Thursday, March 27, 2014

Problem Solved

Mr. Fixit and I usually have completely different breakfasts. I make his first and then mine. Often I miscalculate and fix my cup of tea too early leading to a lukewarm cup with my breakfast.

A few days ago it happened again. After muttering and grumbling, I put the cup of water with the teabag still inside into the microwave for a minute. Out came a steaming cup. And this was TEA! This was a cup of tea that a burley Maine lobsterman would have on his boat on a cold morning. This was not the cup of tea that my grandmother would daintily sip with her pinkie extended.

Now my SOP is to boil the water in the kettle and then nuke it for a minute or so.
There is a drawback. When the tea comes to a boil again, it splashes all over the oven (much like the exploding chicken I experienced not long ago). And it leaves stains unless I wipe it up immediately.  I don’t always get to it immediately. As you can see in the photo (I cleaned part of it with a Mr. Clean sponge thingy for contrast), it leaves quite a mess. 

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I explained my problem to Mr. Fixit. I told him I need something to cover the cup but allow the steam to escape without blowing off.

This is his solution. I gave him a disposable food storage container that completely covered the cup with clearance between the cup and the upside down container. He them pulled out his handy-dandy Craftsman battery operated drill and made several holes to allow the steam to escape.

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No more mess and no more lukewarm tea!

I’ve always said, give the man $10,000 worth of Craftsman tools and a roll of duct tape and he can fix anything.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A New Blog

I have decided to start a new blog that deals with Mr. Fixit's health situation. It will serve as a way to keep track of what's happening, and  I hope to be able to offer suggestions just in case there is some one in our situation. I've made some mistakes and it may be helpful for someone to know what I know now in hindsight. I want to tell is happening honestly to give just an inkling of what can be expected.

For instance: Don't expect people to keep their word when they tell you they will call you back at a certain time.

The new blog address is

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Good News!

We received word today that we have been accepted for a program that will pay for Mr. Fixit's very, very expensive medicine. It’s been so hard waiting for an answer. He received enough for a week last Friday, but he couldn’t begin the regimen until we received definite word that the application had been accepted.

We will received the first month’s supply tomorrow, and he will begin the medicine tomorrow morning. I hope the doctor is right and he has few symptoms. The doctor said that he may experience from shortness of breath because of fluid build-up in the lungs, swelling in his feet, and a rash. The literature, of course, described all the possible side effects that come with regular chemotherapy, including nausea, hair loss, jaundice, etc., etc.
I am so grateful to Walgreens who assisted us.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Those Eyes!

Camping 3-8-14 017


My only blue-eyed grandchild. The blue eyes are possibly my family’s contribution.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

You Learn Something New Everyday

Cape Cod Times Crossword Puzzle, 3/20/14

Clue 3 Down: Question mark/exclamation combo

I had no clue (pun intended). I had to work it out.

Answer: Interrobang

Huh? A completely new word for me.

My dictionary explains: “punctuation indicating emphatic disbelief: a punctuation mark in the form of a question mark over the top of an exclamation point.”

I want one of those! I would use it all the time. I can’t figure out how to make it on the keyboard. Darn! My project for the day.

Credit: Crossword, “Low Places” by David Cromer, edited by Stanley Newman

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Since I wasn’t sure how to post the video of Owen’s last elementary school talent show performance, I have to do it two parts.

He and his dad choreographed the whole routine, and Owen added the mask. It was the perfect dramatic touch.

This child would rather dance than eat, I think.

Owen Performs

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sign of the Times

Today I was notified by one of my libraries in a neighboring county that my non-resident card had expired. I decided to take the 30 minute drive to the closest branch to our house to get it renewed. The library is not in the best part of town, but I’ve never had a problem.

I approached the desk and asked to have my card renewed. As I was waiting for the librarian to do her computer thing and to take my debit card, I noticed something that took me aback.

Standing behind the desk was an armed, plain clothes LEO (I’ve been watching too much “NCIS.” LEO is law enforcement officer for those non-fans of “NCIS.”). His badge was on a lanyard and he was packing heat! In a library, for gosh sakes, a library. His weapon was in clear view. I suppose it serves as a deterrent. What has this world become when you need an armed officer in the library?

