Showing posts from 2012

It's Good Riddance Day, 2012!

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I've been waiting for this day for a while. December 28 is known as Good Riddance Day, when you get to say "so long" to anything and everything that has brought you down in the past 12 months.

Where do I begin?

OK, before I get started, you need to know that I'm not making this up. I've posted about Good Riddance Day a couple of years ago...and you can find a form to submit for the "official shred" in Times Square here:

Me? I'm making my own list, checking it twice...and firing up my own shredder. Sort of a Do It Yourself Celebration. Here Good Riddance List for 2012.

I bid a not-so-fond farewell to the following:

1. Bell's Palsy - My year would have been quite different, if I'd never heard those two words put together to make a person so miserable. I was diagnosed on Sunday, June 24th, and I am still dealing with the last, lingering effect…

Taking a Time Out

My timing is impeccable. Just when I don't want to...or need to, I find some poor, lost virus and give it a place to live for a few days.

Thought it was bronchitis. A nemesis from long ago. I actually haven't played host to a good bout in several years, so why not finish out 2012 in style? I must be at Platinum Level on my frequent-illness rewards program by now, don't you think?

Imagine my surprise to hear the results of my flu test from the doctor's office: Positive for Type A flu virus. What? Are you sure?! What about that flu shot I took last September? You know, the one y'all gave me?

I believe the last three days of fever have burned up the worst of the infection, so now I'm left coughing, sneezing, feeling weak and listless. Dr. offered me Tamiflu, but since I'm beyond the 48-hour window, she didn't have high, it sometimes makes people nauseated. Don't need that, thank you very much. I declined, and then opted for the prescripti…

Christmas is Coming!

It's that time of year to get the house all dressed in shades of red and green...the colors of Christmas. I know, I know...that's a traditional, some might say "old-fashioned," color combination. But it's what works for us. You may find an occasional gold ornament on our tree and a very-occasional blue bauble...and OK, a couple of purple ones...but I draw the line on teal (one of my personal fave colors otherwise) or mauve. No way, no how. No surprises here...we are all about "tradition!"

Well, we used to be. Time was that NO artificial tree was allowed in our house. Live...or nothing! Then, we got a three small "fake" trees for our ornament collections: one for my sheep, one for Nana/Momma/Edith's Santas, and one for Missy M's bears. OK, we survived the invasion.

And then, last year, when Mr. T and I were spending the Holidays in Looeyvul, I caved and bought a pre-lit tree for our dining room window (photo, left)...and the c…

Maxi Multi-Tasking

What an interesting day I've had! And it isn't over yet!

I had a Gardening article due to our County Horticulture agent today...and, with all of my meandering last week, well...I hadn't written it yet. Truth be told, I hadn't even started writing it yet. Oh, I guess that's not exactly right...I have given the topic (which I was assigned last January) a good bit of thought and consideration on how I was going to write it (theme, style, etc.). I probably "wrote" three or four passable articles in my head as I tried to keep my mind off the remaining number of miles to home on Saturday. But "pen to paper?" Nope...not as of 8:00 this morning.

So, with my deadline looming (hey, 11:59 p.m. Is STILL today, right?), I got my second cuppa coffee, fired up my PC and printer, and...decided to bake bread.

OK, some might call this procrastinating. I prefer to think of it as getting something out of my system. And, while I was writing the article, the bread co…

Random Thoughts on A Road Trip

I've stopped at the Senator Albert Gore (Sr.), Patsy Cline and Chet Atkins Rest Areas. I've driven on Sawyer Brown Road, the Andrew Jackson Parkway, and the Carl Perkins Highway. I've been to the Alvin C. York Veterans Administration Building. (OK, not really on that last one. But it was on the same exit with Whitts BBQ...:)

Forget Waldo. Where's Patricia?Three guesses...and the first two don't count.

Here are a few thoughts that have floated through my brain while driving, over the past three days and the last 1400 miles...and still counting...

1. Momma was right. She always said the roadbed of I-40 was poured, east coast to west coast, following the sun. Going from east to west in the late afternoon can be brutal on the eyes.

2. Papaw was right. If someone invented a giant vacuum to suck up all the cotton (lint) on the roadsides of West Tennessee this time of the year, he'd be a rich man. (Of course, Papaw would think it had to be a man to invent such a thin…

Bell's Palsy Update - Month 5 Ends

Blah, blah, blah...Bell's Palsy...blah, blah, blah. Yeah, it's still with me. But it's definitely fourth quarter in this game...and I do believe I am winning.

Honestly, there really isn't much more I can say about my bout with Bell's that I haven't already said...with the possible exception of saying The End. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm oh-so-close. I still have some paralysis, stubbornly hanging on to the lower left portion of my bottom lip, probably more noticeable to me than to anyone else. When I'm tired or stressed or try to talk too fast, it's much more noticeable. And, though I've mastered...for the most Ss, Bs, and Ps, I'm still doing my speech therapy exercises with my F-words...:-). You remember? "Phil fell fifty feet."

