Monday, February 28, 2011

So, anyway...

I had a pretty darn good birthday.  Erma and Ambrose got me a Nook, which I've been playing with all morning.   Along with the Nook they also got me a cover for it, a 20 dollar gift card, and while they were here, Erma ordered me the light that goes with it, so I can read at night.

There are tons of free books, so I've been having a lot of fun finding things to read.  I've downloaded everything from the Holy Bible to books about Lincoln to a book called, "How to Marry A Millionaire Vampire".  Of course I spent the 20 dollars on the gift card almost immediately.   I ordered "American Brutus", which is a book about John Wilkes Booth, and "American Wife", which Erma recommended to me.

Jethro and Macrame got me a bunch of bath towels.  I'd asked for them, needed them, and wanted them, so getting towels, while not romantic, is something I liked receiving.

I think I already said that Lampshade and his wife, Brittany, got me headphones.

Oh!  Erma and Ambrose also got me a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake, which was delicious.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want

Mr. Clean and I are on diets.  He's probably a bit more serious than I am about this (let me just hide the wrapper from this ice cream bar I just ate, ahem), since he wants to join the Navy.  He needs to lose some inches and a few pounds before he can enlist.  So, Saige and I have been reading up on various diets.  Mr. Clean's grandmother gave him a South Beach Diet book.  Our friend, Mary, gave Clean the diet she's on, along with a grocery list.

The problem is that Mr. Clean does not like vegetables.  He only likes a few fruits.  He's never tried a lot of the foods that weight-loss diets, and our bodies, depend upon.  He's been living the old quick fix, frozen pizza diet for many years, and that's just not healthy, nor is it conducive to losing weight.

I suggested that he doesn't diet drastically, but that he tries something new once or twice a  week.  So last night I made lentil soup and homemade wheat bread.  I explained to Clean that lentil soup can look absolutely disgusting.  The colors of lentils, when cooked, aren't all that attractive.  But, Saige and I assured him, the taste is wonderful.

I made it with onions, carrots, and potatoes, and I threw in a very small amount of diced ham for flavoring.  I suggested that Mr. Clean mash up the carrots and stir them into his bowl of soup, if he thought he might not like them.  (He's just learned to eat onions, and he loves potatoes).  I told him everything I used to make the lentil soup, so he'd have no surprises.  When the soup was done, Mr. Clean put a very small amount on his plate, took a bite, and exclaimed, "Oh, my gosh, this is absolutely delicious!!"

I love it when people like my cooking.

He ate about half a loaf of the bread and several helpings of the lentil soup.  The bread I make is made without oil, milk, or eggs, so it's relatively low fat, I imagine.  With the addition of wheat flour, I imagined it was pretty healthy.  Whatever the nutritional content, it was so good.  I love homemade bread anyway, and though it's time consuming, the taste is worth the wait, I think.

So, for my lentil soup, I just took a box of chicken broth I had in the cupboard (from free range, organic chickens, on sale for 99 cents, whoo hoo!), and heated it.  As it was coming to a boil, I was chopping some onions, peeling potatoes, and getting the already cleaned and peeled baby carrots from the refrigerator.  I added all those things to the boiling broth, and then added a bag of lentils.  To that I tossed in some oregano and basil, and then some of that Old Bay.  I usually add curry powder to my lentils, but alas, I was out of that, so I had to make do with what I did have.

The bread was rising while I was cooking the lentil soup, and so once the soup was done and was simmering, it was time to bake the bread so that everything was done at the same time.

Saige wants me to make some vegetable soup today, with the addition of cabbage (which she absolutely loves), but she's still unable to swallow well, so I'm not sure she could enjoy a soup like that, poor kid.  My mom made the best vegetable soup, and though I have her recipe, mine is never quite as good as Mom's was.  I think, because she had a lot of homegrown tomatoes and home canned fresh tomatoes, that those items make a huge difference in taste and make the soup better than without those items.  However, even when I've had her home canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, my soup isn't her soup.  Mine is good, but, according to my children, Grandma's was legendary.  It was the bomb.  It was better than good.

Ah well.

I try.

Erma and Ambrose will be coming over shortly to give me my birthday present.  Lampshade and his wife already gave me my gift from them, which was a pair of headphones.  It was actually kind of funny when he gave me the headphones, because I'd just bought a pair just like the ones he gave me!  Of course I thanked him nicely, and it worked out well, since Nocka attacked the first pair of headphones and broke them.  (She attacks ribbons, headphone wires, string and yarn.)

Saige and Clean wanted so badly to get me an Ipod Touch, but they can't afford it for me.  I keep telling Saige that is really is all right--just the fact that she wanted to get me one is amazing and good enough for me. I don't think she believes me, but that's the truth.  She wants to get me one, and I find that so sweet.

