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April 2017

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Mar. 16th, 2017

flan

Call no man happy until he is dead.

The problem with life is that you never know what will happen next.

I spent a lot of time worrying about the future. People tell you to plan, and make good decision in preparation for the future. But you never know what will happen. My worrying mostly made me depressed. It didn't help me make better decisions.

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
by Robert Burns


I did not do well in the planning or preparing for my future. But I'm Okay anyway for reasons that have nothing to do with my own efforts. Okay for now, at least. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. I've been lucky so far. And blessed.

Mar. 15th, 2017

Dr Who

Snow Storm Stella.

So it started snowing Monday night. Everything was closed Tuesday. And things continue to be closed now, Wednesday. It is predicted to stay cold for the next week at least. So this snow is not going away fast. Apparently Ithaca got 8-12 inches. I haven't gone outside to look.

I'm very glad for an excuse not to leave the apartment. I have everything I need. I got a huge bag of cat food for the cats. I have no reason to leave. Even my gym is closed because of the snow. The whole state is having a weather emergency.

Then this morning I decided to make French toast for breakfast. I managed to drop a whole bowl of eggs and milk on a box of canned goods. What a mess. I had rince of every can and set everything to dry separately. Raw eggs make a very good glue.

Now I just want to go back to bed before I make things worse.
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Mar. 14th, 2017

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Mar. 11th, 2017

decorum

I Drove to Philadelphia and Back!

The tolls cost more than the gas. But I did it! It was supposed to take 4.5 hours but I think it was closer to 5.5 for me.

I was prepared and nothing went wrong. I got to my sister's house in time for a lovely dinner with her family. Then I spent the rest of the evening with the boys in the den watching cartoons.

This morning Forrest gave me a glitter "tattoo". He has a kit for stenciling on glitter.

Then David did all the transferring of stuff from the Camry to the Honda Odyssey, and vice versa. David also rode with me around the neighborhood to make sure I knew where all the controls were. My seat belt extenders from the Camry don't work in the Odyssey. We stopped by Pep Boys, but they didn't have what we needed. I have ordered new extenders online.

Now I just have to get the lift installed and I can start using my Electric Trike.
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Mar. 9th, 2017

curiosity

Today was a very productive day.

I started out with my Chiropractor appointment. Wearing my new Equinox Hat! It has tulips all around it.

Then I had the oil changed in the car.

Then I had lunch with Anne and Marilyn at Applebee's.

Then I met with David's dad to pick up a plant David wants.

Then I went to the bank to get some cash for tolls.

Then I went grocery shopping, and they had 2 for 1 on the fluffy socks I love, that are only available in grocery stores in winter.

I have accomplished everything I needed to accomplish!!!!! That so rarely happens. And usually not when I have more than three stops I need to make.

Mar. 8th, 2017

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Mar. 7th, 2017

Spoon!

Car Stuff Done!

The Camry has been appraised, inspected, registered, and mostly cleaned.
Now I will sleep for two days.
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Mar. 6th, 2017

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Mar. 5th, 2017

Be Nice

Yesterday was not a good day.

I had things I needed to do, and not many of them got done.

I was ravenously hungry even though I was full. I started getting furiously angry over small setbacks. And the final straw was when I started obsessing over past hurts and "all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate". That is when I figured out I must be having one of my bouts of chemical depression. Luckily they don't last long. But I need to remember, when they are happening, that they aren't true, they are just a chemical imbalance.

I'm feeling much better today. But I still have things that I can't get done until tomorrow.

Mar. 3rd, 2017

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Mar. 2nd, 2017

curiosity

Ouch!! Cleaning out the car.

I have been struggling this week to get my car cleaned in preparation for trading it for my sister Gina's van.

It's also been a while since I visited Song, so my laundry has been piling up. Last night I did my laundry at the laundromat. I forgot how doing my laundry at the laundromat always incapacitates me the next day. It seems like a such a simple task. Take the laundry down to the car. Take the laundry into the laundromat. Put it in the machines. Put detergent into the machines. Put quarters into the machines. Wait a hour. Move the wet laundry to the driers. Put quarters in the driers. Wait another hour. Get the laundry out of the machines. Fold the laundry. Drag the bags back out to the car. Drag the bags up the stairs.

Even with taking my time and resting between tasks I was in pain by the time the I had the washers started. And I was still sore this morning. Mostly my knees and my lower back. But every time I stand up it hurts, more than usual.

