Nothing Much Archive

2018 in review

Posted December 29, 2018 By Ruth

I don’t normally do the whole year in review thing, but sometimes it’s warranted.

Of course, I go to type this post, and discover that WordPress’s latest update has screwed with the Create A Post page, massively, and I hate it. Thanks WordPress for reminding me why I hate software updates.

So, I started out 2018 with major abdominal surgery. Everything has healed beautifully, and I’m long since back to work. Oddly enough I’ve STILL not noticed any major changes. The surgeon was positive that I’d notice all sorts of changes after the cyst was removed, but honestly, nope. Which is all kinds of scary actually, but I’ll take what I can get.

Then we discovered that Shadow is an asshole when it comes to food. But for all the frustration involved we’ve managed to trim his weight by almost 4lbs, so it’s worth it. Even if he doesn’t agree.

We had our first successful Bluebird hatching in years.

Somewhere, May-ish I started having some issues with my left knee again. I injured it in high school, playing soccer, and ended up having to have a lateral release done on it in college due to the same injury, so its not the strongest joint ever, but it doesn’t usually give me huge issues at work as long as I’m reasonably careful about my lifting form and not being stupid when carrying things upstairs. I ended up wearing a soft brace for work all summer, and finally went in to see the doctor, who sent me to an ortho specialist. Ortho says there doesn’t appear to be anything new wrong with it. His theory is that I got far enough out of condition out I was out of work for surgery and I didn’t work it back up correctly. So we’re working through some physical therapy to see if that’ll help. It seems to be, so cross your fingers.

June-ish I started having bouts of insomnia. I’ve always been a restless sleeper, but I don’t normally have huge issues with insomnia. I worked my way through the normal things, no caffeine with lunch or later, melatonin, Tylenol PM, with no real success. I was sleeping worse and worse and waking up with a headache more and more often. At the same appointment with my doctor about my knee I also discussed the insomnia problem with her. Turns out I’m borderline for all the base checks to possibly need a CPAP machine, so she put in a referral to get a sleep study done. She also prescribed a small dose of Trazodone to see if that would help me sleep. Not so much unfortunately, it gave me hot flashes and nausea. Fortunately at least some of the insomnia has gone away on its own. In the mean time the initial sleep test found that I absolutely need a CPAP, oxygen saturation in the low 80’s (it should be 90 or higher), and apparently I stopped breathing some 40+ times per hour. Yay. I go back to be fitted for the CPAP in another couple weeks.

The garden was fun this year. The Gagon cucumbers ended up making stellar pickles, nice and crisp without any extra work from me. I need to sit down and figure out what seeds I want to order for this coming summer.

The podiatrist was unable to find a cause for the ingrown toenail, my follow up with him is in another week.

Arty turned 7 years old in November, and Apollo turned 8 in December. Good lord, where did the time go??

Edited to add: I had a birthday too (duh, I know) and I guess I need to go modify the bio portion of the about me page, cause I can no longer claim to be a “30 something”. Oh well.

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Catching up

Posted December 3, 2018 By Ruth

Syracuse NY broke records in November.  Coldest November in 85 years, average temp for the month was 34.5f.  First November on record to have a low temp below zero, the low on Black Friday was -1f.  Total snowfall for the month was 22.8 inches, more than double the average, putting us at 6th snowiest November on record.  Snowiest November 16th ever, with 8.2 inches recorded having fallen, more than twice the previous record.

And thats not mentioning the rain, if the rain had fallen as snow we’d have blown the snowfall totals out of the water.  On the other hand, the rain keeps washing away the snow thats fallen already, and thats not a bad thing.

My work has been busy as hell.  Between normal Christmas season craziness, and the snow fall, my department has managed sales well over our sales goals.  Everyone wants a new snowblower this year, we’re struggling to keep the popular models in stock, but even the biggest one in store (priced $1699) is selling regularly.