Teo is still alive.  He's beside me right now, eating a can of cat food.  I have to keep stopping to knock the other cats away, as they think they deserve canned food, too.  All of them but Nocka.  Nocka hates canned food.  She's so funny about that, and is the only cat I've ever known that doesn't like canned cat food.  However, she does like french fries, popcorn, and bread.  Weird cat.  When we make popcorn in the microwave, she'll come racing into the kitchen and will sit and wait until the popcorn bag is out.  Then she will sit smack down beside whoever has the popcorn bag, and will eat whatever we give her.  If we are stupid enough to leave the bag without someone to watch over it, Nocka will stick her head into the bag in order to get out all the yummy popcorn goodness, or she'll take her paw to flick out pieces on her own.  We've learned.  When we have popcorn, take the bag with us everywhere, or have someone watch it closely whenever Nocka is around.

BDG is on the floor, right beside the couch, waiting for Teo to either drop some cat food or for me to turn my head.  BDG, unlike Nocka, LOVES canned cat food. He thinks it's his, and can't understand why these bothersome cats keep getting this yummy food, and he's stuck eating out of the garbage can or munching on that nasty kibble I keep buying him.  In fact, I just had to take the empty catfood can away from him.  He'd licked it clean, and was guarding it.  Any time a cat or Fuzz Dawg would walk past his can, BDG would growl menacingly, warning the others to stay away from HIS empty can, dang it.

Well, that's it for now.  Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel? Mysteries.

Ah, Mr. Rogers.  There was a lyricist.

I absolutely love the show, "Who Do You Think You Are?"  I love learning more about my heritage and ancestry, and genetics has always fascinated me.   I realize the show is really a great advertisement for the website, but I also like watching how the stars chosen for the episodes find out about who they are, and who they were.  All families have mysteries, and it's neat seeing mysteries solved.  For example, in our family, in one census a young woman is the maid of the house, working for one of my great-great grandfathers.  In the next census, 10 years later, this young woman is now married to my great-great grandfather, and they have a child together.  Hmmm....  What happened there?  Hmmm....  I don't know if the wife died or if there was hanky panky going on and she took off.  The census is great, but it only has some information.  It doesn't go into a lot of details.  My cousin, K, does a lot of genealogy, too, and she found a copy of a Bible page that has my great grandfather's birth and baptism in it.  What's interesting to me is that there was a sister, too, named Cora, who would have been older than my great grandpa.  She must have died, but my mother didn't know about Cora, and said that great grandpa never mentioned having a sister.


We are direct descendants of Jonathan Boone, who was a brother of Daniel Boone.  At one time, Jonathan Boone was willed 3 slaves by his first wife's father.  I have always wondered what happened to those slaves. Mysteries.  Jonathan moved around a lot, was married 3 times, at least, and had one legitimate daughter, Dinah, who married a man named Zachariah Boone Allen.  Zachariah fought in the Indian Wars and in the Revolutionary War, and though there is proof of that, poor Dinah was turned down for his War Pension.  Some of Zachariah and Dinah's progeny were amazing shots and hunters.  I can say that I did not inherit the good shot gene, as I cannot hit the broad side of a barn, but knowing that my ancestors were well known for their shooting abilities fascinates me.

At one time I started to write a lot of this out, knowing that one of my nephews and one of my deceased cousin's sons felt disconnected from the family, and I thought knowing more about where they came from might be comforting, but then my computer went down, and I got this autoimmune disorder going on, and I never finished it.  I have a notebook filled with information, and I have a lot of stuff saved on Evernote.  If any one of my siblings or nieces/nephews, whoever, wanted to know anything, feel free to ask.   I might not know the answers, but I might be able to find out what you need to know.

The one thing I can't find is a copy of the marriage certificate of my mom's mother and her first husband, my mom and aunt's father.  And I can't find a death certificate for my mother's grandmother's dad, who died young.  Part of the problem is that I'm not sure of his name. It might be Joel, and it might be Willis. Or both. And his last name is spelled different ways.  Sometimes it's Clark.  Sometimes it's Clarke.  For all I know his name was really Patrick Wannamaker.


In more recent news, Saige is still recovering, but her throat pain is still really bad.  The other day she was so hungry she thought perhaps she could eat some chicken nuggets, if she pulled off the outside breading and ate slowly.  Well, one little piece of chicken got caught in the hole left by the tonsil removal, and poor Saige was panicked and in pain, as she worked to get that piece out.  Poor kid!  It gets tiresome eating soup and popsicles.  She can eat mashed potatoes, so that's good, but she does get tired of them, too.  We've tried Mac and Cheese, and even that is hard to swallow for her. And of course, she's hungry for real food!

Our cat, Teo, is still alive.  He eats well, and if you just look at his bright eyes, you'd be hard-pressed to understand how sick he really is.  Teo wants to get up and move around, and he can barely put any weight on his legs.  We're still putting hot packs and medications on his legs, and here Saige is washing him off with some hot water and antibacterial soap.  She also cut a lot of the fur away from the sores he has, and from his bottom.  Poor Teo has a hard time using a litter box, and Saige wanted to make sure that he stayed as clean as possible in case he couldn't get to the box or we didn't help him there in time.  (He is in too much pain to use it most of the time.)

