Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hallelujah! He is Amazing!

Okay I need to rest a while but some of you are waiting for news about my morning dermatology visit. You know I’ve been worried about “things” on my back. Different kinds. It took me a long while to even make this appointment and that was two months ago.

Bottom line: much better than I feared! 

Everything back there is normal, except for 2 spots. One, he freeze dried, and one he cut out. I’ve got a divot on my right shoulder just above my bra band. That’s the only one that he’s concerned about. He sent it out. If it is benign, no more visits. If it is evil, even then it is not the worst kind - it would be what he called “basal.” It would mean one more visit, deeper cut, a few stitches, but all outpatient, and then no more.

I also did not tell you folks my newest concern. Sunday morning when I was dressing for the yard sale, I felt a grape sized lump on left breast near center. Talk about timing! I found it just a few days before this visit! He felt that and said that he really thinks that’s just scarring of some sort but that I should verify it with the proper specialist. I’ll work on scheduling that.

So, once the local anesthetics wear off, I’ll be fine. There will be some light wound care but I can reach this one. The bandage/gauze goes just under my bra strap, which helps to hold it in place. I begin in the morning with twice a day changes, for a week or until healed.

I cannot tell you how hard I pretended not to be frightened. I will rest the rest of today, and get to the “big” food pantry tomorrow.

Thank you, Sweet Lord Jesus! I know some friends have been praying along the way - please send them special blessings. And thank you for your compassion and for nudging me to do this and get it over with. I was afraid - you know that - and I thank you for comforting me every step of the way. And thank you, Mother Mary, for your intercession.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Ducks Won’t Get In A Row

I think when I look back at this September and October, it will be a fast and furious track, but not a bad one, if I survive it. What’s that saying - Man makes plans and God laughs? He’s laughing, as am I, at times. Still, I’ve managed to get a lot done that I didn’t think could be done in the time-frames allotted.

Fall park wide yard sale frenzy is over. This week I squeeze in all I can before next week which once again is our monthly newsletter week. Yesterday and today I had fun feeding a friend’s big ol’ love bugs (known to most as collies). 

In between feedings, I accomplished a few things. Yesterday, I hit the USPS to mail a letter Priority with a payment that had to be sure to be received, deposited the yard sale ad reimbursement money so that it shows a clear in-and-out this month and I don’t risk losing any benefits, took that 21# bag of litter and put it into 3 sets of containers for 3 changes (I stand it on a stool and dip it from the bag - toward the bottom, I almost climb inside the bag!), went to one food pantry, called on my food stamp card to verify my amount but it was way, way too much. I think they misunderstood my note last month (you must notify them of any changes right away) about the Chicken Soup for the Soul check - I think they thought that was my ONLY income last month. Must go up there Monday and drop off fresh paperwork. I also reconstituted a big ol’ sack of powdered milk, into peanut butter jars. Froze most of those. Poured a half gallon OJ into same; froze most of those.

Today, feeding doggies is prime. Along the way, I’ll stop at Smiths and pick up dry cat food and visit ATM to deposit enough from yard sale to cover telephone and power bills (I’ll pay them tomorrow over the phone), and actually change the litter box. I really should puree the apricots and peaches I defrosted and use them that way before I lose them to spoilage.

Tomorrow, I leave early for my appointment at the dermatologist. Should be home way before Noon, and I hope to have the energy to carry the folding tables to the shed, plus a few other things (signs for my space, dolly, etc.). Thursday is the larger food pantry and that is a waiting game - it takes a couple of hours but it’s worth it - I think of it as a shopping trip. Then I spend a while sorting it and putting it away. Friday morning is my charity crafters session and Saturday I hope to take the yard sale leftovers to a family I know nearby. Saturday and Sunday I begin setting up the next newsletter...and on we go...

My one big concern in the back of my mind is that an awful lot of what I must do requires me to drive the car and I only have enough for roughly half the spark plug job so I am really driving on a wing and a prayer until my funds come in on the 3rd...but it is what it is.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

3rd and Final Day of Yard Sale

Short and sweet - $0.50! Total per weekend, pennies shy of $100. 

Tired. 

Lots to do over next few weeks. Hope it slows down in November...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2nd Day of Yard Sale - Not So Great

Short and sweet - a few pennies shy of $20 - yesterday was close to $80, so thus far, close to $100 for 2 days. Better than nothing at all...Tomorrow’s another day (and the last one). 

The two toughest times of these yard sales for this ol’ lady is the first morning (setting up all the tables, etc.) and the final day (taking it all down and packing it all up). 

