Saturday, January 30, 2010

Neighborhoods and Dogs Eating in the Livingrooom

I have the song Changes stuck in my head. “Ch-ch-ch-changes, dah dah dah, whatever”

So I am thinking about the changes we have seen in our neighborhood over the past 29 years. The vacant lot is now a street leading to a subdivision in the field and orchard that were behind our house. We used to joke; we were city in the front yard and country in the back. Beyond the field/subdivision is Rickreall Creek. Selene used to play down there in the summer.
One fine summer day, two China Pheasants fought their way from west to east. The loser flew off over the orchard. The winner showed up the next day with his harem. They lived in the field and orchard for 15 years, before the subdivision scared them off. We had a doe show up a few years after the pheasants. She too raised her family along with her daughters’ families until the machinery came in.
The Douglas Fir, Psuedotsuga menziezii, that used to be next to the vacant lot died when the street was put in. The Oregon White Oak, Quercus garryanna, is still living. That is because doug firs are shallow rooted and prone to death when the roots are disturbed. While oaks are deep rooted and not much disturbs them.
The house down the block, across the street, is in the midst of being remolded. When we moved here there had been a room addition upstairs. Now, that ugly ‘70’s add on is gone. The new owners have got an old world look to the little bungalow. We have been through several neighbors in the past 29 years. Norm is the only one who has been here longer than us.
Scott told me it may be another nine to twelve months before we have to move. Seems the foreclosure laws are different now. We may be putting in a vegetable garden again. MMmmmm fresh tomatoes.

Wow! The Duggars Anonymous Forum/ has 38members in just three days! I hope to keep the board going as long as the show is on the air. I want to thank everyone who followed me over from the Voldemort Board. It’s fun to share not only how we feel about the Duggars but also the stories and comments about how the Duggars lives affect our own.

Yesterday, Great-Grandma Pearl's picture on top of the desk fell. I caught it. But the little rocking chairs on the top of the desk fell to the floor. Thankfully no chairs were harmed.
I guess I am a rocking chair collector. I have GG Pearls’ sewing chair, my wooden childhood rocker, the child’s rocker we bought for our niece Amy to use at our house 35 years ago, a bent-twig doll rocker, and a set of doll chairs, one a rocker and the other a Windsor chair. I bought the later two because the Windsor chair reminded of one Mom had. Sister Debbie has it now.
We had fried ham sandwiches and Doritos Nacho Cheese chips for dinner. I am paying for that now. I don’t use much or any salt when I cook because of my high blood pressure. When we have a salty dinner I swell like a toad. I will be drinking lots of water to flush my system over the next couple of days.
Speaking of dinner. The two dogs have room preferences when they eat. Jip is a dining room kind of guy. He won’t eat in the kitchen. Move the bowl three feet into the dining room and he chows down. Rocky, on the other hand, prefers the kitchen.
Duke, Selene’s dog, used to pick up a mouthful of food in the kitchen and take it into the living room to eat.
Not long after Duke’s death, I dog sat Debbie and Robs’ dog, Heidi, while they were on vacation. She wouldn’t eat or drink after they left. It was pretty warm weather and I worried about her. Yes, I brought her food and water into the living room. She happily ate and drank for the next two weeks.

Much to do. And I have to get the chicken out for tonight’s dinner. Later, all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sharing, Money and a Cat

I have begun sharing links to my blogs. I feel the need to share. Writing is cathartic. Scott says I am so much happier now, than just three weeks ago when I started.
He reminded me of a story in Asimov’s I, Robot (The Robot).  There is a man who visits his friends in the form of a hologram. He has agoraphobia. I remember not understanding the man’s condition and feeling sorry for him. I understand now. It is easier to make contact electronically than to come into physical contact. And any contact is better than none.

Have you noticed the difference in my blogs? I have begun to ‘monetize’. The ads you find on my blogs are chosen by me to help you find products and services I think are useful. Google Adsense runs ads that are geared to my readers. The reason for the ads is simple. Earning money is a great way to build self-esteem. It makes me feel as though I am contributing.
I plan on saving 50% of my earnings for our retirement home. The rest will go towards household expenses, i.e. Food, clothing, and entertainment. If I earn enough, I can restart the daily newspaper. Buy new flannel sheets. Get the chairs reupholstered. Trade in the old ‘elephant’ truck for one that will make it over the Cascades to see Lennon. Buy our dream retirement house. Take a trip to France, Sweden, Germany, and the Greek Isles.
The ads work this way.  The long bar ad is from AdSense, I get paid for the number of clicks. (Please do not go crazy with your clicks as this will invalidate my contract) Clicking once a day is helpful. I get commission on the other ads. Whatever you buy, I get a a small commission. Just click on the ad when you want to shop.  For instance, if you want to buy a DVD from Amazon just enter the Amazon site from my blog page. I want to thank you for your support gracious readers.

I have been experiencing pain since I went shopping on Wednesday. Guess lifting that dog food was not a good thing. I know I will get better. I’m getting ready to sleep around 9 pm and sleeping three or four hours. Then I am up two or three hours. Then back to sleep for about six hours. When I’m awake, I feel refreshed and ready to get things done. Until the pain stops me and I need to rest.

Speaking of pain. My migraine disappeared after taking two ibroprophen, one acetaminophen, and a cup of coffee. Yay!

I am working on a post of the Greatest Pet Moments Ever. Here is a preview from ‘Annie the Barn Cat –

One Halloween Annie caught a mouse. She walked up the east side of the house trilling, "Prou, prou." I met her on the front porch to praise her. The mouse was still alive, she began to play with it. Right then a dad walked up the front walk with his three year old son. I tried to get between the cat and the boy. He had seen the 'kitty' and was moving in. I looked his dad in the eye and shook my head. Just as Dad was trying to catch the little sweetie, I heard Annie crunch down on the mouse's head. By the time the little one reached the 'kitty', only a tail was visible in the corner of the cat's mouth. Dad and I both breathed a sigh of relief. Annie got petted by the little boy, who now had no interest in candy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Wednesday Out & About

I was busy yesterday. I decided to run some errands. I had a list and tried to follow it. There were two drive ups and three go inside stops. The drive ups were a snap. Then into Safeway to see if any of my lottery tickets were winners. 1 free ticket and $4 later, I bought some reduced fat peanut butter, 10# potatoes, 3# onions, a hand of bananas, and a package of dried figs. My Walmart purchases were: Beano, 16# dog food, honey, ketchup, and dried apricots; there were no free handicap spaces. I had a short hike.


