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Carine’s Blog

  • Something to be Said about a Good Wash

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Nothing Wrong With a Good Wash
    A couple of weeks ago our older grandsons, Dylan and Aidan, had a half day at school and I picked them up before lunch.  It was cold!  One of our very rare 47 degree days and they asked to go to the park.

    Not wanting to sit in the house myself, but not wanting to sit at the park in the cold and wind either I made the ever famous parental promise of "let's have lunch and see if it warms up.  If it does, then yes, we'll even take Lucky!"

    After lunch was eaten and dishes put away-we took the "temperature" check while Lucky took a potty break in the yard.  It was still pretty cool-my phone said we had now hit 52 at 1 p.m...

    It was either we all bundled up or (Lord help me!) sit in house while the boys played PBS kids games on my computer, colored or watched TV.

    I opted for the first.  We put on coats and gloves (Lucky just her jacket) and we walked across to the pocket park.  I looked at the boys and said, "you know, I've lived here a year and I don't know what's in the wash-why don't we take a hike?"
    They thought this was a good idea and off we trucked down to what was the closest thing to a path. At the fork, Aidan decided we should go left-as long as the next time Dylan could pick to go right.
    Off we went.  It was beautiful out there.  Lots of Saguaro cacti, lots of other desert flora.  We also saw a few teenagers who were going in the opposite direction.  And one very retro dune buggy.  We all just kept walking.

    Then I looked left and realized that I could see our friends' backyard!  Uh-oh.  In "beeline" terms-we were at least 2 or more miles from home!  I didn't tell the boys.  But I did say we need to look for the path back to home.  

    Thankfully Aidan found one a few minutes later.  Yep, there was our friends home-about a ¼ of a mile going back toward our home!  Then it happened.
    First, the 1-1/2 year old Chihuahua gave up and cried to be picked up.  Then the 6 year old said he was tired and wanted to rest, followed by his 5 year old brother.

    I just kept saying things such as:  "If I can make it, so can you", "You mean the two of you are going to let your arthritic and old grandma out walk you?"  And, "Listen boys, we don't have too much farther to go and it's hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies when we get there."

    It was working, in spurts.  Except Lucky didn't care.  I wound up carrying my 6-1/2 pound pup all two miles.
    I thought they'd take a nap.  No.  Warned our daughter that they'd probably be willing to go to bed really early and would sleep well too.  No.

    All in all, the 4 of us had a good time, enjoyed finding out what was on the "other side of our street" and yes, we're looking forward to going toward the right very soon.

    This time though-I'm setting a timer for 20 minutes.

    2 Replies

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013


    Here's something I learned this week:  Just because you delete something out of your e-mails on your Android phone that does NOT mean they have "left the building".

    I'm certain many of you already knew that little piece of information, but remember I am a complete techno-disaster.

    How did I make this discovery?  Just messing around while waiting for my husband to stop saying he was ready to go and actually BE ready to go.

    I went and discovered that my e-mail has folders.  I clicked on it and that's when this knowledge struck me.  Yep, there it was:  

    Inbox:  17
    Sent: 468
    Trash: (OMG) 8,586

    Thank goodness I've only had the phone since May.  I asked my dearest better half why I had all those things in the trash when I, in fact, deleted them?

    I'm sure you know the look I received.  He tried to get that number down.  Phone froze.

    "I hope you're happy. Why didn't you empty your trash?"
    "Why?  Because when I asked the guy at the store he never mentioned that little known piece of information that would've been nice to have AND neither did you!"

    Guess where we went to the next morning?  One of the other sales people said, "Well I haven't emptied my phone in a year.  I've got almost 5,000."

    Now I'm not bragging, but I've only had the phone for about 5 months.  I'm obviously more popular than him.

    The nice salesman asked if we had any other errands to run in the area.  So we left my phone with him and then went to go find a mirror for the new dining room set.  Found it!  That was quite the project as well.  We needed one with a frame that matched both the table top and the new clock.  

     Wouldn't you know-Ross had just the one and because it had a few tiny scratches on it they gave us an extra 10% off.
    Then Steve measure the trunk opening, put down the back seats of my 200S and the mirror should have fit-perfectly.  Too bad the mirror didn't get the memo.

    So a quick trip to Lowe's was made for some bungee cord.  Done.

    Then we had a coupon for Lucky's dog food.  That stuff is EXPENSIVE and we had a coupon that was expiring.  We used that.

    Off we went to retrieve my phone.  Steve stayed in the car with the mirror and dog food while I went to see if I now had a "clean" android.

    The guy did work a bit of a miracle-he managed to get 5,000 of them off and showed me how he re-configured the trash list to break the area down into smaller units so I could keep on erasing things.

    By the time we got home 20 minutes later-I was down to only 1,000 in my trash box!  Woot, woot!

    It took a total of 3-1/2 hours, but I got it all cleared.  At least until I realized I now had another 25 messages in my inbox.  Ack!

    But now I know-read them, trash them and then go into the trash file and delete them.

    May this be a lesson to everyone-DELETE, DELETE AND DELETE.

    2 Replies
  • 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