Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A humble surgeon.

This is the review I put on google about aunt's doctor today-

This guy is amazing. He clearly took the care of my 85 year old aunt (who required a hip replacement) personally. He made a point of calling the rehab where she was staying (HIM not his office) twice the night before her surgery to make sure everything would be ready for surgery the next day. Then on the day of the surgery, my husband was on his way to the hospital but when he got home he found a message from Dr. Klein letting us know she was getting ready to go into surgery. He bypassed the "officialdom" of receptionist and back room conference and came out to talk to us (still in his scrubs) to let us know how things went. You could not hope for a better Doctor and a great human being!

And really what I mean by getting everything ready the night before- he had her admitted to the hospital the night before so that there would be no snafus. He also scheduled the transportation.

Greathusbandbob took afternoon duty from 1:00pm-6:00pm. She was in surgery from 1:50-5:40. He and I had dinner together at the hospital cafeteria (for the record I pretended I was an extra on House.) I stayed to wait for her to come out of recovery. After three room changes (she never made it to any of them) it got to be 8:00 and I realized that 1) she would be way sleepy and 2) she wouldn't know if I had been there or not given her reaction to anesthesia. I got home around 9:00. I wish I had realized that earlier in the evening.

And because medicated schizophrenics really have no filter when it comes to saying what they think (or at least this one doesn't), when I called to tell her everything was ok she said "oh good, the operation didn't kill mom." And "are we still going to celebrate my year anniversary living here with apple dumplings at Laverne's?"

Priorities people, priorities.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And because the fun never ends.

We spent 45 minutes at the xfinity store yesterday trying to get our multiple phone/cable accounts back into our name through no error of our own only to be told that there was no one there who could help and we'd need to come in during business hours. This was after 30 minutes on the phone only to be told to go to the store.

Then today we spent three hours in room of aunt inhaling acetone and trying to remove her acrylic nails in preparation for Wednesday's surgery.


At this point I still believed in the power of cotton balls and aluminum foil. It was only later that I stole a glass cruet dish to begin the soaking.

In the category of sheer force of effort- 200 lb electric piano moving. Knitnightmarc let me borrow his dolly and kept the heavy portion of the keyboard strapped to it when he put it in the car. I unloaded it, rolled it to the back door and into its current location before greathusbandbob could get home. He has COPD and I refused to wait and require his help. This was after believing that I could drive the Subaru through the back yard (the trailblazer can do it- there may have been some rubber burned.)

Perhaps the theme of this post should be my many mistaken beliefs.

Today's sheer force of effort was the glue under the last acrylic thumbnail. Dizzy from the inhalation and the Steelers huge loss, I believe it was sheer force of mental effort that took that nail off.

On the up side, I spent an hour and a half playing piano today instead of napping or playing dumb tablet games. I bribed the weekend nurse with a pair of socks to make sure aunt gets to the surgery on time during the week. She's on a sort of "on call" list for the procedure and the exact time won't be known until the morning of. She's only a size 7 and I'll be using size two needles.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dog hair for a better fit.

Because this was once a knitting blog-


I'm calling these the visiting socks as they were made during visit to aunt at various facilities. 72 stitches on size one needles. The next pair will be on twos so I can feel what I'm doing and not have to look so much.


Happy birthday to me in two months

Our upright piano sits approximately ten inches from Greathusbandbob's desk/work/central local area. I can't call it his knitting corner but that gives you an idea about how often he's there and what the space is to him.

Once I tried to move the piano into the yarn room only to be foiled by tight corners and immovable walls.

My plan was to get a high end electric piano to put into the yarn room that I might play again. I shared this plan at knitnight and knitnightmarc asked me if I wanted to buy his. I saved 90% on what I would have paid and got the "best for its time" (1995ish) piano with excellent touch and tone. There are some floppy disks and other bells and whistles but those two qualities were the only ones I was looking for.

Some assembly-tightening of the screws- and tidying-putting the room in order- are required but now I can play again. An added bonus is that having cleared the room during the last minimalist scourge, there is room on the shelves for the music.




Friday, September 23, 2016


Today's post is dedicated to Bob Terry.

Yesterday he accompanied aunt to her hip doctor appointment.  In an effort to move quickly to surgery she had to cram 3 days of pre-op tests into one afternoon with him wheeling her from station to station.

He says "fortunately the guy doing the chest xray could get her in position.  We had to get more people to get the urine sample."

He left our house at 11:00 am.  I know this because I was in bed with bronchitis/laryngitis, wondering whether I should have gone with him.

He returned at 6:00 pm.  In addition to requiring little to no decompression time when he got home, he managed to keep aunt joking and laughing even as she started to get depressed toward the end of the day.

