Monday, November 30, 2015

My turkey soup turned out great, and I grazed on it all afternoon. So did Alex. Then the three of us had it for dinner.  It started out as a huge pot, but now there's probably just one bowlful left!

Today was the fifth day in a row that temps didn't make it out of the 60s. Given the early winter storms elsewhere that we're seeing on the nightly news we really can't complain - except that everyone here has really been feeling the cold. At least I got the hummingbird feeders cleaned and refilled so the little guys will have lots to eat again.

I left a message at the hand surgeon's office this morning but haven't heard back, so I still have no news on a January date. Did, however, get my annual mammogram scheduled for later this month.  

My back gives me the most trouble when I want to lie down; still haven't figured out a transition method to get prone without serious shooting pain. At least once I'm parked (with support under my legs) it's okay. Definitely looking forward to the chiropractor tomorrow!
Did watch a hokey SciFi movie this afternoon (about Bigfoot) but didn't get much sewing done.  
Last night finished off the last of the mashers/gravy, and turkey off the carcass.  So this morning I am making turkey soup.  Dad loved to make soup, so of course I am especially thinking of him today!  He always did an incredibly artful job of carving the turkey... here we basically carve a few slices and then rip the rest apart! 

Somewhere I have a picture from years ago of Dad carving the turkey at Mink Hollow, with a small Alex sitting on the counter "supervising" - but despite going through the first dozen of Alex's albums I could not locate it. 

My back didn't make much progress over the weekend, so this morning I ended up having to cancel today's session at the gym.  I'm surprised at how disappointed I am - either I'm finally starting to look forward to exercising (doubtful) or (more likely!) I merely wish I didn't hurt and could go.

I know that I have been referencing pain a lot these past several months (my gluteal tendon, my thumb joint with no more cartilage, my foot's stress fracture, and now more from my long-time missing disk) and trust me, I'm tired of it also!   The truth is that I am never pain free, and do work hard at not complaining (of course that's much easier when pain levels are more manageable.)  

The good news is that between the chiropractor and the gym I had been seeing improvement. The bad news is I currently could use a little support and TLC but hear instead, "With you it's always something." AS IF somehow (?) I have chosen this...

Last night watched a Ron Howard documentary on the NatGeo channel called Breakthrough, about slowing down the aging process.  Basically, instead of targeting one disease which is a byproduct of aging, these researchers are working on slowing down the actual process of aging, thus impacting the onset of a multitude of diseases/conditions across the board!  It was fascinating!  So much so that I watched from 10 to 11, wide awake.

Then Tom had me help him with a paper on fire obsidian that he's writing for the British Gemological Association.  He took at least some of my suggestions, and today I will no doubt get to read the rest of the article (he was still writing madly when I went to bed) and put in another 2 cents worth! 

Now will start making phone calls, mostly to doc offices, to get ducks in a row.  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another good night's sleep (better living through chemistry...) since I took something when I woke at 2 am.... and slept until almost 9:00!  Expecting my "limo" in a few minutes, and will spend the (rest of the) day sewing at Colleen's.  She is so prolific, and actually finishes her zillions of projects each week - thus an excellent  role model!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today I slept in until 8:00 (after being up at 3:00 and taking something to go back to sleep.)  Colleen invited me over to sew; Tom loaded my machine into the car at this end, and Colleen unloaded it at hers. There were my usual snafus, and during the afternoon I made two (!) trips back here for additional supplies (good thing we only live 3 miles apart) but at least I made progress on some gifts.

Then we went out to dinner together (Tom and Ken, both geologists, had yet to meet) at "their" Mexican restaurant.  

Tomorrow Colleen will come get me (my car is still at her house since I don't drive after dark) and we will sew some more.  With a little luck I will make substantial progress on my gifts.  So far (and I hope The Universe does not take this as a 'challenge'!) my hand has been cooperating enough to let me get stuff done.  My back is still kvetching, but at least seems to be getting better... although at a slow pace.

