Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday is more of a mixed bag. At 10 we've got a memorial service to attend, for a dear friend who passed away this week. My heart is breaking for her family and friends, as we've lost a beautiful, vibrant woman in the prime of her life.
I'll be going from there to K's house. She's petsitting for several dogs, but has to be out for the day. So I'm coming to give the pups a break outside and some people company for a few hours. The pups won't mind if I'm in a quiet mood, after the memorial. They'll just be happy to have a person around. And pups are so full of life, it will be a happy way for me to reconnect to joy after saying goodbye to our friend.
Then dinner at the St. Paul Tea House with my Mister and some new friends who are curious about my Mister's favorite Szechuan dish, boiled fish in spicy Szechuan broth. We're always happy to introduce more folks to the Tea House. And the last get-together with one of these particular friends was a fun occasion.
Yes, folks, after being a virtual hermit over the last two years, I'm getting out and being social. Thank FSM for the current combo of medications and acupuncture.
Sunday will need to be a day of house chores and unpacking. I'm hoping this level of energy I'm rolling on stays consistent, so I can get at least one room presentable. I actually love the "nesting" aspect of unpacking. It's just been too exhausting to get much done. The ear stabby J stuck me with a week and a half ago is still doing well, and I've been sleeping better due to the lower pain levels.
For those of you playing along at home, my Mister has been doing job interviews, and getting promising feedback from several of them. All digits crossed for a good match, and preferably soon.
Speaking of the ASP needles (my ear stabbies) I've been getting so much relief from, here's an article I found via the NIH on their use in a trial in Nigeria. Fascinating stuff. I spoke to my local acupuncturist and she said she won't use them due to a fear of infection, since they stay in your ear when you're no longer under her observation. Fortunately, J gave my Mister the info he needs to be able to use them on me when needed.
But I'd like to find a good acupuncturist in the MN Twin Cities area who does use them, so I have someone to recommend people to. I've had a number of people ask me about my sudden improvement, and then follow up by asking where they - or a loved one - can try a the treatment. Sure, it doesn't work for everyone. But when it does work, Wow!
Ok... break's over. Back to the grindstone.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Arizona has a proposed constitutional amendment (to be voted on in 2010) which would nullify a national health care system from operating in the state. - Wikipedia
Wow. I haven't looked further into the subject of this amendment of Arizona's, but I do have to assume they've got an exception for Medicare and Medicaid.
Found out today via Minnesota Public Radio that our (MN's) governor, Tim Pawlenty, is a Tenther. Wish that surprised me.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he may invoke state sovereignty to keep Minnesota from fully participating in a health care reform plan, if passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.
"Depending on what the federal government comes out with here, asserting the 10th Amendment may be a viable option," Pawlenty said...
Pawlenty, who is considered a potential candidate for President in 2012, said Thursday he and other Republican governors will get more assertive about raising the 10th Amendment.
"I think we can see hopefully see a resurgence in claims and maybe even bring up lawsuits if need be," he added.
On the home front, we just paid close to $1,000 to COBRA for getting our health insurance continued, now that my Mister is out of work. We're only paying $300 a month for our COBRA insurance, for the moment, thanks to it being subsidized. But we had to fork out the amount for the time that it took to get COBRA started, while the paperwork was still in limbo. During that time I had some expensive prescriptions to pay for, and an office visit. Eventually, those bills will be partially reimbursed. Hopefully. But it is frustrating that during the time when we most need insurance, we had more out of pocket medical expenses than ever.
I don't use my own employer's health insurance because it's expensive and not very good. Though, if the Mister gets offered a job that doesn't have adequate health insurance, I guess we'll go with me being covered by mine and him being covered by his, or something of the sort. Assuming whatever job he gets offers any.
I can't thank my family enough for the support they've given us while the Mister looks for a new job. This all came on the tail end of lots of repairs to both our house and the townhouse, so we were not in a good position to deal with it. Bad timing, but thanks to family, it could have been so much worse.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
One of the arguments that I hear used as justification for defining marriage as "one man and one woman" is that the whole purpose for marriage is the production of, care of, and setting a good example for offspring. That particular argument gets my fracking goat in a much bigger way than people who argue based on their religious beliefs.
Religious beliefs are all well and good, but I'm talking about the government and legal rights here. And people who use the argument that procreation is the foundation of marriage are often doing so to appeal to people they know aren't going to buy into the religion argument.
