Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Laughter

With the exception of when Rick spent so many months ill, he laughs every day.
We both have at least one belly laugh daily. (Thank God.)
He is either making me laugh or I am laughing at him.
I only dislike this when he laughs AT me, you know like Toad day.

Last night as I was on the 2nd floor folding laundry I hear him laughing like crazy downstairs. That makes me wonder what the hell is so funny and what is he watching without me?

I go downstairs and I see George Foreman, Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and some young man I don't know. They are in Tokyo.
It's a show called Better Late Than Never.

He insists I watch this from the beginning with him.
I did. Yes, it was funny but not the way he was laughing. When they got to this staircase leading to Mount Fuji and they talked about their new hips & new knees that did indeed make me laugh because oh how I can relate.
I would not have climbed those stairs unless there was a boat load of money and cheesecake at the top!

Apparently, this show is about these old guy having adventures in Asia.
My husband laughed through this whole show which in turn makes me laugh listening to him laugh like that. It was far better than I thought it would be that is for certain.

Last night while on the sofa watching TV I asked Rick to rub my knee.
I put my knee over his lap.  He began rubbing my ankle.
I said, "Rick that is my ankle not my knee"
We both laughed. I said, "Please don't tell me you're getting dementia now"
Then he grabbed my boob and began groping and said is that your knee?
Nope old man it is not my knee and I moved his hand to my bum knee.
No matter how old they are ladies...no matter how old. :-)

So you can see how a show of old guys doing things was just what my old man needed.
Nothing better than laughter.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekend Toad

My weekend was pretty eventful but not necessarily in a fun way.

Hubby did a pulled pork in the crock pot. My house smelled amazing on Saturday.  On Sunday we ate this. But before that happened, allow me to back up and explain my scary, emotional morning.

We have been having some issues with our satellite dish and we had someone coming to our home between 10am - 12pm on Sunday morning. So for once on an early Sunday morning, I was up, dressed for public consumption should someone come on time.

Izzy was a ball of energy and Rick decided to take her swimming this morning before we got on with our day. She goes swimming every day for at least an hour and it makes her happy and it makes us happy but for a different reason. She is exhausted and will nap for the afternoon.

Rick probably hadn't even driven away from our home with this traumatic event happened. I had an empty wine bottle and a small shipment box on the kitchen island. I grabbed them to throw into the recycle bin on the porch to the left of our back door.

I opened the door and something hopped onto my foot and then my other foot and I screamed and freaked out. I do not know where the hell the box or bottle went. I just remember looking down at my feet and seeing this HUGE toad.
It hopped to what I think is under my L shaped sofa. I am freaking out. There was no way that thing was going to be in my house and me relax.
OH MY GOD I was a total spaz.

I saw my phone and grabbed it - not taking my eyes off the sofa area.
I wanted to see where that little shit was going to go next. I called Rick.
It became to ring behind me. DAMN. He never remembers to take his phone.

I know you are all laughing but I was freaking out. A HUGE toad was in my house. So I back up to grab a metal bowl. I thought if that little shit hops out from under the sofa I am going to put this bowl over top of it. No way I am touching it or picking it up.  I got a flashlight too. Again all while never taking my eyes off the damn sofa area.   I tried to see if I could see it but honestly I was too far away and there was no way in hell I was going to get any closer.

An hour of standing there watching this sofa area with no movement of a toad in site. I was praying this satellite guy didn't come early. Unless he was a toad wrangler I wasn't walking away from this area.

FINALLY Rick and Izzy come in. I was thinking Izzy would save my day.
Nope, she came over to me and rubbed her wet coat all over me and flopped down at my feet exhausted. I yelled for Rick to hurry up THERE IS A TOAD IN THE HOUSE.  He of course laughs and asks what I am doing holding a flashlight in one hand and a metal bowl in the other. I couldn't look at him, I had to be the watch guard of the toad. I said I was trying to see if I could see the toad under the sofa with the flashlight. He laughing said, "from 20ft away?"
Okay, smart boy - just get it!!!!

Rick looked under the sofa with the flashlight. He looked under the chair. He then went to the sofa table. I slowly had moved toward that area. I said, "Pick up the drapery the rat bastard could be under there"  Rick laughed at me and I begged him to just please lift the damn drape.
He did - there was the damn toad HUGE toad,  just staring at me. I screamed and said, "GOD GET HIM OUT OF HERE"

Rick took a toy of Izzy's and pushed him out and then picked him up and went outside and let him go.
When Rick returned he was laughing hysterically at me.
"Have you been standing there like that the whole time I was gone?"

"Yes! I wanted to know where he was at all times and I didn't see him leave this area so I knew he was back there somewhere."


"And why do you have a bowl, Margaret, making toad soup?" Now he is really laughing his ass off.

"No, I thought if he came out I'd be brave enough to get close enough to put this bowl over top of it."

"Oh my God, you are a nut! It's just a toad. It was a big sucker, larger than I've seen in a long time but it's still just a toad."

"I know it's a toad and I did not want him in the house Richard." I shuttered.


"Hey how did it get in here anyway?"

I opened the back door to the patio and it hopped onto my feet, Rick.
MY BARE FEET.
It was so gross. Rick looked out back and he saw the wine bottle had rolled over to the table and the box was on top of the basil plant. Apparently, I threw it in the air and it landed on the plant. Oops. I think he's still laughing at me. He found this whole thing hysterical. I.did.not.

What I wanna know is how that toad got on my patio in the first place?
That is the head scratcher.
But then again I don't want to know because I will be in fear of other critters then if I know.

I could finally sit down after I knew that critter was outdoors. But then the doorbell rings and the man is on time. What are the chances of that ever happening? But it was Sunday, maybe he wasn't so busy. It took my mind off the dinosaur  huge toad in my house.

