Sunday, September 30, 2012

From Canada

We made it to Kingston.  Not without some drama, of course, but safely.  Sue and Randy's suitcases didn't make one of their flight changes. But should have been delivered by bedtime last night.  We're at a different motel, so we'll find out when they pick us up.  Also getting Randy's cell to work involved a long phone call and a stop at a Verizon store.  But that's fixed, too.  

Touristing today, and boarding the ship late this afternoon. 

Keep the ether moving until I get back.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good stuff and bad stuff

Things didn’t get off to a great start this morning. I had breakfast and turned on the coffee pot. Nothing happened. Or at least not everything…the light came on, but no gurgling water and no heat in the hot plate. Well, phooey!

So I got dressed and headed to WalMart. At least it was just 8 a.m., so there weren’t many people there. Then I cleaned up the new pot and got it going; emptied out the dead pot and left it to drain. At least there was coffee!

One good side effect of my accident and subsequent surgery/anesthesia seems to be better fingernails. I’ve always had yucky fingernails, but all of a sudden, they’re growing, and not breaking off. OK, guess I’ll just enjoy that while it lasts. I was overdue for a pedicure, so I decided to get a manicure, too. I had him put on some sparkly silver polish. Wonder how long that’ll last. I hope for a couple of days anyway.

And now, our bags are packed. We’re ready to go. Standing there beside the door. Oops, sorry - got carried away. Our black bags are SO anonymous looking, and always hard to recognize on the baggage carousel. So I painted some Zs on the bottom of the bags. Maybe we can find them easier this time.

I’ll write when I get a chance to get on line on the trip.
Interior of Romanesque church, Ravenna.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I got back to a painting class this morning - and it was good! I have had some ideas of what I wanted to do with the piece I had started just before I fell. I cut the full sheet of paper into four sections for a series, and spent the work time deciding on compositional stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how they turn out.
I’ve decided to go ahead with the partial shoulder replacement. I called the surgeon’s office and told them to set it up for midOctober. Early voting in our county starts on 17 October, and I want to vote before the surgery. But then I want to get this over with. A friend sent me this link ,
about shoulder replacement surgery - lots of good information.

Interior, Romanesque church, Ravenna


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Bionic Woman

I saw the orthopedist this morning for new x-rays. Not good news. It looks like I’m about to join the Bionic Woman set, with a partial shoulder replacement.

The fracture is not healing, and the screws are not holding. The doc’s giving me time to think about it, and the option of doing nothing. I’ve gotten a pretty good range of motion and not a lot of pain. With the prosthesis, I’d get a little bit more motion with no pain.

I want to talk with my rheumatologist and probably get a second opinion. I’ve always said if I was told I needed a joint replacement (always thinking hip or knee, of course), I wouldn’t be one of those who balked and delayed until it was really, really bad. So I’m pretty sure I’ll be having the recommended surgery before too much longer. Stay tuned.


Monday, September 24, 2012

I hate it when that happens

I frequently show up in the comics, but this it the first time it's gotten quite so personal in Frank and Ernest.  Sigh.............

p.s.  The new dishwasher was installed on Saturday.  I ran it for the first time today, and it was great!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunday stealing

Another meme from Sunday Stealing 

1. Ever been given or received an engagement ring? No.  I was given a wedding ring.
2. Longest relationship? 57 years
3. Last gift you received? An iPad.
4. Ever dropped a mobile phone? Oh, yes.
5. When's the last time you worked out? Last Wednesday, since water-walking counts as a work-out for me.
6. Thing(s) you spend a lot of money on? Yarn, art supplies, just bought a new dishwasher.
7. Last food you ate? Dessert (3-2-1 cake, ice cream, peach preserves)
8. First thing you notice about the opposite sex? Eyes are the first things I notice about everybody.
9. One favorite song? That's My Job (Jimmy Buffett)
10. Where do you live? Chattanooga
11. High school attended: Lamar High School
12. Cell phone provider: Verizon
13. Favorite shop: WalMart
14. Longest job: Office manager/ transcriptionist for a group of orthopedic surgeons.
15. Do you own a smart phone? Why? Yes. Just because I wanted one.
16. Do you prank call people? Of course not - how annoying!
17. Last wedding you attended? Last June, Chris and Kelli.
18. First friend you'd call if you won the lottery: After my family, my lawyer, and my accountant, I’d call Flo Jean.
19. Last time you saw your best friend(s):  Friday
20. Favorite fast food Restaurant: I’m not really a fan of chain fast food places. We’d much rather eat someplace local.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And don't call me Dizzy......

I thought the ENT had fixed the dizziness, but only the positional vertigo went away.  I woke up this morning with general all-the-time dizziness.  Needless to say, I've been moving very carefully, and very little.  I checked with the doctor's office, but he won't be in until Friday morning.  I don't want to drive until I'm sure this is all gone.  It seems to be some better tonight, but we'll see what happens in the morning. 