Yesterday we'd all left for awhile, and Teo was on a blanket in front of the heater.  When we got home an hour or two later, Teo was up on the couch.  We don't know if he did it himself, or if, perhaps, BDG picked Teo up in his mouth and moved him.  BDG has been known to tote kittens around, so it is possible.  We simply don't know.


Macrame got some paint a few weeks ago, to use to paint our stairs.  Someone put it on a bench in the dining room, but the lid wasn't secure.  I moved the bench in order to sweep, and I didn't see the paint can until it fell, hit the floor, and paint went everywhere.

It's not hard to clean it up, but it is a lot for me to deal with.  

Especially because people walked through the wet paint.  (We'd covered the spill, but somehow, the paint seemed to be everywhere)

Including here:

BDG was in the living room when the paint spilled, so how he got some on the top of his head and neck, we will never know.  


Luckily, the paint comes up with a little bit of cleaner and some elbow grease, so it won't be too hard to clean.  It's just that I'm so tired of things like that happening to me.  

The day before yesterday, we had a winter storm advisory, and in the morning, there were several inches of wet snow on the ground.  The wind blew so hard that the snow was slammed into the sides of trees and buildings, too, as it fell.  

Hopefully, though, the snowstorms are about done, and spring will come soon.  In the last blizzard, around the first of the month, Saige and I saw a robin, and I felt so sorry for her.  We'd had some springlike weather, which confused some of the animals and plants, and then we were hit with a late winter snowstorm.  I haven't seen any robins since then, though I have seen a decapitated bird head on my front porch. (Thanks, Kitty Dos)

My birthday is tomorrow.  

I have one card that came in, from my sister, Emmy.  Thanks, sweetness!  I know there are others coming in, but it kind of stinks to have my birthday on a Sunday this year.

Erma is home.  She got in very, very late last night.  She and her husband, Ambrose, stopped by a little after midnight, and I was so glad to see her.  I have missed her like crazy, and though the circumstances that led to her discharge are bad,  I am glad she's back. I know Ambrose is happy, too!   She looks good, though she is limping, thanks to the fractures the Army failed to find when they happened.

So, yesterday, my Zune stopped working.  I'd been using it in the morning, and then somehow, it broke.  Gave up the ghost.  Went completely black and would not turn on.  The computer didn't recognize it.  The Zune, my friend, was dead.  I looked in my red file box that contains everything important, from car titles to Social Security paperwork to warranties.  I found the little folder that held the Zune information for Best Buy, but the receipt was not there.  I called Best Buy, and they had all the information available, so later in the day, I took the dead Zune up there.  Well, they looked things up and checked out the dead Zune, and then, Tim, the Geek Squad guy that was helping me, said, "I have good news and bad news."  Basically, my Zune was irreparable, but since I had the warranty on it, I could swap it out, then and there.  Unfortunately, there were no 16gig HD Zunes available, only the 32gig.  For 30 dollars more.  So, I could either swap it out for a bigger, better Zune and pay the 30 dollar difference, or I could wait, who knows how long, for a replacement Zune.

I called Ambrose, and he loaned me the 30 bucks so I could get my new Zune.

You see, I depend on the Zune.  The music helps when I'm in pain.  The shows and movies and podcasts I listen to and watch help take me away from all, well, this.  

My old Zune, Zuney, is now gone.  The new Zune, Zuney, is now here.  The Zune is dead, long live the Zune!

Sometimes I misplace the Zune, and I'll walk around, sadly, calling out, "Zuney!  Zuney where are you?  Zuney!"  Mr. Clean will bust up laughing.  I like to pretend the Zune is real, so when I find it, I will say stuff like, "There you are!  Why were you hiding from me??"  (Hey, I have no life, and I love to make people laugh.  So I will play this whole thing up as long as it lasts.)

The new Zune is now being charged.  I put quite a few of my songs on it yesterday, but it's going to take awhile to get them all transfered over. 

I don't care, though.  I have my music, and I am happy with that.

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And in other exciting news...

Or not, depending on whether or not you have no life, like me, and the littlest things excite you.

Oh, man, I have no life.

No, seriously.  The other day, I received a disk in from Netflix.  This was not a huge surprise, since I'm a member of Netflix and I get disks in the mail from them all the time. (want to save money on your cable bill?  Get the cheapest and fastest internet you can find.  We use Virgin Mobile to go, which isn't great, and it's not that fast, but it costs me 40 dollars a month for unlimited service.  It goes down quite a bit, it's slower than cable, but it's cheaper, too, and you get what you paid for. Then get a subscription to Netflix.  Any will do, one disk out at a time, or three, because you want to be able to view the movies online, and get the disks in, too, for those days when the internet isn't working at all-- and then get a monthly subscription to Hulu.  Or, drop Netflix and just use Hulu, which is 7.99 a month.  Yes, there are disadvantages.  Yes, you can probably find stuff with no commercials or illegal stuff around the internet that's much cheaper or free, but I'm talking of legal things to do here to fill your television cravings.  My cable bill, with internet and television used to run me around 150 or more a month, depending on whether or not a teenaged son o' mine rented porn.  Now I pay around 60 bucks, and I still have the internet, and all the television shows my little heart desires. Hulu is wonderful, and you can watch shows for free, without the monthly cost, but for the small amount, you can get all the new shows, and you can also put those shows on your Ipods or Iphones, etc.  Not on the Zune, like I own, but there are ways around that.)

