Help Yourself to Coffee

Sure, I know it’s Halloween and you were probably expecting a post about goblins, ghouls and getting my freak on.  This is so not that post.  Or perhaps you wanted a heartfelt, moving post about Hurricane Sandy and her aftermath.  Others have posted and will post more eloquently than anything I could say.  Not that I’m ignoring the horrific conditions the east coast has survived!  My prayers are with them as they begin the long, difficult process of rebuilding. 

But let’s get back to what this post actually is:  A blatant attempt to sell you a product for which I don’t even receive a kickback.  I like it that much.

I’m a coffee drinker.  However, I don’t “do” Starbucks.  Or Tully’s.  Or Seattle’s Best.  Or any of the umpteen million anonymous coffee places popping up every – effin’ – where!  Seriously people, how many coffee shops, stands, kiosks do we need?!  And do not get me started on the bikini baristas!  To a coffee snob I’m probably lower than pond scum but that’s what those coffees taste like to me — like pond scum (ducks).  Sorry, I know odds are that some of my many readers (I think there are five of you now) probably don’t agree.  It’s a good thing this is my blog isn’t it?  I get to say whatever I want!  Neener neener!

In any case, I usually drink my coffee with half and half.  It can’t be milk or soy creamer (I tried the Silk brand once because I liked their soy milk…ack, ugh, nasty!).  I’ll use Coffeemate in a pinch but usually under protest.  If all else fails I’ll drink it black.  Finally…on to the point of this (shut up).  Recently at the local diner we go to they didn’t have half and half (!!!) and brought milk to the table.  I didn’t throw a hissy fit or even whine but I did decline politely.  Well the server was one of our favorites there and she takes good care of us.  She disappeared briefly and returned with some individual flavored creamers which she’d purloined from her boss’s stash.  Let me just say WOW!  And I’m not that easy to impress.

While I like my coffee light, I rarely put sugar or sweetner into it.  It’s one of the reasons I only occasionally use flavored creamer.  I know what you’re thinking.  What’s the difference between adding flavored creamer and buying say a double tall Irish Creme latte?  About 4 bucks.  And did I mention their coffee tastes like pond scum?  Why would I pay 4 bucks for Irish Creme flavored pond scum?! 

Okay, I digress…again.  The lovely creamer I tried was International Delight’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.  If you like pumpkin I think you’d enjoy this!

Yummy goodness!

I had to search for a good week before I found it but the flavor is so worth it!  There’s hint of pumpkin and spice with just a touch of sweetness.  When we found this flavor there was another seasonal choice beside it which came highly recommended by the guy working in the dairy section.  I may have mentioned I’m not a chocolate fan (unless it’s dark with almonds…just sayin’).  So I wasn’t all that tempted but the store had a special price for two so we got one of each.  I brought the pumpkin pie spice to work so I can savor it all day if I want (it’s good to be me).  The White Chocolate Raspberry (yeah, you read that right!) is at home.  I didn’t think I’d like it but I’ve used it for the last two days running in my first cup of the day.  You know how sometimes white chocolate can be overly sweet?  Not this white chocolate!  It’s complimented perfectly by the raspberry.  Run out and get some of these right now!  Remember, they’re seasonal flavors – they’ll be going away soon and you wouldn’t want to miss out!  You’ll thank me, I promise. 

And just so you know I didn’t forget Halloween entirely … this was included in a feature in our local paper this morning:

Such a face!

Photo: Villafane Studios / HC

Giving Thanks

Please bear with me.  I hope this isn’t going to be a sappy idea.  A few weeks back while we were browsing at Goodwill (I ❤ Goodwill!) I found this cool book titled “For This I Am Grateful” by “ALL OF US”.  It’s published by Everyday Wisdom Press.  There are 164 pages of what people are grateful for, plus several blank lined pages at the back so you can add to it.  I flipped through the volume as I stood there leaning on my crutches and was so charmed I had to buy it.  When I returned to the office earlier this month I brought the book with me and displayed it prominently on my desk.  Inspiration had not yet struck. 

