Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, December 31, 2012

More on Aging

Bayfield Al wrote a very interesting post yesterday on the aging process, and I experienced it this morning in a novel way.  I was sitting in my rocker/recliner and for some reason looked up at the ceiling, where I saw a small bug crawling slowly across the wood paneling.  I haven't yet painted this part of the living room, and still have the old brown paneling.  I grabbed a tissue and stood on the rocker/recliner, which immediately started to rock, and tried to dab at the bug.  I seemed to miss it and when I looked for it, I noticed another one further away from my chair/stepladder, along the same line of the paneling.  After nearly losing my balance and falling out of the chair, I went to get a small step stool from the kitchen, and stopped to get some paper toweling and a bottle of spray cleaner.

I stood on the proper step stool and looked to see if the bugs were still there, and sure enough they were evenly spaced along the paneling.  I finally realized they were small nails holding the paneling up, but I was sure I saw them move.  I thought of Al's post, even though he hadn't mentioned hallucination as part of the aging process.

I'm going to walk with Jeannie today if she ever gets here, and maybe the fresh air will help my eyesight, balance, and overall health.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nothing to show for the day

I was supposed to go to Costco with Jeannie today but she had a sore throat and a slight cough, and was worried she might pass it along to me.  I don't know if I have most of my immunity back or not, and not sure if I want to find out.  I have nearly decided to get the flu shot, as I may have written previously.

The afternoon sun is shining brightly and shows how dirty my windows are.  I'd maybe wash them but I just want to replace them with double pane windows, and shouldn't waste time washing something I'm going to throw in the dumpster.

Ara made it back to PA with no delays, and Mike called me last night to say that they had a delay-free flight as well.  I was worried because they were landing at LaGuardia and I kept hearing about that airport on the weather channel.

Time to fix supper.  Where has the time gone!  It's dark already.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Goodbyes are terrible

After being together so much of the last week and a half, we gathered at Jeannie's this evening for a supper of homemade tamales.  I cherish having all my family around me, and the good-natured bantering that goes on - even all the noise of the kids trying to jump on Joe at the same time.  Finally it was time to go as Ara had to leave for the airport at 8:30 pm, and Mike & family are leaving early in the morning for their flight back to NY.

I made it to about the end of the lane from Jeannie's house before the tears started to fall.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Morning after

I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy holiday, however you celebrate it.   Mine was special because all four of my children and their families were together.  I don't think I've even read a blog since early last week since I've mostly been with my kids.

Speaking of blogs and reading them, I have had a problem with spending much time on the computer lately.  The room in which my I-Mac is kept is colder than the rest of the house. I quickly check my email and then leave the room.  The little Acer I keep in the living room is so small it is difficult to read some of the blogs, especially if I have to scroll from side to side.  So it has really been a pain just to use a computer, and I think my New Year's resolution will be to get my MacBook refurbished.  I hadn't realized how much easier I would find it to use a laptop, but I like being able to carry it from one spot to another - from recliner to couch to kitchen table.  

I'll try to catch up soon, maybe next week.  Ara leaves on Friday and Mike & family leave on Sunday.  I sure hope the storms and snow are gone from the east by then.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The birthday party

I actually enjoyed the party at the bounce house - the time went by pretty quickly and the kids all had fun.  All of Autumn's kindergarten class had been invited, and I have never seen such a nice bunch of kids - no one was rowdy, pushed or shoved, and they were so well behaved while having fun at the same time.

This is Ara and me:

Autumn's cake - and ...

Another cake that looked like a pizza but was chocolate with strawberry preserves mixed in. It reminded me of Billy Bob's chocolate cherry cake - at least the blending of the flavors.

There was plenty of Mountain Mike's pizza to eat as well before the opening of the gifts.  Today (18th) is her actual 6th birthday.

Ara and I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and I completed my Christmas shopping.  Kids have way more toys and clothes today than I think they need, so I prefer to get books.  And before anyone says it, I understand that Amazon and ordering online is cheaper, but I hate to think of the day when that will be the only way a person can shop.  For myself, I like to hold things in my hand, see the quality or lack thereof, and just get a feel for whether I think the person (or myself) will like it.  And as I've said a hundred times or more, I like to support local businesses that employ local people. 

I can't believe there is just one week until Christmas!  Mike and his family arrive on Friday evening, and I hope the weather enroute doesn't cause them any delays.  I don't know if they are flying nonstop or have to change planes somewhere, which is where timing and a smooth trip can begin to break down.

It's lunch time and I still haven't gotten dressed.  The sun will be going down before I know it and I will have missed a beautiful sunny day in Sacramento.  I need to enjoy it because I think we are in for another week or rainy showery weather.

Speaking of Sac weather, when I moved here in the 1980's, people told me about the rainy winters.  They said "It rains a lot, and you just dress for it and go out in it and do whatever you would like to do.  You don't let the rain stop you."  And I did just that.  But now, 20+ years later, I look at the rain and think "Aw hell, I'm not going out in that mess."  I guess I miss a lot.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Getting ready to party

Not really, not me at least, but I am going to a birthday party for my granddaughter Autumn, who will be 6 yrs old in a couple of days.  Last night Donald was doing the cake and needed to get his 4 girls out of the house for a while, so Jeannie, Ara, Autumn and Arianna came over for a few hours.  It's good to hear the noise and see the mess that accumulates when children are present.  Not that I don't make a continual mess myself.  Everywhere I look I see biscotti crumbs, which is because I eat so many of them and you just can't help getting crumbs everywhere.  Last night we all had one, although the 3 adults dunked them into our wineglasses which is the proper Italian way of eating them.  Fewer crumbs too.