My last stop was H2O for bread. I got 3 loaves of Great Harvest Wheat and White. Whole wheat kaiser rolls for burgers, hot dog buns, poor boy loaves, 3 types of varietal breads, 2 cranberry muffins, an angel food cake, 5 turnips, 2 cans fried onions and I think that was all. For $1. Best bargain of the day.

Last I checked my new Duggar Forum, there were 27 registered members! In less than 24 hours! I can make a difference! The changes I have made in the last 18 days! Can I keep it up; will I slide back into oblivion? Only time will tell.
Scott got his diabetic supplies today. He ordered them yesterday! The old pharmacy took two weeks. Also, with new insurance, 90 days of supplies and insulin cost $80 instead of the previous $320. Some changes are a good thing. There are tradeoffs, we know, but overall it is okay so far.

After all my housework and errands I hurt all over from picking up a bag of potatoes and the dog food. Then, carrying in the box from the pharmacy caused another pain to start up. Oh the best is yet to come. I had sparkly lights in my right eye when I got up yesterday. Sparkles today, migraine tomorrow. Crap. I took 2 ibuprophen and 1 acetaminophen with a cup of coffee when I got up. Let’s hope it works.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Solving Problems

On Sunday, Dear, Darling, Scott finally got the last 4x8 piece of plywood against the northern fence. I have gotten to the point where dragging a piece of 3/8 in plywood is not going to happen. He leaned it up against the fence and Jip found a way behind it. Bark,bark,bark,bark on and on. I was able to get a short piece of 4x4 fence post and prop it against the plywood. Now, it is snug and Jip cannot get back there.
You see the problem is: the northern neighbors have a maltese and a golden retriever. It began with the maltese and Jip barking at each other. Then Rocky joined in occasionally. That riled up the golden. It was cacophony! The dogs scratched at the knots in the fence boards. They would stick their muzzles through the resulting holes and bark more!
When Scott put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs out of the veg garden, it was so pleasant. Then, a possum showed up. (Rocky hates possums. He kills and eats them. Yes, he is up on his shots. I don't find him and the possums any different than cats and mice, rabbits, squirrels, voles, etc. I do hate it when cats kill birds.) Rocky learned to jump the fence. Jip learned to jump the fence. The barking started again. So we took down the temp fence.
Now that there are boards up against the northern fence, I am hoping the barking will stop. Ah but how about the western fence. The western neighbors have a border collie. She doesn't bark. Jip and she play up and down the fence. Jip barks the whole time. I guess I will continue to bring him in whenever he barks at the western fence. I see no need to buy another 50 ft of plywood.

When I went to the TWoP Forum on the Duggars it was closed. Seems we had been bad people; posting too many personal stories. Well, raspberries to them! I started my own Duggars Anonymous Forum and anyone who wants to be polite can post there. I allow personal stories that are relevant to the Duggars and their lifestyle. Ex: I allow stories of premature births, like little Josie Pussycat. Anyway, if you like to talk about the Duggars, just come on by, the coffee’s always hot.

In order to live with disease we make changes to make our lives easier. I have decided my cast iron skillets have to go. They are too heavy for me to lift easily. I have three non-stick fry pans that are lighter and easier to use. So, there is an era gone by. I have used cast iron from the time I was just starting to cook, some 50 years ago. Now is a good to change.
Of course I had to buy new cooking tools. Plastic spoon, slotted spoon, ladle, and pancake flipper. I have to find a plastic whisk now. My stainless tools will be just for show. I may keep the skillets for kitchen d├ęcor, or not. Spaghetti will never taste the same.

Goals:
Stay away from the computer
     That means I can use the puter while I am resting, then I need to get back to work
Get bread
Personal hygiene
Clean something

Tonight is Breakfast for Dinner

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just Another Day

If that ain't the pits.  I asked Scott if he wanted to go the Bend for the Super Bowl.  Yes, I know it will be played in Miami.  I just wanted to visit Selene, Nate, and Lennon.  That's when he explained that the new attendance policy does not allow him to take time off on a whim.  He has to request PTO three months in advance!  Whaaaaaa?  Well, crap.  So, we are saving his PTO for when we move.  In the meantime, I've go to figure a way I can get to Bend in my 24 year old pickup.

My '86 Dodge Ram Pickup with the Ram's Head Hood Ornament

In 2000, Scott found what I had wanted since the new style Ram pickups came out.  A used Ram pickup.  Wait, no, I wanted the new style Ram pickup with four wheel drive and the fancy diesel engine.  A purple pickup capable of scaling the Alps, in winter.  Fording streams above flood stage.  All the while towing a triple wide manufactured home.
He found me an old Ram 100.  2 wheel drive, limited towing potential, AM only radio. Elephant gray with burgandy interior.  And I fell in love.  Of course it could have been the percocet (he bought the truck while I was recuperating from surgery on my busted achilles tendon.)
I have been driving it for the past 9 years 6 months.  It was the best 30th wedding anniversay gift, ever!
I was in a parking lot one day, walking back to the truck, when I saw a couple of teens trying to break the ram's head onament off.  I walked up to them and said, "You want to see how that thing is fastened?  Hon' it is not going anywhere."
Those boys skeedadled away from there, fast.  skeedadled

Rocky was in an agressive mood earlier.  He saw the neighbor's cat in our yard.  Two dogs were walked by the house.  Same neighbor brought home a new front load washer and dryer.  He was at the windows, paddling at them, woofing, aggitated, nervous.  He would not calm down, so I used my Harry Potter wand.  It's really just a piece of bamboo, cut from our own bamboo hedge.  I never have to hit him with it.  I just point it at him, rude I know, and he calms right down.