I have a bunch of things I need to get done before I go to Philadelphia, and they are not done. I managed to clean out most of the car, except the trunk. But I collapsed after that.

I was planning on going to Philadelphia Friday, but now it looks like I won't be going until next week. :(

Oh well. At least I have more time to get things done.
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Feb. 26th, 2017

meat

Barbecue Beef, Bacon, and Bean Casserole

This is a quarter recipe of the bulk recipe from Foodie With Family. I was introduced to this dish by my friend Tracy at an event. Even this quarter version is enough for a lot of people.

Barbeque Beef, Bean, and Bacon Casserole, Quarter Recipe
Ingredients
For the Sauce:
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup ketchup
    1 1/2 teaspoons cider or white wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoons dried mustard powder
    A few drops liquid smoke (tasty but optional)
    1 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
To Make the Sauce:
Stir all of the sauce ingredients together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Stir frequently until the mixture reaches a boil. Boil for one minute, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the Casserole:
    1/2 pound of sliced bacon
    1/2 pound lean ground beef, venison, or elk
    1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder)
    1/2 cup BBQ sauce (Homemade or Kraft Barbecue Sauce)
    1 cups (or 1 can drained) Butter Beans
    1 cups (or 1 can drained) Pinto Beans
    1 cups (or 1 can with liquid) kidney beans
    1 cups (or 1 can with liquid) pork and beans

To Make the Casserole:
Cut across the bacon slices making 1/2-inch wide strips. In a large skillet, fry the bacon, stirring frequently, until crisp and brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain the bacon grease from the pan (preferably into a jar and in the refrigerator for adding flavour to other dishes!)
Put the pan back over medium high heat and break up the ground beef into it. If using the onion, add it at this point. Continue breaking it up with a spoon as you cook it until the beef is browned. If necessary, drain any excess fat away from the meat.
Mix in the BBQ sauce, bacon, and beans until well combined.
Continue cooking over medium heat until bubbly and hot all the way through.

If you make it ahead of time for an event you can store it after you mix everything together and when you need it Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until very bubbly and hot all the way through.

If you haven't made the BBQ sauce ahead of time you can just add the sauce ingredients to the beef mixture and bring to a simmer before you add the beans.

Feb. 25th, 2017

curiosity

Therapy

I should mention that I have decided to take a break from therapy. The days are getting longer. I'm feeling like I have better things to do with my time. And it has been a while since I have had a serious anxiety attack. I don't have much to tell him.

I might feel differently in the fall when it starts getting dark again. He told me to send him an email if that happens.

I might be seeing my chiropractor less often as well. We have cut back to once a week already and she suggested every 10 days. I don't like that, it is two irregular. But we might go to every other week.

Feb. 24th, 2017

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Feb. 23rd, 2017

curiosity

What an unexpected pleasure.

The Turkish neighbor downstairs invited me to come over and visit with some friends of hers this afternoon. It was a spur of the moment invitation, she happened to see me while she was going out to pick them up.

So I spent the afternoon with four very nice Muslim women, three of them were from Turkey and one of them is from Ithaca. I think they are all wives of graduate students. Growing up in a university family I'm very comfortable with the wives of foreign students. One of them is married to a linguist so we discussed language, and religion, sociology, genealogy, and bus schedules. They got to practice their English on me. They all speak very good English. (Much better than my Turkish.) I think the one native English speaker is Puerto Rican, she mentioned having Native American ancestors and speaking Spanish as a child, and she has family in Brooklyn.

I had not realized that there would be food. But the women had made lots of wonderful Turkish dishes. There were stuffed grape leaves, a carrot and yogurt salad, a bulgur salad (similar to tabouli but not as green), a cheese pie (that was a bit like spanakopita but without spinach), Poppy seed bread with blueberries, and a pudding with chocolate sauce.

There was also Turkish tea, which I was expecting, and some fresh apple cider.

I exchanged phone numbers with my hostess, and she said she would like me to come over for dinner with her and her husband some time when he is not as busy as right now. I think that would be very nice, they are very pleasant young people.
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  • Thu, 00:42: RT @ABCPolitics: At town hall, 7-year-old asks Arkansas Sen. Cotton about defunding PBS and building the wall. "You can still have one and…
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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

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  • 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

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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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Feb. 8th, 2017

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Feb. 4th, 2017

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  • 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

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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.

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