Friday, February 21, 2014

Are The Olympics Becoming Diluted? 2014 In Review...

With concerns over housing not being finished, water that looked like urine, and terrorist threats to ruin the games, it looked like the Olympics were going to get off to a very rough start. However, once the games began, everything seemed to fall into place and has been flowing like a river, although often at just a trickle. Weather, physical conditions, injuries and other factors contributed to many ups and downs during the 2014 Olympic Games. The cost of hosting the whole shebang is astronomical with no guarantee of future revenue from same. I do hope that Putin is ready to accept that reality.

So there was that whole awful eye infection that has plagued Bob Costas. I've been there before and all I can say is I'd sure want to be home in my own bed, not in Russia. But if I were in Russia, I would do nothing but eat caviar and drink vodka. But, that's just me. Anyhoo, NBC has been scrambling to line up its best to fill in for Costas' absence, but his knowledge of the games is extensive and is hard to replace at the last minute. Although, you cannot beat the class act that is Meredith Viera. A great diplomat in her own right, due greatly to her basic kindness and understanding of human beings. I applaud her!

Since the night before the Opening Ceremony I have hardly been able to do anything else aside from watch or listen to the TV coverage. There have been so many new events added to almost every sport, it has become mind boggling to try and keep track of it all. I should have gotten all crafty and made a board to keep track of the events that are on but I was overwhelmed too quickly, getting too far behind. I just wasn't prepared for all the new additions to each category. Now I am totally lost.

Speaking of the Opening Ceremony... I thought it was fantastic. Well, until I saw the ugly Christmas sweaters the USA athletes were wearing. Ralph Lauren, what were you thinking? Wait. Was it a joke?

My old favorite athletes (from the 2010 Games) didn't seem to fare too well this year, if they even made it to Sochi, but new heroes have risen from the ranks of the unknown. As always, you are taken through every emotion possible, even when the skating star from an opposing country has to withdraw due to a hurt back. Your heart just aches for them. And once you know your country lost, you can cheer on a new star from Japan or wherever.

Bode Miller (my fave downhill skier) didn't seem to have fully healed from past injuries and surgeries. Lindsey Vonn was still healing from her latest injuries and surgeries, missing Sochi altogether. Skiing is truly one of the hardest sports on your body, mainly your joints but broken bones as well. Then time gets its hand in things and you know how that story goes. I think it's about even with football players. All that impact with the ground and such. As the games continued Bode's luck on the hill never really improved. Ted Ligety, however, shined like the star he really is. Can we spell YOUTHFUL and bullet proof?

In skiing, there is a point at which you realize that you are no longer bullet proof. When that happens, you're toast, baby.

Then, the major top dawg in snowboarding misses his flips on the half-pipe and even more new stars are born. But the US women swept snowboarding on that same half-pipe. Go figure. I'm not sure if that was the regular snowboarding events or the new ones. I'm so confused by it all. Too many new events for this old lady to keep up with.

How about the fact the US beat Russia in hockey after an overtime of 8 shoot-outs? The US finally prevailed. That felt pretty sweet and I'm not even a hockey fan. Our guy was really outstanding as he repeatedly shot the puck into the goal. SCORE!

One thing I've loved this year in alpine skiing, snowboarding and luge/bobsled/skeleton is the fact that they can visually track one skiers' run with another skier at the same time with something like a superimposed image on the screen. Pretty cool that, too. You can see exactly where the slower skier made their mistakes while the faster took the tighter lines down the hill. It fascinates me. What an amazing tool for development and improvement.

White and Davis wowed us all with a crowning gold medal, the first ever for the USA, in Ice Dancing. How perfectly lovely is that? It was a brilliant program. Solid and totally confidant.

Last of all, the US Olympics *powers that be* finally realized their athletes have more varied and specific dietary needs this year than ever, so they took their own chef and kitchen crew to Sochi. They shipped massive amounts of foods over to Russia along with products they knew they couldn't get there, all in an effort to keep the athletes healthy, as they are used to here at home. What a major production it must have been! Still, members of the team had to scramble to locate what they could locally, because most stores had already been sold out to the rest of the cooks for the Olympians. I can't even imagine what kind of craziness it all was.