Today's Goals:
Livingroom.  sweep, dust, wash furniture throws
Dinner.  Pork chops, spanish rice, beets
And get the bedding changed and washed.

ETA:
Scott has confided that the one job he really wants is in Roanoke Va.  That is 2,854 miles from home!  It's a continent away.  Travel time is 44 hours.  It's a USDA Climate Zone lower; Willamette Valley is zone 8, Roanoke Valley is zone 7 (that is 10F colder.)  We're nestled between two mountain ranges, Coast and Cascade.  Roanoke is nestled in the Apalachains.  It rains in the summer there.  It is humid in summer.  And the people talk with a southern accent.
When do we leave?  I was hoping he would take a job in a bank on the coast.  We plan to retire to the coast and it would be fun to live there longer.  Oh, well, I will be happy anywhere we go.

The State of Oregon sent me a check for my milage to last months doctor evaluations.  Do I add it to the drill I want to buy or do I buy some new clothes?  Much to think over.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning

I sure had a good day yesterday.  I got so much done, considering how late I slept. 
Accomplishments:
  • Learned so much about accesesorizing blogs.
  • 5 1/2 loads of laundry.
  • Dishwasher loaded and run.
  • Dinner.
  • Put away groceries.
  • Got to sleep before 4 am
I didn't get the garbage out.  This morning the whole house stank; so I took out the garbage.  Little hint, I keep activated charcoal (the kind you use in the fish filter) in the bottom of the kitchen trash can.  It helps to keep down smells when the bag leaks or slips down. 

Todays goals:
Clean the bedroom, bathroom, livingroom, well hell, clean as much as I can.  I am getting to the point where I can almost entertain the idea of having someone over to visit.  Almost.

Blogs I am reading:
Razing Ruth - a young woman who broke from the Quiverful, ATI, Gothard cult
No Longer Quivering - the story of a woman who found God and Quiverful; only to leave it to save herself and her children
Under 1000 a Month - how a young family of five survives on less than $1000 a month

I found Ruth through the Television Without Pity website about the Duggar family.  She used to post there, but now is busy writing and going to school.  Her blog is part of  her therapy to join the real world.
Someone on TWoP posted a link to Vyckie Garrrison's blog.
And Emily's blog was mentioned on Ruth's blog.  Emily is a young mother of three married to a divinity student.
It was reading Ruth and Emily that spurred me to take the step into blogging.  I am much more comfortable blogging than having a face-to-face or even telephone conversation.  It is a step in the right direction to more stable mental health.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Finally Got Some Sleep

Whoa, I slept 11 hours last night!  I feel recharged and ready for action.  And that's what is nice about Scott's days off.  He keeps Jip from whining, barking, and licking me while I sleep.  Yes, Jip still gets over excited when I get up.  I close him out of the bathroom and that does seem to help.  He is just not very calm when I get up, come home, get out of the shower; or when Nate comes home or gets up; yet he is better for Selene and best for Scott.  I am too permissive.  Scott says that was the problem I had with Selene and why she is so spoiled. ; P (She had two parents, right?)

Today I have spent working on the blogs.  I have added buttons.  I even learned how to make my own button!  The website is in the link at the bottom of the page.  I am wanting to customize my blogs.  It's fun and there are so many free sites out there with great ideas.  Now, I have to find a digital camera.  I have been using my phone camera and relying on Nate, Peggy, Debbie, Lindsay, and Kelsey to take pictures and pass them on.  I have seen some used cameras for rediculous on Craigslist.  I may get one of them and have the local photo store repair it.  It would be better than getting a cheap one from Wally's World.

I did the grocery shopping yesterday.  I went $20 over budget and didn't get everything I wanted.  Notice I said "wanted' not "needed."  I did over buy a few things.  For some reason I bought six boxes of cereal, we only need three; 24 cans of dog food, needed only 14; 10 boxes of pasta, needed 3.  I also stocked up on pork chops @ $.99 lb; chicken breasts and drumsticks @ $.99 lb; in-store ground beef for 1/2 off. 
I like the in-store ground beef better than the chubs.  The grind is finer and the texture is better.  I also think it is a safer (less salmonella) than the chubs; since it is ground on site and doesn't sit around or have to be shipped in.  According to the meat cutters, this is true.  Since some are friends, I believe what they say.

Took a break to eat dinner, Rosemary Roast Chicken.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach, rather than overeat, I put the leftovers in the fridge.  Along with the leftovers destined with my lunches for the next couple of days.  Scott ate two drumsticks and passed on the thighs and wings; I put them in the freezer along with giblets and carcass.  Yummy stock.

While unloading the dishwasher I broke a dinner plate.  I had four plates in my left hand, searing pain in my elbow and one fell.  No tears, I bought it at the dollar store for $.85 five years ago, with a coupon. 

Congrats to the Saints!  I know who I am rooting for in the Super Bowl, that is if I watch the Super Bowl.  Nate and I uually watch together.  I don't know if I can get Scott to drive to Bend just so Nate and I can watch!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Am I Watching?

I have found I can determine my mental state, by analizing the shows I am watching.  For instance, when I am down I tend to watch cooking shows.  Really Down::  make-over shows like:  Clean House and HGTV home doecorating programming,   Really, Really Down:  Landscaping Shows.  (When I am close to normal, landscaping shows make me really angry since the landscapers tend to go over the top.  And they use so many common plants.  They just don't go out of their comfort zone to show some of the less used plants gardeners may prefer.  And that is why I don't watch them, I get really, really rabid!)    ; )

Right now, I am as close to normal as I get.  And I am trembling in anticipation.  LOST! is coming back for the final chapter!  In just about 10 days we will get the answers!  In the second season, I was on several Lost boards.  We were all trying to come up with answers and reasoning of the show.  One thing I did notice, many of the posters were not well read.  Suddenly, everyone was reading the books found in the hatch or Sawyer was seen reading.  More people started reading religious material, looking for the clues.  If nothing else, Lost got people reading again.
And on the 31st, TLC is showing 19 Kids and Counting Very Special Episode.  It will cover the pregnancy and pre-mature birth of Josie Brooklyn Duggar.  If you don't keep up with the Duggars, well, you don't keep up with the Duggars.  While I don't agree with much of what they do, I will defend their right to say and worship in the way they choose.  Besides, I like to snark.

