Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunday Stealing

17 Meme

Stolen from: Survey Haven

Are you a jealous person? No

When is the next time you’re traveling out of state? In April, I hope.

Can you write your name in a foreign language? Well, duh - it’s the same as it is in English.

When you’re getting ready for something, do you listen to music? Not particularly

What is your favorite day of the week? They’re all pretty much the same when your retired. I have different things I like about all of them

What is something you did yesterday and wish you could’ve done today? Can’t think of anything. A mammogram was the only major event of yesterday, and I certainly don’t want to do THAT again today.

If you woke up tomorrow and knew/spoke a different language, which language would you want it to be? I think I’d pick Spanish - it’s more likely to come in handy in my lifetime.

What did you last order online? Yarn (what a surprise)

Do you have any specific hobbies? Knitting, of course.

What’s a song you recently discovered that you want to tell everyone about? Not a song, specifically, but that I just found out that Lady Gaga has a great voice (I’m a little slow about some things).

Favorite fall or winter accessory? Hats, gloves, sweatshirts

What did you last eat? Gelato, just a few minutes ago.

Look to your left. What’s there? John’s chair - usually with him in it.

How long does it take you to fall asleep? Usually just a few minutes.

Is there a TV in the room you are in? Yes

What comes to your mind when I say red? Bright

Name something you think is pointless? Scriptless TV shows (so-called “reality” shows)

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Friday thaw

      I had my mammogram done this morning. I didn’t get immediately - there were just the techs where I had my mammogram done, so it's read elsewhere in the hospital (I guess). Anyway, they didn't call me back to get more pictures, so that tells me all is okay.
      We came in third at bridge this afternoon. I made one really stupid bid, but mostly we bid and played fairly well.
       Unfortunately, when we got home, there was a message on the answering machine that John's lab tests scheduled for Monday were being postponed. The insurance company had not gotten back to the hospital with precertification. So we'll have to wait until they get that and then reschedule. I called the doctor's office to notify them, and the nurse told me she had sent all the information to the insurance company early this morning. Oh, well..... John doesn't have to do any prep for Monday in any case. Unless they call back and reschedule.... or......

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chattanooga snow

We got about 8” of snow yesterday and overnight. It’s one of those beautiful, fluffy snows - just right for playing in - if you’re of an age and inclination to do that sort of thing. We just enjoyed looking at it and taking a few pictures.

We stayed in all day - mostly watching and listening to the snow melt. I had a huge attack of the sleepies and took 2-3 naps in the chair during the day.

Our driveway is not snow-free, and any melt-water will freeze overnight. So we won't be going anywhere early in the morning. My mammogram is scheduled for 9:30 - and we're expecting to be able to get there. But we won’t go out before then.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Update plus weather report

John's been scheduled for a bunch of appointments over the next ten days - starting next Monday. He is to have PET scans and brain MRIs on Monday. Then he is to see the ENT guy on Wednesday. A week from Monday (9 March), he is to see the oncologist at 11:15 and the pulmonologist at 3:15. I hope by then these two (or three) doctors will be able to tell us what he’s up against and coming up with treatment options to propose.

The hospital we're using has a large cancer center, and I had a long talk this afternoon with the "nurse navigator" there. She'll be our center source of information, explanations, etc. This is going to be special - at least for us. Her name is Betsy - with the same last name as my dear Aunt Betsy. So I know we have a special guardian angel looking over us. I told her that, and she wanted to know all about my Betsy. Definitely gives us a good feeling.

John's still doing a lot of deep coughing - left over from the bronchoscopy - and his chest/abdominal muscles are really starting to ache from that. The anesthesia hangs on, and by 8:30 he was already sleeping in the chair. At least he's gone on to bed.


We're having a beautiful, fluffy snow tonight. I'd guess we've already had 4+ inches (since 5 pm), and it's still snowing. . It's very light outside because of the light reflecting off the snow. But the temperature is supposed to go up into the 40s tomorrow, so it'll probably all be gone by tomorrow night - just in time for the next cold snap. Such is life in the sunny South. I've just had to reschedule my mammogram for the second time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A day to remember - but not for the best of reasons

A little history here. John had prostate cancer diagnosed about 5 years ago. This was treated with radiation and went into remission. Last year, the prostate cancer recurred and he has been having treatment for this. About a month ago, he had a body scan and an MRI to check for “hot spots”. There was nothing in the pelvis around the prostate. But some suspicious places showed up in the chest area. John was referred to a pulmonologist. A bronchoscopy and biopsy were scheduled for this morning.

