May 2018

May 2018

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hubby and I will be having our usual quiet New Year's Eve.  We already celebrated the end of the year with a steak dinner last Saturday, and live theatre yesterday.  We're now both ready to start eating more normally, which is much healthier than how we've been eating the last couple of weeks.

In fact, my diet has been a mess since I contracted that bacterial infection four weeks ago.  But, this morning, I took my last antibiotic pill and finally feel my normal, again.  It's time to get organized in the kitchen, making certain there are always plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I'm also mentally preparing myself for more daily exercise.  We leave for Paris in just 10 weeks and know, from our first trip there five years ago, that we'll want to do a lot of walking.  I'd been enjoying my neighborhood walks, but now it's too cold.  And today it's snowing.  I'm leaning toward becoming one of those mall walkers.  It's either that or walk in circles at the local health center.

Whatever I decide, I want to get hubby involved.  His new job is much less physical than what he was used to when we owned a pest control business.  Now that we have less stress and more freedom, I especially want to keep us as healthy as possible so we can fully enjoy our new lifestyle.

Those are just a few things on my "to-do" list for 2013.  But, top of the list, is a determination to not get sick, again, this winter season!

Happy New Year, friends.  And may 2013 be full of pleasant surprises for all of us.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

More Fun Than Wicked

For years I've wanted to see the musical Wicked.  So I was thrilled to get tickets for today's matinee at the St. Louis Fox Theatre as a Christmas present.

Although I wished I had remembered to bring binoculars, I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly three-hour show.  Every performer did a great job, but I was most impressed with the set design.  We had center seats and many times throughout the production I was struck by how well a scene was staged.

If you don't know the storyline, I won't spoil it for you.  I'll just say it was cleverer than I imagined and I'll never view The Wizard of Oz the same again!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Our New Fireplace

I thought I'd finally show you our new fireplace. The install took place while I was sick.  And, thankfully, it was quick and painless.

Before adding the electric insert, we hadn't used our fireplace in years.  It was inefficient and messy.  Since the install, we've used it everyday.  Not only do the artificial flames give life to a big black hole, the heater warms the family room approximately five degrees!

Converting our wood-burning fireplace to electric was definitely a good idea for us.  It was well worth the months of research.

(By the way, we didn't go with the more common gas insert because our home is all electric.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Howdy Doody Christmas

Howdy Doody
(Over 60 years old.)
As long as I can remember, my parents always hung a cardboard Howdy Doody on their Christmas tree.  I honestly don't know why, but of all their possessions, it was the only thing I wanted when dad asked. Unfortunately, however, dad had already given it to my brother, who had no idea how much I wanted it, too.

I guess Kevin felt badly about me not having Howdy Doody, also, so last night he surprised me with a special Christmas present.  He had found and purchased the exact same Howdy Doody on ebay!

It's been a long time since I received a completely unexpected Christmas gift.  Howdy Doody and my brother have made Christmas 2012 one to remember.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

In Training

As if the holidays weren't stressful enough, Jonah started potting training last Friday.  He's doing fantastic!  Nevertheless, as you can see from this photo, he's also finding it a bit exhausting.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy for Family

This afternoon I picked up my oldest grandson, Elliott, from school, so we could meet his Uncle Dan and Aunt Ann at the airport.  They flew in from Long Island, NY, to share Christmas with the family.

I'm so happy my son and daughter-in-law are joining us for Christmas, again.  Last year was the first time Daniel and Ann were able to be with us, having moved from South Korea to New York in October 2011.  Christmas is just so much better when the entire family can be together.

I will truly treasure the next four days.  And, thankfully, I'm beginning to feel much better.  I saw the doctor, again, this morning.  He decided I needed a stronger antibiotic as well as a prescription anti-inflammatory to tackle what's going on with my eustachian tube.  I've had one dose of each and finally feel it's possible I'll be completely over this awful bacterial infection in the near future. It's a Christmas miracle!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Test of Patience

I feel as if I'm moving in slow motion.  My energy level is not back to my normal and my ear is still blocked.  Although, yesterday, I had some crackling, so I'm a bit more hopeful now that my hearing will return eventually.

However, I suppose I still got a lot done today.  After my therapeutic massage, I hit the grocery store and mailed packages at the post office.  I then roasted chicken; baked and froze gingerbread cookies to decorate with the grandsons over the weekend; and started setting up the dining room for Christmas Eve dinner, which means I de-wrinkled the tablecloth and ironed the napkins.

That's probably a full day for a lot of people, but I'm used to being much more active.  This whole ordeal is certainly a test of my patience.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Let the Holiday Food Prep Begin!

I'm finally feeling better although my head still feels like it's stuffed with cotton.  I also still can't hear much out of my right ear, but it does seem like it's getting a tiny bit better each day.  Being me, however, I'm a little concerned about possible permanent ear damage.  The doctor never suggested such a thing, but I'll be extremely relieved when my hearing is back to my normal.

Cranberry Noels
My hubby has been great through my many days of mostly being in bed or on the couch.  Over the weekend, for example, he did a lot of holiday cleaning while I rested.

