at 'em for the 8 o'clock meeting to iron out cliches.  And for me iron on the patch.  

Things were looking good.  Everything was set.  I was doing registration with another grandmother.  Good, someone read my mind.  That's what I wanted to do.  AND as a result, I got to know Sharon who I had some work time the previous Saturday at one of our church's volunteer places.  Neat O!  Then we would go to the Children's Annex which was four or five storefronts down. (We are in a shopping center and the place next to us isn't available - so we took what was there)

About 2 o'clock the kids were out of it.  They were bored and tired.  The staff and student helpers had reached their limit - and we had three hours to go.  OMG.  The director had a melt down.  It was a disaster.  But Daughter found crayons, markers, and coloring sheets.  We had happy campers for about two hours.

At the end, I was afraid our little Pastor was going to have a fit.  Ours is a multi-use space. Church, but can be just open.  One of the young helpers got the boys to run around to expend energy.  Pastor C HATES running in the church, but I guess this really wasn't church. It was a wide open space.  He said nothing though.

Five came, the kids left, and we broke our the wine and cheese we (SIL and I although G had to be involved) thought it would be a nice ending to a long day.  And you know what? Almost everyone stayed and we had grand fellowship for a couple of hours.  It was wonderful.

Peace be with you.