Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas, etc.

Christmas this year was nice, we did a small Christmas. My parents, however, didn't. They never do. Christmas is really big for them (not in the religious sense, but in the giving sense). My dad didn't have a lot growing up, and I think this is his way of making sure his kid doesn't have to go through the same. He got me a mid-range Kitchen-Aid mixer. His idea, which totally floored me. They also got me a nice gardening tool set, and got Matt some work gloves he'd been wanting and a few other things.

Matt's parents got me a gift certificate for a European facial, which should be interesting. I'm looking forward to it. They got Matt a GC for two hour-long massages at the school on top of the mountain. They got us a GC for the local winery. And a few odds and ends. We got them an Oriole feeder, since they have several families of Orioles that nest in the yard in the summer, and a few other odds and ends.

We went to Marshall's last night and I picked up a German brand baking dish. I am in LOVE with this dish. The brand is Emsa, it is a special type of ceramic called Ceratherm. You can put it in the freezer. In the oven. In the microwave. In the dishwasher. AND on the grill. Only problem with it is that the nice cover was missing, but it is still a baking dish and it was $3. You can't argue with that. So, I'm going to try to find some more stuff online, the company looks great and so do their designs.

I'm planning a trip to Clarion this coming Wednesday and Thursday with a stay-over at Tim's place. I still need to contact Doc and confirm, set up a time, but that shouldn't be a problem. I've never made this trip by myself. Yes, really. But I drove down to Lexington, VA, to visit a friend a year or so ago and it is almost as long, and I didn't have any problems, so this trip should be good, too. Still, weather permiting.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nothing much

Not been here in a while, sorry.

Pokey the arm stick is still doing well. It is two weeks tomorrow. I still have some lingering bruising, but it is dissipating well. The incision site is still healing, too. None of the erratic bleeding I was warned repeatedly about (thank god). I was thinking how difficult it is for American women to find information on American sites for this, so I was thinking of starting a Yahoo Group for Implanon users, just to get some first-person accounts out there for other women to read.

We’ve been struggling to get our background check forms filled out before the furlough. But wait a minute, you say! Didn’t you already fill them out, like over a year ago? Why yes, yes we did. A year and a half ago, to be exact, but some nitwit in DC decided to go ahead and SHRED all the background check forms they had from aaaalllll the departments, because they didn’t know where they all came from and didn’t want to spend the time to sort them. So into the shredder they went. The less I say about this the better.

The furlough is right around the corner, and I’m planning on doing not much except keep house, make some jewelry, and probably an overnight trip to Clarion to visit. I haven’t been to Clarion in 4-5 years, at least. I recently heard from my former boss, Tom, at the University Relations office. He’s working out of Ralston dorm right now, seeing as how they razed the old Alumni House in preparation for building a new dorm. I also finally got a hold of Doc E, one of my favorite people from Clarion, and I hope to see him while in town, too. And I’ll probably pop in on Suzanne and surprise her. Oh, and there was someone else I wanted to see….who could that have been…..hmmm….oh, it’s Tim!! That’s right. Tim.

I’m also going to fill out a consultation form for the Small Business Development Center at Shippensburg, a free service, and get some more information to think about for a jewelry business. On the side, of course, I’m not quitting my day job any time soon. I have some things to work out: wholesale? Sell to shops? Sell to customers? Online? Is it going to be worth it in terms of taxes?? I just don’t know how to answer these questions.

I went over to the very small bead shop in Waynesboro only to find she’s closed. I found the (made in China) earwires I needed NOW at Walmart, dammit, but got them anyway because I didn’t have time to wait for mail order. They probably have lead in them.

While I was sulking about the bead shop, I noticed a new Gold’s Gym had apparently opened up nearby, so I stopped in out of morbid curiosity. They had actually JUST opened that very day, so I got the grand tour. Not just weight machines but also free weights, which I prefer. Loads of treadmills and elliptical trainers (love elliptical trainers). Nice locker room. Spinning classes. Friendly staff, and it’s less expensive than I had expected. I’m going to think about it. I need to talk to the Dr about my knee first, though, it’s still bothering me. And I’m going to buy this tshirt.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Implanon: the Arm Preservative

Well, I got my new arm-stick yesterday. I'm still kinda freaked out a little, it is poking at me and itchy. I actually called the doctor this morning to tell them about it and ask what's going on, but they said with the amount of swelling that I have (normal) that I need to wait at least a week to see if it goes down. The way he explained it sounds perfectly fine, but it still is freaking me out.