All that said... I'm now growing weary of the Olympics. Time to move on and see what other wonders life has in store for us. Just another sign that I'm cresting the hill of never understanding anything about the Olympics from here on. The circle of life continues to turn...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did You Have A Pet Chameleon As A Kid In The 1950's & 60's?

I'm pretty sure I don't know many people my own age who didn't win a chameleon as a prize at the traveling carnival as a kid. Especially in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Carnivals, Rodeos and Fairs would award us with these fantastic, gorgeous little creatures that we had no idea how to care for. Frankly, we were children and could barely take care of ourselves.

The little lizards came equipped with a tiny red string around their necks that were attached to a tiny little gold safety pin. This enabled us to pin it to our shirts and thus, thwart their otherwise inevitable escape. As I recall, they were only about 2" to 2-1/2" in length and maybe 1/2" wide. They were very sweet but hey, they were on a leash.

How were we to know we were actually torturing these delicate little guys that had no defense against us? As it turns out, the only defense mechanisms they had were the very reasons we all wanted to win one. We were told, as children, that chameleons would change colors when placed next to different colors.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't drastic change but we did see some. Or we just thought we did. They were really anole lizards but no kid wanted a prize named that, right? So, to us they were resplendent chameleons.

As soon as my brother & I would return home from the Fair, we'd be running all over the house holding our prizes up to different colors, with great, ghoulish glee as they performed their color change. Sooner or later, we'd become bored with them and go in to dinner, forgetting all about them. Days after, we'd find them in a physical state something short of fossilized, shrunken and dead. I do remember mourning the death of one or two, at least. Of course, we had funerals for them, but what little devils and heathens we were!

Oh, the misery it causes me now! Why? I just found out that those changing colors reflected their feelings of fear, anger and sheer confusion. They can't hurt you. I just read an article explaining this magical thing that chameleons do. I feel like such a serial killer because it also makes me realize that we undoubtedly must have tortured horney (horned) toads when we were children too, which are now almost an endangered species. They aren't nearly as beguiling as chameleons but we didn't have to wait around for the carnival or the circus to come to town to get them. If you just went out to your backyard where the dirt patch was and sat still for a while, they would come within catching distance. Yep, that's how we passed the long summers in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico as children.

Now, I'm worried about my own Karmic future. I hope they won't one day be sitting in judgement of my soul. If so, I'm in trouble.... deep. Don't even get me started on the crawdads (crawfish), goldfish and teensy turtles with painted shells. We unknowingly murdered them all....

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tony Bennett... Still A Class Act & A Cool Cat

Last night Mr. Snoots and I attended an incredibly delightful concert given by 87 year old Tony Bennett with our best friends in tow. We're all still totally giddy from the experience. Seriously. This talented singer wowed the crowd repeatedly with old standards such as "Fly Me to the Moon", "I Left My Heart In San Francisco",  "The Best Is Yet To Come", and a tear-jerking rendition of Charlie Chaplin's song "Smile". He continues to be what I think of as *A Cool Cat*.

Wikipedia says:

"Based upon a suggestion from a teacher at American Theatre Wing, he developed an unusual approach that involved imitating, as he sang, the style and phrasing of other musicians — such as that of Stan Getz's saxophone and Art Tatum's piano — helping him to improvise as he interpreted a song."

It was his own personal and unique style. Biddly bee bop de bop de bop... and so on.

Playing to a solidly full house for two hours, Mr. Bennett proved he can continue to belt out the songs with his still silky voice AND remember the words. For an 87 year old, that is quite some feat. His last number was performed *a capella* and with no microphone. There wasn't a dry eye in the place and when he was done, there wasn't a single person in their seat. I can't even count the standing ovations he received last night. We were duly mesmerized.

His show opens with none other than Tony's thirty-something daughter Antonia (also a jazz singer) who sang a handful of good old standards before she beckoned her father out onto the stage for his performance, which I considered a total treat. Clearly, she didn't inherit Tony's *pipes* but she's good and very professional in her delivery of said songs. Later in the show she returned to the stage to do a duet with her Dad and they even did a little *soft shoe* together. It was truly priceless.

