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February 2017

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Feb. 19th, 2017

curiosity

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Feb. 18th, 2017

decorum

Medical Pillow and Another Visit from The Teenager

For a long time I have been having nerve pain in my shoulder from the way I sleep. I have never been able to sleep on my back and sleeping on side or front puts strange pressures on my shoulders and arms. And recently I have been getting sciatica in my left buttock and the back of my left thigh. And the arthritis in my hips and knees has been causing problems. There is no position I can sleep in that doesn't cause me some pain. I spend most of the night tossing and turning.

Recently I saw an ad for the Medcline system. It's a wedge pillow with a hole you can put your arm through so you don't put pressure on it while you are sleeping. It also comes with a J shaped body pillow to keep your legs and arms positioned properly. It was designed for people with acid reflux (which I don't have), but it looked like the perfect solution for my shoulder pain problem.

On Thursday I talked to my chiropractor about my sciatica again and she recommended a simple exercise I can do that should open up whatever is pinching my sciatic nerve. So I started doing that.

Then on Friday the Medcline pillows arrived. Sleeping on my side with my arms wrapped around the body pillow was very relaxing and comforting. Like what you imagine cuddling with your lover would be like, before you try it and your arm falls asleep.

Unfortunately I can't really fall asleep on my side. But since the hole in the wedge is designed for both left and right side sleepers there is enough room for me to sleep on my stomach and put both my arms in the hole. Then I can rest my forehead on the J pillow. This also solved some issues I have been having with my Bi-PAP machine. The new facemask on my new machine has been giving me a lot of trouble, getting pushed and pulled out of alignment all night. With the new pillows I have a lot less trouble with the face mask.

One initial concern I had with the wedge was that sleeping on my side at an incline put all my weight on my left hip, the one with the worse arthritic condition, and the sciatica. Sleeping on my stomach solved that problem, but bent my back uncomfortably, and put more pressure on my knees. So, I positioned the small wedge that I bought years ago, to elevate my knees at night, to elevate my hips instead. This took all the pressure off my knees!

This is a complicated structure of four pillows I have to clamber into. But it feels like it was designed for my body and last night was the best night of sleep I have had in a long time. Even my sciatica didn't bother me last night!

In other news: The Teenager agreed to spend his four day weekend helping me clean again. I picked him up on Thursday. On Friday I made good progress on the kitchen and he broke down a lot of boxes in the living room for me. Today we got rid of the recycling. I hope to make more progress tomorrow.

Feb. 16th, 2017

curiosity

My tweets

  • Wed, 19:46: RT @ann_leckie: If you think everyone contributing to help others when they need it is an intolerable burden, what do you think civilizatio…
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Feb. 14th, 2017

curiosity

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Feb. 13th, 2017

Progressive

Back to Pink Pussy Hats

So, the fire inspection cut into my crochet time. Now I'm back to making Pink Pussy Hats. Even though the Woman's March is over The Resistance continues. And I'm behind in making the hats I promised to people. I have no idea how many hats I have made. Last time I counted it was 11. I have made more since then but I can't remember how many.

This color is called Sangria Stripe.


I think the hot pink with black trim looks pretty good.


Also I decorated my hat for February.
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curiosity

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Feb. 8th, 2017

curiosity

My tweets

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Feb. 4th, 2017

curiosity

My tweets

  • Fri, 16:51: RT @everywhereist: They. Turned. Off. The. Recording. When. He. Called. Putin. IF OBAMA HAD DONE THIS THE GOP WOULD HAVE HAD HIM TRIED FOR…
  • Sat, 01:12: RT @Stonekettle: Remember, Folks, if you work for Donald Trump it's important to present a neat and professional appearance at all times.…
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Jan. 30th, 2017

curiosity

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Jan. 29th, 2017

yin yang cats

Rest and Relaxation

Two days of rest and relaxation were just what I needed. I feel much better now.

I'm not so sore anymore. And I've started picking things up and sorting them again.

The Teenager was just the sort of help I wanted. I just need someone to hang out and keep themselves amused while I sort and file. Then when I need something moved or taken out I can call them over and they can do that.

The teenager spent most of the four days he was here sitting on the couch playing on the computer. But when I needed something moved he did it for me. He even remembered my bag system: opaque white bags are garbage and go to the dumpster, clear bags are recycling and returnables and go to the car. I let him have the money from the returnables so he never messed that up.

Jan. 27th, 2017

curiosity

The Huge Box is gone!

