Sunday, March 1, 2015

In Like a Lion

Yesterday, on the final day of February, the sun was shining, and the temperature rose all the way to 27*!  Even though there were still 3 inches of snow on the ground, I took advantage of the solar energy to dry the girls' sheets on the clothes line.


Today, when I should be rejoicing in the end of February, we are clearing another 3 inches of snow in the rain.  It should freeze again tonight, which will make our lane as slick as snot.

I filled the bird feeders this morning, and all the little birdies came out to eat.

 
20 days until Spring, and there is no end to Winter in sight!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Out of My Comfort Zone

Today I did something that I've never done before.  I went out to meet someone in person, whom I had earlier "met" on line.  And before you ask, JP knows all about it!

I "met" C on line in November when we were both undergoing the "Orange Rhino" challenge and virtual Book Club.  She initially contacted me personally because my data mentioned my general geographical location, and it ends up that we live less than 1 hour away from each other.

We emailed each other several times a week during the month of November, mostly to encourage each other in our commitments to stop the yelling, and to vent about how incredibly hard it was to do.  Once the virtual Book Club ended, we continued to text each other periodically.  Yesterday she told me that things were rough this month, as her husband was recently laid off from his employment, but said that on the up-side, she suddenly found herself with more free time.  She asked if I'd like to meet her for coffee or lunch sometime, and I-know-this-is-short-notice-but...she would be about half way between our homes today.

I was pretty anxious about it...wondering if we would have anything at all in common besides our desires not to yell at our families.  Would I say something stupid, or would there be a lot of those awkward silences in our conversation?

So, we met at Krispy Kreme for coffee and a donut this morning, which turned into a 2 1/2 hour conversation about our families, our parents, our jobs, summer camp, school, not yelling, 2 hour delays, running, yoga, pets, coupons, interesting local festivals, you name it.  I came away with a new friend, AND a dozen donuts.

Not a shabby accomplishment for this morning!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Making Trouble

So...this hand surgery thing is proving to be a bigger dealio than I was expecting.

When my Family Doc asked about latex allergies at my yearly physical/pre-op check, I mentioned that over the past couple of years that I had developed an allergy to kiwi fruit, with itching and swelling of my mouth.  There can be some "cross-over" allergies between kiwi and latex, so she decided to test me for this during my pre-op blood work.

Lo and behold, the latex allergy test came back showing moderate to severe latex allergy!  Now, I've had lots and lots of latex exposure after working in medicine, particularly in the Operating Room, for 20 + years.  However, I have never had any reaction to gloves or medical equipment.

The results of this test surprised me, but apparently they freaked out the Orthopedic Surgeon.  His nurse, the Anesthesiologist, and he all called me yesterday.  I also sneaked in to see my kids' Allergist yesterday, to get his opinion.  He actually recommended that I carry around an Epi-Pen, which is to self administer epinephrine should I start to have an anaphylactic reaction to something!

Sigh.

The Anesthesiologist refuses to do my surgery at the (much closer) Outpatient Surgery Center where it was initially scheduled because of the lack of ICU facilities there.  So, it has been moved to a (more distant) hospital instead.  This is only the 3rd time in his 5 year history there that it has been done.

I'm sure I got the personal phone calls from the Surgeon and the Anesthesiologist because I did NOT simply say "ok, go ahead and move my surgery."  Instead I told them that I was disappointed that they were not accommodating my allergy, and that I was getting a second opinion from an Allergist.  (Turns out THAT didn't really help my case!)

Kicking and screaming...totally.

Let's hope that surgery and recovery go far better than the whole Pre-Operative thing has so far!

Where's the Bear? #15


Oops!  I caught the bear in the shower, with shower caps on each ear!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tracking

My Dad called this morning to ask if Kali had been down the hill in the past 24 hours.  He saw big dog prints on the Spring Road (halfway down our driveway), and wondered if they were from her.

She had not been that far from the house, so I went down myself to check things out.  On the way, I saw rabbit tracks.


Those little guys can really move!  You can see that they can hop further than my biggest stride, which is about 4 feet.


These I think are from a squirrel, as they ended at the base of a tree.


At one point, it also dug in the snow...looking for a buried acorn?

 
I also saw raccoon prints and opossum prints, but they did not photograph well.

When I got to the tracks, they were confusing.  At one point they looked typically canine, which is to say that you can see the toenails in their print. 

 
Here is Kali's print, which is not very clear, but a big larger than those previously.

 
This is Stella's print, quite a bit smaller.

 
Some of the tracks looked more cat-like, meaning they were rounder and did not show claws, as cats retract their claws when walking.  These were about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in size.


These are from our barn kitties, only an inch or slightly less in size.


Since all of the prints down on the Spring Road came from the same animal (they were in the same line of tracks), they had to have been canine, and most likely from a coyote.  At the closest, I found its tracks within 200 feet of the barn (and therefore from the chickens.)  I think it is likely male, as I found urine markings, without signs of squatting.  Perhaps he has had an old injury on one of his hind feet?

I also saw deer tracks.

 
And in the chicken run, I saw the chickens' typical asterisk print.


That is the extent of my afternoon walk in the Poplar Ridge woods!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where's the Bear? #14

You will all be glad to know that news of the bear's demise was somewhat premature.  He is alive and well, and enjoying the snow.  The girls have already had 2 snow days this week, and he was out there sledding right along with them!


The verdict is still out on whether or not his fall last week was intentional.  It was certainly suspicious!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 22

Ok, Taylor Swift, maybe I'm not feeling *quite* 22, but I thought I was doing pretty good for my age.  True, some mornings I wake up and feel about 72, but a cuppa Joe and 20 minutes on the elliptical usually gets me going.

Last week I had a Physical scheduled with my Family Doc.  When she walked into the exam room, she handed me this envelope filled with information for folks my age.


Middle Age?  Really?  I can hardly believe that I'm at my peak right now and it's all downhill from here!

Yesterday I had an appointment with the Orthopedic Hand Surgeon.  He told me that I have fairly advanced arthritis in my thumb for someone MY AGE.  I am now scheduled for hand surgery in a couple of weeks in which he will actually remove one of my hand bones, and re-route a tendon so that the joint in the base of my left thumb will no longer be rubbing bone-on-bone.

Young people do not have surgery for advanced arthritis, right?  So it must be true.  I must have reached Middle Age.

SIGH.

I went to visit my 99 year old Grandmother a week ago.  She is starting to show her age.  But if she was labeled "Middle Aged" at my age, she would still have over half of her life to live!

I refuse to believe it.

I also would have refused surgery, if it were not for gardening season coming up soon, in which I want to be able to dig without being slowed down by advanced arthritis in my thumb.

So there.