Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kidney Stones and Waffle Cones

The pain started last Thursday. It was in my right abdomen and was pretty excruciating. I figured it was constipation - people taking hydrocodone have that problem and last week was pretty rough so a bit of being "bound up" was to be expected so I used my nursing knowledge to take care of it. 

I won't go into details but let's say I knew I was unbound.

Finally, yesterday I called and got an appointment today with a very nice Physician's Assistant. First thing she inquired about was constipation. I discussed all of the measures I had taken at home and after an exam she sent me for x-rays and blood work. X-rays showed a couple of possible kidney stones and a clean bowel. We had to stay in town while waiting for blood work, it was kind of still kidney stone vs pancreatitis. No pancreatitis, I was released to eat - I had spent a great deal of the day fasting in case it was pancreatitis. 

Hubby asked me what I wanted to eat - I had been really hungry for a Sonic "Waffle Cone Sundae" but he's kinda cheap so he had been refusing to get me one but today he turned in to the Sonic drive and I finally got one! It was the Reese's cup flavor and it was great! Hubby got a bacon cheeseburger and said it was great.

So now I am at home doing nothing but waiting (ow) for a (ow) kidney stone (ow) to pass. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mimosa Hill in August

Yes, it is August, normally a time of 100 + degree weather and high humidity. We have certainly ventured to the 90 degree territory a few times, but mainly we have had rain. A lot of rain. 

 It isn't like we don't need the rain after the droughts of the last years, and I am praying the water tables of the area rise, but the previously unheard of flooding is quite a problem.

Granted, I have been to the affected towns and remember thinking"Gee, it would flood here quite easily." Then I wonder why people would build on a flood plain. Do those words "flood plain" mean nothing? Have these people never heard of "100 year floods"? I wonder.

I see trailer parks and subdivisions perched on a riverbank and wonder who in the world thought that was a good idea? 

Buy a permit from the county or city to build on a flood plain? The same people will be begging for government help to rebuild after the flood comes. It's even worse than being uninsured and assuming the hospital is at fault for charging huge prices. 

So the lawn is impossible to mow with all the water but that's okay, the tomatoes don't need to be watered and the Naked Lady lilies are lovely. 

I'm glad Mimosa Hill is actually on a hill!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cat "Nipped"

Early this morning I was turning over in bed, Hector snuggled to my back, and I started to turn over. Hector got up, purring and sitting to one side like he does. I repositioned myself and reached to give him a scratch under the chin and he BIT me! I tried to pull my hand out and he clamped harder, I was yelling but Hubby snoozed peacefully. Finally I had to reach into the kitty's mouth and pry apart his jaws to get my hand loose.

I could feel blood running down my hand so I got up, went to the sink and turned the light on. Light coming on woke up Hubby. He said "4:39?" I felt woozy so I sat down in the handiest place, the toilet. Next thing I know I was wondering why Rick's nail clippers were on the floor and why was I looking at them so closely.

Rick, in his great wisdom, told me I had passed out. 

He then wondered why I was up in the first place. Still woozy, I told him the cat had bitten me. Poor Hubby got out of bed and saw large amounts of blood everywhere - I really mean everywhere! I have a great deal of respect for the anticoagulation properties of Plavix.
Thinking back, it was June 22, 2011 when I tumbled down the stairs and broke both ankles. Perhaps I need to invest in bubble wrap every June.

So. Before 5am today I had been bitten by the cat, trailed around large amounts of blood and fell off the toilet. How is your day going?

Anyone need a barn cat?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We Understand

Hubby and I really do understand. 

He was in a plane crash in 1990, I have fibromyalgia. Really, we both understand.

Chronic pain is a reality, it is a problem we both live with and there are days when one of us will tell the other "I'm sorry, I just can't deal with you today."

No hurt feelings, no getting mad at each other, it just means you need to retreat with your laptop or a book for the day; and for heaven's sake, be sure you are taking all of your meds.

A lot of couples break up due to one partner having chronic pain and I could certainly understand if one just doesn't "get it", but in our case we are both in the same boat and we both understand.

As a nurse, I understood Hubby and his head injury, his arthritis due to injuries, and whatever other issues the head injuries brought.With head injuries, there can be a lot of issues people never even think about. Fortunately he also understood the injury related arthritis I was dealing with too. 

