Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back is Better, Insomnia Not So Much

My back has been great but who knows for how long.  I just wish I could fall asleep and stay asleep for a night.  This is not a new problem for me.  I have never been a good sleeper nor require a lot of sleep. 

I did get 5 bags out of the guest closet for the Paralyzed Veterans of Texas who came Tuesday morning.  It was good to have that stuff gone so I can work on the rest of that closet.  

John stopped by to bring the TV stand that Tom had shortened and he set all the things that you and I don't even know exist on a TV.  He has disks, test patterns, blue paper to look through, sets the speaker output, etc.  You just don't plug them in anymore.  He is a great friend to do all of that for us.

We decided to have beef stew for dinner but it came out more like vegetable soup.  I used the Instant Pot and emptied out the freezer of all the half filled bags of vegetables plus a couple potatoes.  At the last minute we threw in a can of diced tomatoes.  With the moisture from the frozen vegetables and liquid off the tomatoes I probably should have cut back on the beef stock a bit.  But it was good as stew or soup.  

Marena stopped by to give us her garage door opener so we can put out her garbage.  I offered her some dinner but she was on her way to Dallas.  Her mother is still in hospice care in Edinburg TX.

Monday was our 52nd wedding anniversary.  We decided to have lunch at a restaurant that we never heard of until recently.  I wanted to pick it for our April Foxy Ladies luncheon but not without checking it out first.  It has a bit of everything with decent prices and good portions.  I talked to the owner and the size of our group will work just fine.  

When we arrived home Terry was sitting on our deck waiting for Ted to come home to help him with his new gun cleaning case.  He filled his magazine with the uplula, went through what each thing was for and put a battery in the light probe.  We had a nice visit sitting outside in beautiful weather.  When we came in I moved the bags marked TPV to the porch.  

Tuesday was an Appreciation Tea for Activity Chairs in Newcomers.  My 17-year running bunco group is the oldest group out there.  It was a lovely party with silver, crystal, little sandwiches and enough scones, clotted cream, cookies, candy, cakes, etc. to cause a diabetic coma.  

I had to go to the grocery on Wednesday for my Shanghai ladies coming on Thursday.  I am still not sleeping well and was tired most of the day.  But I did sleep better that night and back and leg are still good.

Thursday I put my drinks out, filled the snack table bowls and set my brownies on a cake plate.  I love the "after lunch" group versus having to make more food.  I didn't win at cards and have lots of leftover  snacks.  I hope Pat and Kelly will make them disappear.

Our calendar is clear until church on Saturday.  Sunday we have to pick Kelly and Pat up at the Marriott  at Hobby Airport.  They are attending a conference for Marriage Encounter and will be visiting until Wednesday, Tucker is also coming for a few days.  Fun times!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Week

Saturday we were home all day except Ted went out a time or two to run some errands.  I had some cards to send, papers to sign and some "cyphering" to do as my Grandma would say.  This RMD the IRS insists we take calls for some major moving around of funds and investing.  I think I have it all figured out for now.

Our daughter Kristin was having Easter dinner for 6 or 7 people so I had to send her my recipes and directions on how to get dinner on the table.  I didn't receive any phone calls so I am hoping she had her dishes prepared and in the refrigerator ready for Sunday's dinner.

We attended church at 9:00 Sunday morning. People were still leaving the parking lot when we arrived so we parked in a spot just vacated.  We found seats easily.  It was just a bit hectic having the 7:00 crowd trying to get out of the way of the 9:00.  Mass has a lot of pomp and circumstance on Easter so it takes quite awhile but Fr. Sebastian didn't hurry a bit.  When the folks started piling up outside waiting to get in for 11:00, Fr. Tom came in, started serving communion immediately, told the ushers not to take up the second collection and must have told Fr. S to make his exit quickly.  Those waiting must have parked in the spots vacated by the folks who attended Mass in the gym that was over way before ours.  A new huge parking lot was built recently.  It didn't change a thing.  We need a longer time between Masses, plain and simple.

