Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Day I Died

Mom said I was always a sickly baby. The doctors told her I was born with tonsillitis. She and Dad would rush me to the hospital with strangely high fevers. I spent quite a bit of time at St. Vincent’s in the pediatric ward. I remember two of the nurse nuns. One was young, smelled good, gentle, and wore soft soled shoes. The other was older, had facial hair, wore hard soled shoes, and did not have much patience.

When I came down with the measles, my fever was so high I was packed in dry ice. Countless trips to the emergency and transfers to St Vincent’s, I cannot fathom what panic and stress I put my folks through those first four years.

My Parent’s Story

I had another fever. At the hospital the doctor told his nurse to give me an injection. The nurse held up the vial and asked the doctor if he was sure that is what he wanted to give me. He said, “Yes.”

The nurse had a difficult time getting the medicine in the syringe. It was too thick. She injected me and I was sent home.

Mom, Dad, and I went over the Grandma Vesta’s and Grandpa Leslie’s house. Grandma was rocking me. She said sick babies fuss and cry. I was silent, she was very worried. Then I had a seizure. Dad grabbed me; Mom grabbed her coat and out the door we went.

The hospital we usually went to was across town, so we went to the one closest to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

The doctor on call was once a fine young doctor. Unfortunately he had a propensity to go on a bender now and again. So Doc grabbed me, I wasn’t breathing now. He and a ‘Very Young Nurse’ worked very hard to get me to breathe again.

Dad assisted Doc in using some very pre-war equipment. The rubber was so old it was sticky. As soon as I was breathing again, Doc told the ‘Very Young Nurse’ to get the ‘on call ambulance driver.’ Dad said quietly, “I’m right here.”

“Call Nolan,” Doc said firmly.

Back then, as now in many small towns, the firefighters were volunteers. Some of the firefighters took classes to learn to drive the ambulance and help the doctors transporting patients. Dad did all that and was a first aid trainer as well.
When Nolan and the ambulance arrived, everyone got me and the equipment in and Nolan took off. Dad and Mom followed in our car.

All was steady until Rex Hill; Nolan hit the gas on the ‘souped up’ ambulance. Seems he and Dad decided the engine needed a bit more umph in certain cases.

Dad had trouble keeping up. At the Tigard Grange Hall Nolan pulled over and turned off the engine. Mom grabbed Dad’s arm and said, “Oh, she’s alright.”

Dad knew better. He sat with Mom for a couple of minutes as she realized what this meant. Then he got out of the car and was hit by a spray of gravel as the ambulance sped out; lights and sirens blasting.

Dad and Mom joined in. Mom was trying to wipe the blood from Dad’s eyes; some of the gravel hit him pretty hard.

Nolan’s Story

He was surprised when he was called to drive that day. He wasn’t on the call list. But, being who he was, he showed up at the hospital and he was shocked when he saw Mom and Dad standing there.

He helped load me and the equipment into the ambulance and headed for St. Vincent’s. Between watching the road and Dad’s car behind him; he caught glances of me. I wasn’t breathing very well.

At Rex Hill, Doc said, “We’re losing her.”

That’s when Nolan hit the gas. At the Tigard Grange Doc said, “She’s gone.”

Nolan pulled over. Turning to look at me, he saw this little powder blue baby with blonde hair. He told me later that I as the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. (And not to let his children ever hear that.) Right then, I looked like a statue of what a perfect baby should look like.

That is when the ‘Very Young Nurse’ said, “Like hell I’m going to do this to that woman back there.”

She used a brand new technique called ‘rescue breathing.’ She took in a lung full of air and covering my nose and mouth with hers; blew into my lungs. Nothing. She picked me up and gave me a couple of good slaps and I breathed in so I could mewl.

Nolan said I went from blue to pink in less than a snap of the fingers. He turned on the ambulance, sirens, and lights and was off to the races.

I survived. Bet you didn’t see that coming?

My Story

All my life I had wanted Mom and Dad to stop at the Tigard Grange on our way to Portland. They always said, “No.”

No reason, just no. I was mesmerized by the way the Grange Hall looked, set back among trees. Very peaceful. It always reminded me of the old hymn “Church in the Wildwood.”

One Sunday, when I was 19, Mom, Dad and I were going to Portland to do some shopping. I asked if we could stop at the Tigard Grange. Mom and Dad passed glances and finally said, “Yes.”

We stopped; I sat there looking at the building. “Why am I so intrigued by this building?”

“Because this is where Doc pronounced you dead and the ‘Very Young Nurse’ brought you back.”

“I know who Doc is, but who was that ‘Very Young Nurse?”

“She never wanted you to know. She felt she was just doing her job and didn’t want you worshipping her.”

And with that, we got on with our shopping.

A few weeks later, I was having dessert with my boyfriend Allen and his family. His nine year old brother, Ross, was dancing around the room like he had ‘ants in his pants.’ He suddenly stated, “You died when you were a baby.”

“I know that, my parents told me. How do you know?”

Exchanged looks ran around the room. “I know the nurse who saved you,” he said.

Now worried looks ran around the room. “Who was that:”

And Ross pointed to his mother, Doris. “I don’t want to hear any thanks from you, I’m just not comfortable with that,” Doris said.

I said, very quietly, “Thank you.”

Allen said there was no need, as he thanked her every hour of every day since we had started dating.

I had known Doris and her family all my life. There were only three grade schools, one junior high and one high school. Everyone knew everyone else. How the adults kept the secret of her identity from me was one high conspiracy.

To this day I thank the Lord for Doris, Doc, and Nolan. Without them, you know.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Saturday's Review

Today's review has been postponed.  I'm yicky and need a day or two to recover.  Later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A List

I got this list from The Gizmola (she wanted people to copy and paste and redo). I liked the idea so please copy and paste in your own blogs and leave a comment with your link.

Below is a list of things people have done in their lives. I bolded the ones I've done. I'd love to see your answers, so if you do this on your blog (if you have one) leave the link in the comments. :-) Here's mine:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been inside an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

There are many, many other things I will accomplish in my life.  Places to go and things to do are still out there for me.

My best accomplishments are:

1.  Meeting and marrying my soul-mate

2.  Raising a resourseful, intellegent, gentle woman who is happy in her life as a career-woman, wife, and not the least of all, mother.

3.  Finding my best friends in life are my sisters.

4.  Going back to school and graduating, with honors, at 48!

5.  Surviving ten surgeries.

6.  Vowing not to subcumb to a horrendous mental illness.

7.  Realizing pets make our lives full.

8.  Guiding Girl Scouts to realize their dreams are possible with a little work.

9.  Quietly helping others, graceously accepting thanks, and not blowing my own horm.

10.  Realizing we don't go through life alone.
Yesterday I posted my favorite chowder recipes at Cooking in Nana's Kitchen: so much alike, yet so different. Then, last night I just heated some Mo’s Famous Clam Chowder I bought at Roth’s. Yuch! Believe me, it was bad. Both Scott and I ate part of a bowl and didn’t finish. What is absolutely outstanding fresh, does not translate well into frozen. I will now only eat my homemade version or go to the Coast to eat at Mo’s!

Woohoo, I learned a new skill! I installed a Bluetooth antenna on my computer and now can send pictures from my camera to the computer! It is so cool. Yes, all of you that have been doing this for the past six years, it’s old hat; it is new hat to me!

I noticed my first ant of the season. We have a colony of sugar ants that show up every spring and autumn. We have scoured the yard for their colony and can’t find it. An exterminator found one in a tree trunk we were using for a bench years and years ago. In his professional opinion, we needed to have the house sprayed every month from March to October. Like that was going to happen. I have used a liquid bait that works just fine for the past 10 years and I will stick with that.

