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Carine’s Blog

  • Strange Happenings Afoot

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013

    Strange Things

    I've been thinking-you know that means that some weird things have either occurred to me or have happened.

    This week we had our new dining room and reclining sofa delivered.  That's not very weird, but it did get me to thinking about a couple of things:

    When we bought our "old" set it had two leaves.  We only used the second one about three times.  After all, we were never big at having dinner parties and when we did-the count ended at either 6 or 8 and since children were involved-we used the kitchen table.  

    Hey, the upholstery was white and so was the rug in the dining room.  No sense tempting fate.

    Anyway-after the last time we used it, Steve put it away and when he went back a year or so later to the spot where we thought it was stored-it was GONE, BABY GONE!

    Looked all over for that leaf and never found it.
    Besides that leaf, Steve lost the original keys to his crossfire fairly soon after he bought it in 2004.
    Our belief was that when we were moving last year we'd find both the leaf and the keys. We didn't.
    Plus when we unpacked all the boxes-the corning ware soup mugs for Steve's lunch were gone along with my brining "tub" and our travel coffee mugs.
    Strange. They were in that moving van when we got here and they were put in the middle of the family room.
    So now we're donating the very beautiful but extremely dated white wash dining set with only the one leaf. It will still easily hold a family of 8-as long as whoever buys it has four extra chairs. You see, the table was our anniversary present to each other for our 11th celebration. Just the table. The chairs came as our gift for our 12th anniversary.
    We are planners, no denying that!
    This time though we went "whole hog"-yep, bought the table AND 10 chairs. ALL AT ONCE.
    That qualifies as another strange thing in my book of life. Even at employee discount pricing-we'll be paying for this for a long time. No anniversary trip for us for the next couple of years.
    As with most update projects we had extra expenses: the artwork no longer matched and neither did the standing lamp. They were all in Southwest pastels and the new set is dark wood. We found a clock on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond and then used our 20% off coupon. And the new throw rug was purchased in the Clearance Bin at Lowe's. So we're doing okay there.
    The now very large blank wall will have to be filled. We're thinking a nice long mirror would be nice. Steve's looking in the clearance area of his store now. Plus, the store's designer is there and will hopefully have some ideas.
    Last strange thing I'd like to add for your pondering pleasure:  Do any of you have a problem with breeding coffee mugs?

    I swear when I put everything in the kitchen away I had room to spare in the cabinet I put those mugs in and now it's overflowing with mugs I've never seen before!

    2 Replies
  • Getting Older

    Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013

    Getting Older
    Last week was really something:  epidurals, steroid boosters, spider bites that led to what was determined a "critical infection", our son-in-law had another angiogram (this one with a better outcome) and then I had several deadlines to meet.

    With all of that, I forgot that it was my birthday.  It's official, at the beginning of this week I am now closer to 60 than 50.


    I also realized that I have now been an official Arizonan for a year.  This means that it's almost been a year since my near death experience that is still in "battle" mode.

    There have been some great parts of this year:  Adam and Sam found our itty-bitty puppy Lucky.  Steve, Pepper and I just love that 6 pound sweetheart.  Took Pepper 5 weeks, but now he hates to see her getting hooked up for a walk and greets her upon our return.  We took our 32nd anniversary on a cruise with Sarah and family.    

    The cruise wasn't exactly as romantic as our other anniversary cruises, but we loved seeing the ports through the eyes of our older grandsons.

    Speaking of grandsons-Adam and Sam gave us the most wonderful 3rd one that any set of grandparents could possibly want!  Born at 9 lbs. 5 oz., Jackson grew over 4" and 4 lbs. during the first 2 months of life and by 3 months-our strong boy had already mastered rolling both from back to front and front to back!

    Tell me he isn't brilliant-I dare you!

    Dylan graduated kindergarten, Aidan entered kindergarten.  Both boys are learning Chinese.  Too bad their homework is on the computer and grandma can't figure out how to get to the right lesson!

    We've made some friends!  I now know the woman next door too.  Turns out she's a free-lance writer as well.
    I had to get a new car.  Totally out of character for me-I chose dark cherry red instead of tungsten and instead of a cute little hatchback-I went with a medium sedan.  It's still not my beloved 10 year old PT cruiser, but honestly I love it.

    Pain aside, I'm walking, I'm talking and obviously-I'm ranting.  And with that, I'm making this week a bit short.  All in all, not bad for a 56 year old.

    Speaking of the positive things in life-Thanksgiving is here and I hope that all of you have a Healthy and Happy one.  I think we all deserve it.

