Monday, August 6, 2018

I Christened My Prayer Chair Friday

A few days ago I began a new daytime routine that combines gentle exercise and my prayer time. I do not really exercise, partly because of the arthritis in my left knee and other issues. That changed after a few incidents last year.

Back in May 2017, I inherited a stationery exercise bicycle. I had a fella here in the Park help me with adjusting it while it was still outside on the back driveway area. However, he noticed that I was very very clumsy and awkward just climbing onto it. It made him nervous. It made me nervous. It sat there a few months until September 2017 when he found a recumbent exercise bicycle and brought it to me. We got that one inside and adjusted. The other one went out into my October park-wise yard sale. And so the recumbent bike sat...and sat...and sat. About once a month I got on for 2 minutes. Two minutes a month!

On the prayer level, I was in the habit of getting on my knees at the foot of the bed every night to pray 5 decades of the Rosary. Then, in November, I had 2 surgeries, back to back, 2 days in a row. One was on my right back shoulder area and the other on my left breast. That’s two sets of stitches, within 48 hours, in two totally different upper areas. I did not want to chance messing up the good surgeons’ work so I stopped praying on my knees during the healing process. I tried praying those 5 decades while on the couch or lift chair, watching TV, during commercials. Needless to say, my focus was not the best.

Suddenly, on Friday, one of my recent specialists apparently called my insurance folks and they called me and offered to sign me up in a weight management program. I thanked them politely and declined. I know how to lose the weight. I just have not been motivated. It did not help that a few months on the cancer treatment pills lowered my energy level. During that day, I happened to be in the back bedroom and saw the recumbent bike. The light dawned!

I now have a “dedicated” “prayer chair.”

I did not want to post this in case it turned out to be a typical one-time effort. I have been careful to not mess up my knees by excessive work. When I sit on that, I pedal moderately and I pray my Rosary’s 5 decades, split into two sessions, because of the knees. It totals out to about 15 minutes a day, and I have no residual aches. The 2nd day, I did get a really angry charley horse up the inner side of one leg clear up to the very top of the thigh. No trouble since, though.

What I love - I am actually really getting some exercise, and my prayer time is in a room where, while I’m on the bike, I see the wall across from me with a crucifix to help me focus on the prayers and my little Blessed Mother image on the dresser top. My prayer focus has been very satisfying.

So where do I stand on this? I began the day of the phone call, for just 3 minutes. That was Friday - so far, I’ve done 3 minutes on Friday and 15 minutes a day (in two sessions) on Saturday, Sunday and today. I weighed myself last Saturday morning. I am curious as to any difference this coming Saturday.

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you so much for that phone call on Friday that finally got me motivated on two different levels - my prayer time and my exercise. Thank you for helping me to combine them and be happy with our new routine. I really really love my prayer chair and my new routine. I trust in you.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Rapid-Fire Heartfelt Silent Prayer Answered!

Wow, did I get a scare this morning! I went out for litter and a few fill-in things at the store and on the way back, I picked up 3 days’ mail. In the pile was a Parking Ticket! It claimed my infraction was on July 30 at 1:15 pm about 10 miles from my home.

At that moment, I was sitting on my porch steps, waiting for my free ride to the lumpectomy surgeon checkup and my car was in my driveway but of course I could not prove that.

It said I must pay the fine, $20, within 30 days or risk increases, etc. - It is really really difficult these days for me to deal with going down to the court house to deal with this, deal with finding parking, walking there, going through the security check, etc., etc., etc.

I looked closer. The license plate number was correct but the color was wrong - the “bad” car was white; mine is red. I decided to try to chance it by phone - they did have a number to call, on the ticket, thankfully.

While the gal was checking, she was talking to herself, reading the additional details on the full ticket; what I got was an abbreviated version claiming that I “drove away” while he was writing it and he couldn’t put it on my windshield. I heard her saying that it was an Uber driver dropping off a passenger in a bus zone so I mentioned I am NOT an Uber driver. Then I heard her saying the license plate number but the 2nd and 3rd numbers were transposed. AHA!

