Latest Post - This Week
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I woke up at 5:00 a.m. Too early! That's what I get for going to bed so early.
recorded some movies and TV shows to DVD for a friend of mine, including "Westworld!"
I took a short nap, and then the Texarkana Surgery Center called me to say that they were pushing my injection time back to 12:15. I wasn't happy about that. I tried to reschedule it, but none of their dates corresponded to the dates David gave me (where he could take off work), so I just said, let's do the 12:15. I was very worried about having no food or drink after midnight. I tried to argue with them about that, but they wouldn't budge. From what I read online, most anesthesiologists and surgeons don't do the NPO any more (it's Latin for nothing by mouth). That was the way they did it since the 1950's, back when they used ether, which made a lot of people sick. Now they mostly say, no food up to 6 or 8 hours before the surgery, and you can have food or clear liquids 2-4 hours before. I guess that idea hasn't reached our area yet!
It rained in the afternoon, but not for long. It stopped before we left!
I managed to get everything done at home that I wanted to do. David came home around 5:30, and we packed the car up and drove to Texarkana. We stayed at the same motel as we did a few weeks ago, The Magnusson. It's very cheap. This time I thought it was a little more rundown than last time. I found red spots (possibly dried blood) on one pillowcase and all over the bath towel. That was kinda gross.
We had dinner, as usual, at the nearby Hooter's. I usually love their shrimp and spinach salad, but they drowned it in dressing, so it wasn't as good as usual. We stopped at Burger King again, so I could get a large soda, and then we also stopped at the little gas station store. I got some Doritos and some peanut M&Ms. I wanted to make sure that I had enough sugar before I went to bed, so that I wouldn't have low blood sugar tomorrow. I only ate the M&M's. I really wasn't in the mood for the Doritos. Plus, they were the spicy kind, not the original ones. I grabbed the wrong bag. I'm too much of a wimp to eat anything that spicy.
I drank all my soda and tons of water before midnight. I must confess that I still drank some water after that. I tried not to drink too much. I was super thirsty. I really didn't think a little water would hurt. I did work on my site, and I was surprised that I was able to stay up late. I've been getting up so early lately. I guess I was too nervous about the injection. I stayed up until about 2.
I woke up around 9:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. I did more work on my site, email, etc. We took showers, got ready, and packed. David didn't want to stop for lunch after the procedure because he had to get back to work, so I wanted to put in an order ahead of time at Denny's that we could just pick up afterwards. They said it was better to call because they would forget to put in the order. Typical.
We went over to the Surgery Center. I filled out a bunch of paperwork. I was really tired, hungry, and thirsty, and feeling very nervous. My stomach was a little bit upset, too (probably just nerves, but also, I tend to get nauseous when my stomach is empty). There were many pages of forms to fill out. The woman behind the reception desk was very busy but efficient. She had to answer the phone many times. I also paid the $50 for the procedure (whatever the insurance didn't pay, I guess). I wrote down for David what food I wanted from Denny's, so he could call it in for me later, when it was time to leave.
David went out to get some fast food, saying he'd be back by noon. When I took the papers back to the woman, she said that he had to be in the building or they wouldn't admit me. So I phoned him to come back ASAP. I thought he would get to stay with me during the procedure, but first they left him out in the waiting room while they checked me in. She weighed me (I lost a pound, yippee!) and had me change into a dressing gown. She was a very nice older woman. I got to keep my pants on, but she said to take off my top and shoes, and she recommended taking off my bra because they might get soap on it. She gave me some mustard-colored socks to put on. They have treads on the bottom so your feet don't slide around. Then I put all my stuff into a locker. She helped me tie the back of my gown because I couldn't reach it. Not the way my neck was hurting!
She brought me to a "Pre-Op" room and put me in a bed on a wheels. The kind they use to wheel you into surgery. She put an IV into the back of my right hand, which hurt for quite a while. They put a very warm, heavy blanket on top of me, too (which was good because it was freezing in there), and propped me up. They gave me extra pillows for my neck, but it still hurt a lot.
