Friday, August 27, 2010

Little jobs done

Over to Uncas yesterday for Mortality Review. Before the meeting I had lunch with Sue Voelker and Karen Spendolini and the crew. Afterwards I popped in to see if Mary was there and she was! We chatted for awhile until Scott came down for a meeting. Mary was sharing the poop on her great three and a half week vacation in England, Scotland, Belgium and France. They had a great time, made me wish I was going "across the pond" again!

This morning I got up, fed the dogs and Murph and then headed out to Colchester. The "check engine" light came on when I was going to Providence the other day and didn't turn off when I did the gas cap thing. Charmine called me as I was just sitting down to wait, came and picked me up and we went to Harry's for lunch. We had the hot buttered lobster roll...the best one I have EVER had. You should have seen the amount of lobster meat in that roll!

Afterwards she took me over to the Colchester Dog Park, just built this year. It is really nice, looks like about two acres or more for the big dogs and just a little less for the small dogs. They used our "double gated system" at the entry. Sweet.

When she got me back to Toyota, my car was sitting waiting for me. Just needed an oil change, the "check engine" light was "just a history thing" and they cleared it. Something that was disconcerting...they installed the peg on the gas pedal to deal with the "sticking pedal" recall. When I said that I had checked into that went the controversy first was reported and they told me that it didn't apply to my car, the guy says, "yeah, it probably hadn't come through yet." WUH? I thought I understood what he meant when he said it...but the more I drove the more I thought about it and the less I liked his response.

Don't you hate it when that happens? You don't realize when the person is right there in front of you that what they just said is nonsense, or a you can't address it right then and there.

I don't understand what he meant at all. My car has been in for servicing three times since the recall...and it isn't until today that they fix the thing??? In fact, the other two times, they assured me that my model wasn't one of the ones with the problem.

Okay...enough of that.

I got home, changed up and got my new power washer up and running. First time I've used it. Sandy had used it to clean the deck before she put the sealer on. It was my turn to play with it. It worked great! I cleaned the front of the house and washed the fence where it had mold on it in no time. The washer did run out of gas quickly and I had trouble getting it started again. I pulled and pulled on that cord. Finally, I went in the house, got a drink, sat out on the deck with the dogs and watched the birds. When I went back out, it started right up.

I did as much as I planned to do today and felt good about it. No energy drink needed. Tonight my back was hurting, probably from all that pulling on the cord and then holding the "wand" up while I was washing the house. But now I feel really good, physically and mentally sleepy...the way it should be.

My sideburns are starting to curl up...I'm in need of a trim! Oh...and I'm back to shaving regularly. Damn. My eyebrows and eyelashes grew back while I was in Sweden and now the hair on the top of my head is growing faster and maybe curlier. I hope it goes curly like it did last year.

I found my old Army roommate, Hope, on Facebook. I'm awaiting a Friend confirmation from her and it better come soon, dammit!

Oh...the last jobs I got done: got someone coming to give us an estimate on the driveway (the guy who put in our driveway when we lived on Sunrise Street); got a call into another paving company that does a lot of work in this neighborhood and am awaiting a call back from them AND I finally connected with the chimney guy about getting the furnace vented through the chimney chase and helping us convert our fireplace to gas log. FINALLY!

We're on a roll here....

Tomorrow it's the Brooklyn Fair for us...we're going with Frank, Jean and Ryan and meeting Taylor and Andrew there. Like old times. Sunday we are going to Misquamicut...will go later (after noon) to avoid the traffic and stay later to avoid the going home traffic. Hope we can go boogie boarding!

Nighty night!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wrens, finches and Vultures

The baby wrens took off yesterday. I heard a lot of fussing coming from the corner of the deck and lo and behold, there were baby wrens flittering around there, wobbling on their wings, learning how to fly. They then sought refuge in the japanese maple tree that abuts the deck...nice place to hide from the bad guys. There was one still in the nest last night, I think he went back there to hang out...but he took off when I peeked in and no one has been in the nest all day.

Tomorrow I will take the nest away. I think I'll put up a wren house in that corner so if she gets the same notion next year at least we'll be able to use our hose!

This afternoon I opened the door on the deck and stepped out there to see the sun, which had peeked out to say hi. I guess the door made a noise when I opened it, because about 20 male gold finches took off from the feeders and went up into the trees. I hope that most of them are migrants just passing through because if I have to keep up with the current rate of feeding going on in this yard, I'll have to get a second job! I have to fill the feeders daily...and the thistle feeders are the ones that are being depleted the fastest. Do you know how much thistle costs? I buy it in 20 lb bags now to save money.