I DVR all my programs.  That way I can watch when I am ready. (And FF through the commercials, except the gecco ones. I watch the gecco.)  These are the shows I watch and Scott doesn't 
  • New Tricks, a British comedy about retired coppers solving old cases;
  • Castle, Nathan Fillion, you need another reason?
  • FlashForward, sci-fi and compelling; same with
  • Chuck
  • and Medium; 
  • The Office, I was a fan of the British original and this is better;
  • most any show with Gordon Ramsay, I know, he's a dick, but he can sure cook!
  • My Boys is off-beat and very funny;
  • Naked Archeologist is irreverent at times and full of historical data. 
Together we watch other shows.  We like sci-f/fantasy, funny comedies, some drama, and lots of science.  On Tuesdays we watch CSI: Miami during dinner and make fun:  "Look, another helicopter flying aimlessly."  "One person in a giant Hummer, who's paying for the gas?"  "They might wear gloves but that blonde's hair is going to contaminate that sample."  "Wow, is everyone in Miami in that DNA database?"  Of course we all know CSI's do witness protection, carry guns, ask illegal questions of suspects, question and badger suspects, right?
And we have viewing fests on Friday and Sunday, his days off.  We catch up on unwatched programs and watch our Netflix choices.  We are years behind on movies.  So a ten year old movie may be brand new to us.

Okay, yesterday I did not go shopping because of my untimely need to nap.  So, time to be a hunter/gatherer!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Get Honest with You

Jip woke me up at 9 am with a gentle kiss on my hand.  I fell asleep about 2 am.  Much to do today.  Got to go shopping.  So I'll head off for Monmouth first.  Well, after breakfast and a shower.
Today is Scott's day off.  He has a list of errands and he wants to work on his novel.  That should keep him busy.

We watched Slumdog Millionaire last night.  I understand why it won an Oscar.  I have watched a few Bollywood productions and liked them.  It certainly is a different movie culture.  May I reccomend

Bollywood Hero?  Chris Kattan is wonderful and it is a great Bollywood introduction for Americans.
Shameless plug alert!  I gave Netflix a try a few months ago.  We decided to keep it.  Watch a movie, return, two days later a new movie shows up.  I pick out the movies.  Yes, I do get movies Scott would like as well.  I have threatened him with A Passage to India, one of his least favorite movies of all time, if he complains about what we are watching. ; )  Our next film is an oldie but a goodie, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder why you are watching!

Right in the middle of typing this missive I got overwhelmingly tired.  Like how you feel when you stay up past your normal bedtime.  Itchy eyes, huge yawning, and wanting to fall asleep RIGHT NOW!  From past experience, I know if I don't get to bed right away I will fall asleep in my chair and wake confused.  These episodes occur randomly and suddenly.  I may only have one a month or six a day.  I will be adding this to the list of symptoms for the new doctor.

Alright, I have been putting this off.  I promised Scott and myself that this blog would be an honest accounting of my life.  So here goes.
We are in bankruptcy and the house is going to be foreclosed.  There.  It all began 4 years 11 months ago when I lost my job.*
I was so sick when I was terminated, I didn't care about our finances.  When I got better, I began looking for work, applied for unemployment, and tried to keep up with all I could do.  I was in a good place.  In April of '05 I went to work at Wachovia Bank Call Center, where Scott works.  I was loving the atmosphere, my fellow trainees, and learning the new software.  Then, we had to start taking calls.  I panicked, I started shaking, I couldn't type, I stammered, I fell apart.  I got terminated.
Back home, I was still keeping up with stuff.  I was applying for jobs and interviewing right and left.  Selene and Nate had been living with us.  They found an apartment and moved out.  I was called by a huge nursery in Washington County and offered, over the phone, a sales position for an astounding amount of money.  I was so happy!  It would mean traveling around the Pacific Northwest and talking plants with lots of people!
On the day I was to begin, I woke excited, got ready to go, walked to the front door, and froze 4 ft from the door.  I couldn't move.  It was like a force-field was between me and the door.  The harder I pushed, the more anxious I became.  I broke down.
I called the personnel director and said I couldn't make it.  She graciously said to come in tomorrow.  Well, I couldn't come in tomorrow or the next day.  I was a basket case.  I was anxious about everything and nothing.  I couldn't get out of bed.   I cannot tell you how deep down I was.  There was nothing.
I was totally numb.  I mechanically kept the housework up.  Scott would go grocery shopping with me.  My world began to shrink.  Kelsey Jo was in several plays, I could not get out to see them.  I tried.  I did see her in a recital when she was taking dance lessons.  It was held at Dallas High auditorium.  Selene drove me there.  I walked home the two blocks.  She was adorable!
My doctor and I were trying find a medication to help me.  We went through almost every anti-depressant ever invented.  Nothing was working well enough for me to really advance.  I went a full year not leaving the house except for grocery shopping with Scott or him taking me to the beach or drives around the area.  I didn't even go the the doctor.  I would call him and he would refill my anti-depressant.
I have had suicidal thoughts off and on.  Only once have I come close.  I sat on the floor with a bottle full of Amitriptylin.  Pouring them back and forth in my hands, smelling the odor.  Then, I put them back in the bottle and hid the bottle.  I was not going to do the the family what Uncle Jerry did.  I could not put Selene and Scott through that.  Dad would have been over the top with grief.  No, I am stronger than my disease.  Doesn't mean I don't still have suicidal thoughts.  I just control my actions.  I threw out the bottle of pills about six months ago.
So, there it is.  Scott tried to keep up with the bills, but we were living up to two incomes.  We went through our savings.  We were always proud that we always made it on our own.  We are going to move.  We are losing the house and going bankrupt.  Not much else to tell.  We are okay with that.  The move is a step forward.  We have worked up a plan to save money until we retire.  Then we will get a place on the coast between Waldport and Yachats to finish out our sunset years.