Tony Bennett even graced us with 3 curtain calls and all four of us agreed that Mr. Bennett seemed hesitant to leave the stage, to our delight. He's just adorable! He might not be jumping around on stage like Mick Jagger at 70 years old but there is nothing about this man that represents his age of 87. He still has lots of bounce in his step and I can't help but wonder if we'll still be seeing him performing concerts in his 90's. This fan certainly hopes so.

I grew up on Tony Bennett's music... Along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and all the other great singers of the 1950's and 1960's. My mother had all his albums along with countless others. We were literally lulled to sleep at night with old standards being sung by velvety smooth voices emitting from our hi-fi. I still crave this stuff. I hope I always will.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Full (Wolf) Moon Tonight... Watch Out For The Crazy People

I love it when a full moon has a special name and a story behind that name. Tonight we'll be viewing The Wolf Moon, which makes me laugh and think of the movie Teen Wolf that starred Michael J. Fox in the 1980's. Every time the full moon rose, he grew far too much body hair and played basketball like an animal. Literally.

According to the time-trusted Farmer's Almanac:

"• Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon (February)."

While this is all fun and informative, I endearingly call this monthly time warp period *When The Crazies All Drive Their Cars*. You know it's true, right? In a city that has grown faster than it can keep up with, it is magnified several times over here in the *Outback of the Oil Fields*. It's like they all come creeping out of the deep, dark cracks to simultaneously drive me totally batty in traffic.

Moving violations abound here. Texting, & talking on cell phones while in school zones, cutting off someone without signaling, (with lack of room to do so), making left hand turns out of the right lane (and vice verse), running totally red lights, taking cuts through parking lots, pulling out to the center lane to merge w/ traffic (yes, it IS illegal), among countless other transgressions committed during any given time of day here in the outback of Texas. Doesn't anyone have any sense in their heads anymore? Don't act like a human... Act like a polite and patient human

Every Wednesday our Puerto Rican housekeeper comes by way of her morning client dropping her off  (around 2:00 PM) and I get the dubious pleasure of driving her home to her apartment. I suppose it's only fair to share the limo service we are bound to if we want help around the house. I don't want it but I NEED it since I can no longer do it myself. Only it's during 5:00 PM traffic for me. With the blaring setting sun in my eyes. Today will be my first day to do so during a full moon. Oh joy. It sounds like Quadruple Jeopardy or something even harrier. It's scary and I don't like it but I shudder at the thought of Hilda driving her own car, so I digress

Although most weeks I drive her home, there is always some bonehead that attempts a daring brush with death while I'm driving in traffic, honoring me with being an up close and personal witness to his/her madness. I shudder to think what today's drive will be like. It usually takes about 40 minutes, round trip and by then my poor nerves are completely frazzled. Hopefully, today's drive might even provide a bit of comic relief, if I'm lucky. If not....

Please pray for my very soul....

Update: Nothing happened today because Hilda came at 12:45 PM and was ready to go at 4:00 PM. Just when I was ready to make my report I realized that perhaps she knows something that I don't. About the moon. Apparently, an hour earlier makes all the difference. Anyway, what a bonus to have a better drive to and fro....

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Most Recent Blunder... The Fun Never Ends Around Here

It seems I've been talking to myself on this blog as of late. However, that has never bothered me...
much, and it's certainly never stopped me. So, I continue with my mindless babble, perhaps driving away even more readers and the few who have braved making comments. It's okay, really. I understand that it's the busiest time of year for everyone. Fortunately or not, my shopping has been done, the tree has been decorated, the house bedecked with Christmas cheer, and we decided to not send out Christmas cards this year.

Granted, I could be out in the guest house or out at our storage unit... cleaning out years of semi-hoarding, but it's too freaking cold for that. You need to be able to move quickly for that kind of work and layers of clothing doesn't really allow for that kind of industrious labor. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

So, I'll tell you the tale of my latest blunder. Actually, I wasn't going to tell anyone but decided it was too damn funny not to tell anyone and everyone that would listen. We all know I don't have the making-the-tree-lights-work gene from past years, but I'm also
stubborn, which tends to make up for that.

