You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2007.

I love IM Chat. I open it up and can jot a note to my DH at home slogging away in his telecommuting to Chicago, or to a number of other people I know on chat. Or not. Just seeing who is online from time to time always brings a smile. The ability to instantly exchange small-talk does not foster erudite philosophical discussions. Just connections of daily trivia like the following which took place over the course of a work day:

DH: good morning
me: I was just about to say that, so I will!
me: Good morning, dear. It is really nice out!
me: Pity I work INdoors on a day like today!
DH: yeh
me: Yellow pollen stuff seems slightly down, too
DH: that would be nice, my eyes have been killing me whenever I go outside
me: With me I was breathing in the stuff and gagging
DH: yucky
me: You could wear the underwater google-like the aqua man fish thing in Hellboy does
me: not google, goggles
me:
DH: lol, that would be so cute
me: I thought so

me: BTW – I will be bringing the strawberries up tonight for strawberry shortcake. Jess says she will get Ice Cream and shortcake. She already has the whipped topping
me: You could nuke your serving so you could eat it
DH: I will probably eat it anyway
me: I used real sugar – but only a tablespoon
DH: I would have used about 14/-1/2 cup for that pile of berries
me: that’s ‘cuz you are a cookie monster!
DH: yup
DH: I loves your cookies
DH: they are soo sweet
DH:
me: snicker
DH: You should make snicker doodles again
me: snuggle!
DH: speaking of snicker
me: true
DH: Liam can have them I think
DH: the dogs have been occupied by something under the shed
DH: they have been digging and even pulled out bricks I put in there
DH: they have spent about 4+ hours fussing with it
DH: they finally came in to say Hi
me: There was a family of moles or voles there…that is where one of the dead bodies were they found under the snow, anyway
DH: Duncan turned his head under the table and gave two LOUD hacks like coughing up a fur ball
DH: it was a whole dead (I hope) mouse
me: gross!!!!
me: OVER SHARE!!!!!!!
DH: when Dixie came to look they got into a VERY nasty teeth can growling match
me: stop laughing!
DH: until I shouted them out of my room
me: oooh – not laughing about that
DH: and tossed the prize down the john
me: please sanitize and boil the floor
DH: LOL
DH: do I need to sanitize and boil the dogs
DH: also
me: good plan
me: par baoil?
me: parboil?
me: that was not French
DH:
DH: well Duncan is chilling in here with me
DH: Dixie is probably looking for more 4 legged toys to play with
me: Aarghhhh!

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  • gloriously perfect weather! (is there a way to bottle this bliss?)
  • swing set assembly completed for Liam
  • weekend warriors are pooped!
  • honoring those who have gone before us in service to our country

Grampa did a few too many gallops with Liam over the weekend and now he (grampa, not Liam) is hobbling and grimacing. They were a funny pair to watch and I wish a camera was nearer to hand during the galumphing. They were so funny!

Liam carries his sand pail in the crook of his elbow, like a handbag. He concentrates on scooping up slivers of sand, picking up grains with his fingers if he wants a pinch more on the shovel, then solemnly pours it into the bucket, and, with 2 tablespoons of sand in the half gallon bucket, he goes off (“bye!” ) to a spot that needs to have the aforementioned tablespoons of sand deposited.

The process is repeated repeatedly. (“bye!”)

I carried a 40-pound bag of “dehydrated cow manure” in my car since its purchase on Saturday so I could bring it in to work. My car still carries a strong odor of cow field, even though I managed to get it out of the car yesterday. I wore overalls and a long-sleeved t-shirt in to work (Yes, I brought work clothes to change into so I wasn’t “Green Acres” all day) so I could drag the manure over to my plot. I grabbed my yellow, plastic, garden tools basket and 2 garden gloves to use at work. Once I plunged my hands into the second one, I discovered they were both for the left hand. I bet I will cuss the pair of right-handed ones I have at home when I forget to mate the pairs correctly.

Along with bug spray, clippers, a garden claw, and a kneeling pad, my garden tool kit was complete except for a trowel. The one I took from the back deck turns out to be the one DH uses for doo-doo duty. He’d prefer I return it. I’d have preferred to have known beforehand that that was what I was handling all this time!!

Several family members have spent time in service to our country in the military. Some, like Uncle Herm and brother David, made a career out of it. A few died because of that involvement…if not in battle, in the battle inside that came home with them.

