My hometown as seen from the Bay

My hometown as seen from the Bay

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tomorrow will be better

I finally decided to get into the doctor and find out why I can't seem to feel better.  Yesterday was a mixed bag of nausea, fatigue, achiness, blah blah blah.  Same today.  Last night I was watching The Roosevelts on PBS and got so tired I knew there was no way I was going to be able to watch until 10. I was hoping back and forth between PBS and DWTS 'cause I can't get my VCRs to communicate with my TVs right now.  Am hoping Hunter can help me.  Anyhow, at 8 o'clock I started to get ready for bed.  By 9 o'clock I perked up somehow and thought -- maybe I can stay awake longer.  Not to be, though. I hit the sack around 9:30.

At midnight I was awake again.  So awake I got up to read.  Nothing annoys me more than going to bed exhausted and not getting to stay asleep until the following morning!  At 2 a.m. Mr. Sandman made another appearance and then I kind of tossed and turned the rest of the night.  Woke up around 7 and knew darn well it was going to be a day of fatigue and feeling "off."

I had made a doctor appt the previous day and while I usually like to get in early, I knew I needed to make an appt for later in the day to see if I was going to be chained to the toilet.  I was desperate to get downtown and get my drivers license renewed because you pay a fine if you're late.  I was happy when I walked in and saw the room fairly empty of people.  I took a number and only had to wait a couple of minutes.  It was supposed to cost me $45 according to the post card I got in the mail but with their additional fees (I don't know for what) I had to pay $54.  Had I used my debit or credit card, they wanted another $3.  I wrote a check.  I sometimes wonder if I'll have to renew in five years. Sooner or later,the day will come when I realize my driving days are behind me.  The twins will have a license by then and if I'm still alive and kicking, I'm hoping they'll drive me where I need to go.

The doctor wants me to try elimination diets to see if I improve.  I'm going with dairy first as that's easier than gluten.  Gluten is in EVERYTHING!  I think I can manage dairy free okay as you still have a lot of choices.  I also bought a 2-week supply of Prilosec.  Well, I bought the generic form anyhow.  Prilosec was $20 and the generic was $8. Same ingredients too.

I came home and put a Cornish game hen in the oven and peeled some potatoes for supper.  Think I'll cook up some peas too.  I saw two people on FB (Cheri and Ann Marie) discussing Ken Follett's books so I decided to give them a try.  I had Fall of Giants on my book shelf already so I started with it.  Only thing is, it's a heavy book and it hurts my hands and arm to hold it. I've got to rig up some kind of table gadget that will allow me to read heavy books.

Joyce Lee came by yesterday and I gave her a stack of my old Leaders and People Magazines to read. She brought me a scone she made at Peninsula College. (she bakes in the kitchen up there)  She wanted me to go beach walking with her but I was feeling too punk to leave the house.  Am hoping I'm better tomorrow.

Got a picture from M&A on their plane trip to New York.  She said Jake did just fine and loved looking out the windows.  Napped and didn't cry at all.  They landed in Newark and will go to their hotel in NY for a function there.  Then they'll go visit Andy's brother and his wife in upstate NY.
Well, I gotta get up and turn the channel.  Dr. Oz's show would be a whole lot better if he didn't bring up silly gigglers from the audience to play his stupid games on stage.  What a waste of air time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ongoing project with a twist

As I've spent the last few weeks recuperating and found it difficult to do much of anything, I've  been
thinking on what I want to accomplish once I could get back online and start typing.  Genealogy data is the most fun for me and I've been working on various aspects of family history and how to preserve it.  I've got folders on my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family limbs but I wanted to get busy on filling in the gaps.

I pulled out my book "The Alphabet of My Life" that I wrote seven years ago.  Such an amateur attempt at an autobiography, but it was a start and you have to start somewhere. If nothing else, it's a reference for me to improve upon.  Another book I wrote in 2002 was called "Some of my family with some of their thoughts and memories."  This is a book I'm prouder of as it's very interesting with funny stories my cousins and siblings shared.  I only wished I had saved it on disk but I was just starting out using computers and learning as I went.  As I looked over some of the entries I knew I had to include many in the folders sharing family history.

