Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Centipedes, Locusts, Spiders and More - OH MY! :)

Adult solitary phase locust; photo by Tom Fayle. 
I mean ...really ..I ask you ..who could blame me?

I AM SITTING HERE ...chuckling at my reaction to a series of bug events.  Oh and that I am sitting here in a mud mask as I type - waiting for it to dry so I can go shower.  I look like I am going commando from just below my shoulders and up.  You'd never see me in foliage or the dark of night when wearing this mask.  I do love this stuff.  Girly thing - I know.  :)

OKAY ...back to the bug events.

"Events?", you ask.

Well me ...most things involving most kinds of bugs ...are an event.  {{SHUDDER}}

Although ...I do love butterflies.  And also fireflies, dragon flies and lady bugs.  And the woolly bear caterpillar.  I don't love the woolly bear but I do think they're cute and I like to pet them.

ANYWAY ...2 nights ago after tinkling (I know - TMI), I bolted up from the toilet so fast because I thought a beetle had dropped on to my bare back since I had just come in from the garden, but it was actually the tie string from the back of my dress that had fallen against me.  I LOVE gathering vegetables out of the garden, but it also causes me to feel like all kinds of bugs are landing on me and sometimes they do.  I usually want to go right  into the pool or shower right after.

AND LAST NIGHT ...I about died when I moved a piece of wood near the shed and a big ..centipede - that thousand leg thing scurried right near my bare feet!  I shrieked.

THEN...while I wasn't skived ...I was annoyed when I was stung on my toe by a bumble bee I accidentally stepped on.  I didn't realize they sting.  I always think of them as the friendly bees.  Cute little fuzzy yellow and black striped bees.  Of course I did step on it.  What's a bumble bee to do in that case?  It kept on going though, enjoying the clover.  By the way ...did you know that bumble bees should not be able to fly because their body weight is more than their wings should be able to support.  But they do. Oh and swimming in the ice cold pool soothed the painful sting to my toe.

LOCUSTS ARE just plain alarming in size and scary when they seem to be swimming after you in the pool.  There I was ...entertaining my friend who was still on the deck ...while I was shrieking and trying to get away from said locust that kept coming after me.  It didn't matter that it was already dead.  The wake created by me trying to get away from the dead locust was drawing it right to me.  Thankfully ...I managed to dodge it in the end.  Then I caught it in the net and am saving it in the kids little transparent plastic bug house to show the wee ones because they LOVE bugs and this one is like a monster bug, in size and scary looking too.  {{{UGH!!!}}} 

THEN FINALLY ...I came in to get ready for my spa treatment and to my abject horror ...when I looked down ...about to put my washcloth under hot running water in the sink ...A big daddy Long Legs spider was crawling toward me from the other side of the wash cloth.  I guess chivalry is dead in this house tonight because neither of the SeaSpray men came running in to see what I was shrieking about.  And normally ...a Daddy Long Legs is the only spider I don't kill and will even pick it up by it's legs and toss it outside ...but the element of surprise by a spider (scariest bugs ever) and it was coming toward my arm to walk up me ...I panicked and tossed the whole cloth under the hot water and it washed down the drain.  I admit ..I felt a twinge of guilt over that.

And that is all I have to say about bugs.

NOW I SHALL go shower said mask off and am heading over to my favorite store ...Costco.  :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Few Thoughts and Pictures (son gets photo credit :)

Part of our garden this year.  I'm making a zucchini parm tonight.  It is sooo good! Like an eggplant parm, but with zucchini.  :)

Our cat, sneakers discovered the back of son's jeep this morning and almost went for a ride.  :)

Faith, our dog ...hiking locally with son the other day.  :)

I'm betwixt and between.  I want to go to Costco, Target and somewhere in the mall to buy a pocketbook.  of course with knees the mall would be a separate excursion - next week sometime.

I want to go to Target in hopes that it's not to late to buy cushions for the Adirondack chairs.  Walmart's left over cushions are just plain ugly and not much to choose from anyway.

And Costco ..well just because ... grocery shopping time.

But ..I guess I'm really not in the mood to shop today.  Maybe tomorrow afternoon.  I'll see.

What to do?  What to do?

Sun, pick vegetables and swim.