I have always believed that everyone should, in some form or another, spend time in service to our country. The military is only one way; community service counts, the Peace Corps counts, Habitat for Humanity counts, regularly giving blood (Tim has donated GALLONS of it over the years) counts, anything that supports our community of life counts IMHO. But it’s like the contributions to breakfast that the pig and the chicken give us. For the chicken it is a donation. For the pig it is his whole life. All the members of the military have more in common with the pig than the chicken.

Our #1 Son is a Sergeant in the Army. He is currently stationed at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas. In November he expects to be sent to Korea for a year’s rotation there. May he continue to support and serve our country with eggs throughout his enlistment, and not his bacon.

We Love You Phil!!

The afghan is finished. It was not without it’s hairier moments. I used the same pattern as my first nephew, um…3+ decades ago, but thought I would modify this this time to make it similar in size to his big brother’s. But then I began the hairpin lace and neglected to actually write the modifications into the pattern. I purchased materials for the modifications, but when I discovered that I was making the full (twin-bed size!) pattern, did I purchase sufficient supplies? No, I did not. This is putting the “No Dye Lot” yarns into extreme test mode. I managed to find at the bottom of the bin, a match to the main yarn used. Did I also pick up the edging? No, I did not. I was one and three-quarters of single-crochet-stitch rows away from completion when I RAN OUT OF YARN. Yech!

Again, I lucked out and matched the dye lot of the “No Dye Lot” yarn, but, SHEESH! PITA!!!!

Was it worth it? Yes. I think so!

I have to say that last weekend with my DSis and DD was THE BEST! Not because of the concert, but because we got to play and sing together. DD Susan scans my CDs and pops in whatever catches her eye. She gave me a Seekers CD for Christmas and it has a ton of songs on it that my DSis and I sang together in our early (still vinyl) years. We chimed in with remembered harmony and had a blast! I shared with them the “Rhinoceros Tap” CD by Sandra Boynton and they were as enchanted as I. Both recognized Sandra Boynton cartoon art, but had no clue she also did music. Liam and I have a great time with her CD…Lovely times!

Singing together is a great joy of mine. It is why I am in a choir AND a community chorus. Now that I am in the summer hiatus of both, I admit to sensing the beginnings of withdrawal. I am continuing the voice lessons and in three weeks is the Strawberry Festival in Westford where the chorus comes together again to sing a few of the past seasons’ favorites. This year we are doing the Cole Porter stuff and a couple from Show Boat.

Being without choir (well, one more rehearsal next week and one more service to sing) and chorus has opened up two nights of my week. So far, I am enjoying them HUGELY. Give me a week and I’ll be in serious withdrawal and in danger of signing up for more obligations instead of catching up on lawn and home and sewing and knitting and…

Great weather for a Memorial Weekend means EVERYONE is out (read: in my way) looking to plant things in their yards. We traipsed to three or four places for plants, fertilizer, and a hose extension. Some are for home, some are for my work garden. The work garden generally does better except for the zucchinis. The first time I tried them in the work garden they went garbanzo beans – I resorted to giving them away with a sign that read “Zucchini Bread – some assembly required.” Ever since then, not a one survived. But, another season, another hope.

This afternoon was spent working in the yard…deadheading, raking, burning in the town-approved covered burning pit…except it wasn’t covered. I had fantasies of sitting out there by the fire with my laptop, crafting witty and erudite commentaries for the blog…HAH! I was pooped and covered with dirt dust so as soon as I finished a major burn section, I let it burn down and went into the tub! I soaked in oiled water with bubbles until the water cooled and the timer went off, beginning a new-to-me book by Mr. Koontz.

Our lawnmower is NOT happy. It would run…and die…start right up and run….and die. It had last year’s gas in it and that was part of the problem DH decided. It could have been disgusted with the height of the weeds that pass for grass (hey! they’re GREEN aren’t they??) With many restarts, and fresh gas, the back, front, and one side is mowed. They look so much better! Before the rain comes tomorrow evening, we hope to have the remaining side one completed as well.


Concert weeks are always crazy-busy, and this was no exception. There was a mad rush of gorilla advertising to captive parents attending an emergency school meeting (our director is always thinking of ways to ‘spread the word’ about our work) that probably filled a few seats this past weekend. Changes were constantly being made to the Program itself as people had family-related issues and work-related travel affecting attendance at the 2 tech rehearsals…you know, stuff!!

I got home late every night, and managed to do one or two things before collapsing on the bed (which remains a peaceful—but not necessarily inactive 🙂 —place since DH’s surgery). The puppies have had a joyous time romping all week in the fresh mud (rain, rain, and more rain!), so I gave Duncan a bath Friday night in-between frantically cleaning up and vacuuming for DSis and DD arriving midday Saturday.