To break it down, I'm starting with my dad's siblings.  Each aunt and uncle has their own folder that includes data on their life, obits, pictures, their kids and memories.  Using my 2002 memory book, I'm going to add little tidbits to each person's folder.  Will be a nice thing to have for great great grandchildren later on down the line.

For example:  one of the questions or statements I posed was: Tell me about your parents.  Some wrote long (really great stories) and some, like my dad who was a man of few words, wrote: Dad was easy going. Mother made us tow the line. She had a strap made out of an old horse rein and if we did something we weren't supposed to do,she's use that strap on our backside.

I remember dad ALWAYS kept a belt over the back of the fridge when I was growing up and he used it on us now and again.  Now I know where he got the idea.  ha ha

Well, that's my latest project in the works.  Makes me feel good to have a goal.

I haven't  felt good all day again today.  Have decided I'm going to put away the coffee pot altogether and see if things improve with my tummy and bowels.  Sooner or later I'm probably going to have to make an appt with some kind of doctor to check things out.  Going to try and fix myself first, though; I've had enough of doctors this year!

Finished watching a 6-episode movie series on Netflex last night.  It was on the BBC channel so sometimes it was hard to follow their English dialect.  Very good show,though. I recommend it if you can find it.  Called Happy Valley.  A female cop in England.  Another movie I watched was called: Mile..Mile and a half.  About hiking.  It was more of a documentary but well worth the time.

Don't have any pictures to share but here's one in my Uncle Jim's folder showing him and my dad getting water at the pump.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday morning

Had a few days of feeling pretty punk this week but hopefully, I'm on the mend again.  One day at a time is about all you can do.  I didn't take a nap yesterday (and that's unusual) so I was quite surprised when I went to bed at 9 pm and couldn't drop off to sleep.  Surprised and slightly ticked off!  At midnight I was still tossing and turning and getting more and more frustrated as I was very tired.  At 3 a.m. I opted to take an oxycodone tablet.  I've been pretty much staying off them as the pain was there but I was coping.  Last night, however, I was achy and tired and knew it would help me sleep.  I'll rethink that decision next time as I  knew it would probably give me nightmares.  And it did.

More than once I've found myself back at the mill working at my desk and when I'm in nightmare mode, I'm struggling to get caught up on my work.  I won't go into details about the various obstacles I was facing but they were typical for my "mill dreams."  Only two loaders appeared in this particular dream -- Jerry Bundy and Ron Mosher.  As I attempted over and over again to complete a task, I finally woke up with a horrendous headache -- and a sore jaw!  I'm sure I must have been grinding my teeth.  I'm definitely going to use oxycodone only when the pain is more than I can bear. Those damn nightmares are not worth it.

Sometimes my dreams take place down near the Railroad Y area.  Often times in the grass area you used to walk through to get to the beach.  Kind of where Safeway's gas station is now.  Anyhow, more often than not, my dreamscapes are in and around Port Townsend areas.  I've had some where I was hitchhiking down the S-curve and getting rides down in the flats.  Barbara Shaw picked me up the other night in my dream and suggested we go have a drink.  It was a tall green thing called a Cool Jake.  ha ha ha  I never know who's going to show up in my dreams. Alta Nelson, for example, was there a couple nights back.  I might have missed that memory of her except a suction grab bar in the shower lost its grip and fell onto the shower floor waking me up at 3 a.m.  After looking out all the windows to see if prowlers were about, I discovered the gadget on the floor.  It's pulled that stunt before.

I've been practicing moving my arm upwards the past couple of days.  It's still slow going but I keep reminding myself that every day gets me closer to a healthy arm.  My low back and/or right hip are reminding me every now and again that another body part is wearing down.  More than one person has told me of having both hips done, one or both shoulders done, and one or both knees done.  I hope to avoid that path but if it happens, well, it happens.  I wouldn't have had surgery on my knee or shoulder if I hadn't been forced into it by extreme pain and not being able to use the limb.  Sometimes decisions are made for you.