After I rearranged my Christmas tree the other day to accommodate the new ornaments I'd bought, I turned off the lights and happily went to bed and slept with visions of spiked eggnog in my head. Or something like that. The next day at dusk I went to turn on the lights and the entire center section of the tree didn't light up. Wha? There must be at least 600 lights on the stupid tree. You know. At least 6 or so years of throwing on new lights just to avoid this very thing. I was stunned into silence but it didn't last long.

I wanted to throw the tree through the living room windows and be done with it. I was just so frustrated after all the hanging of ornaments, adjusting and tweaking, so tossing it wasn't really an option, just a momentary dark thought. Mr. Snooty wisely chose to stay out of my way. That was Friday night.

Actually, I couldn't imagine Christmas without lights and since I always keep several boxes of new strands of lights, I went to gather them up and head back to the tree where I would tackle the job of adding new lights. I carefully removed all the breakable ornaments and attempted to find the strand that threatened to ruin my Christmas. No luck there but my hands might possibly be scarred for life from the branches.

So I begrudgingly spent most of the day on Saturday taking off ornaments, adding new lights, then once again decorating the tree, but just the mid-section. Still, our tree is 7.5' tall so it was no small fete, I assure you. At last I was finished and as I reached to the back of the tree to hang one last crystal prism, I stepped on something under the tree skirt.

Yes, I stepped on the button that turns those lights back on that I thought were burned out. What a light show it provided! Somehow, I had failed to notice that little button had slipped itself under the tree skirt when I wasn't looking. No, I wasn't drunk although I wish I could say that I was. However, at that point I just went in the kitchen and fixed myself a nice stiff drink and went back to the living room to sip it as I looked upon my glorious light show.

When Mr. Snoots came into the room I told him of my blunder and we both broke into hysterical laughter and toasted to our fully lit tree which now has more than 800 lights on it. It's now more complicated than the New York City subway system. But you should never lose your sense of humor, right?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Been Just One of Those Days....

I had my last appointment with my brain doctor this morning so I didn't get much sleep last night. I
kept having weird dreams and waking up. It was exhausting really. I also knew it was supposed to be freezing temperatures (after being 80 degrees 2 days ago). So, in my dreams I kept thinking the doctor's office would call and cancel for today and I could stay in bed and sleep. You know. Since I couldn't sleep from worrying about going, meaning I'd just have to make an appointment for another time and go again. Then I'd go through the whole sleepless/dreaming routine again. It doesn't make any sense to a sane person, does it? I didn't think so.

So, I dragged myself out of bed, got ready (dressing warmly and felt like the little brother in "A Christmas Story"), even put on makeup so the doctor would know how nuts I really am and left for my appointment. The car door was so frozen I could barely get it open since I forgot to warm it up, which I figured gave me ample opportunity to run back inside and call the doctor's office to make sure I was still expected. Yes, I did. And no, they had not cancelled today. Trying to act like I already knew it I told them I'd be a few minutes late instead. I was. However, since I was his *miracle patient* who had cheated death, they forgave me and laughed at my jokes about all the other crazy drivers I'd seen. I was out of there in less than 25 minutes and told I wouldn't need to be seen again until next December. Apparently, he thinks I'm good to go. Little does he know what permeates the dark tracks of my mind. It's a jungle in there.

Since I was all dressed up and trussed like a turkey I decided to go shopping even though I didn't need to buy anything, which is when I love to shop best. Aimless impulse shopping. And I was thoroughly aimless and abandoned. I spent a shameless amount on several Christmas ornaments I didn't need but since the place was so empty it felt like I was giving to charity. But not really.

Next, I stopped at my favorite *Mom and Pop* nursery for 3 large Poinsettias and almost swallowed my tongue at the price. But, they are always nice to me and never fail to carry things to the car for me, which should be worth something, right? Besides, it oddly made me happy.