In the meantime, I'm not tracking very well.  Bear with me.
                                                    Street scene in Ravenna

This new Google Blogger format is awful! I'm going to start looking for another platform for my blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An interesting day.

I saw the ENT doc this morning. First he cleaned the wax out of my ear (one always has a bad build-up, which I can’t seem to do anything about). Then he turned my head back and forth. After the whirling stopped, he told me I had “post-traumatic benign positional vertigo”, and recommended an Epley maneuver. I hope it works. It was very gentle and once the dizziness settled down, didn’t take more than about 10 minutes. I’m to go back in three weeks and see if it worked - and maybe get a repeat treatment. I surely am hoping for good results. I hope to get such a good report from new x-rays at the orthopedist next Tuesday. ###### Sometimes we get forced into things. Like this afternoon, when I knocked over a full glass of water, inundating all the crap on my chair-side table, plus the baskets under it. @!^&*()$ At least this entails going through things (which, of course, I wouldn’t do otherwise), and throwing things away. This is leading up to the fact that I came across the charging cord for my Kindle. When I picked it up, the white plastic coating on the cord literally disintegrated in my hands and fell off. Oops! I e-mailed Amazon to tell them about it and request a replacement. I received a reply within minutes, telling me to order a new one, they’d void the charges, and I’ll have the new cord within a few days. Their service department/tech help is pretty spectacular! ##### I apologize again for the lack of paragraphs. I’m trying to work through this new blogspot format and see if I can find out what to do. So far, I’ve just posted on their support group to see if anybody else has the problem. Surely I’m not the only one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moving along

We had over 5" of rain yesterday, and a couple more hard showers today. It all moved on about suppertime. I did my Aldi/WalMart run this morning, and that pretty much was the limit of my energy for a while. We went out again late this afternoon. I had called about getting the disihwsher repaired, and the guy on the phone was willing to come look at it (for $75.00), but said it was unlikely they were still making parts for an appliance that old. We opted not to have him come out. We went to Lowe's and ordered a new Frigidaire dishwasher. It's nothing fancy, toward the lower end of the line. I don't need and wouldn't use all the bells and whistles that cost so much more. They should be delivering and installing in a couple of days (and taking the old one away). From there, we went to visit a friend in the hospital. She fell and broke her hip anout 10 days ago. She's in the rehab section of the hospital, and will be there for probably 2 more weeks. She's bored, but seems to be in pretty good spirits. Then we went to eat ribs at a local rib place that's reputed to be one of the best in town. We've been wanting to try it. The ribs were good, but frankly, we're rating the place last among the various choices we have. Oh, well - what makes good BBQ is very subjective. ================================ Margaret and Helen have a new posting today - always worth checking out. ================================= I‘m in Life Aboard the HMS Pie Rat today. Poolagirl has been reviewing (unfavorably) 50 Shades of Grey. She asked for readers to send in photos to illustrate the book. Of course, I supplied one. ================================= These mosaics are the reason our tour stopped in Ravenna. Magnificent!

Monday, September 17, 2012


And it’s back to the semi-regular routine. I did about an hour walking in the pool - didn’t overwork the arm, but did move it a bunch. By the time we left coffee, the rain had started. It’s rained off and on all day. We’ve had flood watches and tornado watches, and so far, we’ve had 2” of rain (10:30 pm). And it’s supposed to continue. Back to normalcy - the cards were lousy today. And I might even get a good night’s sleep tonight. ========================== Mosaics, Ravenna

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday this and that

Holy cow! Just ordered five books of crostics! At least I can still work them - and it’s good mind exercise. My current, and hopefully temporary, lack of concentration is keeping me from anything that takes much longer than these puzzles. This has happened and passed before - I just hope it does again.
@#$^%&#*@ The dishwasher is leaking. It’s only 19 years old. I can’t imagine why it would decide to leak. Guess it’s time to call for a repair estimate, and see how much more that would be than a replacement. Damn! Appliances are supposed to last forever!
Romanesque chapel in Ravenna

Friday, September 14, 2012

Joe's Special (from Bev)

Thanks to Bev for our delicious dinner tonight. She wrote of a tried and true recipe in her family that she called “Joe’s Special”. It’s a very simple frittata-type dish, and can be varied to suit any taste, using different veggies or meats, or going all veggie.

In a skillet, brown 1 pound of hamburger, with chopped onion and garlic. Mix in a package of chopped frozen spinach, cooked, with all the liquid squeezed out. Add 4-6 beaten eggs; stir to mix. Sprinkle on top about 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese.

I used a large oven-safe skillet. After the eggs had set, I finished it off in the oven, with the last few minutes under the broiler. I had intended to stir in a small can of stems and pieces of mushrooms, but forgot - will do that next time.