Then later in the day Rick and I were going to eat the pulled pork for dinner.
I remembered I had gluten free hamburger buns in the garage freezer so I brought that bag into the house. I made homemade coleslaw that I must say was damn good.

Rick decided to add the BBQ sauce to some of the pulled pork he took out of the slow cooker. He then built a sandwich I should have photographed.
He had BBQ pulled pork, coleslaw and he topped it off with the pickled banana peppers he made from our garden patch.  It looked like a restaurant sandwich. When he bit in he was moaning. I couldn't make mine fast enough.

As I have said here before I don't normally eat bread much. Even GF bread. I just try not to eat the carbs. So I made myself a sandwich and it was so damn good. I don't often get to eat a sandwich and this was beyond good. The coleslaw was a perfect topping for this and Rick was right, his pickled peppers were great on it as well.

Now this is where it went bad - I loved it so much I ate a 2nd. I knew I shouldn't. Stop at 1 Peg don't be a pig.
Rick rationalized my buns were half the size of his regular bun so go for it.
At least that is what I heard because he never stopped eating... he was already chowing down on his 2nd one.
Oh hell, I went for it and paid the price.
It was just so good. If only I had a GF beer it would have been a perfect meal.
I mean BBQ and beer are a perfect combo.

But nothing is perfect, is it? Later, I felt like shit. I was watching TV and it felt like a brick was laying in my stomach. I still feel like shit this morning. Heavy and like it's still just laying there. I deserve it for eating two sandwiches but damn they were good but I won't be doing that again. (sure that is what I say now)  I was a pig and paying the price.

That was my fun weekend. How was yours?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Adoption

Rick was adopted shortly after birth.
He was adopted by Ben and Violet.
They wanted a child so badly and with some financial and emotional help from someone Rick called his Grandma but wasn't, they were able to adopt Rick. She was a family friend not his Grandma but he always called her Grandma Rose.

Rick's family was poor. So poor that they could only afford to adopt one child.
His father was a coal miner then he worked as a maintenance man for the hospital in their little town. Yes, he had black lung.
His mother took in laundry and ironed for folks as well as doing housework for others. This so embarrassed Rick as a kid. Now he is proud of all they had with so little and how much he was given when they had so little.  As his wife and friend for 30 years I see his background come into play in everything he does.

Rick's father was an airline mechanic in the air force. But after the air force to do the same kind of work would mean moving to a bigger city. He was a bit intimated with moving to "the big city" so he stayed in the small town and worked in the coal mines. What I always found so funny is that he hated to fly. Why does one go into the air force then? I never got to ask him that because I know I would have if I had ever met him.

Rick grew up with a great work ethic and empathy for others. I love that his father instilled that in him. Since the day I met Rick he beams when talking about his dad. My God that man makes Rick proud. Stories of his kindness to others, how much he struggled and worked 2 jobs.  His love of the Pittsburgh Pirates and his mom. He was so smitten with Rick's mom. Rick didn't get that because he and his mom were like oil and water and they never gelled all that well. He loved her but there were always issues.

Rick always wanted to know his adopted mother. He finally met her but did not tell his mom that he was either looking or found her because he knew it would kill her spirit. When she was dying she told him to look for her. He then lied to his mom and said that he began that search as hoping she wouldn't be upset. He never told her he found her. He knew even though she said it was fine that this would really break her heart.

I met his birth mom and she was awful. This was not an Oprah moment as I have shared here on the blog before. So I won't repeat. After the 3rd visit we never saw her again and when we moved out west we didn't share that information. Everything went into my name so she would have a difficult time finding us. (before internet) She wouldn't remember my last name (not married at the time) and there was no facebook or any easy way to find us. This way there would be no way she could ask us for more money or have any contact with her. She was a toxic person.

I would ask Rick from time to time if he was interested in finding his dad and he would shrug his shoulders. I often wondered if he was just afraid of being so incredibly disappointed. I told him this man has to be a wonderful man because you can't be who you are if someone wasn't a good man. His birth mother was a liar, cheat and mean. So then we would discuss nature vs nurture. Could he be this kind hard working loving man from his adopted parents and how he was raised? Was nothing genetic?

It's a conversation we've had over the years. Finally about 5 years ago he thought he may want to find his dad. The birth certificate he got had his birth father's name. We've gone round and round in circles on this. Then for a completely different reason, we both wanted to do our DNA on ancestry.com
Rick went first.

He found out his nationalities and the surprise was that someone on ancestry.com who started a family tree and who also did the DNA was an Extremely High Match to be a sibling and or first cousin. WOW.  That we were not expecting from all of this. He just thought it would be fun to see what he was other than his birth mom telling him he was Irish.

This link took us to this match. Not a full name but more of a combo of names so we still don't know her name, but her family tree was there. Her father's name was listed and it was a form of the name Rick knew to be his father. The name he was given for his first name was indeed his middle. However in searching through the documents we see he was born with the first name but never used it. Only used his middle name. So that made sense to us. If he went by his middle name his mom only knew that for the birth certificate. Then we saw a photo of this man. OH.MY.GOD. It was Rick's body type, Rick's mouth, and shape face and sadly Rick's hairline. :-)

We blew it up. It was him as a young man in the 1960's. We couldn't stop staring. It was Rick. Could this be his father?  The more we read the more info matched what we knew. He was 18 and Rick's birth mom was 16. She was visiting someone in California and while living there for a summer got pregnant.
She moved back to Pennsylvania and had the child and gave it up for adoption. We don't even know if he knows he had a child.

We read more documents on her tree. Come to find out that during an inspection of a home in 1991 he fell from a roof and died of a head injury. That was a huge disappointment to Rick. I know that sounds selfish but I know he was disappointed that he got this far only to find out he was dead. He kept saying, you were right I should have done this a long time ago when you were nagging me. When I would ask about it, he would say, Ben died in 1980, he was my father.

