Thursday, October 29, 2009

What a bunch of Sickos!

We're all sick.

The Nameless Man has a bad cough that keeps him up nights. This is unusual because the NM gets up at 4:45 a.m. most days and goes to the gym. He is sickeningly healthy. Thanks to his cough, he is sleeping in the crap room (where should I put this crap? I dunno,... shove it it the spare bedroom.) and averaging 3 hours of sleep each night.

I have developed the 'flu, the non swine kind. I also have an infected ear due to no fault of my own. In other words, I did not have indecent relations with that Q-Tip. My left hip is out and I'm unhappy due to the decrease in my anti-depressants. Other than that, feeling peachy!

But enough about me. My main little buddy Tikki is also sick. he has been vomiting on and off all day. I suspect he snagged a chocolate cookie that JC may have set down. He has never been sick to his stomach once in his life but I now fully understand where the expression, "Sick as a dog" comes from.

Yesterday, JC came in the bedroom where I was lying, watching tv, resting my sore hip and asked for a sip of my 7-Up. Once he had a drink, he practically tossed the bottle onto the bed with me. Too bad he hadn't put the cap back on...

WD and I stripped the sheets and put on a set of the fabulous Egyptian cotton sheets I bought at the fall Home Show. They felt divine to slip into. Too bad they only lasted 70 minutes before my sweet buddy Tikki was sick all over them.

That wasn't the low point though. The true low point was when I carried Tikki to bed, as is our custom, and just as I got to the bedroom door, felt the warm splash as he was sick all down the front of me and over my bare feet.

I`ll venture a guess you are now feeling a little sick yourself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, Monday I Love that day!

Okay, call me a weirdo. No, really, I mean it. It's the only name I answer to!
I was pretty happy to have my appointment with the cardiologist today and get the news.

It was good news too. The thallium test was good (so glad I studied hard) and my heart looks to be in good shape for a 90 year old man. Kidding, kidding, It's all pretty good.
Some unusual blip on the EKG which raised the alarm and stressed me out but right now, she thinks the chest pain must be directly related to the anti-depressant I was put on about 6 months ago. Right before the chest pains started.

So, tomorrow it's back to the G.P. to get my meds changed again. Hope these ones work better than the last (not current). Those worked great but at $300 a month I couldn't afford them and when I went off, ended up in Emerg.

Life is a challenge, eh? Like Roseanne Rosanna Danna said, "If it's anotta one thig, it's another!"

Weight wise I am doing very well. I've turned into the soup Nazi and made lots of homemade, low fat, low sodium soups. Between that, eating more sensibly and walking Tikki, I have lost some weight.

Tomorrow's recipe is for curried pumpkin soup.

Today I weighed 197

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Musings

Yesterday was a good day.

I was pretty good as far as ticking to my new goals, well, mostly...
Feel free to tune out now, this is the "accountabilty to the entire World Wide Web" portion of your program.

Yesterday's breakfast was oatmeal. I pkg instant for 150 calories
Lunch: Vegetable Beef and Barley soup, approx 220 calories
Supper: I ate beef and mushroom sauce (otherwise known as hamburger mush) approx 300 calories and I skipped the potatoes... but you'll notice no veggies were harmed in the making of my dinner.

Then, I went a bit crazy and ate a package of cookies, just a lunch sized bag, but still NOP (Not On Plan), 3/4 of a bag of micro popcorn, and a few macadamia nuts that were covered in chocolate. Oh and a big serving of apple crisp that turned out okay. The topping was drier than usual because I not only substituted margarine, I cut the amount down by nearly half.

So, in summary, I started out well, then went a bit nuts but overall, I did better than I usually do. I am a snacker...

WD isn't coming down today so I guess picture day will have to be tomorrow.

Today, I'm making Vegetable Chicken Soup for lunches and some sort of chicken concoction for dinner. I haven't looked for a recipe yet.
Not much else happening here except I am job hunting.

WD decided to stay home with JC until at least next fall when he starts kindergarten. So, I am looking. The problem is, I would rather gargle with glass shards than go back into my "field" which is personal insurance.