*How I Lost My Job
I worked for T-Mobile from 10-01-01 to 2-22-05.  It was a job I really liked.  Every day was different.  I enjoyed what I did.  In early '04 I was getting very nervous at work.  Then Mom died.  Grieving is hard, but I made it through.  I did take a leave of absence to deal with the horrible anxiety I was having.  When I came back my manager made it clear he wanted to fire me instead of letting me change from the 'Save Queue' to the 'General Queue'.  Well, more anxiety.  Anyway, since he mentioned my FMLA, which he could not do let alone use it as reason for termination, I was allowed to keep my job.
I only used the above as an example as to how anxious I was feeling and how hostile the workplace had become.
Everything quieted down.  I was still 'saving customers'.  Then the winter of '03 - '04 hit with a variety of viruses cruisin' the building.  I caught them all.  I'm very good at that.  The Attendance Policy was clear, we were allowed four unexcused absences in six months.  An UA was missing a day of work (without prior leave arranged), being 10 min or more late, or leaving early for any reason.  (example of the latter, a worker was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack.  That was a UA!)
Well folks, I managed to garner my four UA's in just six weeks.  I urped all over myself 1/2 mi from work one morning.  I turned around and went home.  I made it into the building another morning, only to be in the ladies room more than 10 min after the start of my shift.  I went home and spent my day in my own bathroom.  And the last two UA's were in the same week.  I had a horrible cough and fever so I stayed home a couple of days.  I went back to work for one day, the next morning my temp was 103.  I stayed home.  And that was that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am Now on Facebook

Yup, got a Facebook page.  Already have been befriended by several cousins, a niece, and one old best friend!  And YES, I am very anxious about going public with my problems. 

Went outside to get Jip, he was barking at the western neighbor's dog, and the sun felt warm!  The air had a warmer smell to it!  Yeah, only two more months of winter!

Cleaning the dog's room turned out to be less of a chore than I thought it would be.  There were only three giant dust bunnies!  Mopping took like two minutes, and that was time to soak the three areas of cat hairball regurgitation.  Guess I should go in there more often.  Washed the dog's bedding, so it smells better, too.  Fully 1/4 of the room is taken up by the kid's stuff.  No, I take that back.  Fully 1/4 of the room is taken up by Selene and Nate's stuff.  They are nearly 30 years old and that is no longer a kid.  They are rapidly approaching middle-age.  (Yup, that should get a response!)

Bad night in Black Rock.  Couldn't fall asleep until nearly 6 am.  Too much pain.  Jip woke me at noon, he needed to go out.

Today's Goals:
Make grocery list for tomorrow
Get some stock made and have Chicken and Noodles for dinner
Straighten the kitchen  I didn't do dishes last night, just left them in the sink
Vacuum and dust the dining room.

So it's off to get things done.

Later Gator

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No More Daily Weather Reports

I was reading my previous posts and realized I was reporting weather every day.  NO MORE!  It reminded me of Scott's Aunt Mary.  She told me that Uncle Dick's love letters from Korea consisted of nothing more than weather reports!  She had saved them, since they were 'G' rated, for the kids to read.  By the way, they have been married for about 60 years.

I will continue to journal my ups and downs with my conditions, "Just stopped in to see what condition my condition was in."  I had back pain after changing out the litter pans yesterday.  There are three pans.  Max likes to have one for potty and one for poop.  The other two cats just don't care, a litter box is a litter box.  If one poops in his potty box, Max stomps around the house calling the transgressor out.  He gets pretty loud.
Anyway, I went to bed after dinner, took a muscle relaxer to ease my gallbladder scar area, and slept 'til 12:30 am.  I was up until 4 am and woke at noon.  I note this because sleep patterns are an indicator of both the depression and the fibromyalgia.  Another side-effect of fibro is Irritable Bowel Syndrom.  I will not regale you with THAT.

Today's goals:
Clean the dog's room
Clean the fridge
Personal Hygiene
Fix dinner - Meatloaf, baked potato, green salad

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Calm After the Storm

Wow!  We had a real wind storm last night!  The rain was blowing horizontally, right at the front window.  The top of the Quercus pulustris, Pin Oak, was bending over the roof!  I thought it would be a great time to air the house (it would only take a minute or two) instead I went to bed.  Lulled to sleep by the sounds of the wind in the bamboo.  I slept from 3am to 11am.  Not bad.
I just checked to make sure I spelled pulustris correctly.  I did.

I sent an email to many of my cousins letting them know about my blogs.  I also want to get back in touch with them.  I miss them.  It is hard when you grow up being so close to your family, then everyone's lives change and you lose contact.  This is another step in crawling out the of depression hole.  Of course, sometimes you take a step only to slide back two.  The goal is to keep trying.  I intend to keep trying until I get back into the sun again.

Rocky is playing 'keep away' with Jip.  I gave them each a treat.  Jip scarfed his right down.  Rocky is 'saving' his.  He is on the couch the the treat between his legs, guarding it.  Jip sits on the floor whining.  I tell Rocky to "eat it!"  He walks away from the treat and lets Jip have it.  Dog game?

What am I watching lately?  Red Dwarf, a British sci-fi show that makes Doctor Who look like Shakespeare.  Scott was dissing it, then he watched an episode.  Now, he understands.  It is funny! 
Dexter, the third season.  It doesn't seem to be as intense as the first two.  Dex is getting too normal, losing his edge.  But I still like it.
I am waiting for the next installment of 19 Kids and Counting.  I don't watch much 'reality' tv.  Little People Big World got evicted from the DVR this season.  Table for 12 is good.  I like the parents.  I do watch Top Chef and other cooking competitions. Otherwise, I stick to comedies and drama.