(Which is another story for another time.)

Anyway, where was I???

You see, this is why I lose things like, oh my debit card.

I start doing one thing, like putting my debit card into my wallet, and I end up obsessed with hulu dot com, and then, forget where I actually put the debit card.

(That was a true story, by the way.  I really need to find that card!)

Where was I?  Oh!  The disk.

I got in the first Barry Manilow television specials disk, from his shows that he performed in the late 1970's.  You see, I remember the first time I heard a Manilow song.  I'd received a little transistor radio for Christmas one year, and late at night, I'd listen to music on that one little ear phone.  One night, I turned the little dial and randomly landed on a radio station that was playing his song, Mandy.  In my head, I pictured this dark haired dude with a bushy beard and long hair singing this song (It was the 70's!  That says it all if you were there), and was rather surprised when I saw how Mr. Manilow looked in real life, because he's tall and blond, and clean shaven.  But the song amazed me.  It was simple, yet powerful, with its swelling choruses and key changes and the lyrics...oh, the lyrics...

I remember all my life 
Raining down as cold as ice 
A shadow of a man 
A face through a window 
Crying in the night 
The night goes into 

Morning, just another day 
Happy people pass my way 
Looking in their eyes 
I see a memory 
I never realized 
you made me so happy, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
I need you today, oh Mandy 

I'm standing on the edge of time 
I Walked away when love was mine 
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing 
The tears are in my mind 
And nothing is rhyming, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
And I need you today, oh Mandy 

Yesterday's a dream I face the morning 
Crying on the breeze 
the pain is calling, oh Mandy 

Well you came and you gave without taking 
but I sent you away, oh Mandy 
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking 
And I need you today, oh Mandy 

Well, they appealed to this 12 year old girl, and they appeal to bajillions and trillions of other women, all over the world.

Anyway, I was watching this disk, and ignoring the laughter and teasing from Mr. Clean and Saige, and it brought back memories for me. I remembered this show.  I remembered watching it with Mom, in our living room, and then I remembered that she and I watched several musical special like this, including some by John Denver (whom she liked a lot), the Barry Manilow specials, as well as one by Mac Davis, starring Miss Piggy from the Muppets.  (I'm pretty sure it was Mac Davis, and it was a Christmas Special, too, because Miss Piggy sang the line, "Five golden RINGS!" with gusto on the Partridge in a Pear Tree song.  Although now, after looking it up online, I think that it was a John Denver Xmas special that had Miss Piggy singing, but, no matter.)

What is important is remembering how Mom laughed and enjoyed so many of these specials.  She could not carry a tune, people.  Not a bit.  Remember the saying, "He can't carry a tune in a bucket?"  Yeah, well, Mom didn't even have a bucket.  You know the saying that claims white people have no rhythm?  Someone came up with that after seeing mom trying to clap along to a song or chorus.  Bless her heart, she loved music so much, and she could hear when a note was wrong, and in her head she could sing, but there was a breakdown between head and mouth that was so sad in so many ways.  I used to try to teach her how to sing, because I had a theory if she would just bring up some of that air from her diaphragm and actually TRY, she'd be able to sing, but though she'd gamely go along with me, we'd always end up in giggles, and Mom still couldn't sing on key.

Apparently when she was very small, attending a one room school in the town she lived in with her grandparents, the children were going to sing a little concert or show.  The teacher told my mom to stop singing and just mouth the words because her voice was so bad, and I honestly believed, and still do, that those words put some kind of mental block in my mom's brain.  Some people can sing loudly, and be completely off key, but mom's voice was different than that.  She would sing quietly and breathily, as if she were ashamed, if she were in church or letting me "help" her.  But I can also remember her singing lullabies to my brothers and sisters when they were infants, rocking them, touching their hair, and singing with so much love that the shame was erased.

So, I watched the disk, relieved some memories, cracked up at the styles worn back then, listened to some of the songs, and then sent the disk back.

I was in a great mood, but that's been switched off by some crap going on around here--that's been going on since yesterday morning.   Now I'm too furious and upset to write any more.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Teo Update

He was in the basement after all!  Saige and I had both searched down there, and called him, to no avail.  I figured that he probably found some corner to die in.  However, I just went to get Saige some ice water, and I heard Teo yowling.  I figured out he was in the basement, and I found him, hiding behind part of an old cage.  He fought me, a bit, as I carried him upstairs, but we made it.  (It hurts him to be carried, but he was desperate to get upstairs, where he belongs!)