Just thinking about it gives me chest pains...seriously. I loved my job at the time but didn't enjoy the women I worked with (or for). Anyone who has worked in an office with women knows exactly what I mean. The only thing I ever missed about that job was my clients that I had built up a rapport with.

I've been spoiled, working outside an office for the past few years. I love stopping for coffee whenever I like and making my own schedule. I hate working with grown ups who act worse than preschoolers at the circus. I feel phony when I have to feign interest when they talk about their kids, pets, parents and ewwww... icky sex lives. I especially hate avoiding them while they gossip about and backstab each other. I have a great group of friends, real virtual and even imaginary. I just want a job where I can put my head down and work while collecting good pay for something that challenges me.

Is that too much to ask? This should be an interesting search in the middle of a "challenging" economy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Weighty Thoughts

Since the testing is over, I have begun my new leaf turning hobby.

I have been walking Mr Tikki the Monster (who has eaten yet another C-Pap mask that I must have dropped when my head was pounding on Saturday) a couple times each day. I even walked up the steep hill in the alley behind our home. No problem. I figure if I can do the treamill, I can walk a couple blocks with my puppy.

I made some wonderful vegetable beef barley soup and even made my own beef stock so I could control the sodium. We were both pretty impressed with that soup and I felt like Tom Hanks in CastAway, "I have made SOUP!!"

Don't get me wrong, I have certainly made homemade soup before, but other than a can of tomato paste, this time it was all from scratch.
If I was as good as the Bag Lady I would have cleared the land, tilled the garden, made the compost, grown the vegetables, butchered one of my own beef and cut down the trees to make the fire it cooked over. I would like to go on record as saying I opened the can of tomato paste all by myself! And...drum roll please...I even went and bought the groceries myself. This is a Big Deal because I loathe shopping and have sucessfully had the Man doing those errands for years. Nearly 20 years in fact.

I weighed in this morning at 200 lbs so I'm up a bit, but no worries. This too shall pass.

This afternoon I am baking a low fat apple crisp made with Becel margarine. I'm really hesitant about this since we have only eaten butter in this household. Hopefully it turns out.

My new leaf turning includes cooking smarter, exercising more and ONE free meal each week where I don't go nuts, just relax a bit.
Oh, and no eating after 9 pm. And more water of course.

Mondays are weigh in days.
Wonderful Daughter is ill with the flu but I really will have her take and post some "before" shots for you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stress test survival

Okay, I survived of course!

I fasted from midnight on and arrived at the clinic nervous as a hen on a hot brick. Hungry, unmedicated, thirsty and nervved up. Great combination!

There is no caffeine for 36 hours beforehand, no medications for 24 hours beforehand and nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before.

They take you in, start an I.V of saline and then do the skin prep. First they wipe several spots on your chest and back with an alcohol swab, then they sand the spots lightly and attach the sticky lead thingys. Yes WD, that is the technical term.

Then they attach those to the machine and up on the treadmill you go. They instruct you to jog while the treadmill slowly increases in speed and incline angle. Then, just before you feel ready to collapse, you let them know and at that point they will inject thallium into the I.V..

Then, just to add to the fun you are already experiencing, you have to continue to jog for another 90 seconds to work the thallium throughout your system. Never mind the fact you just told them you are on the verge of collapse, and potentially have a bad ticker, keep jogging!

I'm digesting all these instructions and I`m thinking, "Okay, the cardiologist said no stairs, no swimming, no heavy housework, no exertion and these clowns want me to run until I feel ready to collapse...hmmmm."

So I said, "No." That's right, I refused to run. I told them I would gladly co-operate on every other level but I would not run. And, they agreed. No problem. No discussion, just, "Okay."

I had to wait a few minutes for the camera to be free since as soon as you come off the treadmill you go directly under the camera. While I was sitting there, a fellow in a white coat came from the back area of the testing area and asked where the cookies were. The other gals told him there were no cookies but he insisted he could smell cookies and accused them of hiding them from him. At this point the camera tech laughed and said, "Mrs. Nana looks confused!"