When I hear someone has been in an accident and "only had a head injury" I shudder. Really, people have no idea and while I dearly dislike the current war going on, I am glad it is beginning to shed some light on head injuries.

We have now been married 13 years. In that time we have seen some friends part ways and heard "They aren't the same person I married." 

Really? Do you remember the part about in sickness and health? Did you ever consider that after 5 years, 10 years, or 50 years none of us are the same person. With or without a head injury or the onset of chronic pain. 

How do you know which one will be the one to develop health problems? Did it ever cross your mind it might end up being you? 

In 2003 Hubby and I had to make tremendous changes when I had to quit working. He even learned to make coffee so he could bring me a cup of coffee every morning. We had some rough times financially but the fact I had changed never made a difference. We rolled with the punches, made the changes and forged forward. 

We will be the first to admit we have had big changes, we will tell you we have both changed over the years, we have weathered the changes and grown together.       

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Yes, Home. I love being at home. In spite of what some people think, I like a boring life. But sometimes Life stands in the way of boring.

Ideally I would be here reading and napping most of the time and cooking wonderful meals for my Hubby, but since I can't stand for very long these days the wonderful meals are done in stages on the rare occasions they happen. 

You might see 10 pounds of ground beef and onions cooked and stored in the freezer portioned in ziploc bags. In that stage they are ready for chili or Hamburger Helper or anything for which we want or need to use it. 

Sometimes I will boil a couple of chickens, remove the skin and bones and portion the chicken and broth then freeze it just in case I need to quickly put a meal on the table. 

I always try to deliver a meal when there is a death in the church because the relatives will sometimes descend on a family and no one thinks about the people in the family who really need to eat. A casserole, bread, salad and hot dogs and buns for the kids. You can't forget the kids. Hubby and I fondly remember a lady we lost from our congregation a few years ago, she was convinced the meal wasn't done until there was a plate of weiners on the table. 

Okay. I'll admit. I must have mashed potatoes on the table. With real butter on top. Hubby must have gravy. 

A while back I asked my son to please cook some chicken and he asked, "Who died?" Really, I just wanted some chicken and dumplings. 

I strain my chicken broth, After I finish boiling and removing the bones and skin I strain my chicken broth through a wire strainer before adding it back to the chicken meat. I then let it cool and spend a few hours in the fridge so I can remove the fat from the top.

Well, darn it, now I'm hungry! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Last Thing

Sis 2 and I were quickly running out of gas. We both have health issues and emptying a house that had been used sometimes as storage was a task we weren't up to.

My oldest son made 2 trips to help and we made great progress on those days, but we were quickly running out of time. The date of her flight home was quickly approaching and the real estate agent was starting the listing on Tuesday so when Thursday rolled around and we could see we needed help Sis called her daughter. So we would have help from her and meantime Son called to see if we were in need of help. 

With those 2 working on the house, we were pretty much not needed. The house was done, we were ready to come to my house and Sis would have a couple days to rest before her flight. 

Son loaded his car and our car and we began our journey north. 

The journey was smooth until we were on Highway 65 coming through Springfield, MO and the right front tire blew out. Sis was afraid she had blown up another car but I quickly assured her it was just a tire. 

I called Roadside Assistance yet again. The operator kept telling me I was on I-55. I would tell him no, I am on Highway 65, at the Sunshine Street exit, in Springfield, MO.

"I-55, what mile marker?"

I got out of the car and looked at the mile marker to tell him the number.

"Okay, I will call our provider in that area. I will place you on hold for just a minute."

He was soon back. "Where would you like to be towed to?" 

"Sam's Club". I mean, from the corner of Highway 65 and Sunshine in Springfield MO, I can almost throw a rock and hit it.

Operator came back a few minutes later and told me I was at I-55 and Valley Vista. Their service provider told him there was no Sam's club in the area.

"Okay, can they tow us to a Wal-Mart?" I was seriously wondering where this guy thought we were. 

A few minutes later, "I'm sorry ma'am, the nearest Wal-Mart is 30 miles away". 

HA!! Now I knew he had no idea where we were. 

"Okay, I am NOT on I-55, I don't know where you think I am! What town do you have me in?"

"New Madrid, MO, ma'am."

Okay, I am In SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI. I am on HIGHWAY 65 and SUNSHINE and I can see the SIGN FOR SAM"S CLUB!" 