Both of them are an inspiration.  Do your best.  Stay happy.  Be the boss of your brain.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Physical Manifestation

I spent last week feeling like I wasn't being heard. Fighting for aunts dr appointments, daily calls about completing the payment part of th house closing.

The money is in the bank. The appointment is scheduled for today although the communication channels where aunt is currently make me only 75% certain it's actually going to happen. (For the record it took greathusbandbob to finally secure confirmation of both as no one seemed to be hearing me.)

Now no one is hearing me for reals. We are on day two of bronchitis/laryngitis. And day two of zero voice. Day two resting at home. In true "can you believe it?" fashion, I had a dr appointment of my own scheduled for yesterday afternoon. It's the first time in forever that I've seen my actual dr ( and not a Medexpress dr) when I've been sick. It ended up being a two for one sale. Blood pressure's cool. What's going on with your voice?!

Saturday, September 17, 2016


If my RBF looked like this, I would be thrilled.


The next is RRBF (Royal resting bitch face.)


I think however the Queen may have to give up her crown. This RBF is compliments of the waynesburg office of the PADMV where their motto is "if you've got it, we put it on your license." The up side is that if I ever get pulled over I'm pretty sure my face WILL in fact look like this.



Friday, September 16, 2016

What is..

A.  Making me crazy?

A healthcare facility that seems incapable of scheduling a doctor's appointment after three weeks.  The aunt needs a hip.  They did not tell her about the last appointment because she was in between facilities.  I have been speaking to head nurses at this new facility for the last two weeks in an effort to get them to get aunt to a doctor that she may get her hip replaced.  This is ridiculous.

An attorney's office plenty quick to cash a check but not so quick to deposit payment.  You said you could wire money. What's the hold up?  Suddenly you need ME to Google the address and phone number of the bank?

B. Making me laugh?

This is the week that we sing about dogs in second grade.  We insert students' pet names into the song and make up verses about them.

One student has a dog named "Meathead"  which led to "Here, meat head you good dog, you"  And then the next day I asked her if his nickname was burgerbrains or steakskull because that's how I roll.

Another student without a pet (they were given the option of singing about a pet they would want if they were allowed to have one) sang about her invisible shark Sprinkles- who happened to be in the room with us.  "Here Sprinkles, you good shark, you."

C. Making me happy?

Greathusbandbob is making eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight.
I'm getting a steal of a deal on an electric keyboard from KnitnightMarcandBarry- just have to finish the logistics of disassembly and relocation.
I get to go to the DMV to have my driver's license photo taken on Saturday.  -ok that's not really making me happy but the dmv is always good for a blog post so there's that.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A pause for poetry

Or why I tend to avoid listening to music. (Said the music teacher)

When I was in tenth grade I had the ear worm of all ear worms lasting at least 12 months. It was the first 16 bars of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It never left my head. Always there.

While not a conscious decision, I've come to realize that I don't listen to a lot of music (again, said the music teacher.). It's all just so much.

My favorite artist of all time is Rickie Lee Jones. I think I know all the feels in all the albums. And then one day while trying to get Zumba songs out of my head I bump into one that I've owned forever that suddenly stops me in my tracks.

RLJ is more than just a vocalist. She is a poet. Up there in the ranks with the best. The thing about poetry is that you don't necessarily have to experience what the poet writes of to become immersed in the power of the language. I have never been (knowingly) left for another. Unless of course you consider whiskey a lover. Then maybe. Maybe a past life experience is why it resonates with me.

Video here

You are the sweetest boy I know
I've lived my whole life in the past
But I awoke last night at last

I thought I’d finally won your heart
And that forever never part
And in sweet love we would grow old
Now I'm just a scavenger in the cold
I'm just a scavenger

All I can do is wish you well
And light the Bonfires of hell
Honey, you hurt me bad this time
I'm burning everything I find

You hurt me bad this time
You nearly tore me from my mind
Before I knew I had been hurt
She laid her hair across your shirt

All I can do is wish you well
And light the Bonfires of hell
There's just one thing before I go
You are the sweetest boy I know

If there's a sun, I'll watch it rise
To dry the tears out of my eyes
If there’s a river, you can bet
There’ll be a sea for my heart yet.


My thoughts- the contrast between "you are the sweetest boy I know" and burning everything she finds in the bonfires of hell.

"Before I knew I had been hurt, she laid her hair across your shirt." The feels but so simple- and then she repeats part of the line as if she can't bear to repeat the whole thing.

She takes the cliché, the sun will still come up tomorrow and turns it on its head. "If there's a sun, I'll watch it rise." She know but doesn't want to know.