I am now on Plavix (generic formula) and took 1 whole one yesterday and a half a pill this morning.  I'm going to try just a half one a day - I already have a couple of bruises on my hands.  It was so nice not to have all those  bruises when I went off the aspirin.  I'm also taking Xantax (generic formula) and though I can take 2 a day, I seem to feel great with just one after breakfast.  I will have pizza at the birthday party this afternoon so I might need another xantax when I get home.  The two generics cost me a copay of about $2.20 for a 30 day supply of both pills.  Generics are great as long as they agree with your system and do what they are supposed to do.  They aren't always the most reliable, but since I'm a poor retired woman I will use them when I can.

I will be so excited to see my NY family in about a week.  I really missed being there at Thanksgiving and at the welcome home party, but Ara gave me a rundown of the party.  She couldn't believe how much weight Mike lost, although he will put it back on if he isn't careful.  He and Steve have to really fight to maintain a healthy weight, and so does Jeannie.  Joe has always been slim like me, although now in his mid 30's is starting to show a little fat here and there.  Not much however.

I have been in my house for a little over a year, and as I was looking at the rooms yesterday evening I thought "I need a larger house".  This is plenty big for me, but I was thinking how nice it would be if I had just a little more room for when the kids visit.  Actually I need to go through everything I have and get rid of things I haven't used in years.  I am pretty sentimental about holding on to certain things and I'm probably too old to change now.

Hopefully I will get some pictures at the party.  In a way it's a bother to carry the new camera as it is bulkier and heavier than a small point & shoot.  I think I will really enjoy using it when I travel.  Later -

Friday, December 14, 2012

I am glad I don't have any medical appointments for a while.  I left with an Rx for Zantax for the indigestion, and generic plavix for a blood thinner - supposedly it doesn't upset the stomach as badly as aspirin.  I told my doctor I would like to start out at a half tablet a day since I seem to be ultra sensitive to a lot of drugs on the market.  I will probably have to get blood tests again in about 6 months, and if the anemia is still there I'll be referred to a hematologist.  I repeated my wish to not be tested for any kind of cancer, and hematology and oncology seem to have a fine line separating them.  The doctor showed me my test results and explained one by one what it would be if I had leukemia.  So if it is not likely cancer I will make the decision about seeing a hematologist if the situation arises.

I had looked up info about flu shots last night and wrote down a number of salient points, as ammunition for why I didnt want the shot.  The Doc completely forgot about it and I didnt have to say a word.  Now I'll have to be a little more careful about being around the grandkids if they get flu like symptoms.  That hurts, as I've never worried a second either with my own children or any of the grands.  I wonder if I could even survive the flu, so I'd better use some caution, but then I'm not known for being cautious about such things.

Like most other Americans, I am in a state of complete shock over the shooting today of so many children and adults, and in an elementary school where it seems they should be safe.

Another doctor visit

I need to get to bed earlier tonight than I have been lately, as I have to be downtown to see my doctor for a follow-up at 9:30 am tomorrow.  I've become used to staying up later and staying in bed longer in the morning.  I think my mattress and down comforter are the best in the early morning.  I don't have much to ask the doctor - I've been having a bit more indigestion than I usually have, but I've found when you mention the slightest issue there is a test they want you to take.  I decided a long time ago I'm not swallowing a damn camera and I don't care how they feel about it.  

My granddaughter is flying in from Pennsylvania this evening, and should be at home by now.  It will be so good to see her.

It is much colder now than it has been yet this season, and will probably drop down some more.  I don't think we will see any snow in Sacramento, although we did get enough snow to cover the ground when I lived here in the 1980's.

So far I haven't needed to take the blood pressure meds, and I am so happy about that.  I wondered why until I watched Dr. Oz today and he talked about a diet that kept blood pressure down - about exactly what I eat anyway.  I'm sure most ailments can be managed by diet rather than chemicals that enrich the drug companies.   I'm still debating whether or not to get the flu shot, and I know that will be the main thing the Dr. will hit me with when I get there tomorrow.  I halfway agreed to it, but I don't like or trust the idea.

Well, early to bed for me tonight.  Later -

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cell Phone Dilemma

I've often complained about my cell phone, and now I'm about to drop it altogether.  I have about 180 minutes left and 4 days of usage.  It will cost a minimum of $20 to top it off, which would add about 60 minutes and a couple more months of usage.  I won't use that many minutes in the next year, so I am thinking of just letting the whole  thing drop.  I could always get another TracFone when I travel across country, but I certainly wouldn't pay for a lot of minutes.  Personally I don't think I need it at all.  Nothing is different than it was between 2004 and 2008 when I traveled cross country every year, usually during the winter months, with no cell phone.

Phil asked when I was going to post some pictures taken by my new camera.  I haven't been out to take photos for one, because I haven't been driving much since my illness, and the fact that there were heavy rains much of the time.  We've just had a few clear days which have been so welcome, but rains are expected tonight. 

Nothing else happening here -

Friday, December 7, 2012

The days speed by

I don't know how, but they go faster and faster it seems.  I drove to the Sac Food 
Co-op this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find today, being the first Friday of the month, gave me a 10% discount on all my purchases.

After lunch I thought I would quickly run through the few TV channels I watch, and ended up getting hooked for the afternoon on the History Channel which featured WWII.  It was an HD version, and I didn't really like the colorized version of what I had seen my entire life in black and white.  I don't know how they figured out how to color all those film clips but they did.  It is amazing how a country emerging from a great depression, which was a third rate military power, was able to enter a world war on two fronts and emerge victorious in just 5 years!  This is the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, 71 years ago!

So the sun is ready to fall below the horizon and I haven't anything to show for the day except getting groceries.  Another weekend is upon me and I usually don't drive on weekends, and especially with the holiday shoppers out I will probably stay home tomorrow.  Maybe I can do some housecleaning.  What a crappy thought!    It was such a short time ago that I was in my teens, and after sleeping half the day if I could get by with it, never had a problem finding something interesting to do.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I think the rain has passed our area for a while, and I'm happy about that.  I need to get out to do a little shopping - Christms presents for the kids and a birthday gift for Autumn.