Sounds like a plan.  :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Last Faux Pas (Aded to previous post too)

I forgot to add this to my previous post before publishing it.  And so even though I did revise that, I will add this last little faux pas of the morning to this new post in case anyone already read the other.  I wasn't laughing at any of the things this morning, but now ...I can appreciate the humor in it all and don't mind sharing.   I swear I could be a sitcom character.  :)
Fortunately ...I was able to wear the dress I wanted to wear because it had finished drying before I had to leave.

Unfortunately ...because I was in a hurry and I didn't think anyone could see ...I walked to dryer wearing only a bra and panties (I never do that!)...even though ...I KNEW the one large window near the dryer does not have blinds or curtains that close.  It only has the balloon curtains at the top.  No one is ever out there.  This morning ...2 men (one was our neighbor and I don't know who the other man was), were outside talking.  They must've both been walking and met up with each other.  *SIGH!*  I'm hopeful that the lush maple tree blocked the view ...even though I could clearly see them.  And I didn't even realize they were there until AFTER I got the dress out of the dryer.  I let out a little shriek when I turned and saw them ... so I ducked and scurried away while clutching the dress against me, as if bending forward would cover me.  But that was dumb because then I was all the way in view ...if I wasn't before.  *Double SIGH!*  I wanted to hide my face as they both waved, with big smiles as we pulled out, but I did wave back.  AWKWARD!  They were just being friendly and I probably imagined their smiles bigger than they really were.  *Triple SIGH!*

Shock Scream - Achhh! Pain Yell - OWWWW! Anger - SLAM! (and a little dental talk )

Goodbye dreamy sleep state at 6:50 in the morning.

Hello cold, shocking toilet bowl 6:50 in the morning.

So ...I got up at 6:50 A.M. to tinkle ...only to be SHOCKED by falling into the very hard and cold toilet bowl because one of the men in this house did not put the toilet seat down.  And I almost always check ...even in the wee hours of the morning, but I guess I was just too sleepy.  Then I felt mad ...because it was s-o-o-o annoying.

There was some muttering ..on my part.

Then I stubbed my pinkie toe so hard when going back into our bedroom that I tore the nail almost all the way off while simultaneously screaming out in pain.

Then I slammed the bedroom door.  I would never have done that over the toilet bowl ...but the pinkie toe injury just put me over the edge.  Even SeaSprays are human you know.  ;)

More muttering me.

After getting back into bed in a huff, yanking the blanket up over me heart and mind were in adrenaline mode.  Some more muttering ...then tossing and then finally flinging the blankets back off to go get the book I was reading.  DON'T hit your toe again!   Back into bed,  I turned the light on and read until 6:30 with the hopes I would again feel sleepy.

Mindful that I had to get back up in an hour for my dentist appointment, I pondered just getting up.  Nah. I wanted that hour of sleep.

 Fortunately ...reading calmed me down and I did fall asleep.

Unfortunately ...I did not get right up when the alarm went off.  I told myself I'd get up in just a couple of minutes.

The next thing I knew was that Faith, our dog ...was howling outside the door.   That was a good thing because she woke me up and I about died when I saw it was already a half hour later than I wanted to be up.

Fortunately ...I showered the night before.  But I still raced around and did not have time to floss.  I was going in for the cleaning and the consult with the new dentist.

Fortunately ...I was able to wear the dress I wanted to wear because it had finished drying before I had to leave.
Unfortunately ...because I was in a hurry and I didn't think anyone could see ...I walked to dryer wearing only a bra and panties (I never do that!)...even though ...I KNEW the one large window near the dryer does not have blinds or curtains that close.  It only has the balloon curtains at the top.  No one is ever out there.  This morning ...2 men (one was our neighbor and I don't know who the other man was), were outside talking.  They must've both been walking and met up with each other.  *SIGH!*  I'm hopeful that the lush maple tree blocked the view ...even though I could clearly see them.  And I didn't even realize they were there until AFTER I got the dress out of the dryer.  I let out a little shriek when I turned and saw them ... so I ducked and scurried away while clutching the dress against me, as if bending forward would cover me.  But that was dumb because then I was all the way in view ...if I wasn't before.  *Double SIGH!*  I wanted to hide my face as they both waved, with big smiles as we pulled out, but I did wave back.  AWKWARD!  They were just being friendly and I probably imagined their smiles bigger than they really were.  *Triple SIGH!*

I like him so much I decided he can't ever retire.

