Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vacation Week and Some More Crochet

Keith started his vacation on Monday and so far he has been working on fixing the side yard fence all week. He started the job last week when he had a day off in between train trips by taking all of the pickets off of two sections of fence that were falling down. Since the neighbors moved last week he figured this was as good a time as any to fix the fence. I was hoping he would take this week to work on inside projects but oh, well...

He has been working on the fence for 4 days now and it is still not finished because he is very exacting when he does a fixing type job which is why they take so long and sometimes NEVER get finished. He can't just put in new posts and hammer the boards back up, he has also been putting bricks down under where the boards will go and why I don't know but maybe by the end of the week the fence will be back up. Or maybe not.
The cats have totally been enjoying exploring a new back yard and Buddy seems to think that the little bit of cement doorstep under their side door is his new spot to sit. And speaking of cats, the people left their tiny new kitten at the house because they couldn't take it with them. We could hear the cat crying and saw it at the back sliding door and then the day before yesterday Keith found it sleeping in a flower pot outside the back door. We don't know if someone came back by and just opened the door for the cat to go out or what, but there was no food or water left for the poor thing so Keith brought it over to get some food for it. I should say 'him' because we think it is a boy kitty, but the poor thing was absolutely ravenous. Very curious, too, and so was Millie when she saw him. She followed that kitten around for hours. Joe had been talking about a kitten that was abandoned at the hotel where they stay in Barstow and how he wanted to bring that kitten home so I texted him a picture of this kitten and said come and get him if you want. Which he did. He doesn't really need another animal (who does?) but the kitten will get a good home with him. I stopped by his house for a minute yesterday and the kitten has made himself very much at home although his other 2 cats are not too thrilled with the whole idea.
 
Today is Keith's birthday and we think he is 58. We are getting to where we can't hardly remember what day of the week it is never mind how old we are. I'm guessing we will go out to eat tonight and am hoping we will find a restaurant that actually serves us a decent meal. We don't know what it is with the restaurants in this town, we will go to one and it is good and then we will go back again and it is not good. Like Mauricio's Mexican restaurant down the street, good food for quite a few visits and then the last time we went we decided it is now off of our list because it was terrible.

It's been difficult keeping the house clean this week, Keith is not known for his neatness nor does he clean up after himself very well. Things like used coffee K-cups put in the sink instead of 3 steps over and into the trash can and milk left on the counter top. Maybe some dirty socks on the floor or a t-shirt left draped over a chair. Plus with him working and sawing and such in the back yard, lots of dirt getting tracked in the door. But at least he is keeping himself busy instead of laying in the recliner watching Jerry Springer or Cops all day. Could be worse. And since he can't drink beer anymore it's good for him to stay busy and keep his mind off of cold beers. He did kind of luck out on the weather, it's been much cooler this week, cool enough to where we didn't even turn on the air conditioner yesterday.

I was intending to make this throw/blanket big enough for my bed but after putting together another row of it last night decided to make it smaller and use it on the recliner chair. Keith likes to sleep in that chair and it gets dirty from his sweaty head on the back of it. We had gotten a chair cover thing from one of those everything you never thought you needed type catalogs but it didn't stay on the chair all that well and just annoyed the heck out of me so that went into the trash and the crochet throw went onto the chair.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Poor Neglected Blog

It's not that I've been too busy to post here, it's more like I am too lazy and/or have absolutely nothing to post about, ha ha. We are definitely living up to our reputation for being extremely boring and not doing much of anything at all. Other than cleaning up after animals of course.

It's been an odd couple of weeks on our block, first the Diesel the Dog's family moved away so Millie is a bit confused over where her little energetic friend went. She likes to go out front multiple times a day, getting all excited and dancing around by the front door when you say do you want to go outside. YES I DO want to go outside and hurry up about opening that door already! She runs out and chases off any birds that might be lurking near the bird feeder then goes and checks under the daisy bush for the cat that likes to sleep under there. Then she sniffs around for a while and eventually lays down in the yard to enjoy the sunshine and birds singing. But where is my little friend Diesel?

Then this past week the guy across the street packed up and moved back to Florida and then 2 days later the neighbors next door moved back to Visalia. It's like everyone is jumping ship around here, lots of houses up for sale in the neighborhood and it seems like you see another U-Haul truck going down the street every week.

I drink my coffee on the porch while Millie is in the yard early in the day and lately have been bringing some crochet out to work on. It's not too hot yet in the mornings to where you can't sit outside but I do look for a shady spot under the tree. We had a heat wave a week or so ago where it was over 100 each day for about 8 days, the worst day getting up to 108. We are back to the normal high 80s low 90s for a while which after the 108 day seems absolutely balmy.
Millie guarding the yard here.

