Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the old.. In with the new.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2015.

I am happy to see the back end of 2014. It has been a very mixed year for us. There were some good things and some not so good things but we survived it all.

It is pouring rain out here in Scottsdale and pretty chilly for this time of year (40's). We have frost warnings in effect for tonight and tomorrow. Not my type of weather! If I look at the rain as washing away 2014 perhaps it will be less depressing.... not working real well.

This is my new ankle brace which I am required to wear around the house. I am slowly graduating out of my boot. It is very strange putting full weight on my foot and a bit uncomfortable. My calf muscles are shot and I need to work on getting those back as well as lateral motion in my foot. I have been having trouble scrunching my toes... found out from orthopedist that they fused my big toe... they "forgot" to mention it till I asked them why I was having trouble! The "cure" is a bit of torture... hold down the toe for 2-3 minutes.... it hurts to do that.

To ring in the new year I am making a chocolate fruit tart to take to friends house this evening. I am not used to being on my feet for so long so poor Ned got all the clean up duty. It won't get fully assembled until tonight so no photo... there must be one somewhere in past years blogs as this is one of my favorite go to recipes when I want to make something that looks and tastes awesome but doesn't require a ton of work. I make the filling the day before, the crust the next morning, and assemble a couple of hours before needed.

I looked back at my blogs for this year and see that I haven't been blogging much. For those of you who are not Facebook friends where I post more often I will do a fast recap:

In January we went to Ohio for the wedding of our (Ned's) niece Maggie... and froze our asses off! We headed next to N.J. to visit with my family. High temp was 4 degrees a couple of days. I was not a happy camper, but my grandson is awesome! Life was pretty quiet for the next several months... I think I blogged in March so won't repeat. At the end of May I went back to N.J. for Will's 3rd birthday... yikes, time has flown. I managed to find a pothole and twisted my foot and broke the 4th metatarsal in my right foot. No cast but a boot for 7 weeks. It slowed me down but didn't knock me out. I was relegated to flat heeled shoes for the next 6 months... a real bummer since I had purchased some killer heeled sandals the day before I broke said foot. I returned the shoes.. reluctantly but knowing there was no way I was going to wear them for at least a year, if ever.
In July I went to L.A. to meet up with some doll buddies and Ned met me a few days later and with another couple did some wine tasting near Santa Barbara. We had a great time and bought lots of great wines.
At the end of August with Ned in China, I had a bit of an incident with some Sour Cream. I am severely lactose intolerant and am normally pretty careful. If something dairy has live cultures, I can usually eat it. Our local supermarket carries a brand of sour cream that I can eat. Someone apparently put a container of regular sour cream in with the stuff we usually buy. I wasn't paying attention apparently and picked it up instead. I ate some and in the middle of the night I was in severe agony.. I will spare you the details but about 6 hours later I managed to drive myself to the emergency room. After some scans and other tests they admitted me to the hospital for 2 days. Bill for 2 days stay and doctor bills came to almost $28,000.00! Thankfully, we have insurance but we also have a very high deductible. This was very costly.
End of October and a trip to London (for my dolls) with stops in D.C. and N.J. A very close friend of ours moved to D.C area after his wife passed in May. She was 93 and a real pistol. They were the parents I wished I had. N.J. of course to see Robin, Brett, and Will.

In the summer we found out that Robin was pregnant with twins due end of February/beginning of March. I had a problem... I had developed this very bad bunion on my left foot which was getting very bad.. so bad that I couldn't put on closed shoes. This was not going to work well in the cold weather.. also, Robin's house is 3 levels. I promised her I would come for a month when the twins were born. When I was at the orthopedist for my broken foot it was discussed what I needed to do to fix the left foot. It needed to be done but I was not in a huge hurry (then). After my little episode in the hospital and having reached our rather hefty deductible, I decided that November would be a great time to fix my foot so I would be all healed by the time the twins arrived. ( I was optimistic they wouldn't be too early!) You can read all about that adventure on the blog.

This pretty much brings me up to the present... ... as I look out the window I see that it is snowing! WTF!!!!!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 is winding down....

I cannot say this has been a good year, but it hasn't been a bad year either. It certainly has been an interesting year.
Christmas day was spent playing with dolls before going to a friends house for Christmas dinner.