As of now I've spent every moment driving in my car (two hours today) with this song repeating. I have to hear it again and again. Also, if you end up liking this one, search YouTube for RLJ and Lyle Lovett singing North Dakota- another one that once it starts is on perpetual repeat. Oh the sounds.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

We interrupt this acute anxiety

With a brief episode of calm. Though part of the brain is still waiting for permission.

Aunt- it sucks to be her right now as she goes from chair to bed needing assistance for the most menial of tasks. And yet when we visited this afternoon she didn't whine and complain. She appreciated and laughed. After sharing my confusion as to the next steps to be taken, the head nurse at her new facility is arranging for calls and appointments to be made. The head nurse at her residence is going to do some follow up on the dentures. I am not shirking so much as coming to understand that medical people prefer to talk and listen better when they are talking to other medical people. Nurses are the key to those doors and for them I can't express how grateful I am.

Dog is walking and pooping, pooping and walking. Her internet dog friend, Baxter, is having the same surgery on Wednesday so think good knee thoughts for Baxter.

The cousin's paperwork is attended to and in the works of being ready to be submitted. Another beauraucratic hurdle nearly jumped.

In more mundane news- what makes me happy today is a new way to make hard boiled eggs. I think it's waiting for the water to boil and the uncertainty of cooking times that's always made me dread making them. Enter the Internet and a vegetable steamer.


I've left the parts I hate behind. Using the vegetable steamers, the water boils quickly, the eggs don't crack bumping into each other and in 12 minutes you have perfectly hard boiled eggs-cooked with steam. To me they taste gentler. You're welcome.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

I don't belong here


Typical street corner in the 'burg. Wooden cross and Trump shilling. ugh.

Dog- happy and healing.

Aunt- still fighting for surgery info. Hey joint guy- you should really try to contact the owners of the joints you are to replace. Unless you've got some kind of hip joint telepathy (which clearly you don't), those joints aren't just going to walk in by themselves.

School- I gave away my first round of thanks for being awesome selfie picture stickers. They have an option of taking one in lieu of a reward token when a token is offered. It was clear to me that some of them have been waiting for the chance to choose the picture and as I had forgotten about the deal, I was twittering about cutting out stickers in a gleeful frenzy.

Paperwork- will it ever end? After a hurried drive in the rain to a FedEx overnight drop box 25 miles away, I believe I have taken the final steps in closing on the sale (long distance!) of aunt's house. With those papers delivered, all that remains is for them to wire the money to the account. And hey, don't forget about calling all of the utility companies...

But in the mail the same day came a thick envelope of forms and requests for documentation to renew cousin's benefits so the fun never stops.

Add to that the upcoming trip to the dmv for a photo renewal of the drivers license and I should be fulfilling all beauraucratic requirements needed for a gold star.

An added bonus to the week was the night of parent conferences which got me home at 9:00 pm and caused me to oversleep with two minutes to get ready to leave for work the next day.

On the up side, I have a husband who volunteered to bring me dinner on conference night (I told him not to), who drove me to said fedex drop point, who made the phone calls about the as yet missing dentures because I was pretty sure anything I said might burn the telephone wires and a few bridges, who made an extra mid-week trip to deliver magazines to the aunt, who fixed the fuse to the stove at the cousin's house AND who, when I get home, has ZNation ready to binge on Netflix so I can escape reality. So, in spite of it all, Life is Good.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In better news and a list of bizarro-world

The stitches are out. The cone of shame is no more.


The kids were released early today because of low water pressure and no air conditioning.

This gave me time to investigate the aunt's latest medicalness. (Which auto corrected as medical mess)

The rod inserted to allow her to walk broke through the bone which means she will require hip replacement surgery. While painful and awful, knowing is better than not knowing.

Because the dr visit happened between facilities, no one in charge of seeing her and planning things paid attention to where she was and how to connect with her. Hopefully that has now been resolved.

Bizarro World

Our favorite friend in the burg who we like a lot was observed proudly sporting a Trump t-shirt. It saddens us and has colored our perception.

It was likely purchased from a retail outlet located underneath a canopy on a traffic island. Welcome to Western Pennsylvania.

Greathusbandbob and I were invited to a baptism of a 60+ year old adult man. Maybe that's a thing, but not for me.

Donald Trump, a presidential candidate just said our country was losing jobs like big babies. He also said that Hillary has a happy trigger.

ZNation. Not that I'm complaining.


Monday, September 05, 2016

And then you lose your shit over dentures.

How yesterday was supposed to work-

Do laundry.

Go visit aunt.

Go to middle eastern restaurant for dinner.

Go to the grocery store.

How yesterday actually worked-


Aunt visit

STOP. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

The visit was rolling along. I cut her pants because they were too tight. We argued about how she actually broke her leg. (It was at the hospital- not at her apartment- it was her leg- not her hip.). Bob was making her laugh when she wasn't asking me to translate what he said and yelling at him for his accent and swallowing his words when he talked.