Have any of you seen Story of India? It was shown on our local PBS. I’ve got to say, it is pretty darn good. Michael Wood, a British historian, presents the history of India from its first inhabitants until today. He travels the length and breadth of the sub-continent weaving tales of history into the rich fabric of modern India. Easily watchable and understood, Wood knows his history and presents it so all can enjoy. I heartedly recommend this DVD for any other lovers of all things Indian.

Today is Scott’s day off. I don’t know what he has planned. I have planned to pot-up some indoor plants, check it out tomorrow on Chic Daisy. Also, I’ve got to mop floors. Jip ate something that disagreed with him; then couldn’t convince me to let him out fast enough. Just need to finish the cleaning. And I have to finish picking things up in the dining room. It’s just always ready to leave on vacation; packed to the rafters.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Carpel Tunnel and Broken Elbows

I have been typing so much my right wrist is swelling. It’s in need of another carpel tunnel surgery and I have decided until the pain is significantly worse, I am not having it.

What am I doing then? I have begun to use my left hand for the mouse. I had trained myself to use my left hand until I broke my arm about 3 years ago. During the time I was healing, I went back to my right hand and never broke out of that habit again. The best way to train yourself to use your opposite hand is to play Solitaire. Oh, like you need a reason. It works.

How did I break my arm, you ask? Scott and I went out to dinner at a fine dining establishment. Best food ever! We ordered one glass of red wine each. Well, they brought out mini-splits. Oh, so cute. Because Scott was driving, I drank the second half of his bottle; just after finishing off my little bottle.

Now, I am known as ‘a cheap drunk.’ I don’t drink all that often and when I do, I limit myself to one half a hard liquor drink or a glass of wine. That night I was enjoying spinach ravioli in a cream sauce and a slice of the best cheesecake I had had in a long, long time. I overindulged all the way round.

On the way to the car, Scott had to guide me from crashing into doorways and parking meters. The sidewalk there was about 10 - 15 feet wide. We came to the car, and I was trying to figure out how to get into the passenger seat as the curb was as high as the floorboards of the car. During my deliberations, I slipped on the wet pavement and went head first into the driver’s seat. I remember I missed the gear shift by putting my elbow down on the armrest. The trip to get munchies at Wal-Mart had the employees giggling for days (Scott’s sister worked there as did Selene’s boyfriend, Nate).

Anyway, that was on Thursday night.

Friday, I was a little under the weather, can’t figure why. Saturday, I was cleaning house. My left elbow started to ache. The more I worked the worse my elbow got. I took some ibuprophen and took a nap. My elbow was still hurting. The whole night was pretty miserable. Finally, I drove myself to the ER. Scott was at work. By then, I was in true pain. There was only one x-ray taken because I couldn’t sit still or even move without pain. Yup, most common broken bone in people my age. Spiral fracture of the radius. I got a sling, pain killers, and six weeks of recuperation.

That’s right folks, no cast. This kind of break, along with broken ribs, doesn’t get any cast or tape. I sat in my chair, high on Percocet, enduring the bumps from a loving dog and being stomped on by cats only wanting me to feed them.

I had to go to a pharmacy to get the drugs. I didn’t tell you how I was dressed to go to the ER and pharmacy? I was wearing a nearly worn out sleep shirt with a giant stain, a pair of pants that were thread bare in the seat, Scott’s worn out Wal-Mart slippers, and my woolen dress coat that the buttons had fallen off. And I hadn’t brushed my hair since the day before. I shuffled through the Safeway, to the pharmacy counter, looking like a homeless person minus my shopping cart. The pharmacist said, “Wow, I’ve seen you on better days!” No shit Sherlock.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Blood Pressure is Up

Yesterday was a strange day. Scott has been sick for two days. Upper repertory thing. He’s miserable.

The neighbors were installing something on the roof of their house. Jip ran outside, around the front of the Mustang, jumped on the hood and began barking like all hell at the guy on a ladder. He absolutely hates anyone on a roof. When another neighbor was reroofing last summer; the dog was constantly in the front window barking and trying to control the situation.

Any way, Rocky and Jip were playing in the living room. I heard Rocky’s ‘necklace’ hit the floor and within a second there was a full-fledged dog fight! I got over there and caught Rocky’s ruff and held him down; then I got Jip’s ruff and put him down. Now, I am bending over the two dogs, holding them down face to face. Can we say vertigo? Yeah, I had to fight it because the dogs needed the intervention.
As soon as they relaxed, I let them go and walked away first. They both followed me, trying to placate me for them being so obnoxious. Rocky had a bite in his tongue that was bleeding, I took care of that. He also had a bite on his leg, just a bruise. Jip had Rocky’s blood on his neck, cleaned that up.
They have been very good since.

Last night we watched Traveler’s Guide to the Planets: Saturn. There was so much new information for us to digest. I loved the one comment about seeing the rings ‘dancing’ as the moons passed by them. It was too poetic.

And on Burned Notice, Bruce Campbell’s impersonation of Horatio Caine was perfection! But, boy is Brucie getting a gut on him. He’d better be careful or he will end up looking like me; too fat and too old.

Now for the rant of the day:

The Duggars. How those two-faced hypocrites can sleep at night is beyond me. Here they leave their family planning up to God (like She didn’t give us the brains to figure out where babies come from) and then have the nerve to say that the nurses and doctors caring for little Josiepussycat are a miracle.
No, those doctors and nurses are not a miracle; they are highly schooled and highly trained to care for your pre-term baby. They (and their parents) understand the reasons for schooling beyond the fourth grade.

When Jippidooda told his daughters; told his daughters, they were going to give blood; I had a major blood pressure problem. He TOLD his two adult daughters and two teenage daughters they were going to give blood. I know. The Patriarch did not give his daughters the grace to ask them to donate; he told them, straight out, donate. He read some biblical passage to back his demand and said they were going to donate because little Josiepussycat (oh, and others in need; in a postscript) needed the blood.

How dare he! Well, I know how he dares; he dares to pimp them out on TV every week for the 20 pieces of silver. Then, he turns around and tells people to get rid of their TV’s because TV is evil.

Oh, his wife, DQ (Dairy Queen), is shown in the hospital praying for their little micro-preemie (I have nothing against quiet, private prayer) which touched my heart until she started talking in that demented baby-doll voice. Woman, stand up and start talking like an adult.

Growling now. Why does their education have to stop with a GED at 16? Way back when, some of the girls wanted to be nurses or midwives. We don’t see them getting a chance to get out of their servitude until they marry and start their own jinormous family.

Alright, that’s enough for today. Tune in next time for something a little different.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lostday 4, 2010

The title says it all.

After posting yesterday, I was hit by the ‘sleepies’ again. Scott got Chinese last night so I wouldn’t have to cook. We watched How the Earth was Made and Psych; I went back to bed. Up at 11:30 pm and I haven’t been able to sleep since then.

I watched King Tut Unwrapped and learned more about his life and death. I had to giggle at the team who showed up dressed like archeologists of the ‘20’s. I think their costumes were cute but also made them less believable as experts. Dr. Zahi Hawass always gives a good performance as he explains Egyptian history. I wonder if he ever has forgiven Dr JoAnn Fletcher for her subterfuge in declaring a mummy in KV35 to be that of Queen Nefertiti?

Wow, people sure do get crazy about Emily Under 1000 per Month. She is sprouting brown rice now. For heaven’s sake, people have been lacto-fermenting, sprouting grains, making yogurt and cheese, making pasta, for hundreds if not thousands of years. I cannot understand why some people think that is so wrong.

Now as to their family eating a high fat diet containing a large amount of sodium; I have a problem with that. What with both my grandmothers, both parents, and three of us girls having gallbladder surgeries; I know firsthand what a high fat diet can do. Yes, there obviously was a genetic link there; but we ate a lot of fat growing up. Peggy changed her diet to mostly fish and vegetables after her travels in Japan; yet she had the surgery as well. And too much sodium makes your heart and kidneys work much too hard.

