Friday, December 24, 2010

The hectic scene is over, for a few hours anyway. Tonight it begins again, with a trip to North Grosvenordale to Phil and Renees for Christmas Eve, tomorrow we have Christmas with Frank and Jean at our house and then we go to their house Sunday AM, for Christmas with Taylor, Ryan and Andrew.

I got all my gifts wrapped yesterday and good thing, I didn't realize Sandy was off today! It would have been awkward wrapping her gifts while she was home.

That's good news...and more good news I got yesterday was a note from the Retirement Commission telling me that they finished the audit of my pay records and they owe me money! Not a whole lot, but I get a nice little lump sum payment. Most of it will go to taxes, but still....a nice gift anyway!

I didn't get cards sent off to the masses this year....I cheated and sent cards to those who had already sent cards to us....only to get more cards from folks AFTER I sent cards it's too late for them to get cards before Christmas. Oh well, you know what? I'm not stressing over it.
Thanks to Lexapro.....heh heh...

I have been so tired lately...well, maybe I should say...still. I wake up at 5:30 when Sandy's alarm goes off, fall back to sleep, wake up when Sandy comes up to shower, fall back to sleep, wake up when Sandy goes off to work, fall back to sleep, wake up when Truman whines to go out, get him back in bed, fall back to sleep and then get up when the dogs get restless...usually around 9:30.

I putz around the house and on the computer, read the paper, eat my breakfast and putz around doing chores...have my lunch and then the pups want me to sit in the recliner so they can get on my lap and take a nap. I usually give in to them around 2:30 and then I end up napping myself for about an hour.

Maybe I'm still catching up on all the sleep I missed this year while I was up at night, sitting on the potty. Thank goodness that shit has ceased, pardon the pun.

I filled Sandy's stocking yesterday and ironically it was Truman, who's vision is decreasing, who spotted the items bulging out the sides. He started whining about it last night. He's convinced that either the items are for him, or that his stocking has stuff in it too. That little crud...he is so smart. He remembers that the stockings have goodies in them. Sandy put their toys in the guest room and we have a gate at the door, to keep them from going in there. I'm surprised he hasn't figured that out and isn't up there whining and barking at the door!

Maybe I'm sorry we got this new tv with surround sound. I always wanted a surround sound system. I knew Sandy would love it for her movies. Well, right now I'm being deafened by the sounds coming out of "Prince of Persia," which she is watching while she has her tea and snuggles with her dogs. All except Bubbles, of course, who can't stand the sound, like me!

Oh well...time to go harvest some crops and build a school in my new addiction, Cityville!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sorry about that, been busy. Haven't gotten over here in awhile.

Sandy and I had that stomach stuff going for awhile. I missed the Ladies holiday party at Lynnes, but was able to go to work when I was supposed to. No work now until January and then I have a lot of days to do.

We went to NYC on Sunday with Charmine and Pat. We met at the train station in New Haven (accent on the New as my Army recruiter used to say) and headed to Grand Central Station. We ate downstairs there, at Two Boots, an Italian/Louisiana influenced restaurant. I had a calzone...actually we ALL had calzones.

Then we strolled along the streets, popping into here and there, en route to Madison Square Garden. We went through Macys, first time I've ever been there. It was a madhouse...and VERY HOT! We checked out handbags and jewelry. Of course the stuff I liked was very expensive. I saw some things Jill Zarin would buy.

We made it to the game when the first game was just wrapping up. Had time to potty, pay $5 for a lousy bottle of water (and they take the cap off the bottle) and check out our seatmates before the Huskies came out for warm-ups. Oh, the water bottle doesn't fit into the cup holder on the seat, so you have to hold it or put it on the floor, risking spilling it. I told Sandy everyone should spill water on the floor, just to make a point.

We had great seats.....for which I spent only $45 a ticket.....I heard that those seats were going for $240 last week. Good thing I bought them from the Garden and bought them early. We were in the second row, with only one small VIP section between us and the UConn bench. The seats were fantastic! I was able to get good shots of Geno and the team with my iPhone.

The game was fast paced, the Huskies basically swarmed all over OSU and ran them off the floor. Tiffany Hayes was spectacular and the freshman Stephanie Dolson had the game of her short career. We have a center now!

Afterwards we took a cab to the Cowgirl Restaurant in the Village. Oh, we also stood in line with Barb Smith, the head referee for the Husky game...she asked if she could get a cab ahead of us as she had a plane to catch. We said sure and chatted with her while we waited for the cab.

At the restaurant we waited for Charmine's son and daughter-in-law and grandson to join us. As we sat at a table at the front Charmine told us about seeing Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones and Carla Berube and others at the game. They were sitting near them. She said Sue swigged down three beers during the game, purchased by her pals. Well, who comes strolling into the restaurant? Sue Bird and her gal pals! Interesting that Sue shows up at the same lesbian restaurant that we are at...I'm just sayin'....

Charmine's son and daughter in law brought along a friend, Shalonda, who was traveling in the East and came to see them. We had a pleasant time chatting with her, Jarod and Anna and playing with Charmine's grandson. Such a cutie he is!

I got a little ill from the heat and the food (not that it was bad, but it was heavy) I couldn't eat much. When I got out in the fresh air I felt much better.

We took a cab to Rockefeller Center (note to self: next time plan to go up to "Top of the Rock" to see the view) and enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree and the skaters. It was sooooo crowded there though, we could barely move.

We walked back to Grand Central, got drinks and snacks and then caught the 9:00 train back.

We got home after midnight.

The next day I got all dressed up for the Baton's Special Christmas Singalong show, got the dogs in their kennels and went out to my car, only to realize my key was missing. It turns out I lost it somewhere in NYC. I'm not stressing about sense in it. I'll use Sandy's copy of my key and hope the other once turns up. I think if the person who finds it drops it in a mailbox, Toyota will get it and will send it to me.

Then today I put my new contacts in for the first time. I go to the store to buy sun glasses....get them and get out to the car....I had dropped my reading glasses somewhere. So I had to go buy new reading glasses.

Oh well, there's always sumthin'

GO HUSKIES!!! Jo-Ann Moylan is coming tonight for supper and to watch the Huskies whup up on FSU. Got to go get the dogs fed so I can make supper.


Monday, December 13, 2010

While I wait for the water for my angel hair pasta to boil, some things I've been thinking about lately:

There are two types of people, those who LOVE "Grandma Got Runned Over By a Reindeer," and those who HATE it. I love it.

How many members of "flash mobs" tip off their family and friends that they are going to be participating in said "mob" and the location of the event? Do they make participants swear to keep it secret? Judging from the number of observers who "just happen" to be there....someone's talking.

I rarely buy stuff for Christmas at an actual store. I have been buying online since online sales accounted for less than 10% of total sales. Am I ahead of the rest of the world in things or am I just lazy?

The Patriots are on some kind of mission and the rest of the football world should be afraid, very, very afraid.

Ginger has saved me from puking so many times I've lost count.

I love whoever invented fingertip bandaids. Sure beats using two regular bandaids to do the job.

Listening to Howard Stern means more to me than I thought it did....when he was on the verge of not getting a new contract I was becoming more and more anxious. I'm going to have to figure out how to cope when this contract is up in five years.

I do not feel guilty about "wasting my time" watching all the Real Housewives....

Can't believe that I'm actually wearing black framed glasses. Last time I had black framed glasses, the Army issued them to me.

Speed kills. We all knew that the kids who were killed in that accident on Rte 201 died because their friend was speeding and they couldn't tell him to slow down. Sure am glad I miraculously had that ability when I was a teen. I used to scream "slow down" and threaten to exit the car if they didn't.

Sometimes Kelly does a good job cutting our hair, sometimes she's distracted and we are left with problems....

Cityville may be replacing Mafia Wars as my game of choice.

There is little in the world better than the feeling you get when you hear that little dog heave the sigh as he settles down to sleep.

I have no idea how I'm going to get "Grandma Got Runned Over by a Reindeer" out of my head before I go to bed tonight.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Got to work as the director for the Baton's Show on Monday. Guy and Gary couldn't make it. Guy usually does the directing and Gary handles the sound board, while I do the camera that picks up the close-ups.

Since both of them were gone, I had to run the camera controls and manage the sound board. It was fun and I remembered a lot of it from before. Piece of cake and a lot of fun.

I got a call from Ellen tonight, asking me to direct a show on next Monday for some ladies who talk about books or something...guess I'll find out what they are all about. Maybe if I help them, they might be willing to help me sometime if I'm having trouble getting someone.

Jen Gamble called the other day and said she'd be very happy to come on the show every three months or so like she used to and answer people's vet questions. It made me feel good to hear that she was very enthused about being on the show again. She said she really loved being on the show and missed doing it. So do will be fun to be back on the air again. I still don't have the word from Ellen as to when I can announce the day and time of the show...she still has to get in touch with the guy who has the slot now (and doesn't use it).

I got my new glasses yesterday. I think they be lookin' they would say in the hood.... I do like them and got a few compliments on them today at work. Of course, my good friend Charmine looks at them and offers, "they're different!" HA HA! Yes, they are different. I like them.

Worked today doing the smoking cessation gig. Reminds me of how happy I am that I quit so long ago. All that money I saved....and maybe I kept myself from getting some serious illness. Oh, wait, I DID get a serious illness. Well, maybe I'd be dead now if I had kept smoking.