Rick has copied the photo and he continues to look at it. He wrote to the woman to say he had his DNA done and we are family members and gave her the information without saying anything about siblings. He didn't want to scare her off. So the next time she signs into her ancestry.com account she will see the email. Hopefully, they will communicate and something will come of it. I so hope so for him.  He sees that on this family tree there are 4 kids this man had. So he could have 4 siblings.
I told him I too have 4 siblings, be careful what you wish for. He laughed.

I know he is so antsy for that woman to contact him back. I so hope and pray that she does. I hope this is a better event than meeting his mother.
He has his mother's eyes but everything else from this photo looks like his dad.

It will be interesting to see nature vs. nurture. That is a discussion we have a great deal in our home. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 12, 2016

My Nod to the Olympics

I know you thought after that headline you'd see me here in my leotard with toes pointed and funny hand gestures. I didn't want you to laugh so hard you'd choke so I decided against it. 





Any of you old enough to remember when the Olympics showed stories and highlights about all Olympic athletes, not just Americans?  I really miss that.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Sippy Cup

I am feeling so much better this morning. I am certain by the weekend I will be back at 100%.  Not that you asked. :-)

I bought these glasses that were on sale at Target right before our horrible company was arriving. There were only 4 and they were only $1.00.
You can't beat that. I grabbed them all. I thought the plastic was perfect for patio use but honestly, I use them all the time now. They proved to be everyone's favorite and they were great for all sort of beverages.

I drink from these all day long. Water only...But Saturday I poured a bit of rosé
in it. So now he is calling this my sippy cup.  I hate to admit that this is exactly like a sippy cup. The straw and everything is plastic. Just like a toddler.
I am drinking water with lemon right now from my sippy cup.
I love my sippy cup. I really am going backwards, aren't I?
Rick was saying we get more like children as we age. I think I will stop now at sippy cup, diapers are out of the question!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Boring Clarification

To Clarify  -

Feeling a bit better and soon I will be back to normal. 
Or normal for me right? :-)

I was very surprised that everyone thought this was a big deal about just a small piece of bread. I guess now you all know that celiac is the real deal. No medication, no way to get well and nothing can be done, except stay far, far away from this stuff.
As I noted in a comment, while this is NOT an allergy, but an autoimmune disease, if you gave a person with a peanut allergy just a small piece of a peanut they too would suffer greatly. They could die. It's all the same for a celiac. More prone to cancers and your organs slowly dying if not taken care of the disease. You, the non celiac, just doesn't see it instantly like a peanut allergy. 
But oh, it is there.

I know people who have it so bad that they can't kiss someone who just ate gluten. Thankfully I don't have this issue. 
I feel the need to explain a couple of things for you all.
You have villi in your small intestine and think of it all blowing in the wind and it is high like a shag carpet. 
Those long villi blowing in the wind will absorb all your nutrients your body needs.  But if you have celiac that shag carpet is now like a berber and all the villi are smashed down. 
This makes it impossible for them to absorb nutrients. That brings on a plethora of autoimmune issues. This is also why it is so hard to diagnose. You think the hives and skin issues are an allergy but to what you wonder? You think the fatigue and joint pain must be arthritis or if older you think it's just age. 
You think the belly aches and cramping is going to drive you crazy and the doctor says to you, "take an anti depressant you just have a lot of anxiety"  
You take Imodium and consider buying stock in the company,
You are taking Imodium more times in a week than you are not taking it.
You are losing some of the porcelain on your teeth and your dentist lectures you on care and maintenance. They tell you that you should be doing exactly what you are doing and you can't figure out why this is happening. 
The list goes on and on and on...trust me. This can also mirror a thyroid disease and honestly if you have one you generally have another. It seems that if you have one autoimmune disorder here is a good chance of another sadly. 

So unless you have a doctor that is well versed in celiac you will be on this hamster wheel for years. As time goes on and you aren't doing anything to stop what you don't know you have, you just get more and more sick, more and more symptoms will occur. For me it was 40 some years. Just getting more and more sick and more doctors wanting me to take drugs for depression when I would cry. As I told the last doctor, I am crying because you are not listening to me. Not because I am depressed. Swelling, cramping, fatigue, brain fog and joint pain were my biggest issues. Fatigue that was mind numbing. I was traveling all the time then and I look back and wonder how the hell I did all that I did in my career with this being undiagnosed.  The swelling is the worst from a vanity standpoint. My passport picture shows it best. I look like I'm 300lbs and it was all inflammation. Do you know what that kind of inflammation does inside you? 
Yeah, it's bad.

So I am relieved to now know what I have. I miss a lot of foods that I grew up eating and love but it is a small price to pay for feeling great the majority of the time. 

Another comment that I wanted to address is when someone said my whole house should just be Gluten Free.  I understand that comment but in the real world it was just not realistic for us.  
If your husband or wife was GF, would you want to suffer too? Thank goodness there are no kids in my house because I would not make them not have good cookies 'cause mommy can't. 
For the most part Rick eats a GF diet and he doesn't mind. But he shouldn't have to eat cardboard cookies when he can have real ones. He just shouldn't be eating cookies period. 

When he is not around me he will hop into Five Guys and grab his favorite burger.
Those are the only french fries I can eat out. They don't have anything else in their fryers except real potatoes. So yeah, french fries for me. You see if you put real potatoes in a fryer that you just used breading - it will affect me. I have found this out the hard way on a road trip. It was ugly.
Cross contamination is so very real.