My big problem is how much stuff they have in their small apartment. 2 bedrooms, one bath, living room, kitchen make up 466 sq ft. And they have filled it with stuff and more stuff. There is barely room to move. I like things sleek anymore. No dust catchers, no books unless they are in a cupboard or behind glass doors. I think they need an intervention from Clean House. Let Neicy get in there and tell them about how their wall of books breeds silverfish and dust mites! These people need storage solutions and they need them fast.

I went back to bed at 6am and got up at 1:30pm. Whatever. As long as it’s not insomnia I’m good.

Todays’ goals:
Clean the dining room
Hawaiian chicken for dinner
Kitchen needs straitening

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alright, who said The Hangover was funny? We watched it last night and came to the conclusion either we were missing something or it was one boring movie.
Not to say the performances weren’t well done. Scott loves anything Heather Graham does. I feel she wasn’t used to her best work. Ed Helms wasn’t as funny as he is on The Office; I did like that he was allowed to sing, he has a nice voice. Jeffery Tambour was his usual well done performance; yet something was lacking. Zach Galifianakis gave a credible performance as Alan. I think I liked his character the best. But the best acting job fell to Rachael Harris. I hated her character, controlling little bitch, which is saying a lot for this movie.
Was it the directing that was bad? I felt the entire movie needed a nudge. I had no sense of urgency at finding Doug. The Blackjack scene tried to be Rainman, it missed. Was it the editing? Everything felt chopped; there was no continuity, no fluidity.
Better movies: Freebie and the Bean, Rainman, How to Murder Your Wife, What’s Up, Doc?, Ace Ventura: Pet Decisive, Sophie’s Choice, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Yearling, Beaches.

I got everything I wanted to get done yesterday, DONE! The bath is clean, I fixed three meals (and froze two of them), baked cookies, took the trash out, changed out the litter pans, read some blogs, thought a lot, and was nice to Scott. Sunday, check! Oh, tried to remove a knuckle while shredding cheese.

Today’s goals: Dining Room, Hawaiian Pork Chops, fiddle in the kitchen (I always find something to do), laundry, run to the store.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I slept last night!  By 9 pm I could not keep my eyes open any longer.  I let the dogs out, and back in, then hit the hay at 9:20pm.  I woke at about 4:30 am, let the dogs out and in again, and back to bed.  It took me a bit to fall back to sleep and I woke at 9 am!  Cross your fingers, the insomnia may just be past; for now.

My legs hurt today.  I dreamed I was walking, running, and jumping last night.  I get intermittant 'restless leg syndrome.'  I feel like I walked miles.

I have added 20 Swagbucks to my account in the past 24 hrs just doing research for my blogs.  Yesterday I won 10 in one award!  That means I only need somewhere about a billion more to get my new mixer!

Bright and sunny Sunday.  Scott is working overtime today.  He is trying to get a promotion.  I wish him all the luck in the world.

Today is my day off.  I plan on writing about Invasive Plants for Chic Daisy.  And I will try to get some recipes ready for Cooking in Nana's Kitchen.  I will post as soon as the work is done.  I've got to clean one room ceiling to floor -- main bath today; fiddle around in the kitchen; fix dinner, tacos, and freeze ahead some chili and enchilada casserole since they all use the same meat base.  Yeah, a day off.

So, I'll be off to get to work.  You all have a great one!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Saturday's Review

Starting today and (hopefully) every Saturday afterward, I am going to review a book, movie, product or something else altogether. I just thought that by going back to my writing roots (I started by reviewing books for our local library in the local rag.) it would help me push along.

A couple of months ago I was searching for a quality freebie site; like the one I frequented years ago; in another millennium. Time and the web have a habit of moving on. I remember the best freebie I ever found – a multimedia report on the Genome Project! After learning more than I anticipated, I donated it to the local library, where the librarians began thinking of a Genome Project Party to introduce the availability to patrons.

Well, I was thinking about that Genome Project when I found that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has free DVDs of their annual lecture series to high school students. I ordered some of the Holiday Lecture Series to review for my own continuing education. The lectures are by renowned authorities in the fields of research into genetics, evolution, heart function, neuroscience, biochemistry, physiology just to name a very few.

The first lecture I chose was Evolution: Fossils, Genes, and Mousetraps; by Kenneth Miller, Ph.D., Professor of Biology at Brown University. He is the co-author of a series of high school biology textbooks and an advocate of evolution education.
I chose this lecture first because I was familiar with the subject. Dr Miller was a witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial. I had watched the NOVA production of this trial: Intelligent Design on Trial and was eager for more insight into the whole intelligent design debate.

Dr Miller’s lecture covers Darwin and evolution theory continuing on to debunking intelligent design. He presents easily understood examples and explanations of what Darwin observed and then concluded.

He meets the challenges of Michael Behe, a Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, with wit and scientific data. Dr Miller goes on to show that Dr Behe’s idea of Irreducible Complexity is not a viable theory. Example of Dr Behe's Irreducible Complexity is when he states that a mouse-trap must have all five parts to work.  Dr Miller pulled off one part, bent another and still had a working mouse-trap.  In fact he would remove all but one part and although that part might not be a mouse-trap on it's own, it still has a function.

All in all, Dr Miller provides a complete nugget of history in the fight for science to remain scientific and not supernatural.

Not only is this lecture a piece of quality information for biology classes, it also is quite good for the layperson to get a grasp of what is going on in the debate between science and religion. Dr Miller goes on to reconcile his own religious beliefs with science very well.

Again, to order this DVD or any other HHMI educational material use the link above.  There is no charge.  All I ask of you is to pass the DVD on to others, so they too can see what many in the scientific world are worried about.  Supernatural explainations for natural occurances. 
After you watch this DVD, I would recommend reading Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District a Wikipedia article, watching Intelligent Design on Trial the NOVA special that presents the trial, and watching Horizon - A War On Science a BBC documentary on the contraversy of intellegent design and evolution in American education.
I will be ordering The Origin Of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition   to refresh my memory from 40 some years ago.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Our neighbor came by to let us know our bamboo hedge was causing problems for his house. Seems the leaves fill the gutters and he is having water leak into his garage. So, I agreed to cut the bamboo from its current height of 30’ down to less than 10’.

As is normal, when Scott heard about it he decided he would do the job. So, right now he is cutting back the hedge height. This is what is upsetting me. I could have gotten it done over the next week but Scott wanted to do it right now.

I hurt my back yesterday when I carried in a 30’ bag of cat litter. Again this is something that bugs me, if I leave things in the truck for Scott to bring into the house he has a snit fit. So I end up bringing in bags of groceries that are too heavy for me.

There’s only about 15’ of Phyllostachys nigra but that is leaving a lot of bamboo top to haul back to the garden. I don’t know what we will do with the bamboo. I may just burn it during burning season. Please don’t get upset, there is a lot of bamboo, a lot of bamboo.

I helped with dragging the bamboo tops back to the garden where we’ll leave it. The remaining stumps of bamboo are pretty bare right now. Usually the bamboo will grow new leaves lower on the stump and fill in so we don’t have to see the neighbors’ storage area between our fence and their garage.

All is better now. We talked it over and ordered dinner from our favorite pizza place; Canadian bacon, pepperoni, pineapple, and tomatoes cooked on; with one order of spuds and a 2 liter Diet Pepsi. There’s enough left over for my breakfast tomorrow. We also watched Couples Retreat. Not a bad movie, but not the best either.