They slogged through the rain and when they walked in the door early afternoon on Saturday, I laid down my cleaning supplies and just hung with them, making CR’s black bean salsa, and erecting a few dozen variations of the Kidoo building kit (which Liam only saw for about 5 minutes a couple weeks ago). There is a video…watch for it 🙂

The concert was a rush. I was pleased as punch that the Piesch Piece we all sweated over went the best it ever has. The composer was there and pleased as well. (whew!)

DH, DD, and DSis were front row and center (literally!) for the show. DD Susan wore her new top that looks so nice…she is practically molded into it and looks FAB-ulous!! DSis Lori saw quite a bit of the show through her camera lens. They all preferred the second half of the concert which was the semi-staged and costumed “Show Boat” selections. I finally sang *all* of the lyrics correctly in the very last (second) show. Progress is sometimes like that.

It was grand fun and terrific to have them here, but by the time I got home after Sundays’ performance (I sang in both Sunday church services as well), I was POOPED! My ankles and feet were _so_ sore. The puppies were very disappointed about that. They snuggled around my raised feet as I vegged in front of the TV, anyway.

They forgave me when I took them out for a walk right after work tonight. Puppies are like that.

The only bummer of the day was my quarterly dental peridontal cleaning appointment this afternoon which affirmed my concerns about my dental partial appliance—(I simply CANNOT refer to it as a denture, partial or otherwise!)—it does need repaired. Repairs require me to drop it off at the lab in Westford at oh-dark-thirty and continue my day without it. Aesthetically NOT pleasing. Emotionally demoralizing and depressing because I tend to stay in denial that I even HAVE one during the day time. Liquid/soft diet. But it is a one-day deal and I can go get it at 3 the same day and bring it directly to the dentist for final fitting.

My Wednesday is booked that way. I’ll bring work home tomorrow and log in to my terminal at the office remotely. Wicked slow, but bearable. Great for coding, actually, because I can concentrate better. Even with the dogs underfoot!

Synopsis:

  • Hubby returns to doctor for ucky-looking incisions check-up (ouchy)
  • Freecycle nets me a Casio electronic keyboard (toy!)
  • Late responses on chorus posters and programs leaves costume in time jeopardy
  • Grandson here for dinner, but I am not 😦
  • First Tech Rehearsal and audition of commissioned material for author (yeeks!)
  • Stage placards one shy of a full deck

We took pictures of how his incision looked before we went to the ER last Saturday/early Sunday. The surgeon was not impressed. The bacteria count was irrelevant. It is healing well, but needs another month. Yes, DH is allergic to the adhesive used on the bandages. Sore back? Lay down.

I *love* Freecycle! The Casio keyboard is maybe 10 years old but in superb condition with the original operators manual. I feel less “exposed” practicing voice in the basement. DH taught the puppies to “sing” which is rather disconcerting when I am warming up with scales. I swear it confuses the heck out of them as well!

As I went over the concert program with the printer I noticed two style errors, so I put the print job on hold until I could make the changes. They have a website to upload to, so that is good. But, because comments and quantities and the on-stage poster text were late, I did not have time to work on my stage clothing at all. I have the materials. It will not take long. But even “not long” needs *some* time in order to be assembled! I have a back-up to wear for the Thursday Tech Rehearsal, and hopefully will manage to get the simplified outfit ready in time for the Saturday show (all while trying to crisis-clean a house that has been left to doggy debris for far too long!)

DH was planning on going up for our regular Wednesday dinner with DD, DS-in-Law, and DGS, but his back was really bothering him and he couldn’t take his pain meds if he was driving up there. DD said to take the meds; she would come down. Now, I knew I would miss them because I had to be at a chorus Tech Rehearsal. Having them here and missing them was a real bummer! True, I did get to visit a few minutes before I had to leave. DH had made pea soup in honor of graduating to soft foods and I couldn’t have it right before a rehearsal! 😦

DGS has learned how to “sneak up” on someone. I need to get a video of that. It is hysterical!

The author of the commissioned piece we are doing for this concert was there tonight. Oh geez! Talk about pressure! This is a very difficult one to sing, but if we manage to nail it on concert night, it will be AWESOME. Suffice it to say, his vision and our rehearsal tonight did not exactly mesh. Overall he is pleased, but it wasn’t what he anticipated. His comments did not quite match the score, so hey – what did he expect?

I was frantic to finish the stage placards for the Show Boat portion of this weekend’s concert…and somehow managed to leave one behind at home. Gotta get it tomorrow. And what is this about having to transport props in the pouring rain? YUCKO!