We had snow and ice when we left to go to the hospital this morning. (John said he heard they had closed the bridge because of ice shortly after we crossed it.) Glad we went on and chanced it, though, since we got there without incident. The procedure went as scheduled and John did well.

Unfortunately, the results were not good. He has lung cancer, possibly related to his long-time smoking (even though he quit 30 years ago). It's separate, not metastatic from the prostate cancer. And there’s another suspicious area on his larynx, which will be investigated by a head and neck surgeon.

Today, we're just dealing with that shock and trying to process the information. There will be lots more testing in the days ahead - to "stage" the tumor, breathing tests, PET scans, etc. Then the docs will be able to determine what sorts of treatment to recommend.

Stay with us. We’ll keep you posted on our journey.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Monday is it still winter?

It was in the 30s all day today, but at least not "doing" anything. We even had some periods of sunshine. I hope it doesn't "do" anything overnight. We're supposed to have John at the hospital at 7:30 tomorrow morning for his bronchoscopy and biopsy.

Just the usual Monday stuff today. We hadn't been to Monday bridge for several weeks. We had six tables today, which was nice. I had some good and some not-so-good cards - just the usual stuff.

Our ballgames were 50:50 tonight. The UTC Lady Mocs are now #18 and won their game with Mercer. The Lady Vols played South Carolina. Each was undefeated in SEC play, so this was a big game. It was a hard-fought game, but SC held on to win by a couple of points in the last few seconds. Only one more home game for UTC.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Getting out

We finally got out of the house today. We drove over to see Margaret and Bobby. It was the first time we'd been there since we helped get him moved in with Hospice. John mostly talked to Bobby, while I talked to Margaret. Bobby has lost weight, and is getting weaker. But he is getting around in the house a little bit, and even out of the house occasionally. Margaret is keeping occupied struggling with various medical entities and bureaucracies, and keeping track of all the phone calls, etc.

The drive over was interesting. The ice formations along I-24 going over Monteagle were gorgeous (if you've been in the area, you know where I mean). But the fog going over the top was horrible - both directions. John kept the flashers going both times. Very scary, but at least not for more than about a mile or so. At least we're home safely, and it was good to see Margaret and Bobby for a little while.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sunday Stealing

Colorful Meme

Stolen from: Survey Haven

Could you tell me please, what color each of these things are?
~ Your hair: grey
~ Your eyes: brown
~ Your shirt: turquoise
~ Your socks: multicolored
~ Your shoes: slippers, multicolored stripes
~ Your purse: black
~ Your wallet: black
~ Your phone: blue
~ Your computer/laptop: blue
~ Your earphones: earphones for TV sound amplifying, black
~ Your best friend’s hair: grey
~ Your best friend’s eyes: brown
~ Your sky today: grey

Sounds pretty dull today, doesn’t it. That’s what happens on a snowy, rainy day.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finally Friday

  • It’s so boring to keep talking about the weather, even that’s all that’s happening around here.
  • Only seven of us braved the single-digit temperatures to go to the pool this morning. But it was wonderful, at 84 degrees.
  • And good to get out, get some exercise, and then socialize at Panera afterward.
  • We watched a great documentary DVD called Hey, Boo! Not surprisingly, it’s about Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s excellent - definitely worth an hour and a half of your time.
  • With any luck, tonight’s inch of snow, followed by freezing rain, will have melted and gone by early afternoon tomorrow. On these hills, a thin layer of ice is treacherous.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cold Thursday

It’s BRRR cold, but we
Did get out. Mani/pedi
For me. John to stores.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Everybody talks about it

This weather is so bizarre! Last night’s forecast was for cold, very windy, and scattered snow showers. We left for the Y this morning in heavy snow, sticking to the ground. Well, OK….