I said, "Hey, I'm sitting here starving and you guys are talking about cookies? That's just mean!"
Then the treadmill tech said, "Mrs. Nana is wearing some very nice perfume I think that's what you smell."
I remembered I had, that morning, automatically put on a spritz of the Beauty Control perfume WD sells. It smells like vanilla and cookies.

He wandered off, disappointed.

The test went well and I walked for quite a while before the treadmill tech decided it was time for the injection. Apparently, my blood pressure had risen quite alarmingly from the starting numbers so she gave me the injection and I quite happily kept walking until it was time for the camera.

The camera part consisted of lying motionless for 20 minutes with my arms over my head. Anyone who knows me in real life knows lying motionless is one of my best tricks. I have spent years perfecting my technique so that part was a piece of cake.

Once the camera was complete the Nameless Man and I took off until 2:10 when I has to be back to go back under the camera. We used our time to run some errands including a run to Costco to get cookies for the lab staff.

The afternoon went smoothly and the cookies were a hit. Aren't they always?
When it was all over, the Man took me to Peter's Drive-In for a legendary burger (no fries or onion rings, thankyouverymuch). Those burgers are always delicious but after waiting so long for something to eat, it was a fabulous treat.

Today, I haven't been feeling very well. I assume it's a side effect of the Thallium which is, after all, an ingredient in rat poison. I'm very relieved to have that test over with and now just need to wait for the results.

Thanks to everyone who called and e-mailed. I don't deserve any of you but I'm thankful for each and every one of you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thanks Leah!

Today is my 6 hour treadmill stress test. I don't even need to get on the treadmill. I AM stressed.

Leah sent me some good advice and shared some of her own personal experience and for that I thank her. It has helped me a lot as the day has drawn closer. I have had too many young friends turn up their toes and die lately and it freaked me out. Not to mention the friend who dropped dead on the treadmill during the test. Does that mean he passed? He truly was stressed. (Dark humour always helps me.)

But, there is no history of heart disease in my family and although I am grossly overweight, I'm sure this is not a big deal. This is my mantra for today.

We wanted to take off for a long overdue holiday tomorrow but work demands have made it impossible for the Man to get away. He has 4 weeks to take before December 31 or he will lose them. Not get paid out, just lose them. Sooo, we better get free soon.

WD and I had a great day yesterday. I had booked one of our girls to go into Gordon and Penelopes house to tidy the main floor area before Penelope returned from a visit (slave labour helping her daughter move) to California.
Crazy, hospitable woman that Penelope is, she had arranged for a friend from England to come for dinner last night before the friend left to return home. So, Penelope would land at 3:30 p.m., clear customs and come home to tidy the house and put the finishing touches on dinner before her dinner guests arrived at 6. Gordon had been batching it for nearly 2 weeks and although he tries his standards and Penelope's are not too similar. (You really must see the wine making mess!)

The gal I booked decided she didn't want to drive all the way to their home for a short booking (stinking sub-contractors) so we were left with no one to go in. I had spent quite a while convincing Gordon to allow this service to happen and he was counting on us. We had joked he would convince Penelope he had done it all or that he had entertained a succession of women in her absence and told the last one to clean up on her way out. We had schemed and plotted to surprise Penelope so she didn't get too frazzled with the tight schedule.

So, we did what we could do. WD and I loaded up her boys and went to clean ourselves. The kids walked in, looked around and ran downstairs to the toy stash. Made themselves right at home! At one point JC came upstairs to check out their pantry just like he does when they are home.

So since it was a free cleaning now, we (WD while I stood around and talked to her) did the upstairs and the main, dusting, mopping and tidying. There wasn't much to do since she keeps a very clean home. Then we set the table for six, figuring Penelope could take off extra place settings if need be and walked out the door. We even dusted her front door. Dang, we're good.

After WD locked up the door she started searching for a clean cloth. Lo and behold, in the bottom of the rag bag was one of my (extra large) underpants that must have gone thru the laundry with the cloths. It took some fast talking, but I convinced WD to open the door and put the undies outside their bedroom door. However she refused to walk across the freshly vacuumed carpets since she groomed them but left them placed strategically on the stairway.

