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Archive for March, 2011

I have several totally unrelated bits and pieces to share, but then, aren’t they usually?  First off, during these past two weeks when I’ve been dealing with such pain in my back and leg, there’s one important duty I’ve neglected, which has come back to bite me.  I’ve totally neglected to fight back against the mole!!! And the result?  Take a look for yourself.  Once he realized that I wasn’t out there pounding the tunnels back down, he had himself a field day. There are over ten tunnels there and those are just the ones to the left of my stepping-stones!  It makes me sick.

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Dolly Parton was a guest on Good Morning America this morning.  Now, first off, I love Dolly.  I really do.  I have several of her albums and think she is the sweetest person.  But, let me tell you, she has GOT to stop having plastic surgery!  When they showed her the first time, I took a double-take.  Her mouth is pulled to both sides so tightly that she looks like The Joker in Batman!  And her eyes, too, are pulled so that they look like Catwoman’s!  I was going to include a picture here, but all of her pictures are touched up.  She’s 65, for crying out loud.  Why doesn’t she just accept it?

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I was in a mood to shake things up, so I decided to go with a different color of fingernail polish.  First I tried lavender, but it make my hands look corpse-like.  But then I tried this blue and I kind of like it!  What do you say?  Go or no?  (Please ignore the bony, OLD, red-knuckled hands!  They’re the only ones I have.)

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And finally, for those of you who have told me that I should have a pet, I have finally found the perfect one for me.  Ready?

Okay, here it is...a lap giraffe!

I need one of these badly.  I really do.  You all know I do.  Just because my birthday has just passed, don’t let that stop you.  It would make a lovely “belated birthday gift.”  You can find out more about them HERE.

So, until I get that big surprise…



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On Cloud Patrol #21

Well, what do you know?  I went outside the other day and found a sky full of clouds and immediately ran inside for my camera!  The funny thing was – everything I “saw” involved heads and faces.  There were no bodies, no interesting scenes, but perhaps those will come with warmer weather.  I’ve decided to present them to you from easiest to hardest, since you’re probably out of practice.  Without further ado, here is the easiest.

I call this one “Doofus Guy.”  It’s pretty hard to miss him. His eye is in the upper middle and he has a very pointy nose.  His mouth is open and he has a small chin and a long neck.  His collar is up.  Oh yeah, and he has long hair that is blowing in the wind.  See him?

This second one is “Rabid Clouds.”  Two crazy vicious clouds are about to devour the helpless one in the middle. Okay, you can barely see the one in the middle over the fence.  On the left is one insane cloud with his mouth open and a mean eye.  The one on the right also has his mouth open and he looks to be purely evil!

Okay this next one is called “Gremlin Guy.”  I think he’s pretty obvious, too. His pointy nose is in the middle-right of the picture.  He also looks remarkably like Grandpa Munster from the TV show.

Okay, now we’re getting into harder territory.  This one is called “Girl in a Coma.”  She is lying down and staring straight up. If you start at the left upper corner, you’ll be at her hair and bangs.  Move down and you see her big eye, complete with eyelashes.  She kind of has a piggy nose and her mouth is slightly open.  She also has braids behind her head.  This one takes an eye.  Can you make her out?

And last but not least, is the hardest one of all.  You get extra credit if you can figure out this one.  Sometimes when I look at it I can’t see anything.  Then, when I make it out, I can’t believe how obvious it is.  It’s called “The Guy From Above.”  It’s not God, but probably a friend of His. To orientate you, in the middle toward the bottom of the screen is a blob of cloud which is his big fat nose.  From there, you should be able to see two eyes, a smiling mouth and a white beard on his chin.  Or, you could start at the beard which is in the lower middle right and work up from there.  He is literally looking down at the earth from the sky.  Can you see him?

So, now that I’ve given your minds a good workout, I’ll bring this to a close.  As always, if you have the time I’d love to know which ones you found and which you couldn’t see.  And until next time, remember “Keep your eyes on the skies.”

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Something weird is going on in my house.  At first I just thought I was going crazy or something, but now I’m beginning to suspect “outside forces.”