So whats the company doing?  They’re slashing hours of course.  Normally as a part time employee I have 20 or so hours (or more) through New Years.  By mid-January my hours have usually dropped to 1 or 2 days a week, both usually being short days, as our slow season gets going, that tends to last through mid-March-ish when spring starts to pick up.  This year they’ve slashed hours early and that schedule is apparently starting in mid-December.  So if you’re in a Home Depot in the middle of December, and you can’t find an employee to help you, please make sure you fill out the survey on your receipt and let corporate know what you think of their “cost saving measure” of slashing hours!

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Oh boy

Posted November 16, 2018 By Ruth

Some areas near me got upwards of a foot of snow overnight, though that only looks like 6-8″ to me here.

But this is the coming week’s predicted weather:

 

12 degrees??  In Nov??  *sigh* its gonna be one of THOSE winter’s isn’t it??

*sigh*

Posted November 5, 2018 By Ruth

Saturday night I was loading one last piece of wood into the fireplace before bed, when my hand slipped, and I dropped the, fairly large, piece of wood, resulting in my left pointer fingertip getting caught between the edge of the lip of the fireplace and the piece of firewood.

I said a few words that I’m not supposed to say.  Getting a finger smashed ALWAYS feels like I’ve broken it, but experience has taught me that if I go and put ice on it right away it’ll feel 90% better in an hour or so.  So I put ice on it for 15 minutes, and then went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up…..and the finger still hurt.  Alot.  More than any bruised finger I’ve managed to give myself before.  Plus it was a bit swollen.  Not like a sausage or anything, but enough to notice.  I dug back out the ice pack and iced it off and on all morning.

By 2pm it was pretty obvious that the pain wasn’t going to go away, I take a prescription dose of anti-inflammatories every day, and it still hurt upwards of a 4 or 5 on the pain scale.  Not as much as the broken arm, but more than your normal bruise.  So I gave in and drove myself down to urgent care.

Urgent care says “not broken”, but these are the same folks who missed the hairline fracture in my arm last year, so I’m not holding my breath yet.  They did give me a splint and told me to wear it for 3 days, and if its not better to call my regular doctor.  It does feel better in the splint.

This morning most of the bruising style pain seems to be gone, but its still a bit swollen, and I get stabby pains if I take the splint off and get to energetic about doing things with it.

Yay.

I’m starting to think I ought to have a post category for “Ruth injured herself again”!

Update: almost a week later- a large portion of the pain has gone away, though there’s a fair bit left if I bump it wrong.  Cross your fingers!  I had to stop wearing the splint, the inactivity of the finger was making it swell badly.  But so far not using it seems ok.

Didn’t mean to disappear, ooops

Posted November 2, 2018 By Ruth

Just got busy.

And sick, cause god forbid I don’t come down with my regular fall respiratory infection.  I managed to avoid it last year by taking large quantities of Airborne (in the gummy chew form, the tablets taste nasty IMO).  I thought it might have been a fluke, but I stopped taking it after surgery, and of course I got sick a couple weeks ago.  Maybe I need to buy stock in Airborne.

Saw the podiatrist this week, he says that he doesn’t see the need to remove part of the toenail, and he couldn’t find a cause for the ingrown toenail problems.  He did trim back the corners of the nails of both big toes, and I have an appointment with him in two months to look things over.

I was hoping to do yellow hot pepper jelly this year with all the yellow hot peppers.  But all the low sugar pectins I can find are powders, and adding them changes the color of the jelly from yellow to golden brown.  Its not ugly, but its not yellow.  So now I need to decide if I want to try a full sugar batch, to be able to use a liquid pectin, or just live with it.

Husband has asked for jars of soup that he can take to work, that he doesn’t have to stick in the fridge, that he can just pop the top on and stick in the microwave.  He normally eats Campbells soups, but that requires a large bowl, and added water, and its not a simple work lunch like he wants.  Plus pre-packaged foods, extra salt, and all that.  My first experiment with a modified bean & bacon soup recipe turned out pretty decent, though it needs some modification for next time.  I’ll hopefully be jarring up a chicken soup this weekend, then he gets to experiment with adding pasta on the fly.