Over the past few years I have amassed a few points on my credit card, so I recently ordered a pair of Nikon binoculars, which came yesterday.  I wanted them for my travels and camping trips, but find it's just like the camera - my eyesight without glasses has deteriorated, and I can't look through the lenses or viewfinder with glasses on.  I'd say that is what is described as being between a rock and a hard place!

I was asked by Judy (the bird lady) if I had any plans to reschedule my trip to NY.  I won't be going just now as I missed the welcome home party and Thanksgiving, and my son & his family are coming to CA for Christmas.  I did want to visit a few relatives in Kentucky, and have been contacted by the vascular surgeon who handled the stent implant, requesting that I schedule a follow-up appointment.  In fact, his office tentatively scheduled one for me in mid December, which I'm going to have to cancel.  I would love to see the vascular guy again - of all the doctors I've had he is probably the one I liked and trusted most.  The cardiologist I saw here in Sacramento had me undergo a carotid scan and said they couldn't even find the stent.  So I would rather hear it from the surgeon who implanted it in the first place.  Answer is, I don't know if I want to make a trip in early 2013 and then back again in September 2013.  This gypsy is getting a little too old for two cross country trips in one year!

I'm typing this entry on the tiny Acer computer - it is very difficult to read as the screen is small and I like the large print, but it isn't easy to view excep on a regular sized screen.  I don't know how people can use an iPhone for their email or internet use.

Speakig of phones, I dropped my Verizon cell phone and bought a TracFone a while back.  With the offers that came with the phone for double hours, I find I still have about 180 hrs left, but only 11 service days in which to use them.  I don't like using a cell phone and am tempted to just drop it completely - get back to the old days :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

A "Dry-Out" Day

We finally have a dry day, mostly sunny, but are preparing for the next round of storms to slam into this part of California.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw some of the creeks, streams and rivers on the news.  I have always sort of laughed at the way they call the Truckee River a river at all.  Mostly it is a stream tumbling over rocks, very scenic and beautiful, but a stream nonetheless.  Swollen with flooding rains it became a raging torrent - still beautiful - but dangerous.  At about the time it would have become destructive the rain turned to snow which slowed things down and much property was saved.

We had no flooding in Rancho Cordova where I live, but several creeks that went over their banks are within a few miles.  I'm too lazy to walk or drive over to the American River to see how high it became, but the Sacramento River is the one that was the most worrisome. The Sac & American rivers reach confluence near downtown.

I had my own little flood here in my living room - with the extremely high winds and the amount of rain that fell - just under 2" a couple of days ago - the rain leaked around one of my living room windows.  Joe had covered the swamp cooler but the high winds blew the rain under the tarps, leaving me with mopping up to do in several places.  The window was the worst - I caught the rain that was dripping from the top of the window into a container, but it filled up every 2 or 3 hours, which meant I had to get up in the middle of the night and swab the drips on the floors and around the window.  Needless to say I didn't get a whole lot of good sleep.  Now tonight it will probably start up again.

The results of the biopsy I endured came back benign, which I could have told them to begin with.  I wasn't told it would be a biopsy - just some sort of scan -  or I wouldn't have done it.  I'm convinced the problem was caused by a change in meds to a generic form, so I'm going to pay whatever I have to in order to get the brand name from now on.

It is wonderful to have food that tastes delicious again, and to have the energy to cook it.  I'm never going to worry about my weight again and will just accept whatever it is.  I can't stand to overeat, which is what I was trying to do and feeling miserable for it.  I'm healthy, happy, well, have abundance, and am a beautiful scarecrow!  So there you have it!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More rain on the way

I think it is going to get to flood stage in a few days.  I live about a mile from the American River, but don't worry as much as I would if I lived along a levee.  If it gets bad enough then everyone would be hit by it.  I would think at this stage the Folsom Lake & Dam would have had most of the water released so that it could hold a large amount of rain.  

Joe (my youngest) came by today with his 2 girls.  I had given him all the ingredients for minestrone soup to take home and make, and he returned some of the soup to me today.  Yummy!

I just melted when Keira (the 3 yr old) came over to hug me and said "Grandma, I love you - you my best friend."  She and Alyssa are both so sweet and loving.  Like all the grandchildren, they walk in and say "I'm hungry", and then go to the snack cabinet.  They also know I have grapes in the fridge, and spend most of the time eating or getting hungry again.

They decided I needed some Christmas decorations.  I got out a ceramic Santa Claus, as well as a few ornaments from years ago that I don't even know why I kept.  I don't like Christmas at all yet I'm thinking I will probably break down and buy a few more decorations and, (YukYukYuk) even a small tree.  Since the grandsons from NY will be here for the season I guess it's my duty to not be a scrooge.

Joe got up on the roof and rigged the tarp around the swamp cooler.  The wind was blowing so hard I was afraid it might billow out and take him flying.  He's enough of a daredevil he would probably enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I am so embarrassed!

I didn't notice it until I went to bed last night, but I wore shoes from two different pairs all day long!  I love my Hafflingers clogs made of felt with cork soles, and have a pair in black and one in navy blue.  The navy pair have a pretty decorative edging, so while they are dark in color they still look different from the black ones.  Also, I got some paint on the black ones last year.  I didn't go out except to the grocery, but I feel that everyone must have noticed and just wrote me off as a senile old lady.

I'm back from my appointment with a doctor in the UCD Med system, this one being at a facility in Folsom.  It's wonderful to pull up to the building and park right outside the door, for free.

I underwent an endometrial biopsy, and some of you ladies will recognize that.  I think the problem they are looking at is a change in medication I went through about 15 months ago.     I went from a two brand name meds to a combination tablet that has one of the brands with the other being generic.  I never could take the generic form in the past and wouldn't have done it now except the insurance company informed me that my copay would be 85% if I continued with the brand name.  I'm going back to the old meds and just pay what I have to.

