Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Holiday Demon Flu

In hindsight,.my last blog should have been called "December Cram-a-Rama"....just because that is a catchier title.

Where is my husband....!!? I mean, I know he's at work, but he's not answering my texts! My very URGENT texts! He placed an order yesterday with the MeatHouse for a Rib Roast for four people. Somehow, when I picked it up, it was a million pounds and a million dollars! 10 lbs to be exact, which is about twice the meat we were aiming for, I'm pretty sure! I was just picking up, so I didn't know what exactly was said over the phone....soooo....I felt like it would be too awkward to start an argument with the butcher without all the facts about the size of our Christmas Dinner...

Terence is going to roll his eyes, as I am a notorious over-consumer. All the maternal figures in my life instilled in me the notion that the worst thing that could possibly happen to a dinner (or other engagements involving food) would be to run out. Or maybe I'm just not good with choices. Jerin and I went to the store and the IDEA was to decide between brussels sprouts, green beans, and broccoli. Or creamed spinach. We kinda came home with...all of it. Somehow?

So, we had a smashingly delightful Holiday Party last weekend! Great turn-out and everyone seemed jolly and merry and festive, and all that jazz. Gaby, Jerin and I made 108 Deviled Eggs, as part of the authentic Swedish Smorgasbord, with ham, meatballs, au gratin potatoes, red cabbage, herring....etc! And my favorite- Rice Pudding!

After all that merriment, the next day we all got hit with the flu. Or rather, this year's "Demon Strain" of the flu. And one week later, still going strong. Bleh. This is going to sound bad, but in a way it's refreshing to have "normal" flu/cold symptoms....instead of crazy, nonsense Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. So far, Gilenya is being very good to me. :-) I don't mean to marginalize this flu - it's terrible. I mean it. It doesn't go away, even for NON-immunosuppressed folks like yours truly! And the pneumonia like cough that reminds you of your emphyzematic creepy guy on the bus. (I don't really ride the bus....ever....so that is just speculation.)

Lauren thinks I should blog more about food, and I'd like to. Maybe I'll blog tomorrow's T-Rex sized Prime Rib? And aren't you all just dying to know what our vegetable choices will end up being?? Or how my Gluten-Free Yorkshire Pudding will turn out?

Friday, December 7, 2012

"December Cram-a-thon"

Don't you love when I cram a ton of info into one blog? It shouldn't even be called a "blog"...when all it is, is a "List".

Obama is in for another four years, thank heavens. The Republicans continue to clown around, and are busy continuing to self-destruct.

So, it's mid-December already! Jerin has been here for over a month and is settled into her new home, with her new roomie, and the roomie's three awesome cats! All in all, I'm proud and trilled at what a smooth transition she's had!

Side-note: I am gagging, watching this show on how to make a fruit-cake. I care not one bit that the recipe is from 1860. Barf!

I'm dashing off to Atlanta tomorrow morning to sing at the Swedish-American Lucia Celebration tomorrow night! I love Christmas so much - it's the best! I've sent out about 100 Christmas cards so far...and am NOT done. I've also been super decor-happy recently. I ordered a new chair for the living room, and am keeping my fingers crossed that it's as cool as it looks...! We have a new awesome dining room table (to better accommodate our compulsive entertaining habits) along with a buffet (to accommodate our seemingly infinite stock of serving ware, china, vases, platters, candle holders...).

Thanksgiving was delightful, and delightfully gluten-free!

Now I've gotta go find some white tights to wear under the Lucia Dress....they really should make these dresses out of thicker material....

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Flu in Review

Where to begin?

My heart goes out to all the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. I can't even imagine the nightmare they are recovering from right now.