Now I need more pint jars…….

 

I get a few days in a row off….

Posted September 20, 2018 By Ruth

I get a few days in a row off work, and figure I can catch up on everything, and life tries to throw me a curve ball again.

But hey, I didn’t break anything this time!

Sunday morning I bumped my left big toe on something, and it hurt way more than it should have.  I mean sure, stubbing your toe hurts like hell, but I hadn’t stubbed it, I’d just bumped the outside edge of it.  Kick off the crocs I wear for slopping around the house and look at my toe, and there’s a big mess of puss and ooze over half of my toenail.  EEWWWWW.

Go clean off my toe, can’t find where it came from, trim back my toenail a bit, and a push on the outside of the toe (right where I bumped it) produces more ooze.  Yuck.  Soak both feet in a hot water and epsom salt bath for ~10 minutes, dry them off, and pack the spot with neosporin.

And try to figure out how the hell I managed this one.  Only other time I’ve seen an infection like this was when I was 16 and I got a badly infected ingrown toenail on the big toe of my other foot.  They ended up having to remove part of that toenail to deal with it.  But this time I don’t have an ingrown toenail.  And it didn’t hurt at all till I bumped it.  And it stopped hurting as long as I wasn’t poking at it.

Went to work as usual Monday, but by the time I got home the toe was sore, a visual check showed that it wasn’t getting any better.  Yay.  Get an appointment to see the doctor Tuesday.  Not my regular doc, but at least it wasn’t urgent care.  I don’t have to work again till Saturday, which sucks paycheck wise, but means that I can mostly keep off my feet.  Doc looks at it, says “hey, ingrown toenail!”  And I say “well that’s what it looks like but its not ingrown!”.  He prescribed me an antibiotic and gives me a referral to a podiatrist.  Yay.

Wasn’t till I was at the pharmacy picking it up that the name of the antibiotic rang a bell.  It’s the same one that made me puke back in January.  But hey, that reaction was probably the result of the surgery…..right?

Yah.  Not so much.  Wednesday morning I was calling the doctor’s office back to inform them that Keflex and I don’t get along and if they want me to continue taking it they’re going to have to give me an anti-nausea med.  Which they did.  Spent Wednesday half nauseous half grumpy about the taste the anti-nausea meds leave in my mouth, and hurting from a sore neck from somehow sleeping wrong.  Grump.

Spent today making bread and still feeling grumpy.  The anti-nausea meds make it possible to keep things down, but my stomach still isn’t thrilled with life.  And the anti-nausea meds still leave a nasty taste in my mouth.  And the podiatrist doesn’t have an opening till the end of Oct.  Depending on what happens after my week on antibiotics I might see if they can find me another podiatrist who can get me in sooner.  Yay.

Dear Life, I guess you didn’t hear me when I told you I was done with this whole doctor thing.  Seriously, I’m DONE with the whole DOCTOR THING!

Memorial Day

Posted May 28, 2018 By Ruth

I’m off to go deal with the masses at work, for the Memorial Day sale. People complain about the commercialization of Christmas……

 

What can you see from your window?
I can’t see anything from mine
Flags on the side of the highway
And scripture on grocery store signs
Maybe eighteen was too early
Maybe thirty or forty is too
Did you get your chance to make peace with the man
Before he sent down his angels for you?

Mamas and grandmamas love you
‘Cause that’s all they know how to do
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Your wife said this all would be funny
When you came back home in a week
You’d turn twenty-two and we’d celebrate you
In a bar or a tent by the creek
Your baby would just about be here
Your very last tour would be up
But you won’t be back. They’re all dressing in black
Drinking sweet tea in styrofoam cups

Mamas and grandmamas love you
American boys hate to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

Now the high school gymnasium’s ready
Full of flowers and old legionnaires
Nobody showed up to protest
They just sniffle and stare
But there’s red, white, and blue in the rafters
And there’s silent old men from the corps
What did they say when they shipped you away
To give all in some God awful war?

