Thursday, February 27, 2014

Busy, long, good

I spent the morning at the optometrist’s office. I had a scheduled appointment for routine testing. Unfortunately, there were several unscheduled injuries and severe problems that had to be dealt with. It wasn’t exactly how I planned to spend my morning, but I had a book to reead, and I know that I’d have emergency treatment in the same way if I needed it. Just the way it goes.

We went to see The Monuments Men at the early (cheap) showing. It’s a good movie of an even better story. Afterwards, we had one of our gourmet meals at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

And the evening was topped off by a string of basketball games on TV. The UTC Men Mocs edged out Western Carolina by one point in overtime. The Lady Vols won over LSU in the later game.

All in all, a long, busy, good day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nothing much...

Nothing much going on around here. I had lousy cards at bridge Monday (although I came in third last week). I got my mani/pedi yesterday. It felt good, but I've decided I don't like the polish I chose. Oh, well - I'll change it the next time. Swimming and painting class were today. I'm not doing anything I'm pleased with in this session of classes. The teacher asked me if I was liking what we were doing. I told her that I wasn't, and we had a good laugh about it. She’s a great teacher and understands that all things don’t appeal to all people. As I told her, I always learn something - even if it's that it was something I didn't want to do again. Dealing with composition and making a piece "work" is a challenge no matter what the style or techniques.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Mani/pedi, Good!
Nap, Good! Second shift, book sale,
Good! Dinner out, Good!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Addena to book sale stories

I told one person as he left with a box of books, when you get those read, you can bring them back for us to sell again, and buy more. He said, “Oh, no, I never get rid of books. I have over 3,000.”
One lady talked about her new house. She didn’t downsize, she actually got a bigger house. She and her husband could use the other four bedrooms for their books.

Another man leaving with his sack of books, when told he could read about upcoming book sales in the newspaper, said he didn’t read the newspaper. Well, the notice would be on TV, too. He got rid of his TV about six years ago. The programs were awful and then they “tried to rape us by selling us things”. He could find anything he wanted to know on his computer.

Well, okay.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

At the Book Sale

Bev, in her blog Airy Persiflage, writes about her days working at the Logos Bookstore in Davis, CA.

Today, John and I worked at the Friends of the Library Book sale, the opening shift from noon to three. We usually work a shift or two during the 3-4 sales the Friends have in a year. This sale was in a store front at the mall near our house.

There were two customers today that we went home laughing about. My favorite was the lady who came in after Sunday lunch at a nearby national chain restaurant. She had a carry-out box, and asked if she could leave it in the “hold” area while she shopped. We asked if she had enjoyed her meal, since she was bringing home the leftovers. She made a face and said “No, it was awful!” I couldn’t stop myself - my immediate question was, “Well, why are you taking the leftovers?” She replied, “I hate to waste food.”

John’s favorite was the lady with the bucket-shaped purse. One of the workers complimented her on it and noted that bucket purses seemed to be very popular this year. The lady, while showing us, said, “It’s shaped like this because it has a holster built into the side. Your pistol fits perfectly. You can shoot right through the purse if you need to. I got it at Shooter’s Supply and they guarantee the bag. If you shoot through it, they’ll replace it. And I’d use it, too.” Well, that was pretty much a conversation stopper. We’re sure she had her gun with her, too - always a necessary accessory at the library book sale.

Who knows what our shift on Tuesday evening will bring?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing Meme
What was your first job like?
      Transcribing old autopsies from dictabelt cylinders - age about 15.

It’s a typical Sunday, how are you spending it?
     A typical Sunday - I’d be doing laundry and knitting. This Sunday we’ll be working at the Friends of the Library book sale.
What was the happiest day of your life?
      There are too many of them to pick just one.
What was the best decision you ever made?
      Marrying John.

Tell your go-to “pretend” game as a child (who was your alter-ego?)
      I don’t remember ever doing this.

What email service do you use?
      Family - isp provider; art and computer stuff - gmail; online buying - yahoo.

What fandoms would you consider yourself a part of?
      Not really anything, although we do love all things NCIS.

Do you use anything on your lips? (eg. Chapstick, gloss, balm, lipstick)
      Lipstick, sometimes Chapstick or Mentholatum.

How many devices do you own which can access the internet?
      Three that are mine - laptop, iPad, smart phone; three that are John’s - desktop, Kindle, and Kindle Fire.