After swimming, we came straight home, cancelled an appointment, and settled in for the day. At which time, the snow stopped and the sun came out.

For the rest of the week, the forecast is now calling for record low temps, possible sleet/freezing rain storms, and who knows what else.

And then, for Monday, a high temperature around 50!

I’m not complaining, you understand. We could be in Boston or Maine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Enough already!

  • Bobby and Margaret have settled into a routine at their house.
  • John is scheduled for a bronchoscopy and biopsy next week.
  • Buddy is recovering from surgery.
  • Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
  • Hunter may have to start dialysis.
  • Scott is having chemotherapy.
  • Curtis has reached the end of any cancer treatment.
  • Don was in the hospital last week with the flu.
  • FJ was taken to the hospital at 2 a.m. with a severe gallbladder attack. She had surgery at noon today.
 Enough already!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The next day

We wound up being right on the edge of the rain/ice line - the "good" side. We had about an hour of freezing rain this morning, but then the temperature went to 33-34-35. It's been just rain since then. It'll probably be a mess when the temperature goes down tonight, but.....

Chattanooga was in a pocket, in the valley between the mountains. It was icy with freezing rain at the higher elevations, but not down here. Strange, but we’ll take it. I wonder what it’ll be like in the morning.

In any case, it was a good day for doing nothing - and we did it quite well - including some napping. John even wanted the second half of last night's dinner (lamb burgers, scalloped potatoes, squash casserole), so no cooking.
The Lady Mocs won their game against Western Carolina easily, in an almost empty house. Western is in the mountains, so most folks stayed home. And the Lady Mocs have moved up to #20 in the national rankings!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter weather

I know the awful snows they’ve been having in Boston and Chicago, etc., are awful. But they are somewhat prepared to deal with it (if not in those quantities).

However, the weather around here for the next week is going to be super terrible - at least for this area. And nobody around here is prepared to deal with it.

The temperature didn’t get above freezing today, and the precipitation is supposed to start around daybreak tomorrow. And it’s supposed to rain/snow/freezing rain/sleet at least through Tuesday. And the temperature is supposed to be hovering around freezing or colder for the rest of the week. This will bring our area to its knees.

We both had medical appointments tomorrow morning, and we both received calls this evening to tell us that the offices would be closed and we should call later to reschedule.

We’ll hope for no power failures, since we don’t have an alternate heating source. We have a fireplace, but haven’t had a fire in it in probably ten years. It definitely wouldn’t be safe to try a fire in it now. And if the roads are icy, we have no way to get to a motel.

I guess we’ll deal with whatever. At least, we don’t have 20-foot-high mountains of snow to dispose of.

Stay warm, folks!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pre-snow Saturday

Our Lady Mocs beat UNCG 76- 52 this afternoon - and then we went out to eat at our favorite Mexican place. This is amazing - our fourth time to eat out this week, and three days in a row. I guess I'll be cooking for a while.

Almost like a typical Chattanoogan when snow is in the forecast, I went to the store this morning. I was going to need milk and eggs on Tuesday, but since it's looking like we'll be snowed in, I decided to go out today. I just went to Aldi, and went as soon as they opened. So it wasn't too crowded yet.

Today was lovely - with the high reaching the high 50s. It was very windy, though - and that continues. The temps are supposed to be dropping through the night and tomorrow, with snow starting tomorrow night. Right now, the prediction is for 1-2" in the valley (where we are) and up to 8" in the mountain areas. We shall see.

Busy, mostly good

Friday was a busy day - not all productive.
The time at the Y and at coffee was well spent, of course. And we really needed our haircuts.
Duplicate was another matter. I think we came in next-to-last out of 14 couples. We seemed to have a severe attack of the dumbs. Oh, well - it wasn’t something that hasn’t happened to everybody else. We just hope it doesn’t happen TOO often.
We went to dinner with Tina at the Vietnamese place. They have reworked their menu. I managed to get the best dinner tonight - and it surely was good (shrimp stir-fry with udon noodles).

