Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unsolicited Product Assessment

(All too often I have complained about the quality of the goods I purchase. This time I found a product that works well for me.)

Ours sons and one grandson came over to replace the kitchen floor which was so bad it was embarrassing. I had requested linoleum because I am so messy in the kitchen. I spill, drip, and scatter no matter how hard I try to be neat while cooking.

Jason and his wife have hardwood floors in their kitchen. They have had to replace sections several times when the icemaker or dishwasher leaked. I decided my being messy and having an icemaker and dishwasher, linoleum was the only viable floor covering for me.

The linoleum I picked looks like wood and is textured. In fact, the texture makes it hard to use a broom. You can only sweep with the grain, and then it’s hard to sweep up all the  dust, crumbs and the pine needles Mr. Fixit tracks in from outdoors. I decided to try an electric broom.

(The floor is actually evened toned; the flash distorts the color.)

Off to Wal-Mart! I chose a Eureka! lightweight vacuum cleaner. I think the model name is Quick-Up. It weighs only a couple of pounds. The head is as wide as the steps making it easy to vacuum the stairs. (I hate trying to vacuum the stairs!) It has the rotating brushes in the head to clean carpets, but it doesn’t do a great job; however, I didn’t buy it to use on the carpeting.

In short, it was cheap, it’s lightweight, and it does a good job on the linoleum in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom and the porcelain tile in the upstairs bathroom.
Of course, I don’t know about its reliability since I’ve only had it a few days. If it breaks down any time soon, you can bet I will be complaining about it, retracting every nice thing I’ve said.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mr. Fixit had another appointment with the medical oncologist Friday concerning the plan for the lung problem. We're waiting for an appointment to have the scan and the biopsy to determine the course of action. At least we hope that will happen. If there is a problem, then he must see a thoracic surgeon. The doctor seems to think that even if the spots are malignant, they will be treatable with oral medication.

It seems like spring is just around the corner. I saw one little crocus in the yard, but the prediction is for low temps next week in the 20's. It's been very nice for the last few days.

Owen had a dance competition this weekend. Mr. Fixit felt better so we went. His class won the top prize in both hip-hop and and the production number competitions. Owen did great as usual.

There was one act from another school that featured the kids' dads. These guys were average Joe's ranging in age from what seemed to be mid 20's to early 40's. These 15 guys danced their hearts out. There was one who was a little older with a bit of a tummy hanging over his belt, but he put his all into it. One guy even did a little break dancing. It was great that these dads are willing to work so hard for their daughters.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kidney Follow-up

Mr. Fixit had his post-op appointment with the kidney surgeon yesterday. He said Mr. Fixit was progressing well.

When he told us on the first visit that 93% of kidney tumors were malignant, I was hoping that Mr. Fixit would be one of the 7%. Someone has to be in that 7%, right? Why couldn’t it be him? It was not to be. Not only was it bigger than we had thought, it was cancer.

At least, it’s gone and they saw no indication that it had spread into other parts of the abdomen.

We still have to see about the lungs. We have an appointment with that doctor this coming Friday.

I think Mr. Fixit is handling it as well as anyone could. When he was in pain, he was depressed, but that is to be expected. It’s difficult to put on a happy face when you are hurting and facing the unknown.

We have been going out a little. I think that helps him, too. At least the weather is co-operating. It was in the 70’s today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Since Mr. Fixit’s health problems, I haven’t really had time to think about the cats. I’ve had three put down in a relatively short time. For the first time in about 40 years, we have no pets.

I don’t miss the shed cat hair. I don’t miss the smelly canned food. I don’t miss having the back door open in all kinds of weather so they were able to come and go at will. I don’t miss the huge cat food bills. I don’t miss cooking chicken for them every two days.

I do miss the head bumps. I miss the white cat twining around my ankles and rubbing his face on my shoe laces. He acted hurt when I wore shoes without laces. I miss his uncanny ability to know when we were eating and to know it was 6:00 pm (his dinner time). He even adjusted to daylight saving time. I miss Little Girl sitting in front of the computer and chasing the cursor. I miss her curling up in bed with me at night.

If I had two wishes, I would wish for Mr. Fixit to be well with no pain and to have my cats back. (Shades of Pet Sematary!)

No , I don’t want a new cat. I will never have another pet. I’m too old; they might outlive me and then what would happen to them. It would also hurt too much if I did outlive them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Worst Is Yet to Come. . .

or so they say. The forecast for tonight and tomorrow is for 6 to 9 inches of snow. That's a huge amount for South Carolina. I hope it melts before Thursday. Mr. Fixit has an appointment with the oncologist on that day.

There was about a half inch when I got up this morning, but since the temperature was above freezing, it wasn't bad at all.

Monday, February 10, 2014


The weather forecasters are predicting a big storm for us beginning tonight. At first, they were saying it would be an ice storm. They are the worst! Now the predictions are for several inches of snow with only a bit of icing.

Cole, our oldest grandson, brought us some kerosene to use if we lose our electricity. We have plenty of milk, bread, and bathroom tissue. We are set for a major winter event.

Their definition of a major winter event may be a little different than mine, but I must admit, I am tired of being cold all day. I would like it to warm up enough for the indoor temp to rise above 68 degrees. I've become a weather wimp in my old age.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Mr. Fixit came home from the hospital yesterday. He doing very well although he is still having some pain issues. We had to stay an extra day because of it. He could have been released the day after surgery but for the extreme discomfort he was suffering. The recovery time is very short when undergoing robotic surgery.
He’s been in bed most of the day, but he is able to get up and down the steps to sit in the living room for short periods and to eat in the kitchen.
It was very tiring, and hospitals must be one of the most inefficient institutions on God’s green earth. More to come on that little problem.
Now we have to wait a few weeks until he can have the lung biopsy done. But one step at the time—he made the first one quite well.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What a Day!

Today is the day before Mr. Fixit’s surgery. He is on clear liquids only and nothing red or purple. He was instructed to to drink 8 oz. of water hourly. He food today has included bouillion, popsicles, jello, and water. He’s taking it better than I thought he would.

This morning the cat came through the cat door (he usually pats on it and waits for me to open the door for him) and plopped down on the floor. He could hardly breathe. There was a distinct whistle when he exhaled, and he couldn’t seem to get any air. We took him to the vet as soon I could get ready. He said that it sounded like a heart problem from the symptoms and what he heard when he listened to his heart. I made the decision to have him put down.

He was the last one.

Then we had to come home and get ready for Owen’s talent show dress rehearsal. Jason had explained that we would miss it on Tuesday, and they said we could attend today.

All the children were terrific as usual. The little ones are my favorites, they are all so poised on the stage. All the singers really belted it out.

Owen was the last one on stage. He did a hip-hop dance that was fantastic. I sat in that auditorium and cried. His talent takes my breath away.

My emotions are running close to the surface these days. I’ve been trying to hold it together so Mr. Fixit won’t see how afraid for him I am, but I sort of lost it. I cried all the way home behind my sunglasses. I walked into the kitchen and headed for the back door to check on the cat. It was automatic, but unnecessary. I lost it again.

After tomorrow, if everything goes okay, there is only one more hurdle facing us—the lung biopsy. We don’t have the timetable on that one yet. I have to pull myself together for Mr. Fixit. I’m trying hard.