Then the whole family holiday drama cropped up and I found myself not looking forward to Thanksgiving.  How sad.  The other day for some reason the book caught my attention and I made a note for myself to write a Thanksgiving post, hoping it would help me look beyond the family circumstances and focus on the reason for the holiday itself. 

I started a different post which I figured I’d put up the day before Thanksgiving, then I pulled the book down where I could flip through its pages again.  Inspiration!  Each page contains at least one message of gratitude; some pages include several.  Why don’t I (I asked myself) post a new reason to be grateful each day of November?  Well, week days when I have internet access at work.  Yeah, we’re still there. 

So I think that’s what I’m going to do.  It may be the only thing I post each day – the reason for gratitude.  Or I may have a “real” post and add the gratitude platitude.  (ha! see what I did there?)

And here, to whet your appetites – or scare you off, are a few examples:

My grandmother! She taught me the equal values of a good laugh and a good cry.
Jaime Ledger, Boston, MA

Wow, I could have written that one.  I miss my grandma and wish I’d appreciated her more when I had her around. 

Baked macaroni and cheese, with cheese in every bite!
Paula Goodman, Peoria, IL

Mm mm good!

A good book to read late into the night while the rain tap-dances on the roof and the table lamp tosses friendly shadows across the bed.
Carol Mcadoo Rehme, Loveland, CO

I couldn’t have said it better!

So there you have it peeps.  My November gratefulness project.  I hope to post these every week day in November and I hope you all enjoy them as much as I am.  😀

Happy Friday!

What do you think of the new theme?  I’m not sure I’ll keep this one but when I saw it I figured I had to at least try it on.  Last winter there was a widget or something that had snowflakes falling on my blog.  I loved that effect so when I read that this theme included fish swimming by I had to check it out!  Having examined it more closely I realize the swimming fish are more like a wallpaper.  But I still kind of like it. 

Physical therapy last night was a mean bitch.  I tried really hard not to cry but no dice.  Apparently the flexion isn’t where they’d like to see it.  Poor them!  I knew it wasn’t but I’m getting along fine and the Bonesmart forum has articles that say range of motion (which includes flexion) can be increased well into the future.  I immediately printed those out so next time they put on the 😦 face about my flexion I’ll be able to whip those out!  In other words, there’s no reason to create more pain to get more bend.  The bend will come.  I’m sure I can work harder at my exercises than I have been so I’ll take this as a nudge that I need to step it up a bit.  Gently.

Tomorrow is our grandson N’s birthday party.  He’ll be at his Dad’s on his actual birthday so his mama (daughter A) is having his party this weekend.  And of course her mama will be there.  That’ll be fine; I can handle the Ex for 2 hours, especially since our other daughter K will be attending with us.  I refuse to do anything after that though.  We’ll make one stop on the way home to return something and look for a blow-up pillow.  Seriously, a blow-up pillow.  Not. A. Blow-up. Doll.  I need something I can use in the office for elevating my knee.  Really.

Then I’m going to hibernate the rest of the weekend, if I get my way!

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Taking inspiration from other bloggers I’ve read, I thought I’d share some of the messages I get in my WordPress spam folder.  I wish WP would let me use graphics in the title bar — I would have added musical symbols so you’d all immediately think of Monty Python’s classic.

You would have right?  It isn’t just me?

All that lead up and I only found 2 spam messages.  But hey, any excuse for Monty Python references! 😉

The first spam comment in the folder was in response to my Back in the Saddle post.  “silver account” sent this message:

“I have been seeing Wendy for about 1½ years now. When I started with her, I had several different issues going on. I had sinus surgery, and was experiencing a lot of complications, including migraines, facial pain, and chronic fatigue, and I now have a definite diagnosis of TMJ. Wendy has been fantastic. She has listened to me, when no other doctor would take the time to. She understands the pain I have been in and continues to go above and beyond helping me. Since starting, I have most of my energy restored, I sleep better at night, and we are continuing making progress with the TMJ. A few months ago, my husband, who had kidney cancer surgery last year, started seeing Hung-yuan. My husband also had mono and was diagnosed with diabetes. Hung-yuan has helped him tremendously. His energy is so much better and his blood sugar has been staying regulated with no medication. He has also helped him with his knee problem. We are both extremely pleased with both Hung-yuan and Wendy and would recommend them to all our friends and family. They are truly caring and dedicated to helping their clients.” ~P.R.

