Friday, November 21, 2008

Now That's An Allergy!

I've written before about recently finding out that I'm allergic to cats.

We figured it out when we were at our friends' house and upon coming home, my eyes were red and watery and puffy, plus there was an air pocket on my cornea. It was crazy!

Going to California last Christmas, my sister Cathie did her best to de-catify her house and keeping the cats far away from me. That worked until Christmas Eve when she and brother Phil exchanged gifts of stuffed cats. Not real stuffed cats, but like stuffed teddy bear kind of cats. No real fur or cat parts were used.

Playing with their Christmas presents, I had an allergy attack. I had to go shower, then stay in my room after a dose of Benedryl trying to get the swelling down.

Tonight was an all time high.

Ron and I went for Chinese food for dinner. Coming back from dinner, we drove by a pet hospital that had a sign in front "Kittens available for adoption". HEY! Who doesn't love a cute cuddly kitten? I half heartedly joked with Ron that we should go adopt a kitten. He promptly said no. So, I countered with how about adopting two kittens? Again, his reply was NO! He reminded me that we are both allergic to cats! Ok, fine. I was sort of just kidding anyway.

Now, we've come home and my left eye went crazy. It again feels like someone threw sand into my eye. I've flushed it out to no avail. It's red, watery, swollen, and it has an air pocket on the cornea.

Yeah. That's an allergy.

I think I'm gonna take my Benedryl and just go to bed. Next person who mentions the word "C-A-T" to me gets a kick in the shin.

Nothing To See Here - Just Move Along

I know, I've been quiet. But, when you're not getting out much, there is nothing to report on a blog, phone call, smoke signal, etc.

Let's see what my excitement has been lately. The library. One of the guys will run me about once a week to my local library. I have my favorite sections in the library, lately which is the large print book section! But, I digress. I also have my favorite authors. So, when I'm in the library, I usually look through the mystery section and fiction section, mostly looking for my favorite authors. There is also a section in the front called "New Releases". Here is where I find new favorite authors!

Recently, I picked up a new book called Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin. I whipped through this book in two days because I literally could not put it down. I highly suggest this book for anyone that is in to reading a good mystery. Mr. Margolin is reminiscent of John Grisham. If you like Grisham, you'll definitely like Margolin.

So, this is where my CDO kicks in. (CDO - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but in alphabetical order, the way it should be.) Since I loved this book, I wanted to read more by this author. I printed off a list of his books, in chronological order and have been working through the list through the library. He has written a total of 13 books, and I am on the sixth one. Like I said, I am now a big fan!

Aren't you glad you decided to read my blog today to read all about my new exciting adventures?!!

What else is happening in my world?

I am living vicariously through my siblings who are at opposite ends of the country as well as the weather spectrum. We go from my sister Cathie in California experiencing a heat wave that has her lilac bush so confused, it's blooming in November!

From Cathie we go to brother Jim in Pennsylvania, experiencing over a foot of snow last weekend. Ugh!

I know it's November, but I am going kicking and screaming into winter this year. I got up this morning, looked out the window (as I do every morning and evening) and saw a dusting of snow outside here in Ohio. I am NOT happy about it! I need to get over that quickly as I don't have any choice but to accept the fact that the snow is coming. I guess I don't have to like it, just deal with it!

What else? Since I am home, I have been doing a lot of cooking. I kind of like that part! I don't like the deciding what we're having every night, but once I've decided, I like the cooking part. Since we all know that cooking is not my forte, dinner has definitely been . . . shall we say . . . entertaining some nights! Take the spaghetti fiasco, I mean dinner, we had last week.

I am having a few issues with stretching any recipe that I used to use to feed two of us to now feed three of us. That sounds like it should be simple, but it's not. Phil and I are big left over eaters, but Ron has never been thrilled with left overs. I try to cook just what we're going to eat for dinner. That is trickier than it sounds. We ate that spaghetti for a week! I'm trying, Ron, I am!
Another thing that comes to mind when talking about all of this cooking is that I am my Mother's daughter. So many things I do are because that's what Mom did.

I made kielbasa and sauerkraut one night and Phil's comment was that the sauerkraut was not cooked the way he was used to eating it, but it was really good. Hmm. It's the only way I know how to cook sauerkraut and I happen to love it that way!

The other night I made a pot of Mom's chicken soup. For anyone in my family, one of the treats of having this soup was that Mom would put carrot chunks in the soup, she would take a little broth out of the soup into a smaller pan and cook potatoes in the broth. Then, at dinner, you'd take a few carrot chunks, a few potato chunks, a little salt, a little butter, and mush it all together. Then, add some noodles into your bowl and viola! Smash carrots, potatoes and noodles! Hey, quit laughing. It's a family favorite over here! After a bowl of this, THEN you'd have a regular bowl of soup. Ahh, happy memories.

As I was making the soup, I took out some of the broth and was cooking the potatoes in the broth. Then it hit me. Why in the hell did Mom do this? Why do we not just cook the potatoes in the soup? Why cook them separately? Does anyone know the answer to this question?

