Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"There's Something Missing"

I may have mentioned before that I have the worst teeth in the world. Well, maybe not the worst, but they're probably in the top 100!  (Or should I say the bottom 100??) Well, at least I used to. But today "There's Something Missing!"   They're not so bad today because yesterday, the worst of then were unceremoniously removed from my mouth!  I am embarrassed to report that the oral surgeon removed....(gulp)....FOUR (!!) of them yesterday.  Yes, four....sigh.  One wisdom tooth and three molars.  I have only one molar left and it is an upper molar, not much good for chewing!  All the other molars and wisdom teeth are gone.

Now some will be replaced with a partial, but until that happens there is nothing left to chew with!  Goodbye steak and other meats!.  So long crunchy things!  Only soft, mushy, and liquids will be allowed.  I think I will be hungry!

It's all because I have very soft teeth.  It doesn't  take much for another cavity to appear.  And as some of the fillings have been around for a long time, they are vulnerable as well and most have been replaced until there is more filling than tooth.  Let me tell you it sucks swamp water!

Just so you know, I have been fairly diligent about taking care of my teeth. Really!  Nevertheless, I haven't always been consistently diligent.  So there are times when I get really tired of flossing and brushing and rinsing and cleanings and fillings and crowns and all the rest.  After more than 60 years of on-going concerns,  now I pay the price! As I just got them out yesterday, I am still suffering the effects of the anesthesia and the painkillers, so yesterday I was really groggy and sleepy and although I wasn't in agony, I did have significant discomfort.  So I spent most of the day and night sleeping!

Today I'm still kind of bleary-eyed and it hurts and I'm hungry so I get to have some more ramen noodles which seem to go down easily without much chewing.  And still no driving because I'm so groggy.  A second day wasted.  Great.....right!?

Coincidentally, my niece is just about to graduate from dental school, so we'll have our very own dentist in the family!  We're very proud of her, but  uhhhh....shhhh!  Don't anybody tell her that her aunt has the worst teeth in the world, OK???  It's embarrassing!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

:When a House Is Not a Home"

I think I have made it abundantly clear to the Universe, anyone who knows me, and to anyone who reads this blog that I am a dog-lover.  I wasn't always a dog-lover, in fact, they used to terrify me!  Once I got past the fear that I was about to be torn limb from limb by any teacup poodle or sleepy beagle or big-as-a-horse Great Dane that got within 100 yards of me, I became a convert to dog fan-dom!  We've owned five dogs over the years as a matter of fact, and I loved each of them to pieces.

What I am NOT however, is a cat-lover.  Nope, I don't like them and they don't like me.  Cats and I are mutually antagonistic.  They make me nervous and I guess I make them aggressive.  Generally we stay a respectable distance from one another.

I know that this makes me somewhat suspect to many people.  There are a LOT of cat lovers out there.  I mean, how can I not like those fluffy little kittycats?  They're sooo cute!  Well, sorry, I just don'e.  I think it's genetic.  My mom wasn't crazy about them either.

A few weeks ago I was sitting quietly at my computer one night minding my own business when suddenly the most God-awful screeching and yowling erupted from outside.  It sounded as if it was right under the window I was sitting next to.  Let me tell you, it scared me out of three year's growth!  After my heart rate returned to normal, I realized that there were a couple of cats fighting in front of our house.  I guess cats get into fights fairly often.

I've always thought that cat owners who let their cats out at night are really taking a risk.  I mean, who knows where they go or what they get into?  And then they come back inside bringing whatever back in with them.  They don't even wipe their feet!  Its dangerous too,  cats not only fight with each other, they also have been known to take on racoons, possums, and skunks!    I  was thinking that I would write a post about the about the dangers of letting your cats out.  Then I decided however, that I really didn't want to take on the whole cat community (including my poor, misguided, cat-loving Little Sis!)  So I actually showed a little restraint for a change and didn't write a word.  I just sat and grumbled.