Although thankfully we had no damage, and no flooding- it was a very stressful night nonetheless. Power went out at 5pm on Monday, and I was grateful to have prepared with the emergency radio and flashlights. The headlamp that I made fun of was awesome for reading my book, and NPR was great for pissing me off with all the reports on how close the election polls are. My phone WAS fully charged, but then my concerned neighbour called and basically ran down the battery, telling me that I "have to have a fully charged phone". I tried to tell her, when she told me to charge it in my car, that the car needs to be on, and I didn't feel like accidentally ending myself....to which she said to drive it outside, so  I had to point out, again, that we have no power for the garage door. If I HAD to, I could pull the door manually of course, but it seemed easier to me to hang out the phone, and NOT run out of battery. She finally agreed, and I told her I'd call her when the power came back. Which it did, two days later. Highlights of the dark night included me setting off the burglar alarm, not realizing it was on when I braved the storm to get the dogs to go outside. We had no hot water, and I futzed around in the dark tripping over animals. The dogs could't figure out why it was night time at 6pm, but they seemed ok through it all.

Terence was of course working the overnight. They didn't have power at the hospital either, so ER patients were diverted to other places, and the generators were running for the in-patients.

The next morning I was a basket case due to lack of sleep, and stress. I spent the early morning hours chasing a beeping that I could't find. It was sharp enough to be an alarm, but it wasn't the Carbon Monixide alarm, which was good. I hadn't set the burglar alarm, which was running on batteries, but maybe they had run out. I still don't know what it was. Then I noticed that the stove clock was on....how was that possible with no power? I got freaked out and felt like I was in a scary movie!

Terence came home like a whirlwind the next morning, and I was super-grump having not slept. I didn't feel comfortable leaving the house with no power, since I had no idea what was on or off. We were supposed to go to Vermont, and I hadn't packed or anything. We were pretty much both in terrible moods. I didn't want to leave our giant stockpile of Omaha food from Grandma to spoil, since we had no idea when the power would be back! Terence seemed sure that everything would be fine - but I just wasn't havin' it. If I was going to Vermont, I was going to make sure everything was set. So, in conclusion, we shuttled all our food over to Lauren and Travis' extra freezer space, and the housesitter extraordinarie Kelly was on cat-duty. She'd take care of the lights etc should the power come back on. So a little later than planned...off we went to Vermont!

In Vermont, at the Mountain Top Resort, we were pretty much the only guests! We got upgraded to a fantastic cabin, and my foul mood softened a bit! Sure, it was replaced by the FLU, but that's ok. It was nice to get away with my husband for even just a little bit. The scenery is so lovely and the dogs were happy. We are so please that Sara enjoyed her first family vacation, and was such a good dog! She didn't bark when left in the cabin when we went to dinner, or anything! They were both great, and I could learn a thing or to from them, about "How to Relax".

 
I am very glad we went.

I am also glad we moved the food because the power did NOT come back in a timely manner. Thanks again to the Alfords, since this is not the first time they have saved our food supply!

The flu lingered as we made our way back home. I was feeling ok there for a bit, but after kind of a big outing yesterday....it's back in full force. All in all, it was worth it to see President Obama and his cool cat sidekick Bill Clinton at the New Hampshire rally, but I am definitely paying for it now. I sound like I have tuberculosis!!! I know this is not good, considering I currently have a low white blood count, but I am doing what I can. I consider President Obama intregal in my MS treatement, since he has made healthcare affordable!

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE TOMORROW!!!!!

Since I'm flu-ridden and coughed through the night, I'm going to take a nap. I cancelled all students today, because whatever this is, I do not want others to get it. And I need to get better. Maybe tomorrow I can continue, and tell you all about how I said goodbye to my dear old car, how Sara is doing in obedience class....and how Bestie Jerin is MOVING TO BOSTON TOMORROW!!!!!!!!













 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Life of Pie...

...was very short. I worked so hard, to create the best gluten-free Sour Cream Apple Pie ever. I had taken it out to sprinkle the topping on it, and was in the process of putting it back in the oven. That is when the cheap-o pie crust foil folded under the weight of the filling, and flipped. Pie everywhere. Of course it immediately gravitated towards the space between the oven and the oven door. Why wouldn't it?!?

I hope it's not a sign. I had just made some jubilant remark about how I was "Baking for Obama". Oh well. Hopefully he'll still win, and my $15 bucks I just donated will go farther than this stupid pie. I am officially renaming it Romney Pie, since it's now in the trash.

Terence came home early! I would have made something more glamorous than GF Mac & Cheese, had I known! :-) It's nice to have him home, to catch the Giants kick some Tiger-butt, on their way to winning the World Series. Maybe if I get over today's Pie-Fiasco, I can try again with a World Series Apple Pie.