We ate half of it, so will have a really nice lunch tomorrow (or supper again tomorrow night). It probably took me 30+ minutes from start to table. I’ll be sure to have all the ingredients on hand for the next time I want a “gee, I really don’t feel like cooking tonight” meal.

Thanks again, Bev!
Flying buttresses, Ravenna

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A bigger step

I finally drove the car today! Definitely a major event. I only went about a mile away from home, but it was at least a step.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Change is never easy

Tuesday: We went to a meeting this morning to explain some of the changes that are going to take place in our supplementary insurance on 1 January. Instead of group coverage from John's employer, the insurance will be individualized and managed by an administratory (is that a word?) company. We'll provide all our medical information to their counselors, who will then help each of us find a company and coverage that best fits our needs. John and I will probably wind up with different coverages. which is okay. I thought of a couple more questions after we left, but I'll ask those when we have our "at least an hour long" telephone interview to get all this stuff set up. I'll get all our medical information plugged into their web-site form before the phone call. It's always something .....

I got my massage today, and it was wonderful. I think this may be the first time my neck/upper back/shoulder muscles have totally relaxed since I fell. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Wednesday: Well, so much for the massage benefits lasting for a while.

We finally completed the first stage of our lead-up to enrolling in the new retirement insurance plan this afternoon. Of course, for us, nothing went as promised. I couldn't do the first part online. When I called to ask how to do it, the (very patient and kind) Indian-accented man told me that I had to do it over the phone. There's no way John could have handled this on the phone (between his hearing, the soft voice, and the accent), but he had to go through a certain amount of questions to authorize me to answer the questions for him. This part the process for the two of us took probably 1.5 hours.

I called friends who were also at the program yesterday to warn them. Of course, they'd been able to do it all online. I have no idea why I couldn't get to do it online. Afterwards, I could get to the site and all the info from the phone call was in our account on the site. Go figure! I can't wait until they ask for comments on their process.

My neck and shoulders were SO sore by the time I got through. It took a pain pill, two applications of the heated rice-sock, and some shoulder massage by John to get that resolved. Oh, well - we never thought it would be easy. Our hour-long (each) telephone appointment for the next phase of the enrollment has been set for 30 October. What a wonderful thing to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's all about me.

Great night’s sleep last night!

And then I proceeded to pretty much overdo in the pool this morning. And play bridge this afternoon. Which, of course, means there’s a price to pay. And I’m definitely paying the price.

But that’s enough about me.

Sorry I can’t come up with something profound or controversial to rant about. Guess that’s just the way it’s going to go right now. And, damn, I’m tired of it.
Sometimes, the deer even pee in the front yard (couldn’t resist).

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sleep well.

Last night, we had this lovely dry, cool weather. And I wasa relatively pain-free.

And then there was NO sleep happening. I finally got up about 1:30 and went to the chair. I finally dozed some about 6, then went to the bed and dozed a bit more. Who knows…..

I did get some nap this afternoon, but I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight. And wish the same to you.
Visitors to our front lawn at Lake Almanor. (note the spotted fawn curled up under the tree)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sleepy Saturday

We’re due to have some wonderful weather over the next several days. Highs around 80, and lows in the 50s. It makes for such good sleeping.

And I think I’m off to bed to read a few pages and hopefully get in some good sleeping (something new and different).
Ravenna window

Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday stuff

I did almost a full hour in the pool today. Some of the regular stuff, but mostly the walking part, plus arm exercises. It’s been pretty achy today - always a price to pay.
We’ve got some interesting information to process and decisions to make before the end of the year. John’s retirement insurance supplement to Medicare is going to change. We’re going to have to pick from several choices, and it may be that we won’t be making the same choice. We’ve just been through the first batch of mailings that came while we were out of town. We’re trying to digest that now. We’ll be going to an information meeting next week, and that’ll probably mean another batch of paper to plow through. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Stay tuned.
John cooked tonight. He got carry out from a local BBQ place - ribs, beans, fried okra, and potato salad. Yum!
Be sure to read Margaret and Helen today.
Forest fire smoke over Lake Almanor.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Watch your feet!

Marble parquet floors, St. Mark's Basilica, Venice.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Getting back to the routine.

I took the first little baby steps toward getting back into the rut - oops, make that “routine” - today. I went back to the swimming class.

Well, not exactly into the deep water part of it, but I did get into the pool, did some of the arm exercises, and walked. Anything to start increasing the stamina.