In a related note, I picked up my new-new glasses this afternoon. Better than the last time around...not quite as good as I'd hoped. I am not experiencing the nauseating sensations l…

Kitchen Redo Redux Number Two

Everything takes longer than it takes.
-- One of Murphy's Laws of Life

I must say...I never imagined that redoing our kitchen would take almost six months to complete. Not in my wildest dreams.

All I wanted was to replace the World's Ugliest Formica Countertops with granite. And create a tile backsplash that would incorporate some hammered copper tiles (from our kitchen redo project in O'Fallon), and some glass mosaic tiles (although not for the entire backsplash)...with a clean, bright white ceramic background. Oh, and add some undercabinet lighting, since our kitchen is quite dark, especially with the cherry cabinets. And, while we were at it, I wanted to finally install a stainless steel organization system I purchased 7 years ago from the no-longer-open Home Expo in St. Louis for that MO kitchen...but never installed. Was that too much to ask?!

You've read all about the countertop installation which took place back in June, under Mr. T's supervision, while I …

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 22 Begins

This just in! Woman takes a Big Bite out of a Whole Sandwich! Film at 11:00!

Yes, dear friends. It has finally happened. At the approach of the end of five months with this nightmare called Bell's Palsy, I have finally, finally been able to order a club sandwich (the fabulous Orange-Cranberry Club from McAlister's Deli...:) and EAT THE WHOLE THING without having to dismantle it because of its height. Hurrah!

While I still have some paralysis in my lower lip on left of mid-line and I continue to seek benefits from twice-weekly speech therapy sessions, I know The End is in sight. Dawn is coming, and this nightmare will be over. Even if I must keep writing updates and taking Documentation Photos until the sixth-month anniversary (sigh), I will cross the Finish Line...collect my medal...and be thrilled to be through with it. Period. And the really good news? I'm a lot closer to The Finish Line than to The Starting Line!!

I'm happy to also announce my return to My Life. Th…

A Couple of Rainbows, A Couple of Wrinkles

First, let's talk about something good and happy...something to make you smile. Like rainbows. Yesterday, when I came out of Speech Therapy, I was surprised to see that we had had a nice rain while I was in the rehab building at High Point Regional a room with no windows on the outside world. It was still sprinkling, but right at sunset, the sun was coming out...and you know what that meant: rainbow!

Imagine if you will: I'm driving home, north on Eastchester/Hwy 68, with my phone mounted to the top of my steering wheel, snapping as many shots as I could. For safety's sake, I pulled over to the side a couple of times...but stopping in the afternoon traffic in HP is almost as difficult as DWOOing (driving-while-otherwise-occupied, a la Lydel Sims, a writer for the Memphis Press-Scimitar, from the olden times. If you follow the link on his name to learn more about him, you can click through to one of his columns. And you will see one source of my writing style.…

Garden 2012 Roundup

It was a bea-u-tee-ful weekend here at Casa 3917. Sunny and warm enough to be outside in short-sleeves, no jacket, at least until late afternoon. So, after a run to Tractor Supply for bird food and to Soviero's Tri-County Garden Center for bags of this and that (more in a sec), we took advantage of almost every moment, working mostly in the Kitchen Garden.

First, we finished removing Summer from the Warm Season garden. Mr. T had already pulled up the tomatoes and the okra last weekend, and I dug the sweet potatoes following our first frost... leaving just the peppers and the bean and pea fences standing. While he removed the fences, I weeded the asparagus bed and snipped all the yellowed ferns.

We'd decided to build a box for this bed, as we wanted to build up the soil around the crowns and make it easier to weed during the year...both important to the health and optimum production of asparagus. [You may or may not know...or care to know...that asparagus is a perennial veget…

Fun Friday!

Today was one of those perfectly marvelous days one dreams about. At least, it was for me. Day trip!

It began least it did for me. I had set my alarm for 6:00, but I suppose I was too excited to sleep much past 5:00. I had already packed my day-bag with my tickets, a knitting project or two, my iPad, my iPod (for the audiobook I'm listening to, The Last Founding Father), and just in case I needed one more thing...a new gardening magazine. By 7:30 a.m., I was off on my latest adventure.

I've written more than once about how much I enjoy going to symphony concerts, especially the Friday Favorites series performed by the NC Symphony in Raleigh. And I have also shared a post or two about my love of train travel. Combining the two of these passions on an absolutely gorgeous Fall day, meant that I was eastbound on The Carolinian, leaving the Furniture Capital and headed for the state capital, as the sun began its steady rise in the cerulean* blue sky. Here we go! Se…

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 19

Another one of those "not much to report" updates, which is either good or bad, depending on perspective, I suppose. I continue to see infinitesimal improvements, as I continue to see my Speech Therapist.

I still have some lingering paralysis in my lower lip, left of the midline, which means I still have a crooked smile...and trouble pronouncing certain letters. (You'll be able to see it in my "Big Smile" Documentation photo below.) This week, she gave me a page of verbal exercises to do in order to help me with the F sound, which - due to that bit of paralysis - seems to be my main issue at the moment. Say them with me:

1. Phil fell fifty feet.
2. Funny Fanny makes fabulous fudge.
3. Fill the funnel with fat-free batter.
4. The fox fit under the farm's fence.
5. The form failed to fit the false face. (I'm not sure what that means...I just say it...:~\)
You get the idea, right? It sure beats saying ooh-ee-ooh-ee-ooh-ee and la-la-la-la-la.