I've got gay friends who are raising children without the benefit of the legal rights a marriage license would provide. Surely, under the "marriage is for the family/children argument", they have more right to legal marriage than I do.
Some of my gay friends who have children were married during the all-too-brief window when marriage licenses were available to homosexual couples in California. Some states now recognize their marriages. Some states don't. Some never did. Mommy and Mommy - or Daddy and Daddy - are married in part of our country but not in other parts. What does that say to their children about the importance of the institution of marriage? Seems to me that if we really valued marriage as a civil institution, it would be too important to allow it to be tainted by discrimination. *
To take the argument to an extreme, if society's need for bearing of and providing a stable environment for children is the whole reason for marriage, I suppose I should have divorced my Mister as soon as I was medically no longer capable of producing a child. Here he is, still of suitable breeding age, and legally bound to a woman who can't validate the union by bearing him any babies. What kind of a marriage is that? Surely I should be ashamed of myself as a citizen, since I'm preventing him from contributing to the population, as is his duty to the nation, and to his genetic line.
At very least, I suppose, we should all be forced to sign an agreement to either breed or adopt within [X] time period, in order to qualify for a marriage license. And if that sounds ridiculous to you, let me say that denying loving gay couples the legal protections for their union that straight couples are allowed seems equally as ridiculous to me.
*Remember, I don't care if your religion recognizes their marriages (or mine for that matter) as valid. Our government currently regulates marriages. Arguing about semantics just delays the correction of an injustice. It is just not going to happen that you're going to "get government out of the marriage business" any time in the foreseeable future. So lets focus on what we do have - which is marriage licenses - and get us a step closer to that dream of "liberty and justice for all". Legalize those marriage licenses for gay couples - just as they're legal for elderly straight couples; 80 year old men marrying 20 year old women couples; straight couples who don't intend to have children; straight couples who are obviously headed for divorce but they're getting married anyway; and myriad other sets of straight couples who don't fit the profile of the perfectly mated breeding pair of conformist citizens.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I ordered Nurk sight-unseen, as a fan of Ursula Vernon's art and her blog, and I wasn't disappointed.
It's a delightful story about Nurkus Aurelious Alonzo Electron Maximilian Shrew. Most folks just call him Nurk. He is the Bilbo Baggins of this adventure tale, and I fell in love with him immediately.
Though paced for children, Vernon's writing is clever enough for any adult with a well developed sense of whimsy to enjoy thoroughly, and the vocabulary level isn't at all childish.
I'm likely to re-read this story many times over the coming years.
Review copied here from my review at goodreads.com.
Monday, May 4, 2009
The Twitter #teapix event triggered by Neil Gaiman was blogged at geeksaresexy.net and my Four Teapots of the Apocalypse was used as an example.
I'm still having fun surfing the other entries and seeing what other folks have been submitting. Much creativity to be found among Gaiman fans. Surprised? Not hardly.
Take that, Monday!
(Typed while humming the tune to the song All My Internet Friends by Amanda French.)
edit: Ok... fangirl time... more fun than being blogged,
Neil Gaiman left his Twitter Mark on my image post on Twitpic.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
So, I dreamed about one of my oldest friends three times last night.
Once in a very surreal, sci-fi-esque setting kind of dream in which he was a prince, a misfit, and also responsible for saving civilization - though nobody knew that last bit. That dream went on for hours. I woke up once in the middle of it, fell back to sleep, and the thing kept on going from where it left off.
The second dream was me dreaming about blogging about the first dream, and trying to figure out what name to use so he'd know I meant him, and others would know I didn't mean them. I settled on Mr. B. Peach.
The third dream was very much like a cross between an episode of Heroes and the book Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps, by Gregory Keyes. A bunch of us had "abilities" as they'd say in Heroes, which always seemed to also include telepathy of one level or another. Mr. Peach had been captured and sent to a "boarding school", which was a brainwashing facility, where the "students" were held until they could be rendered effectively "normal". The whole story revolved around getting him out of there, and getting him safe. He had some kind of sensitivity to strong sunlight - not all sunlight, just the really bright stuff. By the end, there had been a certain amount of blowing things up, skulking around in a maze, practicing using the telepathic skills to coordinate our escape, and riding around in a very old pickup truck - not necessarily in that order.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
A dog, maybe?