Then I’m done until the one in April...

Brother’s Biopsy Done - Now We Wait for Results

My brother called early this morning. The kidney biopsy is done. We wait a week for the results. His doctor says it does look very much like a cancer lesion but if it is, it is very small and slow growing. If it is cancer, he has a choice of radiation by needle or losing one kidney. At 74, he’s more inclined to just lose that kidney.

That, and his prostate cancer, are slow growing and caught early. That is a blessing. They have him on the estrogen for the prostate cancer.

So, so far, so good. Thank you all for your prayers along the way.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you for your compassion in helping this procedure to go far more easily than expected for my brother. Please keep him in your heart for good results. We trust in you.

Friday, October 13, 2017

First Day of the Yard Sale

I’m a little beat tonight so this will be short. 

I pulled in $79 but I spent $2 unexpectedly. A neighbor posted a sign on our mail room bulletin board and among the items were 2 pet gates for $5 each. I wrote the phone number down but that was two weeks ago and I kept getting sidetracked from calling him. Today, he popped up at my driveway and we talked and he had just reduced them to $1 each so I got two really good pet gates which I will use on the front porch for me and Silkie this fall and winter.

I haven’t heard from my brother yet but I can’t remember how long a drive they have to that place for the biopsy. Some of his medical appointments (he’s at least 25 miles from town) take 1-1/2 hours travel time.

Gonna turn in rather early tonight. Some of my neighbors think $77 is low for a yard sale day, but the way I look at it, when I went to bed last night, I didn’t have that $77...more towards the spark plug job...not bad.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Discovered a Treasure for Homeless Scarves

You all know I call this old mobile home my archaeological dig because of the clutter. Well, this Fri., Sat., and Sun., we have our Fall park wide yard sale. We have one in the Spring, too.

This time, I dug into a corner I haven’t “visited” for a long time. This time, though, I wanted to get the boxes of crochet, knit and craft magazines and patterns, and get them out of here.

Along the way, I had to move some other boxes.

Lo and behold, I found a “banana box” (if you’ve ever moved, you know those boxes) filled with pre-crocheted squares. There are several stacks of different size and different pattern squares. There are enough squares here, from what I saw quickly, to make at least 6 good scarves for the local homeless, about 48” long, similar to the one in the photo.

That’s about the length we stick to. It’s long enough to wrap around once, and even long enough for most folks to put the scarf over their head to cover their ears.

What a treat and what a treasure. Can’t wait for the weekend to be over to dig through it and lay out a few that will work.

We Could Use a Prayer for my Brother

Tomorrow my baby brother (now 74) finally gets that kidney biopsy. He is not the least bit afraid of the procedure or any part of that process. He has a good pain threshold.

However, he and his wife spent decades on rooftops, bent over, stooping, and squatting for their roofing and siding work. As a result, his back took the hit.

For this procedure, afterwards (similar, I expect, to an angiogram afterwards) he must lie still for a couple of hours. That pain, lying on his back, for that long, will be horrible for him.

So, if you have a moment, could you squeeze out a wee prayer that he miraculously has an easy time of that? I would be so grateful.

Sweet Lord Jesus, none of us endures the pain you endured in your last days. I have no clue how you could even stand upright after all the brutality inflicted upon you for our sakes. But because you do know pain, and have felt it, I ask for your compassion for my brother. I can’t help him in any way except this - to ask for that favor. We trust in you.

I Think I’m Ready for the Yard Sale

I’m writing this just after Noon on Thursday satisfied that I am ready - I think.

The heaviest thing I dealt with was a pair of banana boxes loaded with crochet, knit and craft patterns and magazines. I had to bump them down the steps.

The floppiest things I dealt with were 3 spreads in kitchen trash bags and they just sort of hung on my arms. But they are out there.

Every other year, I was able to carry 3 cinder blocks towards the front of the open side of my driveway. The folding tables go up against the house side. Those blocks are getting heavier and heavier - what gives? Anyhow, I always spaced them out and then placed 2 1x4 pieces of wood across the top, and I was then able to stage boxes on top of the wooden slabs. This year, I wasn’t even going to tackle those cinder blocks. I used two milk-crates, upended, to support the 1x4’s.

I am quitting now, though. I need air in my lungs to blow up 3 balloons tonight so I can tie them outside tomorrow. I have the 3 boxes with my space number on them already in my car trunk, with 3 big rocks to hold them in place on 3 corners, pointing over here. My “bank” is ready - I just have to get some quarters in a change purse.