Even now, from time to time Rick will order a pizza and I am fine with that. 
If I want to have pizza I have a GF shell and make my own. No biggie. 
Rick shouldn't have to not eat something he wants just beause of me.
We only make pasta with GF pasta and we only make real food. 
Meaning, no box crap or anything processed because that is all gluten. 
Normally when he makes meatballs we make 2 kinds. GF and regular. 
The GF ones are good, but not great like regular ones. They aren't as light and moist. The Gf ones are a bit heavy and drier. But if you want a meatball they will certainly do!  We do not use breadcrumbs in meatballs for one thing so there were no breadcrumbs in the house other than my GF ones.
Normally Rick doesn't have regular bread at home. 
The poor bastard has to eat my bread. 
But we had some left over bread from when all that awful company was here. 
We put that bread in the garage freezer. I wasn't around when Rick made the meatballs so I didn't know how they were made. He totally forgot to tell me that he used the bread from the garage freezer. All an honest mistake. It's not on his mind 24/7 like mine. I don't really love chicken, I deal with chicken. So he just assumed because he wanted to try this they were going to be his.
Stupid mistake, but honest on my part. Not once in 6 yrs have I ever ingested anything without asking about it. So to me this is my fault and no one else.

I make real lasagna for example for him and real baked goods. But for the most part he lives my GF life with me. He drinks liquors that I can't have too. 
When this started he asked if it bothered me. I told him it did not and even if it did I needed to learn how to deal with it because the whole world is not going to change for me.
We have gone out to dinner with others and they are all eating great food that I can't eat. When I pass the bread basket I will take a sniff. I can't help it.
Normally for me it's a salad and honestly, even that dressing can be a danger for me so we don't go out as much as before and traveling is a nightmare. There is nothing - NOTHING - in an airport other than fruit that a Celiac can eat. And have you ever seen good fruit when at the airport? No, me either.
I normally have food in my carry on for me in case we are stranded somewhere.
A Lara bar will go far and packs well.
Bottom line this disease has made me a better cook. I think a bit more outside the box. For instance tonight we are having lasagna but not with GF lasagna noodles as in the past, but with zucchini. I happen to love love love zucchini. I slice them on my mandolin and make them like lasagna noodles. The rest is the same. The same filling, my same sauce etc. It just is using all zucchini for noodles. It's really good. Trust me a finicky friend who turns her nose up at anything she perceives as different loved this. 

One last thought on this. This is my humble opinion and my doctors have said the same. When we grew up (we older folks) food was real. But in the 70's they had to find a way to make the farmer grow faster, bigger etc. The wheat was changed. We are now ingesting Frankenwheat as my doctor calls it. Some  people have no problems with all the chemicals, some have a terrible time with the chemicals in their bodies. What makes me laugh is when some talking head is talking on TV saying, there are some differences but it's still the same. If there are changes to the wheat how is it the same? Okay, so is aspartame. It was made for chemical war fare so let's give it to people to ingest for a sugar substitute and not tell them. We need to make the money somehow.  I know a couple of people who get sick from aspartame and God knows you shouldn't even give it to your pet. So that is why there is more of this these days than ever before. And the fact that some people do this as a diet gimmick is not only stupid but it really hurts those who really are sick. Besides most of the numb nuts who stop eating gluten for diet reasons really aren't not eating gluten, they just stop eating bread and pasta.
Gluten is in soy sauce, licorice, malt vinegar, malt candy, and the list goes on.   Now enough of this boring health shit.

How about the female gymnastic team taking gold? 
I loved every minute of watching them last night.
I did not however enjoy Michael Phelps being all arrogant and acting like an ugly American. He kept putting up his finger as number one and begging the crowd to cheer him. It was ugly and not becoming an Olympian to me.


Monday, August 8, 2016

I got glutened.

I got glutened this weekend.
I feel like crap. I will feel like crap for a week or sometimes longer.
I can't believe I did this to myself. I am so mad at myself.
I've been a known celiac for over 6 years now. I know better.
And no, I wasn't drinking. This was just stupidity and nothing more.

You remember that Rick can't eat red meat for a couple of months.
Well, he has been hankering for meatballs. He had my grandmother teach him how to make her famous meatballs before she passed away.

Because he can't have red meat he decided to use ground chicken and ground pork. Pork would be good to add some fat so I got that. He did everything else the same. He made them around lunchtime and instead of the oven he put the big pan on the grill. Great for not making the house hot. When they were done he brought them into the house - Oh my gosh did they ever smell good.
I asked him for a bite of the one he was eating while standing over the kitchen island. I took a good size bite. "Hey pretty darn good for chicken"
Then I asked for another bite, basically finishing it off.  He obliged.

Now I know better than to just eat anything I didn't make. Hell, I usually refuse to eat anything even if someone tells me it is GF because I don't trust anyone other than Rick who knows first hand how sick I get. But later that evening I began to be sick. (Okay I would trust my sister Jen 'cause she would not want me to get sick either)

We were watching a movie and I just blurted out, "OMG I ate the meatballs." He looked at as if to say, "DUH" Then his eyes got big and went, "That wasn't gluten free bread - oh my God I'm so sorry! You're getting sick aren't you?" He saw my puffy face, which I didn't know was puffy yet. I had been feeling sick and I was getting crampy and thought to myself, "Why is this going on now?" Then it hit me - the chicken meatballs!

It's not his fault one bit. I am the damn fool who just took a bite of something without asking, I know better. I was upstairs while he was making them and didn't see what he used. He normally makes everything GF so I can eat it too but he figured since I am not normally chicken's biggest fan these would be "his".

Stomach pains and running to the bathroom are the easy parts. The other issues and pain are on a whole other level. By bedtime, I was so sick I really couldn't sleep but was so damn tired. How did I deal with this for over 20 years before I knew what the hell this was?

My face was swollen as were my limbs beginning to swell and the pain is off the charts even though you wouldn't think that would be painful...I know!
I can't breathe well, I need to sit up. I was getting stuffy. I was in the bathroom so much that I thought I should just bring my pillow in there. I finally went downstairs and rocked. Cramps don't go away when you rock but for some reason, I do it anyway.