I have been re-learning how to crochet, not having done any of that type of needlework in probably 25 years, but it's kind of like riding a bike, you get back on and pedal away. I did a few dishcloths but those got boring real quick so have been doing variations on granny squares and a real easy medallion pattern that I found in an old crochet book I picked up at the used book store. I have about 3 projects going because hello, boredom, I'm tired of working on this pattern and need something else for a while! This is what I'm currently working on, it is about 1/3 of the way done and will eventually be an afghan/bedspread type thing. I'm sure the cats will really enjoy it when it's spread out on the bed. That is not who I'm actually making this for but anything is fair play when it comes to a cat. Or a dog for that matter.
 

I went to the colonoscopy doctor for my follow up and while I have no weird cancers and only had one polyp that they removed, my pancreas is not working right so he prescribed digestive enzymes and gave me some samples of them. I'm having a hard time remembering to take them, which you are supposed to do every time you eat, but hopefully will get into the habit of reaching for that pill bottle before meals soon. I read the paperwork that comes with the pills and was a bit taken aback to find out that they are made out of pig pancreases.

I've gotten a little hooked on the home remodel shows on HGTV lately. I've been crocheting and 'watching' while I crochet and really like a few of the shows, they have some really good ideas on fixing up your house. Unfortunately we don't have any money to implement some of those ideas much as I'd like to. Things like tiling in your shower and updating your kitchen counters and cabinets. Also flooring, they are real big on the laminate floors that look like wood and that is what I want in this house instead of the nasty cheap carpet that we have. Someday we will get our new floors but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them. I probably shouldn't watch those shows in the meantime because it's like going to see a model home in a new neighborhood and then coming home to your old house where it seems even smaller and older and you wish you could afford that shiny new house.

Keith is on vacation next week but I don't think we will be going anywhere except maybe out to dinner for his birthday on the 16th. He has lots of projects that he needs to work on, projects that have been waiting to be finished for years, but he started fixing the falling down fence between our house and the now vacant one so that will probably take up most of his energy for fixing things.

I am just hoping that we don't end the vacation week by strangling each other, we aren't used to so much 'together' time these days and do tend to drive each other crazy sometimes.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

So What Have We Been Up To Lately?

Not a whole heck of a lot, actually.

We did have a fun few days with Millie when little Diesel from down the street was out running around the neighborhood. He gets out of his yard on occasion and spends the day wandering. We took Millie outside in the front yard, being a little nervous that she might not like another dog in her yard but since Diesel is a little smaller than her she didn't see him as much of a threat. He wanted to play with her and at first she wasn't sure how to do that but caught on quickly. They ran around the front yard chasing each other and play biting, then they would get tired and go back to either sniffing around or laying in the shade.
He is a fun little dog but very very energetic. He ran into the house before we could stop him and I ran around after him trying to get him back out. He discovered the doggy door and bam, out into the backyard for some more running around. Then he discovered the cats and started chasing them and scaring the heck out of them, so no, Diesel, you can't be in the back yard anymore. We got him out front and about 5 minutes later he came back in the house through the doggy door. He had gone to the side gate and managed to dig his way under in that 5 minutes, so now we know how he gets out of his own yard all the time. Keith put some bricks under the fence so he couldn't dig his way under again, something I didn't want to happen since I really didn't want him making himself at home inside our house.

We had a few days in a row where Millie had a little playmate but haven't seen Diesel in a while so his people must have fixed it so he can't dig out of the yard. I kind of miss him and so does Millie!

We ordered an outdoor dog house thing with a waterproof fabric shell and a mesh floor, thinking Millie would use it out in the yard. However, Buddie found it first so it will be his outside hideaway. I thought it was cute that on the front of the box they show an orange cat in the house and that's exactly what we have in it here at home.

It's getting to be summer here, yesterday it was 94 and today supposed to be about the same. Then tomorrow it is supposed to be about 20 degrees cooler which will be nice, but probably the last cool day we will see in a long time. We've been enjoying being able to sit out in the front yard lately but soon it will be just too hot for much of that. I cleaned up the yard the other day, weed whacking and pulling out some overgrown flowers and if I do say so myself it looks pretty nice.
This is the view from the 'porch' which isn't actually a porch, more like a patio I guess. I found some great chairs over at Target for $21.00 each and they are seriously comfortable, much better than the plastic chairs we had.
Well worth the money, the mesh canvas fabric has a little give so you aren't sitting on hard plastic. They are also really lightweight so you can move them from shady spot to shady spot very easily. I think we will really get our money's worth with these plus they are in my favorite shade of aqua blue.