He was silent for about ten seconds then he placed me on hold for about 30 seconds. When he came back, he gave me the name and number for our tow operator.

I sent hubby a text. The battery was running low on my phone and I didn't want to do any conversations. 

My text: "We have blown out a tire in Springfield. Tow truck coming. We will go to Sam's and get a new tire."

Hubby's answer: "Hate it when that happens. U might pick up some tater salad, sandwich thins, cream and whatever."

Sis and I were rolling laughing. What husband hears his wife had a blow-out and sends a grocery list?? 

We were still laughing when the tow truck arrived, this one had an added bonus - running boards! Yaayy! We both climbed into the truck with no problem this time. 

He took us around the corner to Sam's and we went inside. 

Honey Ruth was wrapped in a blanket and since for lunch we had both downed a quart of sweet tea, we both headed for the ladies' room. Adjoining stalls and we handed the Honey Ruth under the stall walls as we finished. 

Then back across the store to check on the Lincoln. The Tire manager told us we had set a record. It was the first time they had seen a car with tires 4 different sizes. Sis told them to match the size of the other front tire. 

I walked back through the store and bought groceries, as usual, Sam's had us back on the road in short order and the last 35 miles home were uneventful

I was SO very happy to see Hubby and my kitty cats. 

My goal had been to help Sis 2 get her house on the market so she could make the much needed move to Arizona.                          

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mud and Hot Water

We were tired, I needed to restock my daily medications so we went home. Well, we went to my house. I was also missing my Hubby and The Clowder. 

As we traveled north we saw more and more snow with about 6 inches on the ground when we arrived at home. Wet, heavy snow that had the hedges bent over. Hubby had filled the bird feeder because we feed the birds when the ground is covered. The assortment of birds had the full attention of Honey Ruth, Sis 2's chihuahua. She just couldn't get enough looking at the birds. 

We spent a couple days resting, HR watching the birds and I was petting kitties. 

Okay - not always petting, a few claws were trimmed and Hector was less-than-enthusiastic about his bath. Sis heard him protesting while I had him in the bathtub, but considering he's a 22 pound cat, if he had really wanted out he would have had the upper paw. 

I enjoyed the hot water at home. The condo had only had intermittent hot water and sometimes only a small amount of warm water. This week I insisted we do something about it because after all, I had in mind that if Sis 1 were to come in here about midnight one night and found she had no hot water she would not be happy. Well, at least I know I wouldn't be. 

Thursday morning we ate breakfast and Sis 2 and I loaded the car for a trip back to Arkansas to continue the process of moving. Mind you, we had packed lightly this time around, but I was loaded up with medications and off we went, Sis still driving my '86 Lincoln. We got almost to the end of the driveway and were stuck. The melting snow had made a mud bog out of the area between our carport and the highway. She rocked back and forth then we saw the Empire District Electric meter reader pull into the driveway next door and he hopped out of his truck and pushed us out of the mud hole. Wow.... WHERE do you find service like that anymore? 

So we journeyed on back to the condo and today a plumber came, checked the water heater, tried draining to get the calcium/lime deposits out of it but it was too stopped up so a new water heater was installed. Life will be better with hot water. 

Aren't we spoiled?      

Friday, February 22, 2013


Sis and I are struggling through this, aching knees (hers), ankles (mine), backs (both of us) and other assorted things slow us down but we keep going. Well, we go for 2 or 3 days then take a "rest" day. Over the course of time we have learned we won't get ahead by pushing harder, we will just end up in worse shape than when we started. 

The appearance of "Winter Storm Q" didn't help us any, and while I certainly understand naming winter storms, I wonder why they are using letters instead of names. But oh well. This morning Sis and I wandered out to the car and were a bit surprised to find Abe wearing a coat of ice. A rather thick coat of ice. I thought longingly of the can of de-icer and the ice scrapers in the now iced-over trunk.But oh well, little good that does me now. I went to the drivers side, cracked enough ice to get to the keyless entry pad and unlocked the door. We turned the defroster on "High" and I surveyed the inside of the car for something I could press into service as an ice scraper. I finally decided to use the trash container and it worked pretty good.

We finally got to the house and got a few things done when we realized neither of us were moving too well so we knocked off early, went to the grocery store and came home.