There is nothing I can do to deal with the pain in my body or in my tummy at this point. I was drinking water. Does it do anything? Hell if I know but sometimes I feel like I could flush it out of me. No logic or sense in that. I realize that, but I was doing anything to help myself.

Everyone always asks me if I ever cheat. This is why I don't. Today I feel like crap. Fatigue, brain fog, headache, I feel like I have the flu. A full body flu.
I feel so much pain in my body/joints today and I have a rash on my arms. I am stuffy like a head cold and my pants are tight as well as everything I am wearing from all the inflammation.  I look like I've gained 20lbs for heaven's sake.
No, I don't ever cheat. It's so not worth it. Besides I am doing far more danger to my insides than what I feel, so why do I want to "cheat" and take years off my life? A piece of cake or 2 bites of a meatball just aren't worth it to me and this so reminded me of that point. But I do wish secretly it had been cake over chicken.
I mean...

For me, this probably will be gone by Friday. The longest it ever took was 2 weeks. In the meantime, I want to hide, stay inside and if I could crawl into bed for a few days and not go to yoga,work and deal with cranky people, it would be helpful.

For all the jokes made on TV about we celiacs I wish they could feel this just once and tell me if they still think it's funny and joke worthy.
We have no medication to help us we only have a GF diet. It does not cure us, it only helps us feel better.  It does not go away. This dreadful shitty disease causes cancers and will affect all your organs in very bad ways along with all the ugly stuff you can see. You can't absorb nutrients and a plethora of fun stuff happens with that issue.  Oh well. I'll be fine and I have to remember I did this to myself.
That is the kicker for me. I did this to myself.  Damn Idiot.  It was nice summer Sunday afternoon of just relaxing and having fun...until I was sick.

I'll be back later in the week when things calm down a bit.
In the meantime, enjoy some pizza for me will ya?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rambling

Olympics are starting tomorrow and I can't wait. I love to watch the Olympics and I especially enjoy the summer Olympics. I am rooting for my gal Simone on the woman's gymnastic team. If she doesn't get hurt there is no way she will not win gold. She is a phenom.
There was a photo of her legs that I saw recently. I want those legs. Only I'd like them longer so I could have those legs and be 5'9 at least. Hey if I'm gonna dream about being taller I sure as hell am not going to request 5'4".
_________________________________
Rick and I have been eyeing this house. We knew the home was going to go on the market in spring of 2017. Rick did some work for the woman and she told us that. She knew we were interested in her property. They had planned on listing this in early June 2017.
In the meantime, we have been doing our updates here so that we could get our house ready for next spring to sell and hopefully buy this house.

This 3,300 sq ft home is 1000 sq ft larger than ours. We don't really need more house as much as we need fewer stairs and more storage. This home has all this in abundance. It is a ranch home that has been remodeled to an open floor plan which we need and want. It is on 2 acres. It has a gorgeous and large in ground pool. (which we want desperately) It also has a 3 bay garage type structure that is the owner's workshop. Perfect for Rick. There is also a 3 car detached garage. Again, perfect.

This house is located about 5 miles from us. It has no Nazi HOA to deal with and no neighbors. Perfect.  Have I said how Perfect this all was/is for us?

Well, they decided to sell now. It hit the MLS yesterday.
Apparently, the owner lost his job. We can't move right now. They are also pricing this under comps and probably under assessment.
The house is selling for the same price as my townhome.
But we just can't sell right now.
Can I tell you how devastated we are? It was perfect. I wanted to cry. I realize that it just means it is not meant to be. I don't think we'll ever find all these things in one house again at this price ever again.

Oh sure the inside needed some tweaks to be more my style but all houses do. The bones were great. The fact that it was not a Colonial is so rare around these
parts. (Oh how I hate Colonials) I am sure it will be gone by the end of next week. That price, that home, the land and location in Loudoun county make this an enormous steal. Damn it! Unless I win the lottery Friday I don't see this in my future.
______________________
Today I am taking Gary, our employee, to the airport. He is taking 2 days off to visit his father. His father is dying of lung cancer. He calls him every morning and they chat. A few weeks ago he called and his father couldn't talk due to all the coughing.  He then came to the office and asked for a couple of days off.

His father is refusing any treatment. He called it "bullshit" Gary and his sisters know not to fight with him on this because he is a stubborn old coot. They wish he would seek treatment but they know him and know he won't quit smoking or do anything they say so they are letting him live or die how he wishes.

Gary is flying to Michigan today and staying until Sunday night. He is bringing his 9month old with him. The baby mama is not going. Gary asked me about the baby on the plane.  I told him that it will be difficult due to their ears. They will pop and it will cause them a lot of pain. Take off and landing are the worst normally. He is worried about that and asked if there was anything he could do. I told him when I worked in the airline industry we would tell parents to give their kids gum to help them. But you can't do that for a 9month old.

A few days later I asked him if he would ever give his son baby Benadryl so he would sleep through the flight. He said, " We talked about that."
That was all that was said. Then he went to the pediatrician for a check up and Gary asked the doctor about giving him baby Benadryl for the flight. The doctor went bat shit crazy on Gary's ass. The doctor raised her voice and said that Gary should not be drugging his kid for his own comfort.
And apparently, this lecture went on and on and on.
Gary told me all this the following day. He said, "I'm torn, I don't think I'm drugging him for my comfort but first for him so he isn't in pain and then mine so he isn't screaming on the plane. Am I horrible because I want to do this?"
I told him to do what he feels is right. I can't say what is bad or not. Not my kid.
Honestly, I know a great many parents who have done this for lesser reasons, so I don't think this is awful.