Okay ..that would be selfish of me ...I'm just saying that he is that good.

The consult was interesting and he brought tears of relief to my eyes.

My eyes actually welled up with tears and I said, "I'm NOT crazy then!"

He smiled and said, "Well maybe you are, but this is what you need done."  :)

Sense of humor - Check!  :)

It always helps to have a dentist with a sense of humor.

I will explain in detail in a different post, but as I've said in past posts, my former dentist was withholding treatment ..not fixing breaks on the inside of my teeth.  Instead just patching and then saying, "Why don't we wait ion it."  Except "IT" never came.  I don't want to say another word or I won't stop.  And he did and didn't do some other things.

But suffice it to know that my former dentist broke my trust in him.  TRUST!  I can never go back to him and would not because no matter what he did ..even if he said he was sorry ...I would always be second guessing his opinions.  

I think the tears came because I have been worrying about my teeth being further compromised because he wasn't doing the appropriate work.  It first began in 2003! 

And we didn't change dentists because he was the only one in this area on the plan we had.  I was also slow on the uptake of this.  But then I began putting it all together and last winter/spring was the final straw.

And what a great office we will be switching too!

I have never been so excited to go to the dentist.  :)


And last week, after he inquired about medical information (he is so thorough and really WANTS to know) ...when I was telling him I am planning on doing a knee replacement in the fall and that I want to go into surgery as healthy as possible, including my teeth ..he agreed.  Then he said that he had the same doctor do his hip surgery and had the spinal too.  (I was totally freaked out at the idea of getting a spinal and being awake for all the sawing and hammering, etc.)  This new dentist was reassuring and told me he will tell me about his experience when he has more time with me.  I even took that as a sign ..that indeed he is the right dentist and that I should follow through with the surgery too.  I mean what are the odds that I would run into a professional/doctor ..that had the new orthopaedic doc I chose, in the same tertiary care facility and is willing to share his experience so that I will feel comforted?

So regarding the dental post be continued...

PS - When I went to check on our dog - she was lying back down on the sofa.  Weird.  It was like she knew I had to get up ?   She also howls when someone leaves a phone message (no messages were on the phone) and as I've said in previous posts - likes to sing Happy Birthday with us.   Oh and howls at the fire alarm until it shuts back off.  I always tell her, "Good job Faith."  :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monet to Music ( My Interpretation of expanded video :)

I've been on line listening to various artists, performing Pachelbel's Canon in D Major (my all time favorite classical piece), but with ocean sounds added to it this time. I'm hopeful that I will be able to listen to whatever I pick out while having surgery, even if I bring it in myself.  I've found a couple that go for 55 minutes and a bit longer.  I find it so uplifting and inspirational. I figure it is a good state of mind to be in during surgery. :)

Anyway my quest for said music ...I was led to a beautiful youtube and of course just had to watch it. Enlarging it to full screen isn't as sharp, but then again ...I've always loved Monet's paintings. ;)

Enjoy! :)

Friday, July 19, 2013


My friends on FB are killing me with putting up all the Foodgasm website recipes with PICTURES!  And I liked the sight and now I went in today and all these TEMPTING pictures were before me.  I've been LOSING weight and this just won't do.  I am only human.

I did print some out though.

But I may have to cancel it.

Just saying.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What You DON'T Want to Be Doing on the Garden State Parkway :)

A few weeks ago, our younger son went to the Jersey shore with a few friends in the new jeep he bought a couple of months ago.  It was an absolutely, positively perfectly ...GORGEOUS day and certainly a great beach day.  I had no idea he was going down the shore (Yes I know going down the shore is not grammatically correct - it's a Jersey thing), or I probably ..would have said my usual mantra - "The weather can change.  Do you really want to leave the hardtop home when going so far away?  What if it rains?  Being a weatherman is the only job you can be wrong 50% of the time and still keep your job. Are you sure?  Okaaay?" (usually said as if agreeing, but still questioning the decision)  And I don't say all of that every time, but at least one of those sentences comes out of my mouth when I am doubtful of the weather and see he's removed the top.

