Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tiny Cabin Fun

After I finally got on a plane in Charlotte after missing my connection Tuesday afternoon. My first night in the tiny cabin was fun. Mom has a little Toshiba DVD player so I watched an episode of "Buffy" before I went to bed. And I had forgotten how much I really love these showers. I must have stayed in there this morning for 30 minutes. I will have pics and details later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cold Giant Lizards

(These screen captures came out pretty small so you will need to click on them if you want to see them larger or as in my case, be able to read them.)
This is the forecast for my trip to North Carolina. Mom seems to think I am going to freeze to death in the tiny cabin and has wrangled extra blankets from my aunt that lives in Wilmington. Yeah 31° is cold, but I am very hot natured. Mom is cold natured so I guess she is thinking I will be as cold as she would be. I will not. I'm not even taking a coat. I have a few sweaters and sweatshirts and some little tops to wear under them and that's all I need. I've always been jealous of women with artfully layered tops because the very thought of wearing two tops at once makes me sweat. I had meant to go shopping for some new winter tops but never got around to it so I will be wearing my same ol' old stuff. I hate shopping. I will have access to a washer and dryer so I will do my usual thing of taking about 3 outfits and washing and wearing them again. That's me, the ol' wash and wear.
Speaking of screen captures, (what? No?) have you ever been scrolling down a page and ran different parts of sentences together in your brain? I did that with this page:

I thought I had read "Dinosaur tracks found on Mars."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thoughts While Waiting

It's kind of funny that I spent my first 12 years just 85 miles from the beach and yet I've never been there in the winter. My Sweetie asked me the other day, "What's the beach like this time of year?" I said, "I have no idea." Being the eternal optimist, I am thinking that if I go at low tide, I will have all the good shells to myself. I am just now starting to think about my trip. I get my hair done this afternoon, Saturday I take Barney to get his stitches out and Monday I have my dental cleaning. Tuesday I fly to N.C. My bestest friend Lolo will be there on Friday to watch the Duke basketball game with me at some bar and she is going to spend the night with me in the tiny cabin.

Mom's birthday was yesterday and she turned the big SEVEN-O. I can't wait to see her. Although we talk on the phone A LOT, I haven't seen her since June. We have no plans for Thanksgiving because Mom, like me, is a Thanksgiving Rebel. We may have seafood or pork barbecue. I also have no plans for Wednesday, but I may see my old friend from 4th grade if she drives down from Goldsboro. I'm looking forward to seeing the beach in winter, seeing Mom and Lolo and having no particular plans. I think I need that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Most Hideous Week

My hideous week started two Monday nights ago. It was POURING rain and there was a slight chance of hail during the night so I decided to put Barney in the garage. He has a big doghouse, but I imagined that since it was raining so hard he was getting splashback in there. As I was carrying him in I thought he had a small wet leaf on his coat. When I got him into the garage, I saw he had a hole in his side. It was about the size of a penny and really gross. It seemed like I was looking at his muscle in there. I'm very queasy about stuff like that.
When I woke up on Tuesday I called the vet and took him in. They said it was a bite and had abscessed. They explained that an underskin had pulled way down and it had to be pulled up and stitched. And they would also put in drainage tubes. I left him there and drove down to Chili's to eat some lunch and drink some beers and wait for their call. I waited there until they called and then went to pick him up. He was all droopy and pathetic. I left him in his carrier and then grabbed his doghouse and dried it and put it in the garage with a giant clean towel inside. I set up his food and water and a litter box and let him out. He was all druggy and woozy and running into stuff with his "bonnet."