Yesterday when he asked if he could keep his car here and we drive him to the airport he said, "I'm going to get the worst father of the year because I am going to give him some Benadryl when I get to your house and let him sleep on the plane as much as he can."  I just said, "Okay."   My hope is that this will all be okay for everyone involved including the rest of the plane if this baby is awake because he will be screaming the entire time.
________________

Last night Rick and I had a laughing so hard we were crying moment.
This morning we can't remember what we were laughing about.
He asked over coffee, "what the hell made us laugh so hard last night, I can't even remember?"
I couldn't remember either. Boy, is that pathetic or what? Of course, that too made us laugh.  I do remember where he was standing and how he was bent over with laughter from something I said. I most certainly was brilliant then right?  But what the hell was so funny? I love getting old. This is going to bug me all day now. I'm not sure what it worse, a stupid song stuck in your head all day or trying to remember why you laughed so hard you cried.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

East Coast Type A - who knew?

We liked our website. Then we needed to change it up when we expanded our services. Then we needed to change things again once every site needed to have mobile access. Once again, we liked the new site. She's at least good at that.
However dealing with this person who does our site is a nightmare.

10 years ago she wasn't super responsive, but she was responsive...eventually.
I normally worked with others there at the beginning but they have all left. Voicemail reflects others but I normally just get her. I think that is a ruse. 

I found working with her to be so difficult and for me absolutely frustrating. When you did reach her she had this laid back attitude that is a cartoon stereotype for the west coast. 
Oh, how I know and loathe this attitude. I lived there and I was a round peg in a square hole. No pun intended. 
Yes, I like to get up and move. (okay not that fast but after my coffee)
I like to get things accomplished, I don't like to let things go that can be done now or relatively soon. I tend to move fast when warranted and I am not ashamed of that. 
And seriously it's okay if you aren't a type A. We can't have all type A's or it would be a nightmare!  But this gal, Lisa, didn't do anything quickly or even slowly. Type A?  Hell, she wasn't even a type B....perhaps a Z.   (get that? Zzzzz's - okay bad one) A return phone call or email was out of the realm of possibility for her.

One time after 3 1/2 weeks of calling and leaving messages she finally called me back and said, "Hey it's sunny and a beautiful day out, relax, I'll get to it." 
OMG. My head exploded. Google was making it so that if our sites weren't mobile friendly by a certain date we couldn't do ad words. That is how we get business so this was important. I need to make these changes. We had only a week left. Could she accomplish this in one week with all her other clients too?
She went on to tell me everyone is doing this now and she will get to it. 
If not by the deadline close enough. Close enough? What does that mean exactly? Months later, weeks later? She refused to be pinned down she said to a time because she had to do a lot of work for a lot of customers who's sites need this change. 

Relax was her favorite word. We are a business, you can't just get to it when you feel like it, lady. No website no phone calls no business. Period.
This impacts my life and our employee's lives. Of course, that wasn't said exactly because I wanted it done. Didn't want to make her angry. But I did tell her that I would appreciate it being by the deadline or before at the latest and why. I never told her that her California Dude attitude drove me bonkers. She did accomplish this on the very last day, down to the last hour that it had to be done. Rick suggested her bill be paid the same way. 

Then came a name change. Unless you are bought out by another company I find people who change their name are running from their bad reviews or their bad debts etc. Like Comcast calling themselves Infinity, like we are so dumb we don't know that it's still Comcast and they suck.
She was no exception as far as I could see.

For the last 32 days, we have called her almost daily. 
We have emailed every other day. Either myself or Rick. 
For some reason, she will normally respond to Rick. 
Not this time. 
We are no longer fabricating countertops and vanities. (well, he is for me but I'm putting out for them. sleeping with the owner has its advantages)
We need to remove that tab and page from the website because getting calls and having to tell them we no longer can do this for them is not a good business practice. You don't want to have to say no.

Now this is an easy thing to change, or at least I would assume that. 
Maybe she doesn't want to do this because it is only a few hundred dollars of work. Who the hell knows. 
But that would be take responding to messages to find out. If we went with another company they would have to go to her to get some info and codes and things way over my head to make this happen. Would she be responsive to them like she is with us?

This made us begin a search for a new company to handle this work for us.  We found a local company in nearby Alexandria that can migrate our site to them. They needed codes  and things that are again way over my head. They couldn't get a response from her. Imagine that? Thankfully the person who made the site is not hosting the site. That is Go Daddy. We think we found a way around all of this, through Go Daddy. Keep your fingers crossed.

I signed the paperwork for this new company this morning so they have my permission to get my website and they will migrate to them, host it instead of Go Daddy and make all the changes.
I like the fact that they are local, same time zone, are not laid back to the point of being comatose, and their pricing is very fair. I find this type of environment (creative)for work is a bit more lais sez Faire but in all honesty, that is so okay with us until you can't be responsive. All my interactions with them have been fun and informative and helpful. 
I hope it stays that way. 

When I called them on Friday I realized it was 5:10p. Just as I realized this I was about to hang up and they answered. I apologized for the time of my call saying that the day had just gotten away from me. (and it had) The co-founder answered the phone and said that they were all still in the office but having an office happy hour and the other co-founder had not returned with the booze just yet so he was gladly willing to talk with me. 
I said, "No, have fun and call me Monday. This can wait." 
Which he did. He called me Monday morning as he said he would. I think he could teach Lisa some things on how to be professional. 

I surely don't mean to say everyone in California is like this.
I just know she is. I have a type A friend who runs her own corporate design firm (works with gov't agencies etc) in southern Cal.
Lisa, on the other hand, is the stereotype you see on TV and in movies.
I must admit I ran into it a lot when living there and it frustrated me so.
Rick was a recruiter at the time and he found it frustrating as well.
We never knew how east coast we were until we lived in the west.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lazy Days

Do you feel guilty when you do absolutely nothing?
I do.

