Friday, January 31, 2014

The Last Hurdle

Today we had the final step before Mr. Fixit’s surgery Tuesday. It seems like every day we’ve been at one medical facility or the other. He just wants it to be over. In a few weeks he will have a biopsy on his lung tissue. They decided not to do it at the same time as the removal. That won’t require a hospital stay.

It’s still cold here although the temps are supposed to be warmer tomorrow.

My insomnia has been worse than usual lately. Last night I loaded my MP3 player with some old radio shows. I turned it on, went to sleep immediately, and slept from 12:30 am to 7:30 am. I woke up only once and listened to a half hour show and went back to sleep. I felt so much better this morning. I’m going to start putting that those earphones on every night. It’s better than a sleeping pill for me.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Keeping Warm

We’re not—keeping warm, that is. There was about a 1/2 inch of snow yesterday. Of course, everything is closed today. The interstate roads seem to be dry and ice-free, but the secondary roads are a mess. I called to reschedule Mr. Fixit’s appointment today. I was surprised that the office was open. Most medical facilities were closed.

The temperatures are still low for this area. I haven’t been really warm in days. The only time I get warm is in bed, cocooned in several quilts and a blanket or two. It’s so cold, the heat pump is not pumping any heat. It feels as if the cold has seeped into the bone and has decided to stay for a while.

There is warmth on the horizon. The temps are predicted to be in the high 50’s in a couple of days. I never thought I’d say this, but I can hardly wait. For the first time in my life, the little bit of cold weather has been difficult for me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Step Closer

Today we had a visit with the cardiologist so he could sign off on Mr. Fixit’s upcoming surgery. We didn’t know about it until yesterday afternoon. Mr. Fixit has been under anesthesia several times since he has been under the care of the cardio guy, but none of the other doctors have asked for an okay before surgery. The heart doctor said he’s in good shape and there shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s snowing here today. This is the first time in a couple of years I think. I hope it quits soon because we have the pre-screening for his surgery. It’s thirty miles away. Needless to say, we don’t have snow tires.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Step 5

Mr.  Fixit had his appointment today with the lung guy—a very nice young man. I feel better now after speaking with him. He gave me a little hope.

He thinks it may be possible to perform both kidney removal and a bronchoscopy to do a biopsy on the lung tissue at the same time. He’s having another doctor look at Mr. Fixit’s scans, and we should know something by next Wednesday. If necessary, they can take some tissue through the chest.

He said that Mr. Fixit is a good, strong candidate for the coming procedures.

As I said, I know the odds, but at least now I have hope for a better outcome than I had before.

There was another little snafu though with this appointment. It shakes my confidence in the medical profession. This one had nothing to do with the physicians, but with their staffs again.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries

“Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries,” a Canadian/Australian production, has become one of my favorites. I found it on Netflix. It takes place in the 1920’s in Melbourne. Miss Fisher, played by Essie Davis, is a private detective and a totally liberated woman who is not beyond having numerous paramours. Her foil is DI Jack Robinson who tries to deter her detective activities. He is annoyed when she is detecting, but there is a definite spark of attraction.

While the plots are not the best, I am taken by the time period, the costuming, and the quality of the production. It has the ambience of the “Roaring Twenties” here in the US with the jazz background music.

The time is after WWI but before the Depression, and I suspect it  must have been a nice time to live.

And her hats. . .I love her hats. For me, the hats alone make it worth watching. 

“Miss Fisher. . .” is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s “Partners in Crime” (Tommy and Tuppence Beresford) series. Francesca Annis was a delight as Tuppence in the series. (Her hats weren’t too shabby either.)

While this series may not become classic television, it is a bit of fun.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Culinary Disaster

Every evening the cat has chicken which I cook just for him. It started when one of them had an infection in his mouth and he didn’t want to eat. Since then, it has become a bedtime ritual.

To prepare the chicken, I cook it in a microwave rice pot that can be used as a steamer also. I cover the chicken with water, fasten the lid on the pot, and check to see if the steam vents are open. I cook the meat in two stages just to be sure that the water doesn’t evaporate completely. (I used the broth to make chicken stock for soups and anything else that I cook that requires it.) I then chop the meat in a food processor to make it easier for him to chew. I’ve done this hundreds of times.