I did something gnarly to my back this morning. I was working on putting this stupid little shelf unit together for the bathroom, and something got tweaked. It was all for nothing too, because when I took out some parts from their packaging during assembly, this rust-colored dust went all over me, and our beautiful bathroom tiles. What? Why would it do that? Stupid piece of crap. Back into the box it went, and I spent a good painful half hour scrubbing the tiles and myself. C'mon China-  you can do better. I'm going to schedule my Massage Envy appointment for ASAP, because my back hurts. A lot.

I bought myself a present today while I was out running "mandatory errands"- a silver down snow vest, in preparation for a repeat of the "Winter of '52." I also bought some emergency items; a lantern, a flashlight, a car emergency kit, and....I think that was it. I know Terence doesn't think "FrankenStorm" is going to hit us very hard, here or in Vermont, but why take the chance. If we're going to be sitting in a flood ditch, then we can at least use the flashlight/radio/phone charger. Then maybe I can still mobile blog....

Did I seriously just see a commercial for a "laptop SLASH tablet?" Where is this all going? Remember when cell-phones were the size of a shoebox?? And then they became the size of a box of dental floss? And now screens are getting bigger and bigger again. It's all the same crap!

The Giants are playing beautifully. At least that's good. I wanted to go hear Travis Alford's concert this evening, but I wouldn't have been able to sit pain-free for the performance. I have seriously failed the Alfords today! I was supposed to attend Dachshund Day on the Common with Lauren this morning, but I didn't wake up! :-( I remember setting my alarm, and....that's all I remember.

We saw "Argo" last night - a really good movie! In fact it has been a long time since I have liked a movie this much. Go see it. Tell them Ann sent you.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Venza-Palooza?"

When I am grumpy, my blog will inevitably suffer. Just throwing that out there.

My car needs a catalytic converter. Oh, and a new tail light. Oh, and new windshield wiper blades. This is too much. And the estimate is too much. I am kind of sad, because my options are 1) for us to throw down for a new car, or 2) fix it for roughly the amount of a down payment on aforementioned new car. I was secretly hoping my car and I would be together when we crossed the 200,000 mile mark...only 4000 miles away. :-(

But...a new car WOULD be kind of exciting.....

We're thinking possibly a Toyota Venza! You know, that car in the commercial where the baby boomers are all out partying? With their Venza? And their adult kids visit their home and assume they are sleeping....? Yea, that one. That's the car I want. I think.

So, in other news...I thought today was actually tomorrow. All day. I made spinach dip to bring to the Debate Party. I moved plans to tomorrow. Alas....the debate, the party...both tomorrow. Good spinach dip though.

I guess I'll have to go rent a car tomorrow.

Maybe I can sleep off this bad mood. Although that's not likely with CVS loudly redoing their entire store between the hours of 1am and 3am. And Kosmo being a jerk between 4am and 5am. And construction next door picking up at 6am. I'll try the earplugs again, I'm just paranoid that Littles will eat them... like he ate my headband today. Or that I won't hear the alarm.





Monday, October 8, 2012

'Out-of-Pocket, Out-of-Mind"

I guess the saying is "Out of sight, out of mind." I'm sad because I don't understand the endless ocean of paperwork that my insurance sends me. While at the same time being petrified that it will be taken away by Romney, God forbid. The difference between "out-of-pocket" and "deductible", makes very little sense. You pay up to a certain amount (your deductible), and when you've reached THAT limit....you continue to pay up to ANOTHER limit (the out-of-pocket). UGH. I mean, I get it, that some things count towards the deductible and some don't, but it just seems a bit redundant. But basically I am just mad because even with out-of-network authorization by Harvard Pilgrim, the Mayo Clinic just send me ANOTHER bill for over $800 dollars. Which coincidentally is what I have left on my "out-of-pocket". And when I was done swearing at that bill, I opened the bill from the hospital, for my MRI the other week. Just under $1000. My question to Harvard Pilgrim tomorrow will be "so since my deductible is met, can I assume that MRIs don't count, since my MRIs - all by themselves - have a payment plan that is now hovering around $3400?"

