Friday, February 22, 2008

More Winter Weather

We've had more sleet and freezing rain. They cancelled school yesterday, but it is in session today. However, Lexi is not there. She's been barking like a seal for a few days and it's gotten worse, so Alyssa is taking her to the doctor. Alyssa just called; the doctor said it's the beginnings of bronchitis. He prescribed an antibiotic and a cough syrup - just what Alyssa and I expected. He also gave a school excuse for today and said she can go back on Monday.

My pine trees are covered with ice and the branches are drooping. They were like that from the last ice storm and bounced back, so I guess they will this time, too. They're fairly young trees, so they shouldn't be brittle.

The lilac bush is also completely coated with ice. It looks pretty, but I hope it doesn't damage the tree. I love lilacs. They were the first flowers both Alyssa and I ever saw or smelled (do newborns see and smell much?) There was a lilac bush beside the house I was born in. It was blooming in mid-May the year I was born (Mother said that was a bit early for west-central Minnesota). My sister, who was almost two and a half, picked some and took them in to Mother. Forty-four years later, my lilacs in southwest New Jersey were blooming in mid-April when Alyssa was born, so I picked some and took them to my daughter in the hospital.

There are icicles along the back porch roof, and melt-off from the roof is dripping onto the fence and freezing on it. I wasn't able to get a very good picture; it would be much better if the sun were shining.


When Lexi got off the school bus on Monday, she was holding this certificate. It says, "For Learning the School Bus Safety Rules and Being a Good School Bus Passenger." She said she's always very good on the bus, but some of the other kids are not. I wish she was always very good at home, too, but I guess my friend Ardelle had the right idea. She told her boys (five of them) that if they had to act out, they should do it at home.


I've been transporting Bob to physical therapy Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the last two weeks. Monday he goes back to the doctor at 8:15 and then to therapy at 10:15. More knitting time for me. I sit in the waiting room and knit while Bob is with the therapist, and several people have asked what I'm working on. On Monday this week one of the women said that she also does a lot of knitting. On Wednesday, I told her about the group that knits at the Art Guild on Tuesdays (I was the only one who showed up this week - one regular is away for the winter, one just went back to school, one had foot surgery about two weeks ago, one has been having trouble with her shoulder, one doesn't go out in cold weather . . . ). Just before she was called back by the therapist, I learned that she's the mother of two young women I used to go to church with. This morning I asked her how they are doing. I hope she shows up at the Art Guild on Tuesday - these five-minute conversations just aren't long enough.

Next week I'll be taking the steroid again for four days. At least now I only need to take half as much as I had been; maybe the side effects won't be as bad. Then on Thursday I'll see the oncologist.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day

I've let a whole week go by again since I posted. We've had a lot of sleet and freezing rain. Lexi's school let out early on Monday and Tuesday and cancelled classes on Wednesday. However, Thursday was a nice day, so the Valentine's Day party went on as scheduled. Lexi came home with her box filled to overflowing. Valentines sure have changed since I was in school - even since my kids were in school!

Yesterday after church, I killed an hour and a half with a little shopping and lunch, and then went to the yarn shop to knit. There were eight or nine of us who knitted, talked and looked at yarn. It's always nice to get together with other knitters. The Yarn Harlot is going to be in Nashville in April. I put my name on the list to go to that. We'll meet at the yarn shop and carpool down.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Yesterday Lexi was decorating a shoebox to take to school on Thursday for her classmates to put her valentines in. She wanted to stick some toothpicks through the top of it and was surprised that she couldn't just stick them through. I was bemoaning the fact that I don't have an ice pick, when I thought, "Dummy, you've got at least a hundred knitting neeedles, many of which are metal and as small as toothpicks." A 2 mm one worked perfectly!

Friday, February 8, 2008

More weather stuff

I've just spent about an hour outside. It's a nice day so far. The temperature is in the mid-forties and the sun is showing sporadically. I took the paper trash out to burn and then walked around picking up some of the twigs that were blown down the other night. I think Lexi and I will have to walk around with the wheel barrow and do more of that. I discovered that a couple of large limbs fell from the locust trees at the back of my lot and landed beside the water tower. I wonder if Mr. Guhy of the water department will get them moved or if he'll expect me to since they're from my trees.

Walking down the driveway this morning to meet the school bus, I noticed that the daffodil foliage on the south-facing bank is up about two inches - spring is on its way! I wasn't able to do much gardening last year, but should be able to this year. I hope to teach Alexis to identify some plants, and get her started as a gardener.