Todays goals:  Clean.  Clean.  Clean.  Fix dinner.  I have to get into the freezer to see what meat we have and I will plan from there.  Okay, pork chops, mashed potatoes, pickled beets, green salad.  And personal hygiene.  Sounds great.  First, breakfast.

Bedtime conversation:
Scott, "I heard on the radio that the average fart is 7 mph."
Me, "oh."
Scott, "And that sneezes can move up to 200 mph."
Me, "Be thankful for small favors."

Monday, January 18, 2010

NOT a Manic Monday

In fact, other than the dogs racing in and out, it is a peaceful day.  I didn't wake up until 1:30pm.  I went to bed at 9pm last night, woke at 1am, was up until 4am, then back to bed.  When I woke at 1am, I had to blink my eyes a couple of times.  I couldn't see.  Had I gone blind?  No, the power was out.  We had a typical stormy Oregon night.  Lots of rain and wind equals no power.  It was off for 6 hrs 20 min.


I talked with Nate today.  I sure miss him.  Oh, I miss Selene and Lennon, too.  But Nate and I would sit and watch House Hunters and HHInternational, Mythbusters, and other inane prgrams and visit.  He's a good guy.  He hasn't found a job in Bend, yet.  He's busy being stay-at-home dad to 14 mo old Lennon; while Selene is an assistant manager at a local resort.  They went to Smith Rock today.  I understand they got a cute backpack for Lennon to wear and it has a leash to keep him safely close by while they hike.  They are coming over in the next week or so to get things they didn't take when they moved; like the high chair.  Can't wait.  And this will be the wake up call to clean the bedroom for them.  Don't need those dust bunnies scaring Selene out of a years sleep!


We didn't get out today.  I slept so long and Scott took a long nap.  Oh well, another day to try to get to Mac.


Other than playing with the dogs and loving the cats.  Not much to tell.  How about how the cats got their names:
  • Max - just a name I really like. In 2000 we found out Scott's sister Heather's cat, Samantha, was pregnant; I asked if I could have a kitten.  She said, 'Yes' and the rest is history.  We had our feral cat, Casper, and our rescue cat, Callie.  When Max moved in the other two cats watched him very closely.   Casper learned she could jump on me for snuggle time from watching Max.  Both of the older cats were still smarting from the death of our Netherland Dwarf bunny, Fiver.  But they warmed up to the little kitten.  Selene discovered she could put Maxies head in her mouth.  And she wonders why he is so strange?  Max is black and white, he talks and he rules the house.  He says, 'Mom' for Scott; 'Ma' for me, 'Ou' for out, 'Yeah' for yes, 'Na' for no, 'Ki' for kiss, and differing sounds for wanting to be fed and each of the other pets names.
  • Wolf - pronounced "Woof".  He's a gray tabby, with some Main Coon Cat in him.  He has the ruff, the 'pantaloons', hairy feet, and a 'rusty gate' voice.  He was named for a family joke.  2 year old Selene, 'Mom, wo'dna be funny if we have a cat named Woof, like "Peta and the Woof"?  12 years later, she bought him for me for my birthday.  She borrowed money from me to PAY for a cat.  We have NEVER paid for a cat.  They have always been free.  Anyway, her trip to Mill City paid off.  He's just a great cat.
  • Grover is hairier than Wolf.  He has a tail like a bottlebrush.  He is a long haired cat who hates to be brushed.  So I trim his claws before trying.  Grover was a rescue for Selene and Nate.  She brought him home one night and he promptly had diarrhea.  She spent her evening cleaning up the apartment and the cat.  When Nate got home from working 2nd shift, he held the cat while she wash the hindquarters.  Now the cat was named 'Jasmine'.  Selene discovered a 'little flap of skin girls just don't have.'  He was christened 'Grover' as he was always Selene's favorite Muppet.  He came to live with us when Selene was pregnant and has just stayed on.
Dogs Names
  • Rocky - I was looking for Chinese names for the new dog Selene was bringing us.  His mom was a boxer and his dad was a shar pei.  Scott dismissed the names.  I came up with Rocky, for Rocky Marciano, and Scott said okay, he was thinking of the Rocky movies.  So he's Rocky, Rockery Dockery, Rockumentary, Dork, Dorky D. Dorkleson of Dorkleson Inc. located in Dork Town, Dorkstate.
  • Jip - We thought we were getting a gray dachshund, but the breeder decided to keep her.  So Selene drove all the way to Mill City to buy a pup for Rocky's Christmas present.  Mom was beagle and dad was Jack Russell Terrorist.  Known in the trade as a "Jackabee".  Why would someone deliberately breed these two types of dogs.  He barks, he poops in the house, he jumps, he is so much my dog.  Anyway, since he was not the female dachshund (Dinah for Damn It Not Another Hound), I had to come up with a new name.  I tried several.  Since he had five spots on him, Scott and Selene wanted to call him 'Spot'.  Nope, I once had a cat named 'Spot'.  Besides, dogs named Spot remind me of the 'Dick and Jane' books.  Scott and I had learned to read from the Alice, Jerry, Jip, and people of Friendly Village.  That was IT!  So he's Jip, Jippeoo, Jip the dip, Jippididooda, Jip the yip.