When we came back into the house Jip had pooped in the entry. As I was cleaning that, Grover came walking by me with poop stuck to his long, hairy bottom. There was still a bad odor. Scott looked at his shoes; he had stepped in dog poop in the backyard. Here we had been outside enjoying the clean fragrance; only to come inside to what smelled like a privy. Good times.
I have been able to get some photos on the computer now that I have a SD adapter.  So, there will be more color coming your way!

Max doing his best John Barrymore impression.

Wolf looking good in close-up!


Grover taking a cat nap.


Umm, watched the 'Mummy' last night.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm back.  Back to the way I want to feel.  Upbeat, energized, and not well slept.  I am still suffering insomnia.  I hate these times.  I just want to fall asleep and stay asleep.  I have trouble falling asleep and then wake after a couple of hours.  I canceled my appointment with the new doctor because I was so down, I didn't want to leave the house.  Now I have to make another appointment.  Crap.
It's 1:28 am  I got up to let the dogs out.  Jip was sitting next to the bed, nudging my back.  Then he started to whine.  Next Rocky got up and started to circle between our room and his.  That did it.  I was up.  Oh, well.
Did you see that coming?  We now know what the numbers are about.  Of course in answering the number question, they left open the question of Kate, Jacob touched her why wasn't her name shown.  Jin and Sun were touched together.  Does that mean they will be caretakers together or will Ji Yeon be the new caretaker since she is a part of both.  When, in time, did the numbers come into play.  The guy Hugo heard the numbers from, originally heard them broadcast in the Pacific.  Rouseau found the island by following the numbers.  See, one question answered, a bazillion left.

Rocky laughing.

An embarrassed Jip wearing leg warmers.

I crocheted Lennon, that's him in Selene's tummy, a cute sweater.  But somehow I messed up both arms.  As I was finishing up the new arms, Selene found the old ones and decided Jip would look cute wearing them.  As you can see, Jip was not enthused.  Rocky was not laughing with Jip, he was laughing at Jip.  Jip later chewed up his leg warmers.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Won!

Remember I posted about a Budget Kit Giveaway from The Saved Quarter?  I won the book!  I have sent my name and address to The Saved Quarter and will write a review of the book for all of you.

I just can't get over it.

Where you going?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lostday 3, 2010

The past two days have been ‘Bad Days in Black Rock.’ My nerves are thin, I keep yelling at Jip for barking; I am wanting to sleep, my left hip and knee are killing me from the way I slept last night; I can’t think to write much; and I can’t seem to get started on my housework. Okay, I’ll just sit back and watch whatever I can stand on the DVR or computer. Which isn’t much.

The only redeeming grace today is LOST and 19K&C. I will get into LOST but before it is over I will pause it and wander off to do something else. 19K&C will probably get me riled up over the Duggars just not using common sense. Like the way they feed babies with serving spoons, directly out of the can, while the little one is lying down on the couch; or how the younger boys run roughshod over the house and their younger sisters.

I’ll fix dinner tonight. I’m thinking Tuna Pot Pie. Probably will make Tuna and Vegetables in a chicken based white sauce with Baked Biscuits on top. I can’t think ahead to do the recipe for Cooking in Nana's Kitchen. I’ll have to do that later.

Neighbors to the east have complained about the height of the bamboo. I have to get out and cut back about 15 linear feet of 30foot high bamboo and clean that up. I peg that for tomorrow and beyond. 30 minutes a day until it is finished. Look for more on Chic Daisy when my brain gets back in gear.

Sorry for the downer today. We’ll hope for better tomorrow!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Crappy Weekend! I had a virus. Fever dreams, fever, sleepy, nausea, not much interest in anything. All is better today. Still a little tired but have already done a load of laundry, filled the dishwasher and am running it, did a sink full of dishes, wiped down the stove and some countertops. So, today I will get some of the things I didn't do while moaning and groaning.

Dad was sick as well, I’ll call him later today to see if he survived. I haven’t talked with my sisters for a couple of weeks; better check in to see what’s going on as well.

On TV (dvr) we noticed that Leverage was filmed in Portland. Scott noticed old Multnomah Stadium (PGE Park) before I did. Then, I saw the Steel Bridge. Oh boy, that’s the Fremont Bridge. Yup, it’s Portland! I think we spent more time looking for local landmarks than watching the show! The best bit of the show was when Eliot and Alec showed up at the mayors’ house. The young man playing the cop was excellent! Watching him crawl over the carpet looking for fibers, interacting with the other actors, his expressions, wonderful! May he go far in his chosen craft.
We never get tired of the way Psych pokes fun at The Mentalist (a copycat of Psych; though The Mentalist is really a drama. What with the whole show being about Patrick Jane and his desire to bring ‘Red John’ to justice.) Anyway, loved it when Shawn Spencer was going off on a rant and included Simon Baker.

With just a few programs showing fresh epies during the Olympics; we of course will be watching the Olympics. 1960 Summer Olympics were the first Olympic Games I ever noticed. We were too busy playing to pay much attention to them. I know Mom loved the swimming events.

It was 1960 that it snowed during Spring Break. Daffodils were blooming and we had 18 inches of snow at our house! Uncle David showed us how to roll a snowman. We played ‘Snow War’ with the neighbors. I got hit in the face with a snowball and was blinded for the afternoon. Not to mention, it HURT! I remember Dad playing his s’no jokes on five year old Debbie and six year old Shelley. “Yup, there’s s’no worms when it snows.” Debbie and Shelley went between panic over worms in the snow to curiosity as to their color and size. At 9 and 10, Peggy and I were doubled over in mirth at our younger sisters and their naiveté.

Today’s goals:

Change the bed and clean the bedroom
Clean the bathrooms
Change the litter pans
Finish the laundry
Personal hygiene

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I have been reading many blogs by people who are or are trying to be frugal. Some of the ideas are great; while others, not so much. Just as I was working on this post I read The Happy (atheist) Homemaker who had the same mantra: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

We haven’t always been so good at money. At one time we ran up credit card and loan debt that took ten years to pay off. Since then, we have been better about money. Well, until I lost my job see my blog entry I Get Honest with You.  Now, we are trying to keep on the straight and narrow of the money situation.

I thought I would write today on what frugality means to me, a child of parents who grew up in the Great Depression.

Quality of product is important. I look for the best quality products for the less expensive price. I was taught there are three qualities of product: Good, Better, Best. Price has nothing to do with quality. Look at the quality of materials and workmanship that went into making the product. Pick out the best quality you can find; at the price you can pay.

If I need clothing, I shop in upscale stores before going to the discount or mass market stores. By going to the clearance rack I can find clothes for up to 90% off. Most of the time they are 50 -75% off and I can afford the best quality fabric and stitching for a very good price. My clothes tend to last more than one season because I buy for quality. Beware of the outlet shops, you will very well be getting a lower quality product. I have found sale prices at the name brand shops to be less than the outlet; and the quality is better.

Same goes for my appliances. I comparison shop on the web, getting an idea of what is out there and the prices I can afford. Then I go to the stores and look for bargains there. I have found returned and floor model appliances for great prices. I bought a stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher at the old Montgomery Ward for not only under budget but I got top quality as well. 20 years later, I am still using the stove. The dishwasher lasted 10 years and the refrigerator 15. Recently I purchased my fourth dryer in 40 years. It was reconditioned and guaranteed for a year; I paid $125 for a top of the line model that is 10 years old.

We are using a 26 year old microwave. I see no need to buy a new one until this one wears out. I am that way about all small appliances. I get my coffee makers from a company that sells boutique coffees. Buy a couple of pounds of coffee at the regular price, get a free coffee maker. No obligation, cancel at any time. I look at it as buy a coffee maker and get free coffee. Win, win situation.