Before I forget, and this is a bit off topic....our buddy Mark told us the other night that "all dog paws smell like Frito's." I just want to report that I am starting to think he is correct.

Sigh. Engine light went on. Just under 200K miles. And then it went off again. So now I'll look lame and paranoid turning it in to the mechanic tomorrow.

I tried Whole Food's Gluten Free Gnocchi tonight, and it was really tasty! Even for someone who isn't wild about gnocchi in the first place! I dumped some tomato paste into some Alfredo sauce, chopped up some basil, and doused it all in Parmesan. Delicious.

Today's "Great"? There were a couple! Getting nice cards from friends and family, and a yummy looking recipe from Step-Ma-in-Law. Also, this moment is pretty great, with 4 out of 5 animals all snoring around me, watching Castle. The "Gross"? Two bills equaling approx $1800 arriving in the mail. Wait...back to the pets....where is Little Man! 4 out of 5! Littles!!!!!!! Where are you, and what are you getting into....Peace and Serenity is now officially over. :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Terence's "Championship Triple-Play Chili"

I really wanted to make Flan for dessert today. But due to an overwhelming presence of condensed milk, paired with an underwhelming presence of evaporated milk....this project has been postponed. THAT, plus 99% of the recipes take too long. Maybe I'll make it tomorrow, or Tuesday, and bring it to Peter and Allyn's place for "Debate Debacle 2012, Volume II- Battle of the Back-Ups".


Tonight is CHILI-NIGHT with Lauren and Travis! Chillin' with Chili. The whole house smells amazing, and I can't wait!!! We should all feel extra grateful that Terence was able to reach through his grief about the A's losing this afternoon, to still create this magnificent meal!

Yesterday we had such an excellent dinner at the Larkin's! Perfectly cooked steak, and good wine. They are such great people. (It totally gets the prize for yesterday's "Great". Yesterday's "Gross" goes, once again, to Sara - for releasing her anal glands in my lap in the car on our way there. Time to give everyone and everyTHING a mega-bath.)

This will be a short entry, because my eyes are being difficult, and vision is getting fuzzy. And it's almost CHILI TIME! Off to set the table! Recipe to follow tomorrow, if I remember!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Submarines" vs. "Stupid Girls with Cross-bows"

Hello, and welcome back! I'm sensing a certain new-found... "blog-sistency!" (That term shall from now on be used to describe a scenario where Ann writes more than 4 blogs entries in any given month. Or sometimes, in any given year?")

I'm back from a nice dinner with Lauren and Travis! I branched out, and ordered my usual risotto with lobster...and realized ONCE AGAIN, that I don't love lobster. I should really just accept that fact, and stop trying. It was still a great time, especially with Travis making angry faces, unicorns, one-eared cats, and elf-beards (the list goes on and on and on and on)...all by bending a black straw and arranging it in various ways on his face. It was just too much fun! We also spent some time laughing about the word "lymphocytes"!

I feel like whenever a submarine is featured on a TV series - it's WAY more spacious than it should be. Nobody is crouching as they scurry around the vessel, and the ridiculously high thresholds are blatantly absent between quarters. Even so, in spite of this submarine's obvious "structural liberties"....I'm liking "Last Resort" better than "Revolution". Maybe I just like naval uniforms and submarines better than stupid girls with crossbows running around the woods? Yea, that's most likely the case.

My right hand hurts so bad! I don't know exactly when the "annoying numbness" became "real and serious pain". It makes it impossible to sleep, because I can't figure out where my dumb hand should go! Terence can sleep through most things, but the pets are all bothered by me not staying still. Last night was terrible, and I finally fell asleep - only after the ice-pack completely numbed my entire hand. Oh, and I now officially suck at piano. :-(

Today's "Great and Gross", are self-explanatory. "Gross" was sitting in traffic for two hours and missing my last lesson because of it. "Great" was the Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese we had with dinner.

And WHY will Sara not poop today? We've been to the field and played Frisbee ..we've had numerous long walks...so many, in fact, that Amelia is about to go on strike. Because as someone who IS comfortable pooping WITHIN a trillion mile radius....she's had it with the "walking".