Heard good news today quickly followed by horrible news. First I hear that the Sox signed Carl Crawford (who I've always liked) and then I hear that Aretha has pancreatic cancer. UGH.

Then I get in the car and learn that my buddy Howard signed a five year contract to stay on Sirius AND they now have an iPhone app that would let me listen to him when I'm out of the car! For some reason I can't listen to him on the computer ever since I switched to Apple. Haven't figured that out yet, but it would be nice to listen on the iPhone, I could listen in the yard, etc.

Today he made me laugh so hard on the way home from work. It was something that as usual, was so wrong, but so funny. It was over him imitating Dick Clark after his stroke, broadcasting on New Year's Eve. Have you heard Dick since his stroke? You can barely understand what the hell he's saying. Anyway, Howard starts imitating him and then says, "if I ever had a stroke, you'd never hear from me again, I won't have you bastards imitating me and making fun of me." Then he proceeded to talk like he had a stroke and was doing his show....I almost wet myself.

Anyway, the Huskies won tonight, paving the way for Sandy and I to see them tie the record at MSG on the if we ever had a doubt.

I work three days next week, including a special gig that I picked up today, Carol and I made up a scenario, utilizing my own medical history. That was fun and interesting. Then we go to New York for the game on Sunday...should be a fast week!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Busy busy busy. Worked on Friday in the AM...that was great, then I went to see Dr. Sansone, I was supposed to go Tuesday, but she had an emergency.

She gave me a clean bill of health. I don't have to go back unless the diarrhea at night starts up again. I do get up once in the night now, for the past week, to have a BM...but no more diarrhea. I just get up, do my duty and then right back to sleep. I can live with that!

If things start up again, she will put me back on the medication, and that should take care of that!

Yesterday Jean came up in the AM and she and Sandy worked outside again. They cleaned out the yard out front and Sandy hauled all the flower pots; leaves, etc. that were out there to the back. I went out later and put up the tree lights in the cherry trees out front. I also put lights on the arbor and the front porch looks nice out there. Oh, and I put the red bows on the picket fence.

Then I came into the house and decorated the tree and the downstairs with all of our Santa collection. Next Sandy put out the lighted reindeer. Now we just have to put the candles in the windows and we are all decorated!

Sandy just came in and announced that she has the snow blower all ready to go. Does she know something I don't?

Oh, I also sliced the tip of my finger nearly off yesterday afternoon. Damned Cutco knives. It's only the third time I've done such a tune on my fingers....and have had cuts in other places from those knives. Who was to know they would still be so sharp all these years later?

Anyway, Sandy had just left to get the propane tanks for the grill filled up for the winter, so I was home alone. The aforementioned finger is on my right hand, so I was having trouble maneuvering the butterfly bandaid onto the wound. Also, the darned thing was bleeding VERY profusely....blood all over the place as I found out later--when I had to clean it all up.

After a couple of fruitless attempts to self bandage....I broke down and called Nurse Carol, who came right over and did her best to bandage me. She wasn't much better than I at it, and insisted on sticking my finger under water, which made me yelp. It really stung.

She said, "come on! Suck it've gone through surgeries and chemo and you're going to whine over a cut?!"

So I put my "big girl pants on" and sucked it up, she was right.

Later Sandy and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 at the Lisbon theater. Sandy thought the movie started at 4:45 so we got there a bit before 4:30....only to learn that it started at 4pm! I had already ordered the popcorn and drinks when she came in from the ticket window to tell me. I made the command decision that we see it anyway, and I was right...we missed very little of the movie.

The movie was really good and I was able to figure most of it out, despite the fact that I didn't read the book. The special effects were fabulous and the scenery was gorgeous. I give it two thumbs up. Now we wait for Part Two...and then it will be all done....

Came home and watched the Huskies beat USF in football, to get their first EVER BCS bowl invite. They will be playing in the Tostito Bowl in AZ or the Orange Bowl....can you imagine? It was a very exciting game, decided on a 52 yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the game. Sandy had gone to bed but I didn't care... I whooped when they won. She never heard a thing.

Oh last night I was naughty and I bought myself a cross country ski set, boots, poles, skis and bindings, on sale from LL Bean. I'm so excited. They had a great sale and I couldn't resist. I haven't been able to go skiing for a few years bindings were wrecked and I couldn't get them replaced....they didn't make them anymore. So, for years I've wanted another X Country outfit....and soon I will have it! Now I just hope for snow.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Went to see Dr. DiSilvestro today. The nurse asked me how I was feeling...did I have any pains...of course that just served to ratchet up my anxiety...I'm thinking, "what does she know?"

Dr. D. ended up making us even more anxious...he took so long to come into the room, even Sandy was antsy about it!

When he did come in we got the great news....everything was FINE. Sandy and I had a big hug and then I asked, "are you sure? what did the report say?" To which Sandy got on me for "tempting fate." Later, when she was out of the room I did ask what my CA125 level was and he told me "3."

He is giving me a break for awhile. I don't have to go back until we come back from Disney, so I won't see him again until near the end of April. More good news!

After the appointment I drove down to the Crystal Mall to pick out eye glasses. I got some DKNY frames that were on sale at Lenscrafters, they are black frames, kind of squarish, but small and the interior of the frames and temples is highlights my eye color.

I got a good price on them because the frames were half-price and our insurance gave me 40% off the total price, so even though I got bi-focal, transition, light-weight lenses, I got the whole shebang for under $350! WOW!!!

The frames are going to be a major departure for me, who has worn gold metal frames for years. It's good to go with something new and funky. I used my iPhone to take a picture of me wearing the two frames I chose, so Sandy can see them.

I will be getting them in about 10 days. In time to show-off for Christmas. Audrey, Maria and I can have a eyeglass frame fashion show. Then we can compete for the Secretary of the Year Award.

So, life can settle down to a dull roar around here. I can continue to recuperate from the hernia surgery and look forward to joining a gym in January. We can have a nice, quiet Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Okay, I'm admitting that I'm getting more and more anxious as Wednesday and my Dr. D appt nears. I can't say I'm fully confident as I was last time I went, that I'm cancer-free now.

I've been getting tired easily lately and also having weird pains in my abdomen...hoping against hope that this is still related to the hernia surgery, but the pains are kind of lower in the abdomen for that.

Also had a dream last night about a guy who was diagnosed with cancer...I was encouraging him and telling him to get positive and determined. In the dream he and I were in the hospital at the same time and that's how I met him. Later in the dream, or a different dream, he was being released from the hospital and was cancer-free and a nurse told him that "of course, I (me) was going to die...but he was fine." WHAT???!!! What the HELL!!! Where is THAT coming from?!!!

Wednesday will tell.

Also in the dream was Mark Simon, who passed away this year, but in the dream he was very much alive and he and I were riding around in a big, fancy car, taking someone for a ride past the "old instititution" that still had lots of people living there and we were all irate about that.

I have no idea where my dreams come from lately, I think it's the meds.

We went to the Dazzle Light Parade last night with Mary Anne and had a great time. We got to her house before 4Pm and established our spot in Rotary Park, across from the telephone company before 4:30...the place was filling up fast. We had chairs, a space blanket I bought at the AKC cluster on Saturday and four blankets. I was bundled up in my down jacket (with balaclava and down hood on my head); and my LL Bean fleece-lined jeans. I look bulky, but I was warm! The parade was cool...they had 130 entrants, lots of floats, dogs walking, including the ever-present Newfie Club....they even had cows walking in the parade! Saw Mike Brodeur and Russ with the Danielson BPOE and Rachael Johnston walking with some group.

I don't know what is more fun, watching the parade, or being in it. I think being in it is more fun, because we would dance, sing and holler out to people we knew in the crowd. I wish we had a float in the parade this year. Maybe we can get something going next year.

Got word today that Russ' dog, Kelly, passed away. I have no idea what happened, she was so young! She had just injured her leg and had surgery for torn MCL or ACL...I forget which. And now she's gone. So sad.

Well..I have to get ready to go to the studio to help the Baton Boys. Tomorrow I go to work for training and then to see Dr. Sansone. I'm going to give her a big hug for curing me of the "shits." It's been a long time since I have been "regular" and I'm loving it! I sleep most of the night now and I'm not always having to think about going to the bathroom whenever I go out to's wonderful.

So, she gets a hug. And hopefully, so does Dr. DiSilvestro when I see him Wednesday afternoon, which brings us full circle for this I'll sign off.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Landry Has Crossed the Bridge

Received this news from Carol and Mark tonight....

"our hearts are heavy tonight. We made the decision to let landry go. It was difficult but we know she is in a better place. she has had a rough couple of days and really stopped eating most everything except bites of ice cream and yesterday had a few bites of turkey. she was coughing more and had been up most of the night coughing. This morning she gave us those sad labrador eyes and we knew she was tired and ready for us to end her fight.
she went for a ride to the feed store with mark and a long walk, then came home and she and porter hunted her "beloved" mice in the woodpile with determination. she and mark then watched their last sunset together before we made the LONG drive.
For all of you who have shown your love and support during this difficult time, thank you.
she was a big part of our lives for 5 1/2 years. She was a special girl who took a piece of our hearts with her tonight. She will be greatly missed."
Carol, Mark and Porter

A piece of our Hearts
Labradors take your heart, they walk with it, sleep with it, they never let it out of their sight and when it is their time they will take a little piece of it with them to remember you by and leave a piece for you to remember them by.
author unknown

Mark and Carol rescued "Lady" (renamed her "Landry") from down South, five years ago. She was destined to be euthanized when they pulled her away from that madness and brought her to rural CT. She had a wonderful life, a wonderful family and reciprocated by being a wonderful dog. She will be missed by all who knew her, including Sandy and me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh, I'm a happy camper today! For those of you who hate sports, stop reading now.