When we last bought furniture, we took time to shop around. I found a couch at a little, local furniture shop for less than one similar one at a big furniture retailer. My chairs are from the Clearance Room at the Lazyboy Store. I paid less than the price of one chair for both. My occasional tables are family ‘heirlooms.’ You know, someone wanted to get new furniture and offered them to me. I only accept those things I can use. Right now I am shopping for a new computer chair. The one I want is $350 retail. I will continue to look until I can get one for about $100.

I covered How I Shop For Groceries in my blog, Cooking in Nana's Kitchen. I like to keep a full pantry and shop it to prepare meals. I put new products behind the old so things cycle through. We have a small freezer to store meats bought on a sale, breads, home frozen fruits and veggies, and 'cook ahead' meals.

One of my biggest challenges was to stop ‘shopping as a hobby.’ I don’t need all that stuff. Over the past few years I have weaned myself from shopping for fun to shopping for a reason.

Scott drives a 15 year old car; and my truck is 24 years old. He was restoring two cars, an ’84 Mustang and a 280Z when I got sick. They have been sitting in the driveway since then. After the bankruptcy goes through we will sell them for whatever we can get.
He bought his car for $1100 and put $500 into it. It is showing its age as well as my truck. We figure on selling the two vehicles and buying another used. Scott is the vehicle and insurance shopper and finds some really good buys.

As we are going through pre-foreclosure on the house, all we are paying are the taxes and insurance. Unless he gets a job that requires us to move; we will stay put until fall. We are still taking care of the house; after all we have to live here.

Here a few money saving ideas I love:

  • Add water to the last of the shampoo or liquid soap bottles and use it up.
  • Running out of fresh milk: mix up an equal amount of powdered milk, add it to the fresh and refrigerate
  • Save the heels of the bread for hamburger or hot dog buns.
  • When using the oven for dinner, take the time to bake some bread or goodies and freeze them for later.
  • Buying bulk is great. Just compare the price per pound with the bagged stuff. And store it properly at home.
  • Organic foods are not more nutritious. They are just grown without petro-chemical pesticides or fertilizers. They are produced without added preservatives, colors, or flavor enhancers. As such, their shelf life is not as long as usual supermarket foods.

Budget Kit Giveawy

I discovered a new (to me) blog siteThe Saved Quarter.  It's about one families goal of saving all their quarters and getting into a real sensible spending habit.

Anyway, The Saved Quater is giving away a book, The Budget Kit Review.  There is also a prize of a 30 minute conference with it's author, Judy Lawrence

The drawing is on 2/16.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Joy of My Life

This is Lennon Scott - My Daring, Darling Grandson

This was taken about a month ago

This was taken earlier this week

Boy, how that truck has grown!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday is garbage day. Last week Scott got the kitchen garbage out to the can. On the way to work, he remembered he didn’t get the can to the curb. Of course, he didn’t think of calling or emailing me from work so I could have gotten the trash out. Today, I noticed he got both the trash and recycling out to the curb.

I remember when the trash collectors came up to your house to pick up the cans. They carried the cans out to the street, dumped them in the truck, and replaced them back at the house. In the ‘60’s it was fashionable to recess your can into the ground. Oh, the trash collectors hated those cans.

Last night, right at bedtime, the dogs cornered a possum in the shop. The barking, the growling, the stench of scared possum and me in the middle trying to catch some part of Rocky to pull him off. Rocky's head has the Shar Pei 'sandpaper coat'  but the rest of him is a slick coat on a well muscled body.  Other than his 'wrinkles around his face and throat and his collar; there is nothing to grab on to.  I finally caught his ‘stub’ and pulled him back to where I could get his collar. Then I had to maneuver him out of the shop where he escaped and began running around the outside of the shop. In the meantime, Jip was barking at the top of his lungs; letting everyone in the neighborhood another possum was about to bite the dust.
About then Scott came outside and tried to direct traffic around the shop. He tried to close the shop door, “Please don’t, there’s a live possum in there and I want it out.”
So, he stood guard at the door, keeping the dogs out. Finally, I convinced Jip to go ‘in the house’ where he stopped barking. Rocky was still riled up and was squeezing between Scott’s clunkers and the fence to keep from going in. He relented when I used my really pissed off dog owner voice. Once he was in the house, Scott came in. I was already headed for the bedroom, “I’m going to bed!”

If you know anyone in Oregon or Washington, who wants an ’80 something Mustang or a 280Z leave a comment. We want them gone. I am tired of Jip jumping on the Mustang and barking at the neighbors; Rocky cornering cats and possums under both cars; and the general ‘redneck’ vibe the cars bring. I will not publish e-mail addresses or phone numbers. The comments on this blog are moderated.

Today my goals:
  • Vacuum and dust the living room
  • Put my crafting stuff away in the ‘crafting room’ (Selene’s old bedroom)
  • Fix dinner – Lloyds Barbeque Pulled Pork sandwiches with lots of homemade coleslaw with apples and a carrot.
  • Do the dishes after dinner.

 Almost forgot, the new replacement toothbrush heads are sooooo nice. Since using the Sonicare, our dental hygienist doesn’t have much work to do on us. It really works on keeping plaque away. I have a crossed tooth on the bottom and the Sonicare keeps the plaque at bay. Love it!

Dog commands:
Go in the house
Go to bed
Lie down

Sit up
Shake hands
Off (me or furniture)
Down (quit jumping on people)
Quiet (least effective)
Get you nose out of that (ususally a cat's rear-end)
Kiss (Rocky doesn't kiss, he may give a lick to your hand, but no kisses)
Stopping Kissing (Jip gets carried away)
Be the baby (Jip lies down on your chest, cuddles, and tucks his head under your chin)

With that sweet note, it's time for breakfast.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Traveling on Public Transportation with Babies

Trying to eat his breakfast, Jip managed to tip his ‘non-tippable’ bowl. There’s dry dog food all over the dining room floor.

We have hard flooring throughout our house. I have dust mite allergies and it is so much easier to keep clean.

Watched Lost and 19 Kids and Counting last night. Is Sayid really possessed by the smoke monster? Do you remember in the first season, the Losties finding ‘Adam and Eve’ in the cave? Does Sawyer find Juliet in the revised timeline and then the two of them find the island to raise their family? Josh Holloway had me in tears over the grief Sawyer was feeling for Juliet.
This season I really don’t like Kate. I don’t understand her intentions at all.
Best part of this final season: Claire is BACK!

19K&C was boring. Who wants to watch chubby Josh in a plane while J’Anna is on the ground? I wanted more Kenzie and her Keller g-parents!
I posted this on Duggars Anonymous Forum:  ‘Loved Kenzie on the plane. Reminded me of taking DD from Pendleton to Portland on the train, at the same age. As DH and I got into a car and settled, the other passengers sighed with resignation. When we got off in Portland, they all clapped and told us DD was the cutest, most well behaved, happiest baby they had ever traveled with.
2 years later, on a plane, again the sigh of resignation, but DD was happy with a glass of pop from Portland to Seattle; while her auntie and I were practically hanging out of the plane to get glimpses of Mt. St. Helens.’
I forgot to put in the bit that happened just as the wheels left the tarmac.  "You tell the airplane people to turn this airplane around.  We go home, NOW" 
One of the flight attendents standing in the front of the plane mouthed, "Shit."
Debbie and I told Selene to just wait; we'd be seeing Aunt Peggy in no time at all.  That's about when the drinks cart came by and Selene got the ususally forbidden sugary pop drink.  She was quiet all the way to Seattle and again people told us what a well behaved and cute little boy she was.
The girl had no hair, so I had dressed her in PINK from head to toe.  People still called her, "He."

Got about four hours of sleep before Jip woke me. I took two naps yesterday, migraine day.