We had a great laugh knowing Penelope has a super sense of humour and Gordon would probably wet himself.

All in all, a good day.

I gotta run. Hope I studied hard enought for the Urine test. The stress, as I said, I've got covered!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks Denise!

Look what Denise sent me! And she hasn't even met me in real life.
I just knew there was a reasonable explanation for my cotton swab problem...
Now, can we get started on my 1,000 other ones? LOL
Update* the Man gave me the 'flu. Not the Establisment you hippies, the Nameless Man.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pleeping in the Arms of Morpheus

We had a great pleep over.

WD and the boys came a bit early and we got busy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes that were stored for them on the PVR. Later we ran out for a few treats while the boys frolicked in the tub under their Papa's supervision. We were surprised when we came back a few moments later to discover he had washed their hair and scrubbed them down before putting them to bed for us. The funny thing was, he knew to wash their hair with baby shampoo but was stumped what to wash their bodies with. So, he went and got his own Axe body wash and a loofah and scrubbed them good. They were pink and shining clean when we went to kiss them goodnight and man...did they smell good.

We set them up watching tv in the bedroom with a package of smarties each and strict instructions to shut off the tv when their current 30 minute show ended. Imagine their surprise when I checked on them 35 minutes later to discover the two of them propped up like little Rajahs on a bunch of pillows and cushions, just lying back and watching another program. They were shocked to see me walk in because Dom had the foresight to lock the bedroom door. Heh Heh Heh. They totally underestimated the power of the Nana!

Once we got them sorted out and settled for the night we broke out the Trivial Pursuit, the Bailey's and some spring rolls and the girls won...barely.
The Man was feeling poorly so he turned in while we stayed up visiting and polishing. Polishing off the Bailey's that is...

Today we hit the mall and did some shopping. Usually I hate shopping...did I ever mention that? Today I was into it...for about 40 minutes which, in fairness, is 30 minutes longer than I usually feel like shopping.

Then, back home where WD coloured the grey out of my hair and took supper to go. The Nameless Man is the most ill I have ever seen him in the 29 years we`ve been together so we decided she should take the boys home before they got whatever it is too.

All in all, a nice visit and like all grandparents worldwide, we were thrilled to see them come and quite happy to see them go.

We are blessed to have great family and friends close by so we can see them regularly. I shudder to think what we would do without them. I also appreciate my blog and online friends. I`ve learned a lot. If you are interested in a weight loss success story, stop by to visit Dawn at She is an inspiration to me. She is candid about her ups and downs and just puts it all out there.

Hopefully you`ll enjoy her writings as much as I have.

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Excited!

WD and the boys are coming to "pleep over" as JC would say. I haven't seen them all week which is like months for me.

WD and I have some catching up to do and the boys are going to get spoiled. Tikki is sensing the excitement and keeps trotting around importantly tuning up his chew toys. He is just waiting for nice fresh boy flesh to sink his baby teeth into.

My tests are in a week and although I'm still a little freaked, I just want to focus on the most Wonderful Daughter and her Amazing Boys.

More later I'm sure since I never seem to run out of drivel like my buddy Baggie. Speaking of Baggie...(see told's an unending stream of drivel) her readers commented they would like to know more about what is served at thanksgiving. I know we all enjoy many delicious things but I'd like to turn to the dark side if I may.

What is the nasty, weird or funny thing your family serves or requests for special meals? In my family, we used to have cranberry sauce out of a can. Lying there, still showing the grooves of the can it came sliding out of like it was a sculpture or something. Yuck. It wasn't until WD showed me how to make cranberry sauce from scratch that I discovered what a delicious thing it is.

In my Inlaws family it is a disgusting concoction I'll leave to WD to tell you about since it was her youth that was scarred. So, it's her story... (Yes, I'm shamelessly pimping for comments!)

P.S. I am trying to get a picture of Tikki up for you. I call it "Before he was a Monster"...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Glass and other inedible objects

Okay, back again! Finally kicked the ear infection on Saturday morning. Had a great day bumming around with the man I am married to.