My last stop was the grocery store where I merrily ran around throwing things into my mini shopping cart until I saw the long lines at the *regular* (in other words more than 10 items) lanes. I retreated to an aisle that seemed deserted and dumped the unnecessary 4 items onto a nearby shelf, thereby qualifying me for the fast-moving (10 items or less) lanes. Unfortunately, I somehow removed my chicken salad sandwich in that sneaky fiasco but didn't find out until I returned home. No lunch. It's obviously rotting on some shelf in the children's toy aisle, waiting to be discovered by some hungry child.

Anyway, once I arrived home and unloaded my loot, I was in a euphoric trance as I rearranged my Christmas tree to make room for my new unneeded ornaments. I remained in that trance for the rest of the afternoon as I fussed around the tree and primped my lovely Poinsettias. I'm now convinced our tree is worthy of some kind of award, like maybe the OCD Award or the Over-Decorators Award or something.

Soooo.... Tell me what you think. Have I finally gone around the bend? So much for the brain doctor. What does he know anyway? I'm all for embracing our mental incapacities to the best of our abilities!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mother Nature's Tree Trimming Service... It's Free!

Yes, we're experiencing an Ice Storm unlike anything I've ever seen in this neck of the woods, with Mother Nature hard at work being a total bi-atch.

Until today, I haven't left the house for 3 days but just as I was was starting to show signs of cabin fever, we decided to drive around a few blocks in our hood, just to see the damage. The roads aren't quite so slick as they were early this morning.

We lost a big limb off one of our scraggly fruitless mulberry trees in the front yard and the oleanders look close to dead in the back yard. I guess 3 years of severe wildfires, drought and water rationing wasn't enough so the Old Girl came back to ravage us again. However, we are still alive so it can't be all that bad, right?

We also lost our water well this last summer, which is really just as well since the water had a big hand in all that we lost in the yard, including the grass. It turns out that the water had something like 10 times the sodium it should have had, thus taking out shrubs, lawn and trees, one by one.

After the water well went dry, we had to wait for 6 weeks before the city could get the sprinkler system on city water. They had to dig a trench across our street, stopping all traffic for 2 whole days. I was able to experience two days of a jack hammer, which was way fun. The house has always been on city water but not the sprinkler/bubbler system for the yard. Not a very fun experience but it was certainly more fun than this ice storm.

At this point we're just thankful for no typical high winds, or we'd be in fear for our lives. The last picture was the worst we saw within our 3 block radius. It was a huge red oak tree which just seemed to have come apart and fell over against the front of their house and into the street. Oddly, it didn't seem to have damaged the house, as far as we could tell.

Others suffered quite a lot of damage and all oleanders seem to look the same as ours. Everyone seems to have suffered one kind of damage or another. The ice is thick and quite heavy.
There is no way of knowing what the total damage will be when this nasty handiwork of The Ice Queen is done. It's not the desired way to receive water here, and it still doesn't take us off water rationing, by any means.

Strangely enough, the WIDIOTS (weather idiots) refused to tell us it would be an ice storm, insisting even today that we were getting snow. Ummm, no. Didn't happen. It's been an ice storm since Friday yet no one called it that even once. They're going to have to own up to it in retrospect, if they have the guts... But, probably not.

Since writing this, it has been in the mid to upper 70's, with today topping out at 80 degrees. It doesn't really make me feel *Christmas Cheer* like cold weather does. But not to worry... We're getting freezing temperatures in a couple of days. This weather is giving me whiplash! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Please Don't Be Jealous of My New Best Friend....

For the next four weeks my new best friend will be my stylish new high tech orthopedic boot. Since I got out of the hospital in April I've had recurring swelling in only my left foot (ankle) which is my more-flat-foot. You know, as opposed to my not-so-flat foot. I finally got sick of not wearing anything but sandals or tennis shoes due to the pain of inflammation, even though I didn't know that inflammation was the name of the beast at the time.

When I couldn't get in to see my regular orthopedist, he recommended one of his new associates. After getting over the fact I wasn't being treated like a Princess from the get-go, I took his advice and went to the new doctor who just happens to be a foot and ankle specialist. Well, duh. Why hadn't I thought of that before? Actually I had been too busy trying to self-diagnose myself on web M.D. and had convinced myself that I was going to be crippled by the long ago curse my mother bestowed upon me. Okay, fine. I have a vivid imagination and I use it frequently.