I am so glad.  He might die, still, but hopefully, I can keep him in the room from now on.

Well, now, that's just odd...

The cat I wrote about yesterday, Teo?  He's gone.  He's not dead, at least, he might not be dead, but he's gone. He'd been on my bed, which was protected by towels.  Last night he ate merrily and even drank some water.  At 3:41, I woke up and saw that Teo was under the covers with me.  Then at 7am, he was gone.

He probably crawled off somewhere to die, I imagine, but we cannot find him anywhere.  And if he is off trying to die, we need to find him!  Dead mouse is disgusting, so I can imagine what a dead cat would smell like!  He couldn't walk very well at all, so where he could have gone is a mystery to all of us.  We've looked under the bed, in boxes, under the couch, and even in the scary basement, and we cannot find him.  He couldn't have gone outside.

He's just gone.


I loved that stupid cat.

And he loved boxes of thread.

Speaking of cats, yesterday Jethro's cat, Nocka, became obsessed with the ribbons that are holding Saige's balloons.  She kept biting them, attacking them, chewing on them, and generally being a general nuisance around them, until this happened...
I'm sure her goal was simply to free the balloon, because once that balloon was away from the pack of balloons, Nocka lost interest in them.

Mr. Clean managed to recapture the escaped balloon and put it back in its rightful place.

In other weird news, which has nothing to do with cats, 148 years ago today, Willie Lincoln died in the White House.  

So many Lincoln children died when a quick shot of an antibiotic, or a round of pills, along with some Pedialyte, would have saved them. Heck, so many children of so many families died when now, in the United States, there wouldn't be a problem at all, and death would be a stranger.  I'm grateful we don't have cholera or typhoid epidemics, the way we used to, many years ago, though, and I'm grateful that scarlet fever almost never kills children nowadays.

(I realize some places, like Haiti, still suffer from cholera epidemics.  I am very grateful I live here, though, I must say, Germany was wonderful, too.)

Dang it!  Where did I put my cup of coffee??

Huh.  I don't remember putting it there.  Weird.

Anyway, as you can see, I have nothing really to write about today.  I keep stopping, too, to look for Teo, with no luck.  Sad, sad, sad.  

Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Recovery and Recuperation

My mom has been gone for two years now.  Two years, today.  It's not any easier today than it was two years ago.  I envy those who can move on with their lives, but it also hurts a bit, because I don't want my mom to be forgotten.  She was special, and I miss her so much, each and every day.

There is no way for me to recover from her loss.  All I can do is just go on the best way I know how.

But you know what I miss the most? I miss it when I got her laughing so hard that her hand would fly in front of her mouth, in an effort to stop the giggles.  Mom had a different sense of humor, but sometimes I could hit her funny bone just right, and she'd start to break into peals of laughter.  Then I'd start laughing, and she'd laugh harder, and before you knew it, we'd both be gasping for breath.  I miss her support, of course, too, and how she cared enough to remember things like doctor's appointments or job interviews, and how she'd send cards to let us know she was thinking about us or hoped we'd get well soon.  A couple of times she even came back to town, to go with us to a doctor's appointment, in case the diagnosis was something horrible.  But right now, I miss her laugh most of all.

I hope she's laughing like crazy, up in heaven.

Let me just state for the record that it's much easier to recover from a tonsillectomy than the death of a beloved mom or grandmother.  We put a mattress in the living room so that I could stay with Saige and be close by, but after two nights on it, I was done.  She made up the bed for herself last night.

Ha!!  I love that picture.  BDG thinks he's a human, by the way.

Mr. Clean went out and bought Saige some balloons, which she loves very much.

She even felt well enough to mess around and be silly the day after surgery.

Please ignore the toilet paper on the couch.  Thank you.

That little stuffed horse, since named, Squirrel, was from Ambrose and Erma.  Erma told him to buy Saige flowers, but Ambrose thought it would be weird to buy flowers that up and die, so instead he chose a stuffed animal.  Saige loves little Squirrel the horse, so it's all good.

I don't really have a lot to write about.  Most of my time has been taken up with getting Saige popsicles or Italian ices, or of helping her to the bathroom.  I'm also taking care of our black cat, Teo, who was found under a car the night of the big snowstorm.  The kids brought him inside, and we noticed he had been bitten on his ear.  Well, I started to clean out the wound and put triple antibiotic ointment on it.  A few days later, one of his legs was swollen, and so I thought, "Huh."  It was infected, too.  Then two more of his legs became swollen.  For several days I thought he'd die at any moment, but last night and this morning when I fed him, he worked to get on his feet for his food.  I'm using hot packs, or warm wash clothes dipped in antibiotic soap and epsom salts to try to draw out the infection, and then I cover the wound areas with the antibiotic ointment.  Yes, I should probably take him to the vet, but there is my lack of money to consider, as well as the fact that he was so bad that I'm sure they would have wanted to put him to sleep.  