It was just wonderful to finally feel good again and get out and about. After a busy morning, we headed out to run errands. I was cold but sunny and I turned up the radio and sang while the Nameless Man cried. Not unusual, he always cries when I sing. Then, cries with relief when I stop.

We had some excitement Thursday evening when Wonderful Daughter called to ask if I had JC's health care card in my files. It turns out she had been having dinner with the Estrogen Crew and JC was nibbling from a bowl of candy. Spying a bowl of gummy bears nearby, he helped himself to one, only to find they were hard so he swallowed it.

Trouble is, it wasn't a gummy bear at all but a piece of scented glass. It's called crystal potpourri and it has many sharp edges and is coated in essential oils for a fruity scent. She took him to the emergency room, where we met them. As she walked in with a baggie of this stuff I thought, "Now why is she bringing jujubes to the hospital?" I would have (and did) try them. They smelled great and tasted nasty. Too bad she has misspent their youth teaching them good manners or he likely would have spit it out instead of swallowing it.

They couldn't x-ray him since it is clear material so she will have to wait and see. He should be fine and has shown no ill effects up until now.

A funny aside, there was poster showing some of the various foreign bodies removed from patients at the children's hospital. There were the usual marbles, coins, buttons, plastic spiders, stickers, safety pins and pen caps. BUT there was also a 8 inch long knitting needle and a children's toothbrush. *gag* I had 3 stepbrothers who thought up new and inventive mischief every single day but really, a knitting needle?

WD actually has quite a bit of medical knowledge and was trying to apologise to the triage nurse that while she knew JC's situation didn't constitute a true emergency, Poison Control told her to bring him in due to the oils on the glass. They reassured her it was fine and recounted the story of a woman who brought in her young son. She stood in the triage line behind 3 other people until she was finally seen. Her son had shoved a Polly Pocket doll up his nose and the leg was still hanging out of his nostril. The triage nurse reached over, took hold of the protruding appendage and gently pulled it out of his nose. She then handed it to his shocked mother and turned her and her son around and sent them home.

Saturday evening was quiet and I went to bed early. WD was doing her weekly baking and made bread, shortbread, pie crusts, a chocolate pie, pie crust "cookies" and cinnamon rolls. She had them all lined up on her island and was going to bag them for the freezer once the last batch of cinnamon rolls had cooled.

The last batch came out of the oven looking great and she put them on the stove top to cool. Then she went into her room to watch tv. When the smoke alarm went off she realized a burner was still on from when she made the glaze. As she raised the pyrex dish to eye level to see how badly the cinnamon rolls had burned it exploded. Fortunately, since it was late at night she was wearing her glasses and it exploded before she got it all the way up to her face. She got burnt from hot bits of glass falling into her shirt front and she cut her arms a bit. The boys were in bed but she found pieces of glass in their room, in her dining room, in her living room and all over her kitchen. She has tile floors so there was no damage, just glass melted into the cinnamon filling and glaze. She also had to throw out every scrap of baking since it was sprayed with glass shards.

We're very thankful. it could have been much, much worse.

Last night we went to dinner with Gordon since Penelope is away. We went to the new Indian restaurant that has opened near our home, the Green Chile. We all enjoyed the food although the vindaloo, which should have been smoking hot, was so mild I could eat it. Then, back to Casa Sparrow for homemade apple pie (Thanks WD it was delicious!) and a game of Trivial Pursuit which I, as the sole representative of the woman's team, lost in a sad display of ineptitude. 3 pies to 6. sheesh...

I don't think Penelope will be speaking to me since we had held the Title for so long. My back was getting sore from wearing that huge championship belt though and I know Penelope was tired of polishing up all our trophies (lol) so I guess there is a bright side.

The men say it wasn't an official game but we'll see what happens once my smarty pants partner is here to hold up her end of things.

I lost at Tri-Bond too. So I was a huge loser...but you already knew that. Heh.

Anyways, hope this all makes sense as I am too rushed to proof, just time to post. I'll try to be a better blogger, honest I will.