Oh, did I t…

Bell's Palsy Update - Four Months Later

I could go on and on...and on...about this misery known as Bell's Palsy, and about how confounded I am at having to write yet another update instead of an ending. About how certain I was that it would be just a lingering memory of a bad dream by now, instead of this continuing nightmare. About...well, you get my drift.

So, let's not dwell on the gloomy. Let's find some silver linings, how about it?

Silver lining #1: the damage that Bell's did to the left side of my face starting on June 24th is almost completely erased, four months later. My eyebrow is very nearly where it should line with the right eyebrow...and I can raise it "like normal." The drooping and sagging of my left eye have almost completely, thankfully I no longer give the appearance of having had a stroke. I can wink!

Silver Lining #2: my hearing is back to normal, and I have zero jaw pain. I don't have to rely on any meds specifically treating Bell's symptoms.…

No Regrets

"I'd rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven't."
-Lucille Ball

No regrets. That's what Mom said last summer when I asked if she had any regrets about her life. She was in Hospice Home, in the final stage of lung cancer. Isn't that a marvelous thing to be able to say at end of a long, productive life?

Of course, I didn't wish to remind her of the one regret I could ever remember her mentioning...something she hadn't done instead of something she had. A year or so after Daddy died, she went on a cruise to Alaska with a Senior group from Pickerington, OH. She didn't expect to enjoy it as much as she did. She had a blast, including that once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride out to a glacier! After that trip, she said "I wish I had done that when your Daddy was alive. He always wanted to go to Alaska, and he would have loved every minute of that cruise." Ah well...

So now that's become my personal guiding light. No r…

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 16 Begins

Not a lot to report today. Not many changes noticed...but no "backsliding" either. That's always good news, right?!

Will be taking a little break from Speech Therapy this week...more on that in my next post from _______...can you guess? I'll keep you in suspense for a bit. Big grin!

Until then, here are the Documentation Photos - Day 114:

Quick Update

Dear Readers,

I know several of you aren't Facebook fanatics...yet...:~\. So I wanted to share what I posted there this morning with you.

Let me say it twice: it's a great day in HPNC!

Kitchen Redo Redux

Remember I told you about getting new countertops installed back in June? (Refresh your memory here.) Out with the ugliest Formica in the with the prettiest Brazilian granite we could find...White Spring. ¡Eu adoro!

Of course, as I spent my Summer in lovely Looeyvul, and I've been otherwise occupied since my return to HPNC, the Kitchen Redo stalled. Not that I haven't thought about finishing it...many times, I've gone online to drool over the bazillion tile selections. I just haven't had the time or energy...or the ability to see clearly enough to make good color order to make anything happen. Well, that's about to change.

I went to Lowe's yesterday to get some Mumkins (bright yellow mums in orange pumpkin pots, decorated like Jack-o'-Lantern faces) for the front steps. I have two of the same pots from last year, which are now sporting some cuttings I took from Missy M's mums and rooted earlier this year...believe it or not, the…

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 15 Begins

October? Is it really October?! Good grief. I would never have believed you if you had told me on July 4th that I would still be doing these updates on Columbus Day. Sigh.

Of course, the big difference is that I doubted whether I'd fully recover around Labor Day, didn't I? Now? I know I will make it...even if I have to see another Holiday or two before I can put a period on The End of this tale.

Speaking of Holidays, I spent this one decorating for the next one...Halloween. Or, as I remember having to spell it in a fifth grade spelling bee: Hallow'e'en. Check out the dining room table in this picture.

A note about the pumpkin centerpiece: that's an heirloom "pie" pumpkin from Old Salem. We made it to Members Saturday weekend-before-last and picked this big, fat, dumpling to come home with us. I have a Black Cat decoration for October (shown) and a Turkey for November. I hope to harvest the seeds and save them for next year's garden...and maybe eve…


Well, I've got my Pirate on...again. Wearing the eye patch...again, only on my right eye this time.

Yep...had my cataract surgery today.

So, how did that go?

Here's what I shared with the Bros and SILs in an email tonight:

Well, glad that's done!

The surgery itself was much easier than I'd anticipated. The IV insertion, however, was every bit as traumatic as feared and then some. Oh well, me and my teeny, tiny uncooperative veins.

Since I had to be at the surgery center at 6:45 this morning, I was done by 9:00...and eating breakfast at Carolina's Diner by 9:30. All seemed well until we got home, and this massive softball-sized "headache" descended over my eye socket...and wouldn't go away, even with Advil and Tylenol.

Finally feeling better this evening. Eye is patched, so I can't tell anything about it. Dull remnant of headache. And my arms and hands and feet are tingling like they are "asleep." Not sure about that? See the dr at 8:…