Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glad I Was Wearing Shoes!

This morning I got up a little later than usual, Keith had gotten in last night around 11:30 so by the time we said hello and then goodnight, it was around midnight before I got into bed. I woke up around 6 to go to the bathroom and decided I didn't want to stay up, so I shut my door so no cats would disturb me and then went back to sleep until almost 8. I usually leave the door open a bit during the night, especially if the dog is sleeping with me because she may need to get up and go pee or something. Mimi likes to come in around 6:30 most mornings, jump onto the bed right by my face and then purr and MEOW, purr and MEOW (she has a very loud meow) hoping that I will either pet her or get up and feed her. Or both.

Anyway, up a little later than usual and Keith happened to already be up, sitting at the computer looking at stuff. He can spend hours looking at all the news stories and whatever, even before he's had his coffee or gotten dressed. As I come in his room I see two cat poos on the floor. Big cat poos and either a cat left them there or the dog pulled them out of the cat box and I'm so glad she doesn't (gag) EAT them like some dogs do. Keith of course did NOT see the big cat poos on the floor and how he missed them I don't know. So, like it does many many times, my day started with picking up cat poo.

A little while later I'm checking on Genie outside and picking up her dirty cat food bowl and getting the water bowl to put fresh water in and see what I think is another ball of cat poo on the pavement, a ball of cat poo that Millie is sniffing, but then realize it is just a snail. You don't know how glad I was that it was not more poo after having just cleaned the poo on the floor in the bedroom and all of the assorted litter boxes. Really glad.

I'm bringing the freshly filled water bowl out of the house for Genie and as I'm walking back across the patio, CRUNCH! and I've stepped right onto that snail. And I'm so glad I was wearing shoes, being guilty of going barefoot out there quite a bit when doing things like cleaning up after cats. Snails gross me out anyway, and stepping on one and smashing it all up is bad enough with shoes on, I would have been quite nauseated if I were barefoot. I don't think I will ever go barefoot out there again just in case. I should know better, I am still haunted by the slug that I stepped on barefoot about 35 years ago.

In other news my arm is getting much better, I spent a few days resting it as much as possible. I can put pants on again but do it very carefully with mostly my left arm, same for doing things like vacuuming, which sounds easier than it actually is. I'm not very coordinated with my left hand. I haven't had to take aspirin or Aleeve the past few days, just a Salonpas pain patch when necessary, and those little pain patches really do help.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trying Out Ambidextrousness

Or ambidexterity or something like that. Not because I want to, but because I can't move my arm in certain ways without pain. It's really not going all that well so far.

I've had trouble with my right arm and what I've been told is tendonitis for a lot of years now, like 25 or so, and it kind of comes and goes and is more annoying than real painful most of the time. If I've used my arm too much doing things like crafting or cleaning then it might ache somewhat, or if I try to pick something up like grocery bags without being careful I'll get a jolt of pain up in the shoulder/bicep area. I usually take some Aleeve or aspirin and put a pain patch or two on and that seems to take care of things for the most part. However, something happened while getting out of bed yesterday morning and my arm/shoulder/whatever was really hurting. I found out exactly how much it was hurting when I tried to get dressed and realized I could barely put my underwear on. Something about the angle when you are trying to pull up underpants and struggle into a bra and OUCH! Never mind trying to pull up a pair of pants, I got the underwear up with my left hand but there was no way I could get pants up and then have to re-pull them up every time I needed to go to the bathroom, it was just too painful. I was just not going to be able to wear pants and it's a good thing I have a few summer dresses from a few years ago or I would have had to do all my errands in my nightgown. Not that people would bat an eye around here, pajamas and slippers are almost de rigueur for Walmart! But I'd be a bit embarrassed if only because my nightgown is pretty darn ratty looking.

I can't adjust the car seat without getting out of the car and doing it with my left hand, nor can I set the brake without my left hand doing it, but the actual steering of the car doesn't hurt and can do most of the other things I need to do, it's just that close to the body pulling up your pants motion that isn't working too well at the moment. I can still wash dishes and clean cat boxes (and type!) so I'm not totally disabled. I vacuumed with my left arm today, which was harder than it sounds and made my left arm tired since it's not used to doing much of anything, and also cleaned the bathroom sinks and toilet left handed. It feels a little better today so I'm hoping I'll get back to normal soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where Does The Lint Go?

