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Carine’s Blog

  • Amazing

    Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015

    Here's hoping everyone had a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.
    I wound up going with Sam and Jackson (Lucky in tow) to Orange County.  Sam was going to be in her sister's wedding, so once I was dropped off at my sister's I didn't see them until my duly noted pick up on Monday morning.

    The entire week had started off on a pretty darned shaky note.  Poor Sam and Jackson had the stomach flu that Adam had given them.  They were okay but Adam re-lapsed to the point that he had to go to the ER and have several bags of fluid and shots to "stop things".
    We were supposed to leave Thursday but put it off until we saw he was capable of at least managing re-heating his chicken and rice soup that Sam had made him.
    Leaving Friday allowed me to finish up my antibiotics for my bronchitis and sinus infection and Lucky was fortunate enough to have one more muscle relaxant left to help her endure the 8 hour drive.
    Once I arrived at my sister's I found her sick. Our parents were also down with bronchitis and colds. I didn't see them at all and stayed on the other half of whatever area my sister was in.
    After all, once back in New River I had less than 2 days to "enjoy" my cervical epidural.
    We arrived home by 5:30 on Monday. Steve didn't get home until almost 7 which actually gave me time to: empty and sort my laundry, feed the pets and even read the Sunday paper.
    Tuesday had me doing all the fun stuff that I hadn't done all weekend: laundry, the dishwasher (I had left it empty but now it was somehow full and all the dishes were NOT rinsed) and I had to go buy some produce.
    Had to be asleep fairly early Tuesday night since my check in time at the surgicenter was 7:30 a.m..
    I have to say, with all the epidurals I've endured over the years-somehow I've never had one scheduled for my actual cervical discs. I was nervous. No real need, they gave me valium and used enough lidocaine that after the first of four lines were inserted I didn't know what happened until I heard the doctor say "one more line to come out and we're done!"
    By the time I got home after we had some breakfast I was tired but feeling a lot better than when I went in!
    As I write this-my neck hasn't felt this little pain since before the first truck nearly killed me and because of that by shoulder and elbow are in a lot less pain.  I'm also feeling that pinky finger!  I'm still a bit tired from a less than stellar night of sleep and a tad nauseous, but all in all-I do hope this improvement stays and continues on an upswing!

    Thanks to a wonderful group of nurses and an even better spine surgeon along with his assistant.
    It's good to know you've finally found the right medical staff to help you through what seems to be the journey that life has brought you!  And now-Here comes Summer!!!

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  • Do Nothing 1/2 Way

    Posted on Friday, May 15, 2015

    Nothing ½ Way
    My motto has always been: Anything you do, give it 100%.
    I'm thinking Lucky and I took this a bit too seriously this past week.
    It all started about a week and a half ago. My allergies seemed to be subsiding so I stopped the daily dose of Zyrtec. At that same point, Lucky began yelping at intermittent times when touched at various points in her tiny little body.
    Both of us just kept up our routine of walking. However I did have to carry her home on a couple of our strolls. I realized that my "lack" of allergy symptoms was in my head. My eyes started tearing, my face was stuffed and hurting and the post nasal drip had made my throat sore and itchy-causing a lot of coughing.
    Lucky and I kept on ignoring the signals our bodies were sending to us. She wanted to be cuddled but not touched. I thought ignoring the obvious and re-start the allergy meds would be enough.
    Well we were WRONG. Monday morning our wonderful Dr. Young was booked but had me drop off Lucky so she could examine her between appointments to see what was up. 3 hours after I left her in the most capable of hands-our vet said that her ears and teeth weren't the problem but her feeling was that she had pulled a muscle in her back leg.
    She had been playing ball with the kids and she did play with my parents Chihuahua all week so we supposing that somewhere along the line the damage was done.
    Picked her up and was told to give her some anti-inflammatory meds for a few days. If it worked, great! If not then she'd recommend an x-ray to be sure that there wasn't something more serious going on with her hip.
    At the same time, I was almost ready to call UNCLE and take myself into Immediate Care. The coughing was doing nothing positive for my cervical bulging discs. Okay-my neck is KILLING ME! Yet, I held off another day.
    By Tuesday morning I felt like a bus had run over me (and who would know better how this would feel?). I went in to be seen. Guess what? The immediate care doctor was sick. Wound up being an okay thing. They put me into my GP's line up.
    He looked at me and told me I did have severe allergies but I also had: bronchitis and a sinus infection.
    Put me on an anti-biotic, a prescription nasal spray, told me to go back to taking the Zyrtec (something I had already done 3 days before), take sinus/cold/cough during the day and Benadryl at night, take a lot of Vitamin C, continue my constant intake of water and rest.
    Got home with my bag of relief and called the nice woman I was supposed to interview and through my coughing I re-scheduled our chat for next week.
    Lucky hasn't been quite so "lucky". Poor dear is still not doing so well. She is now on some meds because the pain brought up her tendancy to have nervous colitis. To say we're worried would be an understatement.
    At the end of it all, I realized that I lived up to my motto-never do anything ½ way.
    I need to change my motto.