When we finished, she said it was corrected. I asked how I could verify that before the 30 days was up in case there was another snafu, so she said I could just call that number again in about two weeks, and she gave me her name, as well.

You can bet I’ll check again in two weeks, to be sure.

Meanwhile, I really really was worried. While on hold, I crossed my fingers, toes, and eyes, and looked pretty silly. I also, of course, said some very heartfelt, pleading, frightened prayers.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for hearing my plea and answering my prayer. Help me to remember to call and verify in two weeks. Thank you, once more, for having my back. I trust in you!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fridge is Fixed - Happy Days!

Two days ago, I finally decided to not chance my local “guy” for the fridge repair. Having dealt with replacement of the fan motor as recently as December, I thought it best to get a pro to tell me if this water accumulation under the bins was expected or whether this was a lemon and I should just deal with replacing the whole fridge.

He was here yesterday and fixed it and was out, all in half an hour. HOWEVER, apparently the drain was clogged so badly that he couldn’t do it the quick way by just removing the wall from inside the top freezer section. He had to take off the back of the fridge. 

Seems dust and pet hair can enter from the grill at the bottom front of the fridge. The water was that which dripped down the back wall of the fridge to collect down there. I never even noticed that because we all have “stuff” up against the back walls of our fridge. Well, most of use do.

I have a mat on the floor there, in front of the fridge, in case I accidentally spill something when getting it from the fridge. Well, Silkie loves to sleep there lots of times. So, methinks I will just take my little dust buster and at least suck that grill clear once a month or so.

This guy said that the fridge is 6 years old but that this can happen at any time, depending on the conditions. And he said that having the fan motor trouble after 6 years was not that unusual - he said he frequently sees troubles with appliances that are only 2 years old.

So, thankfully, I no longer need to wring out the towel underneath the bins morning and night. Very nice feeling...

I do know myself, though, and I’ll probably be checking under those bins every so often anyhow.
Rolling along...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I Think I Annoyed my Oncologist Today


Ok the visit to the oncologist went so-so today. I think I annoyed her or ticked her off. I took myself off the hormone blocker on June 14 because of all the side effects. They were causing me to go backwards on all my good habits, developed over the past 4 years.

I was too tired to do food prep while I was taking them (between Feb and June) and began buying convenience foods and take out. Instead of 20 minutes energizing catnaps, I’d wake up 2 hours after the fact! Circulation was rotten and my right hand was so numb from just driving a mile to a store that I couldn’t pick anything up with it.  I was dewy all the time. And these are just some of the effects.

After stopping them, all returned to normal.

She is trying to talk me into trying 3 others, one at a time. I do not have the desire to deal with fresh side effects. I asked her to print out my genetic-cancer results and tell me, in terms of “years,” exactly what I am facing.

Turns out that with the meds, the likelihood of recurrence is 7%; without, it only jumps to 14% - that refers to the next 10 years. Hey, kids, I’ll be 79 in September and 80 next year. 10 years? I won’t be here in 10 years - I’d much rather get mammo’s and ultrasounds twice a year and check things that way.

Anyhow, I will see her again in 4 months. I’m not being stubborn, but I do want to weigh quality of my elder-years of life against those side effects... will be praying about this...

Rolling along...

Asking for Your Immediate Help

Ok, 2 days ago, I posted (here) about a family I know who is suddenly losing their apartment through no fault of their own. The manager will not renew their lease. They must be out BY August 30, 2018. The lease says it can be done "just because."

This family is not wasteful. They try hard to help others. They have no evictions on record, no complaints. There are 5 people involved and a pet or two. The Gofundme post makes it look like they are a young newly married couple but they are adults with a teenage daughter. This is the middle of the Vegas desert heat and summer. They do not have “stashed” funds in savings accounts, etc., and now they will not be able to do anything for the daughter’s 16th birthday next month.