Tired - guess it's time to crawl into bed and read.

Friday, November 27, 2015

We've been having a wonderful Thanksgiving!   We actually started celebrating Wednesday night, with Alex and Aja here for dinner.  Lisa also arrived late Wednesday night after visiting with friends, though long after I'd gone to bed, so I didn't actually see her until Thursday.

Thanksgiving morning I woke up at 4:30, but waited until 6:00 to start peeling/dicing potatoes for mashers (that was one big pot of mashers, though 'somehow' most of them got eaten) and then dicing up all the veggies for the 'tabouli'.  Once Tom appeared I let him drink his first cup of coffee before sending him over to the back house for the turkey.  It had been thawing in the refrigerator there since Friday.... but apparently 6 days wasn't long enough! So instead of going right into the oven it spent some time thawing in the sink in hot water for a bit.  

Always a crisis when Bobbi's cooking....

Lisa was a big help, and not just by making up the cheese plate and cutting up everything for the salad; she gave me a(nother) tutorial on my mini iPad.  I hope now to be able to listen to podcasts while I'm on the elliptical or steps at the gym.

We ended up being 11 people (Zach did join us), 2 dogs, and LOTS of yummy food; it was a great day with family and good friends. 
SO MUCH to be thankful for! 

Because the turkey didn't go into the oven until almost 10:00 we ended up eating later than planned. Unfortunately that meant that Lisa and Chas basically had to head straight from our table to his family's feast. I was so stuffed that I couldn't even eat any of the yummy desserts Patti had baked until several hours later.

I would have loved to take a picture of Lisa, Alex, Chas and Aja, but didn't want to 'spoil the mood'. (For kids who are always taking pix with their phones, it seems rather strange that they hate it when I take their picture.)  

So I just sat back and listened to the 5 of them talking and laughing at the Kids Table.  Did take this one pic in the morning, when Lisa was snuggling under my scrap quilt, which she really seems to like.  Still, she can't have my quilt!

When folks were getting ready to leave last night, 
Alex picked up my camera and snapped some pix.

Patti and Gary, packing up:

Their son Zach:

Alex zoomed in to take this one of me

and here's a selfie Aja took

This morning I picked up Lisa in Scottsdale and we did leftovers for lunch.

Afterward she and Tom looked at some of the pix on her phone.  

She got a lot of good ones on Thanksgiving, 
which she has promised to send me...

Here's MY first selfie - and since with my old-fashioned camera there's no way to tell what's in the frame I'm impressed that I actually got both of us in the shot!

When Alex and Aja got back from Black Friday shopping (they swore it wasn't at all crowded) they also enjoyed the leftovers.  I did talk the kids into letting me take a group photo (yes there was grumbling.)

While Lisa was sitting on the table with her head turned and her hair waved it reminded me of a pin-up photo from the 40s.  Unfortunately she moved when I got up to grab the camera so I didn't get that shot, just this one.

  After Chas arrived to pick up Lisa they let me snap one of them (where apparently it was somewhat of a miracle that he hadn't blinked just at the moment I snapped it.)

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, with family and friends. 
I know I did!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I got the bathroom whipped into shape this morning, and (while pretty much any attention could only have improved things) I feel confident that it's in good enough shape for just about anyone, notwithstanding a visit from Queen Elizabeth or Martha Stewart.

And speaking of Martha - in case anyone needs reminding that she doesn't live here, let me share one of this morning's kitchen adventures with you.  

First on my food prep list was to make Mom's cranberry jello stuff once Tom retrieved the blender from the back house (where he'd taken it a while back to make Margaritas for the guys.)  Of course he'd 'hidden' the cranberries when he put away the groceries for me on Monday, but once they'd been found I got to work.  After I'd finished blending the ingredients I poured the goop up to the brim of a pretty crystal bowl and found a quiet spot in the frig where (I hope!) nobody will disturb it until it gels. 