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  • One Week, Lots of Changes

    Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015

    One Week, Numerous Changes

    I'm talking weather and life in general.  We were supposed to break the triple digits for most of this past week.  Not good news, since my parents were coming to visit along with my sister and niece.

    My parents are not lovers of high heat situations.  Can't say as I blame them, they're in their mid-80's now and their health isn't the best so it was a blessing that we only reached the upper 80's.

    We did have some pretty loud and wet storms.  Lightening, thunder and lots of rain-all of which made my parents believe coats were needed.  Now all the rain happened during sleeping hours, but the fact that it rained meant that you should "bundle up".

    Our niece, who usually lives in Santa Barbara (a beach community), was having quite the time with her allergies.  Poor young lady coughed so hard she pulled a muscle across her ribs.  

    Evidently the yellow-flowered trees that have plagued all of us the last few months weren't her favorites either.  

    Besides the weather, household dynamics were at times a bit of an issue.  My parents also are parents to a Chihuahua.  Cisco is a sweetheart.  He wanted to play with Pepper and Lucky.  Pepper wanted no part of any dog but his own (and he even tried to eat her one morning!) and it took Lucky almost 2 days to stop barking at Cisco!

    It's not that she didn't like him, it's just that our little one is, well okay I'll say it, one pampered baby who likes dogs when it's her idea.  In other words, you can smell me as long as it's my idea.  Don't come near my lady parts otherwise.
    I can't blame her. About day 2 she did decide that she liked it when Cisco licked her face. That was okay and even looked forward to having it happen.
    What can I say?
    Besides the weather, the pets and the allergies, we were also trying very hard to make sure everyone's dietary restrictions and desires were all met.
    I went with making 2 of 4 dinners.  Not only was it easier to use the "buffet" table method but it was a lot better for the 3 kids.  One breakfast we ate at home.  

    As our Cali family took off for home I sincerely hoped that they had a good time.  My parents move very slowly and tire easily, my sister had to wear a "boot" due to a foot injury, and we had an age range from 21 months up to 86 years.  We did do a bit of shopping at our outlet mall and one other upscale outdoor shopping area and we did a yogurt run as well.  The rest of the time we spent talking.

    While here our niece (Miss Bel Air) made a visit to Dylan's classroom to show them the book of "Flat Stanley" that all the kids had asked relatives to make.  Dylan requested that she wear her sash and tiara.  Morgan, who does charity work on behalf of domestic violence and bullying talked to the class about the subject.
    The next night was Aidan's Chinese Naming ceremony-this time he had the biggest fan club-12 people were there to watch Dylan bestow it to his younger brother. He was thrilled.
    The visit went quickly.  Before I knew it, they were in their car and crossing the desert and I was left with a desk full of work to catch up on and getting ready to pick up my older grandsons.  Life was back to normal once again.

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  • Ridiculously Sublime

    Posted on Friday, May 1, 2015

    From Sublime to Ridiculous

    Last week I knew we were in for rain by Monday afternoon.  Everything hurt.  Sure enough, Thursday morning the sky was overcast and it was a very unseasonable temperature of a mere 72.
    Friday, after dropping off the boys at school, I was headed toward my PT appointment when I got caught in a downpour.  It lasted until about 10 minutes into my session.  The sun peeked out and all was just wet smelling until (of course) I started my drive home.

    Yep, another downpour that lasted until I got home.
    As you know from last week, we planned our annual "adult children" birthday dinner. Saturday we had everything from a peek of sun to downright thundering rainstorms. I began to feel a tad bit worried when I took Lucky out for her final "potty" break at 10 p.m. and found that it was still pouring!
    Sunday morning-still drizzling and we had "puddles" everywhere. It was also rather cool-only 70.
    As the day wore on and the rain continued on and off, I realized that I was going to have to make some adjustments. The grilling of the ham? Nope, texted Steve and said, "I need to know RIGHT NOW-grill in the rain or put it in the oven?"
    Being Steve, (he just can't answer the question that was posed, EVER!) he responded with-"Y do u need 2 knw now-it's 4?"

    "B/C it takes 90 min 2 heat."
    "ARRGGGHHH! I'll expln ltr. Putting in oven now."
    For those out there who are also curious-yes, the ham is fully cooked, but it takes 10 minutes a pound to heat it up to the recommended temperature.  The ham was slightly over 9 pounds.