Nobody here could forget you
You showed us what we had to lose
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

No, no you never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues
You never planned on the bombs in the sand
Or sleeping in your dress blues

 

or if you prefer:

 

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone When they come I will stand my ground
Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid Thoughts of home take away my fear
Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears Once a year say a prayer for me
Close your eyes and remember me Never more shall I see the sun
For I fell to a Germans gun Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone Where before many more have gone

In memory of Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie
Seaforth Highlanders
Who along with many others gave up his life so that we can live free. We will remember them

(h/t: Knuckledraggin)

Yah Know……

Posted April 29, 2018 By Ruth

Sigh

Posted April 22, 2018 By Ruth

Yesterday morning, getting ready for work, making coffee, feeding cats…….reached across the kitchen counter to where Trouble’s food bowl sits on top of Apollo’s crate (yes, his crate is actually taller than the kitchen counters, a side effect of owning a really big dog)…….and slammed the side of my  head into the corner of the upper kitchen cabinet door that had been left open a couple inches.

Now, this was not, by any stretch, the first time I’ve done that.  I’m short enough that the cabinet doors are just above eye level on me, perfectly placed to catch me in the forehead if they get left open.  I’d actually pulled down a different upper cabinet door several months ago after I hit my head on it for the umpteenth time.  But this door was one that I didn’t usually catch, so I’d left it.

I didn’t initially think it was that bad of a hit.  Went into work like normal.  Except that by the time I got to work the side of my head was pretty sore.  By the time I’d been at work for a couple hours the whole left side of my face felt funny, and while my balance wasn’t ACTUALLY being affected it felt like it SHOULD be affected.  So I ended up leaving work early.  Get home, and it occured to me that I hadn’t put ice on the bump, and it was a definite goose egg at that point, so I dug out the ice pack, and after an hour of 15 minutes on, 15 off, the swelling had gone down some, and the side of my face felt much more normal.  In retrospect I suspect the swelling was pulling on the side of my face, and ear, resulting in the weird feelings.

Once I felt more stable I got out the step ladder and screwdriver, and pulled down the upper cabinet door that I’d hit:

These cabinets aren’t right next to the stove, so there shouldn’t be much  grease residue to cause problems, and I can live without cabinet doors.  Especially if it gives me fewer things to slam my head into.

Since I was feeling better at that point I decided I was going to take advantage of the sun making everything feel awesome warm (it was technically barely in the 40’s, with enough breeze to be chilly, but the SUN!  It was awesome, I felt bad for leaving work at that point, cause I’m sure they were slammed all afternoon), and went out to rearrange the greenhouse.  Partially so I could make space for the tomato seedlings and partially to actually check the pepper plants over.  And found that apparently I forgot to tell the peppers that we’re having a delayed spring this year:

That is a Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper, and a Cayenne Pepper, with good sized peppers on each plant!  Oh well, at least I know the greenhouse has been doing its job at keeping the plants warm!

The biggest tomato seedlings are now out in the greenhouse, some of them are over a foot tall already!  Average last frost for me is mid May, here’s hoping I can plant out not TO much later than that, or the greenhouse is going to be crazy.

Also, SPRING!!!!  While making my coffee yesterday not only did I see the Bluebird pair again, but I saw Tree Swallows!  Tree Swallows are straight up flying insect eaters, if they’re in town then it means they think it’s going to stay warm enough to have plenty for them to eat.  So cross your fingers!

Weather

Posted April 20, 2018 By Ruth

The weather forecasters are holding firm in their prediction that next week we’re supposed to get a warm up:

 

So of course I woke up this morning to this:

 

While I’m aware that folks at various points west of me have quite a bit more snow on the ground that doesn’t make me any happier to wake up to a white yard.  I guess Father Winter is trying for one last gasp?  Or else every single weather forecaster is wrong and we’re all screwed…..

I started my tomatoes over the last couple weeks.  A few here and a few there.  Apparently the tomatoes really like the grow lights in my little grow tent:

 

I plan to move them out to the greenhouse this coming week, assuming the weather holds anyway.