So there you go.  Be seeing you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Calm, Quiet Sunday

Why is it when a pet is wet, they want to rub on you, sit on you, or track footprints all over the clean kitchen floor?
Here's something good, Rocky now asks to go outside.  He will either nudge my arm with his hippopotamus snout or he will put his head on my leg and press down, HARD.  That dog has one boney lower jaw!  If I don't respond fast enough he will whine!  Oh, so much better then when he just sat in front of you, staring at you trying to psychically communicate.
Jip will also let me know when he wants out.  He just doesn't always go out to poop.  Still working on that.
I think it was last week on The Dog Whisperer, Cesar helped a family with Shar Peis.  We are still learning about the breed, after four and a half years.  Seems when Rocky chuffs, woofs with blowing air and making his lips vibrate, he is being aggressive.  We had noticed that, but it is a breed thing, not just a Rocky thing.  His dancing and using his forepaws like hands is a Boxer thing.  He loves to play soccer.  And he is great!  The ball rarely gets past him!
Jip's barking is a Beagle thing.  He barks to let us know the wind is blowing, rain is falling, or the cat is snoring.  He doesn't seem to be very good at tracking, he uses his eyes more that his nose.  The great thing is that he doesn't dig!  Both Beagles and Jack Russell Terrorists dig, now that I've said that to jinx is on.  We treat the dogs when they come when called.  Also treat them when they come in.  Jip will get his treat, eat it, run back onto the porch and come in again.  He then looks so cute waiting for a second treat, which he does not get.  I have to draw the line at spoiling them somewhere.

I went into Selene's old room, now the dog's room.  Well, I didn't need THAT!  The dog and cat fur dust bunnies are beginning to stir.  I will have to clean.  Damn.  Of course if the room is cleaned I will be able to use it for my studio.  You know; draw, paint, be creative.  I just wish I could get this entire house clean and keep it that way.  I never know when I will begin sleeping 20 hours a day or the pain in my back will begin radiating around my ribs putting me down for days on end. 
Maybe Scott will get a promotion and raise or I will get my pittance from disability.  Then maybe we could afford a housekeeper to help out.  Just to dust, sweep, mop, clean the bathroom, etc. once a week.  Right now I can cook, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, pick up after myself.  But the day is coming that I will not be able to do those things without help.  I am trying to be practical. 

When I see my new doctor, next month, I will have a list of concerns for her.  Top priority is the pain.  I have not been sleeping well due to the hypertrophic arthritis.  Bob was always erring on the side of caution.  But I am really needing to be able to sleep and move without the constant, wearing down, pain.

While I am thinking about seeing the new doc, here is a list of my conditions and diseases:
Hypothyroid
High Blood Pressure
Osteoarthritis - possibly Rhuematoid but tests have been inconclusive
Severe Clinical Depression
Anxiety
Agoraphobia
Fibromyalgia
Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux Disease
Allergies to dust mites, animal dander, pollen, pesticides, some fragrances
That's enough for any person.  Most are responding to medication.  Some are not.

Tomorrow is MLK holiday.  Scott will be home!  I think I would like to go to Mac to see D&D.  Dorthy called today asking if they could drop by.  I had to say no.  The house is such mess.  I get one room clean, start on another and then have to flake out.  Anyway, going over to see them will be easier on me.  I can drop off the new salad/dessert plates I found for her.  I'd like to take them more squash, but the pumpkins are so stringy as not to be edible.  And we are quickly going thru the delicata.  We have eaten all the butternut.  We know what to plant in the future:  delicata, butternut, and hubbard.  And lots of them!

Guess this post is all over the place, but so is my mind.  I pulled out a half a turkey breast for dinner.  I got 50% off on this one.  We'll have mashed potatoes, green beans, and pickled beets, yummy yum yum. 

Have a good one!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Patch of Blue Thru My Window

The rain clouds have thinned a bit and I can see blue patches. It won't last long as the forecast is for more rain.

Today is Saturday, Scott works from 5am to 2pm. I am hoping he gets one of the jobs he is applying for. He is job searching both within the company and at other companies. I am glad he is seeing his worth.

Yesterday was weird. I slept from 7am to noon. Then I was up until 4am and slept until 11am today. Jip heard me roll over and started whining to go out. So I got up and started my day.
I did get the living room floor vacuumed. Scott folded the clothes. I miss folding clothes. No, really, I like folding clothes, stacking them neatly, and seeing them in drawers and cupboards. But my back just screams when I fold now. The arthritis in my spine causes pain, swelling, and then muscle spasms that follow my ribs around my abdomen. The fun pain is when the spasms get to my gallbladder scar. It's like a whirlpool of painfully tight muscles.

While I was sleeping yesterday, Scott worked on the computer. The internet had gotten so slow it was almost like using dial-up. I couldn't watch movies from Netflix or YouTube. It took him 6 hours to find the root cause, and about 5min to fix it. I really appreciate what he did. I celebrated by watching the first hour of 'Chuck' season premiere!

Oh, I forgot. I ran into Lee and Gary in the Safeway parking lot. Molly has a new son! That makes two girls and a boy for her. I forget what his name is but he is 3mos. We keep saying we need to get together with Amy and catch up. We really need to get together. Lee and Amy are loads of fun and we have lots to catch up. That is where this damn depression really gets to me. I miss friends like them and Helen and Tina and Dale and Kathi and even talking with Glenn and Vern. I want to call everyone and talk; then I get anxious and find I just can't do it. I will try to do it. Until then, Debjo, Peggy, Dad & Dorthy, Lenie, Nate, Lindsay, Kelsey, and Rob are about the only people I talk with.

Goals today: Vacuum the dining room floor. Kitchen cleanup; break down the ham, simmering the bone; make Boston Baked Beans, Boston Brown Bread, Potato Salad for dinner with ham slices. Personal Hygiene!!!!! But first, breakfast.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weird Sleep Patterns

Let's see. Yesterday I slept from about 5am to 1:30pm. I went back to bed after dinner, about 8pm and got up about 1am. It is now 3:34am. I am getting sleepy, but am not ready to sleep. Well, welcome to the world of my strange circadian patterns.

I got the kitchen floor mopped! I fixed dinner, played on the 'puter, read some mail, and began the 3rd season of Dexter.

Since I cannot sleep I have started a new blog, Grandmas' Kitchen. I will publish our favorite recipes. I am hoping to get enough together to publish a cookbook.