All in all - a good day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Three for Thursday

1. Massage therapy is great. I had a massage this morning.

2. We went to String Theory - a great concert with piano and clarinet. This was certainly an unusual combination but, in listening, a very pleasant sound. In the program were selections by Debussy and Schumann and two mid-20th-century composers.

3. Our evening ended with supper at 5 Guys & Fries.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's up on Wednesday?

What’s up on Wednesday?
Swim class at the Y.
Coffee with the swimmers.
Trip to Costco.
Gourmet lunch (Polish hotdog and drink for $1.50).
John scheduled for bronchoscopy and biopsy.
Delicious supper (oyster bisque).
Joke from Renna:
Sunday School teacher: “Jimmy, do you know the meaning of ‘resurrection‘”?
Jimmy: After some thought, “No. But I do know that if it last more than four hours, you’re supposed to go to the Emergency Room.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Walmart and Aldi
Groceries on Tuesday are
The norm. One day/week.

Airplanes and airports
To and from Shannon, Ireland.
Canmore, Alberta.

The Year of Health Issues

I guess 2015 is going to be the Year of Health Issues.

First there was Bobby. Update: he’s doing well at home. He’s comfortable and is even able to get up and walk around the house for short periods. They have a sitter in the daytime, and Margaret has been able to go back to work, at least part-time. So there’s at least some degree of normalcy.

John went for his quarterly checkup with the urologist. His PSA was up slightly, which was not totally unexpected, and he was put on another medication. Plus he was sent for a bone scan and an MRI to be sure there were no “hot spots”, i.e., that the cancer hadn’t spread outside the prostate.

Today we went to see the oncologist. To our great relief, the bone scan showed only arthritis and no problems in the pelvic area or liver. There were some enlarged nodes in his midchest, so he’s being sent to a pulmonologist for a consultation.

And then there’s Don, Scott, Jim, Hunter, Buddy, Bob, Judy’s son, Missy’s mom, Jean’s husband, Sandra’s husband, and all other loved ones. 

Hugs to all.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday Stealing

Why Do You Want To Know That Meme?

Stolen from: My Random Randomness

What TV gameshow/reality show would you like to be on? I’ve always thought I’d like to give Jeopardy a try.
What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD? I have no idea. I haven’t bought many over the years.
If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on? I’d make sure we could afford all the housing and care we’d need for the reste of our lives - and then TRAVEL.
One place you've visited, can't forget and want to go back to? We’re going back to the Canadian Rockies this summer - have been there several times. Spectacular.
Do you trust easily? Yes
Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? I try to think first, then act.
Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? The results of the elections last November, and the results.
Do you have a good body image? Just realistic.
What is your favorite fruit? I like almost all fresh fruits. Right now, we’re enjoying grapefruit from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
I’m always being asked… about my knitting.
The last big belly laugh I had was… I’ve just finished an autobiography by Carl Reiner. He’s one funny man!
What websites do you visit daily? My mail sites, A Word A Day, the Astronomy Picture of the Day, web cams from various national parks, Facebook, SeniorLearn, Seniors & Friends, the blogs I read via Feedly, various puzzles. Maybe I spend too much time on the computer.
What have you been seriously addicted to lately? The computer?
What's the last song that got stuck in your head? I haven’t gotten one stuck in a long time.
Favorite clothing? Soft clothes.
Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? Not particularly. I prefer Cheerios or GrapeNuts.
What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground? Look around for the owner, check the nearest store to see if somebody lost it, and then spend it if I couldn’t find who dropped it.
Items you couldn't go without during the day? Coffee, water, iPad, cell phone, book.
What should you be doing right now? Answering silly questions.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Something to think about

One of my daily reads is A Word A Day by Anu Garg.  There's always something to learn about words at this site.  Occasionally, Mr. Garg puts some thoughts of his own.  Of course, he has a wonderful way with words.  I've been thinking a lot about this piece from last Monday, and just had to share it.