I’m putting a link here to the Gofundme account, started by family. I know them and know they hate asking for help and hate taking help so I’m going further and giving my loving, compassionate friends a second way to donate - the Gofundme account sometimes takes a while for the recipient to get the funds. Transfers to a bank account can take 3 to 5 business days, or they can get a check by snail mail. (https://www.gofundme.com/srjtu-urgent-move)

IF you’d rather send something directly, and which can be used immediately, I can pass along the wife’s PayPal account info by FB messenger - that way, what you send is private BUT it is also immediately accessible - no one, not even me, will know what you sent except for that family. I doubt they will have time to respond to, or thank, those who help, but I do know they will be eternally grateful, and I know for a fact that they will not bother you except to hold you in their hearts.

So, please, dear friends, you know I’ve never asked directly for money for anyone but I do this time - send $5 or $50 or $500 - whatever your heart and budget can do... they only have 6 weeks, but they will need almost immediate funds for a first, last, and deposit... they are already packing, heartbroken.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Both Medical Appointments This Busy Day Went Well

I’m rather tired from two widely scattered, geographically, medical appointments today. But both went well.

The first was early this morning, at the dermatologist. Last winter, he diagnosed basal cell cancer on my one shoulder blade and referred me for surgery. So he checked and that healed to his satisfaction. While there, he froze (ice-zapped) a half a dozen spots on my back. We are concentrating on any spots/moles that are near the bra line, etc. because he agrees that at my age it is safer to do that than to risk my accidentally scratching one of them open and getting infections. I do not have to see him again until next year. Nice.

The second was right after lunch, at the breast care imaging center. They did a mammogram and an ultrasound and a physical evaluation. No major discomfort from the tests, but I am still peeling little pink stickies off my personal person. The results of that, six months after the lumpectomy and lymph biopsies, were good, as well. We repeat in six months.

But it did tire me out a bit so I’ll post this and relax until later this evening. Tomorrow I must visit the oncologist in the morning. Then next week, a small dental adjustment of the dentures, and it is looking clear for a while after that...

Rolling along...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Immediate Need for Prayers for Housing for Friends

Asking for fast and furious prayers, my Prayer Angels! A friend’s family member, in a different household, is facing a rapid-fire housing change. Now, I know that we all have troubles with repairs, etc., for homes, apartments, cars and such. And I know we often need funds for food and such. But housing is probably the worst trouble we can face.

This household’s manager has decided NOT to renew their lease. They HAVE to be out BY August 30, 2018. Needless to say, they are in a MESS! NO reason, as per their lease. They can be put out "just because."
There are 5 people involved and a pet or two. This is the middle of the Vegas desert heat and summer. They do not have “stashed” funds in savings accounts, etc., and they were trying to do something for the daughter’s 16th birthday next month. That does not look like their biggest concern now.

I know this family. They are not wasteful. They try hard to help others.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you and your family knew the issues facing a move. You all had to flee to Egypt, suddenly, right after your birth. You went to a land with a different language and had to start over. Please, please, look mercifully upon this family. Remember that feeling of urgency and change and fill them with all the wisdom and patience and faith that they need to deal with this. I know you are working on finding the right place for them even as we speak and pray about this. We trust in you!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Thank You for the Attitude Adjustment Today

Sweet Lord Jesus, I’ve been through a lot over the past few years. Some bumps on life’s road came in bunches. Many of my friends know that routine all too well. Somehow, always, you had my back and you helped me get through everything. 

We got through months and months without running water inside this old mobile home. We got through pot after pot of rain water from the living room ceiling. We got through loan after loan for the old car’s repairs. And we got through unexpected health issues last Fall.

So I was really annoyed with myself this morning when I felt myself overwhelmed by feelings of almost self-pity. I was annoyed because it is only water under the crisper bins in my fridge. I’ve asked a guy in our community to deal with what is probably a clogged drain hose or something. But why I was feeling not up to the task is that I must replace a folded half-hand-towel under the bins and remember to remove it after roughly 24 hours with a dry one. How hard is that? 