After taking apart and washing all the pieces of the blender, my eyes noticed the bag of (unopened) pecans on the counter.  Yes they should have gone in for a few flicks once everything else was well blended, so I rescued the bowl from the frig, put the newly cleaned blender back together, dumped in the contents of the bowl AND the required pecans, etc. etc. etc.

Instead of bulghur wheat tabouli I am making one of the side dishes with gluten free quinoa this year.  No idea how that will turn out, but will report back on that Friday!  The cooked quinoa is resting for a bit, so I'm taking the same opportunity.  I may wait until tomorrow morning during the parade to dice up and add the cilantro, cukes, and tomatoes (making sure I put some aside first without the dreaded tomatoes for Lisa.)

So it's looking like once I devil the eggs and make that last quick trip to the grocery store I could be in really good shape for tomorrow.  

Although it would have been nice to start off the day soaking in a nice toasty hot tub, the good news is that I am feeling (marginally) better than when I went to sleep last night, and with a little luck some of that will 'just' be morning stiffness and I'll feel even better throughout the day as that wears off.  It's still too early to actually get stuff done in the kitchen (while Tom still asleep) so once I post this I guess I'll relax on the heating pad and read.  It's a tough job, but hey - someone's gotta do it!

Last night Tom and Gary put a new motor in Tom's old grinder (the 30+YO one he replaced with the pricey 'cadillac' version) so now he'll be able to use one of its attachments for something else. (Yes of course he told me what when he came in last night - but it was my bedtime so hopefully I can be forgiven for forgetting what?) Once he buys that specialty machine (in Quartzsite this winter?) he plans to sell the refurbished 'good-as-new' one.

And in other news....

Not only did Alex's flight leave JFK airport a minute early this morning,
it is expected to land half an hour early!  

Who'd have thunk anything involving travel would be on time today, much less early?  Of course that would be nice for everyone involved, but we'll just have to wait and see if it actually happens!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I started off at the chiropractor this morning with two gentle adjustments, during each of which I heard/felt multiple vertebrae "crack" apart. Obviously I really jammed everything when I fell Sunday, so am feeling very lucky that I didn't actually break anything!  After some additional checks and adjustments I was attached to the 'tingler' pads (I'm sure it has a real name) which is similar to my TENS unit.  It sure felt good to be stretched out and on heat, and the tingle treatment worked so well that even after I was freed from the sticky pads I still felt the tingles (apparently a very good sign, meaning it got deep into the tissue) for at least another 15 (!) minutes.

Around lunchtime I had my x-rays, cleaning and check-up at the dentist, and everything is fine so I'm good to go for another 6 months in that department.  Mazel Tov to Dr. Ernie, who is getting married this weekend.

In dribs and drabs today I've cleared everything off my quilting table (to provide additional seating on Thursday), dusted off the TV (so the guys can actually see the football games), and also cleaned the stove (which was embarrassingly dirty.)  Of course I made sure to rest frequently, with the ice pack.

Yesterday the hot tub repairman called to apologize, saying he could not get to us today after all (and rescheduled us for next Tuesday) but when I got home from the dentist this afternoon there was a message to call him back. He'd actually swung by here while I was gone, but Tom hadn't heard the doorbell because he was in the shower.  The good news was that Richard was actually going to make it today after all; the bad news is that he never actually did.  He did call back this evening to apologize, and we are back on for next Tuesday.

This afternoon Tom had an appointment with his gastroenterologist, who is retiring the end of next month.  The good news is that Tom's viral load has dropped by 50% this past year; the bad news is that the newest/latest drug regimen to effect an actual cure (95% effective!) is still outrageously expensive, and as a Tier 5 drug only minimally covered by insurance.