The cable box suddenly decided to stop responding to the remote and since the box had no buttons on it (why not?) I checked out the remote batteries. They were fine so Sis unplugged the box, waited a couple minutes then re-plugged. The reset worked so now we are back in operation. She has now learned to access the "guide" and she's proud of her new found technical expertise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OH! The... WORK!

As a child we moved several times. It seems like every time we moved Mom would already be planning how the next move was going to go. I remember a box of hand crocheted lace moving with us several times. They were crocheted by my great grandmother and as Mom grew older she took up crocheting too. She would somehow manage to crochet doilies with thread, I have several of them and I'm pretty sure my sisters were equally blessed by Mom's handiwork. 

I have no idea what ever happened to the box of crocheted lace, somewhere along the line it was either thrown away, given away or lost. But then again, when Mom died my stepdad told us not to come back to the house again so maybe one of his children ended up with it. 

But at the moment we are trying to move Sis 2. She has had her house for around 25 years. In those 25 years she has been back and forth many times while working elsewhere, once she lived in another town for 12 years, bought another house then moved back and there are still several (at least 3,546) boxes with contents that haven't seen the light of day for a couple of decades. 

This whole situation is not helped any by the fact Sis 2 and I are both arthritic and no longer the spring chicks we once were. 

Just why Sis 2 decided she had to do this move in the middle of the winter is beyond me. It took 4 months of hot, dry Arizona weather to get her knees to the point where she could walk comfortably and that was all quickly erased by the cold wet mid-winter climate here. 

So the process is slow but each day we make noticeable progress. 

25 years is a lot of time to accumulate "stuff". Getting this house "unstuffed" is the job before us now.

Anybody need stuff??   

Friday, February 15, 2013

Good Thing

Sis and I both had memberships to auto clubs. We used her AAA when her Toyota blew up and today we used my AARP travel club when the Lincoln wouldn't start. 

Really, Sis and I are not bad luck in cars. When the mechanic came out and jump started it we drove straight to the Wal-Mart Automotive Center where they came out, tested the battery and saw the battery terminals needed to be replaced. $14.97 put things to rights and they even checked the tires - a chore I had intended to do today but they saved me the trouble. 

Sis took the car problems to heart and decided we are going to move faster to get the house on the market faster than planned. She had forgotten just how much these Arkansas winters affected her arthritis, particularly her knees. 

Hopefully, our project will be finished by the end of this week or soon after and we can return to my home in Missouri then she can return to Arizona to resume her retirement.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Escape From El Reno

Don't get me wrong, the people in El Reno were very nice, the manager at the motel was very nice and had no problem allowing us a late check-out since Niece had a 4-hour drive to come get us. 

By the time we had eaten a good dinner, got back to our room and called Niece the beds were mighty comfy and we were glad to have them. 

The next morning we got up, had some coffee in the room then went downstairs for breakfast. We liked the fact that the housekeeping staff were having coffee and discussing the day ahead in the breakfast area. I know some people would look down on such things and for heaven's sake when I have worked in housekeeping for the chain motels I have never been allowed to even go get a cup of coffee in the customer area. 

We finished our breakfast and went upstairs to get things rounded up to go to Joplin. 

It happened to be Niece's birthday and as I looked on her FaceBook page she said she was on her way to El Reno, OK to "Rescue Thelma, Louise, and the Taco Bell mascot". 

Well! It wasn't like we started out in a Mustang.

Niece called when she got to town because her GPS took her to someplace other than the motel. I told her I would go down and find someone to help her and call her back. On my way down the maintenance man was trying to load a queen size box springs on the elevator. He saw me coming, pulled the box springs out and stood aside. I told him to come on, there was plenty of room, I helped him load the box springs and helped him pull it out when we got to the ground floor. 

Niece arrived shortly in her red car and we got a luggage cart to take upstairs and get her Momma. And the Taco Bell mascot.

Its a good thing we didn't have more stuff. But then, considering Sis 2 had not cleaned out her car since 2002, maybe the amount of stuff wasn't that bad, but we filled Niece's car up. 

By the time we got back to Joplin Niece's face was hurting from laughing so much and none of us had a bit of change because Oklahoma toll booths had eaten it all. 

Sis took Niece's family out to dinner to celebrate her birthday and it was so great to have the family around the table talking and laughing. 