I am not ready to climb mountains, but I'm feeling so much better and more hopeful.  I'm going back to living my life!

By the way, I double checked my shoes before leaving the house today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


For those who asked, biscotti is twice baked. A cookie dough (not too sweet) is rolled or patted into a big square or rectangle and baked.  Then the baked "cookie" is sliced however you want and the smaller pieces are baked again.

I buy Nonni's almond chocolate

Here is a side view - it has chunks of almonds and a chocolate coating on one side.  It is soooo yummy, and dunked in coffee is just perfect.  I snack on them during the day even without coffee, and have to really discipline myself or I'll eat way too many, way too fast.  Costco sells them for about $10 a box, and there are 28 to a box. 

Some things never end, and once you agree to take one medical test you can be sure the doctors will figure out 10 additional tests you need.  So I'm back to the UCD Med Center in Folsom tomorrow for another one.  That's it for tests for me!

Just looking at the pictures of biscotti was too much to bear - I'm now munching on my 3rd one today, and they are 160 calories each.  Years ago I tried making them and they are pretty easy to make, by the way.

The rains are coming tomorrow and I don't look forward to a week of drippy weather.

Medical appointments & shopping

Jeannie drove me to my appointment this morning, and then we went by her medical facility on the way home so she could get her first m'gram.  She just turned 40 and was a bit apprehensive about it, but said it wasn't bad at all.

After all that we stopped by Costco.  I finally broke down and bought a toaster.  I've been doing without one for several years because I didn't want to buy anything made in China, but I just gave up - the only American made toaster available that I can find is a 1940 retro refurbished model for $150.

With the new toaster you may be able to figure out what I bought to go with it - a big box of Eggos (Costco's brand which is much cheaper and much healthier, plus tastes better.)  I had bacon, eggs, and eggos for supper this evening.  Restocked my supply of frozen fish filets, a couple bottles of wine, and a big container of biscotti which I love to have on hand when I want something sweet (and they contain 180 calories each!).  Since it was lunch time we had one of Costco's Hebrew National hot dogs to eat.  This is a day to just stray from my normally healthy diet and eat stuff I like but don't often indulge in.

The rain we had a week or so ago brought out all the weeds in the ground, so tomorrow I hope to go out and pull a bunch of them before we get another whole week of rain beginning Wednesday.

One thing that has occurred since I got sick is that my bood pressure went down so much that I am not taking anything for it at present.  I take my blood pressure every couple of days and it is staying low.  I would love to never have to go back to the meds.

I am really starting to feel so much better.  It hasn't been all that long since I slept half the day, and I rarely take a nap lately.  But I'm tired tonight so I will soon turn off the computer and hit my wonderful comfy bed. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Doing better than I thought

I made a discovery yesterday that makes all the difference in my attitude.  I have two scales - the one I have been using is a digital scale and keeps telling me I am about 109#.  I stepped on my old reliable scale with a dial yesterday morning and it told me I weighed 115.  I put the scales side by side and weighed on one and then the other.  Hell, I'm going for the tried and true old fashioned technology of the dial.

No more counting calories or trying to stuff myself  beyond my comfort level.  I will go on eating the way I always have - good fresh foods, organic fruits, vegetables, and meat, and wild caught fish.  If I want a dessert or 4 tsp of organic sugar on my oatmeal then I will have it.  My weight doesn't change who I am, and while I'd love to weigh 130, I'd setle for 120 or whatever I am right now.

Today was a stay-in-the-jammies all day long day.  I may venture to Costco tomorrow if I can get an early enough start, but I usually avoid driving on weekends, especially now that the Christmas shopping season is upon us.

Tonight is the welcome home party for my son in NY that I hate to miss, but it sure was taken out of my hands.  I'm there in spirit.

I'm working hard to try to get back to reading all the blogs in my list - if I can stay current I'll be happy.  I doubt I can ever go back to catch up on all the entries I missed the past month.

Update on taste buds:  coffee is heavenly; white wine (riesling or gewurztraminer) is heavenly; beer is getting better, although I don't have the same desire to drink it that I did before getting sick.

I'm starting to think about travel and camping once in while but I have no strong desire to do it any time soon.  When I get out my maps one of these days I'll know I'm cured!  I did get a catalog from National Geo. today that has a road atlas for sale that I think I'll get.  I wouldn't actually use it while driving as I prefer the individual state maps, but this one supposedly has the scenic routes, points of interest, National parks, etc.  It will be nice for dreaming and advance planning.  I could almost devote a small room to an office for maps!  God how I love them!


Friday, November 23, 2012

My Thanksgiving

Dona;d's Turkey cake!

Three sisters - Julie, Marty, and Amy

Sibs - Joe and Jeanie

Donald and Jeannie

Autumn, Alyssa, Arianna
Keira (Kiki) oblivious to the camera!

The meal was just like I remembered everything from childhood.  Mom's recipe for dressing plus lots of other dishes made it just perfect.  My two sisters and daughter made pies the night before, so we had pumpkin, cherry, apple and chocolate pies to choose from.

I filled my plate with a small sampling of all the foods and managed to eat everything, plus a small sliver of chocolate pie.  What a meal and what great company to share it with.  Donald's mom also joined us but missed being in the pictures.  For having had pneumonia the same time I did, she sure looks a lot better than I do!  Amy's daughter, Stephanie, also missed being in the photos.  Joe's wife Sarah was in line at ToysRUs for the Black Friday sales.  I sure hope the stores all go back to Black Friday on Friday in the future and not dig into family dinner time.  Jeannie, Donald, and Stephanie joined Sarah later in the evening, and Donald's mom took their little girls home with her.

I enjoyed a couple glasses of riesling wine, but one beer tasted just terrible so I will wait a few days before trying it again.  Who knows, I may just give it up altogether.  I normally love the taste and would really miss it.