Based on the sender’s identifying information, “silver account” appears to be a dealer in silver and/or bullion.  The email address associated with the sender doesn’t match the initials “P.R.”  Plus?  Based on the context, P.R. is a woman but the email address is probably a man’s.  Hmm.  Is P.R. a cross-dressing poster?  Or perhaps she uses a man’s name in her email so she won’t miss out on all the viagra spam.     
Surprisingly, I understand the connection with my post.  The post addressed my return to work following surgery and my ongoing recovery.  So silver, sweet dear that she is, decided that I needed to know about her medical professionals.  Quite a recommendation I’d say.  Except there’s no contact information for the doctors (or whatever they’re supposed to be).  Nor is there any information about location.  If I wanted an appointment who would I call?  Would I need my passport?  And what exactly does silver have to do with it?  Does the medical practice only accept silver in payment?  (Shaking head) I think I’ll stick with Dr. W.
 The next poster was also silver related.  Identified as “silver price”, they talked about how I may love to massage now but that “almost anything can become miserable if you do it long enough.”  Massage = miserable?  I think they’re doing it wrong!
Since I began drafting this I found two additional spam messages (they procreate like bunnies, don’t they?).  One was from someone trying to “optimize” my SEO.  That’s all well and good, if I knew what my SEO was.  Will optimizing it hurt?  And what the heck is LSI?  The poster added this helpful info: “(Latent Semantic Indexing)”.  Ahhh, now I get it!  Not.  The other message was from someone with Hispanic ties.  They included a link which read “lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails“.  I kid you not, that’s exactly what it said.  The poster said he (the email address said “Carlos” so you know, he … probably) was really interested “on this subject” and that he was “gonna see your other posts, hope they are so good like this one.”  Wow!  How’s that for high praise?! 
There are four more spam in my inbox as I type this.  I thought about including them but I just can’t find the energy to care what they say, let alone translate and share it.  What a frickin’ waste of my time!  When I could be shopping online!


It’s raining…sigh.  I know I said I like fall, but the part I like?  The colorful, crunchy leaves; the crisp, fresh air; the vibrancy – they’re all clouded by the cold, gray rain (and no, I didn’t plan that pun but you’re welcome ;)). 

It’s a very thick rain too, if you know what I mean.  Sitting at my desk in the office I can look through the Visiting Attorney office across from me and see it falling outside those windows.  Besides being thick enough to see without really searching, it’s falling at a slant.  Those wind-driven torrents make umbrellas pointless.  If I’d remembered to bring my umbrella.  In my defense, it wasn’t raining when I left this morning. 

Rain though is better than the weekend weather we had.  Both Saturday and Sunday there were lengthy hailstorms.  We were at the park with the dogs on Saturday when the icy pellets bombarded us.  Thankfully we were able to take refuge under the picnic pavilion to wait it out.  When we returned home our entire front deck was adorned with the little white boogers!  Beware!  Do not attempt to use a crutch on a hail-covered surface!  No, thankfully I didn’t fall.  For once I was wise enough not to actually lean on the crutch so when the bottom of it skidded sideways there was no resulting injury!  Go me! 

Sunday we were still at home when the hail hit.  One wave of it swept in and pounded our house, making the bed of our pickup look almost lacy and laying down stripes along the windshield wipers on the same truck.  There was a brief respite and then another wave passed over, just as hard and loud as the first.  It’s starting to feel more like winter than fall.  I’m beginning to search for my hats and scarves.  And I found my gloves!  Only to discover they have holes and need replacing this year.  As do the leggings I use in place of longjohns. 