Then they brought David back in. All of this prep was making both David and me very nervous. It seemed like they were prepping me for surgery, not just giving me a shot! But they are a surgery center, so I guess they do everything a certain way. The anesthesiology doctor, Dr. Aquino, came in and explained everything, and he answered our questions. He did a good job, even if he was a bit distracted by his cell phone. Hey, put the darn phone down and tend to your patient! He explained what was going on with my spine and what he would do to fix it. He said the actual procedure would only take about 5 minutes, which was surprising because I was told a half an hour! He said I would have to come back for two more injections for it to work well; sometime in the next 2-4 weeks for the first one, and then 2-4 more weeks for the third one. I had also been told that David could go in there with me, but they wouldn't allow it.
David took my glasses, and my other stuff, and they wheeled me into the
They also gave me an injection on the area to numb it, but I didn't feel it. Then they did the main injection. I slept through the whole thing. They woke me up at some point when he said, "That's it! We're done!" and they took all of the things off me, tied up my gown, and had me get off the table and walk back into the room to change back into my clothes. I was very wobbly and almost fell over putting my pants back on. I was so very out of it. Then I walked back to where David was waiting. I took the water from him and drank a lot of it. I only have a vague memory of all this. He drove me over to the Denny's, where he had called in my order, and he gallantly went in to get it. Good thing because I was not very conscious yet. They let me keep the socks with the treads on them!
It was pouring rain. I only know that because I posted a video of it on Instagram. I have no memory of it! I told you those were good drugs!
I got the same food as the last time we were there, a few weeks ago: A bacon cheeseburger with carmelized onions on a gluten free English muffin, and a fruit cup, and a diet coke. I ate the fruit cup but decided to wait on the rest. Eventually, I realized I was more hungry and ate the burger. It was delicious!
After we got home, David took off for work. I tried to take a nap, but I wasn't that tired. I was feeling very good, with no pain in my neck for a change. I just had a slight stiffness, but I don't think I've felt this good for about 20 years. Not since Tuscaloosa, at least. Yay! So it was not as bad as I'd feared, and it did help the pain. That's great!
I had some chocolate with my soda when I got home, to celebrate, and I watched some TV. I wanted to do some cooking, but when I went to do that, I realized I was a little more tired than I thought.
Later, I did make a really fantastic grilled ham and cheese sandwich with mustard, mayo, two types of cheese, and some carmelized onions. It was one of the best sandwiches I ever made. Not very healthy eating today, but I was celebrating!
I also made a great smoothie with watermelon, lemon juice, some strawberries, Splenda, ice, cinnamon and ginger. It was delicious. The watermelon was leftover and wasn't really great for eating, but it worked well in the smoothie.
I starting watching another movie, "Kingsmen: The Secret Service" on my computer, but I wanted to finish the blogs. I have the sequel on my DVR. I couldn't find the original anywhere else except for pay services like Amazon, so that's why I had to watch it on my computer. I like it so far. What a great cast. I loved seeing Mark Hamil and Samuel L. Jackson. Of course Colin Firth is always fantastic! I didn't love the excessive violence, but that's pretty standard nowadays for action films. I didn't bother to watch the sequel. I didn't like the movie enough to watch the sequel.
It was nice to come home to a fairly clean, tidied-up house, and no dog to worry about. It was a very nice, peaceful day. I'll probably go to bed soon, before midnight. David will bring Brandy home. I will do some more dishes and laundry if I have the energy. I'm just in such a good mood now from having this all done with and being free of pain. Yippeee
I was tired and went to bed about 11.
I woke up around 6:30am, despite going to bed late!
I worked on my site a little. Marcos sent me the info for the new Wordpress site, so, yay!! Very happy about that. I will start working on that later today.
I made bacon, eggs and toast, but I really couldn't eat more than half. I hope that doesn't mean my stomach is telling me that I'm going to get sick later on from gluten I had somewhere, either at Hooter's or Denny's.... I did have the rest of my watermelon smoothie after that.
Later, I cleaned up the kitchen, did the dishes and cooked up the rest of the bacon. It's so much easier if I cook it up ahead of time and then just reheat it when needed. Even if it does make the kitchen smell like bacon for a couple of days! I also started the laundry, and I'm washing our sheets, pillowcases and blanket.
It rained a bit in the afternoon. We're having a drought here in Arkansas. The lawns are still green, though. We don't usually water it. Some of our neighbors do water their lawns....I'm not sure why you would bother when it does rain enough here to keep it green. Even with the drought!
