Thursday, August 6, 2009

Carpal Tunnel, who knew?

I've recently learned that many women have been victim of this "my generation" (my call, nothing official) thing called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but no one in my "parents' generation" had it that I can recall. What, the doctors didn't know about it? Makes ya go "hmm" doesn't it?

I had the CTS surgery last Thursday (one week ago). Post-op instructions were minimal: Take Ibuprofen 600 3x a day if needed and elevate your hand above your heart; keep dry. That's it! Seemed simple enough, surly I could do that, right? Humpft, silly woman I am.

Murphy's Law #712: When you need it the most, it will break
Now remember, all the while, our air conditioner has been on the blitz for a least a week, maybe a tad more. Murphy's Law in full effect here, who knew the temperature here in Oregon would break record HIGH levels? Let me stress, we had a heat wave hit us with 108 and 109degree days! Oh my gawd! It was 96degrees inside the house, and here I am wrapped like a mummy up to my elbow. Did I mention that a sweaty wrist, when bandaged up, itches like hell? You know there's nothing more frustrating than an itch you can't get to; ask anyone who's worn a cast; or ask a dog who skootches his behind across the living room carpet. Aarrgghh!! Oh, but I digress.

Hubby and I filled my prescription on the way home from my surgery. Now, you must picture this: groggy old woman with one half her arm wrapped like a mummy standing at the pharmacy counter, sweating profusely to boot. Key words here would be HAND SURGERY + PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE. Did the pharmacist miss my bandages? Surely not? Did that idiot give me an easy-to-open bottle?? Don't be silly. But I was still groggy from the anesthesia, so I wasn't thinking clearly. You know what this means? I blaime my hubby and that stupid pharmacist at Walmart. Stick with me here and you'll understand.

The rest of Thursday there was new, strong tingling in my fingers. It finally went away after 24hrs of my freaking out about it, whew. "Well that was a fun trip! ... Not!" Did the doc mention that might happen? Ha, silly woman, don't be ridiculous.

This was followed on Friday by a stabbing electrical pain in the pad of my thumb. "Ouch, ouch, dang, IS THIS NORMAL??" Well who knew, since neither the doctor's office nor anyone at the surgical center say a word about "stabbing pain". Good grief, do I have to teach the freaking world how to communicate? Ahh, but I digress. Sigh, why me? (lol).

Murphy's Law #12: A helping hand is never around when you need one
Now here's another Murphy's Law experience... I couldn't open the damn bottle of Ibuprofen! Not with only one hand for Pete's sake! As I said, it was NOT in an Easy-To-Open bottle, oh noooooooo. And my hubby was a work. I thought of my neighbor across the street, ahh, he could open this for me. NOPE, he wasn't home. Crap, crap! My next door neighbor is elderly and doesn't answer the door if she doesn't know you're coming, and didn't answer the phone. Crap, crap, C R A P!! Needless to say, I was getting rather bitchy at this point. Who knew, huh?

The Calvery Arrives
My out-of-state girlfriend called, so that gave me the opportunity to whine, bless her. She had a great idea; she suggested I take that drug bottle out to the garage and use the vice! Well, I did it and managed to get that stupid bottle open using only one hand. The manager at Walmart is going to hear about this the next time I go there. Seriously, of all the idiotic things, one would expect the pharmacist to notice, wouldn't he? Yeah, who knew.

Don't expect the doctor's office to tell you everything you NEED to know, and don't expect your local Pharmacist to actually use the common sense God gave him. Who freaking knew?

PS: Murphy's Law, and the whole concept is not my idea, and I have no clue how many there are nor what numbers any might be, but the damn thing haunts and taunts me daily, lol

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's hotter inside the house than outside!

I took a vacation (of sorts) recently. I had not gone on any type of vacation of any kind for almost 3 years (yeah, so?) but this was an extended away-time for me. 4 weeks or so, this time, and I loved being away from home like nobody's business. I got to see my daughter, finally, and was able to spend some wonderful time with friends I grew up with in Mill Valley, California.

BUT? Well, the ramifications of taking my vacation have been mammoth though.

  • I came back to find all of my outdoor potted plants either dead or gone to seed. Grrr.
  • I came back to find an extremely pregnant kitty, who chose to begin her birthing process within 24hrs of my return, on my living room carpet!
  • I came back to find that our forced-air unit (heats and cools) is broken and no longer cools the house.
  • I missed the harvest of blueberries this year - one of my top selling jams. Dang.
  • AND, our freezer is freaking out and not freezing my fruits for canning. THIS is NOT GOOD!

ALL of this has caused major problems for my canning (well, okay, except for those 5 little angel kitties who now reside in my bathroom). I started my plum jam, only to find out yesterday that my processed fruit didn't freeze, so I'm scrambling to get it canned before it's too late. I've also got pear butter to can, apple butter to cook, strawberry jam to make, and both blackberry and pumpkin season are coming up fast. BUT OUR AIR CONDITIONER DOESN'T WORK?? Ohh no no no. I cannot stand at a hot stove with a steaming water canner in this kind of weather!

Oh what I'd give for volunteers! lol

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Have I become my parents?