It started a couple of days ago. I woke up and went into the bathroom to wash my face.  But, when I looked into the mirror, I got a shock.  My bangs were standing straight up! Let me clarify why that was so odd.  I have the kind of bangs that are relatively thick and are the kind which lay down straight just by the force of gravity.  Still, it would be normal if I got up and they were messy, as in tousled or disarranged or even swept a bit to the side.  But, in order to achieve the look I found, I would have had to wet them down, apply hair gel and then comb them straight up to dry that way!  Sure, I’ve been on pain pills for my back, but come on!  I would never do that to my hair in a million years!  As I gazed at this totally unfamiliar me, I began to get seriously creeped out. I started looking around to make sure there weren’t hidden cameras somewhere.

Then today when I woke up, I noticed that one of the bottles of e-juice (for my electronic cigarette,) that was on the nightstand was missing.  I had used it before I went to bed and it should have been right there with another bottle.  It was gone.  I’m the only person who lives in my house.  I got up and checked the bookcase, my vanity table and the bathroom counter and it was nowhere to be found.  Once again, creepy feeling.  After a cup of coffee, I was making the bed and, out of curiosity, looked under it.  I saw the bottle cap first and then the bottle, but not at the edge of the bed where it would have been if I had knocked if off the nightstand in my sleep.  It was way in the middle under the bed, so far under that I had to crawl to get it! Now, how could that have happened?  How could it have fallen off and rolled way under there?  The floor is carpeted.

It was about now that I began to wonder about elves or maybe some other-worldly sort of beings.  After all, I’m known to be alien-friendly.  But still, I decided to let it go as some sort of inexplicable fluke…until now.

I was in the kitchen drying some dishes, using the dish towel which I took off the rack.  As I was drying a bowl, I felt something round and hard in the dish towel.  When I tracked it down with my fingers, I saw it was one of the little rubber feet from the bottom of one of my iBooks!  Huh?  I went to check the iBook.  Sure enough, one of its little feet was missing.  But here’s the thing, at no time have those two objects ever been in the same room.  Never.  So how did the little foot make its way into the kitchen?  Not by human means, I can tell ya that!

So yes, my house has been invaded by elves or aliens or alien elves or something.  I’m sure they have a great sense of humor and are, even now, circulating a picture of me with my bangs standing straight up on their little Facebook pages.

So it starts out funny, but who knows where it goes from here?  All I can say is that if I don’t appear on this blog in a couple of days, you might want to notify the National Security Council or the folks at Area 51 or something.  Just sayin’

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Okay, so here’s the deal.  I was going to write a post for my regular “Five Good Things” series and…I was coming up blank.  It’s not that I don’t have good things, but I’ve already written about all the obvious ones like birds singing and good friends and sunrises, etc.  And when you’re looking at the world with damned double vision and your leg hurts with every step you take, and you’re feeling a bit hopeless and unloved, it’s a bit harder to find the more subtle things.  So, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. So here are my:

FIVE GOOD THINGS

(ABOUT GOING THROUGH HELL)

1) You learn patience. Once you’re sucked into the medical establishment, you’ll soon discover that everything is “hurry up and wait.”  You’re expected to get to your appointments early, but the doctor isn’t necessarily expected to see you right on the dot…or even near the dot, for that matter.  I’ve learned that you can go to almost any pharmacy in the country and be spouting blood through every orifice as you hand the pharmacist your prescription and most likely he/she will say, “it will be about 45 minutes.”  No matter what kind of pain you’re in, never forget, you’re just another number.

2) You REALLY learn who your friends are. Let’s face it, a friend who has a medical challenge that goes on and on is really no fun.  When someone asks me lately how I’m doing, I can lie and say that I’m fine, in which case a real friend can tell I’m lying to them.  Or I can tell them the truth which is that I feel like shit (in hell, remember?) and then what can they say?  That they’re sorry?  I know they are.  It’s much easier to just “forget” me for a while.  I get that.  But, believe it or not, some don’t.  Some check with me regularly and they’re not just being polite.  They really, truly, CARE how I am.  Certain ones, who will remain nameless, get bossy and tell me to get my ass on the sofa and REST for God’s sake!  Such kindness makes me want to cry…and also makes me love them.

3) You become grateful for the smallest kindnesses. After dealing with doctor’s offices and pain clinics and pharmacies, you become used to being just a piece of meat.  After all, they have so many people to see in a day that its unusual for them to become emotionally involved.  The hard part of this is that when you’re really suffering, you feel so vulnerable.  I’ve actually had two or three people go out of their way to be nice to me and let me tell you, it meant the world to me.  There was Brenda, who pushed and begged and wheedled to get me an appointment at a pain clinic that same day so that I wouldn’t have to go a sixth night without sleep.  I know it was her job, but still, she became a hero to me.  And there was Janet, the hospital scheduler who helped me cancel my eye surgery that I had been awaiting so desperately.  She took time to comfort me and assure me that we were only postponing it and that they couldn’t take a chance with my eyes.  She said she knew how hard it was and that her heart ached for me.  A medical person said that!  I was so touched that I ended up telling her that I loved her, not in Lesbian way, you understand, but loved her nonetheless.