We came home for a bit and then left to meet 3 couples at the country club for brunch at 1:00.  I was  pretty hungry by then.  When we finished, Jody and Dave met us at Irene and John's for an afternoon of cards.  Guys played together, girls too.  I was losing until the last hand when I got a Shanghai and caught everyone with their entire hands.  That put me in the lead.  Ted won at his table and his brother came in second.  It was a big Rogers win day!  We came home with our change purses revitalized!

Monday I played bunco for the first time since Christmas!  Carol, one of our newer players, had a unique yogurt bar.  She had vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, raspberries, grapes, raisins, flax seed, granola, coconut and mini chocolate chips!  It was awesome. Along with this she had two quiches.  Great breakfast and because she was leaving town she encouraged us to take some home.  Made a great lunch for me!  

In the afternoon, we met with a new landscaper and lawn maintenance fellow.  He will be pruning trees from the easement in back hanging over our fence into our yard, our crepe myrtles that didn't get trimmed in February, and our huge live oaks that we had trimmed last year.  Sod will be put down where necessary and leveled with topsoil.  Our small wall around the plantings will be extended outward and reworked over some oak roots, 6 plants will be added, mulch put down and the metal edging along the drive and bull rock replaced.  And he will start doing our lawn maintenance.  The other folks have not been back since April 2 so my call firing them may have been a moot point.  Maybe they fired me!

Tuesday was my scheduled epidural and nerve block day.  We had to be at the hospital at 6:30.  All went well but it took 4 people trying in 3 locations to get my IV started.  We were home about 9:30 and I was fine.  I worked on all our insurance policies.  Trying to compare apples to apples takes a bit of doing but I got it done.

Then we had dinner at Terry and Carol's which was delicious.  Their daughter and grandson were visiting from College Station and it was so good to see them.  It was almost 11:00 when we came home.

Wednesday Isabelle came to clean.  Ted ran a few errands and I was laying low on the couch letting my shot do its thing.  I was sleepy because despite the anesthesia that morning I still couldn't sleep.  I think I slept 2:00-4:30 and then 6:00-9:00. Not too restful.  I was planning on taking a nap but when the cleaning crew showed up, that went down the tubes.  Probably a good thing because that would only have screwed up going to sleep that night even worse. 

Our Newcomers fashion show luncheon was Thursday.  I filled a table for 8 but found tables of 10 when I arrived.  Irene asked if Margi could join us and I said yes.  Jody said she had told Lynn we were full, but I told her to text her and she could have the last seat.  Without consulting me, my sister-in-law invited someone else to that seat.  In the end both ladies found other seats rather than claim the seat in the confusion.  Poor communication!  It all worked out in the end and I hope neither woman was offended.  Try as I might, things can get confused!

John and Sherida stopped to pick up John's clothes and we will see them on Saturday where they are staying this weekend.  We have been invited to dinner at the Anderson's, their hosts.

Friday was our last regularly scheduled Forum meeting.  I was scheduled to bring fruit. So I bought a prepared one all set up with dip in the middle.  We had lots to cover and since my back seems to be doing okay, I signed up to be a dresser at our Vintage Clothing fashion show in May at the Women of Distinction luncheon and for three 2-hour shifts at the Thrift Store.  I think this will get me to 47 hours.  I thought I was closer than that but I guess not!

We did nothing much Saturday and eventually got ready and went to church.  From there we went to Anderson's for a pleasant evening around their lighted outdoor pit (it was chilly!) after a pulled pork dinner.  A couple who had been out of the area for a long time has returned and it was so nice to see them.  One very sad thing is that a resident of our development died at the swim finish line of the Ironman held over the weekend.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

And Easter is Almost Here

We didn't have to be anywhere until 2:00 so we had a relaxing Sunday morning.  I baked some cookies for Monday when I was hosting Canasta and we eventually got ready to go see Tommy and Susan who are at a nearby campground.  After visiting for awhile we left for Hasta La Pasta for dinner.  We didn't know where it was but when we left the restaurant I realized it was right around the corner from the Forum office.  At least I can figure out how to get there if we want to go again.  We went back to the campground and stayed until 7:30 when we headed home.  

