Monthly Archives: November 2008

Vacation Update

 
I’ve been home on vacation this week to get ready for the big Thanksgiving dinner that we’re having here tomorrow.  Of course, it’s not too complicated since there’s only going to be four people here.  The turkey is thawed and waiting to be cooked.  It’s the smallest thing we could find.  It’s 13 pounds.  That’s right, we’re going to be eating turkey for a very long time.  
 
The housecleaning is done.  Hubby did the downstairs and I did the upstairs.  The laundry is mostly done.  There’s always laundry to be done.  I think we’re ready for the big event.
 
The good news is that my tooth isn’t bothering me as much anymore.  The meds are working.  I just hope the valium works on Monday morning when I go to get the root canal done. 
 
I’m actually having a good time on my vacation.  Done some reading.  Worked on my knitting and my cross stitch.  Spending quality time with the doggies.  Even taking Luci for walks in the afternoon.  It’s been kind of cold and it snowed on Monday but overall it’s not too bad.  After all, what kind of weather do you expect when you go on vacation in November.
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Teenagers

 
Okay, technically Blacky is probably closer to a senior citizen than a teenager but he’s acquired a habit lately that reminds me of when Jr. and Princess were teenagers.  He’s learned how to get the last word in an argument with his parents.  Yes, a dog has learned how to get the last word in an argument.  
 
A little background . . . Blacky is the good child.  Never a discipline problem.  Never a training problem.  Once he outgrew the chewing stage where he ate everything in sight when he was a puppy, he’s never willfully misbehaved.  Ever.  Graduated at the top of his obedience class. 
 
He also knows how to tell time.  I don’t know how he does it, but he knows (to the minute!) when it’s time for after supper cookies.  Hubby and I give the after supper cookies at approximately 7:30 p.m. every night.  By approximately, I mean we try to do it at about the same time every night and it’s generally around 7:30 p.m.  Blacky’s gotten used to that time and gets a little impatient if we haven’t finished dinner and given the cookies by 7:30.  Up until about a week ago, being impatient would mean that Blacky would stare at us while we finished our dinner and then go stand by the cabinet where the cookies were stored.  We would finish our dinner and then give him and Luci the cookies. 
 
But in the last week or so, impatient has taken on a whole new meaning.  Blacky has decided that we aren’t moving fast enough for his liking and he wants us to move a little faster.  He’s been laying in front of the cabinet where the cookies are kept and has been lightly clearing his throat to get our attention.  It’s not a whine and it’s not a bark.  It’s just loud enough to get our attention.  At first it was kind of funny and I admit that I did giggle over it.  But I always had my back to him so he didn’t see me laughing at him.  Don’t want to encourage the bad behavior.  Now it’s getting annoying and we had to banish him from the kitchen while I finished my supper tonight. 
 
I have to admit that it is funny to think of a dog getting the last word in an argument.  At least this time the last word doesn’t involve someone stomping up the stairs and slamming the door to their room.  I’ll take teenage dogs over teenage humans any day!

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Not Much Fun

 
Hubby’s back is better.  He still has a couple of chiropractor appointments before he gets the all clear, but he’s well on his way back to normal.  Makes me a very happy girl.
 
MIL is adapting to the fact that she’s going to be on oxygen for the rest of her life.  She’s still fighting us on getting a flu shot like the lung doc recommended but the fact that she’s still got some spunk in her is very encouraging. 
 
I’m scheduled to be on vacation next week.  That way Hubby and I can get ready for having The Family Thanksgiving at our house this year.  Since MIL is on oxygen, she can’t be within 5 feet of an open flame and she’s got a gas stove.  She’s a very picky eater and highly critical of other people’s cooking so it should be a fun time for all involved.  BTW, there’s only going to be the three of us at Thanksgiving dinner.  Jr and his family have plans with his girlfriend’s family and Hubby’s sister hasn’t decided if she’s going to come to dinner or not.  My family is having a big to-do at Mom and Dad’s house.  We could take MIL out there, but we did that once and it wasn’t fun for anyone.  I promised I’d never put myself or my family through that ever again.
 