Now for the past few years, we occasionally are visited by a cat from the neighborhood.  From time to time we see her sunning herself on our deck.  We have no idea how long she sticks around exactly.  It seems like she's out there for a while. She doesn't hurt anything, doesn't drag anything into the yard with her or anything.  She just sits or lies down.  She looks healthy enough and naturally, we do not feed her or try to make friends.   She runs away if we make any noise or open the back door and that's just fine with us.  An uninvited visitor but an innocuous one.  We won't see her for weeks and then suddenly there she is again.  I don't know if she is owned by one of our neighbors or if she is a feral cat and I haven't been interested in finding out.

Until today, that is.

Today she was not alone.  She brought someone with her.  In fact, she brought FIVE someones with her.

I couldn't get outside to take the pictures.
Sorry they're so poor!!
Kittens!  She had kittens!  The last time I saw her she didn't look particularly.....uhhh....rotund.  Four of the kittens looked just like her, the fifth is all-black.  They appeared to be perfectly comfortable on our deck!  So I think they have been there before.  Though they are small, they aren't teeny, tiny, so they are beyond the newborn stage and able to get around.  They do, however, instantly disappear under the deck when they hear the slightest noise or see the slightest movement, but when mom gives the all clear (or whatever cats do) they are back on the deck exploring, romping around, sleeping, or tapping mom for a meal.  They are cute.  Babies are pretty much always cute, no matter what species!

But cute or not, I do NOT want SIX cats living in my backyard!!  They need to learn that "....a House Is Not a Home!!"  At least, not THIS house!  At least, not for THEM!

Our yard is fully fenced, but there's not a cat in the world who is stopped by something as insignificant as a fence!  Any suggestions as to getting them to relocate??  There's got to be some nice cat lady with 34 cats living somewhere nearby.  Right?

She probably wouldn't even notice five or six new cats!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Cappella

Well, this has been a heck of a week. Boston, Waco, Congress, Politics, the ongoing debate (or lack thereof) on gun control, abortion, the economy....all in turmoil.   Actually, it has seemed as it the whole country has been in turmoils since the elections back in November and then the shootings in Sandy Hook  in December.  It is possible that life in America (and perhaps the world)  has always been in turmoil, humans being the creatures they are, but in this day and age, it is nearly impossible for anything of any import to occur without the whole world knowing about it instantly.  We practically see things as they are happening and in fact, the bombings at the Boston Marathon were, I believe, actually broadcast as they occurred due to the proximity of the bombings to the finish line and, thus, the media and cameras that were located there.

Not only do we have continuous broadcast coverage on TV, Facebook (and Twitter and texting too, I suppose) has become a "man in the street" of sorts giving everyone who is part of Facebook a soapbox to throw in their information, opinions, rumors, gossip, reactions, and over-reactions instantly.

I don't know about you, but all this information floating around gets to the point where I find it overwhelming.  It becomes difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, the true from the untrue, the fact from fiction. As you can clearly see by reading some of the comments related to any even vaguely controversial subject or opinion, Facebook provides a medium for the trolls to spill their vitriol and stupidity about anything.

All that adds up to more overwhelming and upsetting view of almost any topic that shows up.  It keeps us all on edge.

For years and years, I purposely did not read a newspaper or even watch TV news with any regularity.  I found it depressing and upsetting. I just didn't want to hear nothing but bad news.   I figured that if anything truly important happened, I would hear about it sooner or later.  I wasn't terribly well-informed, but I sure was less stressed by the state of the world.  The Internet has pretty much taken  away our ability to filter our intake of and exposure to the news of the day.  You hear about everything and you hear everyone else's opinion about everything and you realize that the probability of more than two people having exactly the same opinion on any subject matter is slim to none.  And everybody wants to say exactly why their own opinion is better than every one else's ....Ad nauseum!

Through Facebook, you also realize that there are a huge number of people out there  who are either purposely outrageous, vicious, and frightening or there are a huge number of very seriously disturbed people in our world!   You can say anything at all, you can lie, you can libel anyone (or slander, I can never remember which is which), you can exaggerate, you can insult, you can be cruel and awful, you can say the most horrible things....and no one can stop you!  You can write whatever you want with complete impunity!  No newspaper, magazine, television, or radio news program could get away with such tactics; but individuals can and do, on a daily basis.  This outrageousness stirs the pot and makes it really difficult to know what to believe about anything.