Food is in the fridge - I get so hungry for nibbles these 2-1/2 days. A friend gave me pizza a while back and I froze 4 pieces; I took them out. I took out some big fat poppy seed muffins. I’ve got previously frozen French toast ready to make a quick slice slathered with peanut butter each day. I’ve got fruit and jello so I can make some tasty bowls quick. I’ve got 3 Lean Cuisine’s in the fridge-top freezer for easy grabbing when I am done each day and tired. I just packed a bucket (nice, sturdy, with carry handle) for my crochet, my bank, my tablet/clipboard for scribbling down anything I don’t want to forget while I am outside.

I’m eating one of my veggie omelets as I finish this post. Then I’ll do the few dishes and jump (make that walk) into the shower, dry off, and chill for an hour or two to Blue Bloods re-runs.

Tomorrow is a little stressful. I have a hard time dragging it all to where it goes, laying it out, etc., etc., etc. but it should only take an hour or less. After that, it’s just vegging except for customers, from 8 to 3. Talk to you all later, if I feel like getting online this evening before bed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Very Productive Day, Thank Goodness

I only have today and tomorrow for yard sale prep, and not a full day today at that. Still, I managed to get some things done.

Early, I ran out and dropped off two bill payments, went to our park Office and got reimbursed for the yard sale ad I placed in our local newspaper, and got into the bank to get some 5's and 1's for the sale - a “bank” for the first customers who might need change.

As soon as I got back in the house, I changed out of street clothes and went out and around the back to the shed. Brought out the 4 tables (2 card tables and 2 longer ones) in two trips. Those card tables are strangely heavier than the longer tables - go figure. Anyhow, I always bring the heaviest out first, then the easier ones. Also went back and brought out the dolly. I use that to move boxes from the back patio area up to the front of the drive for the tables, etc. Oh, and I remembered to bring out the cardboard boxes with my house number on them for the corners inside the park, pointing my way.

As soon as that was done, my friends from 60 miles away arrived and dropped off 300 caps for adults, 33 for preemies, about 10 baby quilts, and also some produce for me (squash, eggplant, apricots, peaches, etc.). I'll try to take some photos of her work next week. We talked for about 15 minutes. 

While they were here, my one neighbor walked over with some shirts I agreed to put out for him/us at $2 each. The deal is, we split 50-50 on those. He said if there are any left, I can sell them any way I want to and keep that. I don’t think there will be many left. Lots of them (there are close to 40 in total) are tees, some with Vegas themes from some hotels and there are even a few Star Trek themed tees, one for Quark’s Bar - wish I liked the color of that one -

After everyone left, I managed to get all the charity projects into the house and into the back closet and some of it up onto the shelves.

At this point, I am seriously but happily tired. Tomorrow I must slightly rearrange the back patio so I can take things from the house and stash them there for Friday morning. The good thing is that after I’ve done that, and crawl into bed tomorrow night, and set up Friday morning, I’m a prisoner (a happy one) for 2-1/2 days outside - and our weather should be nice.

No Dizziness Overnight - Prayers Answered

Once again, sweet Lord Jesus, you heard my prayers and the prayers of others on my behalf. Thank you so much. After two sleepless nights because of severe vertigo, last night was, if I may be so bold, heavenly!

Online friends had told me about a condition call BPPV (benign proximal positional vertigo). Upon checking it online at several medical sites, I tried lying down carefully, positioning my head slowly, and the night was wonderful. 

However, since I had also considered tainted salmon from one of the cans I used for salmon burgers (I had eaten one each of those previous days), I skipped the salmon burger. I don’t think that was the cause (no nausea, etc., as is usual, in food upsets) but I will toss the rest of that batch and have another go at them later.

So, from here on in, this little ol’ lady will just move less like a 20-year-old when getting in and out of bed and when changing position in bed. Of course, should it ever happen again, and I can’t trace it to that BPPV likelihood, I will see Urgent Care immediately.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you so much for hearing the bold plea from this child yesterday. Thank you for insight from friends. Thank you for a good night’s sleep. Thank you for everything!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Strange Dizziness Again at Night

I just sent what we call an e-visit to my primary care guy. 

Second night of dizziness all night. Goes away in the morning. 

At first I thought it was fumes, the first night, from recently applied plumber’s sealant. So when it happened again, the first hour I slept, I went from the back bedroom to the front couch, but it still remained. It dissipates in the morning when I get up. I’m always a bit wobbly at first but with the first steps, that stops. Then I thought maybe it was bad canned salmon. I’d eaten one of my recently made (and froze) canned salmon patties, one each day. I’ll skip one today and see if it repeats tonight.