If you are 40 or older you will think this is hilarious! I got this in an email and it reminded me of my teen, so I thought I'd share.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking 25 miles to school every morning, uphill... barefoot... BOTH ways. Yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was
no way that I was going to lay a bunch of bull like that on MY kids about how hard I had it and how easy they have it now. No, no, I was going to rise above all that emotional blackmail.

But now that I'm well over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

So to my teen, and yours, I'll hop on my soap box and preach: You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a blasted Utopia! ‘Course you know I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

Oh, there was no email for us either. No, no, we had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! Then we had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there! That took forever!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, even the parents of all my friends had permission to kick our asses if we were up to no good! No where was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and actually shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the end of the song and mess it all up!

There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone.

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting at home either! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! Too bad, so sad.

Oh, we didn't have Caller ID, no sirree! When that phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

Did I mention we didn't have any type of Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics? We had to wait until our 20's just for the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! And your thumbs were sore.

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! (I actually worked for them for a while--I could tell you stories, but another time perhaps). There was no channel surfing! You had to get off your hind end and walk over to the TV to
change the channel! There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in the 60’s, much less before!

The over 40 Crowd ~

and Buzzard Flats! :D

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jams n' Jelly n' Butter, Oh My!

When we moved up here to Oregon we were on a beautiful property just across the street from The Rogue River. Oh the view was spectacular, and so new (for me)! This place was my dream; a brick Spanish style home with vaulted ceilings and a circular fireplace, on the side of a mountain and with 15 apple trees in front yard! There was just NOTHING like looking out across an apple orchard bursting with spring blossoms! :D

One morning, for no particular reason that I'm aware of, I started thinking of my Granny back in North Carolina, and I could see her plain as day, peeling apples and cooking them in this huge black-speckled pot. My "ah ha", moment as Oprah would say, came as I looked in my kitchen cupboards and found my OWN black-speckled pot. And here all these years I had been calling it my bean pot. Only reason I bought it was cause I remembered Granny always used one, so I thought it was a kitchen staple (hey, what do I know, eh?). But NOW I knew what I was going to do with all those apples!

Summer brought plenty of fruit, and being the child of a depression-era-survivor, the idea of all those apples going to waste just drove me crazy. I did love watching the deer come in the mornings and eat the apples from the ground, but there were tons still hanging on the trees, calling my name. Huh? Who, me? Did I "look" like Betty Crocker? Uh, no. How many apple pies can one gal bake?

Girl, I tell ya, Granny would-a been so proud, cause I made apple pies, apple sauce, apple pancakes, apple muffins, apple tarts. Lord have mercy, I still had apples coming out of my ears.
I'd had a few flashback memories of her canning, but had never tried it; no way, that's for cooks.
But I, at this point, at least needed to give it a try...

I found my "special" recipe box, which was my Granny's recipe box, and lo and behold, the recipe for apple butter. Okay Kathy, take a deep breath, you can do this girl. Yeah, I've been talking to myself for years, no biggie, right? Just follow the steps...and remember.

I'll be a monkey's uncle if that apple butter didn't come out JUST LIKE Granny used to make! OMG, I was SO proud (okay, I still am, I admit it). Oh yes, my hips were happy, happy campers. I tried it first on toast. Mmm, not bad, not bad at all. Okay, next, English muffins. Mmm, yeah. Hey, why not pancakes? Oh yeah baby, that's what I'm talk'in about! Wow, I was actually GOOD at this apple butter stuff. Who'd a thunk?

Never in MY wildest dreams would I ever have believed that I would be canning AND making apple butter. Like I said, do I look like Betty Crocker? Uh nope, never have. I hate cooking. Ahh, but this isn't really cooking; THIS, my friends, is an artform, and I've always been an artist.

Yet, I'm sad, deep inside, that neither Granny nor my mother got to see this. Now it is 2009, and I've been canning and making jams and jelly and preserves and butters since 1993. Wow. I still shake my head in amazement. Oh, and my hips? They're still very happy campers. lol

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

About Buzzard Flats

Buzzard Flats is the phrase I coined when living in Eagle Point, Oregon. My neighbors were all much older than I, which would have been just dandy with me, but they seemed to think that my family was less than desirable simply because we were renting. We, afterall, were newlyweds, so this was our first home as a family.

Admittedly, at first my feelings were quite hurt. I'm an outgoing type of person and love meeting my neighbors, exchanging recipes and flower seeds -- but they were just not open to making new friends. Well, ya know, after a while I came to the realization that you just can't please everybody, and it was THEIR LOSS cause I'm a great person!

So, the "little girl in me" decided to start referring to our neighbors (in family conversations) as the old Buzzards (seemed pretty appropriate at the time, eh?). hehehe Thus, the town we lived in became known [to everyone I spoke with] as Buzzard Flats!

I've always been "earth conscious" and consequently have most times had a compost going in my back yard. This creates great soil amendment, and in Eagle Point we had the worst clay soil I had EVER had to deal with. Hmm, okay, this means a LOT of working the ground in order to get any plants to grow. My knowledge of composting grew, a lot, while living there, and my ability to grow flowers and veggies grew more and more each year (Yay!). Within a year, I had flower seeds enough to share with all my friends, and more left over, so I started selling my seeds online! This became a big hit, and thus Buzzard Flats Online Auction House was created.