And so is The Teenager.

The Fire Inspector came around at about 9am. She took a look around and said that as long as things were improving it was OK. So that tells me that she is probably going to be back.

After she left The Teenager wanted to go home. By the time I got back from Binghamton the Huge Box was gone! I'm so relieved to have that gone.

I need to rest and recover for a bit.

Marilyn has offered to come over and help me. And the maintenance man reiterated that if I need things taken out I should just call and someone will come over. I need to work on why I'm so resistant to doing that. I had no problem just asking the boy to take things down to the car, or out to the dumpster. But I don't feel comfortable asking a stranger to come over just for the purpose of taking something downstairs. I think it has something to do with how I evaluate how much I am asking of someone.

Jan. 26th, 2017

dismay

As of Thursday Night.

So, after I posted on Wednesday morning The Teenager and I went out to the car to run our errands (recycling, shopping) and the car wouldn't start. The lights worked, the electric windows worked. Everything electric worked but when I turned the key the starter didn't even click. That sounds like an starter problem to me. I called my mom. I called Hunts. I called my roadside assistance insurer. While I was on the phone one of the maintenance men asked me to check what gear I was in. He had noticed that my backup lights were on. The gear shift had gotten knocked into reverse, that is why the car wouldn't start. Once I put it on back in park it started just fine. So I had to call everyone back and cancel the emergency. The Teenager hit me with his book (not very hard) and yelled "Baka, baka, baka!" (which is Japanese for fool or idiot). Which I thought was a bit harsh.

The maintenance men mentioned that they were expecting the fire inspector to come back on Friday. I had hoped for more time.

Anyway, we did get to the recycling center before it closed. Then we went to Walmart and I picked up my New Glasses! They are great! Then we came home and I went to sleep. I was very tired and sore. But I did manage to clean another section of my bedroom.

This morning I remembered that I had a Chiropractor appointment. I can feel my knee bones grinding against each other and I am sore from all the work I have been doing, so I really need to see her.

The Teenager came with me and we dropped off some books at the Friends of the Library, made another recycling run, got gas, and worked on a secret project I have going.

We also stopped by the FedEx to try to arrange for them to pick up a huge box I need to return to sender. FedEx was not fun to work with. I had tried to arrange the pick up using their website Wednesday night. And they had sent me a receipt. But when I tried to check to make sure it was going to be picked up they said the tracking number wasn't in the system. So I was in their office trying to straighten things out. They couldn't help. Well, they were willing to print out my shipping label for free after I emailed it to them. But other than that they said I had to call their automated line. That was not much help either since it just kept insisting that I had to enter a tracking number and I didn't have one. Eventually I just had to go back on their website and request the pick up again. I hope they come pick up the box tomorrow.

Then we came home and I took another nap for an hour before Marilyn dropped by and I made lunch. She sat with me while I cleaned up the kitchen a bit. It's still a mess but it is better than it was. After that I cleaned off some shelves in my bedroom and The Teenager brought me books and craft supplies from the living room. I filled four shelves with books. And I managed to get a bunch of my craft supplies wrangled.

The last thing The Teenager and I did tonight was wrangle the huge box. It weighs 112 lbs. I'm not sure The Teenager weighs that much.

That boy has no mechanical sense at all. I kept saying "It's basic physics! How can you not know this!" I really regret not accepting the offer from the maintenance men to take out boxes for me. I didn't ask them to move the huge box because there is no place for it to go. But it was a struggle for me and the boy. Right now it is at the top of the stairs. If the Fire Inspector objects they can take it outside.

The living room is still a mess. I had hoped shelving all those books would have made a bigger dent. But it didn't. We have to get up early tomorrow and just try to pick things up. I wanted to do more tonight but wrangling the huge box took a lot out of both of us.

I need to sleep and hope I can start fresh in the morning and get things clearer before the inspector shows up. The huge box was a major problem and it is out of the apartment now. I think if the inspector can walk to all the windows without tripping over anything I will be OK.

I really need another week of what The Teenager and I have been doing to really get things in order.

Jan. 25th, 2017

Spoon!

I Need More Spoons!!

I picked up The Teenager yesterday so he could help me clean my apartment. We made good headway in my bedroom, about half is clean. But I was feeling sore by the end of the night. When I went to sleep last night it occurred to me that I had been burning through tomorrows's spoons. And I was right about that. I woke up still exhausted and sore.