For the ones of two readers that did not already hear the story:
I went in yesterday morning for my 10:30 appointment, they took me in right on time. Carrie, one of the Physicians Assistants (PA) was to do the deed. They made me take off my shirt and put on a gown. Carrie gave me a numbing shot while the nurse (?) kept watch over me. They gave it a minute to numb up, then they started the insertion. I DID NOT watch, I kept my mind on breathing because if I didn't I would forget and pass out. (this is common with people getting tattoos, too. When I got mine, the tattoo artist said she had people pass out all the time: not because of pain, but because they forgot to breath).

Carrie told me my skin was very tough. Great. They actually take the applicator and use it to push through the skin and make a channel. They then insert the stick by twisting the applicator, and the stick itself is supposed to 'catch' and stay put. Note my use of the words 'supposed to.' Yes, you heard right: it didn't stay put.

So she did it again (after asking me if I minded. Are you kidding?) And it still didn't stay put. She sent the nurse for Dr. Oh, who was the only MD there who had done these as well. And they looked at the applicator, and then he tried. And it STILL didn't stay put (so now we are 0/3).

Everyone kept telling me I was a trooper. I couldn't feel anything. They asked if they could try once more and I said sure, this is getting to be old hat. Laughs all around. Ha ha. No, wait. Ha ha ha.

They tried again and it still didn't take. They sent the nurse for another one while they fiddled and played with the applicator, which they thought was defective. They tried with the second one and THAT ONE DIDN'T TAKE EITHER. Can you believe this? Still can't feel anything.
They tried one more time with the 2nd applicator and it finally took. The Doc felt for the stick, and Carrie felt for the stick and they looked at each other and the doc said.....
Wait for it.....
"They're both in there."
Yes. Somewhere along the line the first one DID deploy and then the 2nd one deployed and omigod I have *2* arm sticks in my arm. The doc did get one out, so I only have one now. But it is making itself known and is pokey and itchy and slightly painful.
So there's my arm stick story. I'm really hoping it is only swelling causing it to push like that, I really don't want to go and get it out and get another one, because they can't adjust it once it's out of the applicator. I also have a lot of bruising, but considering what i went through I guess that's normal.
I'm actually dealing better with this than most women would, I think. I'm not really freaking out, but I am a bit worried. And I think many women would be freaking out from yesterday's 2/6 record.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly Update

General news from the life of Jody!

I'm off work this week, no choice of mine. We're furloughed, so I'm on unemployment. I'm taking this opportunity to do what I did last year at this time: bake dozens of cookies for the holidays! I'm doing three different recipes each day (not counting Thanksgiving) which will give me a grand total of 9 different types of cookies this year, not counting the bourbon balls.

Went to Helen's funeral on Saturday, loads of family there including some people I've never met. Cousin Muff was there, she must be around 90, and her daughter (never met). A funny thing: it was fortunate that my mother warned me before we got there that Helen had a twin sister, Leah, because if I hadn't known and then looked over and saw her walking through the crowd....well, let's just say it would have been emarassing. Mom and I actually debated on whether we should tell Matt or not. Heh heh heh.

But the funeral was loooong and very very religious. I, having gone to church every sunday as a child, was prepared for the long hymns and the Apostle's Creed, which we recited every week (and I still know by heart). Matt was not prepared for all this. I was a bit amused by his reactions....

A nice touch was the choir, which sang at the service. Helen had been a member for a long time, and they had her robe laid out on one of the chairs. I thought that was really nice. They also prepared lunch for us all, which was also unexpected and very nice, and I made it a point to thank them before we left. We're talking around 100 people.

After that, family went back to the widower's house. I had a nice time looking at the pictures that one of the daughters had put together, I especially liked the ones of the twins together through the years. I was surprised to find two of my baby pictures in an album along with their kids pictures. That made me feel good. I really like Bim, (the widower) and plan on visiting him. He's only a half hour away.

Matthew is feeling better, but his voice seems to come and go.

Medical: I got a call from the doc today, they are ordering my arm stick. It's going to be a $20 copay!!!!!! Instead of the $600 I was expecting!!!!! So I should be doing that soon.

I have some christmas presents on the way. I have more to order. I haven't been working outside since the weather is cold & wet, maybe Wednesday or Thursday since it will be warmer and dryer.

I think that's about it for now....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

General Life Update

Mom called this morning, my cousin Helen passed away yesterday. She lives in Hagerstown, she was in her early 80s and had recently had complications from a hip replacement, etc etc. Funeral is on Saturday, so I’ll be going to that.