I had some pain medicine that you inject into his mouth and 20 (TWENTY) pills to give him over 10 days. (Pilling a cat is not pleasant. It was easy the first few days when he was sick, but now it's a bitch.) I stayed up with him way too long Tuesday night so I called Meals on Wheels and left a message explaining the situation and told them to get a sub for me.
My original plan for Wednesday had been to do MOW and then visit Bill because I had not seen him in over a week. When I woke up, I checked on Barney and decided he would be okay to leave for a few hours to visit Bill that afternoon. Except I couldn't leave the house. I tried three times. I haven't had an anxiety attack like that in AGES so it was very disheartening. Each time I thought, "Okay, I'm ready now" and head toward the door and start to shake and feel sick. I couldn't post about any of this at the time because it was all overwhelming.
On Thursday, I was able to make it to the hospital. I had a nice long visit and happened to be there when the heart doctor came in. He has the bedside manner of Darth Vader. I hadn't thought of the expression "whithering glance" for years until that doctor gave me one when I asked a question. I was so pissed at his response, I said, "Hey! I had to ask." I wanted to throw something at his head. Anyway what he said at the time (to Bill) was, "I'll pencil you in for Tuesday afternoon to go back in if your lung has not healed by then." Well it didn't and they did. It was at 2:00 this (Tuesday) afternoon and it reportedly went very well. They opened him up, found the hole in his lung, did two quick stitches and closed him back up. I'm going to visit after MOW today.
On Saturday, I took Barney to get his tubes out. He gets his stiches out this coming Saturday.
Sunday we had a nice visit with Bill at the hospital.
I hope MOW and my errands go well today. A funny thing that happened was that in phone calls, Mom was getting Barney and Bill confused with each other. She thought Bill had tubes taken out on Saturday. I still don't know what exactly caused the panic attack but I hope I don't have another one. Those things suck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"6 Things" with a theme

Urban Animal just did one of those "6 things" posts where you list 6 quirks and I thought maybe it would be fun to do this with a theme. I chose "sleeping" but go ahead and do this with any theme you want: travel, clothes, bananas, sick days... whatever you come up with.
Here are six of my sleeping quirks (and I had to really narrow this down):

1. I use two zip-up pillow covers between my pillow and pillow case. It's a hassle every Monday when I wash the sheets, but I feel like my face needs to be that far away from the pillow to thwart the dust mites.

2. When it's chilly, I make a "hat" around my head with the beadspread (pictured above - the bedspread is light green, the other part is a quilt my grandmother made for me in 1984).

3. I have to start out on my right side (also pictured above).

4. I have to have a glass of water, a tube of Carmex, and a box of Kleenex next to me.

5. At home I only sleep in panties. If it is really really cold, I add socks.

6. If someone calls and wakes me up and asks me if they woke me up, I always say, "Yes, but it's okay, I'll go right back to sleep." And I do.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Tune, it has Changed

People have been ragging on Oprah for several years especially on certain blogs and I always felt I had to defend her. I even did this post a little over a year ago explaining why I liked her so much. Now, not so much.
As I do not have official transcripts from her show, I will give my version of it. It was several weeks ago. I haven't really been watching it a lot this season because I seem to always have something else to do between 4:00 and 5:00, but I have caught several shows. One day I caught one that totally changed my opinion.
Oprah comes out and starts talking about the new album by Il Divo. She says something like: "I just heard this song yesterday and I HAD to have them on today. It took a lot of phone calls to track them down, but we found them!" She's all grins and giggles and asks, "So where were you when you got the call?" One of the European dudes says, "We were at the airport in Houston. We had just performed there after a long tour and were on our way back to Europe to visit with our families." OUCH!! All I could think was, poor guy! That's awful. Oprah did not even catch it. His comment just bounced right off her bright green ego bubble. She was even more grins and giggles then, like LOOK WHAT I DID!! My admiration for her went "fwoomp" up in smoke like a simple magician's trick.
Really what it did was break my heart. There's nothing sadder than having someone you admire disappoint you. These guys had been on a long tour and were on their way home to their families and she HAD to have them on her show the next day? What??!! Why? It's bad enough these poor guys work for Simon Cowell - who is a barrel of fun on "American Idol," but I wouldn't want to work for him. Then Oprah makes the call and says jump and they have to jump. It made me sad, but I'll get over it. Hopefully.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My parents have accepted an offer and signed a contract!! The buyers have a closing date on the house they are selling of November 21st. They are pre-approved and hopefully all will go well with their sale and they will turn around a cut a check to my parents and that will be the end of THAT. I was supposed to go over there one more time to change the settings on the thermostat and sprinkler system, but unless we get a freeze warning before then, I am NOT going. Yay!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Little Tile Table

If you guys are tired of hearing about my strange and random projects just let me know. A little backstory on this one is we moved the treadmill out of this room and moved a grey inherited chair in here and parked it in front of the TV which is between the two computers. I had this little wrought iron table outside that used to have a cute artsy cat tile in it. The tile got busted in the great hail storm of 2007. So it has been sitting out there broken for a year and a half. It's kinda small so I didn't really notice it and I didn't really need it for anything. Until now.
I didn't take a picture of the broken tile, but this is after I pried the broken pieces out:

(That's just a junk rug in the garage that I got out of Mom's garage, so don't judge me by it.) I thought I had a tile I could stick in the thing because we have some leftover floor tiles in the garage, but the ones I tried didn't fit. So I went to Home Depot and bought these two border trim strips:I laid them out in the table and finally found a pattern that fit and then I glued them in:

I wasn't really crazy about it at first because it reminded me of something Mondrian would have done and I am not a big fan. But I figured I could live with it. Next of course came the grout. I had trouble picking out a grout color, but I went with the lighter shade so the dark glass tiles would pop.:

Because I needed someplace to put my beer:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Two Weeks Later

Well, it's been two weeks since Bill (a.k.a Froggy) was admitted to the hospital. He is recovering okay from the surgery but has had some setbacks. They are currently trying to get one of his lungs that collapsed back up and running and he had an allergic reaction to some medicine. He is eating solid food and is in a regular room, so that is good. He has a recording on the internet if you want to hear him sing. Click on this link, then scroll to the bottom and click on the dancing frog. (I'm not smart enough to just make the song come up here. Whayyagonnado?) Anyway, I didn't even know that page existed until today and I thought you might get a kick out of it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

My Brain, It's a Puzzle

We were putting a puzzle together in September and once again I had to explain the system to My Sweetie. See, if he were the sorter he would sort the pieces by color. I sort the pieces by shape. I have my own names for the shapes. That is how my brain works. I name everything and that's how my brain sorts things. When I used to play Mah Jong I had names for all the designs and I even had names for all the protozoa things in Darwin's Dilemma (which I probably spent a total of a month of my life playing in the early 90's). And if you click that link you will easily guess which ones I called eggs and which ones I called potatoes.
This piece I call the Boy Scout Badge:
(actual Boy Scout Badge)
Yeah, I know most of you would call that a fleur-de-lis, but to me, it's a Boy Scout badge. This next piece I call the Chinese House. I suppose I could call it a pagoda, but I don't:

This next piece is one of the rarer pieces and I call it the Chinese Star because it reminds me of those Ninja throwing stars:

This is the second of the rare pieces and I call it Four Points:

This is one of the most common pieces and it's name is Jumping Jack. It reminds me of some sort of toy I've seen where you pull a string or something and the arms and legs move up and down except this one only has arms (wings, really). I think I used to call it Two-Headed Man:

This next one, another common one, I simply call Man or Guy:
The Man's "arms" I call Wings and the Man's "feet" I call spades. I left out the frame pieces because they are just frame or edge pieces. Anyway, that's how I put puzzles together. I did once open a puzzle box to find really random shapes that looked like they had been cut out by a drug addict. It took me forever to do that one. I was explaining all of this to my friend Carole and she says she also goes by color, like My Sweetie. Am I the only one that sees puzzle pieces by shape instead of color? Do you name things?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Not About The Election

I had another plumbing adventure today. Last Wednesday my Meals-On-Wheels lady that I've had for 8 years told me her downstairs toilet was running. This is the lady for whom I have replaced two faucets. (Man was that an awkward sentence or what?) Anyway, AGAIN I forgot my camera so I made my own illustrations. When I pulled the top off last Wednesday, I saw that she had the old ball cock type thing in there. (I do not know many plumbing terms so don't laugh at me but ball cock is correct.)

Well these old things are no good so I told her I would replace it with the new kind which I did not know the name of until just now whan I googled "ball cock." The new kind is called "floating cup." I bought a Fluidmaster replacement kit yesterday and headed over there this afternoon after I voted. I figured it would take me about 30 minutes to do this. Ha ha ha ha. 30 minutes my eye. What happened was, when I pulled out the old plastic thingie, there was this stupid little metal tube sticking up into the tank.
There was no way to fit the new thing over that stupid metal pipe, so I figured I would remove the stupid metal pipe. But what happened was the shut off valve handle was sticking up over the nut which was already in a tight little spot.

As I drove over to Ace Hardware to get a flex pipe piece to replace the stupid metal pipe I got the idea to call one of my MOW guys that used to be a handyman type of guy. He told me there was a little screw in the shut off valve and I could use a Phillip's Head screwdriver to remove it. So I bought the new flex pipe and some rubber grippers so my channel lock thing wouldn't strip the cheap nut. I got back to the house and sure enough, there was that little screw and it came right out. I then used my channel locks and rubber gripper to remove the stupid metal tube. Unfortunately when I tried to fit the flex tube part over the thing it was too small. Because I was getting flustered at this point, I failed to notice the weird shape of the metal piece coming out of the wall.