Okay, I got so sleepy typing out the recipe for tonight’s dinner I took a nap. When I awoke, I found no mail in the mailbox, but there were two packages on the front porch. One was our new toothbrushes! I ordered them through Amazon. Scott bought a Philips Sonicare Essence 5300 Power Toothbrush  (well, the current modle then) about seven years ago. I used to buy the replacement heads at the local Walmart but they don’t stock them any more. So I ordered from Amazon, with free shipping theirs turned out to be the best bargain.

I’ll tell you about the second box once I get a chance to review the materials in it.

Dinner tonight –  Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Lostday!

Lostday and Duggarday.  I'll be watching tv tonight, please don't disturb me.

I am anxiously awaiting a few things I ordered over the weekend. I have been meaning to get a SD memory card adaptor. I want to pull photos from my phones so I can post them on my blogs. It should be here by the end of the week. Hope you will look forward to see pix of the doggies and kitties. Lennon will be featured. Okay, I'll post a pic of myself as well.

Also ordered refills on my ‘scripts. Our old insurance took at least two weeks to fill a mail order; this new insurance refills within a day or two. What a difference.

I just took a run to the mail box. Good news, the last installment of Red Dwarf is here and bad news, Social Security Disability disqualified me for benefits. They think I could work part-time. I really don’t know how I would get to a job. Freaking out about going out and all; plus all that time sleeping for days on end. Crap, time to contact the lawyer.

Center, calm, deep breaths, relax the shoulders, relax the jaw all will be fine in the end.

I fixed a frittata last night, next time I will remember to use the medium sauté pan. I used my largest one and got more of an egg pancake than a tall, fluffy baked omelet.

Scott’s not feeling well. Tonight we’ll have Chicken and Rice Pilaf. We follow the BRAT diet when he’s like this. Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast will calm down his intestines.

I spent time yesterday transferring pictures on the old phone to the memory card. Those pictures brought back a lot of memories. Like I can’t really remember what happened from August 2005 until Selene announced she was pregnant in 2008. Then my memory starts getting a little bit better. Since January 9th, when I started blogging, memories are more vivid and full of detail. See my writing therapy is working!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cramps + Infertility = Endemetriosis Part 4

As for my infertility, I prayed, I tried to talk with doctors, I cried, I railed at God! My whole life I had wanted babies!

I wanted my belly to swell, ‘big with child.’ To feel a life inside me moving, to go through labor and delivery, to bring forth a life to suckle at my breast was all I ever had wanted.

Over time I became resentful of pregnant women. Even with my best friends, I could hardly stand to be near pregnant women. I distanced myself from what I could not have.

I was talking with a couple of friends one day when they both began talking about ‘End Times for Christians.” I had never heard of such a thing. They explained that the godless heathens would take over the world and Christians would be put to the knife.

Christian children would be wrenched from their parents to be raised in a world without God. And women who had adopted would not feel the same gut-wrenching pain of the women who had birthed their children. (This happened right after we applied to adopt.)

I stood and in real anger told them they had no right to make sweeping generalizations about adoptive parents. Two of my cousins were adopted and they were as loved as those of us who were born into the family. And I knew in my heart that any child I adopted would be as much loved and cherished as one I had bore. After all, I loved their children as much as I loved my niece and nephew. I had spent more time with their children than I had with my niece and nephew. How dare they?

It took time to heal our disagreement. It was one of those two women who found our daughter, Selene, for us.

I was told by ‘a well-meaning Christian man’ that I was praying for the wrong thing. Huh? Please explain. I am praying to be blessed with a child. You think I should be praying for God to give me another dog or cat?

After Selene came to us, I still felt like other women saw me as a second-class mother; especially when I pulled out a bottle to feed her. They would gasp and turn away, “She’s not nursing.” We tried, I just wasn’t producing milk.

I still couldn’t stand pregnant women. When my sister, Debbie, was pregnant with both her daughters, I kept my distance. I just couldn’t bear to be near her. After the babies were born, it was another story.

When Selene became pregnant with Lennon I wanted to experience her pregnancy with her. But my depression got in the way; as well as her pregnancy hormones. She and my cousin Nancy are the only pregnant women I have ever felt comfortable around.

So, that’s my story. The real lesson I want my readers to learn is this: If a teenage girl is complaining of horrible cramps have her examined by a doctor. Endometriosis is most treatable in its early stages. Don’t let another woman go through the emotional trauma and physical pain of infertility.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cramps + Infertility = Endemetriosis Part 3

A couple of day later, the doctor gave me my options. I thought very hard about the reconstructive surgery but the prospect of no longer having any more pain won out. I decided on the hysterectomy and oophorectomy.

The GYN told me I would not miss my periods but I would experience changed orgasms. Okay, let’s get that puppy out!

Scott had asked me to wait until his vacation, the first two weeks in July, so he would be available to help me out. So, I waited six months for the surgery. Every day was pain, bloating, and very uncomfortable.

I remember the aftermath of the surgery as though it was yesterday. I woke and there was no pain. The day after the nurse sat me in a chair while she changed the bed. In the middle of this she apologized for forgetting my pain shot. I said, “I’m not in pain. For the first time in years there’s no pain. Just soreness along the incision.”

My primary care doctor came in and sat down. He apologized for not hearing me when I said I was in pain. (I am just too quiet and don’t always force medical personnel to pay attention to my problems. This would explain why no one had helped me before the GYN.) He explained I had lost about a pint of blood and would feel weak for a while, but that was normal. He then promised to listen more carefully to me in the future. (And he did, I saw him for a total of 30 years before we had to change insurance programs and go with an HMO.)

I had my first hot flash 48 hours after the surgery while walking the hospital corridors with Scott and Selene. The only real pain I had was from my bowels beginning to work again. That gas was so severe I would pace the entire hospital, go back to my room, and be thankful I didn’t have a roommate. My nurses brought me prune juice at least three times a day.

When I got home, I began to feel better fast. Of course it didn’t help that Scott’s project while I was recuperating was to gut the bathroom and start over. We had a half bath where I took sponge baths. My savior was my friend Kathi who would pick me up every other day and allow me to shower at her house. Heaven on a stick!

When I went back to the GYN for a checkup, he was called out of the room. I went through my file and found a picture of my uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. They were so miss shaped. I could see the many tumors and cysts that were in my uterus and all over my ovaries. The tissue removed weighed 17 pounds! The doctor thought I would be shocked but no, I was more curious than anything else. He explained that he had had to scrap endometrial tissue from all over my abdominal cavity. I had one of the worst cases of endometriosis he had ever seen.

Well, here I was, no more pain, no more PMS, no more orgasm. Yeah, I thought he said, “A change in orgasms.” So I went back. Plus, I had lost interest in sex completely. He tried hormone therapy. Still nothing. It was about a year after the surgery that the GYN moved away. When I went to my primary physician with my libido problems he said sometimes watching porn helps. Well, uh, I love my husband and I really do want to participate; yeah, I’ll give it a try. It worked and what is what counts. Eventually I began to respond without the porn and things got back to pretty much normal. By the way, a woman’s uterus is a significant factor in her orgasm. Removing it changes her orgasm and it does take time for her to get used to these very different feelings.

Throughout this whole story I cannot tell you the emotional duress I had. During the cramping I would sob and cry out to God to let me pass out so I would not have to endure the pain! I would pray as to why I had to suffer. I saw my mother, my friends going about their daily business and yet I was bedridden every month for 12 to 24 hour! Why?

“What was the pain like,” you may ask? As I have found out from my friends, my cramps were as bad as labor. When Scott passed a couple of kidney stones his doctor explained that his pain was akin to tabor. A few years after that, I passed a gallstone. We got to talking about the pain and I explained that the gallstone was no more painful than my cramps. That stopped Scott in his tracks. The only difference between the gallstone and cramps was I knew the cramps would eventually end.