Training Session this morning was crazy! My trainer had new "stuff", so I think I just happened to be the lucky one he could test it on. Including the 20 lb vest. I felt like I was about to run a drug bust, and looked remarkably prepared to do so. Naturally, everything from push-ups to squats were 20 lbs more difficult. Made me wonder if the same exercises would have felt like they did today when MY BODY was carrying around 20 more lbs? Wasn't THAT long ago! I have to say, it does feel good to be stronger.

I was planning on going to a Cranberry Bog Festival with Lauren and Travis tomorrow. I didn't really think it through, given that after about 6-8 hours post Gilenya, I'm completely wiped. Which would explain why I'm not getting up early anymore. I'm thinking I need to sleep - I love going places with Lauren and Travis! But it's the other 25,000-however-many-estimated-visitors that I'm not so sure about! Did we ever figure out what a "bog" really is? I'm imagining standing knee deep in floating cranberries, like the Ocean Spray dudes. I'll look forward to the Alfords reporting back!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Blog" with a Side of "Ranting".

I'm not in love with this new TV series "Revolution". I have a hard time with female protagonists that have IQ's lower than 90. Just saying.

In plant-news!! I moved the hanging plant downstairs. I guess Terence was getting tired of feeling like he was showering on the set of  "the Ruins". We had an orchid scare with Littles and a guest leaving a door open, that made me rethink the plant-integration project. But since I naturally went overboard with the plants, now they are ALL housed in the downstairs guest bathroom. Good luck finding the toilet in there.

Today's "Great & Gross" is simple. Traffic was Gross. I was an hour late to my last lesson. I tried several detours but if it wasn't the freeway congestion, it was construction. The GPS was blowing up, because I wasn't taking ANY of her stupid suggestions. Instead I was following my own stupid suggestions.

Today's "Great" arrived in the form of SUPER YUMMY TACOS! Thanks to my hubby for having a great dinner ready when I eventually got home.

We are now on another episode of "Revolution" ...and it is getting worse.

I filed a complaint with the DA's office this morning against Father & Son Moving Company. It did feel quite good. I almost lost my mind back when they were in the process of screwing us over, so even if nothing comes of this...I feel like someone has heard me.

So...that concludes my blog for tonight. I'll save the story about "how I dropped a mechanical pencil down the back of my shirt and all the little led sticks went everywhere and it was very uncomfortable"....for another day.

PS, "Revolution" ....still sucks.

***WARNING***
***POLITICAL RANT FOLLOWS THAT MAY POTENTIALLY OFFEND 
REPUBLICANS AND/OR JERKS***
(Basically I don't want any hateful comments that prove that you are addicted to my awesome blog, in spite of yourself. If you're super pissed, maybe write your own blog?)
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"My job is not to worry about those people..."  -Mitt Romney


We attended a fun "Debate Debacle Party" last night at our friend's Allyn and Peter's place. I feel compelled to mention these delicious salted caramels that one of the guests made. AMAZING.

So... like many others, I felt Obama was luke-warm last night, and we all wish he had had brought his A-game. I was impressed by Mitt Romney's speaking style. I was also stunned by how "suddenly moderate" he seemed. And I was royally pissed off at the lies he is feeding the American people about the deficit. I'm no mathematician, but neither are the Republicans apparently. Even if I DIDN'T disagree with most everything he proposes to do with this country- I'd be scared. (After last night it doesn't even seem like he'd be able to live up to the promises he's made to the Republicans to screw over the Democrats!!) As Obama put it, albeit 12 hours too late "Who WAS that man I met yesterday?" Yes, I wish Obama had been more with it last night - but I'm happy that at least I know where he stands, and isn't going to change his mind about important things just to get elected.

I entertained myself tonight by imagining Romney in a foreign policy crisis. The debate should be more like a game show in my opinion- give both candidates a hypothetical scenario:

"Syria is launching missiles into Turkey, accidentally, or otherwise- what would YOU do!?"

I imagine Romney would, without giving specifics of course, say that it's not America's problem. But then maybe by the end of the commercial break, he'd have launched the entire army. But maybe before Obama gets a chance to answer, Romney will interrupt the game show host, to recall the army.