I did make one tactical error. I was concerned about wearing the bathing suit, so I tried it on beforehand. The shoulder strap went right across the incision, and I didn’t want it to rub. So I opted for shorts, a sports bra, and a t-shirt. It was almost a good idea. I forgot about having to get out of a wet t-shirt with one bad arm. Oops! Dear Tina volunteered to help me get out of it, so I didn’t have to stay in it all day. Guess I won’t do that again.
I didn’t watch any of the Republican Nat’l Convention, and I wasn’t going to watch the Democratic Nat’l Convention either. But, I happened to turn it on this evening as Bill Clinton was speaking. He is a stem-winder! I do love listening to a good rabble-rousing speech, and he is a master. It helps that I happen to agree with him, but even so, he is amazing to watch. And he obviously loves the campaigning and politicking and the people-part of government.
The view at sunrise from the porch of our rental house at Lake Almanor.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Medical Update

The dentist gave me a great report this morning (as usual). Not so much from the orthopedist.

Actually, it was a good news/bad news sort of thing. The good news is that I’m not having much pain, and getting pretty good range of motion.

The bad news is that the x-rays don’t look that good. The bones have shifted some, and are not lined up as they should be. The bones have softened (it’s the old age thing), and one of the screws has moved almost through the head of the humerus.

He said if I were left-handed and 40 years old, he’d be either doing surgery again to redo the fixation or putting in a prosthesis. But since I’m right-handed and 76, he’s going to wait a while to see how things progress. Then we’ll decide what comes next. I see him again on 28 Sept, right before the next trip. Whatever happens, I’m probably always going to be limited in range of motion, like not lifting that arm over my head, etc.

Since I’m not being waked up at night with pain, and taking only x-acetominophen and bed-time Lortab, I’m to continue working on increasing range of motion. I can pretty much do anything I feel like doing. I’m going to get back into the pool and work on increasing my strength. The doc said I could drive, but I agree with John that I’d better increase my stamina before I do that.

I asked about the dizziness and the intention tremor. He said the tremor would probably go away eventually, and gave me some exercises to do to help with that. He suggested that I see first an ENT and then maybe a neurologist if the dizziness doesn’t resolve in a couple of weeks or so.

So that’s the medical news from here for today.
The house we stayed in near Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Monday, September 03, 2012

WM 1, Mary 0

It’s amazing how tiring a trip to WalMart can be. John took me to the grocery store. He insisted that I use one of the carts, but even so, I was pretty wiped out when we got home. Ridiculous!

Oh, well - two doctors’ appointments tomorrow, so that should help increasing the activity level.
Night visit to St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, with lights on the gold mosaics.

Sunday, September 02, 2012


Guess I need to at least think about getting back to what we laughingly call “normal”.

Today was a pretty much normal Sunday. Waffles and sausage for breakfast, and some laundry done. That was about it.

We did finally get some rain from Isaac. The area had a lot of severe weather watches, but we didn’t get anything but rain here.

I’ll even start putting some photos up again. This is one of the back canals at sunset in Venice.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Can't believe we did so much!

First, I’ll apologize for not writing for a while. Things were really busy on the trip, and since then we’ve just been recuperating.

I did baby my arm on the trip, and John took such good care of me. I think I’m using it pretty well, although there’s still I can’t do. We’ll see what the doctor says when I see him on Tuesday. I’m back to just some extra-strength acetominophen during the day and a pain pill before bed, and that seems to work.

As to the trip… it was a great one. There was really a lot packed in and everything went like clockwork. The travel to California was hard, but effective. Ann & Al picked us up in Sacramento, and we went to our extra-special lunch with my blogger friend, Bev. She documented it well (with photo) in her Airy Persiflage about our lunch. That was so great, and I just hope we can meet up again sometime, someplace.

We went north (stopping for groceries at the Costco in Chico) to the vacation house near Lassen Volcanic National Park. A&A’s children had reserved the house in honor of Ann’s 80th birthday and their 60th wedding anniversary. There were some forest fires in the area, which made for some smoky days, but mostly the weather and the scenery were lovely. John’s nieces, nephews, their spouses/significant others, and their children are really great people. It was a real treat to be able to spend some time with them. And we were honored to have been invited to spend this special time with them.

At the end of the week, we drove south to the LA area to spend a few days with A&A. It was a quiet couple of days, but, of course, we got in lots of bridge. And we went to the movies to see Hope Springs , the new movie with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a pretty good movie.

From LA, we took the train to San Diego to spend a couple of days with Alison and Joe. The train was a great idea and cheap - less than $50 for both of us. Again, it was super to get to visit with A&J for a bit. We ate at an Ethiopian restaurant for a new culinary experience - very good food - and quite different.

Then another extra-special treat - to meet another blogger friend, PoolaGirl (Paula) at the San Diego Automobile Museum. She wrote about it in her blog H.M.S. Pie Rat .

We went out to dinner with Joe’s parents, and then to see a great production of Inherit the Wind at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park.

Our flight and shuttle trip home were uneventful and we’ve just been getting rested up since then. Whew!

All in all, it was, again, a fabulous trip - spending time with wonderful family, seeing great scenery, and getting to meet not one, but two, old friends for the first time.

And now back to the broken-arm routine - for a while, at least.