Every day I set at least two or three things I plan to accomplish.  Today it was vacuuming, washing dishes, putting away clothes lying around in the closet, and tidying up the back deck.  Even completing little chores gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Hunter came by this morning to shake out some rugs for me, move the patio table to the other side of the deck, pack some suitcases away in the garage, and move a small table to the living room.  Later on this week or next he'll come by and cut the lawn.  Grass isn't growing up the dandelions need a good chopping.  I wanted three of my garden birds moved from the back to the front, as well, so he helped me with that.

This pretty little yellow flower bush has held up well this summer. And so easy to plant too. Bought them at WalMart in the plastic flower section.

Here's a couple pictures that Mary and Andy sent me while on their trip to Whistler.

I started driving a few days ago but only go out for short distances and then get right back home again. Yesterday it was to the Dollar Tree and Safeway.  In a couple of days I'm going to have to go downtown and renew my drivers license.  Kind of dreading that as I know it can be a long wait, depending on what time of day you get there.

I made a taco/rice casserole  yesterday.  Got the recipe from Jenni but hers turned out a whole lot better than mine.  Probably because I didn't realize I needed a can of tomatoes for the Spanish Rice box.  I can't seem to cook worth a darn anymore.  I'm lucky if things turn out even halfway okay. I think I've gotten lazy with reading directions.  Have noticed my dishwashing skills are hit and miss too.

I went to Goodwill and picked up a couple of 500-pc jigsaw puzzles so I'll have something to occupy myself if the computer is bothering me.  I seem to be getting a little better at typing, though, so perhaps I've crossed another plateau in healing.

I watched golf yesterday afternoon and have it on again today.  I find it relaxing.  On Netflix I've been watching this Discovery series called "Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experience".  Netflix also has some shows they've put together themselves that I'm enjoying.

Guess I'll head over for the recliner now.  Because of the headache I woke up with, I had to get up a lot sooner than I really wanted to.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Taking another run at it

Every day I've been trying to do a little more. Today I decided to take a stab at blogging. Still uncomfortable to be online for any length of time but with iboprofen, an ice pack now and then, and rest, I've been able to increase my activities.  Haven't been brave enough to drive yet but I'm aiming for next week.  Need to get down to the beauty shop as my hair is in dire need of a trim.

I made an appt for physical therapy on Sept. 24, right after my 1 year appt with my knee doctor. I'm tempted to tell her that my complaining about my shoulder the whole time she was concentrating on my knee wasn't arthritis after all.  She did x-ray and decided it was arthritis.  I probably won't say anything, though. Wouldn't accomplish a thing. I do know I won't pursue her services again. Her bedside manner left a great deal to be improved upon

My shoulder surgeon didn't want me to start physical therapy until the 3rd or 4th week of this month. He did give me a few simple exercises to do at home until then. I'm very nervous about moving the shoulder too much as I don't quite understand the mechanics involved of the new hardware that's been put in place.  I did see the x-ray and it reminded me of how a robot might look inside.

All surgeries are hard on the body.  I was thankful I had my mobility to move unassisted this time.  That knee ordeal was something I want to never have done again.  Not thrilled about this shoulder situation either but if I have to have the left side done once I heal, I'll do it.  Just too difficult to get by without the use of your arms.

I was in the recovery room for several hours but I'm not exactly sure why.  I was told I'd be back in my room in an hour or two.  Not sure if it was my blood pressure readings or what.  Hope I can remember to ask the surgeon when I go for my six week follow-up exam on October 2.

One  of the hardest obstacles to get over after the surgery was the number the operation did on my bowels.  Maybe it was the anesthetic.  Was definitely a miserable period of time.  And then there were the nightmares.  Night terrors was more like it.  And I think everybody I ever knew who has died showed up at one time or another.  That's an unsettling remembrance when you wake up.  There were ghouls and monsters and the whole works finding their way into my dreamscape.  Woke up crying hard one time.