This afternoon, however, I finally was able to do some holiday food prep.  I made a batch of cookie dough, which is now in the freezer ready for baking as needed.  I prepared my favorite cookie, Martha Stewart's Cranberry Noels.  You can find the recipe at:

They're super simple to make, actually too simple.  It would be so easy to whip up a batch any time of the year.  But, so far, I've only indulged at Christmas.  Can hardly wait to bake them!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not The Flu

Last night my right ear started hurting and I couldn't hear out of it.  So this morning I camped out at the doctor's office so I could see someone as soon as possible.  I now have a severe ear infection, possibly the worse one the doctor has ever seen.  Between the infection and laryngitis, the doctor feels I never had the flu.  Instead, I had one heck of a bacterial infection.

And now I know how I got so sick.  Jonah had a bacterial infection two weeks ago.  He ran a high temperature and ended up with a double ear infection.  A few days later, Elliott got it.  And a few days after that, grandma went down.

Ironically, I'm the germaphobe of the family, always pushing the sanitizer.  But I guess no amount of sanitizer can shield a grandma who loves to give hugs and kisses.

Today I start on a 10-day antibiotic.  The doctor also prescribed an ear drop to numb the pain. Historically, within 24 hours of starting an antibiotic, I'm much better.  I'm hoping that's the case this time, because I'm also a grandma who loves to make Christmas special.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Flu Symptom

And now I have laryngitis.  I had no idea until hubby came home last night.  I tried to talk and nothing came out.  Literally nothing.

I've had laryngitis before, but never to this extend.  But it confirms my self-diagnosis of flu. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine,  "The most common form of laryngitis is an infection caused by a virus, such as cold or flu viruses."  Recommended treatment is resting the voice and taking decongestants and painkillers, which is all I'm doing today.

But beyond not being able to talk, I'm much better, just low energy and minor sore throat.  So I'm hopeful I'll be well enough by Thursday to watch my two-year-old grandson all day.  I just hope I have at least a little voice by then.  If not, for sure it'll be a challenging and interesting day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Flu Treatment and Prevention

This morning I woke up still not feeling well.  I'm definitely getting better, but not as quickly as I had hoped.  My main concern is not being able to watch my grandsons, which means my daughter has to solicit help.  Typically that means contacting several people before finding someone who's available to watch the boys.  She was able to cover Monday and Tuesday, so I really want to be better by Wednesday.

I called the doctor's office this morning.  Although it would have been better to start within 48 hours, the doctor prescribed Tamiflu.  He also prescribed it for hubby in the hopes Jim will not get the flu, too.  At least not this time.

The nurse told me they're currently seeing a lot of flu cases, which is alarming since the season just began.  I suppose we have to be grateful for flu shots.  Just imagine the epidemic that would occur with no prevention!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Self-Diagnosis – Flu

It started yesterday afternoon.  By late last night, I was miserable.  I honestly don't remember the last time I felt so bad.  My entire body ached; I was chilled; and I had a horrific headache and sore throat.  I believe I have the flu.

Hubby talked to the pharmacist this morning, brought home some medicine, and I'm feeling much better.  My body no longer aches, the headache is finally gone, and my throat is only slightly sore. Now I'm mostly just extremely tired and have been sleeping most of the day.

I have no idea where this came from.  The grandsons were sick last week, but it was sinus and eye infections.  I read people are contagious for one day before flu symptoms hit and up to five days later.  Needless to say, I'll be housebound for a few more days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The "Why" Phase

Sometime within the last couple of weeks, Jonah entered the "why" phase.  No matter what a person says, his response is "why?"  It's enough to drive a person crazy!  It reminds me of mom in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease when she would ask the same question over, and over, and over. . .  During that phase, I also just wanted to scream.

By late last Tuesday afternoon, I simply told Jonah, "I'm not playing the 'why' game anymore." His response, surprisingly, was not "why?"  Instead he said, "I think you should play the 'why' game, grandma.  It's a lot of fun."  Just another example of Jonah going through a typical toddler phase yet adding his own above-average touch :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Food For Thought

Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day.  You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Paris, Here We Come!

Last night I finally booked our second trip to Paris for March 2013. Our first visit to the City of Light was in February 2008 in celebration of our 35 wedding anniversary.  We were there six nights.  For our second visit, we're staying nine nights, so should be able to take a slower pace.

Ideally, the weather will be a little warmer and we can enjoy long breaks at the sidewalk cafes or in the city's many parks.  But, with a longer stay, we also want to take a few day trips.  We definitely want to see Versailles.  And I'm researching Normandy and Mont Saint-Michel.

Most of all, however, we're looking forward to spending time with our nephew who's been studying in Paris since June 2012.  And I'm thinking his ability to speak French will be helpful, especially at the outdoor markets.

Paris is a beautiful city and I'm feeling very lucky to be able to visit her, again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Check and Check

Today I finally did holiday prep that didn't include decorating a tree.  I finished decorating the dining room and front porch, and wrapped all the presents I've bought so far.  We're scaling back on the gift giving this year, but there's still a lot of wrapping to do with eight people in our immediate family.

Every year, my goal is to finish all the gift buying by Thanksgiving.  That didn't happen this year, but I'm close.  In fact, if I'm happy with the online orders I placed this week when they arrive, I'll be done.

I'm now "itchin'" to do holiday paper-crafting.  I have several projects in mind and am eager to get started.  But first I need to finish cleaning up the hobby room.  Getting all the Christmas gifts out and wrapped was a good start.

I'm feeling extremely accomplished this afternoon.  I just love checking items off a "To-Do" list!