And I was awoken by maintenance! Apparently there has been a slow leak under my bathroom and the ceiling collapsed in the downstairs neighbor's bathroom. So maintenance has been in and out this morning trying to find the leak and fix the problem. And now they need to move the stove (it's right against the bathroom wall). They have had to move the stove before to get to the plumbing.

I have so much to do!! And I have therapist appointment today. All I want to do is sleep. But I need to get things cleared out before The Teenager has to go back to school on Monday.

He is being a big help. I would not have made as much progress as I have if he wasn't here to take out the garbage and bring things up from the car.

Jan. 22nd, 2017

curiosity

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Jan. 20th, 2017

curiosity

Productive Day

I finally ordered new glasses. I haven't gotten new glasses in years because my insurance doesn't cover them. Glasses are not cheap.

I picked up some of my prescription. I had to send back the Diovan and ask for a generic. And another of my medicines was unusually high ($50). Apparently I didn't get the tier exemption for the Vytorin. So my doctor had to write me prescriptions for the two drugs that go into Vytorin instead.

Marilyn came by and picked up Callie. My cats will be happy when they realize she is gone.

I got several compliments on my hat. I think I know what I'm going to decorate it with next month.

I mailed some packages. I'm still crocheting Pussy Hats. I think I have made 11 now.

The fire inspection of my building was supposed to be this morning. I chose not to be here for it. I hope all went well. There were not any notes for me when I got home.

While they were fixing things for the inspection (replacing fire alarms, replacing outlets, installing fire extinguishers) They also said they would fix the cupboard door in the kitchen and replace the broken window in the bedroom. So I still expect maintenance to drop by unannounced until those things are done.

Now I just have to go back to crocheting hats.

Jan. 18th, 2017

curiosity

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Jan. 17th, 2017

Dr Who

Got to keep on top of those drug prices.

Wegmans pharmacy called me twice this week to let me know two drugs I take daily have gone up in price $100/month each. Diovan and Vytorin. These are not optional drugs.

At first I thought it might just be my spend down. That kicks in on the first of the year. Then I thought it might have something to do with Medicaid. But it that turns out not to be the case.

$200 a month is a quarter of my monthly income from disability. That is a lot of money for me. I have family who would help me, but still that is a lot of money for them too.

I called Medicare and they were not helpful at all. Really. I explained my problem and the woman didn't say anything at all. I thought maybe we had been disconnected. She assured me that she was still there and then fell silent again. I asked her if there was anything she could do about this problem and she said no, drug prices are not Medicare's problem I should take it up with my prescription drug insurer, the card I use to pay for my prescriptions. I have never used anything but my Medicare and Medicaid cards to pay for my prescriptions. I do get these statements from a company called Silverscript. She told me to call them. I didn't say thank you when I hung up because she hadn't done anything to help me.

Silverscript was very helpful. The customer care representative looked up my case and was very distraught at how much I was being charged. She looked into why the charge had gone up and said that these medications had moved to the next higher tier. I could get the Diovan back down by getting a generic. (I'm fine with generics) But the Vytorin has no generic so I would need a tier exemption. She stayed on the line with me, got authorization from my doctor, and helped me file for a tier exemption. I won't know if I get the exemption for 72 hours. But I feel that she did everything she could to help me. If I don't get the exemption I can try calling the drug company and getting a discount from them.

Jan. 16th, 2017

curiosity

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curiosity

Feeling much better

That antibiotic is working fast. I still have a little pain. But it is much better than it was last night.

If you take an antibiotic and probiotic at the same time do they cancel each other out?
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Jan. 15th, 2017

dismay

Pain Management for Abscessed Tooth

I realized last night that while the Urgent Care center had given me a prescription to fight the infection, they hadn't done anything about the pain.

I picked up a small bottle of clove oil at the same time I picked up the prescription. A few drops of clove oil mixed with olive oil and soaked on a piece of paper towel that I push up between my cheek and gum is doing some good.

This pain it really cutting back on my appetite.

I feel like my cheek is hugely swollen but it looks fine.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night because of the pain. But I took some Nyquel and changed the clove oil on my cheek and managed to fall asleep.

When I woke up It didn't hurt but it feels like it's gotten bigger.

I was going to go to a knitting event today. But I don't feel up to leaving the house.