I got this weird email. Watch for this scam! Of course if you don't watch porn, it's pretty laughable. I don't understand why anyone would fall for this, at least without demanding they send a copy of the video as proof. Oh, well.
We have a big trip coming up. David has some business meetings in Hot Springs and Fayetteville, and then we're flying to Burlington, VT for our anniversary. It may seem like a strange place to go, but remember, we have to get every state. This will be a good one for me because Vermont is one of the few states I haven't been to. We would have preferred to go somewhere with baseball, but he waited too long to look into it, and the airline prices are really high for flying to most places now. Also, he has limited time because of work.
7/25 we're driving to Hot Springs, and he has a meeting there. We'll spend the night...probably go to the casino or do some karaoke if I can find a nearby place. Then 7/26 we'll drive to Fayetteville, which we've never been to before. It's up near the border. Originally we had thought about going over to Missouri, but he wants to save that for a future trip in case we need to make a quick trip for some reason. Or sometime when we can fly to St. Louis for baseball. So we'll spend the night there, and he has a morning meeting. Then we'll drive back to Little Rock. I say "back" because Hot Springs is somewhat close to Little Rock. Let's put it this way, it's a lot closer to Little Rock than to either Magnolia or Fayetteville! We're down in the southern part of Arkansas and Fayetteville is way up in the northern part. It's a 5 hour drive to Fayetteville from here, about 262 miles. It's 2 hours to Hot Springs from here, about 115 miles. It's another 3 1/2 hours from Hot Springs to Fayetteville, 189 miles. So going to Hot Springs first will break up the trip a bit, even if it is slightly out of the way. It's only another hour from Hot Springs to Little Rock. Driving from Fayetteville to Little Rock is almost 3 hours.
So, anyway, 7/27 we'll drive to Little Rock and spend the night. Then we fly out from there to Burlington. Then fly back to Little Rock 7/31 and drive home 8/1. A whole week! That'll be nice. I looked up Burlington, and it's not a huge city, but it looks like there's quite a few things to do. I already found a Chinese restaurant that has many GF menu items, so that's great! Sounds like it's not too expensive to take a bus over to Montreal, either. They have a great GF restaurant there called Zero Eight. It has none of the top 8 allergens. They have very good burgers, pasta and other things. I would so love to go back there.
I had a lot of energy today. I cut up a whole watermelon, too.
David brought Brandy home from the vet's. We had her there while we were out of town. She had a bath and smells nice! She seems back to her old self. They didn't find anything in the X-ray.
It's always nice to have a little time away from her, but it's also nice to have her home. Don't get me wrong, I love having her around, but dogs are a lot of work.
First there's just the usual dog responsibilities of having to feed her (plus make sure to always have her food, treats and toys) and make sure she has water, and let her out when she needs it, and walk her, and cleaning up after her. The usual cleanup is just dog hair, picking up her toys and moving the rugs when she messes them up. Not to even mention if she throws up or has an accident. And the dog poop in the backyard (but I pay someone to pick that up when they mow/weed the yard). Also, you have to always keep the toilet lids down and make sure not to drop any chocolate, raisins or other foods hazardous to dogs on the floor. Oh, and sometimes dogs bark for no apparent reason. They hear something outside, or they go chase something outside....she's not a huge barker, but she still does it, and often it's at night when David's trying to sleep. Fortunately, she doesn't do it when she's in our bedroom and we're both sleeping. You can't train that out of them because it's a protective instinct. If she does it more than once when she's in the house, I usually yell at her and spray her with water, so she stops. Lastly, of course you also have to train them, spend time with them, and play with them.
Then we have these gates that we have to put up to keep her out of certain rooms or from chewing on stuff. I can't go to the main bathroom, or our bedroom, or into the dining room to change the thermostat, without having to move a gate, which is a hassle. Sometimes they don't stay up very well. I try to step over them, sometimes, but that's hard on my legs, plus I sometimes knock them over. We have them in the sunroom against the furniture in there so she doesn't chew on it. I also have one that I sometimes use to keep her out of the kitchen and laundry room, but sometimes I'll let her in there.