I put the chicken on to cook as usual. It cooked for ten minutes, and I checked the water level and returned it for the last few minutes of cooking. I left the kitchen for about five minutes. As I was coming down the steps to return to the kitchen, I heard a big noise. I knew right away it came from the microwave.

I open the door. The fastened lid had blown completely off the pot, and there was broth standing in the oven. It also dripped on the stove top. There had been two skinless, boneless thighs in the pot. One was blown to smithereens. There were chicken bits adhering to every wall of the oven. One thigh was unaffected, whole in the pot which was still standing upright.

I have no idea what happened. It was a terrible mess to clean up, and Mr. Fixit and I had to forego the chicken vegetable soup I had planned for our dinner.

I’m a bit hesitant to try it again. I wonder if the cat would like grilled chicken. It might be safer. George Foreman grills don’t explode, do they?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Anniversary (Almost)

This morning I was at the upstairs computer reading the news when Mr. Fixit came rushing into the room and planted a big kiss on me. He said, “Happy Anniversary!”

My first thought was, “Darn, I forgot it again.” (Almost every year I forget. Well, actually I don’t forget, I just never know the day’s date.)

He said, “You forgot again.”

“I’m sorry. I had no clue.”

Then it dawned on me. “Wait just a darned second. This is January 19; our anniversary is February 19. You messed up this time—not me!”

A few years ago I said to him, “Do you remember what happens in two weeks?”

He said, “You forget every year.”

“I never forget,” I protested. “I remember every year.”

“You do not!”

“Wait, I think we may be talking about different things. What are you talking about?”

He said, “Our anniversary. What are you talking about?”

“Oh, I was talking about the first NASCAR race of the season.”

If he ever brings that up again, I have this year’s story to tell about his anniversary faux pas. (Teehee)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Step 4 ?

When Mr. Fixit had his first heart cath and a stint put in place, the surgeon left us sitting in the surgery waiting room for more than two hours waiting for word. It was supposed to be a 45 minutes procedure. Of course, I was beside myself, imagining the worst. It turned out that the surgeon had an emergency and everyone in the operating theater “forgot” to tell us that Mr. Fixit was okay and had been transported to his room.

That same cardiologist left him on a heart medicine for more than three years when one year was the medical standard at the time.

When Mr. Fixit had another heart episode, the cardio nut decided to do another heart cath. He “forgot” that Mr. Fixit was in the hospital waiting for surgery. That meant he had extra days in the hospital.

This cardiologist was a network provider. We found another network doctor in a town farther away and associated with a different hospital system. The relationship with the first cardiologist was severed.

After Mr. Fixit saw the kidney oncologist, we received a call from a physical therapist setting up an appointment to teach us about some unfortunate issues that could be a consequence of his upcoming surgery.

We kept that appointment today. It appears that the appointment was made by mistake. The therapist thought Mr. Fixit had prostate cancer. When we told her that it was indeed kidney cancer (still not specifically diagnosed as “cancer” at this point), she said that she didn’t think that there would be the same side effects to the kidney surgery as there is with prostate cancer. She called the doctor to check to see what exactly what she was supposed to do, but he couldn’t be reached. We left.

We stopped to have one of his prescriptions renewed at the kidney doctor’s office. When we picked it up at the pharmacy, the dosage of the medication was different than the first prescription he had been given.

We are so confused. We really don’t need this crap right now.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Conundrum

Last January I wrote a silly little post about having a cold. The title is “I’m Sick! Sniff, Sniff, Cough, Cough.” That post gets a hit several times a week. The hits originate mostly in Europe. I wonder what the search words are that would send them to that particular post. Hmm…

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Christmas Gift

Although I received some very nice gifts, this is the most unusual. If fact, if my DIL, who bought it, hadn’t told me in advance, I’m not sure I would have known its use. It made of stainless steel—very sturdy.

tea thing 10-8-14 001

Right side up and folded

tea thing 10-8-14 002

Upside down and folded

tea thing 10-8-14 003

Unfolded, right side away from camera

To use:

tea thing 10-8-14 005

Step 1, place used tea bag onto the slotted side

tea thing 10-8-14 006

Step 2, squeeze over tea cup

tea thing 10-8-14 007

Step 3, fold item, place tea bag in the scooped out section. (I never know what to do with the bag when I’m in public. It looks tacky on the saucer if I put it there.)