In the next and last installment, I will document my emotions during the 15 years of infertility.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cramps + Infertility = Endemetriosis Part 2

I didn’t get pregnant. I couldn’t understand why. The little town we lived in, just inland on the south Oregon coast, had three doctors. All were aged. When I asked about my inability to get pregnant they all said I just needed to relax. Yeah, right.

One evening after dinner, we had been married for about 2½ years; the cramps came on hard and furious. I asked Scott to take me to the emergency room in the closest hospital about 20 minutes away. By the time we got there I was in such pain I could hardly walk.

The admitting clerk put me into a wheelchair and took me down to the ER. A nurse came in to check me out before calling the doctor. (Way back when, small community hospitals did not have anyone staffing the ER. Rather, a floor nurse would be ‘on call’ for the ER and the doctor ‘on call’ would come in only if needed.) Almost as soon as she began to take my information, I told her I had to vomit. She handed me an emesis basin. I handed it back. She gave me a huge, battered tub. I used it.

By the time the doctor arrived I was beginning to swoon. I couldn’t keep the room from spinning and I was ‘dry heaving.’ Once up in the stirrups and examined, he had the nurse give me a shot of pain killer and something to stop the vomiting.

Afterwards, when I could finally focus, he explained that I was just having exceptionally bad cramps and needed to have narcotic pain relievers around for the pain. I asked if I had had a miscarriage, since the pain was so intense so quickly. He said, “No, it is just cramping. Come see me week after next.” I saw this, just out of medical school, doctor a couple of times before we moved back home to the Willamette Valley.

Once home again, I went back to the clinic where I had been going since before birth. A new set of doctors were available. I preferred a couple of younger doctors who seemed to be quite thoughtful and helpful. But, again they didn’t really treat me for the cramps, other than more codeine. Nor did they ever address my desire for children.

In the meantime we had just celebrated our 9th anniversary. We had applied to the state to adopt the year before. Then I broke my arm. I contacted the social worker nearly every week; I never heard back from her. We were anxious and getting upset. Finally, she called to say she didn’t have a child for us but please, please be patient. I t had been over a year now and we were getting restless.

Because I couldn’t get into the clinic to see anyone when I really needed to, I called a new doctor in town. He could see right then. I liked his manner and concern over my non-reproductive problem so I started seeing him for my primary doctor.

I told this new doctor about me cramps and again more codeine. Believe me I was really beginning to get desperate about the pain. My periods were no longer regular. I had always had ‘heavy’ periods but now they were gushing and completely unpredictable.

We were able to have a private adoption. Our new baby arrived in mid-April 1980. I ignored my problems and doted on her.

In ’83 we took a family trip to Anaheim. While at the Movieland Wax Museum, Selene needed to use the restroom. While in the restroom I noticed I had begun my period and was covered in blood. We went back to the motel where I showered and changed. Luckily I had some codeine with me. I used two extra absorbent tampons and an extra absorbent pad while we toured Knott’s Berry Farm. I changed the tampons twice during our visit. The next day, I was so wacked out on codeine I just followed Scott and Selene and tried not to act like a drunk.

In 1984 a GYN-OB moved to town. I had never seen a gynecologist before. For 10 years I had been trying to find one in Salem but they were never taking new patients that weren’t pregnant. I would explain I was having severe cramping and bleeding with each period and get told my primary care physician had to refer me but they had no openings anyway.

I don’t remember whether it was my primary doctor or the GYN who sent me in for an ultrasound. The tech called in the radiologist to do the ultrasound as she was having problems. The doctor found my right ovary where my uterus should have been. My uterus was clear over on the left side of my body with the left ovary twisted up behind it.

I do remember seeing this new doctor and telling, in detail my problems. He scheduled a laparoscopy. When I woke from the anesthesia the nurse called the doctor to come in from his office. He told me I had severe endometriosis. And with the flopped over uterus, which would require reconstructive surgery I had less than a 10% chance of conceiving. This was due to the scarring from the tumors and cysts.

I cried. The doctor gave me something that knocked me out. During the laparoscopy there had been a problem and he had to leave the air running to keep my abdomen inflated. That extra gas would bump up against my diaphragm and cause extreme pain. I went home later in the evening and lay on the couch for several days until the air had been absorbed by my blood and gut. I was not the most pleasant person to be around while I expelled that extra gas.

Sorry to leave this on such an 'airy' note.  Tune in tomorrow for what happened after the laparoscopy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Espresso Laced Chocolate is Not a Great Nighttime Snack

I could not get to sleep last night.  I went to bed at 3 am and tossed and turned.  I think I fell asleep around 6 am.  Rocky woke me at 9 am barking.  Up until 11 am, slept 'til 3 pm.  I am exhausted and plan to be in bed by 10 pm.
Couldn't figure out why I couldn't sleep.  I took all my pills, two of which are supposed to make you sleepy; yet I was totally conscience.
Then, Scott and I went out for dinner at Los Baez; and on the way we were talking about chocolate.  He was saying he needed to get more sugar free candy.  I said I had bought some Giardelli Dark Chocolate bars and had enjoyed the Espresso flavored bar last night. 
Yup, smacked my own forehead.  Tomorrow I am going to break one up in my morining toffee coffee for an extra boost.

Cramps + Infertility = Endemetriosis Part 1

I want to address my inability to bear children and subsequent hysterectomy with oophorectomy.

About six months before the onset of my periods I was having low gut pain. Mom took me to the doctor and he thought the problem was intestinal. He put me on some pills that turned my poop green and called it good.

My first period began on my 12th birthday. Happy Womanhood! From what I had read in the ‘Red Book’ Mom had given me, I knew that sometimes women had pain with their periods. Well, that was the cause for the strange pain I had been having. I guess I could live with that.

In the next few months the menstrual pain went from uncomfortable to horrendous. Mom gave me hot water bottles and aspirin. Occasionally, she would call the doctor and I would get codeine. Mostly, just aspirin and Midol; when Pamprin came on the market I would rotate the three for relief.

The pain would wake me from a sound sleep. I went downstairs to get the hot water bottle and Dad woke up to see if I was okay. When he heard “cramps” he would get Mom. She finally told him that I knew what to do and there was nothing she could do to help me. He asked if the doctor could prescribe more codeine. Mom told him, and I heard, that the doctor just thought I was being dramatic and the pain wasn’t really that bad.

I missed at least one day of school every month. The pain was overpowering. I remember in high school when the principal or vice principal would corner me for going home early or missing a day. I was so shy I couldn’t say, “Look I have cramps and they are killing me.” My PE teachers were very understanding to the point to showing me exercises that were supposed to help. They never did.

When I was about 16 I overheard my mother talking to a friend about the amount of pads we went through each month. She was saying that with two menstruating daughters we were going through a giant box of pads every month. And when the next two started, she was sure it would be two giant boxes!

Her friend thought maybe we were changing pads too often. Mom agreed to a point but was concerned about how heavy and long my flow was. My doctor had told her not to worry, flows of up to 7 – 8 days could be considered normal.

All I know is by 8th grade I was slipping into the restroom between classes to change pads after every class for the first three days of my period. Some of my friends had heavy flows as well; so I didn’t worry. And Betty Jo‘s cramps were worse than mine, so maybe it wasn’t that bad after all.

I left for the University of Oregon after high school. In the early spring I came down with a fever, vomiting and cramps. My friends took me to the campus medical clinic where I was admitted. The doctor ‘on call’ was a pediatrician. When he examined me he found this tiny little scar on my lower right abdomen. He asked about it and I explained that it was a ‘bikini cut’ appendectomy scar. Well, this guy was ready to perform an appendectomy and now he couldn’t. I explained I was having cramps with the ‘flu’. he had the nurse give me a mild pain killer and left. For the next 36 hours I lay in the clinic having cramps with no relief. Yes, I was pissed.