    3 Replies
  • I Hate Spiders

    Posted on Friday, November 15, 2013

    Spiders and Things That Bite

    This has been an interesting week.  NOT.  Some good news, some bad-most not something I'm wanting to share-but the title says it all.

    We have an exterminator service (much to Dylan's chagrin-he is our bug lover)-but here in the Sonoran Desert there is always some miserable creepy-crawly on the loose.  Steve and I got bit on the same day.

    Steve was painting our stucco wall (the HOA decided that even though they had to go onto our property to see the "fading" (that explained Lucky's barking attack) and got bit by some spider.  Later that same afternoon I took Lucky out to do her potties and felt something on the back of my arm.  I brushed "it" away and then it came:

    Horrible pain, even worse itching and when I looked-5 distinct bite marks with a huge amount of red and swelling.

    Having had spider bites before, I immediately took Benadryl, sat with my feet up and iced it.  Too late for a trip to the GP.  I also tried aloe vera and cortisone 10.  Didn't help one little iota.

    Next day, awful.  Now I was sick as a dog.  My GP's nurse called me about a test I took (not even close to wanting to do anything on this) and I told her about it.  She said to come in the next morning.  Problem-I was going in for an epidural to my cervical area.  That also wound up added an injection to the shoulder.

    My pain med doctor then saw my arm, "Carine, I'm highly uncomfortable with how red and swollen that is-promise me you'll go from here to the doctor's for some antibiotics."  I promised and called from the parking garage.

    Made it to the PA in less than 30 minutes.  She agreed with the pain med guy and gave me yet a third shot in my lower cheek and then made me lay there to make sure nothing else happened.   Their best guess is that I was either bitten by a less deadly form of the brown spider or a black widow.

    Ever try lying after 2 epidural shots????  Whatever, left in 15 minutes and picked up the oral antibiotics that I'm now on for the next 7 days.

    Arm's looking better today, red is now pinker and the swelling is almost gone.  Still queasy.  Epidurals also worked.  Never perfect, but I'm feeling less pain.

    Here's my best advice for the week:  Don't get bit by a spider.

    On another note:  Alex just had his cardio angiogram-thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.  No blockages, his heart is now working at about 40% and if he takes his medicines, forgoes salt and all the other heart diet no-no's he has hopes of being able to recover fully at an 80%.  The rest, as anyone can see, is up to him.

    2 Replies
  • 6:15 Stinks

    Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013

    I am not "built" for 6:15 a.m...
    I have no idea how or why I did it when in my "former" life.  The life that saw me waking up at 5 in the morning throwing on my running clothes, hooking up my wonderful Sunshine and running 2 miles before starting my morning routine.  Or before that, doing the same with our first and wonderful Lucky.

    Our new Lucky-if she wakes me up (she's welcome to keep giving me puppy kisses, but it's not working) she's more often than not greeted by my groaning and telling Steve that there's "no way in H-E-double hockey sticks) that I'm going to be able to open even our levered door handles.

    This is because even though they have levers-the stupid locks do NOT.  What was the ADA thinking when they approved only ½ of a design?  No way will my "witchy, sausage" hands be able to open the dials and get our poor little-bladdered dog out the door.

    Also, besides having hands and feet that cannot move-I'm finding my brain isn't really in a functioning mood until after cup #2 has kicked in-just ask Dylan and Aidan.

    They were staying with us most of last week and getting them and me ready for school was definitely not a pleasant experience.  NOPE.
    What I overheard Dyl telling Aidan:  Don't bother grandma yet-you know she can't move right until she's had her coffee.

    I don't know how the idea that coffee and moving melded, but I'm guessing that there actually be some truth to this discovery.  Oh and the boys suggested that I might not have to worry so much about dropping my mug if "you'd just drink through a straw."
    Those two are really putting their heads together to help me.  Bless their intelligent minds.  If the thought of sipping a hot drink through a straw didn't sound so painful –I'd consider giving it a go.

    Back to the 6 a.m. wake-up call.
    I don't like getting up in the dark, I am not fond of trying to move and now-the mornings are starting out somewhere around 58 degrees, so it's cold. Lucky doesn't like the cold.
    We bought her a "hoody" jacket-Steve won't have anything to do with it.  I think he's thinking that she should just "suck it up buttercup"-but she's 5-1/2 lbs. and doesn't exactly have a real fur coat!  Ever try to get a hoody on a pup with stiff and swollen hands?  She likes the darned thing (should see her prance around when she's got it on!) or it might be even harder to get her dressed.