Saturday was a busy day. I am repurposing some old night stands.
I sanded, primed and painted them. I have to do a couple more things to them and they will be a "new" item in a guest bedroom.
I also did all the typical Saturday chores as well.
Come Saturday night I was pooped. Nothing on TV/movies interested me as well as even a book. Yep, I was out of sorts. We decided to play some backgammon which we have not done in ages.
We realized that this was the first time we've sat and played backgammon without a glass of wine. Oops, did I say that out loud? That makes us sound bad doesn't it? But if Rick can't drink right now I don't wish to either.
Solidarity I guess.
It was still fun and I still kicked his ass in several games. But boy I wanted a glass of cabernet.

Sunday it was a very lazy morning for us anyway.
We still got up at 5am unfortunately. Izzy will have none of this sleeping in stuff.
Rick made breakfast, which is always great.
He made it on the grill. I love when he makes bacon, home fries and eggs on the grill. Nothing better. I was lazy on the patio sofa while drinking my coffee and watching him make food for a change.
The neighbors didn't enjoy it as much apparently. Our neighbor to our "left" told me unless we were sharing this was damn mean. The smell was wafting into his home and it smelled, "damn good" he said. We offered to share but he and his girlfriend were going out to breakfast with friends and he hoped it tasted as good as ours smelled. I think that garlic rick put in the hashbrowns is what everyone smells. It was good too, but the smell that gets me is garlic. How I love the smell of garlic and onions.

We took Izzy swimming later in the morning and were basically lazy the rest of the day. Naps and books and naps and bad tv and naps. I began to feel guilty so I got off my butt and did a load of laundry. But I didn't want to.  I just feel so guilty doing nothing. What will I do when I retire? I want to do nothing. I want to not HAVE to do anything. Why is it so difficult to be lazy? I am lazy by nature, or so I thought. Perhaps I need to re-think that.

I saw a clip of a movie where the woman says she wants to be in an accident. Not a bad one, just one to keep her in the hospital so others can feed her and she can sleep a lot and watch tv all day. I laughed at that because most days that sounds great to me. But after Sunday I realized I probably couldn't do it.  Rick felt the same way. He worked for an hour and then only stopped because I made him. What the hell is wrong with us? We need to learn LAZY.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Stairway to Heaven

Rick's ongoing 8-month saga of crazy health issues has been resolved.
He's not well yet but we have answers.

But allow me to back up a bit.
He has a bone spur on the top of his knee that is under a tendon. It is causing all kinds of pain for him right now. He is walking funny right now and all of our steps in our home are not making his life at home all that easy. If only Izzy could fetch the things we need upstairs when we tell her, it would be fabulous. Last night I told her Lassie would do it girl. She tilted her head. That made us have a good laugh.

I only have Rick working on estimates and small jobs like repairs etc.until his knee medication kicks in more.
We had a contractor (who are the main reason we do repairs) call because one of his men dropped a toilet on a tub and did some damage. (how do you do that?)

Rick arrived at the location and was met with this -
Stairway to hell for this poor guy. Then there was another flight of stairs to get to the bathroom with the damaged tub.

Now while I am at my desk I received this photo in an email.
I simultaneously put my hand over my mouth and laughed. Poor Rick.
So he carried his equipment as he limped up the steps. Never before has he had a home with this kind of entry. And of all things for him at this moment in time.  As he said, "If I don't see the humor in this, then I'd cry." He was in pretty good spirits about this making jokes and laughing. (Thank goodness)

The contractor who dropped this toilet on the tub took out a good size chunk and the owner of the firm (Raul) requested we look at this. When I told Raul it could be repaired without refinishing the full tub he doubted me and booked an appointment to have the full tub done next Friday. I told him if he wasn't 100% happy with the repair, Rick would take if off and he would be no worse off and he didn't have to even pay him for the service call. The contractor laughed and said that was pretty cocky. I told him it wasn't cocky but confident we could fix this to his satisfaction. He wasn't convinced that this wouldn't be seen no matter how many times I told him that no one would ever know it was ever damaged. I even told him how we do this for Ferguson Showrooms when the items come in damaged. They keep those on the showroom floor under those bright lights and no one can see they were ever damaged. He still was not convinced. He kept telling me he was very picky.  I told him so was Rick they should work together fine then. He laughed and said, "we will see"
I must admit this man was funny and charming. At least he wasn't mean and cranky like most.

Rick did his magic and all the men at the job site circled around the tub with big ole construction lights and no one could see where it had been damaged. They got on their knees and inspected it. Rick said it was funny.
The man, Raul, who owns the firm called me later in the day just to tell me I was right, my boss was a miracle worker.   That made me laugh.
All I could think of was, yes, but now poor Rick has to go down all those stairs.

Rick later in the day had his first appointment with his new rheumatologist about this Tophi Gout.
Things that have bothered him for years was the gout issue. Who knew? It did not swell like you think of when gout is present. But it's not regular gout they keep saying, but Tophi Gout. (Like we should know the difference)
We believe he has had this issue for over 30 years. When he would complain about his kidneys hurting that was a sign.
One sign I might add that all doctors poo-pooed.

When Rick had his "nap and zap" this year it opened his immune system up to everything. Hence the shingles. We knew that. This is why they believe all the issues with gout got so much worse. This type of gout apparently does not just cause swelling it is more than all of that and this is in all your joints. It is a form of rheumatoid arthritis. The uric acid that forms these crystals on your body and joints is a sign of this Tophi Gout. When he would ask doctors about this, this too was always poo pooed. When he showed his orthopedic the bumps on his elbow he was told it was student elbow and to stop leaning on them. See what I mean? It was Tophi Gout.

They do think the spur in his shoulder is from this. It does cause bone spurs which he has a couple of (shoulder and knee) But it must be removed to stop the rubbing/tearing of the tendon so he will still have that surgery later in August. The one on his knee can't be removed. Long story but suffice to say that it would cause him more damage and possible a new knee. So they are treating this with steroids and other medications and PT to strengthen his quads.