If I had known though, I surely would've reminded him of one beach vacation down to Manasquan - right next to where they went in Point Pleasant.  It was only just beginning to drizzle at the shore, but had been pouring up here, only 2 hours away.  By the way, I remember that night because it was after 10pm when we got home.  And even though the rain had stopped and as soon as we got out of the car ...we could smell the rich ...earthy smelling, rain soaked soil.  The humidity magnified it. It was such a contrast to the salty air we had been experiencing for the last few days prior to that.  Conversely, we always notice the salt air when we first arrive at the shore points.  :)

Anyway, son enjoys driving with the top off and the doors open.  I admit ...I am not keen on his driving with the doors off, but I tell myself it's not a motorcycle either.  I can't help my concern after seeing so much while working in ER patient access.  That being said, we all have to live our lives.  I get that.  And then factor in ...that I don't worry about myself so much, but the spouse, mom, Mum Mum, and friend in me is always protective toward others.  Funny how we see what others should do, but not necessarily ourselves.  But I digress.

Son got home around 2 in the morning, looking a bit ...disheveled.  But ..he was quite funny when relaying the whole experience to me.  It was funny least the way he told it.  I would've been beside myself had I known about it when it was happening.

It turned out that there was a downpour after they began their trip back home up the Garden State parkway.  They did not have the hardtop, nor did they even have a canvas cover to cover up the inside of the jeep.

Three guys and a girl.  All getting soaked!  And the interior of the jeep ...getting soaked.  Tends to happen without a roof in a rainstorm.  But ...I digress.

ME - Oh no! You just got that ..what about water damage?

Son - Jeeps have holes in the floor to let water out. 

Me - But What about rust, the upholstery?

Son - Jeeps are designed to handle it.  It will dry out.

Me (not thoroughly convinced) - Ok-a-a-a-y., more with a question in my voice.

But when I heard the REST of the story ...a water soaked jeep was the least of their concerns.

He went on to tell me that they tried to make a makeshift roof by pulling towels from front to back and holding them tight overhead.

Me - Didn't the rain leak through?

Son - YEAH it leaked through!  But as long as I drove FAST, most of the water rolled off the back.

Me- What about the windows?

Son - We had all the windows rolled up.

Me - But ...what about the windshield?

Son - Wipers were on as fast as they could go.

Me - But ...what about the inside?  Didn't rain run down the inside of the windshield?

Son - Yeah, but I drove with one hand and wiped rain away with my other hand.

Me - Weren't you stressed?


Me - Well what did the people in other cars do?

Son - It was raining so hard that most of them pulled over to the side of the parkway. (I can only imagine how hard that rain was coming down if it caused motorists to pull off the parkway. That is a rare occurrence)

Son -  But that was good because then I could drive FAST ...which helped the water roll off the back of the towels instead of just straight inside the jeep.

He went on to say that they pulled over, under an underpass, but they continued on after a while because it wasn't letting up.  The girl with them lived closer to the shore and so when they dropped her off, they parked in her garage for awhile, hoping to wait it out.  But they ended up having to leave in the rain.

Me - was there thunder and lightening?

Son - YES!  A lot of thunder and lightening.

It didn't stay as a heavy downpour.  But they did drive home in the rain.  I didn't think to ask if it ever stopped.

Me - Well when you were driving along like that when the other cars were on the parkway too, what did they do when they saw you guys?

Son - They laughed, or beeped at us and some smiled and gave us a thumbs up with a nod.

Oh my GOSH!  Can you just imagine seeing the four of them with rainwater pouring in on them ...cruising along ...SOAKED by all the rain ...but with all the windows up?  It couldn't have been easy trying to keep those beach towels overhead, especially for son.  He had to wipe the inside windshield with one hand, while driving with the other.

It is a funny image, because I know they're all safe.

And then people passing them by giving them a thumbs up ...totally appreciating the situation ...probably saying, "H-e-y-y-y-y way to go."  No doubt some being supportive, while others laughed their you know whats off.

He has since ...bought a canvas top that he can have ready for a weather emergency.

When you look at the picture below this post, imagine it is happening in the dark of night with even less visibility and with that kind of traffic.

I am telling you ...ignorance IS bliss.  I am so GLAD I did not know this was happening at the time or I would've been beside myself with concern.  Heck, even though I was laughing because of how he described it all ... I was still doing a mini internal freak out just listening to the story, knowing what could've happened.

