Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 1

The first PT session went well, I guess.  The therapist was very gentle, didn't hurt me, and got lots more movement than I thought was possible at this point.  #2 is at 8 a.m. tomorrow.
Sandy's devastation came to light this morning.  What a terrible thing.  Our friends in Delaware were okay.  Harriet had water in her lower level again, but seems to have had power.  She didn't lose as much as she did with Irene (didn't have as much left to lose), but her daughter and friends did.  I'm just glad she's okay.
These photos have been all over the news, but I love the comment that was put on one of them that I saw on FB.  The caption read:

"Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell, take note!"  Amen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And it starts....

Think good thoughts - the first physical therapy treatment is at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting back on track

Thanks so much for all the good wishes. It really does help to know there are folks out there who care. The swimmers have been keeping us well fed and laughing. And some lovely flower arrangements brighten the living room.

A card from one of the swimmers shows three white-haired broads in bathing suits at the beach. One says “Okay, it’s my turn to make the HOT lifeguard drag me out of the water and give ME mouth-to-mouth.” Inside it says “Friends like us always make WAVES!” And don’t we just love it that way.

I’ve set up my first postop appointment with the surgeon on Friday morning, and the first physical therapy session is early Wednesday morning.

Mostly I don’t know what I’d’ve done without John. He’s been great. A Word A Day posted this Thought for the Day right before the surgery. This about says it all:

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: You know what getting married is? It's agreeing to taking this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, looking good, wildly interested in you because you're the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You're his responsibility now and he's yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won't. What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? -Jane Smiley, novelist (b.1949)


I especially want to send good thoughts and hopes for safety through this storm to all in harm’s way - especially Harriet and Dennis & Lisa.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Home,sweet home!

Today has gone pretty well.  I slept good last night, plus off and on today.  John helped me do some exercises, without much pain.  The hardest thing for me to do seems to be relaxing my shoulder, so the arm can move easily.  That'll come, I guess.

The swimmers have been bringing wonderful food.  Don't know what we'd do without them.  And the great good vibes from you all out in cyberspace.  

Love to you all!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Home for R, R, and R.

Yesterday's surgery went well.  The doctor came in this afternoon, and let me come home  to rest and recover.  Which I'm sure I'll do more comfortably.  I'll call Monday to set up my physical therapy schedule for rehabilitation.  

And so it goes....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

S minus One

I went to swimming, coffee, painting class, and to get a haircut today. I've done a couple of loads of laundry so that's caught up for John. I got the checkbook stuff done, too, and my bag’s packed. Just the last minute stuff.

The hospital called this evening and asked if I could be there at 5:45, in case the doctor wanted to start a bit early. So it'll be even an earlier start. I’m taking my cell phone and my iPad with me, but I don't know how much I'll be able to do. I know there is wifi at the hospital, so we‘ll see. Right now, I'm just ready to get it over with!


This picture was taken at painting class today. I’m second from the left, and Sandra Washburn (teacher) is fourth from the right.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

S-Day minus 2

Good day today. I got to the grocery stores early, and then went for a last massage before the surgery. 

It's almost time for basketball to start.  John and I have given some extra money each year to support the team - to help with a few of the extras.  This group of supporters was invited to watch a practice this afternoon. It was really fun to see how the coaches work with the girls, and how they're learning. We also got a tour of their newly remodeled locker room. 

After the practice, we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner.  We don't even need the menu any more - we always order the same thing.  The restaurant is next door to a carneceria, so we walked through the store after dinner. We got some butcher-made chorizo, so John can have chorizo and eggs (one of his favorites).

Not quite as busy tomorrow - just swimming, painting, and packing.