Friday, May 6, 2016

Thunder! and Some Actual Cooking

We don't usually get much in the way of thunderstorms here in Central CA, we don't usually get much in the way of storms period but this spring we've had 3 or 4 of them. Must be El Nino messing about with us.

We had one a few weeks ago where we were sitting watching TV in the evening and all of a sudden Keith jumps up and runs outside. I had no idea what made him jump up and run outside until I went outside too and off in the distance we could see lightning. We watched from the front yard for a while and then it started sprinkling so we went out back and under the little part of the patio that has a cover. Then BOOM! it started absolutely pouring buckets and then it started hailing all while we are huddled under the small roof with no way to get back inside without getting hit by hail. Serves us right for being outside during a thunderstorm.

Last night we had another one, not quite as exciting but the thunder made Millie bark and then since it wouldn't go away when she ferociously barked at it she figured she'd better hide under the bed.
On another note, as everyone probably already knows I really don't like to cook but we have to eat and certainly can't afford to go out every night, so...even though I was home alone last night I actually managed to cook myself a decent meal for once. When it's just me home I tend to eat whatever I can find, which usually isn't much. Dinner is sometimes yogurt and a protein shake or some soy protein cereal. I'm not supposed to eat cereal but did find some lower carb cereals, the Special K protein cereal being one of them. The Special K actually tastes good, too, but you have to look at the portion size, you can't fill that bowl to the top or way too many carbs. It's filling, too, because of the protein, not like regular cereals that leave you hungry in an hour and spike your blood sugar.

I got some fresh zucchini and a red bell pepper and thawed out a chicken breast to marinade. I just put the chicken in a pan with a little olive oil and cooked it for about 9 minutes per side, then sliced the zucchini and pepper and sauteed it in a little butter along with some thawed frozen corn. I added some dried basil and a little salt and pepper while the vegetables were cooking and instead of cooking them until they were soggy, cooked them on a little higher heat so that they crisped up a bit. They looked appetizing, which has been a big issue for quite a while with me and my digestive issues, no appetite, and they tasted really good. I've had a hard time eating chicken lately too what with the lack of appetite but it tasted good too, and healthy.
This may be my go to meal in the future.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Colonoscopy Yay!

I went to see a gastro doctor about my intestinal difficulties a month or so ago and we scheduled a colonoscopy which I did on Monday. I got to spend my Sunday drinking hot tea with no cream and eating jello (gag) and taking ducolax pills and then drinking an entire bottle of miralax mixed with 64 ounces of liquid. 64 ounces of liquid is a lot of liquid to get down in a few hours, but the prep is a whole lot better than it was 9 years ago when I had my last colonoscopy. That prep involved enemas, not just one but two, and no enemas are way better than two of them. The ducolax and the miralax work just fine to clean out your colon and you spend a lot of time on the toilet.

The colonoscopy went fine, I was sort of awake and could hear the doctor and nurses talking but sort of asleep and had some weird kind of dreams but couldn't really feel what they were doing. I had one moment of 'discomfort' and I'm assuming that is when they snipped off the one polyp that they found. They had asked me if it was okay if a pre-med student observed the procedure and I was fine with that, he was just going to be watching the screen so I'm assuming a lot of the talking that I heard was the doctor explaining things to the student.

The doctor thinks that my issues are because my pancreas is not working correctly which is directly related to alcohol use. I haven't had a drink in about 10 years but back in my single days there was quite a bit of beer and margarita drinking and I guess it all catches up with you. Keith is also having pancreas problems, again directly related to alcohol. He's consumed quite a few beers (and whiskey) in his life too. So, no more drinking ever for him and since I don't drink at all anymore, not such a big change for me. It does kind of make me want a gin and tonic though since I know I'll never ever get to have one again!

I go in for my follow up early next month and will probably be prescribed some digestive enzymes that should help and am supposed to eat low fat on top of my low carb diet. Most of us don't really know what the pancreas does, but if it's not working correctly your food is not being digested properly which means your body isn't getting the nutrients out of the foods and actually could lead to malnutrition despite trying to eat a healthy diet. Plus you get DIARRHEA!

Keith is going in for an MRI next week for his pancreas issues and then will go for a follow up with the same gastro doctor that I saw, who I like very much and seems to be very caring and thorough. Keith doesn't get diarrhea but rather pain and vomiting when his pancreas is acting up. If it's not coming out one end, it's coming out the other around here!

We are getting tired of doctor visits though so I'm hoping that we can get ourselves eating the proper foods and him not drinking any beer and get our innards back in shape soon!