Last night, true Husky fan that I am, I laid in bed with the TV on, sound turned off, and watched the Huskies (guys) beat Kentucky in the Maui tournament...while Sandy snored on the other side of the bed.

I am so happy with this team. They are truly a TEAM...finally. No prima donnas, just guys working together, helping each other out, having fun and WINNING! So good to have the real Huskies back.

We went to Jean's last night for our first turkey dinner, today we have the second one at Rhonda's, where we will see Roxie and the kids. YAY!

Lots of fun last night. Neil and Debbie joined us this year, along with Taylor and Andrew and Ryan. We haven't had Deb to the house in ages and Neil had never been there. We laughed a lot, especially over Sandy's "Talking Tom" iPhone app, which Neil got the biggest kick out of....he immediately downloaded it to his phone to play with today.

Neil introduced me to a great diet They have an iPhone app, which I downloaded and started using right away to chart my food intake and exercise for the day. It's cool.

Yesterday I actually consumed less calories that I needed to have. I took a half hour brisk walk with the dogs and that put me under calories, despite the fact I had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc and chocolate cream pie! Interestingly, the chocolate cream pie was a lot less calories than I thought it would be!

So, I'm going to keep tracking this stuff, because it's easy and because that's what "they" say you should do when you are trying to lose/maintain weight. One of the best things you can do when you are on a diet is to track what you are eating....when you are aware of the calories you are taking in, you can make better informed decisions about what to put in your pie-hole. HAR HAR.

Sandy is complaining about how slow her computer is and I'm sitting here happily typing away on my Mac....guess what I told her.

Carol is still sick with the stomach thing and Landry is still alive, but having more and more trouble with the cough and not eating. She had corn flakes for breakfast. They give her whatever she wants...but some days she doesn't want anything. We are hoping that she doesn't die on Thanksgiving...that would ruin Thanksgiving for them for forever.

I can't imagine being sick and having to deal with having my dog dying at the same time. It's so sad....but just when we think Landry isn't going to make it through the day or night, she surprises us. Who knows?

I'm going to stop by Frog Rock today en route to Rhonda's...I'll pose with the Big Guy and have Sandy take my picture. There is a Frog Rock Facebook page and I'll post it there. They are looking for shots. I'll have to think of something funny or obscene to do with The Rock....maybe both.

Tomorrow I rest up....getting ready for Saturday. We head up to the Big E to the AKC dog show...conformation, agility and loads of vendors. We try to go every year and I always spend loads of money. I'll probably do the same this year...YAY!!! Jess is going with us and I forget who else, should be a good time. We'll see lots of folks and doggies from SNEAK and get to cheer them on in agility.

Sunday we are heading to Putnam, all bundled up for the cold, to see the Holiday Dazzle Light Parade, with Mary Anne. First time I've been a spectator at the parade, I've been in it with the folks from Dempsey for three years. Sandy has never seen the parade, period. It's a great parade....I heard they have about 120+ entries in the parade....should be a great one!

We will probably freeze our butts off, but it will be worth it! It is a fabulous parade.

Busy week next week, with training at work, visit to Dr. Sansone and the CRITICAL visit with Dr. DiSilvestro...the one I'm really looking forward to....

I'm hoping that the bowel distress I've been having the past couple of days is linked to the CT scan "beverage" and disappears soon. Dr. Sansone would have cured me then. If not, maybe that "beverage" is a key to my ongoing problems.

The trip to Dr. Di is critical because it is the source of a lot of my anxiety....I'm hoping that I come through with flying colors....clean CT scan and low CA125 level. It will get me through December, January and February....for the first time since 2008, without surgery or chemo!

I'm keeping lots of positive thoughts about this, but some sharp pains in my abdomen, which are reminiscent to those I felt before and after the cancer diagnosis, has caused some anxiety. I'm hoping that these pains are associated with the hernia...which is the best likelihood....but I have to be realistic too. It COULD be the cancer coming back.

We will find out on Wednesday.

In the is afoot!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To the studio yesterday to help the Baton's. Arte is a dirty old man, making growling noises at me and talking about the "tattoo she has on her back" on the air. I don't have any damned tattoo on my back. Why does it bother me that the "Yahoos" who watch their show might think he's seen my back? makes me sick to think about it.

George is always the gentleman though and I had a good time bantering on the camera mike with Guy and Gary in the control room. They have a healthy disdain for everything Arte too.

Today I had to rise and shine early to get up the Providence for the CT Scan. They took me in early which was nice. They had some problems getting the fluids to go into my vein...they had to wiggle the needle around a bit and were all concerned that it might hurt me. PLEASE! That is NOTHING compared to other stuff. Anyway, it finally worked, albeit slowly and they got the tests done.

Then I had to head over to my favorite place, the get my CA 125 and the new test done. I had to ask for Colleen or Cindy, as they had to escort me to the drawing station and wait for the blood to send the test in. A woman came out and started telling me what to do. I had to ask her was Colleen! Why the hell can't these idiots introduce themselves? STUPIDOS as my mother would say. I get so sick of it.

Colleen came with me to the drawing station and stood by in the hall. I was civil to the woman in the drawing station as I always am. Civil and nothing more...ever since that woman yelled at me there I don't give them even a smile.

I noted that the chemo center is in their new site on the first floor, where they supposedly have more room and a better lay-out. All I could think of when I saw the sign on the door was that I hope I never have to go through those doors!

Came home and cleaned downstairs and am now taking a break, playing on the computer. Next up, cleaning a bit upstairs and then a nap.

We are having a closing on our house tonight, right at our dining room table. We are refinancing at a lower interest rate, a move that will shave about $300 off our mortgage payments a month. Not too bad. We'll be sure to pour that money back into the marketplace to help boost the nation's economy. Actually, before we do that, we will be putting six months of mortgage payments in savings, just in case of a really rainy day!

We'll see how long that resolution lasts.

Maureen Cedio is quitting smoking and I told her she needs to walk with me. So, hopefully we will start tomorrow as long as I get out of bed in time and it isn't raining! We will start slow and will take Rocky with us. I'm looking forward to it.

I can't believe the job Sandy and Jean did out back....the yard looks totally different! They have ripped up all the brush and junk out there. You can see all the way back to the fence now and all the way around the yard. There are new areas for us to use for different activities...maybe another water feature, maybe a bigger fire pit.....maybe put a swing out there, things like that. I took some pictures with my phone, I'll get the camera out and document what they did.

Of course, Sandy went out and raked for an hour the other day when she got home and didn't use the Dawn when she showered and of course, she got wicked poison ivy! I put a bottle of Dawn in the shower last Spring as I was sick of her getting poison ivy and moaning about it...although I have to admit she gets it really bad...if I had rashes like that I'd be doing more than moaning...

I always have to remind her to use the Dawn...but she had been getting good at remembering. She admits that this last time she didn't use it because she didn't think anything would she knows.

Jean gets bad ivy rashes too...must run in the family. They will be glad when I'm able to get out there and rake and pull up stuff like I used to do...spare them the pain.'s time to get upstairs and clean a little. I did the laundry yesterday so that's all taken care it's vacuuming and sink cleaning time. Then I crawl under that new down comforter and nap.....yay!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Been a busy week. Tuesday night Jere, Janet, Jess and Jo-Anne came over to watch the game with us...what a game it was! Right down to the wire baby! It was so exciting! I was so happy to see the freshmen and Heather Buck step up big time in this bodes well for the future.

Worked around the house on Wednesday and took it easy. On Thursday I had to bring the dogs down to Sandy at work as they had vet appts in the afternoon and then we went out to their PT appointments from there. All are doing well and I got a good picture of Rocky in the treadmill at PT and posted it on Facebook.

Friday Sandy was off from work to get stuff done in the yard. I had an eye appointment in the morning with Dr. McKay. Found out that I have cataracts growing in both eyes. Figures. I'm a Miller and the Millers have cataracts. I'll be going to pick out new frames next week I guess.
I think I'm going to get away from the metal frames for awhile...the trend right now is to go with horned rims or colors, like when I was in high school. As my mother always said, "wait and it becomes fashionable again."

Friday night Charmine and Pat came over and we drove out to Foxwoods for the Kathy Griffin show. We met up with Jean and Dorothy and all went to California Kitchen for dinner. Good meals.

The show was fabulous....I wore my belly band and held myself when I was laughing...but I still felt like I busted a few stitches. After the show I bought some KG "merch" and thought I put my wallet in my purse. I caught up with Sandy, Charmine and Pat and we headed to get some gelatos on our way out. When we got there, my wallet was missing!

I went back and talked to a Security Guard, he directed me to the Security center and I told them what happened. Just then the doors to the theater opened up and all the security guards who had been working the show of them was carrying my wallet! AM I LUCKY OR WHAT???!!! That's the second time I've lost that wallet in a public place and both times I've gotten it back, with everything in it!! That never happens!

I better not lose it again.

Yesterday I went up to Lisa and Drew's house...found out they live in Colchester, very close to Charmine and Pat! I thought they lived in Cobalt! Anyway, I met them and drove up to Erin's game with Lisa and her grand daughter, Kylee. We went up to Western New England College in Springfield, where Erin's team was playing MIT.