In the meantime, Rick has a new medication to assist in this awful disease. It will allow all those bumps to go away. It will give him a great deal of joint pain relief. But he can't have 3 of his favorite things in life (aside from Me and Izzy of course) Red Meat, Seafood, and Alcohol.

Now over the next couple of months on this new medication, he will then be able to introduce it back into his diet but never again all the time. So red meat once or 2x a week tops. Never back to back days. 2 glass of wine a week and seafood once a month. Beer is the absolute worse thing for him to drink so I doubt he will have that anymore. Knowing Rick he won't even eat meat 2x a week, he's scared right now. He may turn into a chicken. My God that is all he's eating lately.

I know when I went through my stages of finding out that I was celiac and could never eat wheat, barley or rye ever again I was so angry, then depressed, then I was feeling so good I realized I didn't want it. I think Rick will have the same stages. His favorite thing in the world is a great burger and a beer. Then crab, shrimp, and red meat. His favorite cookbook is called Carnivore. Yes, you can see he loves meat. He is in the anger stage of never eating this again like he wants. He seems to have skipped the depressed part. Good. So soon he'll be at the, "I want to feel better and I'll do anything part"  I know it's hard to change everything at 61 but he has to and he knows it.

To finally know why he has been in such pain for so long is wonderful news.
While it is not fun to have this, to at least know what is going on is a blessing and in a way comforting.  He was beginning to think he was crazy. One foot would hurt and then it would go to the other foot and same with his knees. Xrays actually show that he has the cartilage of a 17 yr old in his knees. He laughed and told the doc that is great if they didn't hurt. But the dr kept saying this was unbelievable for a man of 61 to have this much cartilage in their knee, normally at this time you get a knee replacement. The doctor was much more excited about this than Rick was.

The doctor in the ER is the one who tapped into this and got the ball rolling.
I can't thank him enough. The Rheumatoid Dr. felt he should be feeling better in a month and continue to feel even better over time. Now to get through this shoulder surgery.

I'm not a big fan of this caregiver stuff but it was in my vows wasn't it?
In sickness and in health. Rick and I were joking about that last night.
His shoulder surgery is his right arm so I keep reminding him I will do anything and everything but I am not wiping his butt. That is where I draw the line.
Start practicing with his left hand now before the surgery.
That made him laugh and that laugh made me smile. It's been gone awhile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Greetings

In Yoga we end with a relaxation that I must admit is my favorite part.
Because let's face it, laying down with my eyes closed is very easy for me.
When we are done, we sit up, legs folded, she gives a blessing or message for the week and we clasp our hands and say, "namaste" and bow. For some reason when doing this it feels inauthentic to me. But I do it while at yoga.

By definition, I believe this is a traditional Indian greeting or a gesture of respect. To me, it would be as foreign as me using some gang sign, a rappers hand gesture, dropping the mic and all things that just look ridiculous on me as an older white woman. Do you know what I mean?

I have to say that it bugs me, even more, when people just meet you and do that.What the hell is that about? Are you Indian now? Are we doing yoga now?
Why the hell is this blonde young thing doing this in front of me right now? (seriously happened on a dog walk) Would she use another gesture of a culture not her own while greeting me? Is it fashionable now to just put your hands in prayer, bow and say Namaste all the time to everyone? Was she being respectful of this old broad since she was all of 24? 
What the hell was this about? I sincerely want to know. I think I missed the memo on this and I am befuddled.

Last week when I was watching a talk show the guest came out and did the hands in prayer, bow and the whole deal to the audience.
He is a middle-aged white guy. What the hell was that about?
I think I may be missing something here.
Can any of you enlighten me on this new trend?

Perhaps I should just walk up to folks and say, Salute (as in "cheers") and throw back a shot.
That is a gesture, isn't it? It certainly is one I'm more comfortable with at my age.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sleeveless

It is so hot I'm going sleeveless.
I know, it's that hot.
First time ever I might add, since turning 40.
Is this what happens when you become a woman of a certain age?
As all we woman know you're completely invisible once you hit 50 so I decided no one is looking at me anyway, might as well be comfortable. This so reminds of a line from Seinfeld, "I'm hideous look away" spoken by Kramer.

Most women know at a certain age we get bat wings. Well maybe not all women, but we hate those that don't so they don't count.
I mean we can't all have Michelle Obama arms.
So I never, ever wear sleeveless anything unless under a jacket or sweater.
But my God it's that time of year where they keep talking about heat index.
Why we need to know it feels like 117 degrees outside is beyond me.
I mean I walk the dog, the pavement is too hot for her feet, I am drenched in sweat and have only walked 2 blocks. I think I know how it feels, but gee thank you very much for telling me every 30 minutes.

But I do have to admit as I have aged the heat index is less bothersome than wind chill. Both make me stay indoors, though. The Heat Index means my electric bill is outrageously expensive due to running the air conditioning. Wind chill means my gas bill is outrageously expensive due to running the heat. So either way, I'm staying indoors and burning through money.

I am on a new kick of dry rosé for the summer months. I hate that I have to drink alone now that Rick finds drinking bothersome to his Tophi Gout. I find that instead of sharing a bottle of wine - which is only 2 glasses a piece. I am not drinking a full bottle of wine. I could, but I won't just on principal that I think that may be wrong. May.be.wrong. I haven't decided yet. :-)
I stopped at 2 glasses Saturday night. I put a cork back in the bottle and Rick said, "have we ever re-corked a bottle before?"
I laughed and said, "No, but I thought I'd try something new since I am now drinking alone. Besides all these pretty stoppers people have given us I can use now"  I don't like it one bit that my partner in crime is now dry. What fun is that for me? None.  But you noticed I got over it and poured myself a great glass of a dry French Rosé right?


If We Could See.....

I know it's an ad of sorts but watch it to the very end and c'mon don't you agree?