Scary, isn’t it?


Cancer is not a poor person’s disease. We found out that the oral medication prescribed for Mr. Fixit’s lung cancer is over $13,000 a month. That’s not a typo, that’s thirteen thousand dollars a month. The co-pay for a month is more than our combined income.

Our oncologist has a financial aid office as part of his practice. Does that tell you anything?

We’ll see. . .

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Results

Mr. Fixit had a doctor’s appointment today to discuss the results of the lung biopsy he had last week. The one spot they tested proved to be cancer. I suppose that means the other spots in both lungs are cancerous, too.

Oral medication is being prescribed and should arrive in about two weeks. The side affects are swollen feet, fluid in the lungs, and a rash. Even with those, it certainly sounds much easier that chemo.

The doctor said that the prognosis is very good, because of Mr. Fixit’s physical condition and the spots on his lungs are still very small.

I was so disappointed. I wanted this to be over; I want him well.

When his family was here earlier in the week, he missed one dose of the medication that regulates his heartbeat. His pulse rate was 152. He was hospitalized once before when it hit 155.  The episode started about 5:30 pm and it didn’t get back to normal until 3:30 am. It scared the stuffin’ out of me.

You can bet he will be reminded every morning to take his meds from now on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mine, Too!

Click on image for clarity.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wrong Answer

Clue 23 Down in one of my crossword puzzles today:

Word said with a head slap

My answer: Dammit

It isn’t right, but I like it better.

How Does She Do It?

Some years (it has probably been at least 12 to 15 years) ago Mr. Fixit had some sort of medical procedure (we can’t remember exactly what it was) at the same hospital his current problem is being treated.

At that time, after we left the business office, a volunteer escorted us to our destination. I guessed her age at about 80. She had really nice white hair and a gleam in her eye. As we started our trek to the bowels of the hospital, I had to trot to keep up with her. When we reached our destination, I was panting so badly I could hardly speak to thank her for her help.

After I caught my breath, I remarked to Mr. Fixit about her physical ability, and said I hoped I could move half as fast as she did if I reached her age.

Yesterday we had an appointment for Mr. Fixit’s biopsy in the same hospital. I was surprised to see this same lady there still escorting people to their assigned service area. I mentioned the fact that she was still working and  remarked on her energy. Another employee heard our conversation and told us the volunteer is 96 years old.

When it was our turn to be taken to Radiology, she escorted us. As we walked down those long halls with numerous turns, I noted that she had slowed down. I didn’t had to trot to keep up with her, but I did have to walk as fast as my legs would go.

I wondered later if she had slowed her pace for us two old people.

She has my admiration.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


There are many things I don’t like about getting old. I don’t like the aches and pains that seem to be my constant companions. I don’t like the cosmetic changes like sagging skin, thinning hair, stubby eyelashes, etc., etc., etc. I don’t like knowing that there are things that I will never do, material things I will never have, and some things will never change for the better.

I think I’ve found the absolute worse thing, other than complete mental and physical breakdown, since we have been dealing with Mr. Fixit medical issues. I think that I am losing my independence. I have always been very independent. My mother told me that I was too independent, but I realized quite early in my life that things work out better for me if I don’t let myself depend on others. If I can’t be totally independent, for instance, financially, I hope that I have contributed in other ways to sort of repay that dependence.

When our sons came to put down our new kitchen flooring, I felt like I wasn’t doing my share of the work. When Mr. Fixit was in good shape, we could work together on most jobs and not ask for help. With him not being able to help, I found that I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do. I didn’t get all the furniture out of the dining room and I didn’t have time to remove the old tile or remove the moldings. These are things we would have done together if all were right in our world. As it is, the boys had to take up the tile, remove the molding, move some of the furniture, plus lay the new flooring. Then after it was done, they had to help me put the furniture back and replace the old molding with new. It still grates on me that I was so dependent of someone else.

Then a few days later I saw any article written for adult children who think it’s time to take financial oversight of their parents. It felt as if someone had thrown ice water in my face. Is this in our future? I only hope that doesn’t happen to us.

If I lost my independence, I would be losing ME.