I know Maxine. So when I walked into the house and she didn't greet me at the door, it seemed odd. I checked around the house. I checked the back yard. No Max. I checked the gate to the yard - shut tight.
I checked for a note saying she was out with someone else. Nothing. No ransom note, either, for that matter. I started composing the phone conversation in my head... "I've just arrived and I've already lost Maxine." Wasn't liking my options. Decided it was better to keep looking.
To my huge relief, before I had a chance to panic, one of the neighbors showed up with Maxine and her food bowl. She'd felt sorry for Max being alone all day until I got there, so she'd brought Max over to her house.
I thanked the neighbor without letting on that I'd been about ready to jump in my car and start combing the neighborhood.
The rest of the weekend has been much less exciting, so far, and I'm all for keeping it that way.
We took a trip to my house to help my Mister with some yard work, and Maxine was a very well behaved guest. I've spent some time learning a few new techniques in photoshop. Browsed the interwebs. Gave Maxine lots of loves and pettings. And tomorrow I expect to spend the morning reading more of The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (and providing more pets and lovies for Max, of course).
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Landfills hurting as consumers repair, reuse
By JAMES HANNAH, Associated Press Writer James Hannah, Associated Press Writer – Sat Apr 25, 12:21 pm ET
DAYTON, Ohio – Thrift-driven Americans are fixing up, making do and reusing so much to cope with the recession that the drop in throwaways means less fill for landfills.
To deal with the drop-off in dropoffs, landfills are laying off workers, reducing hours of operation and hiking disposal fees, with the increases passed along to cities, businesses and consumers. read more
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I had to join, of course. Now to get me some of those little cards.
In the meantime, here's one of my favorites from the FITRW pool, Wall-e's Instant Fave! by http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Your co-worker with the photo of his kittens on his desktop would have notes left on his desk letting him know just how cute those kitties really are. Some commenters would leave little photos of their own kittens along with their comments, hoping to draw people to their own cubes.
People would get flurries of praise on colorful little notes for having the most robust potted plants, or geeky compliments for having a bright red swingline stapler.
And people who got the most comments on their cubicle walls from passers-by would be so very proud.
Monday, March 30, 2009
In the mean time, switching off of the old med, onto this new one, is wreaking havoc with my thinker. Thanks fsm for spell check, because concentrating is like navigating through a fog.
But soon, hopefully, I'll be seeing some of that relief.
Right now, the medicine combination I'm on gets me enough focus and energy to work. Either from home or - ideally - in the office. But there isn't much left of me once the work day is over. I come home and collapse. Joe's weekly game night was at our house two weeks ago, and I was in so much pain and so tired that I couldn't even muster the energy to go downstairs to say hello, much less join in. Weekends are catching up time. Sleep 12 to 14 hours. Get a few things done if I'm lucky. Sleep another 12 to 14 hours. Hello, Monday. Rinse, repeat.
My time when I'm not working is all recovering from having worked. If I have to run up and down the halls retrieving lots of pages from the printer all day, or to meetings, or if I have to park in the furthest reaches of the parking lot, the impact on my system is even heavier.
Today, the med transition clobbered me. Too foggy to think in a straight line most of the day. It's evening, and my Mister has brought me dinner. I'm scooping up some of the thoughts I've had today and dropping them here.
So, what do I most hope for from success with the new medication?
I'd really love to have a little bit of energy left at the end of each work day to do something fun. I miss knitting. I miss reading for pleasure, which the worst brain fog of exhaustion often robs me of. I miss quilting. Spring is here... I'd like to fly a kite again this year. I'd love to finish unpacking the boxes from our move- we moved in December, after all, and it's now almost April.
I'm not expecting to ever be able to go on hikes again. I don't expect I'll be flying my parafoil stunt kite in anything but light winds again. Standing all day at Disneyland is probably right out of the "ever going to happen again" set of options.
But I'd love to have the energy to walk around my yard and pick up the sticks that fell out of the trees over the winter. I'd like to be able to help my Mister to mow the lawn. And I desperately want to have the energy to crafts again.
I've got a bunch of craft projects in my "queue".
- The friend of a dear friend needs a knitted womb. Should be a one to two evening project if I can focus enough to knit in the round.
- Another dear friend sent me yarn he spun himself for a knitted Cthulhu. Another one to two day project if I can only get the energy to start.