The Lasagna Garden veggie patch project is going well, I have the newspaper almost all down where I want it with a thin layer of peat moss on it. You haven't lived until you've spread wet newspaper around during 40 degree weather. Matt’n’I layered it with some hay and watered it down, then I added some dead leaves, and am in the process of adding some dead grass clippings on that. I don’t know what’s next, mushroom soil? More peat moss? I’m hesitant to use so much peat moss, it is a non-renewable resource. I’m not sure what to use instead. I’ll have to check Ashcombe’s when my mother and I head up there the beginning of December.

I also put down the cardboard (for the pathways), and hay and a couple large stepping stones on that. I found two garden snakes while moving the rocks. I collected long-needle pine and put them around the blueberry bush, they like acidic soil. Matt and I then pruned the blueberry bush. It didn’t produce nearly as well this past summer as previous summers (when we were swamped with blueberries). I’m not sure if it is the lack of rain or the lack of bees.

I spent some of the morning Sunday straining out the fruit vodka into a bottle to age. It's pretty good, this is the mixed fruit kind. It has undertones of the lemon I put in, not bad. I have another bottle started with an apple and some raspberries, to which I added yet another apple. Yesterday I infused the honey I bought with rosemary and also roasted the last of the tomatoes with some garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They're in the fridge, I need put it through a sieve and freeze it for sauce for the winter. If I don’t just eat them.

We replaced the screen door. It cut down on wind and noise noticeably, I'm impressed.

I made applesauce and froze it, it was ok. I’ll try something else next time, different seasoning, peel the apples. Blend it more.

I have some craft projects in the works. I have herbs and things drying for an herb wreath. I have some cranberry spice scent that I mixed with water and soaked some pine cones, I'm waiting for them to dry. I have some Styrofoam balls that I hot glued with attractive herb leaves from the garden (golden sage, broad-leaf sage, etc). It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, they turned black because of the heat of the glue. I’m going to have to use craft glue instead. I went and collected seed pods to add to a few grass-woven bird houses, too. I had to buy a new hot-glue gun, they don't make the sticks for the old one I had anymore. I also finished the wine cork corkboard last night, and I have a huge box of corks so I have to start several more. Anyone need a corkboard?

My Christmas shopping list is almost complete, I have some things already and some to buy. We’re not doing a big Christmas this year, mostly cookies supplemented with a few gifties. I’ve been having the most trouble with my niece-in-law Susanne in San Diego. She is 11, and if things are now as they were when we visited 3-4 years ago, I’m sure she gets everything she wants. I’ve gotten the suggestion of books (from her mother, who said she especially likes mysteries), and I’ve been making a list on Amazon of things I read at that age as well as some things that look interesting that I haven’t read. I’ll probably send her a mix of such.

I have off all next week. I’m going to be cleaning out the garage and making my seasonal cookies. I’m going to do the bourbon balls this week, but everything else next week. I made out the shopping list already. I was surprised that only one recipe called for milk, but I’ll be buying lots of unsalted butter this weekend.

Today I go to the small business class in Carlisle. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm baaaaack

After two years on Yahoo 360, I'm back here.

And boy! Do I have a story to tell!

I got home from work today at the regular time, around 5:20, let Max out, opened my Amazon package and started reading the last book in a series I've been waiting for and awaited my darling, loving husband to come home.

Tires on the driveway. Max goes berserk. There is a loud, insistent pounding at the door. Matthew does this some times, so I get up and go open the door....

...and there is a man there with a badge and a gun on his hip, holding a piece of paper.

"The fat is chewy," I say.

No, not really. He asked if it was 1314, and I said no, this is 1299. I said I didn't know where 1314 was, but it was down that way (pointing). He was a bond enforcement agent (bounty hunter). He walks off. I go look out the window, there is what looks like a white unmarked car in the driveway with a woman in it. She backs up, he starts down the driveway with a flashlight...

...just in time for Matt to get home and almost run him down. They proceed to have a conversation for about 5 minutes. He finally comes in the house. They are looking for a woman we don't know, and we discussed it and decided there is no 1314 on our road. We leave to go vote. We pass them again with the local cop, who no doubt was coming up to show them where 1314 was supposed to be.

When we get back to the house, the BEA are parked across the street at the mechanics. Matt goes over to tell them there is a woman living with the guy across the street and when he comes back home he confirms that she is the one they are looking for, and she's not home. I want to hang out and watch the ensuing chaos from the front porch over a couple MaiTais, but we go get a couple subs instead. When we get back, the car is gone.

How exciting!!!!