Now the vultures. Today the guy from the paving company called and said he'd come over and give me an estimate. He came over, seemed very nice...explained that he would do a professional job, cleaning out the cracks, filling them with really good crack patch and then heat sealing the driveway. Then he tells me that he's got a job in the area tomorrow and can do the job for $800. That sounds high to me, so I call Sandy, who dealt with the driveway guys the last time and has always been the one to buy the sealer (and seal the driveway) in the past. I figured she would know if it was a good price. She said, "sure, go ahead." So I sign the paper and he's going to do the job tomorrow.

Then the guy tells me that if I make the check out to the company I have to pay taxes but if I make it out to him I won't have to pay. RED FLAG!!! Hmmmm....

So, tonight we go to dinner with Carol and Mark and I tell them the price for the driveway and they are incredulous. They paid $300 for theirs, they say, Cliff and Cathy paid $250 for theirs, Sullivans paid $300 for theirs! WHAT?!! Then Mark tells me he saw the truck and he recognized the name of the company as someone who is a shyster type group.

So, when we get home from dinner I call the company and tell them that after finding out what neighbors have paid, I think their quote is very high and I'm going to get some more quotes from other companies. So, the guy says, "so what do you think is a fair price for your driveway?" I got pissed and I said "I'm not going to barter with you. Maybe $800 is a fair price for our driveway, maybe it isn't. I'm going to see what other companies say about it."

Can you believe that? Why would I do business with someone who can't give me an honest quote for the job right off the bat? It's bad enough we have to dicker to buy a car, now we have to do it for having our driveways sealed?! I don't think so.


Nighty night

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sandy is vindicated

Sandy told me I must be smoking the whacky weed to think that she doesn't want to go with me to NH when I have surgery and she will pick me up! So, I don't need rides after all.

Glad I got that cleared up!

I went for my CT scan today and forgot to bring my second bottle of that wonderful drink you have to down before the test. Actually the first bottle was a new flavor, banana, and it was pretty good. The second bottle was mocchachino or something like that and I got half way to Providence before I realized I left it in the fridge. I debated going back to get it but I would have been late. I took a chance they would figure something out...they did and I got a mocchachino to down in the waiting room. My test was only delayed by fifteen minutes.

The tech was really nice (they always are...but this one went over and beyond) and gave me a big hint, I think, that my test results looked good. She said, "we love it when everything comes out good," as she was unhooking my IV and getting me up from the table.

Everyone there was EXTRA nice to me today. I jokingly asked Sandy via text message, if it was because my name has a big asterisk after it in the charts, now that I have filed complaints about various people. I don't think so...but it makes you wonder. Anyway, it was very nice there today.

Came home and called my old Army buddy, Ivory Irvin, of Master Irvin's House of Discipline in Shreveport LA. It's not what it sounds, people....he runs a Tae Kwan Do place down there. He is so good at this. He's the one who jumped over four people who were lined up on their hands and knees and kicked a piece of cardboard out of my hands as I sat up on Henry Ball's shoulders....a good six feet + up! He has the picture that Barry Farber took of the moment and will send me a copy.

I haven't spoken to Ivory since Katie was a little girl and we still lived on Fremont Street. It was so great to hear his voice and to chat with him. I always loved him and knew that he would do good in this world...there was just something about him. Well, he retired from the military as a Major and teaches ROTC in an inner city high school and runs his do-jo. He is also in a musical group and plays the saxophone...they have released some cds and he's going to send them to me.

He was very excited to hear from me and ecstatic when I told him I could put him in touch with two other old buddies, Velma and Diana. I got their addresses and phone numbers and emailed them to him.

I love finding old friends on the internet...Facebook has been exceptionally good for this. Finding old Army buddies is the best....the bonds we formed working together in that clinic are something I can't share with other friends or family. It's special to talk to an Army buddy.

Now I hope we can arrange some kind of reunion at Ft Jackson so we can all see each other. I have to get to work on that one.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Jet Lag GONE!

Finally, the jet lag is gone...just like that! Yesterday I was still feeling "out of it" and this morning my head is clear as a bell.

I also dropped four pounds overnight...I'm not as bloated as I was before. I think that staying away from milk..this is Day Two with no milk or milk products, is helping. I want to cautiously say that it's helping me to reduce the trips to the john at night too...but I don't want to jinx anything. Last night I only had to go six times....the two night prior to that were just ridiculous!