So, I went to see the new doctor and he gave me a cortisone shot in my ankle, then ordered me to go have an MRI on said ankle because he wanted to *see what was going on in there*, as he so eloquently put it. Last week I bravely returned to his office to receive what I had convinced myself was going to be *the bad news*.

He wasn't all that surprised to see the story my MRI told in pictures. I had a great deal of inflammation in and around my ankle so the doctor asked me if I wanted the *Slow Boat to China* method of treatment or the aggressive *let's-get-it-over-with* method of treatment and of course, I chose to be aggressive. So he prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and my *shadow* new best friend (the walking boot) for the next month. He believes that when we're done with the treatment, I should be able to at least wear modest heels and even continue to snow ski (if New Mexico ever receives any snow). It's basically the beginning stages of the aging of a former athlete... Otherwise known as arthritis. Actually, after all my years of skiing, I knew this day would come, so I'm hardly surprised.

The prescribed anti-inflammatory drug (to take down the inner swelling) which I thought I'd be alright with, changed that. When I got home and read about the 3 levels of this medication's bad side effects (like the scary bad,  the not so bad and the just annoying), I was horrified. I don't care to have another seizure or another stroke... Thank you anyway. What incensed me the most is the fact that there are so many herbals (totally safe) and/or diet, that have the same effects on inflammation and they have no side effects. Among them are ginger and turmeric which have both been around this old world forever. I won't even go into the whole other list of drugs that have bad interactions with said prescribed medication.

When did people become so disconnected from the earth and all its bounty, including those botanical rewards that can heal us and make us feel better? Inflammation in our bodies opens doors to all kinds of health ugliness but so do many medications. I believe it is prudent to at least try alternatives before opening your body to other threats. There is a time for pharmaceuticals and there is a time for herbals. I feel that we absolutely need to learn to utilize both if we are to survive all the nasty things that are *out there*. 

That said, I developed a wracking dry cough about 6 weeks ago. At one point, I coughed so hard I thought I'd pulled a muscle in my small upper stomach. Yes, I know I'm prone to such tom foolery, but it was a false alarm. Still, I didn't think an unscheduled visit to the doctor was warranted so I just waited until my 2 month checkup. When I told the doctor about it, he said my medications (to stave off seizures, high blood pressure & high cholesterol) were the culprits and gave me some samples of a new drug. I did what he asked of me and took them for a week, as the cough ran amok, worsening, and it began to feel more like I had a bruised or broken rib. Not. Fun. Then... Oops! The new pills caused the same results although my blood pressure was almost to the point of being too low.

Then my doctor surprised shocked me by totally taking me off two of the drugs (lisinopril & levitracetam), admitting that it appeared I no longer needed them. What? How crazy is that? (I mean what would the Drug Pushers Reps say?) Still, I had to do a pinky swear that I'd check my blood pressure at least every other day and I've kept my word. No problems have arisen thus far and the coughing has completely come to a halt, so I remain positive and most likely far too optimistic than I should be.

However, I must refuse to take the anti-inflammatory drugs although I do realize that inflammation is never a good thing! As it turns out, my regular GP doctor agreed that I shouldn't take the anti-inflammatory pills. It would be like opening a whole other can of worms. Not happening here. I guess it's the *Slow Boat to China* method of treatment for me. Sometimes life is very much like a a game of craps.

Additionally, I've been trying to straighten out my issues with my thyroid. While I was in the hospital no one thought to put me back on my thyroid meds and since I wasn't quite able to think for myself, it was simply overlooked. For the first month back on them my hair still fell out by the handfuls but eventually stopped. I'm still trying to clean up all the hair and growing my zillions of 1" long hair in to fit with my chin length hair. I look like I have a halo around my head. Anyway, my B-I-L sent me some herbal stuff called Silica Complex, which makes your hair grow fast and thick. As a result, my head of hair looks different every time I wash & style it. It's crazy, but this stuff really works for me. I'm not really sure what the other one is intended for, but he said it would be good for me. I trust him explicitly because he's never steered me wrong before. Ever. He's my vitamin guru as well as family.