Friday afternoon we met with our youngest daughter K and her sweetheart (I) for an early dinner.  During the meal we brought each other up to date and discussed the television programs we all watch.  K was upset we hadn’t watched the premiere episode of The Walking Dead yet because that meant she couldn’t talk about it.  We recently turned her on to Once Upon a Time and she informed us she had gotten up to the 17th episode of the first season!  We’d only watched 11 of them so far.  In the midst of all the chatter Hubs said something sarcastic to I and we all laughed.  Then K said to I, “You wonder where I get it?”  More laughter and she continued, “I learned from the master!”  Another slight pause and she finished, “Sarcasm Sensei!”  And again with the laughter.  We always have so much fun with K; I think I may have mentioned before how glad I am she lives only 10 minutes away!

 I’ve come to the conclusion that I really MUST keep weekends for resting.  Especially since I’m only into my third week back at work – full time.  This past weekend was not particularly busy but it involved more walking and standing than I should have been doing and I’m feeling it today.  Unfortunately for my new resolution to rest, this Saturday is the youngest grandson’s 5th birthday party.  On the plus side, it’s in our town at the bouncy-party place in the Super Mall so it won’t mean a long drive.  And being a children’s party place, there should be adult seating I can take advantage of.  You won’t see me climbing around in the bouncy house!  It also means sharing air with and being pleasant to the Ex but I think we can manage that for an hour or two.  After the party though I’m out of there and I plan to stay close to home on Sunday.

We Don’t Need No Steenking Turkey!

If you’re a regular reader you may recall this post from last December where I described our family’s Thanksgiving HELL-I-DAY.  When the family started emailing recently about this Thanksgiving I anticipated having to copy that post for this year.  Hello?  We weren’t half way through October yet and they’re already planning this year’s torture!  I ignored all those emails for the time being.  If I ignore it, it will go away, right?  Right?!

But I found myself mentioning it to Hubs that night and breaking down in tears of frustration.  I REALLY don’t want to go this year.  I know it’s Mom’s first Thanksgiving without Dad.  I know the family loves us … they tell us so don’t they?  Why don’t I feel loved then?  They’ve generously included us on their wireless family plan haven’t they?  So we pay for only the minutes we use each month, not an entire plan.  If that isn’t love what is? 

I’ll tell you what it isn’t.  It isn’t treating your brother like a moron because he doesn’t agree with you politically, and has the audacity to say so out loud and repeatedly.  It is not making fun of something he likes (Dr. Who), calling it childish.  It isn’t being disrespectful of him in front of his children and grandchildren.  And it certainly isn’t love when you welcome to family gatherings your brother’s ex-wife.  The ex-wife who packed up everything of value in their home and left him while he was at work – with no explanation or warning.  The ex-wife who wrote ‘don’t try to find us’ after taking their twins away.  Who blocked his visitation whenever possible and kept his letters and gifts from reaching the children.  The ex-wife who apologized … TO HIS PARENTS, but not to him!  No, that is definitely NOT love. 

Of course we’re not supposed to get our feelings hurt.  We’re supposed to buck up and be nice to the Ex because we wouldn’t want to hurt the daughter’s feelings.  But I guess it’s okay for them to crap all over Hubs’ feelings.  I can’t help it if I don’t want to go through that again.  But if Hubs wants to go, I’ll be there beside him.  Maybe this year I’ll get just drunk enough to say something about how they treat him.  I think I stopped the Jello shots too soon last year.  Or maybe not.  Damn but I’m lousy at rocking the boat. 

But.  We may be rescued!  Hubs called his mom about something else the other day, and then moved on to the topic of the Thanksgiving plans and the likelihood that the Ex would be included.  He spent a long time venting to her about how tired he is of being expected to grin and bear it when she’s there.  Not to mention how everyone else treats him.  I was concerned he’d upset his mom; she’s been very fragile emotionally and I’d hate to make her sadder.  But he kept providing examples (she’s oblivious to most of it) and then explained that he wasn’t looking for her to “fix” anything.  He just wanted her to know what was on his mind if he decided not to show up at Thanksgiving – or really, ANY family thing where the Ex is involved.  Woo hoo!  (You can’t see me but I’m doing a Happy Dance!)  We don’t have to gooo!!  We don’t have to gooo! 

Phew!  Dodged that one!