- I've got a baby quilt stewing in my brain that needs bringing to fruition.
- I already have the yarn for a special baby hat for a friend's little bitty.
- I have frogged and restarted a project for my Grandmother several times, but my foggy brain keeps throwing wrenches into the pattern.
- There are several projects I'd love to knit for myself. I have the yarn already for most of them.
- There are several mixed media projects stewing in the back of my brain, waiting for a chance to escape.
- Did I mention all that unpacking that needs doing? It'll be lovely when it's done.
So I'm taking this new med. Wading through the fog and funk of the transition from old pharmaceutical to new. And have my fingers crossed that some of the things I've lost will be found again at the other end.
Monday, March 23, 2009
You'll find more details and photos at NASA.gov, and a touching tribute to Space Bat on the Space Bat Memorial page.
In the words of an unknown forum poster at space-bat.com, "Damnit, I promised I wouldn't cry".
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I've been randomized into the half of the clinical trial that gets to try the Flexitouch therapy, not the control group. That is awesome news. More doctor appointments to follow, though. Comes with the territory.
Two of our rats, Dureena and Delenn, have metastasized cancers. NOT awesome news. Meds will help keep them comfortable for a while yet, with luck. The vet and technician were both impressed with how loving and sweet the girlies were during their visit.
My Mister is awesome.
Heroes was very tense tonight. Black hat? White hat? How dark can a gray hat get before it's undeniably black? How can you tell if it's black or just covered in soot?
It's past my bedtime. Am clicking "publish post" and going to bed.
Monday, February 9, 2009
My computer was out of commission for much of the weekend. Got it fixed, but due to a broken hinge it still needs to get shipped back to HP. The good news is, the hinge in question is under recall, so I don't have to pay for that.
I'm getting some extra snuggle time from the cats this morning. I lost my footing in a brain fog this morning while going down the stairs. I took the last half of the steps in full, bumpy, limbs flailing, obey-gravity mode. Nothing broken. But now I've got the aches and pains of the fall on top of my normal daily pain. So right now, Missy Tash, who is usually reserved with me, has curled up on my lap and settled in to provide her services as a fuzzy, purring hot water bottle.
I'll log in and work from home a bit later, when the aches subside to a dull roar. Then out for a regularly scheduled doc appt across town.
For now, I'll indulge in "cat gravity" therapy.
Friday, January 23, 2009
"I am not going to tag anyone to do this meme, but encourage anyone who would like, to do it as an exercise in self silly examination."The rules as posted by the poster who tagged her were:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people.
5. Inform the tagees and the person who tagged you.
Ok, so one and two are covered above. Here are my six:
- I have an irrational fear that people will find out I'm not as much of a geek as I think I am.
- The first book not written for kids I ever read was Year of the Unicorn by Andre Norton.
- When I wear a wrist watch, the watch I usually wear is my grandfather's old self-winding watch that I was fascinated by as a child.
- My #1 favorite weather phenomenon is hoarfrost, which I'd never seen before I moved to Minnesota.
- I think the sexiest things about a man are his voice and his eyes.
- I put cayenne pepper and organic ginger ale in my home made cranberry sauce.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Some of my favorite lines:
President: Drain Treasury: There appears to be a bug that allowed loot to be transferred from the treasury to anyone on the President’s friends list, or in the President’s party. We are investigating.
Vice President: The Vice President will no longer aggro on friendly targets. This bug was identified with Ranged Attacks and the Head Shot ability.
Homeland Security: Item: Large Bottle of Water is incorrectly generating threat with TSA Agents when held in inventory. We are looking into the issue.
If you found any of the above amusing, click over to the full version for more in the same vein.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Woke up the Mister. We pulled the shelves out from under the broken pipe and rounded up buckets. Then I had to get ready to go. My physical therapist was expecting me extra early that morning. My Mister saved the day and took over calling the plumber so I could hit the road.
Physical therapy in Downtown Minneapolis. Traffic could have been worse. Gave me a chance to listen to Minnesota Public Radio and the NPR coverage of the inauguration morning crowds in Washington DC. Peeked at the sunrise in my rear view mirror as the traffic poked along.
Physical therapy. Then back out into the traffic. More radio coverage of the pre-inauguration goings-on. The Mister called to say the plumber had come and gone and fixed the cracked pipe and a few other things that needed doing, in record time.