    Today I woke up at that ungodly hour yet again-this time to help Adam.  He, poor guy, had to have some dental work done and needed me to watch Jackson.  I had to be there at 7:15.  Too early to sit over my coffee and wake up.  Jackson was in his usual great mood.  From there I had my yearly birthday present to myself-a mammogram.  Got home at 10 and didn't get started with my day until almost 11.

    I know everyone is in an uproar about Obamacare, shootings all over the country, getting our boys home safely from the middle east and so much more-my own needs are mundane compared to all of this, but I'd gladly vote for some new and inexperienced politico who would just not let morning begin until around, oh, 8.
    And now, I bid you all a good (or grouchy) day.

    4 Replies
  • Swapping Drama for Dull-Anytime God

    Posted on Friday, November 1, 2013

    I'd love some dull.
    This is something I really am craving.  Why?  What's happened now, you may wonder?

    Our son-in-law has been having some health issues.  Not minor ones by any means.  In this family-minor just is too mundane.

    Anyway, he went in for a heart ultrasound on Tuesday.  His leg had been bothering him and he didn't want to believe it was anything more than a pulled muscle.

    NEVER, EVER let things like this get a pass. He had some issues and had been warned about side effects and things to look for-but just ignored the obvious.  After all, at 32 you're still invincible, no?
    Tuesday afternoon had him admitted into the hospital's ICU for 3 major blood clots and an enlarged heart.

    We're back to being parents full-time for the boys.  At least for the moment.  That Tuesday I went to help our son with our newest bundle of joy.  That was supposed to be an hour or two so dad could trim the trees on their lot.  I got there and found my son suffering from a stomach virus.  

    My hour or two quickly became the day.  I had to leave long enough to pick up the boys from school and get some ginger ale and Gatorade for Adam.  As the now 3 of us got back to Adam and Jackson, Adam told me that Alex was in the hospital.

    I stayed with the new daddy/son duo until 5:15-then went to our daughter's home to pick-up clothes, dog food and an extra dog.  Got home at the same time as my husband, feed all the animals and got them pottied and went on with the task of making dinner.

    At the time of this writing,  Steve and I came home to potty the dogs, give him time to shower and then after spending the morning at the hospital-we're picking up the boys, making them into superheroes and going back to the ICU.

    It's Halloween and I've bought candy, but honestly-I have no idea if we get to either take the boys out or pass out the treats to the neighborhood kids!

    I guess it's a good thing I've learned to give up control and learn to "go with the flow" of whatever life seems to throw at this family.

    November 1:  

    We're upside down once again.  PLEASE, PLEASE I do believe in prayer and good vibes-send some here.

    Nothing is going to stop me from praying for Alex and some very dull and boring times ahead.

    8 Replies
  • Social Networking

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013

    Social Networking

    It's not what you think.  I'm not talking about FaceBook or Twitter.  I'm talking about real, in the flesh, social networking!

    There was a neighborhood potluck and watch party this past weekend and I went!  Steve was working, so he missed the whole thing.  Too bad, I for one was happy to go.

    Plus, I had no idea-our community actually has a website for us to post requests, ideas, if we have something to sell, if we find a lost pet, etc.  It turns out that we live in a very nice tract!  It's just that everyone is busy and obviously leading their own lives.

    One of the major things is that a lot of people lost their homes and the ones that were able to remain don't want to get attached to renters that seem to leave after 6 months.  I understand it-but still, I'd like to get to know people.

    Going to this potluck allowed me to meet some of the people and learn about my home!  I even met the man who was bidding against us and lost out to our all-cash offer.  I heard that the first owner lost the house to the woman who basically did a flip after trying to rent this place.  

    I've personally never heard of someone "flipping" a house with the ugliest colors in the world on the walls, but for us it turned out to be quite a boon.

    When I post this, one neighbor will be joining me for coffee.  I'm looking forward to having some social connection to a real live person.  And guess what?  Our next door neighbors-it's not that they aren't nice, just have their plates overflowing.

    They're newlyweds.  He works two jobs because he's still trying to sell his house from before the marriage.  She's working two jobs as well AND she's a freelance writer!!!!

    We've been exchanging e-mails trying to find a time to meet in person.  In the meantime, we're learning quite a bit about the areas publications and the various questionable ethics they had out to us writers.

    I've suggested that perhaps we start a welcoming committee of some sort-just so new neighbors don't feel as if the others here aren't deliberately snubbing them.  Now that I've met people and the weather's cooled down, it's nice to be able to say "hello" and chat with people as Lucky and I take our morning walks.

    As with all things, getting to know my neighbors just took some time and a great block party!

    6 Replies