MIT won, but Erin played well. She had 17 points for the game. I feel for her...she was such a great player in AAU and high school, and then tore her ACL twice and lost her dream of playing Div 1 ball. She plays for Wilkes College in PA, a good academic school. She's majoring in pre-med and wants to go into physical therapy....a great career.

After the game we went back to the house and the whole team joined us there for supper. I couldn't really enjoy myself too much, because I had BAD GAS....I had to keep running to the bathroom. Finally I felt like I was going to blow up, so I bid adieu and headed home, ripping off the farts the whole way....

When I got home I felt so sick, I crawled into bed despite the fact it was only 7pm and watched the Huskies play Syracuse in football. Great game that took my mind off my sick stomach.

Feel much better today. Sandy is off watching Ryan play in four lacrosse games. I'm home with the dogs, watching the Huskies and doing chores. Truman ate most of my french toast breakfast this morning....which was good because it probably was too much for me to eat anyway. I have to cut my portions in half nowadays and am still not used to that.

Tomorrow I go help the Baton Boys at the studio, Tuesday is my next CT scan and blood tests and Wednesday we go to Jean's for early Thanksgiving. Thursday we'll be up at Rhonda's with Roxie and the kids for turkey...we get to see them again.

So we have a busy week ahead....I like that!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday= BIG GAME DAY!!!

Saturday I went to Vee's funeral...saw Deb Dunn, Katy, Pam and Jan, Shirley, the brothers, Pin, Nun and Larry....the "kids" Danny, LeLe, Val and Eva.

It was bittersweet being there. So many, many great memories of sad that she is gone.

Rachel had put together a great slide show that they had playing at the funeral parlor...there was one picture of Vee that really touched me...she is going to send me a copy of the slide show.

Sat with Pam and Jan at the church, where the priest actually acknowledged that Vee was Rachel's SPOUSE!!! And noted their 29 year relationship. That was the CATHOLIC CHURCH! Crazy!

I heard a rumor that Rachel originally wanted the service at the church in N. Grosvenordale, Vee's old church, but the priest hemmed and hawed about their relationship, so she went to Putnam for the service. Kudos to Putnam.

Sunday we went to the SNEAK brunch banquet at Frank's Gourmet Grill....excellent! We had fun, sitting with the J's, Kristi and Todd. We discussed tentative plans for the television show...Janet will co-host with me and Todd wants to be "someone who comes on the show a lot." We got to laughing about potential topics, including having Todd come on to talk about his Sea Monkeys. It's going to be a fun show.

I'm back on the BOD, this time as club secretary. There was no drama at this year's elections, thankfully. I think we have a good group in the club's down to a manageable level and the people we have are workers! We have some young people in the club now and they are bringing good ideas and energy. One young woman is working on a brochure for the club and so far it looks great! Maybe we'll get a picture of one of our dogs in there.

I'm having beaucoup problems with our internet connection and we are suspecting more and more that it's the wireless router that is the culprit. I tried to hook up the wireless printer and that's when the trouble started. I could install it properly, but it always says it's off-line, but the printer shows that it's getting a signal. Then the iPhones couldn't connect to the wireless...then the laptops...and now it happens sporadically.

Looks like I'll be purchasing a new router...this time I'll go for a more powerful that will reach to the back Sandy can work out there while she's in her recliner...with her doggies on her lap. She'd love that.

Yesterday I went down to the studio and ran the "George" camera for the Batons. It was fun being back there, working with the guys. They have two guys who help them in the control room and they have already offered to help me! They come down from Danielson. Gary Beaudoin is one of them and I met his Mom yesterday....she lives in the convalescent home near the police barracks up in Danielson....don't know what it's called the old days it was Stula Pavilion and then Canterbury Villa...I don't care what they call it....I don't like it.

Anyway, she was a nice woman and we had a nice chat. She comes down with them from time to time to sit in on the show. I invited her to be an audience member for our show when we go on the January.

That last phrase reminded me that I needed to call Dr. Gamble to see if she can be on the show with us again. I just called and left a message for her to call me. I'm hoping she can do it...we used to be on Monday nights, now the show will be on Thursdays and I don't know if the vet clinic is closed then, or if she would have to be working.

Oh, I hope she can do it...she is a popular part of the show. People love her and she is so easy to talk to.

Tonight the Huskies take on Baylor, the #2 ranked team. BIG GAME! I have Janet, Jess and Joanne coming over. The J's + a J, I say. I think the Huskies will win, they are playing at home, they have Maya and Tiffany (who came up HUGE in the Holy Cross game) and they have more experience on the floor than Baylor will. Baylor does have Brittany Griner and the Huskies don't have much in the middle to defend her. Heather Buck and the freshman are not going to get that job done. Unless they decide to surprise us.

I am so happy with the freshmen that the Huskies is going to be a joy to watch them grow and flourish there. We have gotten to see that process over many years now, it's always different with each group...but this group is going to be more fun than pain.

Okay, back to cleaning house. ABBA's Greatest Hits is over and it's time to vacuum. Then it's on to upstairs to dust and clean. Then I will take a nap before the company gets here.

Later! GO HUSKIES!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Great week! I went to Dr. Valin's yesterday and saw Dr. McMillian first, she explained what Dr. V. did in the procedure. He had to release the muscles on my left side and pull the muscles on the right side, to get the hernia to fall into the abdominal cavity and to stay there. The mesh covers just about all of my central's huge. He tacked it down with stitches on all sides and I have internal incision stitches as well.

She said she felt a fluid pouch over the hernia site, which she said is common, and it should go away. If it doesn't, they will have to do something about it....I didn't bother asking about it. Then she said I needed to come back in five weeks, that they wanted to keep a close eye on me.

Then Dr. Valin came in. He told me again that my hernia was HUGE. He commented that it "was good to see me without that alien coming out of my abdomen!" HA HA!!! He didn't say a word about any fluid pouch and said I could come back in six months!

Guess who's instructions I followed?

I go back in July, my regular annual appointment month.

Of course, I then went over to Ikea and carried my bag around...adding stuff to the point that I was regretting I didn't get a carriage. I did take one to haul the stuff out to the car. Got some good buys there. And, I found "ForFor's Snap Cheese" that is a lot like the Skane cheese that I loved so much in Sweden.

I hung around a bit at Ikea, biding my time, to avoid the traffic. It worked and I was able to travel home without problems.

Today I hooked up my new wireless printer, except I'm having trouble getting my laptop to recognize that the printer is turned on and is receiving a wireless signal. I shut it down and started it up soap. I'll have my "IT" person look at it when she gets home from work. Ha ha!

Bad news from Ogunquit...we are not going to the Meadowmere for Camp Husky in January. The hotel is screwing Jack's guests out of the discount, to their detriment. They give lower rates to other people and we are REPEAT customers! Stupid financial decisions. So, I suggested we do Camp Husky here in Eastern CT. We'll see what we can set up. I do want to see the gang together.

Speaking of Camp Husky....the season starts Sunday, when they take on Holy Cross..a nice warm-up to the BIG EVENT on Tuesday, when they play Baylor at the Civic Center. Tuesday is also the night of Ellen's jewelry party...I messed up when I said I would go to it...having invited folks over here to see the big game. OOPS! I wrote to Ellen to beg off. So far, Joann is going to join us to watch the game....haven't heard from the others yet.

Sad news next door. Carol and Mark's oldest dog, Landry, has lung cancer. We were shocked, thinking it was something serious, but not that! We thought she was having pancreatic or liver problems...which is what the blood work showed. They sent her home to die. They give a week. She isn't in pain, but she isn't eating well...which is not good for a piggy Lab like her. Sandy got her a toy and will bring it over tonight. She loves toys. They are feeding her cheeseburgers, anything to get her to eat. It is so sad....she loves Mark so much and he is spending as much time with her that he can. She still goes for walks with him and stays out in the yard with him when he's working out there. It's amazing what dogs can endure....

I saw Ellen on Wednesday and I will be going back on the air in January. I can't say when, because there are some things she has to work out...but it's looking REALLY good. I asked Janet to be a co-host, to give me someone to "play off of" and to ask questions...make it more interesting...instead of my voice droning on and on....

I'm thinking up new segments for the show, like having movie reviews of films that come out about animals...or tv shows with animals as a focal point. And showing YouTube pet videos...they are not copyrighted and not everyone has a computer or knows how to see YouTube videos...

So many ideas....and I do have time to flesh them out. Now I have to start lining up guests, etc.

Tomorrow I go to the services for Vee and I'll get to see the Houle family and lots of folks I haven't seen in years. It's going to be surreal.

Sunday we have our SNEAK (Agility Club) banquet. I agreed to be put on the ballot for Club Secretary. I used to be secretary for other organizations...way before computers and email lists made it all easy! We have our banquet "Brunch" at Frank's Gourmet Grill in E. Lyme....I love that place. It will be great to see my fellow club members...some I haven't seen in a year.

Finally got my appointment for my CT scan. I also have to have a special blood test done...I don't recognize the name of it and neither does's for the research project I'm in...maybe it's the test they are developing to replace the CA 125. They are hoping this test is more reliable and can be used as a screening tool.

I now have a contact in the Norwich office...they are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tracy, my contact, was SO HELPFUL! It was wonderful having someone who did the job and did what they said they were going to do. She even called me back to give me a heads up that the CT scan place was closed on Veteran's Day, so I knew to call to get my appointment on Wednesday.