Ned contributed to the meal with potatoes Lyonnais. There was good company, excellent food, and fabulous wine of which I had too much.... food and wine! Thanks Anne Marie and Donald.

My foot continues to heal and I have started Physical Therapy. Not surprisingly I have lost a ton of muscle tone in the entire left leg. I have my work cut out for me.  Next appointment  with doctor is Tuesday and I hope to get a brace instead of having to wear the boot all the time. I do have to say I cheat in the house and just walk on my heel and outside of my foot. Slow going but I can get to the bathroom and back before I can strap myself into the boot and find a shoe with the right height heel for the other foot! I am trying to walk more without overdoing it. I have home exercises to do and I am supposed to alternate ice and heat several times a day.

Ned made chocolate pancakes this morning for breakfast; a treat we indulge in once a year. While sitting at the table we saw a family of coyotes saunter across our front yard. They looked quite well fed. I think our rabbit population is down this year. We have been seeing quite a few hawks around as well so I am hoping they are keeping the rodent population in check as well. We used to have a resident owl but I haven't heard him lately. There have been sightings as well of bob cats but I haven't seen them.

At this point I am looking forward to 2015 and the birth of twins. It will be a busy year.

I will do a recap of 2014 in a day or so.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays!

We are an equal opportunity household. Some years if Ned is interested we put up a tree. We haven't done so for the past couple of years. Is not going to happen this year either as I am not up to it.

However, the girls have a tree! Not being too mobile this year was a real challenge for me to set up my holiday photo shoot. Everything was in different places and I had to sit on the floor to set it up. Getting up proved to be a problem and I had lots of help.... from Lucy of course. This probably took me 3X as long to put together as it normally does and I apologize for the poor lighting. I can only do so much.

Madam and the girls are waiting ... for the postman to arrive with their gowns.... or so they say.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Sound bites

Can now put weight on my booted foot.

Starting Physical Therapy next week.. 3X a week for 4 weeks.

Two more weeks of boot then brace.

Got some nice creative goodies for Chanukah. Will get more for Christmas. This is an equal opportunity household :-).

Temps are in the 60's and the sun is shining. My idea of winter.

Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

1 for the little girl....

0 for the medical supply company. Remember those crutches that almost did me in? Well I was checking over my medical bills this morning and found a charge  for them that was not covered by my insurance company. Turns out the hospital used a vendor that was not in my network. Hmmmm. They never asked or told me. So I called the medical supply company this morning and told them that I had not approved them and was not going to pay for them.  I wasn't using the crutches anyway and I was going to return them. They let me. I brought them back this afternoon and now have a zero balance. Geez, you really have to watch every little thing.

On another good note.. I got on the scale this morning and after sitting mostly on my butt for the past 5 1/2 weeks, I only gained 1 pound!

I am hobbling along here in my boot. Been on my own this past week as Ned had to go to China. I survived. He is on his way home... good thing as I am almost out of food.  The grocery store on my own would be daunting. I have had many friends offer to do the shopping for me and I thank you all... I would have asked if I needed it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Doing a happy dance.....

well not quite but close. Went to the Dr. this morning to have stitches removed and an X-Ray to see how the foot was healing. Was not looking forward to another cast. I apparently was a very good patient and followed orders.... and am healing well. Sooooo.. I got a boot instead of a cast! Yay!. I can only walk on my heel for the next 2 weeks but at least I can now take a shower by myself and manage some other small things. I still need to pretty much stay off my foot and still keep it elevated and iced. Timing is perfect. Ned has to go to China for a week and is leaving on Friday morning. A bit less stressful for both of us.

I hate Traders Joe's. We did some grocery shopping (I am a menace in a motorized cart) on the way home and they had Chocolate Peppermint Bark.. I had to buy some which means I will have to eat it. 

I cannot thank my husband enough for the wonderful care.  Ned, you have gone beyond what I expected and continue to surprise me. 

Now that I have mastered the scooter, I get to master a cane and a walker. Not sure which will be better for the next two weeks.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What to do when bored.....

