Saturday, January 31, 2009

Doctor visit

My doctor visit on Thursday was "mixed". The good parts were a) my tests came out in the "normal" range and b) She recommended a medication for my shooters which is superior to Neurontin and is helping. The bad part is that her outstanding medical knowledge again trumps my years of experience (sarcasm). I'm wrong because she knows better! Grrrrrrr! She has never experienced shooters, and had no idea what it is I suffer, or how I've struggled for years to eliminate (out of necessity) their causes . She began to listen more, and understand the severity when I declared that I'd rather die of cancer than live with shooters—I will not live with shooters—they are unbearable! She mellowed, and began to realize that my points were to be considered. My ruffled feathers smoothed down, too. I do respect her knowledge and experience. So with these things considered, I think we've got a great relationship to hold hands, and go forth to tackle my problems.

We are both aware that being "in normal range", and being ideal for the individual are different things. We agreed that I should "up" my thyroid medication, slightly, and she recommended how. I agree that it is ridiculous for a 65 year old to continue with hormone replacement, but have determined that there is something in that therapy which my MS needs—I've long suspected estriol (a particular estrogen proven beneficial to MS) but it is not approved by the FDA and not available by prescription in the US. Our compromise—she okayed my ordering estriol cream on-line, and beginning to apply it per directions.

I've begun the increase in my thyroid medication, and have ordered the estriol cream. I've only taken the new shooter medication twice, and think that it is well worth the cost (pricey stuff—even with my Rx coverage). Especially since I think I'll be able to eliminate the need for it as I tinker with what I believe is the cause of my shooters, with regard to the hormone replacement therapy. I'd rather prevent the shooters than to medicate for them. 

Mel was with me on doc's exam, and is very impressed with her. They (Mel & doc) shared a hug as we parted, and strengthened the growing bond between doctor, patient, and patient's family.

I have an appointment in 6 weeks (after more blood work) to see how the new regime is working. Stay tuned! Hugs!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Power lost!

Our luck finally ran out regarding our not having lost power. But it actually turned into a good thing.

When we returned from the doctor's office, and stopped to pick up the mail, our neighbor lady announced that we had no power.  I'd said in the last blog that it looked like it could go at any second. (the thawing being almost as bad—or worse—than the freezing) It did! We ate, and discussed our options. Mel had a field trip, and didn't want to leave me home, alone, with no vehicle to get out, no lights, no TV, no computer, and no water.  I asked where he was going. He said that the trip was boys varsity basketball, going roughly 35 miles from Forsyth. I decided go with him, taking the first advantage of my my prerogative to attend the event as the spouse of the bus driver. I've never chosen to go before, as I don't usually do well in noisy crowds of people. (bus full of kids, & gym full of fans) But, it sounded much preferable than to staying home. We decided to take an overnight bag, and perhaps to stay in a motel if the power remained off. We gave the neighbor Mel's cell number, and asked that she call us when/if power came on. 

I had a wonderful time! The bus was surprisingly quiet, and though I knew of Mel's superb talents as a bus driver,  it was fun to experience, first hand, some of those exceptional talents. No wonder he's requested to drive all events. He  met  numerous skill tests in the time we were on the road, and he passed each and all with flying colors. There were the road conditions with all the different stages of snow packed, icy, and thawing to dry. We also met with dense fog due to the varying temperatures. Where there was a lot of thawing, I saw him taking mental notes of where to watch on the return trip in the falling temperatures. The parking at the destination school (this was a tournament) was tricky, and his maneuvering skills of a 40' bus on a slippery parking lot was flawless. He didn't flinch at the coach's request to stop at a convenience store to let the triumphant team buy celebratory goodies (junk). And, after their departure, turned the bus around on a comparative dime, to re-board them at a better spot for their walking safety.  

He is so used to our winding, mountain roads, and knows just how to take the curves and keep the passengers comfortable so that there is no need to lean or hang on.  At one point on these roads where there are no shoulders or passing places, he detected an emergency vehicle approaching from the rear, and stopped at the perfect spot to allow the ambulance to see around him far enough to safely get around, and it didn't slow the ambulance's progress at all. I was in true awe.

The game was fun and pretty quiet, too. We were just pulling into the school back home when Mel got the call that our power was back on! We'd already decided to go home, anyway, but that was a bonus! The double bonus was that all of the power trucks, had left our road clear of storm debris, and we won't have that to contend with.  School had already been cancelled for Friday, too—they couldn't get the buses up the hill to run any routes.  lol The forecast looks great to be back to normal by Monday.

