Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

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.