Then if we go out to the store or dinner, we have to move the gates into the bedroom and put them up all over around the furniture so she doesn't chew on those while we're gone. We keep her in there - it's like her crate. She won't go to the bathroom in our bedroom, but she WILL chew on things. Or at least, she has in the past. Then when we get home, I have to move them all back again.
Because she likes to chew so much, I have to put the wastepaper baskets up on the couch, chair or bed so she won't get into them. We have to make sure not to drop any paper, cloth or plastic on the floor, or she will chew it up. The floor is fair game, to her. Sometimes parts of the couch, too. It's not a huge deal, just added hassle.
I also try to keep a bit of an eye on her, in case she decides to get in trouble, like chewing on the rugs or something.
Then she also begs and whines a lot. If we have any food or drink, she begs a lot, whether you give her any or not. If I go out of the room and she can't follow, she will sit there and whine -- that means if I go to the bathroom, or to the bedroom, or outside, for any reason. She whines a bit when David leaves, too, but I guess she's more used to him leaving, plus I'm really her person, so she whines more if I leave (lucky me!). I used to take her to the bathroom with me, but she's just too annoying. She insists on coming in and getting into the trash, chewing on the rug, etc.
She doesn't sleep with us because he doesn't want her to, so at night we have to tether her to the treadmill. Otherwise she would jump in the bed and might chew things. Well, after he gets up, she knows that I don't mind her being in the bed, so she whines until I wake up and let her on the bed!
She's sometimes in an annoying crazy dog mood, as I've mentioned before, where she runs all around the house and messes up the rugs. She gets very hyper. Lately I've been putting her outside when she does that, or tethering her to the couch, which calms her down. If I ever get around to actually training her more, then I can train her out of that.
When I walk her, she often pulls on the leash and is sometimes very hard to control, especially if she sees other people close by, or birds, or other animals, or even cars.
Or we'll be sitting here, reading or watching TV, or on our devices, and she decides she wants attention, so she can be very annoying. She will sometimes nibble on my feet or try to climb into my lap. Cute, but annoying! But mostly, she's worth all of the extra effort. And part of this is my fault because I still haven't trained her out of some of these behaviors.
Anyway, I made David lunch and then he went back to work. Then I realized that the vet place had kept her collar. They take it off when she has a bath. David should have realized, but he didn't. So now I have to walk her with a leash that's not as good, the kind that loops around her neck rather than the kind that attaches to her collar. Fortunately, she pulls on the leash so much, it stays tight around her neck, so she's less likely to slip the leash or chew on it.
One of my site volunteers, Brenda, called me as we had planned....I knew she was calling, but I got so involved in other stuff, that I forgot it was that time. We had a good chat. Hopefully she can do what we were discussing and do it well. She used to work for me a lot, and then had to quit due to work, and life. Now she's back at helping me.
I'm speaking with her on the phone, several times this week, about what she's doing. We discuss it and I sort of walk her through it, and then she does part of it. She's doing fine.
I spent most of the day working on getting one of my older blogs ready for public consumption as well as doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and doing dishes. I also made some more sugar free vanilla ice cream, and I also made some chocolate sauce from a recipe a friend gave me.
Lately I've been into ham and cheese sandwiches....which are not terribly healthy for me, but they're great. We were watching some on the Food Network the other day, and they kept telling us where each type of pork comes from. Ham comes from the rear leg of the pig.
David wanted to go to the Mexican restaurant Antigua's for dinner, so I went with him and just had a few chips.
It was very humid when Brandy and I went for our walk. I had bought this dog harness a few months ago but couldn't get it to work right, and it's hard to adjust the size, since Brandy is so squirmy. I found the directions, so it suggested giving the dog treats to distract her. That helped a lot, and I finally got the harness on her. It has a loop in the front that you attach the leash to, so she literally can't pull much. This was the best walk we ever had! Usually she's pulling me along. This time I had to actually walk on my own! LOL! No, seriously, it was great. I'm using this from now on.