By the time we got back to our house, my spa was back up to temperature, and I was a real happy lady! Tomorrow my doctor report. Hugs!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A bit hairy!

Well, we made our Jeep excursion. And I can promise that Mel won't be driving the bus to school tomorrow! The road we live on is 2¼ miles long, and had roughly 20-30 trees/branches down. We were able to get over, or around them and get to a main road, but a bus won't manage such a trek for a while. I can't begin to guess when road crews will get down to clearing such minor tributaries as Cotton Rock Road! lol You know they have their hands full! The mail wasn't even delivered, today. 

The good news is that the Jeep had no problems, and I will get to the doctor, tomorrow. We'll have to allow a lot of time, but I should make my 9:45 appointment if we leave by 7:30. More good news is that we still have power, though from the look of things that could end at any moment. The phone lines might go at any time, too. But, so far so good.

More hugs, and prayers to you!

Okay, again

Well, we made it through round two!  We were all ready for a power outage—including a percolator (remember those?) for coffee. We had a few blinks and flickers, but we never shut down! I'm pretty sure that without the preparation we'd have been sunk—Murphy's law. I carried a small flashlight in my pocket—when the power goes it gets darker than the inside of a witch's hat in the house. 

I had another very sleepless night, and listened to the crack, (branch breaking) hissssss (ice falling) thud (branch hitting ground or whatever) and not knowing what was happening or when something would come through the roof. 

School was called off, again, and I'm sure Mel won't be driving the bus tomorrow, either. He will be able to get the Jeep out, however, (the only vehicle which can get us out of our driveway) and will take me to the endocrinologist early in the morning. We will take a test drive in the Jeep later today to see that we can get to a main road.

I scattered several pounds of bird seed for my poor hungry "friends", and got some pretty good pictures when I put my winter suit on, and went out. The picture above I took from our front porch. It shows several of the crack, hissssss, thuds I was listening to—came pretty close to the propane tank. A branch is also lodged right in front of the bus (touching tires) too, don't know how it got there! Hmmmmm.

Prayers going out to you guys that you fare as well as we did! Huge hugs!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We did okay!

We lucked out again! So far! (But I don't really think it was luck) The worst of the first leg of the storm went south of us, and we never lost power. Sorry to say that parts of Arkansas will be without power for WEEKS! Not just days. It is sleeting now, and more is expected, (round two) but I'm so much more optimistic. The temp is 34°, and the icicles are melting. Mel couldn't get the bus out today if they'd had school, but maybe tomorrow—fingers crossed. He had a field trip rescheduled from tonight until Thursday, and I've rescheduled my endocrinologist appointment until Thursday, too.

On the range dent, the Sears repair called yesterday morning instead of just arriving (good plan). He needed the Model and Serial Numbers on the range. Ha, was that a comedy! He had me on my hands and knees trying to read a label in the bottom broiler drawer with the tiniest print I've ever seen! Of course, I couldn't find the magnifying glass, and I took his number to call back when I got the info. I finally spied another label on the other side of the drawer, with legible print! I got the numbers and called repair back. He was contemplating ordering and replacing the entire front panel. I asked if it was possible to get monitory compensation rather than replacement—the dent was barely noticeable after installing the range, and we could live with it. He answered that it was possible—but he could not authorize it. 

I'll make along story shorter by simply saying that I got authorization, and $70 credited to our card. You can see in the pictures that the damage is insignificant, and we are pleased with the deal. I gasped with disappointment when I pealed the film off of the stainless and saw the damage, (close-up shot) but after we installed the range, the dent wasn't apparent without being pointed out.

More later if we do okay with the second bout of weather. More hugs!

It's Ice!

I'm just going to pass along some information while I'm sure I can. We are in the midst of an ice storm, and I might not be able to post tomorrow (later today). I'm hoping that the worst of the ice will miss us one more time, but there is a layer of sleet on the ground, and freezing rain is falling, so I fear our long running lucky streak of avoiding the stuff may be at an end. School was dismissed early Monday, and the ice started shortly after all the kids were safely returned home—so they made that great call. They have also closed most of the area schools for Tuesday, again wisely—doubt anyone could make it any way. I'm pretty sure I won't make it to my appointment with the endocrinologist, too. That's disappointing, but I'll be warm and comfortable at home, and will set up another appointment.

We are prepared, for a power outage, as I've explained before. We're on a well, but have back up water. We have propane heat, so won't get cold, and we have battery lanterns, with back up batteries. Groceries won't be a problem. 