In other news, our daughter SD fulfilled our her dream by passing the Bar Exam. Yay! Now, she can hopefully get a real paying job. Since she moved back to Austin, she will be getting sworn in by a Supreme Court Justice along with untold numbers of other eager *legal eagles*. We plan to be in attendance with the masses of other parents hoping their children can find employment at last. Anyway, more on this at a later date....

'Til then... Happy Trails!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coming Back To Life....

Wow! What a year for milestones this has turned out to be. I suppose fighting for my life is at the top of my list, along with several changes that were a result of said fight for life. I won't bore you with the details. Just know that all tests have come back now (brain, heart & stress tests), showing no kind of damage whatsoever. It was as if I had never been through the whole hospital and near death ordeal. How does that happen? I don't really know and neither do the doctors. I was given another chance for some reason and I am grateful.

Almost 2 months after my release from the hospital we drove to Austin for a wedding that had to be the best one we've been to yet. We've been to a lot of weddings that wowed us but this one was over-the-top amazing and our daughter was the Maid of Honor, which made it even better.

Three weeks earlier, our daughter graduated from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of  Law but we had to miss graduation ceremonies because I was still having trouble walking and/or sitting for any length of time. It broke our hearts that we couldn't be there but she was on so many committees for graduation that we wouldn't have seen her anyway. Besides, she wanted us at the wedding in Austin, so I worked toward that goal.

Later that night... SD decided to cut loose after months of studying for The Bar. I think she deserved it, don't you? They find out whether they passed or not, in November. Yup. Long wait, huh?

We did make the trip but, not surprisingly, I didn't last long at the reception. It made me so sad not to be able to stay and partake in all the fun they had planned for the reception, but after an hour of sitting and standing at the wedding ceremony at their church, I was already down for the count.

So, we did get to sample some of the incredible food they served, but didn't stay long enough to taste the fabulous cake. What a shame I wasn't able to overdose on wedding cake. Gah. My one chance this summer was squashed. Oh. Well. Life is still good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nope. Not Even On My Radar....

At first, I somehow looked like the perfect picture of health, then I contracted Bacterial Spinal Meningitis, had seizure,  then had a medium stroke and a small stroke and almost died. I have no idea where any of this came from but my poor body had really taken a royal beating and if I lived, it would take being a very good girl to get my *mojo* back. Luckily, I remember almost none of it, which is one of the best tricks for recovery. Just forget you were ever sick, right? Doctors use this little trick all the time... Whenever it's necessary. Obviously in my case, it was necessary.

This is how I looked for my first dinner outing after getting home from my 31 day stay at the hospital... About a month after my escape release from said hospital:

So, at one point, the doctor actually put his arm around my hubby and said he was sorry but, I was going to die, for sure.  I literally had no glucose in my body. None. Zip. He told Mr. Snooty to gather the troops to my bedside, which he did. Meanwhile, I was in somewhat of an induced coma, fighting for my life. I was on I.V. Antibiotics, 24/7. Those can make you insane, drifting in and out of reality... And drift, I did. The first crazy thing I thought was... That I was with several nurses (or maybe they were drug reps), in either Kansas City or Omaha and we were having a blast. Never happened & I've no idea where that came from (except that they were my ICU nurses...). Next, I was convinced that Mr. Snoots had the older guest room in our house redone to replicate a new hospital room, since I was equally convinced that I was at home. Even all the nameless machines I was hooked up to. Never happened. No clue as to where that came from either. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Snoots knew I wouldn't remember my first ambulance ride, so he helpfully snapped a quick picture of the vehicle for me, as it drove me off to the hospital. He was right. I didn't remember.

I ended up being in the hospital ICU for a total of 5 days (plus an additional 2 days on a surgical floor) in order to completely rid my body of symptoms and infection from Meningitis, on the ever-so-delightful cardiac diet, surrounded by other sick people. Good thing I was so *out of it* or it would have made me insane. Still, they weren't done with me yet. Next, they moved me to a Physical Therapy Recovery Hospital where I didn't have a private room, which I didn't know until they had deposited me there. I was captive until my release. Not fun, but necessary for my smooth recovery. Another 3 weeks. Ugh.  