So, my new washer and dryer seem to work very well, which they better, right? The washer makes a totally different noise than we are used to, Keith says it sounds like my computer printer when it's printing out a page. It's kind of a HMMM hmmm HMMM hmmm as it's filling up with water and swishing everything around in there. The tub is a lot bigger than the old washer and supposedly you can cram two baskets of laundry in at once, but I don't think I will try that, one basket at a time seems about right to me. It senses how much water it needs to fill up with by weight I guess. Or something like that.

The clothes come out of the washer without wads of cat hair being left in the tub, so I don't know where the cat hair goes, and the dryer dries without much lint being left in the lint trap at all. Don't know where the lint goes either. I've done probably 10 loads (if not more) of laundry and have only emptied a very small amount of cat hair lint out of the trap.

And how exciting is that? New washer, yay!

We had some rain complete with thunder and lightning here, so unusual for July or anytime other than a few months in winter. Parts of town did flood a bit and the railroad had flash flood warnings out. Keith was bringing a train back from Barstow and had to go 8 miles an hour down the mountain despite the skies being totally sunny, but the rain can come on suddenly up there and flash flood warnings are not something to ignore, so it took them 3 hours to go about 35 miles.

I went back to the dermatologist and got my stitches out so now just have a not too noticeable scar on my cheek, better than a big lump! I also didn't have to wait there for hours and hours this time, when I walked in I was the only patient there. How often does that happen? Never? Keith went in for a skin cancer check and had a few things removed for biopsies, he will go back in a few weeks for the results on that and to have some moles removed.

And that is about all that is going on around here. I did clean up the yard yesterday, not a whole lot of mowing involved, just weed whacking around the edges and sweeping up leaves and small branches from the tree and then trimming the star jasmine that has been sending tendrils out to catch us as we walk by. I was out in the yard for maybe 2 hours and was totally exhausted and soaked in sweat by the time I was done, so after a shower the rest of the day was kind of a bust, no more energy to do anything else.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Washing Stuff

We got a new washer and dryer this week. Our washer and dryer were bought when we moved into this house however many years ago that's been now. 12 maybe? Anyway, they've worked well all these years and have washed and dried thousands of pounds of clothes but the dryer decided it was tired of all that work and while it still ran, it didn't heat up anymore. Should we get it fixed or just invest in newer and more energy efficient models?

I'm of the opinion that if an appliance is over a certain number of years old it's usually more cost effective to upgrade rather than repair. Yes, I'm part of the throw it away and buy new generation.

Anyway, I went over to Lowe's and picked out an affordable Whirlpool washer and dryer, well, affordable depending on how you look at things, but the total was $1001.00 including the stuff to connect it all and they came with free delivery and set  up. I didn't realize it at the time, just looking at price tags mostly, but the washer I chose is one of the newer (at least new to me) high efficiency models that I guess uses less water to wash which is a good thing here in the desert that is California.

You have to use special high efficiency detergent, something also new to me, but fortunately the detergent I already had has the little HE label on it, safe for all machines.

We were going to have the delivery guys take out the old machines and haul them away, something else Lowe's was offering for free, but decided to take them out ourselves because who knew what was lurking under and behind our washer and dryer. They live in a closet in the kitchen and it's impossible to clean under and behind them without taking them out of the closet. Hence, cleaning under and behind them never gets done. I'm glad Keith took them out because I would have been totally embarrassed to have anyone other than us see how disgusting our closet was. About an inch of dust was under the washer and dryer, along with 4 or 5 toy mice, a cheerio, a marking pen, and a little ball of petrified cat poo. Now, our cats haven't played with toy mice in years, being lazy and rather sedentary since they are now all senior cats, and where the single cheerio came from I don't know, and what the hell is a little ball of cat poo doing under there?

As you may or may not know, we didn't have doors on the laundry closet for a long long time after we painted the kitchen however many years ago because Keith likes to start things and not finish them and the doors were out in the garage for a long long time waiting to be painted and put back up. That is how things got knocked under the washer and dryer, cats playing with things back in the days when they still played. Long story short, that stuff had been under there for quite some time.