I'm about ready to do my spa soak, and try bed. I've got a lantern by the bed, and will carry a flashlight with me to get me to the bedroom if necessary. The ice doesn't look thick enough to bring trees/limbs down, yet, but better safe than sorry.

If you don't hear for a few don't worry—"I'll be back".  Huge hugs, around.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Latest photo

Mel and I have been fooling with our new camera, today. We set up the tripod, and delay timer, and took this ourselves.

We were able to print a 4x6 copy of the above photo directly from the camera to the printer without removing the memory card, or turning on the computer. We were impressed. The print came out well. I then loaded the photo into my computer so that I could share with others. Isn't it amazing what technology can do? Would you ever have believed it?   Hugs!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What time is it?

Mel is on a field trip, today, taking the ROTC drill team. It's not far away, but is an all day affair. Plus, the drill team is very good, and they usually hang around for the awards ceremonies. He left the house at 5 or so this morning, and I don't expect him home until 9 or so tonight. I was still up, when he got up to go, so we gave each other a great big hug and I hit the sack while he hit the road. *sigh* 

I'm so looking forward to seeing my endocrinologist on Tuesday—I'm completely convinced that she holds the key to my sleepless/painful nights. I've been taking Neurontin like popcorn.

I did take my thyroid pills before I went to bed this morning, and drifted off until 10:45! I've been trying to post this blog since then, but it's been one of those "distracted" kind of days. I haven't even had my coffee quota (2 cups) yet! Nor have I turned on the TV! That's the first thing Mel does! The television knows he's not home! lol Maybe I can watch the evening national news with my "morning" coffee.

Hugs around!

Friday, January 23, 2009

All Done--almost!

There it is! I think everything in the kitchen is new, now. This includes the window, and light fixtures. I said "almost" done in the title. The stove has a small dent in the side of the door. Sears will be out to assess and repair. But, its working, and we're delighted. Hugs!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Kitchen Floor

Here I am in the wee hours of the morning, again. The dang shooters won't let me go to bed, so might as well share the photo of the floor with you. We are pleased with the results. It is linoleum, but has a marble tile look, without being cold. I'm barefoot most of the time, and couldn't handle a tile floor.

I think I'll try the sack, again—shooters seem to be easing, finally.     More hugs! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday's post on Tuesday (early)

I'm working on more parts to "our" story, but I was interrupted by a few goodies, today. The kitchen floor installers had the computer inaccessible for most of the day, I got a call that my new lenses were ready, and I set an appointment to get a perm—she took me right away. 

I now have a gorgeous new kitchen floor, a head of curly hair, and glasses with which I can read with both eyes open! Yay, yay, and yay!!!

I'd forgotten what the floor we'd ordered looked like, and had worried that it might not match up to what I'd envisioned. But, it is even better than I'd hoped. I'm still surprised at how the various installments in the remodeling have come together so nicely. The new range and dishwasher will be delivered on Wed. and the propane people will come on Thurs. to convert the range to propane. Then, I think the kitchen will be complete. 

I'm going to give bed a try—wish me luck! Hugs around!

Friday, January 16, 2009


The truck is ready!

They finally found multiple problems, each interacting. It cost dearly, but we now have safe brakes (front and back) guaranteed for the life of the truck! Most of the work they did had been done on the truck before, but by different shops, and was outside of the warrantees. Everything on the truck has been checked out, and is now in good order. I'm a firm believer in having faith that there is a reason, whether or not we understand it. So, I think that we've avoided a bigger problem by diligently pursuing the caution message sent from above. 

More soon, but wanted to relay the latest on the "brake" trouble. Hugs around!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Stuff

Your comments convinced me to work on more parts to "our" story. But, first, I wanted to catch you up on a few current events.

My dreaded adrenal test yesterday went off very well! My hesitance and fears were unjustified. There were NO ill effects throughout the procedure. It was a piece of cake I actually slept through most of it. I'll learn the findings on the 27th.

In my outing, I sent off 2 packages via UPS (printers to daughter & Nance). I set up an eye appointment—haven't had an exam in a while, but no problems. And picked up an Rx from the pharmacy. My eye exam will be this afternoon—I think I'll beat the deep freeze headed this way, but will take big down coat, in case.

The truck brakes are still a humongous puzzle to Midas—they've consulted everyone they could think of. But they're still seeking answers. 

Sister Linda (addict enabler) called from SC seeking info to get a computer today. It'd be great to have her an email away, again. 

Cessna Wichita will lay off 2,000 (announcement on TV). Son working for Cessna will not be at risk, (supervisor) but I need to call him to ask the ramifications to him. The "crunch" is getting close to home.