Last strong smell you can remember smelling?
      Cutting up onions for split pea soup.

If you had to move your birthday to another date, which one would you choose and why?
       I don’t know that I’d change it - maybe a day later to St. Patrick’s Day.

Inspiration behind your blog title?
       Making use of our first initial - as usual.

If you could spend a rainy day with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?
       John and two others, so we could play bridge.

Is there a foreign culture that you love?
       I enjoy learning about any culture different from ours.

Do you have a favorite soft drink?
       I’m not a fan of carbonated drinks. I really like plain water, coffee, sometimes iced tea or lemonade.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pretty good day

A day with massage
Is good. Lady Vols win big.
Thunderstorms coming.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Strategy and Tactics

Remember, last spring, John found out that his prostate cancer has recurred. He’s been undergoing treatment. I’ll let him tell the recent developments, as he wrote in e-mails to our daughters and his sister.

Tuesday: I went to the urologist yesterday. Back in November when my last four month shot of Lupron ran out, the doctor and I agreed to go three months without the medicine and see what happened. Three months was up yesterday. My PSA had gone from 3 to 24. (should be under 9 at my age, without any history of cancer) So it is back on the Lupron. That is a pretty steep rise.

I asked if it had metastasized, and he said “probably but still in the prostate“. He said that we will continue with the Lupron until it is no longer effective alone, at which time they will continue the Lupron, but add other cancer drugs. When that is no longer effective they add another cancer drug to the mix. He had read the study that Al sent me an article about, and said that there were several small studies like that one and he was trying to keep up to date on them. He is going to hook me up with an oncologist that works with prostate cancer patients. This will give an additional set of eyes on the problem.

So it is back to hot flashes and loss of strength and stamina. I will just have to push myself more on the strength and stamina. As far as I know, there is not a damn thing I can do about the hot flashes except to try not to bitch too much.

Wednesday: I saw the medical oncologist this morning. He explained what our long term strategy would be, and what tactics we would use when needed. The plan is to stay on the Lupron until it alone does not do the job. He said that for my situation the Lupron is the best weapon in the arsenal. I asked for a time guess and he said two years plus-or-minus. He then tried to explain the other weapons that are available now and are likely to become available in that time period. There several things available today and lots more on the way. It will sooner or later require other treatment. When we get there we will look at what option to use.

Time is the question. It will get worse, as cancers do. The longer it doesn't get worse, the better off I am in two ways. First, I need no treatment other than the Lupron. Second is that things are in the pipeline that may work better than what is available today, and what is available today is pretty good. We talked about the side effects of Lupron. I need to continue to get as much exercise as my body will tolerate. I need to learn to live with hot flashes! I need to eat less, that unfortunately seems to be the only way to stop the weight gain.

All things considered, not a bad outlook. It comes with no guarantees.

We’ll keep you up to date..

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Climate change?

It’s 18 February.
The high for the day was 67 degrees.
We’ve just had some thunderstorms.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Olympics, knitting.
Knitting, Olympics, knitting.
Basketball, knitting.

Friday Four

  • We got out to go to the Y this morning. There were only a couple of icy patches on the sidewalk. And, of course, I slipped on one and fell. John was doing his damnedest to keep me from falling, but I still landed on my butt. Fortunately, there is substantial padding there, so there was no damage (except to my less-than-fragile ego). At least it was still dark, so nobody except John saw me crawl through the snow so I could pull up on the side of the car. Sigh…..
  • I went for my annual mammogram. They didn’t take extra films or call me back, so I assume I’m okay for another year. Ladies, GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM!!!
  • There was an earthquake in South Carolina this evening. Sue and Randy felt it at their house. I wonder if Alison and Joe brought them with them when they moved east.
  • It’s raining, with a chance of its turning into snow - little or no accumulation. Cold again tomorrow, but due to be near 70! next week. Welcome to Tennessee.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pay attention and read the fine print

I got some interesting mail yesterday. Remember back in October 2012, I had a partial shoulder replacement, replacing the plate and screw fixation I had had following my fall on 31 July 2012.

This letter was from Medicare to the hospital, with a copy to me. Medicare was advising the hospital that payment for my hospital stay was being denied, and would be the responsibility of the hospital. What????