You might remember that Binnie Boo went to live with Ambrose and his grandparents, because Fuzz Dawg was beating up on her constantly.  Ambrose brings Binnie here to visit occasionally, and each time we have to put Fuzz Dawg up, or else she'll attack.  She does NOT like Binnie, apparently.  Anyway, Binnie has had a bad tooth pulled, so her nasty breath is much improved, and she's happy in her new home.  She is extremely close to Ambrose, and won't go outside to go potty unless he comes with her, the silly dog.  She has a good home and isn't being beat up on all the time.  I miss her, too, but I am glad to be down to 2 dogs, let me tell you!

So, that's it, I think.  Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Now and Then

A few days after my 9th birthday, the powers that be decided I should have my tonsils removed.  Back then, in the "back then" times, as I like to say redundantly, kids had their tonsils removed as a sort of rite of passage.  "TONSILS?  Who needs 'em?", was the motto of the American Medical Association.

I may or may not have made that motto up.

Now they don't regularly remove tonsils.  Somewhere along the line in the past 40 years, the powers that be decided that tonsils might do something important in the body, and that taking them out as a matter of course might not be a wonderful idea.

Which brings me to yesterday.

Saige, Mr. Clean, and I showed up at the hospital at 6:55am to sign in to registration, for her tonsillectomy.   She's had strep throat so many times that her tonsils were huge and lobulated, with scar tissue and grossness galore.  Her doctor looked in her throat and said, and I quote, "EWWWW!!!!"  The ENT took one look and said, "These should come out.  How about next week?"

When I was little, you stayed about 3 days in the hospital for a tonsillectomy.  You went in the afternoon before the surgery, the next morning you had the surgery, and then you spend another day there to make sure you were all right.  Now they rip 'em out and send the patients home, as soon as the patient can eat some ice chips and speak.

Well, maybe it's not that soon after surgery, but the patient is only in the hospital for a few hours.

The one thing that is the same from then to now is the pain you have after a tonsillectomy.  Your throat hurts.  I remember how excited I was to get all the ice cream I wanted, and after one taste, it was yucky and too thick and I couldn't swallow it.  I was bitterly, bitterly, disappointed.  I told Saige that the things that felt best and tasted best to me were plain ice chips and jello.  (Mom made me blackberry jello, which was delicious, and I don't think they make that flavor anymore)

Right after surgery, Saige's blood pressure dropped dangerously low, and she developed a horrible itchy rash from the morphine they gave her.  Hmmm...  I get hives and rashes from IV morphine.  Maybe it's a genetic problem?   They kept me away from her while she was in recovery.  I knew her surgery was done, so I couldn't figure out what happened.  When Lamp and Erma had their various surgical procedures, both kids asked for me immediately after they woke up.  Saige, on the other hand, figured, "Eh, why bother her?"

Anyway, of course I took photos.  Back in the back then times, it seems that most parents didn't take pictures the way a lot of us do now.  Oh, our parents took the mandatory Christmas pictures, with the kids in their jammies by the tree, or the obligatory Easter pictures, with all the kids in matching church outfits lined up in the back yard, but I like to document just about everything.  (The pictures our parents took assume a Christian upbringing.  I assume most people of Jewish or some other faith don't line up their kids for an Easter shot.)

Back then there was  no internet, either, and so there were no You Tube videos showing various tonsillectomies.  We had to sit and watch several of those the day before Saige's surgery.

Fun family times!

Here's Saige pre-surgery, cuddling Donkey, who was a gift from her Daddy right before he passed away.  Donkey has been with Saige through thick and thin, and even though he's dirty and stitched up in places, and needs saran wrap on one leg to keep his stuffing in, he means a lot to Saige.  In fact, when my mom was facing chemo and surgeries, Saige insisted on getting her a special teddy bear to cuddle.  Mom named hers "Hey Yew", because the chemo meds were made from the yew plant.  

Here's Saige right before she was taken back to the operating room.  She has her lovely hat on, and her IV is in her hand.

This was the lovely view from the hospital room.  To be fair, they are building on an annex to the hospital, but that view we had was certainly ugly and uninspiring.

Finally out of recovery, Saige is writing about how low her blood pressure dropped to Mr. Clean.  Her throat hurt too much for her to talk at that point.
Awww!!  Doesn't this just make you want to hug her??  Kids coming out of anesthesia are so pathetic, and as I said, Saige didn't feel very well at all.

I don't remember coming out of recovery, but I do remember how scared I was that my Mommy and Daddy wouldn't arrive at the hospital before I had to go to surgery.  (Parents didn't spend the night then, either)  I had been told they'd do a urinalysis before my surgery, and the night before, it still hadn't been done yet.  I was really scared to press the button to call the nurse to ask her, so finally I gathered my courage and went to the nurses' station to ask about it.  The nurse laughed at me, but it wasn't a mean laugh.  Oh, and she had me do the whole pee in the cup routine after I asked about it.