I started working on my new Wordpress site. I spent hours on it. It's very confusing to me, not WYSIWYG at all, IMHO. I picked a theme I like because it's very blue, but the layout is not ideal. It's OK, but I can't get the logo at the top to show up the way I want it to. I don't want to take a whole online course or anything. I just need a little specific help! I looked around at a lot of websites and some videos, but none were helpful so far. I have some friends who might help. I'm calling one of them tomorrow afternoon. I hate having the loss of control over the design of my site, but I guess it can't entirely be helped. Another thing I wanted to do was put up links to our social media pages, with little icons, but I found that confusing, too. They have all these plugins that you can use for stuff, but until you activate them, you don't know how they really work, and then there's a whole bunch more learning to do. I don't want to learn! I hate learning new software. I don't have time for all this crap. Don't mind me, I'm just very frustrated right now.
I stayed up until about 3:30 am. I tried to get Brandy to wear the harness again, so I could tether her as usual, but she wasn't having it. She would have chewed that right off her. So instead I just used the nylon leash and hoped that she wouldn't wriggle out of it. Fortunately, it worked.
I woke up about 3 hours later with some acid reflux and terrible congestion. It was horrible, I was choking a bit on all this fluid. I think it was allergy-related. I was able to go back to sleep. David also woke up around that time, so I had Brandy in the bed with me, and she was a good dog.
I thought I might sleep late, but I woke up a little about 8am, so I got ready to take Brandy on her morning walk. But then I was very sick from something I ate. Probably Denny's. It occurred to me that while I told David what to order for me, I forgot to ask him to tell them to make sure it was all GF. He's not used to ordering for me. I've had that exact same food before, and none of it SHOULD have gluten in it because it's listed on their menu as being GF. However, cross-contamination is always possible, especially if you don't ask them to be careful. So of course...they didn't, and that's why I'm so sick today.
After that, we had our walk, and it was fine again with that new harness leash. I think she's getting used to it now. I hope! We went out a little later than usual, so it was kind of hot, but not too bad.
We're going out to lunch at Flying Burger and then run some errands. Hopefully I won't be sick any more!
David came home around 12:30, and we went to Flying Burger. I was starving, and it was very good. Then we picked up the dog's collar at the vet and picked up my prescriptions at the pharmacy, and we got some groceries at Brookshire's.
After we got home, I was sick some more. UGH. I hope that's all I have for a while because it's been miserable today. I took a little nap after that.
The couple that does our lawn says they can't come today but will come tomorrow. Their lawn mower isn't working. I hope they can get it working! I called Mary next door to see if they could maybe borrow theirs, and she says her husband fixes lawn mowers. So we'll see how that goes.
Thankfully, Mary was able to find another person to fix her computer! Last week she was having problems, and I tried to help, but I couldn't.
This guy Phill was supposed to help me with WordPress, but I called him and there was no answer. Hopefully we can meet up at some point. I discovered that my new site's logo looks great on my phone, just not on the laptop. There must be some way to fix that! He said later that he was very sick. It's OK, I got other help.
I found a Facebook group for Wordpress help, too, so maybe they can help me figure it out. It's a bit maddening. That's just one thing I need help with, and there are about 10 more after that.
My spine was hurting a little bit at lunch, but it's OK now. I took an Aleve. I assume that it was from spending too much time on the computer last night. I hope that's all it was! Later on, it's still hurting a little, off and on. Not too bad.
It was very hot and humid today - even at around 8 when I took Brandy out for her walk.
I spent most of the rest of the evening working on my site and watching TV. I went to bed about 1:30.
Today was my brother-in-law John's birthday! It was also my foster mom's late husband's birthday. David Baumgarten was a great guy. He passed away at the end of 2016. So sad. I sent Marianne an email. I hope she's OK.
The couple that does the lawn said they were going to come early this morning, but she got sick and asked to postpone until Monday.
I woke up around 7am and walked Brandy pretty soon after that. You could tell already that it was going to be very hot and humid.
I went out to the backyard and saw that we have these pretty wildflowers growing.
I was sick again this morning, so apparently it was from eating at Flying Burger. That sucks. I like their food, and it's healthy.
I found a Facebook friend, Sammi (who used to work for my site) who knows Wordpress, so she's going to help me set it up. In the meantime, I've been learning how to use Wordpress from wpbeginner.com It's got really useful videos.
I spent way too much time on working on my site today! But it's been very good work. I had another phone call from my volunteer Brenda, and we'll have another one tomorrow, too.