My mother made the best pie crust ever, and I watched her enough that I've been able to come close.  My daughter is now a great pie crust maker as well, and we heard from my granddaughter Ara (in PA) that she made pies for Thanksgiving carrying on the tradition and home-made flaky pie crust.  My mom would be proud.

I had been worried I might not be able to make it for the Thanksgiving dinner, but I'm so glad I decided to go.  Jeannie picked me up and drove me to Amy's, and Joe gave me a ride home.  From now on I'm going to drive myself everywhere I want to go.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Catching up

A few weeks ago when I really started feeling bad, I noticed the two vegetable drawers in the bottom of the fridge were really looking bad - inside the drawers as well as under them.  I remember asking Jeannie to get Joe to come over and clean the drawers in case anything happened to me.  I was only half joking - I'd hate for many people to see how bad I let it get.  Joe only lives a few blocks from me so he was the one to ask.

Well, I'm still alive and kicking, so today I tackled those drawers, and now they are spotless and look really good.  I should have cleaned the entire fridge, but I don't feel THAT great!  I buy a lot of fresh vegetables and usually the drawers are full enough I don't see through to the bottom - just keep bringing new stuff home and trying to fit it into the drawers. 

Then I had to keep going and clean the kitchen floor - I moved everything out of about 1/3 of the kitchen and am writing this while waiting for it to dry so I can continue.  Then that is it for my efforts today.

I am feeling the need to get out for a while, so I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner at my youngest sister's house.  My other sister is coming up from the Bay area, so it will be nice to get together and there will no doubt be way too much food.  I hope I can sample most of it.

A number of commenters suggested I eat yogurt.  I will have to say I find the taste of ALL yogurt to be extremely vile and would rather take medicine which I can wash down with a glass of water.  I have tried it plain, flavored, with fruit, in a shake, etc., and just plain can't stand it.

As for probiotics, I think I mentioned I got some a year or so ago but they just didn't agree with me.  There are so many kinds on the shelf that I wouldn't have a clue which one to pick, and I obviously selected the wrong one for me.  I'm eating as much as I can without getting too full, and trying to keep track of the calories which is really difficult.  I can see why I've never been able to gain weight - all the things I love and eat the most aren't high in calories, with the exception of ice cream or sweets once in a while.  I just have to accept I'll probably always look like someone on a third world poster.  To me ultra skinny is ugly, ugly, ugly, and I will always wish I could be plump and curvy!  In the words of Mick Jagger, "Ya cain't always get what you want".

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Yesterday Jeannie offered to take me to Target and I jumped on the chance to get out.  We spent quite a while in Target and then stopped by Costco - didn't stay there long because by then the back of my right leg started hurting so badly that I was limping.  I'm glad to have gotten some badly needed exercise.

I felt pretty good this morning, especially knowing I was through with the antibiotic, so I started laundry.  The third load is across the street in the dryer - I think I'll stop there - I'm up to the towels and bed linens and they can wait until tomorrow or the next day.  I'm worn out!

I decided to write down everything I eat and count the calories.  As hard as I tried yesterday I only reached about 1,050 cal, and dropped to 108 this morning.  I'm going to start weighing myself just once a week so I don't get discouraged.  I sure feel better by the day although I'm  not ready for any serious exercise.

Several commenters have suggested that I take probiotics.  I tried them about a year and a half ago when I became so ill from what I thought was Valley fever.   They didn't agree with me at all and I hesitate to take them again.  I know there are so many different kinds, I should talk to someone who knows more about them such as the folks who work in the department at Sac. Food Co-op, or Whole Foods.  I'm going to try a small milkshake today but I have to be careful not to overdo anything or I will really throw my system out of whack.  I  just couldn't take anything else at this time.

When I saw my doctor last week I told her I didn't mean to be such a difficult patient.  She said "you aren't difficult, just pleasantly obstinate".   Before I knew it she dropped an order into my hand to get a pelvic scan.  That's the one where you have to drink water until your bladder is bursting, and then they do the scan.  After my experience in the hospital, I know it isn't my fault if I pee on the floor!  The worst part is having to drive to UCD Med Center and park in that awful, dark garage.  I'm determined to do it though - I need to get control back over my life.

Thanks again for all the supportive comments.  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A tiring day

Jeannie picked me up at 8 am this morning and we made the trip downtown to my doctor.  I had bloodworm done plus X-rays.  I still have a small amount of fluid in my lungs, but I'm improving little by little.  I asked how long it would be before I felt good again, and was told it would be about a month.  At least I won't expect miracles in the meantime.  I'm doing a little better each day so I can deal with it.

Jeannie had her own crisis this morning but I didn't learn of it until we left the doctor's office.  She woke up in the early hours with blood sugars skyrocketing.  Normally she can adjust high sugars with insulin but it didn't work this time.  We went straight from my appointment to a clinic in Folsom where she was checked out.  They also offered to do a chest xray as she had been congested, and I told her I thought she should get it.  At least they will have a baseline in case she develops something further.  The sugar levels came down on their own, but then when she spoke with her diabetes doctor learned she should have gone to the emergency room.  How bizarre that we both could have died during the period of a week.  She uses an insulin pump and has to periodically change the port site, and no doubt had scar tissue built up that caused an issue with the normal insulin delivery.

Everyone has been bringing me food today, so I will be able to eat without the trouble of having to cook for a few days.  I will be so glad to take the last of the antibiotic pills tomorrow.  They work but have many side effects, such as sore muscles, nausea, and a lot more.

Starting tomorrow I am going to feel great!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I thought I would write a quick entry while I'm waiting for my baked potato to come out of the oven.  This morning I was down to 111#, and I will soon start to get pretty nervous about that.  I'm about 5'5" (having lost about an inch over the past few years); in 2000 I weighed about 137/8 pounds and looked and felt better than I have since.  I went back to smoking for one, then had to have a stent to unblock an artery (2004), and I've never been able to gain back the weight nor have I felt really great since that time.