Ok. So I must get on my knees on the floor but I do that when I brush the cat at night. We all know it’s still in my skill range for these old joints. So it shouldn’t be a big deal, especially considering all the really big deals the past few years.

I felt embarrassed worrying about it. One of my friends said that worrying is a sin. I only half agree with that because you, too, Sweet Jesus, worried at times. That night in the Garden, for instance, you even wept and asked to be let go of the coming burden.

So that is why I think you understand what happened to me today.

Looking back the past few years, I think maybe all of that stress that I thought I was coping with so well might have temporarily caught up with me. I’m fine, now, I think.

I just need a lot of help with one part of this - I need you to remind me each day to change that towel! I really am concerned that I will forget and come out in the morning or come home from an errand and find water all over my floor. Now that, I know, would be a mess I do not want to deal with if, together, we can avoid it.

So, thank you, yet again, Lord Jesus, for all your help. And please, in your compassion and mercy, help me to deal with this in fine order while I wait patiently for the repair... I trust in you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Silkie is So Tired Today


We had our first real monsoon rain last night. It began around 9/9:30 as a strong windy t-storm with heavy almost sideways blowing rain until almost midnight - then it settled down to a very steady heavy rain until almost 3am. 

Silkie was awake until almost 3am so she is very sleepy today. She fears the thunder, the strong winds, and the pounding, driving rain. She’ll find a spot almost out in the open and flatten herself on the rug and hang on for dear life. When I pass by her, normally she will meow quietly for me to bend down and stroke her - it’s our ritual. But in “cringe” mode, she just lies there.

She also ate absolutely nothing between 9 last night and around 5 this morning. For her, that is unheard of. So she is both sleepy and starvingly hungry. Poor baby.

I haven't had reason to drive around this morning so I don't know if any awnings took a hit here in our senior mobile home park but my porch stuff is still there. We will be prone to, and expecting, these afternoon/night-time storms for the next few weeks. No sense spraying until after the season is over because the next rain washes it away, but I do walk my lot after a day or two of dry spells and pull any weedlings that pop up...

I was up until after midnight myself. During these July/Aug/Sep monsoon storms, we often lose power in here. I can manage so long as I don’t step on the cat while I am setting up batteried lanterns and such. But I always worry about my friends in here. Many are on 24/7 oxygen and on other electric medical devices. A power outage is very worrisome for them. Often, it will hit one area of the city one afternoon/night, and another the other times.

I also think I need to call my go-to guy in here to caulk around one back bedroom set of windows. I’m getting tired of changing wet rolled towels on the skinny window ledge. It’s not a lot of water coming in and it’s been doing that for years. The last time my guy was here, he was very willing to do it when I am ready. I am ready...
Rolling along...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Enjoying Eating

It’s been nice the past few days. On the 5th, I tried using Sea Bond cushions on my dentures to hold them in place more securely and to alleviate some of the soreness. The first night, after a joy-filled day of enjoying everything I ate, I did have some aching and a mild headache at the back of my neck.

Friday, the 6th, at our Charity Crafter session, I even ate, for the first time, again, in many many months, some simple pretzel sticks brought in by the only other member with the group as long as I’ve had it going.

Yesterday was even better. The cushions were still working but even with those, toward mid-day and end of day, there was some looseness. But again, I enjoyed everything I ate.

Today, I even ate some of my beloved Pop Weaver microwave popcorn from Walmart. I have not been able to eat that for 14 months. What a treat. I only had 1/4 of the bag. I am trying not to go crazy. At this point, the headache at the back of my neck is almost unnoticeable.

This coming Thursday I am scheduled for an adjustment at the dental office. Even if they are still just a little loose (I’d rather loose than too much, resulting in something they cannot correct), I will be thrilled using the cushions for the rest of my days on this earth... the thing is, you have no idea how good this feels. I dealt with eating without bottoms for almost a year and a half and when I look back, I don’t know how I managed to make myself enjoy food at that time.

Now I must just be careful to explain to them that I’d rather they err, in the adjustment (which I guess is adding more lining) on the side of less, than of more.
Rolling along...