Okay, now I have my chores just about done for the big one left to shopping. Sandy said any money I had left over I could keep. Big incentive to save money and good for me, since I depleted my checking account severely over the last two weeks! I am operating on fumes for the rest of the month. Sandy to the rescue!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yesterday was a great day! Best I've felt in ages! I went out on my own in the car for the first time since my surgery and it was great to be behind the wheel.

Saw Dr. Galan and got my prescriptions refilled. Saw Kathleen in the hall while I was there, she was very happy to see my hernia was gone. So am I.

Made an appointment at the Comcast Studio to meet with Ellen this afternoon about getting the show back on the air. Very excited about that. I called Janet today and asked her to be a co-host with me...I think she would be good for keeping it light and funny. Maybe I'll rotate's more fun that way...I mean having a co-host is more fun than doing it alone.

Then I made an appointment to get my hair done after my Ellen appt. So today will be busy.

Sat in the parking lot at the studio and had a long chat with Katie on the phone. She and the kids are so into the BMX racing and I am so happy for all of them. Timmy's Dad finally "got the picture" and is going to help financially so Timmy can get a bike and equipment. This is so good for Timmy...when he's with his Dad all they do is play video games...Katie does a good job of making him get up and out when he's with she's got him turned on to BMX and that is a wonderful thing.

Even Little Lera wants in on the act. She says she is going to do it when she gets bigger. Katie is going to get her a big wheel so she can compete in the big wheel races now.

Meanwhile, my Mariah keeps on improving...listening to her coaches. She's gathering the points now, moving up on the list. She told her Mom she only wants BMX stuff for Christmas! It's so good for her confidence and her health. She's learning great life lessons, like sticking to it to the end...keep on peddling! She's doing good in school too and I think BMX has a bit to do with that.

It's good for Katie too..we talked about the "natural high" one gets from being there and cheering. She gets so animated when she talks about it...haven't heard her this excited about something in a long time. AND, she's getting to be around other really nice's all good.

I've downloaded like a zillion songs into my new iPhone...I'm all set for awhile! I've been downloading music into the computer as I eat lunch, watch tv, etc. I'm into a routine now.

Thinking....just at the preliminary stage now....about setting up a web page on my Mac. They give you lots of space....and part of the space is a blog set-up. I may MAY...move this whole blog over to that. If I do, I'll give plenty of notice. It would be easier for me to upload pictures, make changes in the appearance of the thing, post videos, etc. We'll see. I have to fool around with it for awhile until I get it right.

Worried about my old friend Susie, who just had a pacemaker installed at UMass....she's still there. Sue has a "weird heart"....I think when they discovered it years ago there were only five people in the world who had a heart like hers...or something like that. It's either upside down or backwards, I can't remember least that's how she explained it to me at the time.

Sue is a wonderful person...she lives every day like it's her last...probably because they told her she'd never make it past 27. She has traveled the world and recently retired after a long career of teaching reading. I don't know anyone who is a more vociferous reader. She's read them all.

I'm keeping her in my thoughts and hoping for a good outcome with this surgery. She's had enough worries....

Also, Saturday we have the services for my old friend, Vivian who passed away in Florida a few weeks back. Rachel is bringing her ashes home and we are all getting together to remember Vee. So many good memories, so many laughs, I remember them all. I just wish I had gone to see her when we were in Tampa last fall after the cruise...but I didn't have the energy then.

Vee was my French teacher at Putnam Grammar School and then again for a year in high school. After I graduated high school and was at Annhurst, we became friends and stayed friends for the rest of our lives. I lost track of her for awhile, but saw her again a few years back at her nephew's funeral. We reestablished contact and have kept up through email....even though it was Rachel who was doing the email because Viv didn't use the computer....typical.

I will never forget her....that laugh, that smile...that prematurely gray hair! RIP...

Busy day ahead...


Monday, November 8, 2010

Been a quiet week, spent recuperating, mainly. Trying to lay low and be quiet. Not always succeeding. Things have been sore, especially a certain spot in my lower left quadrant....which has been beyond sore.

Today I feel the best I've felt in a long time. I do have a weird sensation in the area where the mesh is. I wonder if it's the sensation one gets when one's abdominal tissues are working their way through the mesh. That's what SHOULD be going on now.

The Fed Ex guy came to the door today to deliver a package. I instinctively took it as he handed it to me...only to realize that it weighed more than I should be carrying....20 lbs. OOPS! I didn't feel anything pop though. Good thing.

Had a good day yesterday, even if the Pats lost miserably. Taylor and Andrew came up for dinner, arriving first. Later Jean, Frank and Ryan arrived and we had a great meal of steak, cheesy potatoes, salad and sliced cukes. Oh...and fried onions. All of these are Andrew's favorites.

It was Andrew's first visit to our house, so we were quite excited. He loved the house and toured all around....he especially loved the work benches and the garage. Guys....

Tomorrow I see Dr. Galan...first time I've seen her in ages....I usually see Kathleen the APRN, but she's on vacation I guess. On Thursday I go to New Haven to see Dr. Valin for follow-up. I think that will go good. I'm hoping to have enough left in my tank to make a trip to Ikea on the way out of town.

Husky season starts up soon and I can't wait. We have a lot of excitement to look forward to this season...watching the freshman grow, seeing if they can continue their unbeaten streak and, of course, we are slated to go to New York to see them play at Madison Square Garden on 12/19.

Okay, back to reclining....


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post Weekend, Post Surgery

The weekend in Lenox was eventful....and maybe I'll leave it at that. We had pot luck Friday night and laughed a lot. Saturday AM Harriet and I made breakfast for everyone, yum. Then a bunch of us went to the Shaker Village, which I enjoyed a LOT more than I thought I would. It was so very very interesting and the guides were excellent.

Saturday night we all went out to a great Italian restaurant, Frankie's. I had the linguine with clam sauce...the clams were tiny and so sweet. Sunday AM Harriet and I made breakfast again and then we all loaded up our cars and headed home.

In between there were moments of hilarity, drama and discovery. Overall I had a good time. We are planning to return in the spring. The house was very old and very nicely decorated and furnished. We did "tours" just checking out the artwork and then another tour to check out the different carpets! It is called the "Winter Palace" and was part of an estate that was landscaped by the same woman who did the landscape design for the Harkness we all felt a connection.

Robin and I rode together and we actually got lost on the way up....we ended up in NY! This was despite the fact that we had two GPS systems talking to us and we had handwritten directions! I think we were so engrossed in our conversation we missed the women telling us to leave the highway.

And on top of that, I got stuck in the wrong lane, went through the Speed Pass lane, when I don't have a speed pass! I immediately exited at the toll office and tried to pay the toll...they told me that I would get the ticket in the mail. Nice.

Oh and another expense from the iPhone somehow got damp. I don't know was working fine one minute and the next minute it was having problems...the screen was getting darker and darker. Then it was turning itself on right after I had shut it off...then it stayed on permanently, then the view finder was all cloudy and when I took the rubber protective cover off, there was a tiny bit of moisture inside. I don't know if it was from the radiator or steam from my bath...dunno, but the end result is that I had to buy a new one today.

Thursday I got a call that I needed to get a chest x-ray, lab work and an EKG done. HELLO! They wait to the last damn minute to tell instead of being able to rest up Friday AM for my drive to MA in the afternoon, I'm having to fly down to New Haven for 9am.

I must have passed all the tests because there I was bright and early...5:30AM....Monday, going to the surgical center. The surgery went well and I was out of Recovery earlier than Sandy thought I would be. He said it was a HUGE hernia, he had to use two of the largest size mesh pieces. I also have seven laproscopic holes in me...four on my right side and three on my left, where he went in to tighten things up for me.

I was up and walking before 4pm...much to the nurse's surprise...but they don't know me. I'm the walker when I'm in the hospital. I had the room to myself, it was very quiet in my hallway, only one other person there. I dozed in 20 and 40 minute intervals, as I always do in the hospital...all day and all night. I got up to pee every 20-40 minutes all night, so I got plenty of practice in getting out of bed....OUCH!

I had a student nurse working with me yesterday and I taught her some things. We had nice talks and she is going to do all right for herself. Sandy came down around 11 with Truman and Rocky in the car. They had been to their PT appts and they came right from there. We hurried the discharge procedure along and we know how to do and I was out of there around noon.

So good to be in my own bed, but now I need the pillow to protect my stomach from loving dogs. I'm using Bubbie's big pillow from her car kennel. It was just washed because she had puked on it and it is bigger than the pillow Linda made for me (the one I usually use)...this one is big enough to cover the open area as well as the laproscopic holes. And, by the way, they are all glued shut! COOL. No staples...I have stitches and big gobs of glue on the wound sites.'s almost time for me to take my pain pill and climb the stairs to bed. I love my own bed, but it would be so much easier for me if it had side rails to grab onto and pull myself around. I can't use my abdominal muscles yet. It's a bitch to get out of bed when you have nothing to grab onto.

I think today will be the worst of it...tomorrow should be 100% better. That's what I'm counting on anyway.

Nighty night!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sitting at the agility trial in Rhode Island at the indoor sports facility. It's awesome here. Nice bathrooms, little snack bar, pizza place across the parking's warm in here....what a nice change from the usual heat, cold, rain, wind, porta potties, etc.