Monday was Canasta at my house.  Ted took the sweet tea and chips to church for the funeral lunch.  I had taken the easy way out since I had so much to prepare for my own guests.  I had summer sausage, cheese and crackers, salsa and chips, chicken egg rolls, fruit and cookies plus several selections of drinks.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the snacks and had a good time.  As soon as they left we had to get ready to pick up Terry and Carol for Terry's birthday dinner.  After Italian on Sunday, we had Italian on Monday too at Brio's.  I opted for the grilled pork chop for that reason.  It wasn't very late when we got home but after these past busy two weeks, I was ready to unwind.

Despite being tired and having slept little Sunday night, I didn't sleep any better Monday night.  

I woke early to two messages "R U up?"  One was from Irene whose land line, TV and Internet were out and wanted to know if ours was too and my daughter Kristin, on her way to work after returning from vacation in Baja! 

Baby grey whale photo taken by SIL Larry while in Baja.

 I spoke to both Irene and Kristin and then filled out my hospital record prior to my shot next week.  Seems like a lot of info for one shot!

Ted had his men's luncheon Tuesday (at ANOTHER Italian restaurant) and I just took my time getting everything back where it belongs.  I love having the ladies over but the older I get the harder it is to set things up, make food, entertain and then clean up.  Having two days "off" was pure delight!  But there was a another funeral at church Wednesday and I had to make my special fruit salad but I did it Wednesday morning.  After my third night of not sleeping well, Ted said he would take the salad up to church for me.  When I stand in one spot, whether I am cooking, washing dishes or getting myself ready for the day, my back pain goes into overdrive.  It is less painful to walk than to simply stand still.  One week until shot time!

Thursday was my neighborhood luncheon.  We all met at LaMadeline, a French restaurant of sorts.  I like the different fare they offer versus most other restaurants.  We had a full house!  Afterwards I went to the mall to use my Christmas gift cards before Mothers' Day gets here.  I am still setting aside clothes for our cruise.  I bought 2 tops, 2 shorts, 2 ankle pants, 2 pairs of shoes!  Quite a haul.  

Friday we did nothing!  Sometimes you just need to do that.  I was working with Kristin on researching cruises to Asia for next year but that was about it.  Our last Friday in Lent meal was the old standby , grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I wish we were into salmon, lobster, calamari, etc. but we aren't.  Grilled or fried fish and shrimp are about it for us.  And McDonald's fish sandwiches!!

Happy Easter!  The Lord Has Risen, Alleluia.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hectic Chaos

Our friends arrived Friday and I reminded them the house had been closed up for three months except for a few visitors now and then.  However, I don't believe any of them cleaned!  I gave them two choices - ignore it or clean it.  Isabelle was coming Wednesday.

We ate at a fish place Friday night and three of us had decent enough meals but poor Sherida got the shaft.  She had less than a dozen shrimp, no bigger than quarters with tails still on.  And a pile of plain white rice to fill the plate since the shrimp took up very little room.  I don't think we'll frequent that place again.

Saturday after Mass, we met Gerre and Barry after sending John and Sherida on ahead, at our normal restaurant before going to the theater.  We saw The Three Musketeers and it was so long!  It was about 11:30 before we got home.

Sunday it rained all day so Ted and John worked on a stand for the new TV.  I fixed a roasted chicken dinner and we played Shanghai.  Ted and I both lost.  I used the carcass to make chicken soup that we had for lunch on Monday.  The fellows came to cut down our tree, and fixed a whole section of fence.  Ted also had them add a board across the bottom to keep critters out.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

We waited ALL DAY Monday for the TV.  My email notification said 1-5 pm.  At 5 pm they told me the end of the day.  At 8:00 they said they didn't know where the truck was and the driver wasn't answering.  At 9:13 pm it arrived.  We were not happy campers and I would be questioning the driver about how he spent his day since the TV was on the truck for 17 hours!  We had intended to go out to eat but ended up getting pizza before the place close by closed.