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Really Enjoyed Eating Yesterday

For the first time in almost 2 years, I enjoyed everything I ate yesterday, no matter how small. Using the wafer/cushions on both uppers and lowers gave me what feels like a perfect fit. Ate some stick pretzels which immediately made me crave my old fave, popcorn. Must pick up some microwaveable pouches this weekend.

However, at end of day, when removed, had headache in back of head, neck. It is only faintly there this morning. I want to note how it goes at end of day tonight. If that repeats, then it could be the seating of the dentures inside that long-unused lower jaw. If it doesn’t, then it was either a mild neuralgia from the AC in our clubhouse (I could have been under a vent) or my typical aches off and on, which I rarely notice anymore, from the lumpy couch or the sunken seat in the lift chair.

But the major news for me was that it went well yesterday and gives me great hope for good adjustment next week. Even if I need a little paste or a cushion, even after the adjustment, it is far better than my former years. That is a big plus. They can’t fix what time has broken - not completely. Sometimes we expect too much of mere mortals. I have higher expectations, however, from the higher power!

Sweet Lord Jesus, you know how often we’ve talked about this. Thank you for helping me through this process while you work it out for me. I trust in you.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Temporary Answer to Prayer?


  You all know that I post the bumps on life’s road for two reasons. They are not complaints about issues in my life. But they are statements. By posting, I immediately relieve any stress involved, simply by facing the issue. By posting, I am, in a way, testifying to the power of prayer. And, by posting, I’m letting others know they are not alone if they are facing similar issues.

Recently, I’ve been sharing my adventures at 78-3/4 with a replacement set of dentures. I knew at the outset that there would be adjustments to be made, trips back to the dental office. I knew there would be aches or pain or soreness. My mouth had been without lowers for 14 months so it had morphed in ways.

I’ve been sharing my difficulty and strong soreness/tenderness in the upper right gum area that began after the first day. Their offices are closed for vacation until Monday and I have an appointment for Thursday. The soreness had not broken skin but felt like it was getting angrier. I had decided last night to just eat minimally for the morning, and remove them and go without them the rest of the day, and repeat each day until I could get to the office.

Along the way, as is my habit, I did pray - for perhaps a little relief from the soreness, and for wisdom in knowing how to hold my mouth, which side to favor in chewing, whatever I could do to help myself until that office visit.

This morning, for no known earthly reason but obviously for His reasons, I looked for dental adhesive (I had tossed that out after getting the new dentures) and only found the Sea Bond lowers which I’m using until the adjustment visit almost a week from now. Hmmmm.  Aha! I used one of those on the upper denture and it’s somewhat-horseshoe shape conformed perfectly across the top of the uppers.

I ate breakfast without a glitch. I do not feel that soreness/tenderness. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Is it a fix? Not really, because when funds are paid to get replacements, we do want them to be as good a fit, without OTC assistance, as much as possible. So I will, of course, go on Thursday, or try an earlier walk-in if necessary. BUT, I can now show and explain what I did to soften the difficulty and hopefully, that will help them know precisely how to adjust in kind.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord Jesus. I trust in you.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I Did Something Incredibly Stupid

I went for my replacement set of upper and lower dentures on Wednesday the 27th, just over a week ago. When I went home, they sent me back with the broken lowers, which I tossed out right away. But I did something really stupid. The dentures they made for me felt so good on the way home that I foolishly tossed out the uppers, as well. The uppers did fit fine except they were a tad loose and required adhesive paste. They would have worked for a backup.

So now, with my appointment for adjustments not until a week from today, I am dealing with a really sore mouth in the upper area. Salt water rinses, which they recommended in case of soreness, soothe and toughen the gums. But that’s only until the next morning when I once again use the dentures.

Their office is closed tight this week - their entire staff is on vacation.