Other son suffered a broken water heated which ruined the floors they just worked so hard installing (sigh).

Daughter & hubby have taken in a 5 year old girl (Danny's niece's child) from social services—it is temporary for now, but might become permanent (new granddaughter?) Mom had 4 out of wedlock, (all different fathers!) and suffered terrible postpartum depression, with attempted suicide after most recent. The other kids have been placed with their fathers.

An eye exam today went well—getting new lenses my Rx hasn't changed much, but I need more prism, to eliminate double vision.

And, finally, we will be getting a new kitchen floor, range, and dishwasher next week—will complete our kitchen. Will send pictures.

Huge hugs around!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Part II

I'll back up a little on my story. I'd forgotten to say that Mel and I were, at the time, in So. CA. I'd lived there my entire life, and Mel had been sent to the Holiday Inn from Seattle as a trouble shooter for the new restaurants there. Mel and I discussed possible future plans, and that his stay in CA might be short lived.

I consulted with my mother about my attraction to Mel and my fears of any relationship so soon, and about my hesitation on the drinking. My mom's advice stunned me! This is in 1974, remember. She advised that I give the relationship a great try! She said that things would either get better, or worse. If they got better—no problem. If they got worse—still no problem—leaving would be easy.  

So, when Mel headed out for NM, I arranged to follow with the 3 kids (and 2 dogs). We wound up in Albuquerque for a few months before changes started coming our way, again. The first major change occurred when my rotten "X" filed for custody of the boys. He didn't want them, but he wanted to hurt me, and that was the surest way! I immediately contacted my attorney who said, "Get married—now!" So, we did! Mel was also, at the time, answering a request from Hilton Inns to chef at a new opening in Wichita, KS. We married on a Friday evening, (justice of the peace at courthouse) and Mel left for Wichita on Saturday. Quite the honeymoon—in different states!

Our marriage did the trick, and I won the custody battle, but the drinking was a continuing and growing problem. It was in 1979 while running our own restaurant that the big "DRINKING" confrontation occurred. I'd attended "Al-Anon" meetings for years and knew that threats were pointless. So when I confronted him, he knew that it was I, or the booze. He could not have us both. Fortunately, he chose me—and hasn't touched a drop since!

That's our story! Now you know why we have 2 kids born 8 weeks apart, and why we have 3 kids in their 40s and have only been married for 33 years! Our love has continued to grow, and our kids all flourish. My daughter is the closest person, next to Mel, in my life. And I thank the Lord above for His guidance throughout.   

Huge hugs!

Monday, January 12, 2009

about Mel and me

I had planned to blog, today, about my "thumb sucking" story, but other blogs (Lois & Lynn's anniversary, & Diane thinking kids in their 20s was a shocker) changed my mind. I have also been meaning to fill you in on our background.  So, here at long last is the story of how Mel and I met, and got together.

This is not the first marriage for either of us. I was first married at 17 (yikes!) to what turned out to be the wrong guy for me. But, it took nearly 13 years for that realization to overcome my determination to make the marriage work. We had two boys, in 1964 and 1967 respectively. Who were 6 and 9 when we separated. 

Mel married a woman (roughly 1962) with whom he worked (he was chef—she a waitress) who was 16 years older than he, had been divorced, and had 2 boys. I don't know the ages of her boys when they married, but they were roughly young teenagers. Mel and Ruby (first wife) then had RenĂ©. She was born in 1964. Ruby became quite ill in the late 60s early 70s (lupus suspected but not formally diagnosed) and she passed away in 1973. 

At this time, Mel and I were working in the same place. (he chef, I bartender) We had become friends (he was a drinker and frequented my bar) but suddenly found ourselves in a different relationship, both being without partners. I was very skeptical of emotional intimacy just having been through a NASTY divorce, and he was very skeptical of emotional intimacy, having just lost his spouse (a divorcee with two boys) and facing another divorcee with 2 boys!!

But, there was a strong attraction, and we had mutual needs in the other. As things got quite serious between us, I had to ask myself if I could take on a 9 year old girl—and accept her as my own. The prospect of "step-child" wasn't satisfactory. And, could I live with someone with an obvious drinking problem?

I can see that this story will be a 2 parter, so will continue tomorrow.  Huge hugs!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I promised to post this picture for Lois. I said that the facial expression matched the snowfall in her area. 

Off to do other stuff. Hugs!