Today Rocky and Truman are running. So far they have done well...but no Qs...we'll see how they do in the last event. Bubbles is along for the ride and is sleeping in her kennel, seemingly immune to the barking going on around her.

Yesterday Joyce and I went to Putnam. We have been planning this for months and little did we realize that the day we picked was also the Pumpkin Festival day in Putnam! They had craft booths set up all around by the train station, the "Bud Cars" were there, bringing people from Worcester and dropping them off in Putnam and a whole bunch of Putnam area folks rode the train to New London, to spend the day there.

It was cool seeing the old train that we used to ride on to Worcester when we went to see Gramma and Grampa Leavstrom. We used to love to take that ride. My grandmother would always tell the conductor that it was my birthday so he would let me ride free. It wasn't really my birthday, but it was close enough (within a week). It was smart of her...and she would make us scrunch down so we would look shorter, so she could say we were "child" riders...and get a cheaper rate.

Anyway, we roamed around town, seeing Bob and Wini along the way. We had lunch in the Congregational Church basement--chili and sandwich and apple crisp...YUM! We ran into Peter Auclair at the church...he told us that the Class of 66 and our class are going to have a joint reunion, planned for July 2nd at Point Breeze. Liz Franklin is organizing it. Thank Goodness for Liz...she told me this idea a few years back and it didn't happen then and we didn't have any reunion at all! We haven't had one since 1997!

So, now we will have a reunion and I can't wait. It will be so much fun. I wrote to Fran and told her about it...I hope she comes up for it. I have to let Mark Russell know also. They technically didn't graduate with us, but c'mon! They were in school with us for so long, they deserve to attend...Donnie Johnston too.

I got some more scarves...I'm addicted to scarves. Got some beautiful ones on sale. I also got a pin made from a pottery shard that I bought from Wini's daughter-in-law....the shard is almost in the shape of the State of CT. it's kind of cool looking.

Saw Romeo...dressed as the Town Crier...what the hell, he has the voice for it! And Kim Mitchell, who was recently reunited with her birth mother...she showed me pictures of her mother and her new siblings. I think that is so neat. She was adopted from Germany and found her mother living in Leominster MA! How strange is that...and yet you keep hearing about such things happening. I'm happy for her...her mother is thrilled and so is Kim.

i was looking for Rachel, but couldn't find her.

We went over to the St. Mary's cemetery. I could hardly find Mummy's tombstone, the grass was so grown over it. That's what happens when you have a flat stone. I finally found it and scratched the dirt and grass away. I have to go back there with a little spade and maybe something to kill the grass around it to keep it at bay for awhile.

We went to Joyce's Dad's stone and her grandparents. We wandered around the cemetery for awhile, amazed at how many of the names there were people we know and several of them were people we went to school with. Some great memories were stirred up in that visit...and in the whole trip to Putnam.

We came home around 2:30....we had arrived around 11:30. That was enough for two chemo kids. We were proud of ourselves, for how much we walked around and how long we stayed on our feet. We also vowed to do it again next Spring and this time maybe we'll invite some of our old classmates to join us.

Putnam had on it's best dress yesterday and I was very proud of my hometown. They pulled off a very classy, nice event. People from all over were roaming the streets with their little maps, looking for bargains and finding them.

It was a great day.

Another busy week of med appointments and meetings coming up. I go see the gastroenterologist on Wednesday, the Allergist on Tuesday. I'm pleased with the results of my non-allergy meds--the two nose sprays he had me use...but the asthma stuff didn't seem to do anything...I guess I don't have asthma!

I'm hoping Dr. Sansone, my butt doctor, can figure out for once and for all what is wrong with me. I'm soooooooo tired of getting up all night long. I know that grinders aggravate it...I think it's the lettuce. So that's one thing I have to avoid...not all lettuce, but iceberg lettuce for sure. I did have trouble with it right after my gastric bypass surgery, so it makes sense that it's affecting me now too...but that's just one thing. It's not the whole answer to my problems.

Dr. Sansone is very bright, she'll figure it out.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Been busy this week and it feels GREAT! Tuesday I went to the Main Street Grill in Niantic to attend the Seaside Retirees semi annual lunch. Saw "Dr. Bob" Schneider there, first time I've seen him in ages!

Bob told me that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a year and a half ago. He couldn't sign his name, couldn't walk, etc and I believe he said he ended up at Bridebrook for rehab. But then he did a little dance to show me that he is cured! He attributes it to the medicine and the healing services he attended at church. I attribute it to doctor diagnostic error.

Whatever, he is back up and out and it was fun to see him.

Ellen had arranged for a lady to come speak to us about a variety of issues effecting seniors and once again, I felt like an outsider...there to support "those old people." Later, when Mary Ann noted that my hair is grey I told her to "shut the fuck up!'

You get the picture.

Afterwards I snuck down to Bridebrook to visit Flo Robinson, who broke her foot and is in there for rehab. She's being tube fed because they also noted her difficulty with swallowing. She's going to go somewhere in Hartford and they are going to give her a botox treatment to stretch that area, so she can eat again. Hmmmmmm....wonder if this is something they know about in Tennessee???

Flo looked good considering and we had a nice visit. She has a set of Sennheiser wireless headphones for listening to her TV with her hearing aids. She had me try it and I loved it! GREAT SOUND! We have been looking for good wireless headphones for Sandy to use when she watches the shows that have all the beeps and high pitched noises (like CSI) because Bubbles freaks out when she hears those noises.

I'm going to see if I can find that online to get for Sandy for Christmas.

Today is Sandy's birthday...she is now 47. A mere child. I hope she gets to retire in a few years, so we can travel around and enjoy retirement together. When we first got together I thought about that, but didn't realize just how much of a difference it makes to have both partners retired at the same time. Now I am home to help do the house stuff, so she can focus on work and the dogs. But I am looking forward to when we are both free to travel, have fun and do things together.

Yesterday I got to work outside most of the day, helping "the Js," Janet, Jess and Jeremy put up their new shed. Poor things, they had been laboring over this for days, putting in the floor and then assembling the shed. I helped them get over the hump....they were getting tired of the whole thing.

They got the shed from Sears and of course the directions and diagrams are horribly cryptic or missing. They never include enough screws, washers, etc.

We got the roof on yesterday and I had to leave to feed the dogs. They finished the job after I left.

It felt great to take a nice hot shower, get changed into comfy clothes and relax, after working all day.

I'm looking forward to more and more of those kind of days.

Still waiting for someone, anyone, to call me back about repairing our roof. I called one guy who's name I got from Angie's list and still haven't heard back from him. I'm going to go down the list and call them all....and hope that someone has pity and calls us...and then actually shows up here at the house!

Today I went over to Uncas for the Mortality Review meeting...saw some folks and visited a brief time. I'm supposed to go to Wallingford next week but Russ is coming in the AM to teach me how to use the new Apple MacBook I got. So, I don't think I'll be going to Wally World. I gave my feedback about that meeting to Betty today when I saw I'm off the hook.

I did my cleaning downstairs today for Sandy's birthday. Unfortunately, she has to work until 7:30 tonight...again. This has been happening a lot yesterday and I'm going to have to put my foot down soon. She is getting tired. I try to help--feed the dogs and do the work around here so she doesn't have to, but I'm getting worried about her. She is a delicate flower and when she gets rundown, she gets ill.

I think we'll get Chinese for supper tonight, her favorite.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Still cautiously optimistic that my big purge the other day cured my bm problems. Last night I didn't get up until 5:30 this morning! YAY! I was so shocked when I checked the time.

Finally broke down and joined "Angie's List" online...for help in getting names of reputable and reliable home improvement guys. We are having the trouble with the roof leaking when we have heavy rain. It did it last year too, but now we want to try again to do something about it. Last year we called someone who said he'd come out the next day and we never heard from him again.

Well, I called a guy the other day...I should have been tipped off when he answered his business phone with "hello?" I had to ask, "is this Wickhams?" He offered to come out the next day and I got all excited. Of course, he was a no show-no call. I called him back and asked him to at least give us a call....nope!

So, Angie's List it is. I have the names of three companies that have gotten good reviews. Let's hope we get lucky.

Yesterday I finally finished the job of cleaning the kitchen floor tile grout. It looks great. Now I keep it up and look for something that will put a good seal on it. And to think I almost hired someone to come do this job for thanks to Google (finding the right solution for me) I have done it myself and saved the $$.

This week is a busy one..."off" Monday, Tuesday is lunch with the Seaside Retirees at Main St. Grill in Niantic; Wednesday I go back to Dr. Ber, the allergist; Thursday I have Mortality Review at Uncas and Friday I'm off again. Saturday Joyce and I are going to Putnam...they are having the Great Pumpkin Festival up there, with lots of crafters booths and pumpkins I guess. We've been talking about going up there for a long's finally going to happen.

Thursday is Sandy's birthday. Thank goodness I already bought her present when I was in Sweden, I'm almost out of $$ and I still have two weeks before the eagle flies again. Cutting it close! HA ha!

I also have just two weeks and one day before this damned hernia gets fixed and I get my tummy tucked. Right now the other hernia is bulging next to it...getting bigger and bigger too. My abdomen looks like I have babies heads in big head and one smaller one next to it. I have to wear oversized tops to hide it...otherwise I look grotesque. A good look for Halloween...too bad I'm not going to be here to use it.