The Boldt Castle on its island.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, Monday

I had some great cards today at bridge. John was high last week. I might not be high for today, but I'll be among the top ones I'm sure. I even bid, and my partner made a small slam. That surely felt good - especially since I won't be playing for a while.
My good friend's husband had surgery today. He's the guy who is 7 years out from pancreatic cancer (amazing, I know). They discovered a lump on his chest a couple of weeks ago. A needle biopsy found breast cancer, with no pancreatic cells. He had a lumpectomy this morning. She said the tumor was encapsulated and they got it all. He'll be going home tomorrow, and it'll be a couple of days before the final pathology reports are in. All good thoughts and prayers will be appreciated. His name is Hunter.
Click here to see a great time lapse film of the shuttle Endeavor going from LAX to its new home.  The link goes to the Astronomy Picture of the Day (look for 22 October 2012).
The boat house at Boldt Castle.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend wanderings

This weekend, I’ve been thinking about and working to get things ready for me to be in the hospital for a few days.

Only you readers of a “certain age” will be with me on this one, but I remember having a bag packed beside the door, so I’d be ready to go to the hospital when I went into labor. This was back in the Dark Ages when a mother stayed in the hospital for five days after giving birth. Amazing to think of now, but…

So I’m trying to think of things I need to take with me, things I need to buy ahead at the grocery store, getting things set up so they’ll be in reach when I get home, etc., etc.


There are other things going on in the world. Isn’t there an election or something like that?

Seriously, we’ll all be glad when this is over. I know I’m not alone in really hating what the election process has turned into in this country. I wonder what, if anything, could possibly change it. And what would/could it be changed to? For one thing, it would be great if all the millions (billions?) of dollars that are being spent on advertising and campaigning could be spent on getting us out of our economic troubles: job creation, repairing the infrastructure, school and teachers, health care, disease prevention, who knows what. I’d like to think there’s a limit to this spending on elections.

Boldt Castle in the St. Lawrence Seaway.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Silent Saturday

1000 Islands, St. Lawrence Seaway, Ontario

Friday, October 19, 2012


The Friends of the Library annual meeting/luncheon/speaker was today. A group of the swimmers had a table. The speaker was quite good, and the food was delicious.

This definitely took care of my main meal for the day. Poor John had to settle for chorizo, eggs, and tortillas for his dinner. LOL

I’ve just finished reading The Worst Hard Times by Timothy Egan. It’s about the Dust Bowl in the middle of the Depression in the 1930s, told in the stories of some of the survivors. It’s a very moving account about a really terrible time.

And now, that same area is a drought again. And the dust is blowing. There has been a cloud of dust all over the midsection of the country, reaching all the way to Chattanooga. Amazing - and scary.

You're probably familiar with the photographs of Dorothea Lange from this time.  Here are some others, plus a map.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


I voted this morning. Only five things on my ballot,

President: I hope my vote is for the winning candidate, even though I know my state electors will be the list for the other guy.

U.S. Senator: I couldn't in good conscience vote for either of the candidates. I hate to leave a space blank, but I did this time.

U.S. Representative: the candidate I voted for will surely lose.

State Representative: I cast a losing vote here, too.

Referendum on minor change to the city charter: voted yes.

It took maybe 10 minutes total - from walking in the door to walking out. But it always makes me feel good.
Color-tipped maples in the 1000 Islands.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not much longer

I've sort of avoided politics - here as well as every place else.  Damn, but I'll be glad when this is over.  I'm planning to vote tomorrow, and then I can really ignore it.  At least until the returns start coming in.

This morning, Jenconsin posted this awesome web link:

Romney's Tax Plan

That's enough for one day.

We did see a few fall colors along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Preadmission stuff.

This afternoon, I went to the hospital for my preadmission testing session. About a third of the 90 minute session was spent in reviewing the information already in their files and going over any additions or corrections.

Another 30 minutes was spent getting an EKG, taking a nasal swab, and drawing blood. The nasal swab was to be sure I didn’t have any MRSA germs (look it up - that’s that really bad bacteria). It took two techs, but only two sticks to get a vein, so not too bad. The bad news is that the vein they found was in the left (surgical) arm, so it can’t be used for the IV at surgery. One of my instructions was to drink lots of fluids, preferably water, in the two days prior to surgery. This is to increase the fluid content of my body so veins are easier to find. It’s a good think I like water, but there is that obvious annoying side effect of increasing liquid intake. Oh, well…..