I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the home of a good friend. She made a Spam pie (savory and cheesy, not sweet) for the occasion.
I'm not ashamed to admit I teared up during the inauguration. Tears of hope and pride.
After several hours of working while watching the post-inaugural TV coverage, I headed back across town toward home.
But first, in the patois of the LOLcats, I asked, "I can has pride of country nao?"
Yes. Yes I can.
And I also got the recipe for the spam pie.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The problem seems to have been something she inhaled that irritated her throat. The likely culprit was some drywall dust from the work we just had done on the house. She's taking a steroid to keep the inflammation down, and is back to her usual talkative self. The first medicine the vet tried didn't work very well, but the current prescription seems to be doing the trick.
The first med was a liquid that we gave her in a little bit of gooshy food. There is always dry food available to the kitties. Good quality dry food that, under normal circumstances, they all eat happily. Wet food is usually only an infrequent treat around here because Catrina quickly gets neurotic about it.
When any amount of wet food is available, Catrina snarfs it down in a race to finish before the others finish theirs. If she's fast enough, and we're not watching closely, she can sometimes secure a few extra bites by pilfering from the slower eaters, which reinforces the speed-eating behavior. Even if she doesn't manage to steal from someone else's plate, we can't serve wet food in meal sized portions or Catrina throws most of hers up because she wolfed it down so fast.
We tried serving small portions of wet food on a daily basis since they all enjoy it so much. But if Catrina thinks canned food might be in her future she will hold off eating the regular dry stuff and wait until some glorious gooshy food materializes. Portions small enough to stay down aren't enough to get by on, so she starts losing weight, her fur condition goes all to heck, and she gets cranky and demanding while she's waiting on that next dose of the gooshy to appear.
After just three days of having her medication in a tiny bit of wet food, she's all but stopped eating the dry food again. The new medication is in pill form, and I've never met the cat who can't pick a pill out of the food you've tried to hide it in, so there's no point in going that route. So, we're going to go back on the "gooshy is a sometimes food" diet - with canned food happening only at random intervals - and Catrina is going through gooshy withdrawal.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
For whatever reason her larynx swelled up and was making it difficult and painful for her to swallow. The vet has her on steroids to bring the inflammation down. To her joy, it has to be administered in a serving of gooshy food twice a day.
Otherwise, Dr. Sid says she's in very good health for a 15 year old kitton. Catrina, ever the sociable little lady, made friends with everyone who saw her at the vet.
The meds are already helping, but her voice is still hoarse. With luck and an appropriate amount of lavishing attention on her to keep her morale up, she should be back to her old talkative self in a few days.
(Cross posted to Facebook)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
As I type, it appears to have been time for the changing of the guards on the front window. Zabartik came up and relieved Tashania of her post. It's a long window, but since the kittons don't like to sit too near one another, we're going to need to place a long, low cabinet there so they can stand critter-watch more than one fuzzbutt at a time.
On the unpacking front, the Mister is nearly done with the home theater. He's wiring up the speakers today, after having run cables through the walls and behind baseboards. Once that's done, all that's left is hang two more shelves, to find the box in the sea of other boxes that has his console games in it, and the arrival of the Sumo Gigantor (smiling blond model not included).
We've discovered the hard way that the fryer got packed with frying oil still inside it. Neither of us remembered to empty it, and the movers just packed it up as-is in a box marked "kitchen". It had tipped an leaked during it's trip. Seeing the oil soaked carboard - not knowing what was inside - assumed that a bottle of cooking oil had been packed and then inverted. I flipped the box over to open it, thinking I was "fixing" it, and instead emptied the whole fryer full of oil into the box. A mad dash down the hall to the bathroom to dump the whole box in the tub followed. The house now smells of french fries, but I managed to lose only about a cup of oil onto the floor in the process. Oops.
Friday, January 2, 2009
A lot has happened since then. Some good. Some not so good. A lot of awesome. Some decidedly not awesome.
"Normal" is different now than it was then, but assuming one doesn't live in a vacuum, two years passing brings change to everyone. "Normal" is as impermanent as everything else.
Two years later, I've got new things to deal with, but none of them are cancer. I'll take that.
For the third year, my goal is to get a better grip on how I handle what the more difficult changes in my life have brought with them.
When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you'll be ready to handle the truck you didn't see.
~Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English