I am so glad that I always pray for him and everyone.  And I had prayed for him that day.  

 I do believe in the power of prayer.

And I think their guardian angels were quite busy that night.

And last but NOT least - I THANK GOD they all came home safely.


Off Color Vegetables, etc. :)


And cute.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Good Sign :)

I should've had the renal scan today ..June actually.

I had to put it off.

In one way I suppose that too is a good sign that when I was in stent mode and waiting for the other shoe to drop ...I n-e-v-e-r would've missed the scheduled time.

It has actually been TWO YEARS and a week short of four months since I had the last ureteral stent removed.  3/17/2011..

This absolutely has to be a good sign.

Thank You God!

Thank you Urodoc!

I only missed it because of knee pain ..significant knee pain and it seems that in either hospital I would use ...nuclear medicine is in the bowels of the hospital.

That being said, I am in the process of getting orthovisk injections and I hope they will help me so that I can walk that far.

Not easy to admit this stuff.

But this is me facing what I have to do in the fall.

Knee replacement surgery.

 I'll be posting more on that.

We're celebrating our d-i-l's birthday tonight.

I hope Faith, our dog sings Happy Birthday along with us again.  :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Not a Morning Mirage and other Garden Thoughts On This Saturday in July :)

So ...this morning Mr SeaSpray... and perhaps a few neighbors ...and even the birds ...probably had to blink their eyes twice be certain they weren't seeing some kind of a mirage.  The mirage being this nocturnal SeaSpray ...outside in a bathing suit, holding a pink mug filled with coffee in one hand and a watering hose in the other ...before 8am.  Mr SeaSpray was getting his truck loaded up to go mow someone's lawn and actually did a double take when he saw me out front.  (That was funny :)  See ...just goes to show you ...never say never.

I really have been trying to go to bed earlier, even though I still read for a bit. I'm reading another Amish fictional series again and can hardly put it down.   I've been feeling like I need to escape from the politics ...although they still lure me in.  I'm just being choosy about what I follow right now.  I want to appreciate life around me and enjoy the summer.

Since I read until about 1:30ish, I was really tired this morning and wanted to sleep a bit more.  But I just got fed up with  restlessly waking up every 10 minutes and so I said, That's it! Up and out you go! 

It felt so nice under the morning sun, seeing the glass like pond still, listening to the birds and watering the garden.  I love watching the sun come up over the mountains, gradually chasing the early morning shadows away and filling the valley with it's radiance ...even though it was clearly going to be a hot one today. Watering is so relaxing.  Except the part where I had to wrastle with the hose to get it all the way out front.  But, it's fun getting myself wet when it is so HOT out there like it was today. Just like washing a car on a hot day never mind getting wet in the process.  I think it's even a prerequisite. ;)  I also did a little weeding, although that is hard with my knees right now ..but I still did a fair amount.  It takes a long time to water everything.  And still I couldn't reach the farthest areas.  I also did some potting and removing dead flowers off some plants.  Then I took some pictures of the different lilies that are growing prolifically right now.

Later, I cut a whole bunch of yellow lilies and placed them in a pretty light turquoise cracked glass vase.  So pretty on the kitchen table.  :)

I do think being outdoors is good for one's mental health, not to mention getting some vitamin D.

One thing tho.  I forgot to put sunscreen on and I did get a sunburn on my face.  I usually associate that with swimming.

I did end up falling asleep on the raft in the pool and woke up COLD even tho it was still so hot out.  I had also been lying in water on the raft and in the shade since the tree was blocking the sun.  I couldn't get out fast enough and I was shivering up on the deck the sunshine.

It turns out that I am burned on my back, chest, arms and back of legs too.  All from watering in the morning.  OOPS!   At least it's not bad.

Our vegetable garden is looking great.  The corn is getting tall.  We've been enjoying the lettuce, onions, and kohlrabi.  That kohlrabi is a keeper and a must grow in the garden every year now.  It is sooo good!  I love it raw.  And it was also good baked.  I cut it up into small chunks and mixed with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic.- and then baked it at 375.

I would really like to try canning again this year.  I have all the equipment except the flat lids.