4) You become stronger. I know darned well that if I ever make it through these present challenges, it will take a heck of a lot to shake me in the future.  When I’m through with this, I’ll probably be able to catch bullets in my teeth!  And maybe leap a tall building or two.  Just watch me!

5) Your faith kicks in, big time. I have a good friend who says this experience I’ve been going through, what with the eyes and the teeth and then the ruptured disc, reminds him of the story of Job in the Bible.  Job, if you’ll recall is the poor guy who had about every kind of tragedy visited upon him and yet would still not turn against God.  In the end God rewarded him with all that he had before and more. (I always wondered if that meant that his wife and daughters came back to life (which would be creepy) or if he got new ones, in which case the first ones got a bum deal.) Anyway, there have been times when I’ve questioned why all these things have happened to me, but I never thought of blaming God.  I do believe there’s a reason for everything, even though humans often can’t see the forest for the trees.  I’m going to hang in there, no matter how hard it is, because I believe that my particular miracle could be just around the corner. Yep, that’s my truth and I’m sticking with it.

 

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Free TV…and More!

I’ve never felt the need for cable TV, a fact which I think some of my friends find a bit odd, since I often buy entire seasons of certain cable shows on DVD.  But, when you weigh the cost of a DVD set against the outrageous monthly rates for cable, which go on forever, I’m sure I’m getting the better deal!

So, instead of having cable boxes on my TV’s, I actually still have antennas.  Then, when the government made the switch from analog TV over to digital on June 13, 2009, I had to hustle to get coupons and then buy converter boxes for those TVs, since they were too old to be wired for digital. ( I have since hooked them up to digital recorders which do the converting without a box.)

I had no idea what to expect after the conversion.  Turns out, I was pleasantly surprised!  A lot of my channels had babies!  My public TV channel 19 was suddenly 19-1 and I discovered I had a 19-2 and a 19-3, as well.  Each of those channels had a huge range of broadcasting, everything from travel and cooking shows to do-it-yourself, hobby, and cultural shows.  And 19 wasn’t the only channel to have offspring.  So did 41, which only had one baby, 41-2 but also 50, which had triplets!  Before I knew it, I began to have a whole new slew of shows to watch.  At first, Channel 9 was the only major network to create a baby and for a while it didn’t really show much other than weather broadcasts.  That was until one night I noticed that some dumb football game was scheduled for the same night and time as the “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale, which was a rather big deal to me.  I guess viewers gave them enough advance warning because they got out the word that “Grey’s” would be shown on 9-2, and by golly, it was!

So, for a couple of years now I’ve enjoyed having far more channels than I ever did before.  But the real treat came about a month ago.  I was surfing the channels and noticed that, out of the blue, Channel 4 now had a baby called 4-2.  And 4-2 turns out to be this wonderful channel called “Antenna TV.”  All of the shows I grew up with have surfaced once more on this network.  According to Wikipedia, Antenna TV  “is being offered to would-be affiliates on a barter basis, an agreement in which the station will get the programming at little or no cost in exchange for giving a certain amount of commercial time to the network.”

Just some of the programs they offer are The Partridge Family, Gidget, Father Knows Best, Good Times, Three’s Company, The Nanny, Married…with Children, the Monkees, Sandford and Son, All in the Family, The Three Stooges, Hazel, The Ropers, The Flying Nun, Too Close for Comfort, and Three’s a Crowd. Any of those bring back memories for you?  The show I’ve been catching after the local evening news is Maude. Just seeing it several times so far has already taken me back to other, more innocent, times in my life and has reminded me how much I used to love that show.  Catching just the tail end of a Monkees episode made me question how a younger me actually thought they were so cool.  And Good Times for some reason has evoked a “Saturday-night-hair- washing-and getting-ready-for-Sunday-church” vibe.  This network is such a cool place to escape when you want to think back to simpler times.  It’s all your little retro heart could hope for.  The only problem is that I’ve only found a programming guide on-line, but that might eventually change.