Play with dolls of course!
Happy Thanksgiving all. Ned is doing the cooking today as I cannot stand in the kitchen. No Turkey though (which is just fine with me...never been fond of that bird). He has done very well the past few weeks and I expect today's dinner will be good. Better since I don't even get clean up duty!

Meet De Hood. She is the latest Sybarite to get some attention. If I had to get this outfit on it would gather dust in my drawer. Good thing she has a personal dresser.
These dolls have such personality and it seems to change depending on what they are wearing. She really needs a mirror but I cannot get to it so please use your imagination.

My daughter Robin took this photo of my grandson Will this morning. Am I allowed to say how handsome he is?

The sun is shining and it is almost 80 degrees. My kind of late November weather.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wounds of war.

Turns out I am a klutz. I practiced for the first time today with the crutches... they and I are not going to be friends. Looks like I would have to learn a whole new set of balances... not happening. In my first foray down the hallway towards the car (the goal) I fell and scraped my right ankle on my cast. Didn't break the skin. The area that is black and blue is from repeated hitting of a nut that protrudes from the back wheel of the scooter. I don't always judge the distance properly and keep whacking my ankle.
The good news is that I didn't break anything other than a nail when I fell.  If Ned is not home I don't need the crutches except to get in and out of the car... I can leave them by the car and use the scooter to get into the garage as I have been doing. I can leave the scooter in the garage for when I come back. The only place I will go is to play bridge and they have a wheel chair some one can come get me with and return me to the car at the end. This I can do. We practiced this a few times this morning.

We had this great red wine on Sunday night when we went out to dinner. It is a red blend from California. Going out to dinner was a trip and a half. Not only did we need to find someplace that had the space to allow me to put my foot up but we needed a spot that our friend could put her leg up as well. She had knee replacement surgery a month ago. Two gimps! Thankfully, the restaurant was very accommodating. The wine went quite well with the chocolate mousse we all shared for desert as well.

And yesterday's craziness... can you tell I am bored? Just call me Gypsy!

One week from today I get the stitches taken out, an x-ray, and a new cast.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One of us is chilling!

Lucy is enjoying the sunshine

Two weeks into my casts and while I cannot say I am a happy camper, life seems to be going on. Having to keep my foot elevated puts a damper on a lot of activities but I am trying not to get too bored. I have been doing lots of hand stitching and my quilt is coming along. I have been playing bridge a few days a week and managed a very short run to the grocery store... I am dangerous with those motorized carts. Ned has really been instrumental in keeping me from going totally bonkers and we haven't killed each other yet.

Today, with some fetching and carrying from Ned, I got to play some with my dolls. Enjoy the eye candy.

Ned borrowed a DVD from the library and I am looking forward to watching the second episode. Simple pleasures.

Three. More. Weeks.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A bit more independence.

My basket arrived yesterday! While I cannot do much, it allows me a bit more independence. I was able to make myself breakfast this morning when I wanted it. While I cannot stand overly long on one leg, I can do it long enough to do some basic stuff. There are going to have to be some changes... I need paper plates so I can toss them.. getting them into the sink and washing them is not very practical for me and getting them into or out of the dishwasher is impossible.  I am going to have to use a travel mug for decaf or tea so it doesn't slosh all over the place.  At least I won't have to bother Ned for the small stuff and if he has to go away on a biz trip (very likely), I will be able to manage marginally with a bit of help from a friendly neighbor.

Mentally, I am feeling better. The foot doesn't hurt so that has not been an issue. Next project is getting used to crutches so I can get out of the house on my own. I cannot manage the scooter by myself. .... and there is sunshine!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brekfast in bed... it ain't all its cracked up to be.

I am really not good at being so dependent. One would think this would be awesome having someone else do all the work and just delivering it to you. Maybe some people like it... I don't. But I also have little choice. Waiting the arrival today of the basket to go on my scooter. That will give me a bit more freedom to do things since I cannot carry anything, needing 2 hands for the scooter. I might be able to do a few simple things in the kitchen but I cannot stand too long on one foot. Meal planning has to be done in advance (probably not a bad thing) since hubby is now the shopper and the chef. At least I will be able to get myself something to drink and some fruit.

Ned has really been doing a great job of taking care of me.... I am just not a good patient. I don't like having to wait to get things done.