TV is soooo boring I can't believe I'm watching it for a few hours every day.  Usually in the mornings I watch Animal Cops Houston, but this morning it was Animal Cops Philadelphia.  Mostly abused dogs are the cases, but every now and then a different animal comes to their attention.  This morning I saw a gorgeous German Shepherd and it makes me want either a male lab or shepherd - but not an alpha male.  I know there is no way I would be able to even entertain the thought right now, but if I ever get back to "normal" I'll get another dog.

The worst thing about TV is the commercials.  Never before have I seen so many that feature smart-mouth kids having to explain things to their stupid parents, and the parents are always featured as being in awe of this smart kid.  That really teaches respect for their elders, doesn't it.

Another thing that drives me crazy and sends me thrashing the mute button is all the talking toys.  I know they've been around for a while, but what is wrong with a kid using his or her imagination rather than have a stupid looking toy animal talking to you.  There is even a book that you supposedly can read to your kids that responds with a bark when you read the animal's name.  I always had to do the sound effects myself when reading to my kids - Bark, bark!  Moo, moo!

Can you tell I've had just about enough of sitting around like this?  At least I will see my doctor tomorrow morning and can hopefully get a prognosis on how long it's going to take.

A commenter suggested a product called Ensure for weight gain.  When my ex was dying from cancer the hospice nurse recommended he drink the stuff.  He said "Hell no, that's for old people."   I sort of feel the same way although I know it's not exactly accurate.  I think Ensure used to be advertised for very old people with no teeth, and I guess I can't get around that although I've probably reached that age myself!

Son Joe stopped by this morning and brought me a new eyeglass holder.  He knew my old one had broken and I'm thrilled to have another one as I still seem to be misplacing my glasses whenever I take them off.  He told me that he has been one of 4 respiratory therapy students to be given a chance to do clinical at UC Davis Med Center.  He's currently doing clinical at Mercy General (the main hospital for the satellite hospital I was recently in).  UCD is be an golden opportunity to work and learn with the best in the field, and will certainly look good on his resume.

I can smell the baking potato from where my computer is at the other end of the house, so I will go get ready for my lunch - going to top it with lots of butter & shredded cheese, although I may leave off the bacon & sour cream until I'm sure I can deal with it.

I'm trying my best to catch up on blog reading, but have to get back to my recliner or the couch periodically.  I am also not proofreading my posts before I hit Publish, and apologize for errors.  I normally re-check it at least a couple of times, but just don't have the energy right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knock me over with a feather!

That's what you could have done when I stepped on the scale this morning and it registered 113#.  The last time I weighed 113 was probably when I was 11 or 12.  I's going to be long haul to get my appetite back, but I'm not going to rush it.  Donald brought me 8 cupcakes this morning, and is bringing me shrimp for dinner this evening, but I can still only eat a small amount of food at a time.

I stepped out to get the mail this afternoon and was surprised at how warm it was outside. I think tomorrow will be the same, but then 3 days of rain and 60 degree weather.  I shouldn't complain except that I will soon have to be out pulling up grass and weeds.

Thanks again for all the comments and good wishes for my recovery.  I still have my sometimes-warped sense of humor, so I know I'm going to make it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Something going around

My daughter told me that yesterday her mother-in-law, who has been congested and coughing a lot, drove herself to the hospital where I was treated for pneumonia.  She went to the emergency room and they determined that she also had pneumonia.  After X-rays, a breathing treatment, and many other tests they sent her home with antibiotics.  How amazing is that?   I sure hope she can recover quickly.   When Donald found out she wanted to go to the same hospital where I was seen, he wanted to take her himself but she said she was already in her car and on the way.   Us independent old gals like to take care of ourselves - she is younger than I am so maybe I shouldn't include her in "old gals".  

Since I don't feel like doing much else I have been in my recliner and watched more TV in the past few days than I probably had in the past few years.   Animal Cops Houston is one of my favorites, as I like the fact that they deal with so many different types of animals - domestic pets, farm animals, exotics, etc.   I just can't fathom those who are cruel to animals.

The commercials drive me crazy and usually have me hitting the "mute" button, but one that I just love is the Aflac commercial.  I never tire of watching it and the use of animals  (actually, birds) is brilliant.

The worst right now is lack of energy and some breathlessness, but the thing I hate most is trying to sleep at night.   I wonder sometimes if coughing can cause damage, but I think I will just have to put up with it for a while.

Jeannie & Donald want to have the family over for a dinner to celebrate my birthday, but I said they should wait and see how I'm doing by the weekend.  Right now I don't have enough of an appetite to do justice to Donald's condition.  Plus, the more time I spend getting back to normal the quicker I will feel confident being around the kids again.   I know this isn't contagious, but I'd rather be cautious.  I did ask her to get him to make me about 6 chocolate cupcakes with white cream cheese frosting.  Anything more than 6 would be just too much for me now, but I crave something sweet now and then.   

I can't believe how quickly time flies especially since I am doing absolutely nothing.  I can't wait to feel better.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Still hangin' in there

I'm not coughing as much as I was, except at night.  I find it so difficult to get decent sleep because of the coughing, plus the heater cycling on and off.  I need to set the thermostat back - the only time I really need it is in the morning.  Other times I wrap up in a fleecy throw.

My appetite is a little better, although I still can't eat much, and the shortness of breath really bothers me.  I hope I can get up the energy to vacuum today.  The dust and even clumps of dog hair are driving me crazy.  It seems like the dog hair will be around forever.

I have started trying to read the blogs again but it's difficult to focus after a couple at a time.  I doubt I will ever be able to catch up with past blogs I've missed.  I certainly appreciate all the lovely comments I've received.  I am so fortunate for my family - Steve brought me home from the hospital, after several delays.  His car broke down about 5 minutes from the hospital, and he had to call Joe to come over and pick him up to take him back to my house so he could get my car.  I told him to just keep my car because I can do without it for a while.  Good thing, because I might get so bored I would just get in the car to catch a bit of excitement being out in the traffic again.  I should explain that Joe had his two little girls with him and since they have been sick off and on, didn't want to expose them to anything I might still have.