But they don’t seem to even know I exist. While that is generally a good thing, it also means they meander into my world from time to time because they are not paying attention to the rules in *my* universe.

We have had a few in our yard over the years. For my son I braved the slithery beast and tossed it into our neighbors yard (no one was home), using the tines of a gravel rake. It had enough sense to not come back.

This year they seem to have decided to make a return visit with their family. DH came in last week to tell me he had tossed a three-footer into the upper wilds of a neighbor’s yard. I wasn’t to worry because it was “only” a garden snake.

Hey! The one in the Garden of Eden was “only” a garden snake and look at all the trouble he caused!

The dogs were going berserk in the back yard. I went out to shush them. They had cornered something under the camper…a very calm looking snake was all heads-up looking at them as they circled and barked.

“STEPHEN!!!!!”

He came out smiling and somehow herded the snake out from under the camper, keeping the dogs from catching it for playing with. At some point he picked it up and tossed it over the fence.

Our neighbors might not be too happy with us…if they know it was us, that is.

Anyhoo, DH came in and scrubbed his hands and changed his clothes, tossing the snaked ones into the wash. (He isn’t immune to snake-ick, after all!)

On our morning walk at work we saw a snake doing the slithery thing on the side of the road. Despite the relatively active traffic on our company road, we elected to walk in the middle of the road rather than risk catching the attention of any snake, garden or garter or whatever!

Because I am not alone in hating them.

All God’s Creatures have a right to exist in this world…but I don’t have to see them! They are most definitely NOT in my “Quality Universe.”

It has been a very eventful 24 hours around here. After the celebration of my driving accomplishments, I continued in a productive mode with food shopping, getting gas for the car ($2.97/gallon!), walking the puppies (I have learned to continue wearing gloves to hold their leads. It saves a lot of wear and tear on my skin and holds the leashes more securely for when they spot a squirrel or bunny in the neighborhood who they simply MUST meet!), general house pick-up and working on next weekend’s concert program, and multitasked in front of the boob tube with the new baby afghan, and back to working on the concert program.

At this point it is around 11PM. Hubby bares his chest in front of my face and asks “Do you think that looks right?” pointing to the discoloration around one of his surgical incisions.

Um. No. Slightly puffy, greenish yellow with a white center line. It is the same one that has been seeping mostly clear fluids ever since the operation. We called on it twice and were assured not to worry unless he developed a fever, it swelled, or changed color. This was a different color.

So we called the doctor on call (it took 2 tries to hear back from her) who said it might need cleaned and repacked. She instructed us to go to the clinic where the surgery was done (25 minutes away at that time of night) or our local emergency room (5 minutes away at that time of night). For our sins,we chose the closer one.

We clocked in at the emergency room (DH tried to dissuade my presence, but staying home and wondering would have driven me nuts!) at 12:30 AM (what the admission papers read)…and clocked out at 6AM (ibid).

There were at least six infants and toddlers with various ailments, all fussing with their discomfort as their tired moms attempted to sooth them, walking, pacing, and making mom-noises. There were also a smattering of adults in the waiting room. They told us this was already getting better, time-wise. Looking at a possibly infected wound and redressing it was not (and rightly so) on the top of the priority list…so we waited.

I brought my afghan to work on, but neglected to make sure the crochet hook was included when I scooped the project up off the couch.

Time crept by. Impossible to sleep or even doze. Slowly the room emptied. Around about 4AM we were ushered into a small curtained area in ER. Hubby donned the oh-so-attractive johnny and took the best seat in the house, the bed. He scooched over and I was able to stretch prone for a few moments before gravity made it too uncomfortable to continue clinging to the edge. A nurse came in, looked at it and asked if it was possible that the surgeon used a marker around the incision area because it looked to her like bleeding felt-tip pen. Now that we looked at it, we conceded that night be possible. But it _was_ somewhat inflamed and sore.

The over-worked (apparently sole) ER physician did redress the wound. It looked cleaner than it had earlier in the evening, and not as swollen. He took a culture of the incision area, and insisted this really should have been done and looked at by the initiating clinic. Somewhere in the middle of observing that procedure I “started to come over all strange-like” (I read that in a Victorian novel once and loved it!) and veered off in search of the water I suddenly craved. Before I found the water fountain, however, I met the floor (very nice, clean floor it was, too but neither of us were up to conversation at that point).

How embarrassing. My blood pressure had plummeted to something like 57 over 40. The nurses fussed and wanted me to see a doctor. It was easier to acquiesce than to continue arguing in my current condition.