    Then came the realization that our S'more dessert was also going to be a tad bit tricky if the rain continued.
    Thankfully by 8 o'clock the rain stopped, the log was put into the fire pit and lit and although the air temp was 65-we all had a lot of fun with the various marshmallows getting a bit charred. I had pastels in vanilla and banana flavoring and coconut covered ones as well.
    Jackson had no idea what was up with the fire, but he loved the way it looked. However he had no problem forgetting all about it once Sam gave him his first marshmallow to try. He also loved the Hershey segment. The graham cracker? Not so much.
    I referred to Jackson's version as the "gourmet re-construction", since he ate it in stages.
    Now its Sarah's turn to turn a year older-our eldest "child" is now 33.
    So there you have it-wind, rain and cold to triple digits in 24 hours, kids turning older and grandkids loving the part of starting new family traditions.
    Life truly is like a roller coaster ride-some parts are slow and easy and some parts are fast and furious.  

    Happy Birthday to our daughter Sarah!  So hard to believe that our little preemie is 33 years old.

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  • Time to Celebrate

    Posted on Friday, April 24, 2015

    Time to Celebrate
    It's that amazingly busy time of year! At least it is for us. Adam is turning 31 as you are reading this entry. So hard to imagine that the little preemie I brought home from the hospital is a very healthy married man and father.
    Of course next week our Sarah turns 33. It's also hard to believe that our first born (also a preemie) is a mom of two.
    But wait, that's just not all there is besides our family having about 6 other birthdays, Sam and Adam's 5th anniversary, my sister-in-law's anniversary (#30), Mother's Day and our niece is graduating from Brooks Institute this weekend. Yes that little girl I diapered and fed is graduating college.
    We won't make the ceremony but she'll be out with my sister and parents in a couple of weeks and I'm sure we will be doing a lot of "make shift" celebrating for all of the family's important events at that time.
    Especially since my dad will be here and about to be 86-I'm sure we'll all do something special for both him and my mom for Mother's Day. Albeit a few days ahead of schedule-but why should that matter.
    That information shared-I bid you all a quick hello and good-bye this week.  I have a birthday dinner to start preparing and lots of lists to create on what it is I'll be needing in the next few weeks.

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  • Learn SOMETHING!

    Posted on Friday, April 17, 2015


    As a former teacher it has always been my belief that we should learn SOMETHING (no matter how small) every day.  

    Not only does it serve to keep our egos in check (who wants to be around a "know-it-all", really?) but it makes life interesting.  

    I don't really care if it's something as mundane as realizing that your local library has a couple of different areas to stash your favorite genre-or something as vast as realizing you won't be the same person at 60 that you were at 20.

    That's the reason when I decide to do something with the grandkids I try to make it as fun as it is educational.  Hence taking them to the local Science Center for their birthdays.  They had a blast and learned about building dams, weather changes, how to build a house so that it won't be destroyed in various harsh weather formations and all the things their bodies can do!

    It's also the reason I have them help in the kitchen with food preparation.  I must admit-I did the older boys' mom absolutely no good by not letting her try her hands (literally) with using safety scissors, kid knives and yes, I wouldn't let her consider using a veggie peeler at age 6!

    Why?  I was so afraid that she'd get hurt I just wouldn't let her do it.  I swear that even today at nearly 33 our daughter still isn't up to Mario Batali's knife skills in the kitchen.  It's definitely my fault.

    Lesson learned-I insist that the boys help me!  Dylan is quite capable with the said veggie peeler and loves to do carrots for me.  Aidan is fantastic at measuring items for whatever dish it is that we're creating.

    This is also a great way to teach kids about the importance of measuring correctly when baking and discussing that it is a science where cooking is creative.

    Another thing I've gotten them involved with thanks to the lovely lady (Teacher Pam) who was in charge of the craft class that I had been taking them too-is a game called BLOKUS.  It's basically a logic skill game.  The boys have to decide what goes where on the board and think about the other 3 people they're playing with or they will wind up with "bloks" that  will go against their score at the end of the hour.

    Dylan is in heaven-as he loves puzzles.  Aidan told me that "I won when I played this game on my own grandma.  Now I lost."

    I let him know that it was just the first week and that no one was keeping score. Plus, "the game is meant to be played with 3 other kids so that you all have a good time and learn how to fit the pieces in to the best of your ability."

    That was what the boys learned this week.  

    Steve learned that when you "catch" a stomach virus you shouldn't keep eating.  I'm sure that this is more than enough said on that this subject.

    Me?  I learned that when you have an hour to wander in the library that you find out that for whatever reason the mystery section is NOT altogether.  Nope, not at all.

    I've been reading all of Sue Grafton's letter mysteries (Kinsey Millhone, I love your spunk) and for whatever reason the area I was finding most of them in had several missing.  So I went and ordered 3 from the main library.  They're sitting in the great room now.

    However, while I was waiting for the boys I did wander around the non-fiction area and realized that the mystery section had an entirely different stack a couple of rows back!  Woo Hoo!

    I found letter B and started reading it right then and there.

    All in all, we all learned a few things-none major, but enough to fill my "learn 1 thing daily" quota!

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