The beginning of 2015 means the starting of engines in the US presidential race. The elections will be held in late 2016, but around here we like to start early.
POTUS, the President of the United States, is a potent title. Stakes are high. If you have your eyes on the big prize, it helps to have endorsements from powerful people. And if you can manage to get the nod from the ultimate power, things should be breezy.
In the last election for the US president, no fewer than three presidential hopefuls received the baking of god. Clearly god likes to hedge his bets. Not sure why he changed his mind later on and dumped all three endorsees.
All the religious posturing by these politicians to convey their goodness should be an obvious turn off. Unfortunately, many voters want the candidates to wear their religion on their sleeves. Contrary to what they believe, religiosity doesn't necessarily imply goodness.
Religion is a personal thing. People should be free to spend as much time as they want in their places of worship or in their homes, praying to a god of their choosing. Why get government involved in the business of god (or god in the business of government)?
Why not vote for the most capable candidate irrespective of whether she bows to a particular god, or how often, or how long? Mixing religion and state is like mixing water and petrol. It spoils both. And it creates a hazard.
At one time both the religious leader and the political leader was one and the same person. In some places that’s still the norm and the results are disastrous.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


      For several years, we have given some extra money to support the Women’s Basketball program at UTC (the University of Tennessee Chattanooga). It’s not a lot, and we’ll probably start increasing our gift.
      Tonight, the phone rang. It was a young man asking for “Mr. Z.”. After a few minutes of conversation, John hung up with a smile. It was a student on scholarship at UTC calling to thank us for our gift to the University.
       What a great thing for the University to do. It’s good for the students to acknowledge support. And it’s nice for us to know we’re appreciated.

I can't believe....

I can’t believe it is not considered child abuse for a parent to refuse to have a child vaccinated to prevenet disease.

I can’t believe that it’s not against the law for any child who has not been vaccinated (other than for medical or religious reasons) to attend a public school or any public school activity or function.

I can’t believe that a parent who professes to love a child would willing risk the child’s catching a life-threatening disease, when a simple protection is available.

For the sake of your child, get the appropriate vaccinations!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Tuesday miscellany

Not a whole lot going on around here today. After missing a grocery trip last week, I really did need to get there today. Nothing like getting back in the rut. We went to dinner at O'Charley's with Tina and Missy, and that was fun.
I heard the news about the new Harper Lee novel, and will be preordering it.
Did y'all see the wonderful full moon tonight? Our weather guy told us that we'd be able to see Jupiter just to the left of the moon. Really spectacular.
John and I both have bad knees and were wearing knee braces today. His was the left, mine right. We might be able to do something in a three-legged race.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Sunday Stealing (on Monday)

Nosy Meme

Stolen from: FYeah Surveys

Average hours of sleep: 6-7 usually
Last thing I googled: Glacier National Park webcams
One place that makes me happy: Near the ocean
How many blankets I sleep under: One light-weight cotton blanket and a duvet.
What are you wearing right now: Soft clothes
Last book you read: The Dante Connection by Estelle Ryan
Favorite fictional character: Atticus Finch
Last movie I watched in the cinema: I’m not sure - maybe The King’s Speech.
Dream vacation: The next one, but first class all the way
Dream wedding: One that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Dream pet: Somebody else’s kitten
Dream job: The one I have now - being retired.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Usually I feel every one of my 78 years.
Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying, of course.
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Sometimes it’s just taking the easy way out, and not making waves.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday

This is the first time in ages I've been in the room for the whole Super Bowl.  And even kept the sound on and watched the commercials.  I really didn't care about the game - although, as John said, it was a pretty good game.

We didn't turn it on until the kick-off, so missed any of the pre-game stuff.

As to the commercials, we were pretty much unimpressed.  The biggest disappointment was the Budweiser commercial with the puppy and the Clydesdales - definitely not up to last year's.  As a group, we thought the car commercials were the best.  Our favorite was the Dodge commercial, celebrating their 100th year.  The 100-year-old folks were great.  The two Doritos commercials and the Viagra commercial were the only other memorable ones.  We muted and/or were out of the room for the whole half-time show.
While the northern part of the country is being covered with snow, we've been getting lots of rain.  The temperature has risen several degrees (52-55F) from 5 pm to midnight, and we've gotten probably 2-3" of rain.  They're saying that it's supposed to change and the temperatures are supposed to be in the 30s tomorrow.  I'm just glad all this moisture isn't falling as snow.