So, washer and dryer removed and the inside of the closet all scrubbed clean and we were ready for the deliverymen. They came yesterday morning and Boom! washer and dryer installed in about 15 minutes and now I could wash all the stuff that had been waiting to be washed. Which I did and I'm happy with how the new appliances work so far and maybe I'm even saving water and energy.

And, we got rid of the old stuff in record time by putting it out on the driveway with a FREE sign and about 30 minutes later someone came by and hauled them off. I told them that the dryer needed a new heating element but they still seemed quite happy at their score. We've gotten rid of quite a few things this way, people just can't resist FREE!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Frankenstein Face

It actually didn't look too bad this morning when I took off my giant bandage, washed my incision, put the prescription cream on it and then applied another giant bandage to my face. The incision looks like it is healing well and the six black stitches will get taken out on Friday. Hopefully it won't take all morning to get my stitches out like it took all morning to get them put in.

My appointment was for 9:30 and I thought that maybe since it was an early appointment I'd be first in line but when I got to the dermatologist's office, every chair in the waiting room was full. I checked in and paid my copay and then stood there for a little while until someone was called in to see the doctor and I took their chair. The waiting room is small, with one larger room and then like a hallway off to the side with chairs along both sides and barely enough room to get in between the chairs to sit down. Kind of like movie theater seating only facing the people in front of you. One of the people in front of me was an older lady who apparently doesn't get out much because she talked to all the people around her like they were long lost friends, discussing hot flashes even though these women had been done with all that for years, then discussing wearing sleeveless summer dresses, one woman said she didn't care what her arms looked like after losing 180 pounds and then gaining some of it back only to lose it again. The really chatty one said she wouldn't show her arms so that is why she was wearing a jacket over her sundress. Hey, it was already about 95 degrees that morning and who wants to wear a jacket in the heat no matter what your arms looked like.

I was trying to tune all of these people out so I could read my book but it was difficult since I was sitting so very close to them. I endured about an hour of this before I finally got called to the back. Where the surgeon came and looked at my cyst and then marked all over it with a felt tipped pen, then said see you in a bit. I was asked a bunch of questions, questions that someone had already called and asked me about and then signed some paperwork. Then it was time for the lidocain, which can sting a lot but wasn't too bad. Apparently some of the markings on my face were for where to insert the needle and it was inserted a lot, all around the cyst.

So, as my face is numbing up I'm taken down a long hallway to the surgery center where I'm deposited into another waiting room, fortunately with no chatty people yakking away. I've already been to the bathroom 3 times by now and have to go again. Good thing there is another toilet in this waiting room.

I sit for quite a while, a few other people being escorted around and all of us signing more paperwork, then am brought into the before and after surgery room where they have 3 beds with curtains and where my vitals are taken and I answer some more questions, again questions previously asked and answered more than once. Computerized records, people!

Then into the surgery room, where I lay on a table that is then pumped up to standing doctor level and a very bright lamp is adjusted to shine on my face. The nurse leaves and says the doctor will be with me soon. There is a constant beeping sound every few seconds and piped in music playing, new wave type music from the 80s that is incredibly annoying and kind of loud. So, beeping and annoying music and I'm laying there and laying there and laying there and I don't know how long I've been laying there because the clock on the wall is stuck at 3:45 and the only thing moving on it is the second hand which clicks up a second and back down. Over and over.

Time is standing still and I'm beginning to feel like I am in The Twilight Zone and this room is the portal to Hell and this is what I'll be doing for all eternity, listening to beeping sounds and horrible 80's music. I am looking over the side of the table and wondering if it's high enough to where if I rolled off the side of it I'd knock myself out and put me out of my misery.

Finally a nurse comes in and apologizes for the wait, the doctor got backed up but it's more like he was overbooked, and then finally, finally, here he comes to do the surgery. I'm a little nervous that the lidocain has worn off by now, but he said it should be okay and then down to business.

The surgery itself was painless but very odd feeling, as if my cheek was made of silly putty and he was stretching it out. I could feel tugging but no pain. I was stitched up and bandaged and then led out back to the original waiting room where I made my appointment to have the stitches removed.

All in all it took a little over three hours and as I was leaving I noticed that a man that had been sitting next to the talkative lady was still sitting there waiting for his turn. He didn't even have a book to read or a phone or tablet to play with like so many other people still waiting. I'm sure he was thinking along the lines of Twilight Zone portals to Hell too.