Yesterday I pulled out my counted cross stitch and crocheting.  Haven't made a lot of progress but some.  I also have a small puzzle set up on the kitchen table along with my laptop.  I thought I would get caught up on reading but alas, that seems to put me to sleep before I get too far along.  I'm working on Walter Cronkite's autobiography right now.

I can't get by without a nap every day but I was kind of walking down that road before surgery. I've moved into the computer room/sewing room for now on my single bed with a memory foam mattress. Seems to help me rest better.

My granddaughter, Catie, gave me this flatscreen tv someone had given to her so I have it set up in the living room and put my other large television in the bedroom.  Hunter programmed the new set for me and for some reason, I'm getting a few more channels than I was before.  I pay for the very basic basic of cable but because of decimal point channels I'm now picking up, I get a couple of cartoon channels, GETTV, THISTV, the animal planet, CNN, a couple Spanish stations, and couple of sports channels.  I've looked at my other universal remote controls and they don't have a decimal point on them so I probably won't try to switch the tv remote to a universal remote which might be easier to maneuver.  The remote I have now is tricky and you have to hold down certain buttons to make the tv turn off and on.  Keeps me busy but then I mostly watch Netflix and Amazon anyhow.

Here's the latest of Jake....he loved the swing at the park.

Mary was told by her daycare that she needed to pack more finger food for lunch instead of pureed baby food as he is in the "group with bigger kids now" and they sit in a circle at lunch to eat.  He'd watch them eating with their hands and wouldn't allow the daycare workers to feed him as he wanted big kids food too.  hee hee

She sent me a video she took of him discovering the toilet paper roll in the bathroom but I haven't figured out how to copy it so I can post. Have to play around with that.

The twins started high school last week.  Hunter signed up for tennis this year and wants to try golf in the spring. Maddie returned to cross country and was pleasantly surprised to make varsity. Pretty good for a freshman.
 Hunter on his tractor he entered in the county fair
Maddie (on right) for the first day of school

My class lost under member recently. That makes three this year...Joe Kenney, Linda Wilson Farina, and now Dave Brown.

Well, I'd best give this arm a rest and retire to the recliner. Sure wish they made recliners with left side arms to pull up the footrest. I'm having to use a hassock but it still feels good to be home in my own surroundings.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Owww! That hurts!

 Got my staples out today and while that didn't hurt all that much, I am a tad uncomfortable. Am sure it's gonna take a while.  Using the computer is hit and miss but I'm determined to at least get a couple sentences done.

Have tons to write about but it'll keep. Here's one Mary took pre-surgery.
Stayed two nights in the hospital and will come back Oct. 2 for the six-week followup. Meanwhile, I'm restricted to very light physical therapy at home until after my six-week appt and then it's at least six weeks of p/t in Port Angeles.  Nice hospital (Swedish at Issaquah) but glad it's over with.

Very weak still and other body parts decided to get in the act to make life miserable.  Meaning the colon and surrounding areas. Went through the same ordeal with the knee surgery last year.  I suspect the anesthesia doesn't agree with my system.  Nightmares were over the top horrendous and made me cry!

Can't drive as soon as I thought I would be able to but am still going home Aug. 31.  Mary and Andy will drive their car and my car to Silverdale where Jenni and Wayne will take me the last leg home.
Activities will be limited and I can't lift anything but if I can get on the computer a bit, that will help.

Best part was getting to watch Little Jacob. Here's his 8-month photo.
This will most likely be the extent of my blogging until next week. I have a ton to say about everything. (I thought the Emmys stunk!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday afternoon

Still waiting on a phone call to let me know what time I need to show up at the hospital tomorrow.  Mary is upstairs working from home and Jake is at daycare.  I wanted to ride along so I could see what the "waddle room" looked like that he's graduated to from the infant room. I was especially interested in how they get young toddlers to sleep on mats.  They do, though.  It was nap time when we arrived. This one room is darkened and a CD player has soothing music playing.  Not real soft but normal sound so the outside noises in the room next door (where more toys and climbing mats are) won't startle them awake.
I noticed a school bus in the parking lot and Mary says it's one they hire and bring in so the kids can go inside and bounce around like a bouncy house and other activities.