Jan. 14th, 2017

dismay

Urgent Care

For the past week I've had a pain in my left cheek, just above the gum line all the way to my lower eyelid. I have been ignoring it and hoping it would go away. But last night it really interfered with my sleep. I called Guthrie and asked to see my doctor next week. But during the day the pain get bad enough that I just couldn't stand it anymore and dropped into the Cayuga Medical Urgent Care center just down the street from me. The RN on call decided it was an abscessed tooth and gave me some antibiotics.

The people at the Urgent Care center were really nice to me. Although there seems to be some problem with my Medicaid that I need to get looked at.

I had to go down to Wegmans to pick up the meds so I got to wear my candle hat, and it was after sunset so my hat was at its best. I got a few compliments and smiles.

Last night was the first night with my new Bi-PAP machine. It's a nice machine. It has a much more informative display. It tells me how long I slept, and how often I was interrupted, and how good the seal on the nose piece was. The headpiece has a different design, the tube runs straight over my head instead off to the side. Which means I can't really face plant into the pillow like I'm used to.
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Jan. 13th, 2017

curiosity

A Good Day

No unexpected visitors. And when I went outside to do some errands I ran into the girls next door, and one of their mothers. They are still excited to learn to crochet with me. And the girl I gave the tools to liked them. I was worried that she might not. They helped me take out my trash and bring up a box that had arrived.

In related news I received my new Bi-PAP machine today! So I don't have to worry about struggling with it anymore. And I will be able to breathe when I'm visiting people.

Jan. 11th, 2017

curiosity

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Jan. 10th, 2017

yin yang cats

Sleep is good.

After a week of struggling to sleep without my Bi-PAP machine it has been amazing to sleep again. I can't even describe how good it feels to sink down into relaxation and comfort, and fresh flannel sheets.

I'm still using the broken machine. I leave it on at all times for fear it will not turn back on if I turn it off. But Aprea called today and they say I should have a new machine in a couple days.

I've been crocheting Pussy Hats. And watching "Charmed".

The fire department is doing their safety inspection so maintenance has been by to make sure the fire alarms are working. And they came by today to install a fire extinguisher. Previously the only fire extinguisher was in the hall. The maintenance guy said they will be back to install water safe outlets in the kitchen where there is an outlet near the sink.

I'm almost finished reading the Woman of the Otherworld series. And I halfway through the complete Lucifer graphic novel series.

It is snowing today. And I intend to cook today. I bought some ground beef and I'm making chili.

Jan. 9th, 2017

curiosity

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Jan. 5th, 2017

dismay

Sleep at last

It has been a week since my Bi-PAP machine last worked. I went to bed around 7pm last night because I was so tired I was having trouble standing up.

Around midnight I woke up from a nightmare where I couldn't breathe. I had a splitting headache, because oxygen deprivation gives me splitting headaches. While I was up I went to the bathroom and fantasized about going to the emergency room just so the insurance would have to pay the $1000 emergency room charge for refusing to give me a new machine so I could breathe when I sleep.

I still put the face mask on when I try to sleep. When it does it's little "on, off, beep" cycle it sometimes gives me a brief puff of air which I figure is better than nothing. And my O2 runs through the mask, so I figure that gives me a little positive pressure.

When I got back to bed I accidentally knocked the Bi-PAP machine off the table and it started working. Of course I can't turn it off now or it might not come back on. But at least I got some sleep. My head isn't killing me. And I feel a little better.

But I also have a stuffed up nose. So even with a working machine I'm having trouble breathing. I need some more Nyquel. Just sitting here awake I'm having trouble breathing because I'm so stuffed up.

I was so out of it last night that I left my phone in the car. I need to go get it. But I also need to get some more sleep. I'll try to get it later. or maybe tomorrow. I really need some sleep.

Dec. 30th, 2016

curiosity

My tweets: Male writers writing female characters.

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Dec. 29th, 2016

curiosity

A Trailer Instead.

I did some research and my car doesn't have the "tongue strength" to hold a lift. I will have to get a trailer and a trailer hitch.

There is a great company that makes covered trailers for mobility scooters. They even have an arrangement with U-Haul where they ship the trailer to the local U-Haul office and U-Haul installs the hitch for the customer. This will solve all my problems. It will even give me outside storage for my scooter when I'm not using it. I wish I had got this done before I ordered the scooter.

In other news, my Bi-PAP machine isn't working and I haven't had a good night's sleep in two days. Aprea still hasn't approved a new machine for me, despite the fact that I first called them about the problem on Dec 2, I had a doctor visit to get a prescription for the new machine on the 13th, and drove to Endwell on the 23rd so one of their people could verify that it wasn't working. They didn't even give me a temporary replacement. This is ridiculous. I'm looking into getting a machine from another company.