After dinner I boiled up a big pot of eggs - tomorrow I will do a lot of my food prep, including deviling those eggs. While they were cooking away I mopped the kitchen floor, which needed it quite badly.  Virtually all of the housework has been in limbo for quite a while, at first while I waited for my cortisone shot appointment which I expected would stop my hand pain; that housework hiatus continued after the shot didn't work.  Of course with company coming on Thursday I have been motivated to do at least the most important areas.

Now it's time to change into jammies and crawl into bed to read.
Tomorrow I have lots to do!

I got a very good night's sleep (better living through chemistry, thank you very much) and am thrilled to report that this morning I'm moving/standing better than yesterday, with less pain.  This is me today, at least in my mind: 

In just a few of minutes I will be heading off to the chiropractor, after which I hope to see even more improvement.  There's LOTS to do between now and Thursday, so I really, really, really need to be able to get started on it!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The chiropractor could not squeeze me in today (Stephanie said he was slammed and would be working through lunch) but I do have an appointment for first thing tomorrow morning.  

Then I called the insurance folks, bur after I kept getting the recording I just decided to drive on over.  Of course "Debora without an H" remembered me from last Monday, and was surprised to hear of the "cancellation" of Alex's BMW.  Long story short: I sat in her office for an hour and listened to her on the phone with the powers that be, trying to straighten things out.  I had told her I wasn't leaving until I had an actual piece of paper with his next 6-months proof-of-insurance, but finally decided to head over to WinCo and get Thursday's grocery shopping done and come back for the paperwork later.  Since that's a huge store and I don't know where anything is it took longer than it should have (I criss-crossed the store several times), but while I was shopping Debora called to say she had gotten everything done.

On my way home with the groceries Stephanie called my cell, wanting to know how long it would take me to get to the chiropractor since they'd had cancellation.  Of course I had to swing by the house first and at least put away the refrigerated stuff (which I'd prudently bagged into 2 separate bags "just in case" my back wouldn't let me drag all the groceries in) but the chiropractor is still a 30 minute drive from the house, and the appointment was in 10 minutes, so sadly I could not take advantage of the opportunity.

After I got the groceries unloaded it was noonish, so I called Debora to make sure she wasn't going to be closing up the office to go eat (she'd been the only one there this morning,) Since she was planning to head out to grab a bite, she offered to deliver the papers to me at the house.  Although I protested that it wasn't necessary, and wasn't her job - I'd just check back later -she kept insisting.  So I finally gave in.

Much of my afternoon was spent on the heating pad, reading.  I am able to get up/down with fewer grimaces and sound effects, and am walking considerably less bent over than yesterday, but will definitely be glad to get a real tune-up tomorrow morning.

I also got two nice surprises this afternoon (I have wonderful friends!) 

Butch had let me know she'd mailed me "a little something" for all my help (which honestly consisted of just sending an e-mail to another quilter to locate a pattern for her!) and it arrived from Tennessee this afternoon: a happy penguin card, and an adorable penguin mug rug! (It really is square - angle of pic makes it look wonky!)

Then Perri called to see if I was "receiving" - she wanted to stop by and deliver the children's book she'd picked up for me in Italy. 

While she was here she got to see some of Tom's latest fire obsidian stones, and was properly impressed with them... and now she wants one!  (Artist that she is, across a multitude of media, I'd LOVE to see what she'd do with one!)

After she left it was dinner time, and Tom asked if I'd thought to pick up anything at the store for dinner tonight.  

I had my lengthy list, and I never even thought about tonight's dinner....just wanted to get out of there and come home and lie down. So Tom headed out to pick up sandwiches at Subway. That was when Colleen called with the news that she'd been rear-ended (at about 60 mph) this afternoon while she was stopped.  

Of course she had 2 of the grandkids (3 and 5) in the back of the van, who both started screaming.  No one seems hurt (of course whiplash could always show up later) but her van had to be towed.  (Maybe she'll get a new vehicle out of all the aggravation and fright?)  No surprise that Colleen is still quite shaken up - I remember how I felt a year ago when it happened to me!