I haven't figured out how to shower alone... not happening either. We have a large walk-in shower but it has a lip on it. I cannot get over it without help. I thought of using crutches but the idea that I could slip on the wet tiles kind of negates that thought.

My foot seems to need to be elevated almost all the time. We took an outing to the Supermarket the other day and I used one of the motorized carts... 40 minutes of that and my foot started to swell up. Maybe in time it won't do that but right now that is very limiting. I can go to the bridge club to play as long as Ned can drive me.  In theory I can drive but I cannot get the scooter in and out of the car on my own. Will need to practice on those crutches.

Hand work on my quilt is the activity for the day.

The weather is gorgeous and there is sun.. what more could I want?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A tisket a taskit, I almost had a basket!

My outing yesterday to the bridge club.

The scooter is great to get around with but I need 2 hands which makes carrying anything tricky.....especially in the house when I want something. Ned came home with one today but it turned out not to fit over the handlebars. I ordered one from Amazon and it should be here on Saturday. This is going to be a very long 5 weeks.

I have been working on one of my quilts doing the hand stitching that I had put off for several years. I am actually making decent progress. This quilt might actually get finished. Sorry, no photos as I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet.

I borrowed some ebooks from the library and started one today.. it has some possibilities. The author is Jack Whyte and this is the first of a trilogy. I am also planning on re-reading the Outlander series again. I am not usually a re-reader but I devoured those 8 books and I am sure I missed stuff. They are very well written and I have come to love the characters.... have to wait awhile for the next one.

I am going to try out the crutches tomorrow to see if I can manage them for short hauls.

The highlight of my day? Got a scam call from the IRS saying they were suing me for something.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lots of time on my hands... or feet as the case may be.

Blogging seems to haven fallen by the wayside here... mostly because I haven't had much to say of interest. Things haven't changed much by way of interest but I will have lots to say which will include a lot of moaning and groaning :-(.

I will spare you the gory details but I just had some foot surgery which will impact my lifestyle for the next 5 weeks at least. A plate and several screws later and here I am.
I will be in a NON weight bearing cast for 5 weeks. This is the first of the casts.. to be replaced in 3 weeks with another... perhaps lime green the next time? I am finally off the pain meds which make me nuttier than I already am and I have migrated to plain old ibuprofen for the minor annoyances. The next stage will be a boot and then tons of physical therapy as I am told I will need to rebuild the muscles in my leg. Oh joy.
In the meantime I will have to figure out what to do with myself without going stark raving mad. I do have a scooter, a pair of crutches, and a walker (left over from hubbies double knee replacement a year ago). Until this morning, between the anesthesia and the pain meds, I was going nuts. I couldn't focus on anything for more than 2 minutes. I started three books but couldn't get past the first few pages of each, pulled out some hand work but couldn't decide which of 2 colors of thread to use, couldn't get my brain around some simple sudoku, etc. Today is better. I need to be where I can elevate my foot which cuts out a lot of activities at the moment.

Showering is a 2 person adventure. There must be a way for me to do it alone but haven't quite figured it out yet. The brunt of this whole thing falls to Ned. He is doing a great job as he now has to do the cooking, fetching, and everything in between. At least I can use the scooter to get to the bathroom on my own....some indignities shouldn't be shared!

Long skirts will be the attire for the foreseeable future... I can't get pants or leggings on, not to mention how difficult it would be to pee. Too bad I don't own any kilts.

If I can figure out how to get myself into and out of the car on my own, I will be able to drive. Don't need my left foot to drive. I guess I better start practicing with the crutches. I really hate that I have lost my independence. Needing someone else at my beck and call is not my thing. Poor Ned is trying his best but I am not the best patient. All will be OK until he has to travel in a few weeks. Maybe by that time I will figure out how to do what really needs to get done and forget the rest.

There is some great news in all of this!!! My daughter is pregnant with twin girls. This is what really precipitated the surgery. I can't get into shoes without great pain and walking up and down stairs is difficult. I might have put it off a year or so otherwise but it needed to be done. I am betting I will be in great shape when the twins arrive in late winter.