Instead of just threads, there was this round ball-shaped thing (see above). All I did was find the guy again and tell him the thing was too small. The lady at the register was confused about how to make the exchange between a $3.99 piece and a $4.49 piece and said she would like to just charge me the difference and began to walk away. Man I thought I was bad about doing math in my head! I said, "It's fifty cents!" So she came back and I gave her fifty cents. Then halfway back I somehow remembered that weird ball-shaped thing. I pulled over and looked at my new piece and realized that it would not work. Then went back for my THIRD time. The guy knew what I was talking about but the connecting piece was designed for the original $3.99 flex pipe. So I went back to the poor lady at the register who still had that piece that I had bought the first time and told her I needed to change back to that and get this attachment and I had grabbed a diet Pepsi out of the case there. She tried to charge me $7 and some change and I said, "No that's not right. How much is the attachment and the Pepsi and now you owe me fifty cents." She was very flustered and said, "Okay, how about you give me $4.32 and we call it a day?" I said, "Okay, that's seems okay and I promise I will not come back." We both laughed. I went back and everything fit fine and I was done. So what I thought would take about 30 or 40 minutes took almost 3 hours. My MOW lady had the elections on the TV the whole time and said, "I will always remember this night with the elections and you coming and going and coming and going."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween Pics and Bill Info

This is all I did for our little porch this year because I just didn't feel like hanging all that black cloth and there was already so much stuff going on in the yard. I really liked the see-through plastic door skull thing:
That thing on the right is a death angel thing I've had for years:
This is a picture of almost everything:

And here's a close-up of the flying dead monkey that everyone liked from last year:

This gargoyle is just to the right of the stuff in the group picture up there:

That odd shade of green you can see just to the right of the pedestal in the above picture was a green plastic bag that I used over some foil and stuff with a lamp to make a green glowing light behind the gargoyle. It looked pretty cool in the dark. But the best part of the night was when the doorbell was rung by this cute little witch:

My Sweetie got up for this one and I was sitting in my chair when "the Mom" waved at me in a friendly, familiar way. My brain went "whirr whirr whirr" and I hopped up and went to the door and said, "Mariel?" I had not seen Mariel since 2002. She was my daughter's best friend in high school but after high school they drifted apart. Mariel got married, had a baby and moved to Arkansas. I had been thinking about her A LOT lately because Mariel nearly died in high school from TTP. We went to see her quite often for about two or three weeks at the very same hospital that Bill is in. When we went the first time for Bill, I was giving My Sweetie directions and asked, "Don't you remember all this from when Mariel was here?" I've always talked about the weird synchronicity events in my life and this is another good example. She now lives here in my little 'burb, which is not where she started out. And every time we've pulled up to that hospital, I thought about her. I wish I had caught her daughter smiling because she was so cute and when she'd say "Happy Halloween" she'd pull off her little hat and tip it over like she was on a Broadway stage.
The Bill news is not great at this point. His surgery went fine Friday morning but he took a very long time to wake up and had to stay on the ventilator until Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon, about an hour before we got there, he had some sort of event which caused all the alarms to go off and my poor MIL thought THIS IS IT. His oxygen/blood level had fallen into the very low zone and that's what caused the alarms to sound. While we were there it rose and fell at first but finally started leveling off at around 94, which is good for him. It had been in the 70's. He was very agitated and when his morphine would wear off he would say things like, "I have to get up." He looked right at me once and said my name, so he was somewhat aware at times. He wanted his oxygen mask off and everyone kept telling him it had to stay on. Sunday morning one of his lungs collapsed and they had to put him back on the ventilator. Oh and sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday, he got agitated and pulled some of the tubes out of himself including the one going into his chest. That was not good. Apparently he went a little berserk and was spouting the F word all over the place. I'm guessing he wanted to "get up" because that is a common theme with him. The irony is if they said, "Okay, dude, knock yourself out," he wouldn't even be able to get up. I hope things settle down and he is able to breathe better on his own soon. The good news is that it has now been over a week since he has had a cigarette. I called a few hours ago and they said his collapsed lung has stayed open and that he was awake and alert again. I hope he has a good night and doesn't pull anymore stuff out of himself.