Catie came over for dinner last night 'cause her apartment house blew a transformer and the electricity was going to be out until today. She showed me her latest bead project. She drew the design herself.
I babysat Jake this morning while Mary was upstairs showering and had to take a couple pictures...just because.   Here he is posing for Grandma after his bath and the second one is him watching Sesame Street.  They seldom have the TV on when he's up so he found it interesting. (for a while)  He is only 8 months.

Whew! It's already starting to warm up in here.  It gets a lot hotter on this side of the water than it does on the peninsula.
Dave Marriott sent me this photo in an email this morning. Shows the Redskin rock being disassembled. Depressing for both of us.
I've got one more episode of OZ to watch and then I'm done with all six seasons.  Was going to watch it last night but the finale was two hours long and I knew I wouldn't make it until midnight.  This heat makes me more tired than usual.

Hospital just rang me up and I check in at 11:45.  Be glad when this is done.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Morning in Renton

It's a little after 10 a.m. and all is quiet.  I've surfed my usual websites, worked my crossword puzzle, and downloaded some video and pictures.  I wanted to get some of Jake crawling but when he's really going at it, my camera seems to be out of reach.  Anyhow, here's a short 39-second one I took this morning.  Mary's gonna have to move her potted plants and other floor decorations soon as he keeps eyeing them.

I arrived at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge about 10 am on Saturday. Getting to my cousin's place on Union Avenue was fairly easy although I did take one wrong turn.  We visited for a few hours and I drove us down to Taco Time for lunch. (her favorite place)
                              Ann graduated from Garfield High School with Quincy Jones.

Mary and Andy arrived a little before 2 pm and luckily Andy knew that area well so he drove the backroads avoiding I-5 which was snarled.  We had to get on it at one point but it was okay by then. They fixed up my bedroom so it's very cozy.  I have a table for my laptop, a large flat screen tv and I stopped at Bartells to pick up a small table fan.  My own bathroom is right next door.

I was exhausted Saturday night so I fell in bed at 9 but last night I watched a couple episodes of OZ on my laptop.  They're picking me up a "box" today so I'll be able to watch the TV set during the rest of my stay.  Mary picks me up at 2:30 this afternoon so I can go to my pre-surgery appt in Issaquah.

Yesterday they had a barbeque in the col-de-sac down the street for all the members of the owner's association.  They only had about 5 families or so participate but that was fine. Catie came over and we visited while eating burgers, chips, and fruit.
This morning I took a few pictures of my surroundings so I'd have something to post besides the usual birds, lawn, and nutty stuff I have to work with while writing from home.
 Here's Mary saying goodbye to Jake as Andy heads off to daycare in Bellevue. They take turns taking and picking him up each day depending on their schedules. They both can work from home certain days. Andy works in Bellevue for T-Mobile and Mary is contracted to Microsoft right now.
 Here's my car awaiting my return to Port Angeles (hopefully Aug. 31 if I'm able to drive. Otherwise, Sept. 7.)
 The gate that they installed for when Jake decides he needs to investigate upstairs.
The gadgets and equipment they have for babies these days never fails to amaze me.  This is a pacifier like thing. (He won't have anything to do with pacifiers). Anyhow, you put a piece of fruit like cantalope or orange in the mesh bag and they suck on it for nourishment.  Course Jake is already eating tiny pieces of fruit so Mary doesn't know if he'll be all that interested.  He's cutting teeth again --his 5th & 6th already.  He'll be 8 months old this Saturday.

Well, I guess I'll go watch the huge TV in the living room. I'm sure Andy is thrilled he doesn't have to share his remote with his mother-in-law. I'm thrilled too!  hee hee