Today is Scotts' day off. So my plans are simple. I still need to get dog and cat food, they are almost out. I think we will have Moms' Crappy Homemade Pizza for dinner. Of course, kitchen cleanup is essential every day. I will try to vacuum the livingroom and dining room floors. Along with personal hygeine, that seems just right.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jippidipoopda

You can't help to to love him. He's all beagely looking and Jack Russell Terrorist acting. He's so happy to see me when I wake, when I come home from errands, when I get out of the shower. He loves to snuggle. And any time he's napping on the heat vent, well it's just too cute for words.
But............he has one big flaw. He poops in the house. Sometimes three times a day. I know why. He goes out whenever he wants. But he gets so excited by the neighbor dogs, I think he forgets to poop. Then, he comes in and cannot control his bowels and voila.
I have tried showing him the poop, picking it up in a tissue, taking him and poop into the yard and dropping it while saying, "Poop in the yard, not the house." It doesn't work. I am at my wits end.

Yesterday I got the bedroom cleaned. It didn't take long. Never does. I also got the TiVo and the answering machine hooked-up to the phone jack. I have a phone hooked-up as well. The ringer is off. I do need to get a longer line for it as the one I have is about two feet short. I'll add it to the shopping list.
I didn't get the kitchen floor mopped, but I did get the kitchen straightened. And did a couple of loads of laundry.
Dinner was tasty. The apples in the coleslaw were pretty, red skins brightened the white/green of the cabbage, and gave a nice, sweet crunch.
I did take a nap. Just couldn't stay awake. And I got my shower!
I couldn't sleep last night. Was up until about five. I slept until 1:30pm today. Now I am groggy, dizzy, and feeling a little squirrely. The dogs have been out four times already in less than an hour. Don't ask me why they don't just stay out. They seem to need to be with me, so it's in and out ad nauseum. Okay, I bring them in whenever Jip barks at the neighbors. Better to do so than to have the animal control bring me a ticket.
Todays' plan: Fix a ham dinner. Ham, squash, leftover coleslaw. Get the kitchen floor mopped. Run to WallyWorld for cat food and dog food. Work on Christmas presents that are not completed yet.
So, I am now going to start on my plan for the day, breakfast first. Au Bientot!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Windy, Rainy Wednesday

Yesterday Scott stayed home to take me to the pharmacy in Salem. He took a FMLA day. I was so anxious I could not drive. Well, between the anxiety and the lorazapam, I was a real mess.
Anyway we printed out the directions to the pharmacy since we had never been in that part of south Salem. Following the directions, we went to Salem, down Commercial, to Owens which turns into River, looking for Kuebler. About the time we got to Independence we realized that Kuebler and River do not intersect. So back to Commercial, looking for Kuebler we found Skyline. We took Skyline to Kaiser Permanente and guess what? That's right, the corner of Kuebler and Skyline. MapQuest was wrong, they didn't have Skyline and Kuebler intersecting. Anyway, I got my drugs and did not have to change from the Lexapro. The KP doctor left me on it since I had been taking it for so long.

A change of direction.
I have gotten thank you notes from Debjo and Dorthy for Christmas. I appreciate the notes, even if all they got were squash. I did find some dessert/salad plates to go with the dinner plates I gave Dorthy years ago. I will get them to her as soon as I can get moving again.
Rocky is wanting out, just a minute please. He wanted to sniff the breeze and Jip took the time to mark a dead weed in the drive.
I am setting goals for myself everyday. Today, I plan to vacuum and dust the bedroom, change the bedding, wash the dirty bedding. Then, I want to straighten the kitchen and mop the floor. I have decided to get some runner rugs for the kitchen. Hopefully those will reduce dirty, doggy footprints.
Of course let's add personal hygeine to every day. Brush my hair, brush my teeth, and bathe.
Tonight we are having pork chops, mashed potatoes, coleslaw with apple chunks.

Guess I'd better get moving. See you later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Waiting for Presciptions

We changed health care providers this year. It means a $4k savings over the last provider. Problem: This is an HMO. I have to change doctors and pharmacies and worst of all, some of my drugs. But, since we are saving towards that coastal retirement house, I will buck up and go with the flow.
Only problem, the drugs are not flowing. It took us until yesterday to get our membership numbers so we could access our care. In the meantime, I ran out of my drugs on Friday. Now, most of the time that would not be a problem. But, for some reason I am so anxious I feel like I have ants crawling all over me. I have found that .5 mg of lorazapam is not enough. So I am taking 1 mg 3x a day. That has calmed me down. I don't think it is helping that I have an intestinal virus. Lots of yogurt and mashed potatoes please.

This also means I have to go with another physician. After 30 years with Bob, I am now going to try a female doctor. Lets hope she's up to the challenge. I will also be seeing a psychiatrist now. Don't know if that will help, but I am willing to try.

Last month I went in for the SSDI exams. I saw a psychologist and an orthopedist on separate Sundays. That means by the end of the month I should hear yea or nay. If nay, I will hire an attorney who will get the sum of ~$450 to help me get ~$300 a month before taxes.

As I was typing this, I smelled poo. Sure enough, Jip used the bedroom. He wanted in and out for over an hour after we got up at 5am. Then, he went to sleep and then he didn't ask to go out. Guess it is raining too hard for him. He got a stern lecture, shown the door and I threw the poo into the lawn! Yeah, that will work.

My left arm is still acting up. Searing white hot pain when I lift somethings, move it wrong, etc. My upper back feels like two sliced pork chop bones rubbing together. Left hip has Mr Bruss Ititis visiting. Both knees keep reminding me about junior high falls that tore the cartledge. AND my head is so oily I have to shampoo nearly everyday. With my lack of personal hygeine that is one big chore.

Scott is up now, so I will take a break.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Introduction

Hi, this is my first blog, ever. I am hoping to write about my life, including my DH, DD, GS, her BF, our two dogs, three cats and our upcoming move after 29 years in the same house. I will also throw in about my many medical conditions in an effort to share with others. I love to cook so there will be recipes. Gardening tips since I am a Horticulturist and Landscape Designer. I am hoping to find books to review as I am an avid reader. I am not your average Pre-Senior and will try to keep both of us on our toes.