I feel sorry for people who don't have family that can all gather for a dinner, we all need to be thankful for people, by blood or by heart, we all need family.

We spent the night at Niece's house, I loved it when I woke up during the night and her tortise shell kitty, Butter, was stretched out asleep on top of me. I missed my kitties. 

The next day Hubby came to Joplin and picked us up to take us to our home north of Springfield. 

Sis settled into a recliner and slept 12 or 13 hours. I did wake her up for brownies and ice cream but I figured she would forgive me for that. 

The next morning we left my house, still on track to get Sis 2's house on the market. 

Sis was now driving my 1986 Lincoln Town Car. I had always called my car "Abe". Sis renamed it - "Tug Boat Annie". Aww... Who cares? The big car brought us to our original goal.   


Sunday, February 10, 2013

El Reno Bound

Bill, hold onto your hat - I'm continuing the story.

After Sis 2 and I managed to get in the tow truck Sis was very agonized over the disposition of the car. 

Did I mention the name of the towing company was Miller Time? Yeah, you read that right, Miller Time. Sis and I were rescued off of I-40 by Miller Time. 

As she was pondering the car conundrum  Mr. Miller Said "I'll give you $150 cash right now. I will take it straight to the crusher and probably get $250 out of it."

Sis said "I'll think about it. Okay! $150 sounds good!" 

So Mr. Miller took us to El Reno. We were both starving by now but procuring a place to sleep and get the car cleared out was the most urgent thing on our plates right now so we checked into a major chain motel with a steakhouse right next door. The only room available was on the second floor but there was an elevator. They didn't allow pets but Mr. M pulled around to the side of the building so I could hide Honey Ruth and he went in with Sis to make sure we got a room. 

He then drove to the back of the motel to help Sis unload the car. I got a room key, my purse and everything else I could carry and Mr M checked to make sure the dog was completely covered before I went in. I stayed in the room and every time I heard a noise outside I would open the door and drag in the bags of stuff they unloaded. 

When the car was unloaded and the business was transacted Sis and I walked to the steak house. We were crossing a ditch when sis asked "Have you ever been in such a bad situation?" I assured her I had. 

Early 1990 Hubby 3 and I had gone to South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had been through not long before and we were hoping there was a decent job market so we loaded up my old blue Ford and took off. Hubby 3 had been a resident of Kansas City, MO for a while so we left north Arkansas and went to KCMO. 

While in KCMO we traded my VCR for a camper that fit on the truck. It had a 3 burner stove and refrigerator and a bed. Pretty nice in case we had trouble finding housing. 

Hubby 3 had a sister in the Charleston area so we had a place to go. However, things in Charleston were not what we wanted so decided to leave. But the problem was, we needed money to travel so he managed to sell truck and camper to a man for $2100.00. We got our 4 black trash bags - holding all of our worldly goods - and 2 rifles and 2 shotguns out of the truck and were walking to his sisters house. 

Back then I was half the woman I am now and I was wearing a cute light blue sundress and flip flops. There we were, walking down the road, each carrying 2 black plastic garbage bags and a gun under each arm. 

About that time in my story Sis2 and I arrived at the steak house and I had to pause long enough to be seated and order our sweet tea. Sis was laughing at the mental picture of us trudging along the highway each with trash bags and a gun under each arm.

So I resumed my story. The highway had no shoulder on it so we were walking on the side of the road with him closest to the road and I was on the outside and a few steps behind. Suddenly I fell straight into a drainage ditch that was fortunately dry. 

But the ditch was about 4 and a half feet deep and very narrow. I hadn't seen it because the tall grass covered it completely. The fall had knocked the wind out of me even though it was a straight fall and I had landed on my feet. Now I was chin deep in a roadside ditch with a gun still under each arm and trash bags on the roadside. I couldn't speak for a few minutes, my head was surrounded by grass and Hubby 3 walked a ways down the road, still talking before he realized I was gone.

He came back and was mainly concerned about the guns but he finally did help me out of the ditch. 

Sis 2 said she felt better because in that bad situation I was still able to laugh about it and she knew we would be able to look back on her car blowup and laugh about it too. 

We had a wonderful dinner and returned to the motel and called my niece, Sis 2's daughter. 

Next: Escape from El Reno