One day at a time. I need to learn this. Planning in advance is going to be very important.
Poor Lucy hasn't figured this whole thing out yet. She doesn't like when someone else feeds her... she is still expecting me to get up and do it. She will learn, like the rest of us that shit happens.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MCI sucks

MCI has the worst customer service. They forced me to change my password last month which I did. This morning when I tried to access my account, I was told the password (new one) was not valid. I requested a temporary password and was informed it would take 24-48 hours to get one! I called them. I wanted a copy of our current bill... they refused to email one... they would fax it but our fax has been broken for over a year and since we never use it anyway, we never got it fixed. They could snail mail me an invoice but it would take about a week. This is insane. After wasting over an hour with them and being shuttled around to 6 people I pretty much gave up. In this age of technology, they are still neanderthals. Why should it take them 24 + hours to get me a temporary pin? I am sending this notice out to the public. Maybe MCI will take notice.

It turns out their customer service has nothing to do with their online account. Since I opted (about 12 years ago) to use their online service, using their regular service doesn't work. There is no way to talk to anyone regarding online service. You can only deal with them via a form you fill out and someone will get back to you within 24-48 hours. INSANE! 

I am a bit upset.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Miscelaneous blog

The last few weeks have been exciting..or not.. depending on how you look at life.

I traveled to New Jersey to help my grandson celebrate his third birthday. Where has the time gone? I got very lucky and the weather was spectacular. I also got unlucky and managed to break a bone in my right foot. But it is hard to keep me down for long and while I wasn't able to do everything I wanted, I still managed to do and see, gimpy or not. Two of my friends came to pick me up and take me for lunch and I had fun playing with Will. The disappointing part is that I went shoe shopping with my daughter, Robin and bought some killer shoes that I will not be able to wear till the end of July.. bummer!

I got home just in time for Ned to leave on a trip but we stocked the house with food so I am not starving... I have been playing some bridge and playing with dolls. Life is better with the boot on than off. I will go visit the local orthopedist in a week and see what he has to say.

Here are some photos of the past 2 weeks. Enjoy.
First B'day present

Robin and Will
Will's birthday party was held at a local kids gym.

With Nana Laurie and girlfriend Joyce
Robin, Brett, and birthday boy

My latest fashion accessory
At the park
Some Dolly fun time
Last night's full honey moon

Monday, May 12, 2014

No climate change.....

My Gardenia bush started to bloom over a week ago... at least a full month earlier than usual... but there is no climate change right???

And the Suquaro's  which also do not usually bloom till the end of May  were starting to bloom in mid April. No climate change.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Small Charity quilt

This is the piece I was working on. It is a patriotic house quilt for Jamie Fingal's  House quilt project through Furnishing Hope. It is intended for one of our wounded service Veterans.

Saga of the sewing machine continues... thought it was fixed but it appears not. Sigh.

I am also working on another turtle... this one is for my grandson Will.. cut out but not sewn. ... stayed tuned!

I feel so frustrated...I have finally been in the mood to pick up projects and run with them but sewing machine is not cooperating... Lucy didn't help either!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I seem to have forgotten I have a blog...

.. or I haven't anything interesting to write about... or both! I will try to do better.
I haven't been doing much that is crafty until recently and life has been quiet... thankfully!

I have also been having major problems with my very expensive sewing machine that is not worth more than a doorstop most time. I have been bringing it back repeatedly to my dealer to fix but this is really a lemon. Not sure what my options are but buying a new one is not one of them. Thankfully, I have an old backup for simple stuff.

My neighbor's daughter has a project for school that requires her to "make" a turtle.. they are reading "Grapes of Wrath".  Neither she nor her mother can sew.... I think teachers are insane for coming up with these types of projects but no one asked me. They found this video on You Tube for making one... I am still shuddering... but it did have a pattern. They asked me if I could do it. I agreed as long as they cut the pattern. They came over and chose some fabric from my stash. Next day I had the pieces. It was a fun project as long as I didn't follow the instructions from the video! Here is the result:
Daughter has a good eye for color and it came out great!

I also mad a small charity quilt for a project for our Veterans. Photo to come with more explanation.. I was so excited that I actually made something after so long that I sent it off before I took a picture!

Now to get the damn sewing machine fixed or traded as I am starting to want to get into my art stuff again.