And then she said "next time you come, bring my teeth you brought the container but it's empty."

I know for a fact that she had her teeth at the last rehab. I remember commenting one day that she had them in. I also remember noticing another day (at the same facility) that she wasn't wearing them. When I asked her she said , "oh I don't wear those anymore."

I checked her belongings with no luck and immediately went to the previous facility. I now hate that facility. I spoke to one of her aides who, while attempting to be helpful, made sure I knew that she wasn't there when she left and it wasn't her fault.

She checked the office and then called the nursing supervisor who did not answer. Meanwhile the nurses at the station were furtively giggling and shrugging their shoulders. Rather than speaking directly to me- I was less than two feet away- they told the aide to tell me to hang out in the lobby until the nursing supervisor came through. I asked if they were expecting him any time soon. She replied oh probably in the next 15-20 minutes. "Does he know I need to talk to him?" No. Just wait he'll probably be around.

Enter me losing it- "so you're telling me I should just hang out in the lobby waiting for the nursing supervisor who may or may not come through and who definitely doesn't know anyone is waiting for him and see what happens?" Well, yes. "This is not acceptable." "Do you know her case managers name?" I gave it. "You can call her in the morning if you're not satisfied."

I am totally willing to accept that aunt somehow disposed of/lost her teeth at this facility but when I was met with apathy and disregard it was more than I could take.

Cut to sobbing and raging in the car. Cut to double checking the apartment (because sometimes aunt is so sure of her false facts that I start to believe them). Cut to sobbing hot mess with the wonderful aide Rose trying to hug it out of me at her apartment.

I don't know how this fiasco will resolve. I won't even go into the complications involved in acquiring those teeth in the first place (I'm pretty sure the initial tooth extraction contributed to the first round of sepsis). In her lack of clarity she said, oh I'll just call Pat (her out of town former dentist) in the morning and tell him I need new ones.

The middle eastern restaurant was closed on Sundays. We ate at Primanti Brothers- delicious but by then I was wiped out.

We did not make it to the grocery store.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We just want to play!

Puppers Update.

Stitches (and therefore cone of shame) are removed on Wednesday. In spite of bonking into every. Single. Thing. The girls still wants to play and keeps bringing toys to us.


Greathusbandbob and I haven't really spent much time together in the last few weeks. Dog care, aunt care, the start of school, after school conferences and Zumba have been eating into our "hey, how you doin'?" time.

Most of the change has been because I've been committed to various unavoidable duties. We finally got to spend some time together yesterday. On the way to the casino he said he realized that one of the things that may be making him not feel good in the past few weeks is that he misses me at home. He just wants to play. He asked if I could take FMLA to be with him. He could arrange it. I said that absolutely would not work because if I quit working for six weeks I most definitely will not want to go back!

And in a story that is opposite of he and I, this was the conversation overheard next to me at the casino.

Wife: (approaches man at slot machine) $400?!?! You should cash out.

Husband: I will when it goes down to $300. I just like playing.

W : you should just cash out. Why don't you cash out and then just put $20 in?

H: why are you nagging me? I just want to play.

W: I'm not nagging you. I just don't want to hear you complain about losing money on the way home.

For the record, she totally WAS nagging him

H: did you buy anything at the outlets?

W: yes, I figured if you were going to blow $100 here, I could spend money shopping. Why don't you cash out.

H: this machine is hard to get on to. I want to play a while. Are you always this annoying or is it a monthly thing?

Then she stood in front of and looking down at him for ten minutes and angrily said she would be sitting in a chair out front reading her book- as if this would somehow be punishment for him wanting to play longer.

It was one of those horrible examples when you hate what's going on but you just can't look away from archetypes in action.


Saturday, September 03, 2016


Hey, good news everyone! Aunt has to have surgery again.

At least it explains why she wasn't making progress in rehab.

At least she's complaining I don't visit enough.

Not Sarcasm:

The monkey hats are blocking.


Sarcasm: At least they'll fit the babies when they are 9.

Not Sarcasm: I like kids better this year than I did last year. I think maybe because I had enough time to decompress during the summer.

Sarcasm: at least everyone in the building is sharing their complaints about the schedule with me except for the one teacher who did the suck up thing and ended up practically having Friday afternoons off and doesn't even have to pretend to be principal and help others.

Not Sarcasm: It's not five million degrees outside. I can breathe without sweating.

(Mostly I included that so I wouldn't end with Sarcasm.)


Thursday, September 01, 2016

A good day when...

Me (walking in the hallway): hi princess Jessica!

Princess Jessica: Mrs. Terry, don't ever retire.