Then there was the information and instruction section. I’m scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, 25 October, to be at the hospital by 6:15. I got instructions for which medicines to stop taking on Saturday (NSAID, aspirin, fish oil); nothing after midnight before; which meds to take before going to the hospital. I got advice on clothes to wear and bring with me. The nurse gave me some antiseptic cleanser to wash the left upper half of my body the night before and the morning of surgery.

The hospital stay will be about three days. I got lots of advice about pain meds and pain control - when to ask for meds and (what I’ve always said) not to let the pain get ahead of you. It’s nice that they really want you to have as little pain as possible.

I also got a bunch of reading material - some particularly about shoulder replacement, some about joint replacements in general. So now I’m in the system and starting the count-down.
John does take great bridge pictures.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Sleep, glorious sleep!

John usually goes to sleep very quickly. He tends to wake up early, and not be able to go back to sleep. I usually take a little longer to get to sleep, but then can sleep later (it took a long time for me to train my body to do that).

Last night was not one of the better ones - at least for me. I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 2 a.m., woke up an hour later. I moved to the chair, and got back to sleep again about 4. Of course, being Monday, the alarm went off at 6.

I have two more days of sleeping only on my back or left side (which I can’t do), and I guess that was part of the problem. This is the follow up to the Epley maneuver I had last week. I do better sleeping in my recliner when I have to stay in one position.

So it looks like a couple more nights of sleeping in the chair. At least that seems to work.

Sailing down the St. Lawrence Seaway

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slow weekend

John worked all day yesterday at the Chattanooga Head Race, so except for a walk on the Riverwalk, he was happy to stay at home all day.  That was all that happened around here this weekend. 

Margaret was busy taking pictures at her house - with a great photo of her fall azalea.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Sunset

St. Lawrence Seaway sunset (John's photo)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Foto

St. Lawrence Seaway sunset (John's photograph)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday this and that

I've been needing to get my cell phone tended to, but somehow the time to do this just hasn't been available in the schedule. I got an e-mail from Verizon telling me that I could get a new free phone when I renewed my contract. I went to the Verizon store this morning to see about my "free phone", etc. Seems that's only an online offer, and can't be done in the store - and there would still be some charges. The guy in the store tried very hard to get me to "upgrade" to the "top of the line" for "only $200“. I just don't have the need for and wouldn't use all the bells and whistles that come with that price, so I know I don't want to do that. Mainly, I'm thoroughly confused. I can just get the upgraded version of the phone I have now, but will still have to pay something for it. One main benefit of that would be that I can use the same cover and chargers (not insignificant). I’ve talked to Tina, and she’s going to look at the e-mail and go with me to the Verizon store in the morning.

John and I went out for our first-in-a-while gourmet lunch. You guessed it, we went to Costco. I spent a good bit, but mostly things we usually get or had planned to get. The only impulse thing we got was a pizza for supper tonight, and two of the little "personal" watermelons. I'd never seen those before the trip to CA, and they were SO good. WM doesn't carry them, so I was pleased to see them at Costco here.

The Costco pizza was good, and I cut one of the watermelons for our fruit/vegetable unit. ;) The watermelon is delicious. I got an unpleasant surprise when I was adding toppings to the pizza. A jar of pickle relish had fallen over in the back of the fridge. all that sugary liquid had dried, and some of the jars were unmovable, stuck to the shelf. So while the pizza was cooking, John and I got the jars unstuck, the shelf out, and everything soaking in warm soapy water while we ate. It's all cleaned up now, but Yuck!
Diocletian's Palace, Split, Croatia


It's beautiful!

This video is so fabulous, it deserves its own posting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I got all my day's stuff done before lunch today - even if lunch happened about 1 p.m. Swimming and coffee. Then I went for followup to the ENT doctor. They did the Epley maneuver again, since I'm still having some of the vertigo when I lie down at night. I got some post-Epley instructions this time. I'm to sleep fairly upright in the recliner or bed for two nights, and not turn onto my right side for the rest of a week. That'll mean back-sleeping (and snoring, of course) because I can't lie comfortably on my left side now. And I'm to go back in 3-4 weeks.