I had been told by the doctor and by the hospital at my pre-admission visit that, after the surgery, I would be in the hospital from three to five days. In the event, I had the surgery one morning and was discharged about suppertime the next day - so about 36 hours in the hospital.

From the letter, it appears that Medicare had denied the claim, the hospital had asked for a review. This letter was saying that after the review, the claim was still being denied. The grounds were that I had no complicating medical conditions and could have had follow-up care at a lower-level-of-care facility or at home. Also, since I had not been notified, in writing, that Medicare might not cover the hospitalization, the hospital would be responsible for the charges. The hospital can still appeal this decision.

They’re now supposed to be doing joint replacements as outpatient surgery???? Holy cow! Remember to check the fine print. I go back to see the surgeon next month. I’ll surely be asking him about this.
They come in threes; Shirley Temple Black, Sid Caesar, and today, Ralph Waite. He’s been playing Jethro’s father on NCIS. That will be tough for them to deal with.
Last night’s snow was gorgeous, and John got some great pictures this morning. It’s almost all gone now, after a day of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 40s.


Weather follow-up:

Boy, did we get weather today! We had decided that we believed the forecast, that we would get snow this morning (Wednesday). So we slept in. And, sure enough, when we got up there was snow - not a whole lot, but enough to keep us in. They kept telling us that it was going to start snowing again and would snow a lot more.

Well, they were right again! We got fat, chunky snowflakes - lots of them. On top of the 1+” we got this morning, we’ve gotten another 5-6” and it’s still snowing. Power outages have happened in the area (although not here, fortunately), and traffic has all but stopped.

I happened to look outside about 9:30 pm and it was almost like daylight. I went out, and the glowing soft light was amazing. The moon is supposed to be full on Friday night, and that light shining through the cloud clover and reflecting off the snow was just incredible.

We tried to take some pictures, but couldn't get the wonderful effect.  Mine was taken with my iPad and corrected with Picasa.  John took his with his SLR and used a flash. (these were taken about 10 pm)

Followup: I got this e-mail from Eva Jane this morning about the kidney transplant.
Well, Mary, this is what happened. Robby and his sister-in-law went last Friday for the final blood work before the surgery. They called yesterday with the results--she has an infection. So, once again, no surgery. Of course, they will not do anything until she is infection free. This means now that it will have to be scheduled for the FOURTH time. Robby and his wife have missed so much work and for nothing so far. We are all so worried about this girl; I don't know how much longer she can hold on, and the frustration and the waiting for Robby is getting so hard for him. I will let you know about the next scheduled date. This is a NIGHTMARE!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


One of the gals on Seniors & Friends posted a link to a blog with a recipe for Greek Chicken. I looked at the description of the dish on the blog, Southern Plate. It describes the ingredients, and they were ones that you would normally find in a kitchen. And, indeed, I did have all those things on hand.

It’s very simple. Take any chicken parts (breasts, legs, thighs), with or without skin, with or without bones. Put in a baking dish with quartered potatoes. Sprinkle with dry mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Sprinkle with lemon or lime juice. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake, covered, at 350F for 60 minutes. Uncover, increase temperature to 400F, and bake for another 30 minutes.

We had it for dinner tonight and…it was fabulous!


Special recognition for a special young man: Eva Jane’s grandson, Robbie, underwent surgery today to donate a kidney to his sister-in-law. We hope both patients are doing well. And be sure to sign the donor card on your driver’s license.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Two new (to me) things

Two things I learned today:

Tennessee has a curling club - click here to learn more about it. In case you don’t know about curling, click here to read the Wikipedia entry on it. We first learned about curling years ago, when Kate and Wayne had a satellite dish and watched it on a Canadian station. It’s one of our favorite things to watch during the winter Olympics.

The Society for Creative Anachronism has a chapter in Chattanooga. Who knew? The Shrine of Vulpiner Reach meets regularly here.

Harriet says that nothing learned is ever wasted. I’m not sure how I’ll use this, but there it is.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

As advertised

We did exactly what we planned to do today ... Nothing!

Busy Saturday

It’s been a long day - a good one.

The Lady Mocs played at the old gymnasium on the UTC campus. They were displaced by the monster truck rally being held at the arena. It’s a much smaller venue, so it sounded much louder. The gals played a great game, rolling over Appalachian State 69-41. However, an hour and a half on bleacher seats was not good for the back or the butt.