But the biggest news . . . I need a root canal done to one of my molars.  The tooth is cracked and slightly abcessed.  Ouch.  Root canal is scheduled for December 1.  Yea, you read that right.  AFTER Thanksgiving.  Hopefully the pain meds and the antibiotics will kick in and it won’t hurt as bad as it does right now. 
 
And let’s not forget the heart monitor test that’s scheduled for tomorrow morning. 
 
Who knew that turning 45 would be so rough!?

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Back In Business

When FIL got sick back in 2001, Hubby and I did everything we could to help MIL care for him.  We didn’t have a clue what we were doing most of the time, but we had good intentions.  Because of our lack of skills and our good intentions, some of our attempts at helping were rather amusing to watch.  We called ourselves Dumb & Dumber Health Care.  When FIL passed away and our services were no longer needed, Dumb & Dumber Health Care went on hiatus.
 
Since MIL has some health concerns, Dumb & Dumber Health Care makes occasional appearances but it hasn’t been a full time enterprise.  That changed this week.  We’ve noticed over the summer that she’s been short of breath and having trouble getting around.  We’ve been strongly suggesting that she visit her lung doc for quite some time, but she’s always dismissed our concerns and says, “I’m fine.”  So we really had no choice but to wait until she felt ready to address the situation. 
 
She addressed it last Thursday.  She finally went to the lung doc.  He admitted her to the hospital for some tests.  She’s been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and has been sent home with oxygen and a walker.  There are all sorts of new restrictions to her life because of the disease and she’s not happy about it.  She needs help with a lot of things now.  Dumb & Dumber Health Care is back in business.  
 
We always knew that it was going to happen.  But knowing it was going to happen doesn’t make it any easier when it does. 

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All Together Now, Let’s Fall Apart

 
Hubby and I have had a running joke for several years about our Annual Fall Family Health Crisis.  It seems like someone always has some sort of health issue during the month of October, November, or December.  Sometimes we’re lucky and the health crisis lasts for one month.  Sometimes we aren’t so lucky and it last the entire three months.  No matter how long the problem lasts, it’s usually only one person at a time with the health crisis. 
 
We’ve been pretty lucky the last couple of years and the Fall Family Health Crisis hasn’t happened.  This year we made up for it . . . in spades.
 
I thought that the Fall Family Health Crisis would be MIL and her lung/heart problems.  Nothing unusual there – we’ve dealt with that before.  The stakes are a little higher than usual but still not something that we can’t handle.  Hubby and I are a little stressed and a little tired from trying to take care of her, but we’re doing okay. 
 
Or so I thought until I went to our family doc yesterday for my annual med check.  I need to see the doc at least once a year to get a refill of my migraine medicine.  I don’t have migraines anymore because I take a wonderful med every day that keeps them away.  I would cross a blazing desert to get a refill on these pills.  If you’ve ever had migraines, you will understand.  He did the usual checks and asked the usual questions . . . and I answered that I’m noticing that I’m a little tired at the end of the day.  He said my heart rate was at the low end of normal and that he wanted to run some tests to see if everything was okay.  The low heart rate could be a side effect of the migraine med and he wanted to check it out to make sure I don’t have any problems.  Checking it out means referring me to a cardiologist for some tests.  Eeek, gasp, disgusted sigh.  I’m 45 years old and I’m being referred to a cardiologist?!  Man I didn’t see that one coming.  
 
So Hubby gives me the lecture about maybe stretching myself a little thin and I need to take better care of myself.   I’m starting to accept the fact that I’m not invincible.  I’m waiting on a call from the cardiologist to find out when the testing starts. 
 
But wait, there’s more!  Hubby has been complaining about his back bothering him for the past few days.  He has an appointment with the chiropractor but he didn’t think it was bad enough to move the appointment up a few days.  That changed this morning when Hubby got out of bed and the pain was significantly worse.  Yep, he’s done something to his back and he’ll have three visits to the chiropractor this week instead of one.   With a little luck, the problem will be fixed by the end of the week.   If I have no luck at all, we’re back to a series of two visits a week for the next few weeks. 
 