It should be freedom of speech at its finest, but it isn't!  In fact, way too often, it isn't even close!

To tell you the truth, it's beginning to scare the hell out of me!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"The Second Time Around"

I have mentioned before at various times that the Big Guy comes from a pretty healthy family.  He is the middle child of 7, all of whom are still living and in reasonably good health.  His mom lived to 98 and other than some dementia, and problems with her knees, she was pretty healthy.  His dad was close to 80 when he died of a heart attack  

Like the rest of his family Mikey has been exceedingly healthy throughout his whole life.  The only surgeries he has had were a tonsillectomy and surgery on a toe with a nail problem.  No serious illness either, ever. That's it,  in nearly 68 years!

About two and a half years ago, he was afflicted with an episode of Bell's Palsy on the right side of his face.  It is a nerve condition that seems to be caused by a virus and can be intensified by stress.   It damages nerves and causes facial sagging, muscle tightening, it affects the taste buds and the proper closing of the eye.  Absolutely no threat to life and for most people it goes away and things return to normal within a few weeks.  For some, though, it never goes away....and guess which group Mikey was in!  Mikey pursued several different types of treatments and saw several difference specialists, but none of the treatments (acupuncture, therapy, TMS, etc.) alleviated his symptoms at all.  It was just one of those things one has to live with.  There is no specific drug or treatment that will "cure" the Palsy.

After multiple efforts nothing seemed effective and the Big Guy was pretty much resigned to living with it.  There are so many other illnesses and conditions, and symptoms, and syndromes that are soooo much worse.  And we have been grateful that it wasn't any of those other horrors that lurk around those of us of a certain age!

None of the doctors he saw....None of the articles or websites he read....No one who was involved in his care EVER said anything about the possibility/likelihood of a recurrence!  I sure wish they had mentioned it,
because guess what showed up today on the LEFT side of his face!   Yep, Bell's Palsy, "The Second Time Around!!"  Not fair!

So another trip to the ER, much shorter than the first one (they didn't bother with the MRI.)  It was almost as routine and simple as, "You know that thing you had?  Well, you've got it again!"  Mikey was pretty upset though, after all,  it's pretty demoralizing and downright uncomfortable much of the time.

One thing I'm pretty sure of though, is he will get those treatments started right away and maybe, if the gods are smiling at him, it will go away "The Second Time Around!"

I will keep my fingers crossed!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Cappella (Time for another rant!)

I worked a standard work-week for nearly 40 years of my life, (40 YEARS!!) Part of MY money was deducted from each of my paychecks for Social Security. I AM entitled to that money now because I earned it and it was in trust for MY needs and the needs of other retirees. Well, I am retired now....and it is STILL MY money! The Gov. has an obligation to do nothing to harm Soc Sec.....because it was NEVER the gov's money to begin with! It belongs to the millions of people who earned it by the sweat of their brow and ALLOWED the gov. to hold it in trust FOR THEM. The U.S. needs to STOP re-writing history and twisting the truth and get their grubby little mitts out of OUR Social Security!!!

The other thing that is so unbelievable about this whole Soc. Sec. thing is that Soc. Sec. is supporting our retired mothers and fathers and grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and mentors, and teachers and doctors, and mailmen and soldiers and nurses and librarians, and the builders of roads, the repairmen and electricians, and firemen, and store clerks, and groundskeepers, and maids, and kitchen workers, and waitstaff and cooks, and street cleaners, and musicians, and babysitters, and all the other hard working people who spent their lives taking care of the bozos who now want to rob them of what is rightfully theirs. 

Such an action by our (???) legislators and government is IMMORAL, DISHONEST, AND INDEFENSIBLE.

Please Share!
It's time OUR GOVERNMENT started listening to US!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"One Time Too Many"

Have you ever met Murphy?  You know, the guy with all the laws?  Well, Murphy was an uninvited and unwelcome guest at our Easter celebration this year.  And his law about one thing going wrong making everything go wrong was clearly in evidence!