The big news over the weekend is that we got the new TV...a 52" Sony Bravia with a Sony Home Theater system. We bought it at Sears on Saturday, they delivered it yesterday and Sandy set it up. We moved the "little" 46" Bravia upstairs to the bedroom..where we can lie in bed and look at it head-on. It's a to get the best view you need to be right in front of it....the new TV is an LED and you can sit on an angle and still get a great view.

We have to figure out how to get the wires to the rear speakers of the theater system, right now we have them running under the rug...not a good thing. The thing is we have wires there from the previous home owner who had a home theater installed. I think we might snake the wires through the route they used when they installed his system. Of course the wiring for the old system is not compatible with our system.

Anyway, Sandy finally got the home theater all wired up and good to go after 10:30 last night. We put "Avatar" in the blue ray player to test out the system. WOW! We had to force ourselves to shut it off...we really felt like we were in a theater.

I had been wanting to get a home theater for years and Sandy was always resistant. Last night as she was drooling over the picture and sound, I did an "I told you so."
She didn't mind at all. She loves this set-up.

I went to see Dr. Valin last Thursday. He described me as "still skinny" six years after my by-pass surgery. That made me feel good. Later, when I said that I do "what the doctors tell me to do" he said, "you're one of the few." That made me concerned for the other people who don't follow doctor's orders. I know that one has to use common sense, but until the doctor is proven wrong to me...I do what they say. It has put me in good stead for the most part, thus far.

Anyway, he said that I need to be cut open again. He will use the same suture line that he and the other two surgeons have used...this will be the fourth cut in the same place. He said usually hernias can be done laproscoically, but in my case I need and lapro. He will cut me open and then put five slits all around my abdomen and tighten things up, wrap the whole area in mesh and then close me up. It will take three weeks for the tissue to grow through the mesh and then I can "do whatever you want" according to Dr. V.

It is going to be painful...since he will have to move around a lot of things inside me. Well...that's what they have morphine for, that's what I say. Sandy questions if I will have a limit on what I can lift. I just want to be able to lift the bags of birdseed-40-50 pounds. If I can do that after surgery I'll be a happy camper! Hey, even if I can't do that I'll still be a happy camper-to have that lump gone from my looks so's the size of a baby's head now...looks like I have a baby in there, trying to get out!

I'm going to schedule the hernia surgery for the beginning of November I think. I will have to be in the hospital overnight. First I wait to get the "all clear" from Dr. DiSilvestro after I have the CT scan (tomorrow).

Sandy is rightfully sick of me and my medical needs. She doesn't really want to have to drive me to New Haven and then come back the next day to get me and she really doesn't want to have to "play nurse" again when I get home. I guess I'll see if I can find someone(s) to give me rides to New Haven. I think I will be fine when I get home...I'll have that big TV in the bedroom. I'll just stay there, out of sight. HA HA!

The only things I'm concerned about with this surgery--I have to go through all that reaction to anesthesia and morphine again--the constipation; the diarrhea; and the mental confusion that lasts for about six months.

Oh do what you have to do.

I have been busy today, making an appt for the driveway guys to come out and take a look at our driveway. We need to have some cracks filled and the driveway sealed. Sandy tried last year to fill the cracks, but they are too wide for consumer repair. We need a professional.

I also called to make an appt with Dr. Sansone (I finally found her--in New Britain) to have a colonoscopy. My MD is faxing the referral to her. I hope they call me back today so I can schedule soon. Carol says she is excellent and can easily handle my scar tissue situation and that I will love her, she is really funny and a great person. Sounds like my kind of gal.

I also have another call into the fireplace guy. He called back over the weekend and I missed him. We need him to move our "power vent" for the furnace...the fumes come right in the living room and bedroom windows. We want to have it moved to the chimney. And, we want to see if he can help with getting our fireplace converted to gas.

We seem to be doing OUR best to support the economy and getting things taken care of at the same time. It's the American way.

Oh, I hope to hear from Cooper's today about my memory card for my camera. I brought it down there after I couldn't download my pics from Sweden onto my computer. The computer said that my files were "corrupted." I couldn't believe that. I could see the pics on the camera just fine. Cooper's said they can retrieve the pictures and the cost is right. It's worth it to have them work on it for me.

Once I get the pictures back I have to combine them with the ones I already downloaded and edit them all. I'll boil them down to a manageable level and put together a slide show. Then I'll take it on the road!