She said she found it at a shop that was going out of business. She paid the princely sum of $.25. It’s one the most unusual gifts I have ever received. I love it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Step 3

The visit to the kidney oncologist didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it could have been worse. There has been spread to the lungs. The “spots,” which haven’t proved yet to be malignant (they are simply assumed to be at this point), should be treatable with oral medication instead of chemo.

We have to see another oncologist to deal with the lung problem before the kidney is removed. The kidney guy is trying to move the date for surgery up, but they may not be able to do that. We still have to see the new doctor and go through some pre-assessment tests.

Mr. Fixit is handling it pretty well. Of course, he is nervous and scared as any of us would be. He says he needs to keep busy so I have been trying to come up with some projects for him to do. I am so thankful that he is feeling quite well; the only discomfort he has is from the stent and the kidney stone that is still in situ, and that discomfort is intermittent.

I told him today that we have to live our days one by one and try to live as normally as possible. I am so afraid that I won’t know how to provide the support and comfort that he needs. There are no words that seem sufficient.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Today is the day. I'm keeping good thoughts.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bit of Silliness

My son sent me the following link with instructions to read the questions and the reviews. It amazing to think that 5000 people continued the train of thought. And they are so funny!

CAUTION:  I haven't read all the comments so there may be some that may be deemed offensive.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Br-r-r-r! The Sequel

We made it through the night without frostbite nipping at our noses and with water flowing through our unfrozen pipes.

When I woke up at 5:30 am, the outside temp was about 7 degrees. I went back to bed; the indoor temp was 60 degrees. These heat pump units just don’t work very well in very cold weather. When I managed to crawl out of a very warm bed at 7:30 am, the outside temp had dropped to 2 degrees above and the indoor temp was down to 58.

While I am a bit uncomfortable, we are so much luckier than thousands of other people. We have no snow or ice; the sun is shining. I know how miserable it is with no heat, snow up to you tush, and no electricity. When Jason was 2 1/2 years old, a blizzard hit Connecticut, and we were without warmth and electricity for more than five days. The high temps went only to the mid teens in the daytime, falling to below zero at night. The governor shut down the whole state; no traffic except for emergency vehicles. If I could have, I would have taken the boys and headed home to Mother in Kentucky. That was the only time that thought ever crossed my mind. We lived through it, but it wasn’t fun. This “polar vortex” is making me testy.


Step 2 was completed yesterday. Next step Thursday for the hardest part, the results.

Monday, January 6, 2014


The weather guy is forecasting lows tonight in the low teens and a windchill factor in the negative numbers. I know there is extremely cold weather tonight in many states, but this is South Carolina where 31 degrees is considered frigid. I don't think I've ever seen it this cold here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Second Step

Tomorrow Mr. Fixit goes for some scans in advance of his surgery which has been moved to Feb. 4. We have to wait until the 9th to get the results. It's very worrying.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Matter of Perspective

Since the grandchildren are getting older, we have stopped “shopping” for their Christmas gifts. We give cash. It’s easy; we are sure no one will return it (with cash, one size fits all, as it were), and everyone knows that they all get exactly the same thing. It does take away my Christmas spirit a bit.

This morning I received a “thank you” email from Noah with pictures of the new sneakers he and Owen bought with their money.

Once again reality smacked me in the face. They used their money for clothes. They probably went to the sneaker emporium at the mall or their favorite sporting goods store. They didn’t go to Toys R Us for the newest Lego sets or even the latest video games. They bought shoes, for heaven sakes!

They are growing up. It makes me sad somehow. Time seems to be passing way too fast for me. At their ages, I’m sure they all think that time drags and they will never grow up.

If they only knew. . .

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Even though things have been grim around the Fixit household lately, there have been a few things that made the laugh. And, believe me, I needed something diverting.

dogs elf

It’s seldom that I find anything funny in comments on the internet. The comment sections are usually dominated by bigots and blood-thirsty individuals who believe that misdemeanors should be punishable by death. I found a comment what was clever and funny, and, yes, I actually laughed.
I was restless; I couldn’t read, I didn’t want to watch tv, I tried to nap but sleep wouldn’t come. I opened my home page and saw a recipe for baked french toast. I clicked and read the recipe. One ingredient called for was coarse salt.

The comment: “I only have polite salt. Will this still work?” I had to think about it for a second or two.

I think it’s hilarious! But, then again, maybe I’m just a little close to the edge right now.

(Click to enlarge for detail.)