So hey!  Who needs cable?  I’ve got all the shows I’ll ever need and the beauty of it is…they’re all free!  How fun is that?  Think of that the next time you pay your cable bill.  🙂

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Joke Break #1

No matter what you’re doing or what’s going on in your life, it’s always good to be able to take a break and enjoy a good joke.  And, what better way to end your weekend and/or start your Monday than with a smile?  This one was sent to me by a friend and it makes me smile each time I read it!

DEAD COW LECTURE AT VET SCHOOL

First-year students at the Vet School were attending their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.

The professor started the class by telling them, “In Veterinary medicine
 it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: the first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body.”

For
 an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it, and stuck his finger in his mouth.

“Go
 ahead and do the same thing,” he told his students.
 The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the butt of the dead cow and sucking on
 it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, “The
 second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle
 finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention. Life’s tough, but it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.”

 

 

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When last I posted I was exhausted from being in pain and walking hunched over for almost a week and being unable to sleep.  I was due for an MRI the next day.  This picks up where I left off…

Tuesday morning I was at the MRI place bright and early for my 7:00 a.m. appointment. When I was undressed and taken to the room, a problem emerged.  I couldn’t lay flat on the table!  Every time I tried, the pain took my breath away and my body popped right up.  They gave me a variety of pillows and pads and nothing worked.  My eyes filled with tears and I said, “I HAVE to make this work!”  Finally, after about ten minutes, I found a position which was still painful, but bearable.  The MRI lasted at least thirty minutes and my back felt every one of those minutes.  After it was over, I limped, hunchbacked, to my car and went home.

Once in a while people surprise you.  When I got home, I called the scheduler, Brenda, and left a voice mail telling her the MRI was over and when the results should be in.  I asked her to please let the doctor know, so that, maybe, just maybe I could get into a pain management center that day.  I really didn’t expect much.  I mean, she’s dealing with many cases and I was just one.  But at 9:50 a.m. she called me and said that she had had to call several pain places and tried to wheedle an appointment for me that day.  Most were full, but she managed to do it!  She said, “You have an 11:15 appointment at the hospital and you must have a driver.”  OMG!  I had about ONE HOUR to get a driver and get there!

This is where you find out who your true friends are.  Iris was the only person I could think of who could make it in the time frame.  But, what a favor to ask!  However,  I had no choice.  I called her and said, “Iris, my dear, dear friend.  I have an emergency.  Can you drop everything, hop into your car, pick me up and drive me to this hospital up North?  I know it’s a lot, but it’s a chance to get me out of pain.”  She didn’t even hesitate, just said, “Let me get my clothes on and I’ll pick you up by 10:30.” And she did, bless her.

After filling out a huge volume of paper work, I got in to see the doctor.  He gave me the results of the MRI.  I had ruptured a disc! He proposed giving me an epidural steroid injection and prescriptions for a different pain medicine than I’d had and a nerve medicine which helps damaged nerves.

This epidural thing is a bigger deal than I knew.  It’s not just a shot.  First they gave me a sedative. Then they took me to a room with a special machine that would allow them to guide the needle to the exact place where it was supposed to be.  They wanted me to lay face-down on on the table.  Another problem.  Every time I tried, my back went into a spasm.  It was a nightmare.  I tried so hard and each time, my body rebelled.  They gave me more sedative and I finally managed.

Next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and a nurse was frowning at me and almost yelling, “What is the number of your pain?”  I was still disoriented and asked.
“Where am I?”  Finally it came to me.  Before I left, two nurses and the doctor had warned me that I wouldn’t magically be cured immediately.  They said that it takes 24 to 48 hours for the steroid to kick in.  Despite that, when I got off the table, I could stand upright!  That part was a miracle! My leg still hurt when I walked, but…baby steps.

Twenty-four hours later my back is still good.  The leg still has pain when I walk, but it might be fading a bit.  They gave me a discharge sheet and number 5 on that list said: “You may experience increased pain and muscle spasm for 24-48 hours after your injection due to the trauma of the injection itself.” I’m hanging on to that.

Now the BAD NEWS and it’s really bad. My eye surgery had to be rescheduled! That broke my heart, but my eye surgeon and pain doctor agreed.  The biggest risk of the eye surgery is infection and the steroid I received lowers the immune system.  It is what it is.  So now it’s scheduled for April 18th.

I apologize that this post is so long and promise it will be the last medical one for a while.  Thanks for sticking with me.

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