My mom drew a picture for me before the surgery.  My doctor's name was similar to Villain, and Mom drew an old fashioned villian lurking over me with a big knife in his hand.  I thought it was funny then.  Now I wonder what Mom was really thinking!  

I remember before my surgery the nurse came in and spelled, "It's time for her s-h-o-t", which was an injection nicknamed the hypo, and was supposed to relax me. Instead it had me climbing the walls.  Oh, and I was VERY offended the nurse spelled out shot, as if I were a little kid who couldn't spell easy words!  

I remember after surgery Mom fed me the ice chips, after I gagged at the nasty ice cream.  

Dad was in and out then--I'm sure he was working and taking care of my siblings during the times he wasn't at the hospital.

I remember leaving the hospital in the wheelchair, and how warm the lights were as I was wheeled out towards the front entrance to get in the car.

I also remember that it was there that I lost my very cool winter stocking cap, the long colorful one with the ball at the end of it. I loved that cap, and have never had another one since.

When I got home, my siblings wanted to know all about my surgery, and my sister, Emmie, had a planter for a get well gift for me.  It was a lady with a raised glove, and inside was some sort of ivy plant.  I had that for years, until it finally broke during one of my many moves.

Saige's sibling, Dr. Lampshade, completely forgot about her surgery, even though he and I had spoken the day before and I'd reminded him of it.  (He had court.  All of his under age drinking charges were dropped, by the way.  He also no longer has to perform community service, because he bonded out.)  The other siblings remembered, mostly because I was texting them to remind them as Saige underwent the cauterizing tool.

We were at the hospital for almost 10 hours, which really isn't all that long, I guess, for someone to have surgery, recuperate, and go home.

However, it seemed really long to Mr. Clean and me.

Though he kept busy watching videos on his Ipod.

I should point out that back then, when I had my tonsils removed, there were no Ipods. Heck, there was no cable television to entertain patients and families, either.  No wonder Mom was drawing pictures of villains for me.  There was nothing else to do!

So, we'll see how Saige does over the next few days.  I realized that the pharmacy wrote the wrong dosage of pain medication on her bottle of liquid vicodin.  I knew the nurse said 15ml, but the label says to give Saige 1 tsp, which is 5ml, according to the syringe I got.  She's supposed to have 15ml every six hours, according to the paperwork we have, and what the nurse told me.  No wonder the poor kid keeps waking up in horrible pain!

Stupid pharmacy.

Anyway, that's it for this update.  Go in peace, be warm and filled.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I Heard the Wedding Bells on Christmas Day

On December 25th, 2010, Erma married the love of her life, Ambrose.  Yes, they chose Christmas Day.  No, I don't know why they did that.  All right, I do know why.  They chose it because that was the one day Erma knew for sure she would have off, due to the Christmas Exodus from Army Basic Training.  Luckily for all of us, she was home for about 2 weeks, so we got to spend time with her, and she and Ambrose had a bit of a honeymoon, too.  Jethro was here, too, which was also nice.  Lampshade spent a lot of time here at the house, having left his wife (again, for the umpteenth bajillionth time), and of course, Saige and Mr. Clean were here, too, which meant that for the first time in a long time, I had all 4 kids plus a surplus kid under the same roof.

Look at their faces!  I don't know what either boy is doing here with their mouths, but I think Jethro might have been planning a takeover of the world.  

Anyway, I know many of you have already seen the wedding photos, but some of you (Hi, Dad!) might not have seen them, since you aren't on Facebook.  If you have seen these, well, you can see them again.  Yeah. That's the way it is in this journal.

Some of my photos are on an SD card that is nowhere to be found.  At least, I can't find it.  Oooh, wait. Maybe.. just maybe... it's in a place I haven't checked yet.  You think?!?  Anyway, I have some great pictures, and when I find that card, I'll post some of them.

I found it!  It was in my purse.  What a logical place for that card to be. Knowing me, I'd imagined the card was in the freezer, or perhaps in a bathroom cabinet or maybe in a DVD case.  It's so hard to tell with me.

So, on to the wedding of the century!  Or, er, the day... maybe the wedding of the hour?  No, it was a really nice wedding.

The weather, on the other hand, was frightful, and we didn't have a fire that was so delightful anywhere near us.

Loading the trunk with some big old white dress Erma insisted on wearing.

Mr. Clean and Jethro solemnly contemplate the snow covered street, while Erma looks at the car door in consternation.  Saige, on the other hand, is doing something weird with her mouth. I think it's some sort of genetic aberration with my kids.

Look.  The bride has to clean the snow off her car while Mr. Clean checks out the street more closely, Saige laughs at her big sister, Jethro glowers, and I take pictures.

Here Jethro does the dance known as "The Ice Walk" He shows real talent by doing this dance with a soda bottle in one hand, the other hand in his pocket, and while doing something weird with his mouth.