I asked the doctor about being contagious and he said "No".   I still want to avoid the grandkids for a while though, for their sakes as well as mine.  My immunity is sure to be at a low level.

I also asked the doc about alcohol use while taking the antibiotic.  He gave me a long dissertation about how alcohol affects the liver, etc., and then said, "Go home and have a glass of wine."  I did and nearly gagged.  What is usually delicious to me tasted awful. I haven't had a beer in several weeks but think I'll wait until the antibiotics are gone - hopefully it will taste ok by then.  I don't even enjoy my coffee.

This is about as long as I can sit at the computer, so I'll say bye for now.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A quick note

I came home today, still feeling like crap, but home is home and I hope to finally get a bit of sleep tonight, if not all that much rest.

Being in a hospital on a machine that holds bags of various meds and fluids is really hard to deal with.  I had needles in so many places in both arms that I look dreadful until all those bruises go away.

I was standing yesterday, trying to unwrap all the lines and cords so I could walk with that contraption to the bathroom.  I spend a lot of time in coughing spasms (still), and as all the ladies will know that severe coughing causes a loss of bladder control.  There I am, trying to stop coughing and to get to the point where I can walk into the bathroom before having a serious accident.  Too late, I peed on the floor!


I'm too tired to hold my head up for much longer, so I'll be back in a day or so.  I am overwhelmed by all the beautiful wishes for my recovery, and I thank you all.  I also thank my children and their spouses for taking such great care of me.  And we didn't get rowdy enough to get evicted from the hospital when they all came to visit me the first night.  Of course I wasn't being very rowdy, myself.

Friday, November 9, 2012


This is Gypsy's daughter, Jeannie.  She wanted me to post a note to let everyone know what's going on with her.  She is currently in the hospital, but fortunately, on her road to recovery.  We went to see her regular doctor on Wednesday, and she was diagnosed with severe bronchitis, and sent home with antibiotics. She had a chest x-ray done, and they said they would call with the results.  On Thursday, we received a call that the x-ray showed the beginning stages of pneumonia. By then, she was feeling much worse, and her cough was horrible.  I took her to the emergency room, where they did a series of tests and informed us that in addition to the bronchitis, she had pneumonia in both lungs, a urinary tract infection, was severely dehydrated, and was also suffering from sepsis, a life threatening condition, where the entire body has a severe reaction to bacteria.  They said we got there just in time and that if it had been any later, all of her organs would have started to shut down very soon and very quickly.  They immediately put her on IV antibiotics and fluids, and fortunately, she started to improve significantly.  After about 4 hours, they retested her blood, and it showed that her lactic acid level had dropped to below the threshhold for sepsis.  She continues to improve, and no longer has to worry about sepsis...a huge relief!  They have her doing breathing treatments, which is also helping with the pneumonia.  Today, the doctor said that she is recovering remarkably, and he may change her to oral antibiotics on Saturday, and she will likely be released on Sunday. Our family feels so blessed that she is recovering so quickly and is going to be ok.  She is so dear to us, and we are happy that she will be around to celebrate another birthday next week!! It may be a few days before she feels up to blogging again, but she did want to let all of her blogging friends know why she hasn't had any posts recently. Please keep her in your thoughts. I know she really appreciates all of the support, friendship, and encouragement she receives from the blogging community.  Thank you.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Two steps forward, three back

Every time I think I'm getting better I get punched again.  I know I will recover, but I'm not sure I'll be doing any traveling soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the mend

I have pampered myself today and spent most of the day in my recliner watching the Weather Channel.  I received a call from the Urgent Care Center this afternoon checking to see how I was doing, and to tell me my xrays were ok.

Yesterday my d-i-l Megan sent over some home made chicken noddle soup, which is the best medicine ever.  I immediately felt b etter after the first bowl - had some last night and the rest at lunch today.  I think I'll live.

I will probably leave for NY a day or two later than I had planned, and depending on how things go and how I feel, I may skip the visits along the way.  Maybe coming back.

That's about all I have to write about today.  I can't even put into words what I feel about the tragedy on the east coast and into the midwest and now, Canada.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update to today's (Tue) post

I stopped by the Urgent Care Center this afternoon and saw a doctor.  He said at this point I didn't have bronchitis or pneumonia, and recommended rest and drinking lots of fluids.  He also ordered chest X-rays and after looking at them he decided to send them out to be analyzed more thoroughly.  

I started out with a scratchy sore throat last week as well as a slight cough, and that wouldn't have had anything to do with the roof.  All my grandchildren have been passing something around to each other - all it takes is for one of them to attend kindergarten or pre-school - and I probably caught what I have from them.

I haven't decided to fly to NY, but will look into the schedules.  I absolutely won't go near any of the large airports including JFK or LaGuardia, but might consider Stewart or White Plains.  Probably not.  I want to drive this time because I have my heart set on visiting two of my elderly aunts in Kentucky, and it's this trip or never.  I'm hoping I'll feel better in a week and can look forward to the trip.

As far as the weather conditions in the east right now, I would hope things have cleared up by the time I would get there.  Downed trees would pose a big problem, but by the time I get there they should be cleared away and the power back on.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog today.

Roof repairs

I thought I'd write a short post today to let you know I'm still here, but barely.  I don't know what it is, but I have been feeling terrible!  Steve was here on the weekend and power washed and scraped the roof, and then rolled on the coating and caulked seams, vents, etc.  We're expecting showers tomorrow so I will find out how well it will hold.  

My muscles ache so that I can barely move and I guess I can attribute it to bending over to pick up all the pieces of roof, and to get everything into trash bags.  I have developed a really deep cough and it feels like it could turn into bronchitis.  I don't know if I could drive downtown to where my doctor's office is, and i'm thinking of going to an urgent care facility closer to home.