Dec. 26th, 2016

Make Magic

This Year's Dwarf Bread

This year's recipe used:
about half a cup of slivered almonds
Dried Cranberries
Dried Papayas
Dried Apricots
Dried Kiwis
Dried Blueberries

A lot of fruit very little nuts. I chose the fruits for their colors. The Kiwis and the Papayas show up best. Larry even asked if they were citron. The blueberries just look black.

But I think the batch turned out perfect.
curiosity

Home From The Holidays!

A lot has gone one since I last posted.

On Thursday I got my new scooter!! It's shiny! It's a three wheeled electric bike. I feel like I should join a biker gang. The lift I bought to help me get the scooter in and out of my car is not going to work. The scooter is too big to fit in the trunk. It won't fit in the back seat either. Since I live in an apartment and I can't lug it up the flight of stairs it is siting in my open trunk now. It takes two strong people to get it in. The delivery man was nice enough to load it directly off the truck and into my trunk.

The first thing I did was drive to the local Best Buy and use my scooter to go inside and buy a new laptop. I got the cheapest MacBook Air they had. So that is done. Now I should have fewer problems getting online. And I can do some work on projects that were waiting on a new computer. Like updating the family cookbook and cataloging my library. (Now that Jude has volunteered to curate my library when I die I'm much more excited about building a collection that future BW students can use.)

When I got out of the store I discovered that I wasn't strong enough to get the scooter back into the trunk of my car. I had to call Anne and ask if her husband David would come help. They came as soon as they could. David pointed out that I could have asked the staff in the Best Buy. I guess I was too embarrassed to ask strangers. And really the workers in Best Buy are not paid to help people get in and out of their cars. But I guess I need to get better at asking for help from strangers. David went into the store and got an employee to come out and help him.

I called Hunts, my garage, and asked them if they could install a scoter lift. They said they have never done such a thing. I called the local Toyota dealership and asked if they could do it. They said they had never done such a thing or even been asked to before. But they suggested HighWay Hi-Fi, a local business that installs audio-video equipment in cars. They said they would be willing to try and would do some research for me. I know that the local Harbor Freight store sells scooter lifts for about $100. I just don't know if one could be attached to my car. And I'm not physically capable of attaching it anyway. We shall see what happens.

Friday I had to leave early for a 10:30am appointment to have my Bi-PAP machine checked out in Endwell, that is an hour's drive. The appointment took about 5 minutes. They plugged in the machine. It did it's thing (turn on, turn off, beep!, turn on, turn off, beep!). They said "Yep, it's broken. We'll file the paperwork and get back to you."

So I went to Song's house. I plugged it in there to give it plenty of time to settle in and start working. It beeped until about 10:30pm before it started working. But at least I got a good night's sleep.

Friday night I mixed the Turkish Pepper (Salmiakki) candy with the vodka and set it to dissolve. The result was a thick syrup. But it is very tasty and I want to make more. I'm going to have to order more Turkish Pepper next time. Also Song was irritated with me for not following the recipe properly, so we will have to do it again anyway.

Saturday I made my Dwarf Bread, sugar cookies, and gingerbread cookies and started my poppyseed and almond rolls. Then I went to dinner at my parent's house. Gina and her family were there. I helped Forrest practice for a spelling test. We had wonderful Bouillabaisse and Gina made some kale and cheese tarts. I even ate some of the broccoli. Then we sang carols. It's fun to sing the 12 Days Of Christmas with different people taking the verses. I was "Five Gold Rings" and "Seven Swans a Swimming".

When I got home Song helped me bake the poppyseed bread. My Bi-PAP machine had stopped again and I wasn't sure if it was going to start. It finally started around midnight so I got a good night's sleep.

Sunday The Cuteness woke me up at 7:30 so she could open her presents. They got mostly video games. So it was a video game morning. I iced the sugar cookies.

Then Song helped me pack my car and I went to my parent's for Christmas day dinner. Mom had made a prime rib roast, with roasted carrots, and potatoes. It was excellent.

Now I'm home again. Dixit 7 Revelations was waiting for me when I got home. Half the deck has gold foil. I'm very excited to try using it for divination. The images are very mythic and folkloric.

I'm also looking forward to getting some rest this week. I have a lot to do.

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