(This is completely off subject, but some idiot is trying to drive up the alley. It's already snow and ice packed, and we had a couple more inches this morning.  I swear, watching people try to get up that alley in the winter is more fun than, well, it's more fun than watching paint dry. And it's more fun than eating Pop Tarts in the rain, too.)

Back to the wedding day.  We all piled into the car, and headed out to the secret location the groom and his family chose for the ceremony.  Paparazzi and all that, you know.  Off to Lovington we went!

I never was any good at keeping secrets.

The drive long and dare I say, BORING.  Yes, I dared. Yes, it was boring.  Some of us spent the time driving the car.

Others spent the time smirking at their mothers.

Oh, she has my purse. Hmmm.  Maybe that's why she's smirking...

Some of us tried to take naps.

Some of us listened to music on our Ipods, shutting out the rest of the vehicle occupants.

We arrived at the location safely.

Someone's pants are falling down.  I think that booty might belong to Dr. Lampshade.  He doesn't actually sag his jeans ala gangsta.  He's just too skinny and his jeans are too big. (Dang, I wish I could say that about myself!  Well, I could, but I'd be lying if I did.)

I called this a lumberjack wedding.  You'll know why in a minute.  

Erma watches me suspiciously, while Agnes smiles in the mirror, unaware that she, too, is going to be in this picture.  Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Ha.

One of the co-bridesmaids, Macrame, stands next to Erma.  Macrame looks really tall, but Erma is only 3 foot 6 . I'm lying.  Macrame is very tall, and Erma is really about 5'7 or so.

I'm pretty sure Macrame is admiring herself in the mirror, while that blank look on Erma's face is common with brides.

The co-bridesmaids. Think they are bored?

Justice, doing something weird with her mouth.  And she's not a blood relative!  Huh. Does she remind anyone else of Redd Foxx in his role on Sanford and Son, when he'd have a fake heart attack whenever someone irritated him? Maybe it's just me.  

Hope, Macrame's oldest daughter and big sister to Justice, Mr. Clean and Jethro.

"Hold me, too!!  Me, too!! Jethro! Pick me up, too! PUH-LEASE??"

See? The meeting of the lumberjacks!  I think Jethro is looking at Macrame's legs here.  I could be wrong.

"Mmmmm!  I like iced tea!  Hey. is this kid picking her nose??"

Jethro gives Justice a drink of his tea.  Yes, it seems like he's holding her in most of the photos.  However, this child is a snuggle bug, and she was going from lap to lap.

Here Justice and Jethro talk to Edward, Agnes' husband.

From left right we have a girl in a prom dress, the co-bridesmaids in matching dresses, Erma in that big old white dress, Ambrose's back, and Ambrose grandfather, who performed the ceremony.

The girl in the prom dress is actually Ambrose's younger sister. Here she inspects her plastic flowers for bees, while Saige hides behind Macrame and Erma.

Confused and thinking he's in some Texas bar, Jethro prepares to do a line dance.

I do not know what drugs Lampshade was on.  I do love how all the guys are standing fairly formally here.  All the guys, except for Mr. Clean, who looks, how shall I put this? Relaxed.  He seems relaxed.

The bridesmaids, Macrame, Jethro, and Saige, all gave speeches where they used one word primarily through the entire speech. Saige's word was "wonderstruck."  Mr. Clean, bored and hungry, chews his nails and wonders when the food will be ready.  No, I didn't make you look like a fat ass, Mr. Clean. I'm being amusing!

Macrame's word was "fabulous."  I think Jethro is checking out her hind end here!  Bad Jethro.

Jethro directs an imaginary orchestra as he uses his word "dictation" in his speech.

"What was my word again?  Darn, I wish this fake wine weren't fake!"

 "You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out..."

Erma was whispering sweet nothings in Ambrose's ear during this dance.  She was saying, "Let me know when you're ready for me to dip you, baby."

This sign cracked me up.  Know why?  It's nailed into the walls!  BAH HA!

Yes.  That WOULD be an open flame you see there.

"WHAT?  It's just punch, Mom!"

This photo cracks me up.  Jethro looks like he's wondering why the heck he's a bridesmaid, Macrame has an itchy neck, Erma looks like she's attacking Saige with her bosom, Saige doesn't like that, Ambrose's sister is bored and tired, Justice wants to leave, and Faith is tired of holding the basket.

The wedding party.  Lumberjacks and all.

Erma wore formal shoes and socks.

The groom and the groomsmen. Lamp, Mr. Clean, Ambrose, a short guy, and a tall guy.

Mr. and Mrs. Howeveryouspelltheirlastname 

Awww.  The first dance. By then, everyone had gone home.  

Or not.  I guess we were just giving them some space for their dance.  We all know how clumsy Erma is.

Speaking of Erma, she should be home within a month or so.  Even though it's not her fault she's being medically removed from the Army, I still reserve the right to make fun of her for the rest of my life, and maybe even for the rest of hers, too, if we're allowed to make fun of people while we're in heaven.  Probably not...

And that's it. Go in peace, be warm and filled.