Last night I was watching the Weather Channel and started feeling pretty bad.  I took my blood pressure and found it pretty high, considering I take bp medicine.  I rested a few minutes and took it again, and found it higher so I took another dose of bp meds.

I was feeling bad enough that I got together all my medical insurance cards, drivers license, stent implant card, etc., plus wrote a list of emergency numbers, the meds I take, etc.  I left the front door unlocked, and of course I have a phone beside the bed.  I took a benadryl tablet and some cough syrup with codeine, and got a wonderful night's sleep, although I don't feel all that great as the morning goes on.

I'm planning to leave on my trip in one week, and honestly don't know how I will make it if I don't start to improve.

I hope everyone in the east survived Sandy without too much damage.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back on Freedom's Soil!

I got a call at 6:00 am this morning from my son, who had arrived in Bangor, Maine.    He wasn't there long before flying to Texas for about a week debriefing and then will be coming home to New York.  I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from my heart.

I'm walking with Jeannie this evening and afterwards will have dinner at her house.  My leg muscles are still sore, but skipping the walk yesterday helped to heal them.  Actually, doing nothing but lying around on the couch did more to heal them than anything.

Steve will be over early in the morning to start on power washing and coating the roof.  I wonder if I dare get up there to help.  I will feel a lot better leaving the house for the next month or so if the roof is taken care of.  Sacramento is likely to get rain while I'm gone.

Speaking of rain, I hope all those living along the eastern U.S. have taken precautions for the damage that is likely to occur from Hurricane Sandy's arrival.  Fortunately my son had a very large generator installed after a couple of lengthy power outages.  It cycles on once a week to test it, and always caught me off guard when it came on.

Another weekend coming up - it won't be long before I'm pulling out and starting my trek across the country.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Get a move on!

That's what I keep telling myself.  I plan to leave in about 10-12 days from now, and will just get there the easiest way possible, hopefully not over I-80.  I had vowed I would never again drive through Bakersfield or Barstow, but I may do it after all and take I-40 part of the way, at least to Memphis.  I just can't get myself to pack anything yet.

I went walking at Mather Field yesterday when Jeannie got off work.  We walked about an hour at what was a good clip for me - probably 3 mph.  I finally sat down on a bench after about 45 minutes and Jeannie walked on until the hour was up.  She really picked up the pace after I stopped - that girl can move!  She looks beautiful when she walks, and you can just see the energy emanating from her.

I'm making berry muffins for my breakfast this morning but read the instructions wrong and added about 1/4 cup more milk than was called for.  I may be eating them with a spoon, but I'll eat them.

I got my hair trimmed yesterday and it sure looked good.  Not much taken off, but just shaped up a bit.  

I'm back home after walking with Jeannie again tonight.  I was able to walk about 47 minutes before crapping out this evening.  I think I kept up the pace pretty well, but my legs were still feeling last night's walk.  

I'm getting a late supper, so I will just publish this and go eat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weird weather

While Sacramento was inundated with rain overnight and most of today, the Sierras are getting snowed in.   But the most surprising is that tornados have touched down in Yuba City,  about 50 miles north.  Then I heard on the weather channel that a possible tornado touched down in Elk Grove, just south of Sacramento.   I always thought I just had to worry about floods and earthquakes in California, but never tornados.   At least when I lived in country subject to tornados we had a basement!

I tried to start reading what I thought would be the last of the Nevada Barr books, I had to close it up and will return it to the library.   I have just had enough of the violence in her books .   I guess I need something light right now although I have really enjoyed reading her books - even though the action gets quite tense and over the top. 

I did a lot of laundry today and think I will start to separate some of the clothes I will take on my trip.  I had to dry everything in the dryer whereas I usually run it for 10 minutes and then hang the clothes on the line.  It had quit raining but the skies could have opened up at any time.

I will think about something to replace the rosebush when I get back from NY.   I might just plant something native to this area in a pot that I can move around if I want to, or I could get really silly and buy a couple of garden gnomes!

I hear rain hitting the roof again and wish it would just stay dry tonight.  I don't mind hearing rain on a shingle roof, but I hate the sound of it hitting this one and it doesn't help my sleep any, which is not good to begin with.  I wonder why I'm so tired in the daytime but having to get up every 1 to 2 hours during the night doesn't make for a good restful night. 

I'm trying to find a good photo of Lady so that I can make a nice collage with the snip of fur and paw print the vet sent to me.  I think I have other photos of her when she was much younger, but would have to look at all my flash drives to try to find them.  Any suggestions as to which of these two photos to use?  Would a younger one be better?  Thanks for any help you can give me.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walking again

Jeanne came over this evening and we went walking on the bike trail starting from behind my house, and all the way to Fair Oaks which is the village of my former apartment.   It was a nice walk and on part of it we saw wild turkeys as well as deer.  Jeannie emailed me a picture of the cake Donald made for the soccer party.

The team's name is "Flash Dash",  and Autumn wanted the letters saying "Super Awesome Job!" on the cake.

I will probably be stiff and sore tomorrow from the walk, but I know I need to do it more often.  We plan to meet on Tuesday evening when Jeannie gets off work and will walk at Mather Field

Steve brought Liam over this morning and dug out the world's ugliest rosebush.  Now I need to put something in its place, maybe in a large pot that will be easier to take care of.  The big trouble is that I don't water anything but I guess I'll have to change that in the future when I'm in the area.

It has gotten cold enough that I've shut my windows and am still shivering, so I got the little electric heater going.  Steve is going to pick up the materials at Home Depot for coating the roof and covering the swamp cooler, and then I will have him light the pilot light on the heater before I leave for NY.  I figure I'll set it on 50 or 55, which should protect pipes in the event of a real cold spell.

Enough for this evening - I'm heading off to sit in front of the little heater.