Now...back to the Patriots as they try to win this tie game.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Made it through the colonoscopy with flying colors! I woke up in the middle of the procedure and got to watch the finish on the big screen TV they have set up for the doctor.

She found a little polyp and she put a clip on it because it was bleeding for some reason. She also did biopsies of various places and I'll get the results at the end of the month. She said she had no problem at all getting the probe through my system, so Dr. McCourt's concerns were unwarranted. There was no scarring, adhesions, etc.

Came home and putzed around for a bit, eating all kinds of junk, just because I could eat and then I took a nap with the Russells...we sacked out for an hour and a half. It felt so good.

I'm knocking wood as I type this next bit, but last night I only got up three times and that was only to pee (the hernia puts pressure on my bladder, making me go frequently) and I blew out a few clouds of gas. No diarrhea, no frequent BMs, no overwhelming sensation that I had to take a dump.

I had one BM today, this AM and I'm hoping that the purge of my system straightened out whatever was wrong with my bowels. Maybe I can finally get a decent night's sleep. I was thinking about it yesterday...I've been waking up to go to the bathroom all night for about a year and a half now.

So you can understand why I'm hoping that tonight brings some peace in the toidy department.

This morning I drove up to Middletown to hand over Lily's kennel to an organization we donated it to. They rescue "high risk dogs" like Pit bulls, Dobies, Rotties, etc. They are in need of kennels like Lil's, escape proof, but they can't afford the price (we paid $1,000), so they were overjoyed to get the donation. I met the guy at the Harbor Restaurant in Middletown, we made the transfer and then I headed home.

It was so pretty along Rte 9, the trees are fabulous and the light was perfect. We're getting rain and high winds tonight, so the leaves might not be there after this weekend. So, i was happy I made that drive.

Now I'm taking a break from house cleaning. Sandy is home early to take Rocky and Truman to their PT appointments and then she will go to Waterford to pick up Lily's ashes.

I think I'll make eggs and home fries for supper. It will probably be raining and that will be a great meal for the weather. We like to have breakfast for supper every once in awhile.

Oh, I was finally able to burn a DVD with my Sweden pictures on it. I'm figuring out this computer little by little. One problem that I'm going to have to call them about...I try to play the installed instructional videos and they keep pausing. Not good.

Okay, break time is over, time to take Bubbles for a walk while the other two are off on their roadtrip.

My new LL Bean Double L jeans (the lined ones....I got fleece lining) should be arriving this afternoon. YAY! Looks like I'm going to be needing them soon! It's getting colder and colder.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Murphy killed a mouse last night. I heard him crying but I was watching Mad Men and didn't pay attention to what was going on. Thankfully!

I saw the dead thing by my chair when I got up to shut down the house for the night. Yuck!

We have no idea how they are getting in here. We were hopeful that the path had been discovered and closed off when Sandy and Jean pulled all of the ivy out of the siding on the had grown crazy in there! We figured maybe that's where the mice were coming in...the ivy had bored right through the wall and was growing in the garage. I guess we were wrong.

Of course I don't blame the mice for wanting to get in. The house is a very nice abode after all...and when it gets cold out there, it's understandable that they would seek warmer conditions. Maybe I can organize a bus trip for them to Florida.

In the meantime, we can expect to have to rely on Murph and Bubbles, the mice killers, to take care of matters for us. I'll try not to step on any carcasses when I make my way upstairs at night.

Today is our 26th anniversary and I'm spending the day on the throne. I have been spending most of my nights on the throne for the past year and a half, but today I get to sit there during the day as well. It's colonoscopy prep day and it's a moving experience.

I'm hoping that the doctor's theory of "bacterial overload" is correct and I get rid of my poop problems for once and for all by doing this colon cleanse that you have to do before a colonoscopy. It would be wonderful to be able to sleep a few hours in a row at night. I don't think that's asking too much. And I would be very appreciative.

Took Maria home yesterday. We ate a huge potato pancake, stuffed with ham, cheese and onions and topped with a fried egg--well...we split that dish and neither one of us finished our portion. This was at the Cafe Polonia...I love that place.

What beautiful weather we have been having. It rained last night--good, we need rain--and then the sun is out and all bright and shiny today. The dogs love it....they stay out in the yard for hours, especially Rocky.

Bubble and Rocky have been playing more since Lily passed away. Rocky used to play with Lily and attempt to play with Bub, but she would freak out after a minute or so and he would stop. The other night they played "dodge and feint" for about five minutes on my lap in the recliner. Sandy and I watched and were very happy for both of them.

Today I spotted them playing a bit on the deck. I really hope Bub gives Rocky a chance...I think it would be so good for her and for him.

Rocky is doing better and better on the weave poles out in the back yard. Sandy worked with him a bit on Sunday out there and is very pleased with how he's doing. He may be our best agility dog yet.

Ugh...this chicken broth reminds me of when I had to be on the special diet for my gastric prove to them I could stick to a diet...I could only eat chicken/beef broth for a week.....I got so sick of that stuff I haven't had it since. And now that's all I can have today.....bad memories coming back....

Oh well, tomorrow I get the good drugs and then it's all over. And maybe....maybe....the doctor will have an answer for all my nightly excursions to the THAT makes all this worth the aggravation!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where to begin? Busy week.

Monday I went to the gastroenterologist. She moved up my colonoscopy....wants to find out what the hell is making me crap my brains out for so long. I was supposed to go Dec 1st, she moved it up this coming Wednesday. She was asking about my diet and fiber intake. I told her I eat a banana a day. She said, "bananas don't have much fiber." I said, "but I eat the peel." She looks at me and says, "you don't eat the peel! What are you, a monkey?" Then she says, "even monkeys don't eat the peels." Ha ha....a sense of humor.

Kathleen also put me back on Lexapro...which I was hoping for. I did really good on Lexapro smoothed things out for me and I actually started laughing again. I worry about the fact that I don't laugh anymore....haven't for a few years. Things are funny and I should be laughing, but I rarely do. Just being honest.

So, I'm hoping the Lexapro deals with the level of depression I always seem to be experiencing and helps me do better, as it did before.

Went to see Kathleen, my nurse practitioner, on Tuesday. She said that my hernia is the biggest one she's ever seen, and "I've seen a lot of hernias." I told her, bah humbug...I'm sure she exaggerates. Anyway, it gets fixed in a couple of weeks.

After the Kathleen appointment I went up to Farmington for work. Easy gig, just had to sit there and answer questions about my "social history." Did that job again on Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday morning it was up and out early to Colchester to get the mirror fixed. It cost $300 damned dollars for that damned mirror. I could have punched the steering wheel again I was so disgusted. I still don't understand why I had to order the mirror myself and why I had to go all the way up there to pay for it before they would schedule me to get it installed. When I asked about having to pay for the part first the guy said it was because they don't ordinarily carry that part and "sometimes people order them and then don't come in for the repair."

So, I said, "so charge their credit card then. And why did I have to come all the way up here to sign for the purchase? Why can't they take my info over the phone like other places do?" He told me that was a policy of the parts dept. Of course the Parts Dept hadn't been able to shed any light on it when I had complained to them. So I guess I wait for the survey that they send every time I bring the car up there. Interesting, they haven't sent it to me yet...usually they are calling, etc., the next day!

Thursday I worked in the afternoon and went to Trader Joe's on the way home. Picked up some great meats and cheeses for Bob's birthday picnic...and some great bread. I love Trader Joe's. I wish we had one around here...I'd be there all the time. Came home and my new MacBook Pro had arrived. It's BEAUTIFUL!

Friday morning I got up early again and called into WINY and the "Remember When" show that Steve Bousquet and Gary O do. I had written to Gary and told him I wanted to call in and talk about Bob Miller. Gary announced that it was Bob's 90th birthday and the fun began. I talked about Bob and the scouts and being selectman, town historian, etc. Then several folks called in, recalling when he was their Boy Scout leader and telling stories.

Friday night I downloaded my Sweden pictures and tried to make a slide show and burn it to DVD....I did it about three times and couldn't figure it out. I think I need Russ here to show me how to use it.

It was fun and we went over time...but they didn't seem to mind. Afterwards I called Bob, who had been listening and was thrilled.

Gary spilled the beans that we were having a picnic for Bob on Sunday, something we had hoped to keep small. He actually encouraged people to drop by the park to say hi to Bob, which I was praying they wouldn't, because it can throw Bob for a tizz.

Saturday I drove up to Worcester to get Maria at the train station. We snuck over to Coney Island and had "the works"...delicious. Saturday night Roxie came over and we cooked steaks and had a wonderful supper and visit. I showed them my Sweden pictures, still on the DVD from Cooper's...not the stripped down, enhanced, cropped photos that I will finally have on a DVD once I get Russ here, or I figure out how to do it myself.

Roxie stayed over and left early Sunday morning to get to work on time. Maria and I had breakfast and then packed up the picnic basket and cooler and headed to Putnam. We stopped at Stop and Shop up there en route to Bob's house and picked up a few more items.

Bob and Wini were all ready to picnic, so we loaded them into the car and went down to Miller park. We sat on the bench and made sandwiches with pickles and a cup of coffee. The weather was gorgeous. So sunny and warm! The air was crisp and clear. Soon we were removing our jackets and sweaters and just enjoying the sun. Phil came down on his motorcycle later and we all took a short walk down the river trail. On the way back we stopped in the shade at the Button Shop, sat on the picnic benches and rested. Maria and I ran across the street and got coffees and donuts for Bob and ourselves.