Oh and I am so happy that I found scented petunias this year.  I love how their fragrance in the early morning and evening.  And our butterfly bush has been attracting butterflies ...a delight to watch.  And I especially love the fragrance of it's flowers.  No wonder so many butterflies are drawn to it.  Also the fragrance of the honeysuckle vine.  I try to place these near windows and walkways so the fragrance can be appreciated.

I am happy that the deer did not get the sunflowers this year.  And so far that pesky ground hog seems to have moved on.

The herbs are growing prolifically as well.  Anyone want some Greek oregano?  I have to thin it out.  :)

I feel very blessed to be able to have our own gardens, listen to bullfrogs in the pond and just enjoy rural living.  Life certainly has it's challenges, but I am still so grateful for even these simple gifts in our lives.

Now does anyone want to strip and stain or paint some wooden furniture for me?  :)

I'm trying to decided if I am going to stick with a stain ...or should I paint the large Adirondack chairs?  Some people are so creative with how they paint them.  And also the picnic table and benches.  But, I digress ...

And now I'm off to shower and into bed. 

Happy Sunday!  :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

What's in a Mark? :)

Funny chart!  I've certainly had my moments in deciphering the doctorese cursive code for orders, diagnoses and the like.  After 20 years of working at the hospital, I believe two Docs had the worst writing of all time, although one signed his name clearly.  The other ...well it was a symbol of some kind that wasn't even worth trying to figure out where his name was in this mark (no relation to ANY letter in the alphabet) and it's not seen on the above chart.

Actually ..the medical translation for each letter sort of reminds me of my urologist's signature ...although his signature doesn't appear to represent any of the doctor letters above either.  Wait ..a part of this urodoc's signature does appear to be in the symbol for the "W", except there isn't any "w" in his name.  Close ...but no cigar.  :)

I can't tell you how many times over the years since I've been a patient of urodoc's, that I have seriously pondered over his signature ...trying to decipher if any of the 3 letters in his name (first, middle, last), appear in his signature.  I've even thought I would ask him, but of course when in person there are more pressing things at hand.  Out of sight - out of mind.  Then one of us leaves, and I'm given a paper with his signature on it ...and I wonder all over again.

Frankly ...his mark, signature ..whatever...reminds me of ZORRO was here!  :)  Every time I've seen it I do think ZORRO.  I don't know if I ever even saw a ZORRO episode.  I just know the name somehow.

And if I ever see any one at his office... or in a medical facility sporting a black hat, black mask and black cape instead of the usual white coat or blue scrubs quickly darting into another area ...well then I will just know he has some secret connection to the infamous ZORRO.


Wait ZORRO wielding a ureteral STENT in the above picture?!

Anyway ...even though I always think of the ZORRO mark when I see this doc's signature ...there isn't even a "Z" in his name.  Go figure.

Maybe I will finally ask about it when I go to the follow-up appointment of my upcoming renal scan.

Trying to figure out that signature is like trying do a mind game on paper.  :)

Don't mind me, I always get a bit weird before I'm about to do something urological - venting I suppose.  :)

Anyway ..there is a space before the next picture and the post continues a bit more.

P.S. - Personal confession:  My writing isn't always easy to decipher either.  And for some odd reason ..I have an aversion to making a lower case "k" and it looks nothing like said letter. Years ago, An ER doctor I worked with, told me that maybe I should see a neurologist over my writing.  Not good if the DOCTOR is telling you HE can't read your writing.  Actually, I do write better when I slow it down, but I still can't write the lower case "k", unless I go down to 16rpm ...S-L-O-W-W-W-L-Y.  :)

I was pretty good at deciphering physician writing, but if I couldn't ..the nurses usually could ...and if they couldn't ...interestingly the Docs almost always could translate for us.  So it brings me back to the chart at the top of this post.  They must have some secret universal doctorese code ...for being a part of their club.  And one of their bylaws surely states (elite group that they are), that it is their obligation to toy with us all ...all non members, that is.  I thought I heard some snickers as they walked away after leaving the scripts to process.  N-o-w-w-w I understand. And no wonder those ER docs grinned as they deciphered for us!  ;)

I wonder if electronic medical records (EMRs),  are the secret revenge of the doctorese cursive code challenged population?  Could be....   ;)