Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 278 of 365

I can't quite figure out the cat these days. I'm about ready to change her name, though. No longer will she be putty or sissy or kitty. She's going to be called bawl baby.

I get the 4 AM morning bawling. She's been in all night and is wanting to go out. She also bawls when she knocks something over like a box or stack of magazines. But there's also the bawling that means she wants:
  • more food in her bowl. 
  • some canned cat food.
  • whatever is in the can when we use the electric can opener.
  • to play.
  • to jump in the window.
  • the curtain opened so she can jump in the window.
  • attention.
  • to sit on my lap.
  • to be petted.
  • help getting out whatever she lost under the couch.

The problem is I'm not smart enough to figure out what all the bawls mean. Just when I think I know what she wants, I'm proven wrong.

Lately she's been bawling more than usual. She's in a lot more during the winter and she eats a lot more. Much, much more. So we've been limiting the amount of food we're giving her. Which in turn makes her bawl even more. (Guess she's like a human.)

Except I'm not sure a human would do this when you pull in the driveway. As soon as I turn off the engine she jumps on the hood and perches at the rear view mirror until we get out.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 277 of 365

I've heard there are people who can't wear a watch. They put it on and it stops. A magnetic or electrical field thing or something. I don't wear a watch anymore, but I'm wondering if I did if it would stop on me now. With a titanium knee and metal anchors in both shoulders I can't imagine the metal won't affect something.

Like when I'm grocery shopping. I can never, ever, grocery shop without getting shocked. Dozens and dozens of times. Every time I touch a shelf, every time I touch the cart. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, it doesn't matter what shoes I'm wearing or clothes I'm wearing. I'd never noticed it much before the knee replacement, but I sure do notice it now.

Something else I've noticed? I'm having issue with electronic things.

In just the past week:
  • I had to get a replacement for my work-issued Blackberry because it stopped working.
  • My Sonicare toothbrush stopped holding a charge. And no way to replace the battery.
  • My poor iron died yesterday. It was resuscitated, but I think it'll be on life support soon.
  • Just today, the needle threader on my sewing machine broke. Fell right off in the middle of my sewing project. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to put it back on.

Thank goodness my machine still worked. Worked well enough for me to finally get one of the kids' projects done, a pillow. A little late in the day made the picture a bit too dark to see the navy blue Navy fabric I used.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 276 of 365

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I can attest to that.

This past week I told my husband I was planning on locking myself in my sewing room for the weekend. I have three kids' quilts and one pillow to do for Operation Kid Comfort. I have quilts to make for my husband and daughter for Christmas. And I have a tutorial to film for Tuesday.

Last night I spent some time picking out fabrics for the kids' quilts and pillow so I'd be ready this morning to start cutting and sewing. I even got up early today so I could squeeze the most I could out of the day.

Every item on my big to-do list required the use of my iron. I go through irons a lot. As someone who uses their iron almost every single day, I have certain things I expect from it. It needs to get very hot, produce lots of steam, and stay on. This particular iron turns itself off if it has been sitting for a few minutes, which is quite the pain for me. When I'm making quilts, I sew seams, press seams, sew seams. Sometimes I might be sewing for 10 minutes before I'm ready to press, but by then the iron has already shut itself off. So needless to say I've not been happy with this iron for the last two years. But I've put up with it. Until today.

I wasn't able to put up with it today. Not because I didn't have the patience to keep turning it on, but because it wouldn't turn on. Actually, it did turn on. It just didn't heat up. I turned it on and off. Off and on. Unplugged it and plugged it in again. Tried the steam on, tried the steam off.

My iron - the crucial necessity of my everyday life - is a goner.

Which makes the kids' quilts and pillow, my husband's and daughter's quilts, and the tutorial I had planned goners, too.

So instead of doing what I had planned, I wound up spending some time researching irons. I've decided no more cheapos for me - a Rowenta it will be. And Joann's even had one at a great sale price, but it was sold out. While I considered putting it on my Christmas list, I can't go that long without an iron. Folks are counting on me - the kids with dads away in the Navy, my family.

Thankfully after several hours of keeping it unplugged, it sputtered back to life. You can bet I'll be babying it the rest of the weekend.