I’m thinking that it’s going to be a very long winter. 

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Civic Duty

 
Believe it or not, I’m still tired from my day at the polls.  I think it’s a combination of things . . . the 15 hour day at the polls, dealing with MIL (difficult is an understatement!), and having to work all week.  I think the next time I volunteer to be a poll worker, I’ll take the day after off.  The schedule for the day was as follows: 
 
3:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off.  Didn’t I just go to bed a few hours ago?  Had to take a shower, feed breakfast to Blacky and Luci, get dressed, load the stuff we would need for the day into Hubby’s truck, play with the doggies a little bit before we leave.  They’re going to be in the house all day so I wanted them to get a little exercise.  (Kindly Neighbor is going to let them out a couple of times during the day.)
 
5:00 a.m. – Hubby set this as our target time to leave for our polling place.  We had to be there at 5:30 and we live about 10 minutes away.  Have I ever told you that Hubby is obsessive about being at least 10 minutes early for EVERYTHING.  Okay, we actually left the house at 5:10 a.m. because I’m notoriously late for EVERYTHING. 
 
5:20 a.m. – We get to the polling place.  There are only two other people there.  The church lady in charge of helping us set up and the lead poll worker guy.  We get started setting up stuff.
 
5:45 a.m. – Our first voter shows up.  He can’t vote until 6:30, but he’s content to watch us as we set up the voting booths.  
 
6:30 a.m. – Polls open and there’s a line all the way out the door and up the sidewalk in front of the church.  If it keeps this up, it’s going to be a really long day.  The first rush last until about 9 a.m.  The average wait is 45 minutes.  
 
11:00 a.m. – After the first rush is over, there’s a steady stream of voters but nothing like what we had in the beginning.  We think that we will get hit with another rush during the lunch hour – when people will come to vote during their lunch hour.  We were disappointed.  There were maybe 10 people who came to vote between Noon and 1 p.m.  
 
3:30 p.m.  – The steady stream of voters continues throughout the afternoon.  Things are starting to pick up some and we start to think that maybe we will see more voters after 5 p.m.
 
5:00 p.m – Still a steady stream of voters but nothing at all like the morning rush and nothing like what we expected.  
 
6:30 p.m. – Things are really slow now.  We had two voters during the last hour the polls were open and the last voter showed up in the last 10 minutes before the polls closed.  
 
7:30 p.m. – The polls close and we start tearing down stuff.  Takes us about 35 minutes to get everything wrapped up.  We leave the polling place at 8:10 p.m.
 
8:15 p.m. – Stop at Burger King to get supper.  We were so tired that we stopped at the first place we passed.  
 
8:45 p.m. – Finally home, Blacky and Luci are happy to see us, we unload the truck, thank Kindly Neighbor for watching the dogs, and eat supper.
 
10:00 p.m. – Finally tired of letting Blacky and Luci in and out the back door for the last hour, Hubby and I go to bed.
 
It was a long day, but it was a lot of fun.  The best part was I didn’t have to watch any of the campaign commercials and we missed all the robo-calls. 
There were 5 messages on the phone when we finally got home.  Even though I’m still tired and my feet hurt, I will definately do this again.  
 

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And Now We Wait

 
Hubby and I survived our day of being poll workers.  The day started at 3:30 a.m. when we got up to be ready to be at the polling place at 5:30 AM!  Polls opened at 6:30 am and closed at 7:30 pm.  We were done with the clean up by 8:10 and was home eating supper by 8:45.  I have lots of stories to tell but right now I’m very tired, my feet hurt, and I’ve just come off the sugar rush from the goodies I bought at the bake sale.  (Our polling place was at a church.  The church ladies had a bake sale.  Yes, I have a serious weakness for church bake sales on election day.)
 
By the way, I figured we had about a 50% turnout in the precinct we worked.  Not great but better than expected!

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