From there, I went for my much-needed haircut. (I'll get another one in two weeks, right before I go into the hospital). Aldi and WalMart were next for the replenishment of the bare cupboards and refrigerator. All in all, it was after noon when I got home.

Click here  for some pronunciation fun. I surely am glad I didn’t have to learn English as a second language.


Margaret and Helen are at it again. Love those gals!


We got a special treat tonight. The best NCIS episode ever
Call of Silence , was on. It’s the one with Charles Durning as a World War II Medal of Honor recipient. Fabulous performances and story. You can even watch the episode on line at the link.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The date has been set

It was a full day - at least until about 2 p.m. We met one of my Seniors-and-Friends Bosom Buddies for breakfast. Sue and Charlie were headed down I-75, and we made arrangements to meet at the Cracker Barrel. That always means a good visit with good friends, and good food as well.

We went home to finish the paper, etc. John went to the Y, and I went for my massage and to the eye doctor. I've had a decrease in the distance vision in my right eye, and he can't find a reason for it - it's driving him crazy. I love that he's so concerned. The decrease hasn't gotten any worse since the last visit, but he's still watching it carefully. I go back in three months.

When I left there, I had a message from the orthopedist. I'm on the surgery schedule for Thursday, 25 October, 7:30 a.m., for my shoulder replacement. The hospital has already called to set up my preadmission testing for next week. So things are underway.  Click here  for a good article about shoulder replacement. I’m sure I’ll get more specifics as time goes along.

I had planned to go to Aldi and WalMart (since I haven’t been for groceries since we got home last Saturday), but with the surgery news, and getting my dilated eyes back to normal, I decided groceries could wait for another day.

I even “let” John do the cooking for supper. This usually means that he goes to KFC, and tonight was no exception. Yum!

Watching the boats and enjoying the sunshine, Split, Croatia.


Monday, October 08, 2012

Jumping back into the routine

The St. Lawrence trip was terrific. The weather left something to be desired - cloudy and cool most of the time, and not nearly as much color as we had hoped for. But this was made up for by the folks we were with (Sue, Randy, Margaret, Anne & Nick), the nice folks we met, and the lovely countryside.

This was a very small ship, max of 66 passengers, and there weren’t that many. The food was good, and the staff was very friendly and attentive. I can definitely recommend the St. Lawrence Cruise Line if you’re interested in seeing the St. Lawrence River up close and personal. Traveling to get there was long, but uneventful - at least for us. Sue & Randy’s luggage sent to Philadelphia instead, but did eventually get there. Anne & Nick had a long delay in Detroit, but met another couple going on the trip, so it was not all bad.
I’ll get the pictures downloaded in a day or two. In the meantime, Sue & Margaret have posted pictures on FB, so if you’re friends with them, you can see them there.  =======================
And we jumped right back into the routine.

Pool, then coffee. It did feel good to get back into the water. The cleaning lady came this morning, and clean floors are nice, too.

At bridge, the week before we left, John was high, and I was second. That surely doesn’t happen very often. This was definitely not the case today. 

More doctors’ appointments coming up this week, but there’s a massage scheduled in there, too.

From Ravenna, we crossed the Adriatic to Split, Croatia. As you can see, this is definitely a water-oriented city. 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Home again

We got home before 10 p.m., after a long, but uneventful travel day.  It was a good trip with great people.  But now it's bedtime.  More later.

Heading home

In the Buffalo airport, heading home.  Will be getting to Chattanooga late this evening.  It's been a good trip, and great time spent with Sue, Randy, Margaret, Anne, and Nick.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Greetings from the St. Lawrence Seaway.  We're docked just below the uppermost lock, heading later today toward Montreal.  

Just checking in.  Great trip so far, and we expect it to continue.