It started out as a cloudy, rainy, grey, coolish, ugly day....never a good thing!  And we all had moods to match!  Mikey and I snapped and snarled at each other from the time we got up until the last guest finally gave up the ghost and went home!

We didn't have a large crowd, just family.  Of course, as we all know, family is the most volatile group of people you can ever gather in one room!  Just six of us, Mikey and me, T.A., Ratchlet, M-t-G, and the dog, plus T.A.'s mom and her current boyfriend, the obnox....overbear....uhhh, loudmo.....socially-challenged Mr. J.  Still, we have had many occasions together before without bloodshed!  I think maybe we tried to have a family gathering "One Time Too Many!!"

To be fair, there was no actual blood shed yesterday either (at least not human blood), but it was a close thing!

The first thing that went wrong was the Easter Egg Hunt.  I guess M-t-G is getting a little too old for such things.  She had very little patience for cute little bunnies and climbing on, over, and under furniture looking for eggs!  She muttered and grumbled throughout the whole thing.

When the Other Mom and Mr. J arrived (nearly one hour LATE), she practically caused a war by bringing several dishes, including their own bottle of wine!   (She was only supposed to be bringing one dish!)  Then she wanted bowls, spoons, serving dishes for her things and she started rummaging through our cabinets to find things.  Of course this was right in the middle of the final prep of the planned meal and it created havoc in our smallish kitchen.  There was no room at the table for the additional dishes and so she moved things off the table to accommodate her things!  Things like the main dish!!  This was not only annoying it was inconvenient!

We had planned a new vegetable dish to try.  It was kind of like a fritatta without the egg.  Onion, zucchini, potato, tomato, and spices....a LOT of spices!  Strange spices like coriander and tumeric.  It looked great.  And that's all I'll say about that!   Scratch that card from the recipe file!

The sum total of mini-disasters during the prep time included:

*  One broken dish
*  One burned hand
*  One out-dated condiment
*  Two spilled pots
*  One forgotten side-dish
*  One container of milk that had gone sour
*  A way-underdone pork roast

When I was growing up pork was cooked one way, well-done!  No pink, none at all!   Now they say that isn't necessary.  Well, the timing on this little piggie must have been way off because it was practically squealing on the platter!!  I could barely bear to look at it. I was so embarassed!   Some folks ate it anyway, just to be polite.  But Mr. Charm....uh, Mr. J, kept up a running commentary about the dangers of trichinosis and under-cooked pork, punctuated by the occasional snort!  What a guy!

The dishes brought by the Other Mother were less than successful.  Her fruit salad was too tart, almost bitter, and just looked like it could have been the result of a clean-up in the produce aisle!  She also brought quinoa.   I don't even know what that is, but it was brown, lumpy, and had other unrecognizable....uhhh....
"things", in it.  M-t-G, flat-out refused to try it and those who did try it, took less than a teaspoonful and made comments like, "Interesting" and "Different."  Of course, the annoying Mr. J. loved it and told three different stories of the benefits of fruits and nuts!

Before dinner someone.....((guess who, Mr. J.)....was sneaking bites of cheese to the dog even though he knows better! While we were eating, said cheese made a reappearance when the dog got sick all over T.A.'s jacket.  Oh lordy, what a day!!

After dinner was finished, conversation pretty much centered around the loquacious Mr. J who told story after story about His grandchild, HIS son, HIS career, HIS opinions, and HIS dopey jokes!  After a hour of this, we served dessert.  Two different pies from Marie Callenders.....one that no one (except Mikey) liked and one that was soooo sweet that everyone's teeth hurt!!

After a little clean-up during which there was very little conversation and a lot of banging things around, the Other Mother and Mr. J, gathered their things and were out the door.  Bye!  T.A., Ratchlet, and M-t-G and the dog were gone about three minutes after that.  And by 7:30 p.m. the house was quiet, and Easter was over!

Murphy left the building and I went to bed!   "One Time Too Many" indeed!

April Fool!!
(tee hee)
Not one word of the above is true!
 I swear!

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