John did some set up but finished up Tuesday morning.  They were finally able to leave about 1 pm.  Unfortunately they left their hanging clothes!  Their granddaughter is going to Georgetown next week and they are returning here to visit other friends the week after that so no harm was really done.

I had to work the Senior Luncheon so I left before anyone else got up. They were on their own for breakfast and seemed to fare okay.  Our theme today was a luau so I wore my blue lei with my uniform. The tables were decorated so cute with fresh fruit as the centerpiece.  Lunch was pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, roll and cake.

The cutest couple.

All the ladies sporting their leis.

Another well costumed couple.

The whole room or at least as much as I could get in the picture.  We normally have about 250 seniors.

Our bingo prize table.  This is about half way through bingo so many prizes were already gone.  Both of the ones I took had already been taken.

We joined in the entertainment, dancing to the music, New York, New York.

Not sure what this song was.

As soon as I arrived home, our company left and shortly thereafter, Ted left to shoot.  It gave me time to rest and then clear my desk.  He called on his way home to see if I wanted him to bring me anything but I had eaten leftovers so I guess he stopped somewhere along the way.  We are enjoying our new TV!

Wednesday was my appointment with the pain management doctor who Ted saw before his laminectomy in 2006.  He was not complimentary about who had done my procedures nor the medicine they prescribed.  He said none of it would be a true fix.  What was done got me through the last month in south Texas and the drive home but I had to agree I am pretty much back to where I was before and the medicine didn't seem to be doing much.  Now I am scheduled in two weeks for an epidural under anesthesia followed by PT and traction.  Only time will tell.

We went to Denny's for brunch since we had no breakfast and it was not quite lunch time.  Then we stopped at Lowe's for some flowers to perk up our sad grass.  I am still waiting for the supervisor to come have a look.  I want his take on what the technician told me on the phone "the grass is doing fine and there are only 2-3 holes in the backyard."  I swear he hadn't come on a regular basis either.  When they talked about the copy of the  invoices left I knew something was wrong since the only ones I have ever seen are on the computer. Again, I pay in advance.  This is a bad idea I'm afraid.  The yard is looking a bit better with raking and sweeping and some flowers but the grass has a long way to go.

Ted left for Beaumont, the grass guy is coming Thursday morning and Isabelle came to clean.  I always pay her 150% of her normal rate when she cleans after a long absence.  It is also a thank you for keeping a slot for me with my comings and goings.  I watched Survivor on our new TV and went to bed early due to grass guy coming early and a 10:30 GYN appointment in the morning.

The 7-7:30 arrival time actually turned into 9:00.  I am so glad I got up at 6:00 to be showered and dressed before he came!  He put down a granular treatment, ordered another one in 3 weeks followed by our regularly scheduled one 4 weeks after that.  Let's hope it works.  Things are looking better but still not good.

Since I was up early the house was all in order before I left for the doctor.  I came home and finished the laundry.  Ted arrived home and after tending to his paperwork proceeded to nap in his recliner.  Not much else went on.

Ted worked an oil company outing Friday at the gun club and I used the time to try a new nail salon, the 4th since my old salon was sold.  This one did okay but time will tell how well it holds up.  I met Ted at the McDonald's in Walmart for yet one more Friday fish sandwich, only one more Friday to go!  We grocery shopped and then came home.  

I received an email that I was to receive a package via UPS from Bogota, Columbia!  My first thought was that someone was sending a package of drugs to our address and intended to steal them off our porch.  Then there were emails about delays.  At 8:30 pm I received another one saying my package had been delivered.  When I looked at the front porch - nothing.  Oh no, my worst fears were realized.  I turned on all the outside lights and there it was, outside the gate.  Is it really too much trouble to bring  it to the door and ring the bell?  It was a thank you Easter basket from our house guests who told me they ordered it through Costco!  

Ted had to work again at the gun club on Saturday.  I slept poorly and was tired all day.  Little by little I got my jobs done and we went to church at 5:00.  Since we had plans to eat out Sunday and Monday we came home and had salads.  Ted had a leftover piece of pizza with his and I had the last of the chicken soup with mine.