I went back to sleep for a few hours, so that helped, but I was still pretty tired around 11.
I'm just sticking mostly to salads now, so that's what I had for breakfast and lunch. Just lettuce, salad dressing, tuna and pumpkin seeds. For dinner, I had half of a turkey sandwich and some berries. I told David to hide the Doritos!
It was really really humid when we did our evening walk. Later, I put away the clean laundry, but there's more to do. It never ends!
I noticed a huge bruise on my right hand! It was green, red - all sorts of colors. The photo really doesn't do it justice. I don't know if I hit it on something, or I hurt it while playing with the dog. I mean, it doesn't HURT... it's just colorful. It hurts a little if I touch it, but that's about it.
I watched some TV and went to sleep around 1.
I was very tired this morning and didn't wake up until 9am! It was already too hot, so I didn't take Brandy walking. I had a half ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast.
Then I was very sick for a while...I definitely won't be eating at Flying Burger again. I was sick all day, off and on.
I went with him to JavaPrimo. I was just going to have a soda, but their gelato was very tempting. I hope it was GF because I had two scoops. One of vanilla and one of rocky road. It was really delicious. Definitely not on my diet, though...
Then we went to Wal-Mart for groceries. We didn't need too much, so it didn't take very long. I bought this Star Wars box!
I did work on my site after that. Nothing too exciting. Sundays are pretty boring.
We finally made reservations for our anniversary at the Holiday inn in Burlington, VT. I don't know why, but hotels there are very expensive. I would have rather stayed at a nicer hotel, like a Hilton or Sheraton, but they were all way over $200 per night.
I'm trying to find the energy to get up and do the dishes, and start the laundry. When I'm sick from the gluten, my energy is very lacking and I get lazy. I did force myself to do the dishes and start the laundry....blah!
I've been mostly dealing with Wordpress issues. I really liked this one theme, ioblue, but I didn't like how many logo looked on it (either too small or too big). I got my friend Sammi to work on it, but she changed it to a completely different theme that I didn't like as much. Which is not to say that she didn't do some great work on setting it up for me. So now I'm working on trying to either figure out how to change the original theme or find another similar one, which I haven't had much luck with yet. Even just learning WP has been hard enough for me. It's not that it's super hard, it's just very different from what I've used before.
I'm very tired, but it's only 5pm, so I have to wait a while for bedtime...
I had a nice chat with Brenda, who's working for my site again.
I had a big salad for dinner. I went with David to El Compadre. I just had some of their chips, and diet soda.
After we got back, I walked Brandy. It's still so great to walk her with the harness leash. We ran into a woman with a little puppy, and a little girl. It was SUCH a cute puppy. While we stood there talking, the puppy started gnawing on the leash. It was so adorable! Brandy wanted to say hi to the puppy, but the puppy looked afraid, so I kept Brandy away.
It was so incredibly humid out. If you've never lived in the South, you don't know what this is like. It's been in the mid-high 90's and 55%+ humidity. You walk outside and you're already covered in sweat. This is at 8pm at night when the sun has largely gone down! ICK. Normally I don't go out in this weather, but now that I have to walk Brandy, I have no choice. I hate it, though.
I got a nice email back from Marianne. Her granddaughter got married this summer. That's her daughter Annette's daughter. Annette was my foster sister, but I haven't seen her in probably 30 years! We weren't close, but I wish I could see her photo, etc. I don't think she's on social media. Or if she is, she's hiding!
I'm pleased to say that my neck/shoulder/spine is still doing well and not hurting much at all. Yay! I'm looking forward to this coming week. I hope I get a lot done! I can't believe that July is already halfway through.
Facebook keeps reminding me of all of the wonderful times we had in years past, in Hawaii. It's always sad. We had so many wonderful times there. 4 years ago, our friend Barbara was visiting us in Hawaii. David had to go to Taiwan for a work thing, so she kept me company while he was gone. We did many fun tourist things, including rode in a helicopter, over Oahu. It was a fantastic experience! 5 years ago, David and I were in Honolulu, looking for a place to live, right before we moved there. We had so much hope for the future! I was hoping we would stay there forever and retire there. Well, that wasn't to be. Hopefully we can at least go back to visit someday!
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This page updated 7/21/18
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