There's a flood warning for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in this area. I'm at least 15 miles from the rivers, so it doesn't really affect me - I wasn't planning to go near the rivers anyway. Alyssa is working in Cairo IL today, though, so it could affect her. However, they've raised the main roads which she will be using in recent years, so she should be OK, but I'm sure she'll see a lot of flooded fields.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We had a windy night

You expect to see things like this after a bit of wind - plastic buckets and watering cans, a plastic child's table (the table is plastic, not the child) which landed about thirty feet from where it had been and its legs fell off. The trash cans were blown around - yesterday was trash day, so they were empty. But I didn't expect to see a large wooden cabinet/wordrobe blown away from the back porch wall and lying on its face.

And this was the view from my front porch. This picture is too dark to see much. It looks better/worse from the other side and an hour or so later in the day. The tree was too close to the house in my opinion. I'd always wondered why someone had planted it there. It was twenty to twenty-five feet tall and only about ten feet from the corner of the front porch.

I knew it was raining when I went to bed Tuesday night, but the wind did not wake me during the night. The rain was heavy enough to rearrange the ruts in the driveway. The next driveway over was blocked by limbs that fell from a couple of dying trees beside it. That is being cleaned up now. I wonder if the trees will be cut down. They're very tall, so will probably require professional tree service. I think I'll just let my tree lie there for the rest of the winter and dry out. Then I'll gradually cut it up and burn it in my burn barrel. I'll have a fairly large hole to fill in; Lexi told me she can help with that. I do have some dirt in the back yard that I want to move, so we'll use that to fill in the hole. A couple of years ago I bought a short-handled spade - the kind meant to be carried in the trunk of the car to dig oneself out of a snowbank. It's Lexi-size.


I started this post yesterday, but a momentary power failure cut the computer off, and I decided not to turn it back on. There were several of those little power failures during the day. Today is gray, but the wind has died.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Winter weather

Yesterday, Alexis was with me all day. School was called off because of weather. There wasn't much snow, but our roads are narrow, and nothing is done to clear them. Alexis made a snow head - the container is from a package of Camembert cheese, which gives you an idea of how small this thing is. I guess school was off today, as well. Lexi wasn't here, so it didn't really affect me. Last I heard this morning, Carlisle County was starting two hours late, but I didn't see or hear the bus at that time, nor did I see or hear it this afternoon. Therefore, I assume they changed their minds and gave the kids a four-day weekend.

When Lexi came in from playing yesterday, she wanted some hot chocolate. The picture is a bit blurry, but you can see that she got sort of carried away with the mini-marshmallows. I think she said that was one handful, but her hands are getting pretty big.

This is her weekend with her dad, so I won't see her until Sunday night. I've had to set aside the cape I'm knitting for her until I can ask her a couple of questions. I was working on the border on the bottom, which is worked sideways, and ran out of the variegated yarn about halfway across. I assume she will want me to rip back and make the border all the same. Now the question is, does she want it pale pink or a brighter pink. I've worked a couple inches of the border is each color, so she can see how it looks both ways and make an informed decision. In the meantime, I'm working on fashion doll clothes from left-over sock yarn. I think I'll take them to the Mayfield Art Guild gift shop to sell. I'll have to visit the toy department at WalMart to figure out how much to charge. I never go into the toy department; I've always thought books are much better gifts for children.

I got a bunch of books last Saturday. The Paducah library had their annual book sale on Friday and Saturday. The advertised prices were $.50 for paperbacks and $1 for hard backs. However, they had so many books left on Saturday that went I walked in, they gave me a large grocery bag with handles and told me that I could fill it and would only be charged $2. I got six children's books and sixteen adult books. That should keep me in reading material for a while. I could have gotten a few more books in the bag, but I got tired of looking.


Wednesday was my oncologist visit. The first thing Dr Balbastro said when she walked into the examining room was that new studies show that half the Dexamethasone (steroid) that I have been taking is actually more effective than the larger dose. So I only took five little blue pills yesterday and today instead of ten. No difference in side effects this month, but maybe there will be next month. The ratio of Kappa and Lambda light chains is stable, so no other change in treatment plan.

When I got to the drug store, a problem arose. The insurance company balked at paying for the Thalidomide. We think it is because this is the first time this year. The drug store said they would call the doctor's office and that office would have to deal with the insurance company to get the required 'prior authorization.' I haven't heard from either the doctor's office or the drug store yet, but since I have several day's worth of the medicine on hand, I'm not concerned about it yet. Since that is the expensive medicine (over $5,000 per month), I sure can't pay for it myself. Everything else I take is cheap.