In the midst of all that, my husband the NASCAR fan, requested a Christmas ornament with some of my checkered flag fabric. It's not the ornament I would have chosen with that fabric, but he's the fan.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 275 of 365

I worked the FlyLady plan a bit more today in, of all places, my sock drawer.

When I'm wearing jeans and tennis shoes, I mostly wear white athletic socks. When I'm wearing my work clothes I'm mostly wearing black, dark brown, or navy blue socks. When I wear sandals, I wear no socks (unlike my dork of a husband).

For quite a long while, I've been wearing white, black, brown, and navy blue socks 99.99% of the time. Yet those weren't the only colors I had in my drawer. I had a collection of green, light blue, and purple socks in a variety of styles. Different shades of green, blue, and purple. Shades I haven't wore in years and years. Colors I probably will never wear again. Really, do I need that many socks in that many different colors?


I now have a half-empty sock drawer with no intention of introducing any additional socks of any color to it. FlyLady proposes that if you bring something new into the house you have to send an old one out the door. So if I do wind up with some new socks (only in my preferential dark colors), some of the old ones will go out the door.

One pair of blue socks I discarded even matched the color of the berries in today's picture. You can be sure I won't be buying that color again. Which leads me to a couple questions. What was I thinking buying that color in the first place?

The even more important question is one I'd appreciate your help with. I don't know what this plant is. Does anyone know the name of it?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 274 of 365

I needed a holiday tradition today and I wound up having to fight hard for it.

Every year when we decorate our Christmas tree, my daughter and I decorate and my husband makes Mexican food. Our daughter has been extremely busy working and she's not able to help this year so hubby and I decorated the tree together last night. Going with the less is more idea I've been tossing around lately, we didn't put all our ornaments on. But even with fewer ornaments, last night we were too darn tired to get the angel on the top and too darn tired to cook up our usual Mexican feast. We saved those activities for tonight, thinking that after my rheumatologist appointment today I'd stop by the grocery store and pick a couple things up and we'd be good to go.

Yeah, right.

The rheumatologist is working on getting the insurance company to approve the infusions. Because of how insurance has been dragging out the process, and with my blood-work numbers and arthritis symptoms continuing to be problematic, he felt some major changes were in order in the meantime. An increase in the amount of the chemotherapy drug I have to inject each week. An additional medication taken daily. Encouragement to start taking pain medication. And a steroid shot to try and get some of the body-wide inflammation down. (A shot which unfortunately had to be given in a not fun place.)

So more hair will probably be falling out and I'll start a new medication which can cause blindness. Before I even take this new medicine I have to see the ophthalmologist and have a special test so he can get a baseline on my eyes. My other injection, Enbrel, is the only thing staying the same. Or so I thought.

When I went to the pharmacy to pick up all these medications, the Enbrel wasn't there. Even though I've been on this medication for almost a year now, insurance has now decided to deny it because it needs to be pre-authorized. Even though it has already been pre-authorized for all this time I've been on it, it seems it has to go through the process again.

What a wonderful day.

So despite how crappy I felt about all that, I still had to get some groceries for us to have our Mexican feast. I would have skipped it, but I knew I needed our tradition to happen. I needed something familiar, something comfortable.

Tortillas, tortilla chips and a couple jalapenos. The plan was for something simple this year - tacos - but with some homemade salsa. Salsa made from the tomatoes I canned back in August on Day 177. I didn't need to pick up any hamburger meat since my husband told me we had some in the freezer.

What appeared to be hamburger meat in our freezer turned out to be Italian sausage. With me waiting on a return calls from three doctors - rheumatologist about the denial of Enbrel, ophthalmologist about the eye test, and my regular doctor to deal with some other issues - I didn't want to leave the house. And hubby couldn't go by himself since he doesn't drive. Option two was going out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. I nixed that idea as well. Option three allowed us to stay home by the phone for an even simpler dinner. Nachos. Those tortilla chips, a can of chili, some cheese, and some absolutely delicious homemade salsa became the closest thing to a tree-decorating Mexican feast tradition we were going to get.

And the angel made it on the Christmas tree.