Well, check back after Thanksgiving.  He did say “if” he decided not to go.  Sigh.

Don’t Judge Me

Last night’s physical therapy sucked wind.  At least I didn’t break down and sob this time, though Hubs thought he saw me wiping away tears.  Nope, just good old hard-earned sweat!  I was honestly surprised I could walk back out to the waiting area without my crutch when it was over.  I did use the counter a little for support.  There was a part of me that truly just wanted to give up.  Hell, what’s wrong with limping the rest of my life?  I’m sure I’ll be fine.

Cut to this morning, getting off the bus.  Crutch under one arm, umbrella in the other hand, trying to make sure I can step off safely before they close the back door in my face.  Oh hell no.  This is so not my future.  As if to further confirm that, as I prepared to cross the street I spied a woman sitting on the low wall in front of the drug store on the corner.  She was short and very round.  There was one of those wheeled walkers beside her and she was fumbling with a bag or backpack or something.  I didn’t spend a lot of time studying her but the quick glance was enough to make me pray silently, “I’m not judging her Lord, but please…I do not want to end up like that.”   And I truly believe I wasn’t judging.  (I’m tall and round after all; who am I to judge?)  The light changed and as I started my hobble across the street my heart went out to her, wondering what led to her immobility.  I did not presume that she was fat because she was lazy.  Having experienced the slow debilitation of an arthritic knee, I empathized and then prayed for her too, that she would find relief from whatever caused her to need the walker. 

One day I will be able to sit on the grass again without worrying about how I’ll get up.  I’m looking forward to being able to dance while doing housework as I used to.  I can’t wait to play hide and seek with my grandkids.  And go shopping with my daughter.  Life is good.  Physical therapy is making it better!

Back in the Saddle!

No, not really.  It’s a figure of speech people.  I can barely handle cleaning up after a single cat.  How in the heck would I manage following a horse around the office?  Especially on crutches!

This is Day 4 of my first week back after the doctor cut me open, sawed off the bad bone parts and slapped in the fancy new partial knee joint.  And doesn’t thatcreate quite the picture?  You’re welcome!  I was surprised at how good I felt at the end of Day 1.  I mean, not GOOD – but not exactly at death’s door.  I did end up taking 2 pain pills at bed time though and still slept lousy.  Day 2 wasn’t an improvement and by day 3 I was ready to pull my hair out.  But who wants to hear a fat bald lady crying? 

Today was better.  I remembered to do my exercises and I was able to ice the knee down twice.  Tonight I have physical therapy again.  It’ll be my first appointment since I started back to work so I’m interested to see how it goes.  And boy I can NOT wait for the GameReady!  That machine is incredible!  If it could have my coffee ready in the morning it would be perfect!  Just kidding.  I know there are programmable coffee makers and it would be just silly to make coffee with ice water.

I imagine you’re wondering what I was up to during my recovery.  If not you don’t have to read any further. 

See?  I TOLD you you wanted to know!  😉

For the first couple days or so I focused on the inside of my eyelids – pain meds will do that to you.  When I started to feel more human I read a LOT and my daughter K brought me a ginormous puzzle book which I started working my way through.  Post-op the doctor or maybe it was a nurse wrapped multiple ace bandages from above my knee to around my foot to hold the dressing in place.  It was very nearly like a cast — at first.  By the fourth or fifth day the bandages started stretching with the result they were separate where layered and the cotton dressing poked out.  Before much longer the bandages started to smell (I mean they reeked!) so I got on the phone and checked to make sure we could take it apart without my leg falling off. 

Hubs was great!  He bought out half of the first aid section at Walgreen’s and proceeded to strip away the old bandaging.  Then he cleaned the sutured area with Betadine, at least twice.  It could have been more but I don’t recall exactly.  Pain meds remember?  Then he covered the incision site with a layer of fresh gauze and wrapped it with this neat fabric tape that stuck to itself not my skin!  And THEN?  He pulled this net tubing over the whole shebang to keep it all together!  So organized and thorough – that’s my man.  I think I’ll keep him!

I just realized what time it is and I have to get ready to head for the train, but never fear — I’ll be back.