Regardless of the answer, whenever I cook potatoes for smashed carrots, potatoes and noodles, I'm doing them in a separate pan. Just like Mom.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I've Been Here Before

I finally got the results from my MRIs.

The lower back turned out to be ok and is healing on its own. The problem in my mid back however is not ok.

I have two herniated disks. One is very small and not believed to be causing any problems. The other one however, is another story. If anyone has any anatomy knowledge, the herniation is at T8-T9.

You know, I've been down this road before. I had a herniated disk before and I suffered with it for 10 years before I finally had the surgery to fix it. I have visions of the past running now through my head now and I don't want to go through that again.

The good and bad news is that the thoracic region of the back is a much riskier place to surgically correct since the spinal cord is not as pliable in this area than it is in the lower back area. So we will do everything we can to avoid surgery.

My next step will be a pain clinic. Possible solutions from the pain clinic will be spinal blocks again, however as with surgery, these are also more risky with the mid and upper back areas. There is also a chance of more physical therapy or a change in medications.

I went to a pain clinic in Westlake before and I know it is not the same as it was when I went there so I'm not thrilled about going back there for my treatment. I chose a pain clinic closer to the house but unfortunately, I can't get in until 12/3. So, I'm still researching other clinics to see if I can get in any sooner than that.

There we go. Back down the same road I've been down before. The doctor said the good news in all of this is that the back isn't broken. Yeah. That's some good news.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

One More Time

Yes, tonight was another one of those nights.

It started with a little beep outside. The kind of beep that an emergency vehicle emits just to let you know they are behind you. I heard that beep, looked out the window and was pleasantly surprised with the sight of an unmarked black SUV pulling over a black Lincoln right in front of our house! When I saw four men pop out of the SUV with bullet proof vest emblazoned with POLICE I knew we had won front row seats once again!

Ron and I ran downstairs (ok maybe not run, but a good brisk walk) and just stood in our front door watching the excitement. The police officers all had their hands on their guns while they got the driver out first and then pulled the passenger out a little more forcefully.

A thorough search was done on the car, including an officer flat on the back seat checking under the seats. The picture above was taken on Ron's phone and the picture below was from my camera. Both were taken from just inside of our front door.

Yeah, we need to move. Next excitement will be when they break down our front door because they have a wrong address! And, absolutely nothing has been in the papers about the last two incidents on our street, so I don't expect to find out just what this SUV full of officers was looking for. So much for the information age.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Nothing About Nothing

I try to be frugal. I buy in bulk to cut costs and I'm not afraid to buy generic or store brands. However, some things just have to be name brand.

Toilet paper is one of them. Another is macaroni and cheese. Specifically I only buy Kraft macaroni and cheese, white cheddar being my favorite. I'm bringing this up now because we had some of this as a side dish last night for dinner.

Now, I've eaten Kraft mac and cheese for as long as I can remember. If you can imagine the blue box in your mind, the instructions on the box state that you should push in the tab on the side and then pull the top off.

Years of eating Kraft mac and cheese. Not once have I ever been able to use my finger to push in that damn tab. I always have to use the stem part of the spoon to poke through that damn tab.

Is it just me? Can anyone else open that blue box with no problem?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Police Blotter

Yes, it's another Friday night at our house! And here is the picture proof of some of the police activity as seen from our front porch.

Ron and I were sitting in the computer room watching tv. I face the window and since tonight is such a beautiful night, we actually have the windows open. Outside of the window, I see a police car go by slowly with a search light scanning the fronts of the houses on our side.

The next thing I see is another car with no lights on pulling right in front of the next door neighbor's house and the officer getting out of the car. That's all I needed to see! Ron and I went downstairs to the porch to get a better look.

Before it was all over, there were five state police cars, at least 12 local police cars along with the paddy wagon. The neighborhood was suddenly full of the red and blue flashing lights.

Of course, I did the right thing and came back in the house to yell up at Phil that we were having a family meeting on the front porch. He was all about it as well. What in heaven's name would bring out the state police as well as local and unmarked cars?

We did see two or three young men handcuffed and taken from the house one or two down from our next door neighbors and put into the back of the paddy wagon. Next thing we know the helicopter comes in with the search light. This thing has been over our neighborhood with that darn search light for the last couple of hours. In case you couldn't tell, this below is a picture of the police helicopter!

We sat out there for quite awhile when one of the police officers was walking back to his car in our driveway to leave. Since he was right there and I was right there, I asked him what was going on. Talk about blowing smoke up my butt, he actually told me that it was a party that got out of hand. Hello? I've lived in this neighborhood for over five years. Especially with the windows open, if this was a party, it was the quietest damn party this neighborhood has ever seen. Yeah, we're not buying that one.

So, this activity we were able to watch from our own porch. The only bad thing about that was I had no tree to hide behind!
There are no more officers searching our backyards and it looks like they all packed up and went home. So, I don't think this was a party gone out of hand, but if I do find out anything about what happened, I'll pass it along. Don't count on it though, as the last activity that was complete with the SWAT van was never mentioned in the paper. Just another day in our neighborhood.