DH dresses and gets up off the hospital bed and I am promptly put in it’s place. On a bed, I mean.

Oh geez. Fainting. If it weren’t for that silly episode, we could have left at 5AM!

The doctor poked his head in, asked if that had ever happened before (not recently), asked how I felt, looked at the current blood pressure reading (109 over 66), and deemed me safe to go home and talk to my doctor about it. Before leaving, the nurse insisted on a last check and was cheered to see my more normal reading of 119 over 68.

The dogs went nuts wondering where we were all night. It being close to their breakfast time, DH fed them. We both collapsed into bed. I didn’t rise until the crack of noon.

Now, I am just a mite behind on the never-ending list of weekend chores. But I feel fine. Silly, but fine. DH is still sleeping (quietly, yeah!). And so, my day begins again.

I am not so much geographically challenged as cartographicly disabled. Macro space such as neighborhoods and towns defeat me. I can get turned around and mixed up even while on a straight path…which makes today’s feat worthy of celebration.

For most people, getting from here to there is no big. For me it is an act of bravery, flying in the face of past experience, the terrors of being lost.

In the past few years I have made marked improvement in this area. I have trusted Google Maps (and MapBlast and Yahoo Maps and Arrow printed maps) to get me to new locations to pick up or deliver Freecycle items, or to take advantage of neighboring town’s garden sales. As a matter of fact, those were this morning’s feats. I made the maps from Google, verified them with a printed map and ON MY WAY OUT THE DOOR CHANGED THE ROUTE.

Now that is shear lunacy for me. I knew that, and still got in the car.

The directions made little sense to me in that they seemed to take me out of my way, but I followed them anyway and a) managed to get where I was going, AND (!) b) recognized where I was in relationship to past trips I have made through this neighboring town.

Sky rockets! Fireworks! Yeah me! (Yes, I really am that bad at maps and finding street signs – living in New England doesn’t help – they reuse names over and over all over the place…that is, when they manage to put signs up at all, but I digress….)

The plant sale was fun. I snagged some very healthy marigolds for the yard and a new red geranium vine in a hanging planter. Now…off to the next site.

I knew how to get to a common connecting point between where I was and where the Google maps were telling me to go. Off I went. And now I understood why the directions were the way they were before…I was driving through town all the way. Traffic lights and (shudder) traffic.

As I reached the connecting point, I realized that the map I had printed out for reference also showed a “better” (shorter…if it worked) route to the Freecycle pick-up location.

AND IT WORKED!!!!

I reversed the original directions for getting home and THEY WORKED TOO!

I am so disgustingly proud of myself! Happy feet dance!

That is what I hear these past couple nights. Blessed silence. No choking or coughing. Hubby is back home after the surgery and he doesn’t stay up all night with tummy trouble, choking, or breathing problems. Meds help, of course. He has had years and years of dealing with heartburn, acid reflux, and in the past year, trouble swallowing and keeping food in his stomach, rather than his esophogus.

Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication
A long, impossible-to-pronounce surgical procedure that is “minimally invasive” which means five small incisions, instead of one big one.

He is healing, still managing to stay at his computer a few hours at a time throughout the day and evening, vegging or sleeping inbetween. And I am finally back at work.

Go, team!

Even on days that are dark and full of thunder, there are bright spots that make all the difference in the world.

This gift was a splendiferous bright spot. DD Jess said it was in appreciation for the Fridays I spent with Liam. If I could have paid for the opportunity to do it longer or more, I would have. I was definitely the “winner takes all” for those Fridays.

Naturally, I immediately began using it. Beau-coo compliments on the charmer’s face and my “That’s a *real* Gramma’s bag!” Coworkers were nicely vocal in complimenting it. Choir was equally appreciative. Jess really has a good eye for gifts like this and waited until she had a good photo of Liam to put on it.

Two nights of mostly uninterrupted sleep have made a vast improvement in my mood and outlook. That is a very good thing. It kept me from reaching through the phone lines to strangle the 1-800-Flowers service rep who told me “oh…your daughter’s birthday flowers were not delivered because FedEx didn’t pick up the delivery.”

Excuse me? I paid YOU, not FedEx to deliver them! Why can’t I have the same order redone properly? Why will it cost more? No, I do not want that inferior and more expensive replacement; refund my money!

Surely you see that this person is alive solely due to my having gotten enough sleep, thereby enabling me to control my murderous impulses.

I don’t think her hearing will be the same for a bit, though.

Please excuse me now whilst I go attempt the flower thing again. I am so sorry, Susan!
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