I have much, too much, to do this week and weekend. I can’t afford time for medical issues. Bills that must be paid, according to recently made agreements, by this coming Monday, but should be done tomorrow. Dermatologist appointment a week from tomorrow. Friends coming tomorrow and I need to pack 3 bags of yarn for them, today. She’ll be bringing 300 caps for our homeless distribution and I must settle those somewhere in here. There will also be some fresh produce from these dear folks that I must pack and freeze.

Meanwhile, I still need to get out the folding tables from the shed today for this weekend’s park wide yard sale. And I must keep sorting and gather stuff for that.

So - I’m fine, like yesterday, now that I’m up and moving. Not looking forward to tonight. Would love to discover nothing unusual tonight after I skip the salmon. Would much rather toss the remaining patties and have that be the end of the story...we’ll see.

Sweet Lord Jesus, I hate to bother you with something so trivial, but I am a little worried. I have things we both know I must do. I would love to have this simply be the salmon but not my will, but the Father’s be done. But, just between us, can we make this an easy one? Please? I trust in you.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dizzy Spell During Night - Woo Hoo

Got up around midnight for restroom trip and woo hoo - dizzy spell. Made it carefully there and back. Along the way, because it’s always possible it’s blood pressure, I stopped at fridge and sipped some smoothie (plain yogurt, beets and cucumber). The beets and yogurt help regulate blood pressure naturally. When I got up later, still some very slight lightheadedness but nothing more than my occasional bouts with that all my life.

Must make it to 2 stores this morning for whatever I might need this weekend (tissues, cat supplies, etc.), get a badly needed haircut, and do some things inside. Will be careful to take it easy along the way. Too busy a week and weekend to mess it up by carelessness.

Most likely I just got up too fast and my 78 year old bod didn’t like that, or blood pressure spiked or dropped. I’ve also had some stressful situations the past two weeks where I had to think fast, act fact, dig into things, do newsletter and deliver it, and immediately start moving stuff around to find stuff for yard sale.

No matter - just a warning to take it slower and try, as always, to stay at peace. I’ve got a lot on my plate. Need to rearrange back patio area so that everything there now is against back and I can begin bringing stuff from house and shed and stage it there for the sale. Wednesday, friends are coming from 60 miles away to drop off 300 caps for the homeless and some wonderful produce...so...like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady gets me there...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thank You, Father, For Today’s Stamina

Father, you who made every cell in my body, I thank you for the stamina you sent my way today. 

You helped me to stand long enough to make those canned salmon patties. 

You helped me to run in and out and up and down the few steps (but still, for me, steps) taking out several bags for trash. 

You helped me to move things around so a friend could bring in the one exercise bike and take out the one that’s not right for me. We had to move a tall metal 2-door cabinet from one corner in one room, into another room. We had to go in and out and up and down several times because of some issues under the skirting. 

So much physical activity for this old bod, but in the scheme of things, just little things. And I even squeezed in a bill payment and some other paperwork/online tasks I had to accomplish. I am just so grateful I am feeling okay tonight.

So, Father, once again, thank you for helping me to help myself, and for helping me to help someone who was helping me. You are awesome...

Made That Canned Salmon Patty Recipe

I did manage to try that salmon patty recipe made with canned salmon.

I used 2 cans, doubled the recipe. I’d suggest you try one, first, to adjust the recipe to make sure it holds together during cooking. I do not add flour, so I mixed the few ingredients in the bowl, then I added 1/4 cup whole grain oatmeal flakes, twice (total 1/2 cup), and it seemed okay.

However, it got a little wetter as it cooked but it did hold together so long as I was careful with it.

The recipe says 2 oz. per patty when shaping - that was a pain for me to figure, so I just took a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scooped the mixture, packed it into that little measuring cup and flattened the top, then turned it upside down and tapped it loose onto my palm. I made all the patties first, putting them on a paper plate. Cooks up quickly. 

With 2 cans salmon, and that additional 1/2 cup oatmeal, I ended up with 9 nice patties. I ate one right away, just to test it. Froze some, kept some down for one a day this week.

Now, the taste with canned won’t be as great as with fresh, but making the patties did cut down on that tinny taste that canned salmon often has.

For yourself, you might try either some flour to thicken, or ground chips or crackers, or even some cornmeal...

This will be one I use often, but might try changing the “filler” each time for texture and to find a combo that I not only like, but that I love.