Then Bob, Wini, Maria and I headed out for a foliage ride. Took them to a lot of "old memory" places...the shop where Bob worked his whole life; down where Bob used to keep his boat; Roseland Park; North Woodstock; St Mary's camp and then down to buy apples; mums and other goodies at the orchard store. Then we took the happy birthday boy and his bride home.

It was a great day. I hope Bob remembers some of it. I really do. He doesn't remember much. Like today in church people who heard the show on Friday and who had heard Gary O announcing Bob's birthday, came up to Bob after mass to wish him happy birthday...Wini said Bob was thrilled...but by the time we saw him a few hours later, he didn't remember it.

Oh well...such is life. We know we had a great day with our Dad and we know he loved it while it was happening. That's all that matters.

Tomorrow I take Maria back up to Boston. Maybe we'll get to roam around a bit. Maybe go to the Cafe Polonia.....maybe....

Nighty night!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lily left us Sunday morning in the wee hours. Not the way we always thought she would, hit by car on a dark, rainy, she did it the right way....asleep in her bed.

We came home from a great afternoon at Deanna's birthday party. We got home a bit late..8pm and Sandy and I had already discussed that she would feed Lily the wet food, not kibble...since she would probably have been in a tizz about us being gone. She took the dogs out to potty and then had Lil walk around and calm down before she fed her. She didn't let her drink alot of water and then she fed her.

The thing is...Lily still got bloated. Her tummy puffed up and was hard. She had dry heaves...something new. She huffed and puffed. She lay on the floor. Sandy walked her around in the yard and then she came back in, more dry heaves, more huffing and puffing and then she relaxed, laid down on the floor and fell asleep.

Sandy told me that she didn't think Lil looked good. Her gums weren't white, so she wasn't bleeding internally; she had bowel sounds, so it didn't seem like she had bloat in the bad sense--we doubted her stomach had flipped, she wasn't in obvious pain and if she had a torsion she would be in wicked bad pain.

Sandy made the statement, "I wouldn't be surprised if Lily didn't make it through the night." I panicked...and wanted to take her to Ocean State. Sandy asked why? What will we do? If they want to operate are we going to put her through that? I had to answer "no." Then I realized that we had already had this discussion some time ago. And we had decided that we would not take her to the vets unnecessarily--she hated the made her so anxious. We wouldn't subject her to surgery for the same reason and because she was so old.

Sandy carried her up to bed--how the hell she did it I don't know and neither does she. We all went to bed a bit after 11...Lil was laying on her bed, no dry heaves, no huffing and puffing.

I went over and hugged her, kissed her on the head and told her that everything was okay...she could let go.

A couple of hours later Lily got up and was walking around by my side of the bed. Sandy got up and took her downstairs. I noted that her hind leg on the right was sliding out from under her. Sandy said that Lil didn't poop or pee outside, she walked around and tried to get under the bushes. Sandy told her, "oh no you don't, you are not going to die under a bush, you will die in your own bed."

Sandy carried her back up the stairs. A while later we heard her making another dry heave sound, only it was weirder. We turned on the lights and sat up and looked at her. She sat up too and looked at us. We told her she was all right and urged her to sleep. She laid back down.

In the morning Sandy woke up, looked over and said, "Lily passed away last night."

Yes she did.

We had the Russells come and see for themselves. They needed to know. Truman sniffed her body and walked away, then came back...a couple of times. He had known her the longest...she was his Mommy for a long time. Then Bubbles sniffed Lil's head and her ears dropped, her tail wagged nervously and she immediately went over to Truman and kissed his ear. Rocky took his time sniffing her body from head to tail and then he blissfully cantered off and got a toy.

We kissed her, wrapped her up. Sandy carried her downstairs and then couldn't lift her without help, so I took ahold and helped get her into the back of Sandy's car.

I had called the Emergency Vet to see if they could help us with the cremation arrangements. They were happy to do so.

We have almost all of our deceased pets cremains. The only ones we don't have is Angel who ran off to the woods when she knew she was dying and we never found her body and Jasmine who ran off in Massachusettes (probably because her cancer was back) and we never found her. Otherwise we have them all in jars or cans....waiting to be joined with our ashes when we die. Then we all go on the compost heap somewhere, so we can help grow flowers or some vegetable garden.

We will miss Lily but I would be lying if I said that we aren't relieved. Relieved that she went peacefully as she did. Relieved that we were able to keep her safe and secure, despite all her anxieties. Relieved that we no longer have to constantly work around her needs whenever we wanted/needed to leave the house.

Lily had a great time last week. She went to the agility trial in Wrentham and had fun...she was so relaxed..the most we've ever seen her relax at a trial. She and I went for short walks a few times at the trial. She came with me to see Bob and Wini on Tuesday, with me to Colchester Toyota on Wednesday, to Jean's on Friday to see Taylor and Ryan and Nami. In between we had fun on the deck, relaxing. Walking around the yard, visiting with Taylor and Lynne who came over on Wednesday. A great week.

I was beside myself trying to figure out what I was going to do with her this week. I had a MD appointment in New Britain today, my physical exam and then work in Farmington tomorrow; car appointment on Wednesday; work again on Thursday.

We won't have to worry about that stuff any more. It just makes me so angry thinking about the damage that was done by whoever her first family was...the ones who let her go from their lives. She was never right after being in the pound...she was always so anxious about being left. People need to think about how harmful it can be to their pet when they give them up. People are so selfish.

When I came downstairs this morning, I expected to see her on her bed at the foot of the stairs. When I came home today I expected to hear her tail thumping in the kennel when I came through the door.

It's going to take time....I have twelve years of Lily habit built into my routine.

She was so in love with me which is strange because Sandy was the one who took her from the pound. Sandy was the one who was so patient with her while I was the one who would get irritated and frustrated with her. But Lily worshipped me. I didn't deserve her adoration. I am going to work harder to be more patient with the others now...that's how I'm going to honor Lil.

Hug your doggies and kitties...give them lots of love.

Nighty night.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well...I read an article today that described the latest Ovarian Cancer research. The new study revealed that women who started taking chemo again as soon as their CA125 went over the limit fared no better than women who waited until they had symptoms to show that they had relapsed.

This gives me an answer. If the cancer comes back within the next year, according to the CA 125, I think I will defer treatment until I have symptoms. This may give me time to recuperate from the last wave of chemo. I'm still having troubles with being tired and I know I couldn't take it if I had to undergo chemo again in the beginning of the new year. Or even if it started in the spring. I need more time to come back.

That said, I'm not planning on having a relapse...just keeping this option in the back of my mind...I am a Girl Scout after all, Be Prepared.

I have just about finished my project of cleaning the grout in the kitchen tile floor. I don't think anyone every cleaned that floor the way it should be cleaned, judging from the color of the grout when I started and what it looks like now.

I had looked up on the internet what to use that would be the easiest for me and found out about the magic of Oxi-clean. I did one treatment on half the floor (the worst half) a week or so ago and I finished it up with scrubbing on hands and knees today. It looks great! Now I have done the first treatment on the second half of the floor and will finish that next week, I guess. It won't be as bad as the first half of the floor, I bet I won't have to scrub.

While I was letting the floor soak the stuff up, I took a break and went online to the Apple store and picked out a new MacbookPro....and then, in another break I chose the options I and video programs, etc. Then on my last break, I went ahead and ordered it! YAY!

I am SO SICK of PCs. This laptop that I'm using now is getting stuck again, taking forever to load, I can only hear sound if I plug in headphones (who knows why?!) and I'm just sick sick sick of it.

Now I can't wait until it gets here.

Joycie (Migneault) Kuusela is featured in today's Norwich Bulletin...the story about her breast cancer battle. They have a great picture of her on the website, I hope it's in the paper too. I have Sandy picking up a copy for me and I posted the online story to my Facebook page.

Joyce and I have been friends since high school. We "lost" each other and then a few years back, found out we lived really close to each other. She lives in Lisbon. We have gotten back together again and she and Bill and Sandy and I have enjoyed each other's company.

Joyce and I say: we went thru high school together and now we are going thru cancer together...and we are. And quite successfully too, I might add!

Right now I'm hoping to hear from Mark Russell...another old school chum. Hoping we can get together this weekend, when he comes up for the Marianpolis Bd of Directors meeting. Haven't seen him in ages.

Next week I'm going to see some other old chums...Janine is coming down from New Hampshire and the old office gang, Maureen, Russ, Richard, Tina and I (and who knows who else?) are getting together at Chuck's in Storrs.

It's old chum time! Wonderful! I wonder what other old chums I'll hear from?

Oh, I got an email from Barb at work, checking on dates in Jan and Feb for the phyical exam series for the Yale 2nd year students. I checked off that I was available for every date but one and sent it back to her IMMEDIATELY! I can't wait to get back to work on a regular basis.

I'm paying for endulging in the "luxury" of leaving the deck door open so I wouldn't have to let the Russells in and out a billion times a day. I did that two mornings this week. Well, now the flies are in the house, and Sandy can't understand where they are coming from...shhhhhhh....don't tell her.

I ask the dogs to catch the flies and one would think this was right up their alley...jobwise, but they aren't too interested. Oh, Rocky has mild interest, but it passes quickly. I have dragged the fly swatters out and got one a few minutes ago, but there are more...I know there are.

Off to feed the pups and then take a shower. Jean's house for dinner tonight, with Taylor and Andrew in attendance.