When I began taking birth control pills, at 19, the pain lessened. I threw up three to five mornings a month but the pain was tolerable.

After Scott and I had been married two months I went off the pill. I just couldn’t take the vomiting. I never got used to that damn pill. Besides I wanted five children and I wasn’t going to get them while on the pill.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Better Living Through Electricity

Does anyone remember Reddy Kilowatt? 

Just having a retro moment.

We had take-out Chinese tonight.  We're going to Los Baez tomorrow. 

I have been very introspective the past few days.  I am working on a three part post on my life with endometriosis.  I was diagnosed 25 years ago this month.  I don't want to go into it right now.

We watched Lost tonight.  Scott for the first time and me for the second.  I caught Jack finally realizing he can't save the world when he said there was nothing he could do for Sayid. 
Scott thinks that now Smokey Joe is John; Sayid is now Jacob.
Did you see the hour glass had black and white sand? 
Is Kate going to seduce Sawyer again.  Gad, I am tired of that triangle.
I teared up at Juliette's death.  I could console James any time.  Any time. 

Wow, Dexter season 3 started off with less edge than before and now almost two thirds through; it has edge and then some.

Red Dwarf season 7 is strange.  First off, Cat is now a pilot.  When did Cat outgrow is self-absorbtion?  He wore the same costume twice?  Not the Cat of old.  Not to mention the new Kolchanski is an officer?  I liked the old Kolchanski with her bleach bottle blonde hair and sass to meet Lister's crass.

Got to make out the shopping list and run the dishwasher.  I wonder, are there little housekeeping fairies about?  I could use about a half dozen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost is BACK!

Did you see the season premiere of Lost? Without giving anything away, you need a playbook to keep all the characters, timelines, locations, and deaths straight. Who were those people at the temple? Why were Cindy and the kids there? What does Richard have to do with the smoke monster? I could barely keep up. That’s okay. I’ll watch again tomorrow with Scott.

I had a quiet day today. Introspection is good for the soul. Took a nap, cleaned up a little, made Split Pea Soup with Lentils  watched TV with Scott until he went to bed and have just been watching Lost and 19 Kids and Counting. I think I’ll try writing while listening to ‘Latin Jazz’ on SiriusXM courtesy of Directv. Then an epi of Red Dwarf before bed.

I don’t have much to say.

Okay, I left the blog and went to bed after that last sentence. It is not extremely important for me to post if I have nothing to say. You are welcome.

Wednesday was migraine day.  Spent the day in a quiet darkened room.  When I have something to say I will be back. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Insidious Depression

Depression is an insidious disease. It creeps in, chipping away at a person, taking bits that eventually become chunks, until all that is left is a shell. An empty, hollow shell.

There is no emotion left only dullness. A person goes through the motions of life, yet feels detached from life. It’s like living down a long hallway. The world is at the other end of the hall. You can’t see or hear anyone plainly, you know their joy and their pain but it does not touch you.
When Selene finally finished high school at the alternative school; I was happy, ecstatically happy. I didn’t actually feel happy, I knew I was happy but all I could feel was dull. It was all I could do to hug her and say in my flat voice, “I am so proud of you for sticking in and finishing.”

It took months and many different anti-depressants before I could feel again. Our niece, Cherish, was spending the weekend. She was at the dining room table eating breakfast. Scott was going to run to the store. I caught him just outside Selene’s bedroom and whispered for him to bring back donuts. Selene spoke up, “Get me a bearclaw.”
We thought she was asleep! I laughed. A real laugh! Cherish came running over to me, gave me a huge hug and said, “Aunt Susan, you laughed. Your real laugh. Oh, I have missed your laugh!”
It felt good to be back, even if it was just part way.

Three years after the first diagnosis of depression I was able to go to work. I enjoyed my job and was experiencing real emotions.
Until the bottom fell out again. I wrote about this depressive episode in I Get Honest with You
It’s been about 4 ½ years since the last episode. I spent the first three years completely out of touch. I don’t remember much of what happened. Except for the TV shows I enjoy, I took little enjoyment in life. Scott took me out to nice restaurants twice a month. We went to the coast with the dogs a couple of times a month. Drives to some of our old haunts took up other days.
I wrote to a friend that I felt as though I was wearing a coat of insulated armour. That armor was thick enough to keep friends and family at bay. I didn’t want anyone to see just how messed up I had become.
I found myself lying to my doctor. Even though I needed his help, I didn’t want him to know how bad it was. I had stopped bathing. Living in the same crusty clothes for days on end. Sleeping crazy hours. Eating continuously. Not communicating. I let the house go. Wouldn’t go outside because I didn’t want people to look at me.

In the past year I have been trying hard to come back. I want to be me again! I was active in our community. I volunteered with Girl Scouts, Women’s Crisis Service, and GFWC among other groups. I ran a cooperative pre-school and was asked to stay on after Selene left for 1st grade (couldn’t without a change in bylaws.) I oversaw the Girl Scout Troop Leaders in our county, hire, fire, evaluate, just like any boss. I put on Council wide programs for 600 girls. I was a force!

It’s been slow work. I still get anxious when I go shopping. I cannot walk the dogs, yet. My house is messy but at least I try. I don’t bathe often enough or brush my teeth. Going to visit our three Dads is difficult. I can talk with Dad on the phone. I want to drive over to see him. And to see my Step-Dad. Scott’s Dad lives up the hill. For some reason my truck doesn’t like to go that direction.
These are things I am working on. I’ll get there. This blog is helping me. Some of my posts are bland; well, I’m bland too. I’ve got to learn how to use the Blue-Tooth to get my phone pictures on the computer so I can use them to spice up my blogs.

And that is my way out of this depression; learning. Whenever I am actively learning something I begin to chip at that insulated armor. One day I will break free.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I've got a list of errands to run today, yet here I am posting.  Don't worry, I have time before the bank closes.
I posted before that Scott gets paid every other Friday now.  I forgot he also gets paid on the 1st.  That's his pension.  So, he asked me to do some errands for him.  Plus, I decided to do some shopping for me.  Oh, and we're out of coffee filters, too.
I am going to check my lottery tickets.  Scott's were the winners last week.  I have never gotten so much as a free ticket!  Yet, there is hope.
My reuseable bags are next to my purse.  My shopping list starts with "BAGS!"  I promise not to forget them going into the store!

My January income from my blogs is $1.46. 
Income break down:
Adsense - paid per click on the ads - $1.46
Google Affliliates - paid commision on purchases - $0
Amazon Affillliates - paid commison on purchases - $0
Swagbucks - matching Swagbucks for people joining - $0
  When you join Swagbucks from my blog page, I get matching Swagbucks up to 100, whenever you use the Swagbuck search engine and win Swagbucks!  So far, in just three weeks, I have earned 44 Swagbucks from my own searches.  One more and I qualify for a $5 gift card from Amazon.  I am saving up for a Kitchen Aid mixer!
My three blogs had a total of 404 viewings. Thanks to everyone who keeps up with me!

I am working on a book for Lennon.  I've taken a photo album and am filling it with pictures cut from magazines, old calendars, shapes from wrapping paper, and family pictures.  Just something he can play with.  Some of the picutres are very simple: banana, chicken, pear, various shapes in single colors.  Some are complex: vase of flowers, a person raking in a filburt orchard, harvesting wheat, butterfly shape out of marigold wrapping paper, rabbit shape out of pink flower gift bag. 
The family pictures are so he will know who we are when he next sees us.  I've got to get Selene's Christmas present finished before it becomes a birthday present!

Checking the mail everyday for my SS disability decision.  What I a m going through for just $300 a month. 

I'd better get going.  Payday = take out.