The duplicate group was playing tonight, and I had thought we’d be eating out and then going to bridge. But the game was over earlier enough that we came home. That gave us a good break - with John getting in a short nap, and my getting some pain meds.

Duplicate was interesting again - a learning experience. We had a couple of bidding glitches, but played pretty well. The scoring and some of the mechanics are still confusing - that’ll come with time, I hope. I have no clue as to how we did - guess we’ll find out in a day or so. We’re going to be taking a Road Scholar course on bridge next month, so I guess that’ll be the deciding as to whether or not we continue to pursue this.

I’m looking forward to staying home all day Sunday.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Fun Friday

Good friends,
Good food,
Noodles & Pho,
Friday is for fun.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thirteen for Thursday (stolen from Jennifer - thanks)

  1. We had more cold, dreary weather, but at least there was no snow or single digits.
  2. I had an eye appointment, refraction, and check after the YAG laser procedure in December.
  3. Everything looked good, except for very early glaucoma and very small amount of clouding on the residual from the cataract extraction in the right eye.
  4. There will be some more testing in a few weeks, but watchful waiting on the rest.
  5. I had an appointment for a much-needed massage.
  6. The Bread Basket bakery from Signal Mountain has opened a shop in Hixson. I stopped and got a loaf of sourdough bread, cheese bread, and cranberry-orange tea bread. Yum!
  7. Alison and Joe are in their house in Annapolis, waiting for their stuff to be delivered, scheduled for Saturday. All fingers are crossed.
  8. It’s good to have everybody east of the Mississippi.
  9. We’re going to Noodles & Pho for dinner tomorrow night with Carol & Stephen and Tina.
  10. Jean and I talked on Skype.
  11. We had PCT for supper (Previous Culinary Triumphs) for supper. Still good the second time around.
  12. We watched some of the first night of the Olympics.
  13. The Lady Vols beat Mississippi State 77-65.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Not much sleep last night.
No reason. Big blahs today.
Bed early tonight.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

It's only rain

I hope tonight's and this week's rain continues as ONLY rain, and not (as Johnnie said today) "Seasonal  Nuisance  Of  Winter".

Monday, February 03, 2014

Usual Monday

Rain all night; no snow!
Lousy cards. Lady Mocs win!
Usual Monday.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

It all depends on your point of view.

It all depends on your point of view.

If you were cheering for the Seahawks, it was marvelous.

If you were cheering for the Broncos, it was disastrous.

If you were cheering for Peyton, it was sad.

If you were just watching the game, it wasn’t a very good one. We finally muted the game and turned the sound on just for the commercials.

If you were watching the commercials, the car commercials were pretty good. And then there were the Clydesdales!

And now the Super Bowl hype is over for another year!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

A different day

We had a different day today. We went out to lunch with John's previous rowing partner. We hadn't seen her in almost a year, so it was good to get caught up.

We went to the new Vietnamese place nearby, “Noodle & Pho“. I'd been there the other day with my buddies, and it was good. This was, if anything, better. All six orders in the two meals were excellent. It's a great addition to the neighborhood.

We didn't eat until about 1:30, so we didn't even need dinner tonight. After our friend left, we snuck in some late naps, and then read most of the evening. At least until the men Tennessee Vols game with Alabama started. And we're pleased that Tennessee beat AL at home quite handily. Our Lady Mocs beat Davidson easily (we listened to part of this one on the radio before we went out), and the men Mocs won over Furman.

I guess the more important sporting event is Sunday.

So long, January!

I can’t say I’m sorry to see January 2014 in my rearview mirror.

It did go fast, if only because there was so much going on that individual days mostly didn’t mean much.

There was the two weeks lost with the awful cold - two weeks for each of us.

About half of the month had days cold enough to make this January the 9th coldest since they’ve kept records.

Then the furnace stopped working during the single-digit days. We managed to keep the house no colder than 55, with a couple of space heaters. The HVAC man got it at least temporarily fixed. So we’ll probably replace it in the spring.

And there was the stupid 1.5” of snow that paralyzed the city on a Tuesday afternoon and closed the schools for the rest of the week. It wasn’t as bad as Atlanta, but only in comparison because of the numbers of people and vehicles involved.

The son of a friend had surgery to remove a brain tumor. Another friend had a small stroke.

So long, January! You won’t be missed.