The doctors were finally beginning to suspect I had either gotten the flu (the other one they didn't give me the vaccine for) or I'd had a sinus infection, which were allowed by my broken down immune system, to usher in the nasty bacteria that nearly caused my demise. According to family and friends, I had not been feeling well for more than a week. I don't remember that at all... Or anything else that happened during that time. (Is it possible to do an internet search for your own reservations & related stuff that you did while losing your mind?)

My first day home from the hospital, I was sporting a huge scab on my lip from the tube that had been down my throat for 5 days. I still have it even though it doesn't stand out like a red flag now:

Just let me interject something here. It's no fun having a 90 year old Alzheimer patient as a roommate. In fact, it can bring on an instant case of ice cream addiction, which I haven't been able to get rid of yet. Seeing that I continued on the *crazy* I.V. Antibiotics, I suppose I wasn't exactly the ideal roommate either. But, at least I was quiet at night, unlike my new roomie.

My brain still kept telling me things were there, that weren't there, (like my cat) so I was blissfully confused the majority of the time. Luckily, I was able to walk shuffle to the kitchen in our wing-of-the-ward for my nightly raid of the ice cream. I think all the nurses were eventually glad to see me go, being tired of seeing their ice cream disappear and all. Hey, I was the only patient that could actually shuffle or otherwise maneuver my way there, so I did. This was obviously recorded on their nightly patient logs because all nursing shifts seemed to be aware of my new found addiction.

Anyway, as soon as they could, the staff started me on Physical & Occupational Therapy, which made me feel like I was nearly 100 years old. My main forms of transportation were my wheelchair and my walker. Yes, I was really living the *High Life* of an elderly woman, for an additional 3 weeks. I think.

Since my brain was so effected by everything that had happened to me, I've had a bit of trouble writing about all this, which is precisely why it has taken me so long. I've been home for 6 weeks now, still going to several doctors, Physical & Occupational Therapy, and trying to regain my mind. My short term memory has been greatly effected as well as some of my long term. I often get dizzy and have to steady myself, especially when I close my eyes, so I still take a shower with my wonderful new geriatric shower stool. I just started driving my car again yesterday. Baby. Steps. At least I'm off the walker and my ugly cane.

At any rate, I just want friends and family to know how much I appreciate the cards, letters, visits, flowers, gifts, and most of all... Prayers. I don't think I'd still be here without all of you. From the deepest cavities of my heart, I thank you all.

Most of all, I thank my doctors and nurses, who were the absolute best ever. Somehow, they were able to tear me away from the grip of death and bring me back to life, fairly unscathed. I love you all.

Last, but far from least, I thank my hubby, my daughter, and my son... For all the help, love and support they gave me.  They were truly spectacular in their efforts. My daughter slept in my room all night for 7 nights, often whispering that I was going to be alright and to not give up. I'm convinced that's what got me through it all.

I'll write later about my feelings on *Life In General* after my return home from the hospital. Nothing is any longer the same, except that I'M ALIVE!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

USPS Stops Saturday Delivery & Plans New Clothing Line... HUH?

It took me a while to quit snorting over this, honestly. I'm still having trouble not breaking into total hysterics. I mean, REALLY?

I can't wait to get a pair of those oh-so-attractive shoes they wear or one of those spiffy hats. Or perhaps some of that boxy menswear to sport around in. I suppose some people could *rock the look*, but surely not I. Mostly models and model types, I should think. I did find a blog with a great article about it HERE.

It forces up such fond memories of the character "Cliff"  on  the long time running TV show "Cheers". He was always such a fashionable guy... not. He never wore anything but his postal worker uniform.

Wouldn't you just love to meet the genius that decided this was the way to save the U.S. Postal Service? Who am I to argue with the clothes they propose? I think they're rather trendy (without the logo perhaps). Brand Rockhill

What are those crazy government people going to come up with next? Rollers blades for the carriers so they can save on gas? I don't suppose it would occur to them to quit giving gazillions of shipping supplies away for free, huh? Oh well. It's just our hard earned tax dollars at work, so why would we care?

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