Friday, January 9, 2009


First, a comment on the picture above. My CA sister and her husband went to Tahiti last year and took the picture from their cruise ship. I reviewed it, and thought we could all use a reminder that it WILL get warm, again! lol

A blog Lo wrote a while back, and one that Judy wrote yesterday got me to thinking about the "old days". Specifically washing/ironing/fabrics. I remember being 9 months pregnant in the month of August, and facing a mountain of ironing—before permanent press fabrics. I couldn't DO it!! The heat, the position, (couldn't get close enough to the ironing board) and the overwhelming girth of the maternity clothes sent me to the ads looking for someone to do the job for me. That was the only time I ever sent my ironing out to be done by someone else.

Also, the pictures I posted of my friends as youngsters reminded me that we always wore dresses to school. How did my mom do it? She had three girls wearing dresses everyday—her mountain of ironing must have been enormous! And, how did my grandma keep up with laundry? Oh, to be able to ask them!

I'll leave you to ponder, and await comments. Hugs!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Mel and I have spent three looooong days at Midas trying to get the brakes on the truck fixed. The problem has the mechanics buffaloed. They have done everything, but the problem persists. All three trips, we sat waiting for at least 3 hours! Yesterday, after getting on the road at 07:15, and picking Mel up at school, we drove there to resume waiting—again! At noon, they test drove it once again—no change! They guarantee their work, so it doesn't cost us any more, but they are going to have to start all over again. We decided that we'd drive two cars there this weekend and leave the truck for them to spend whatever time it takes to get the job done right. Their plan is to replace everything, with more new parts, assuming that something was faulty. But, it doesn't make sense to me that the results would be the same with different replacement parts. I'll keep you posted.

On the very bright side—I've solved my insomnia/"shooter" problem! YAY!! When I saw my neurologist, I requested that he prescribe amitriptyline for me. He did, and I, rather impatiently, waited the week it takes for it to become effective. But it is working! I've been pain free for 2 or three days, now!! What a relief it is! Last night, I actually attempted going to bed early. My typical routine has been to take Neurontin, take a soak in my spa, then try to go to bed. But, less than 10 minutes later the shooters say, "Uh uh! Not this time!" So, I get up, take more Neurontin, try another soak, and so it goes. I usually wind up sleeping in my recliner or in the spa—shooters do not want me to get horizontal. Last night I was getting sleepy by 10:30. I decided to give it a try. I took my spa 20 minute soak, then tried bed. I didn't know anything until The alarm went off for Mel at 04:30. I went potty, then went back to sleep until 06:30! Yay!! A night in bed!

Now, I just need to get my hormone difficulties controlled with my new endocrinologist. I'm pleased with her—but I'm terrified of the test she scheduled for me next Tuesday. It is a test of the adrenal glands that requires them to give me a heavy hit of adrenaline. That sounds like "shooters" to me—and I'd rather die! But, I'll give some instructions to the ones testing, and hopefully I'll survive, or I'll die before the shooters get too bad. 

Keep your fingers crossed!  Huge hugs!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Strange Day

I had a few things planned to do, today. Among them was to write a blog since I've fallen behind, again. But, it was one of those days where I kept getting distracted from my goals. Most days like this, I keep starting projects and finishing nothing. I wind up with a bunch of open projects—I keep busy all day—but nothing gets done! But this time I wound up starting and finishing things that I had not even thought of doing. It was pleasantly surprising.

I will finish this blog, but it wasn't what I'd anticipated writing about, nor will it be at the time I'd intended to post it. I had intended to change the bedding—but that was put off for later. I did do 2 loads of wash which I had not planned on. I needed to gather information to take to my endocrinologist appointment tomorrow—I did get that done—I had to! I had a bill to pay—it's still waiting. But, I had to file a paper (I have a medium packing box filled with divider folders which I use as a file cabinet) and wound up cleaning out the entire box of the no longer needed, or outdated things. That meant sorting all of the 2008 receipts, etc. and preparing for 2009. I filled a large trash can with the old stuff, and am pleased that the job is done.

I made an unplanned phone call to Nance—we had a nice talk. She will be at the MSOhio meeting in the morning, and would love to see you there. I received an electric throw (thanks for the suggestion) that I'd not anticipated today. I loaded our new camera onto the computer, and some music into Mel's iPod. Which I'd not planned. I made phone calls to my ISP, and to the phone company to correct errors. (Both calls planned—and they both turned out well.) Especially the phone company call. I talked with a nice guy after I worked through the automated cra*, and after clearing my intended business, I inquired about any plans to get high speed internet service out here. He did some checking, and said that this area is on their expansion list!!! YAY!!!

More soon! Hugs!