Meanwhile, the tenderness/soreness is only that - tender, sore. It hurts pretty much when eating. I think I will eat only soft mushy things for a few days until that visit. And, I think I will remove them most of the day. I am pretty much ready to just do a walk-in on Tuesday, rather than wait until a week from today... Monday, the first day after they re-open after being closed for a week, will be a zoo. No sense in doing that. But, yep, thinking I will just take a Guideposts or crocheting or both and just hie me hither and be there about an hour after they open and sit and wait. The worst that can happen is that they are not able to fit me it and I’ll go back the next day... but it’s possible they can squeeze me in - worth the effort...

Rolling along...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wild and Wacky Snacks Today

I’m past the point of barbecues and such for this holiday but I really craved something different and easy and for which I did not have to leave the house and go pick it up.

What I ended up doing, after looking through the house...

Mock Mini-Pizzas
I eat very little bread these days so a 6 pack of whole wheat muffins might sit in the fridge forever. Took out one of those puppies. Rummaged around. Ended up with these little pizzas.

I sliced the muffin and sprayed dollar store generic olive oil on the bottom and on the top of each piece. Drizzled some generic tomato sauce (leftover in fridge from something else), sprinkle of oregano, thin sliced mini-meatballs (from a bag in the freezer which is almost empty now), and topped with some shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack.

Placed them neatly into a small non-stick pan, heated low-to-medium with lid on top.
I was going to take a pic but they didn’t last long enough (sigh).
I really enjoyed these.

Wild Ice Cream Soda
I only drink perhaps one soda a week but I want it when I want it, so when they are on sale, I buy 3 12-packs for $9.99, wherever. Plus I had a six-pack of cherry-vanilla generic someone didn’t want. I also found part of my container of lime sherbet in the fridge freezer.

You guessed it: I’m sipping an ice cream soda as we type, read, whatever - lime sherbet in cherry-vanilla soda.
Yummy.

Now I’ll be good for a while.
Rolling along...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Triple Whammy Day - But Not My Worst!


As I posted earlier online, this was not my best day but it certainly was not my worst. Had a triple whammy but more of the inconvenience type rather than of the real trouble type.

The first issue was that my car battery died. It was fine yesterday but this morning when I got ready to drive over for my six-month after-breast-surgery mammogram and ultrasound, it was dead. I rapidly went through the logical sequence. First, was it really dead? Yep. Ok. How to get to the testing center? Tried a neighbor who is usually up as early as I am. It was only 7:15am and I had to be there by 8:15. I wasted almost 20 minutes trying first her home phone, then her cell, waiting 5 minutes between each voice mail. Nothing. Then I figure I’d better call the car dealer and verify what I thought was the trouble. We were in agreement. Next I found out that other options, even if I could afford them, were not right for “rush hour” and the day before a major holiday in a tourist town. Everyone was backed up - cabs, etc., even the tow guy.

Raced in and out of the house making these calls, including the breast care center. Finally got the tow guy, who gave the car a jump, and I got to my guy for a battery. I was done and home by 10:30am. It could have been worse. It could have happened anywhere else, but here I was in the shade of my own driveway (we’re in the triple digits out here).

The second thing that was troubling was that for the first time in my life, I missed a medical appointment. They do NOT like that. I called the breast care center and left a voice mail that I could not get there. They open at 7 so I knew they were there; they just weren’t picking up. I called again in the afternoon. Same story. Voice mail. I surely do hope that this does not cause a problem getting another appointment, that they are not upset thinking I was a careless no-show. Some places even charge fees if you do not cancel at least 24 hours in advance.

And the third thing, again, troubling but not horrible. My mouth is tender and somewhat sore from the new dentures. I expected that. I have an adjustment appointment next week and will baby it until then. But the thing is, all of those phone calls were under stress and pressure and I was doing a lot of talking and explaining - a lot. It didn’t help with them moving at will while I was trying to speak clearly and yet not feel the soreness. But, it was not impossible.

So, all in all, I ended the day with a fresh battery to begin the serious part of the summer out here, and that is a good thing. And it is quiet for now, and I am happily tired, and ready for sleep. Tomorrow’s another day.

Rolling along...