Oh wait...this is not a hypothetical scenario. It's happening right now.

Sigh. I tried for as long as I could to NOT blog about politics. But honestly, I am very sad to see some of my dear college friends, smart friends, forgetting all about what they used to believe in. Seems like they have traded in their compassion, and their friendships for a comfortable heterosexual life with 2.5 kids, and corporate jobs. Guess it doesn't affect THEM if same-sex marriage is outlawed, and that our gay friends can't be entitled to the same benefits that marriage offers heterosexual couples. Guess they've forgotten all about those of us with pre-existing conditions, and I guess they aren't blessed with any themselves?

Romney didn't mention last night was that if your workplace changes insurance, you might not be able to continue your coverage, and the pre-existing condition clause he says he's now KEEPING when he repeals Obamacare...might only apply to the insurance you already have. Romney seems to think he'll win by omission. :-(

As someone who used to pay $600/month for private insurance at one point, and an additional $2300/month co-pay for my MS treatment....that sounds offensive to me. For the first time in 12 years I actually feel GOOD, thanks to Gilenya, I dare say. And it costs me $50/month. I can finally afford to be sick!  I no longer have to bankrupt my parents to get the medications I need. Woo-hoo! (AND I finally don't have to, as a good friend pointed out last night, pay $50/month to NOT have a baby!!! Don't even get me started on the republican gentlemen who made despicable statements about how rape victims should "self-abort" any undesirable consequences of their "bad luck".)

I think at the polls, anyone who wants to vote republican in this election should be required to identify Syria on a map. That should be enough to balance out all the stupid little laws the Reps are trying to pass to keep assumed democratic minorities from voting.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zombie Towelettes

My brain is seriously filling up with things I want to blog about, but each day seems to be filling up with CRAP that doesn't leave me enough time! And right now, I'm racing against a dying laptop battery, and heavy eyelids.

Good news! The movers ("Father and Sons Moving") who ripped us off, pissed us off, and screwed us over, are being investigated here in MA! I'm so excited to call the District Attorney's office tomorrow, and contribute my two cents. (Two cents is about all we have left since they charged us $2700 to move 10 miles. That's after a $900 estimate, damaging our brand new condo, lying about being piano moving certified....and calling me a "racist".) I'm ready to fight.

WHAT are they doing outside our home, every single night between the hours of midnight and 3am? Clanging and shuffling. It's driving me nuts. It seems they, whoever they are, are doing something related to construction, so I don't feel like it's necessarily appropriate to file a noise complaint...ugh!

I think I want to start a daily mention of (at least) one cool/good thing that happened, and one NOT good/cool thing. I think I'll call it they "Daily Great and Gross". Has a nice ring to it, no?

Yesterday's "Great" was that Terence and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! I'm so lucky to have such a good man for my husband, and I love him so much! We had a really nice dinner in Brookline, with a server who looked and acted just like Charlie from "Always Sunny in Philadelphia". I bought my honey a lobster pot, with the understanding that I will not personally participate in the murdering of lobsters. I will be responsible for the "melting of butter" instead.

Yesterday's "Gross" was pretty gross. Puppy Sara literally ate her breakfast too fast, puked a bit in her mouth, and proceeded to lick my face in a big way. I felt like I was being attacked by a zombie scented make-up remover towelette.

We threw a really nice party for my mother last Friday. I wish I could say the whole visit was nice, but it wasn't. In fact, I'm pretty devastated. But alas, that's a story for another time. Or maybe for my auto-biography...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Photosynthesis...FAIL!

So sifting through the blog log, I find an entry from June about how "my friend Lauren inspires me to blog" (which she does!), and how "we got a new dog!" (which we did!)

Somehow it didn't make it to publishing. This saddens me because both of those items are super awesome and important! So, thank you Lauren for always being an inspiration in every way! (Except in the "I carry around hundreds of unused giftcards" sense.)

And...welcome SARA! If I'd actually posted the first blog, you'd have been informed about our new addition back in June. (If I'd been a decent blogger, you'd have known about it in early MAY) It's now September. But anyhow, she is incredible, and wonderful, and dramatic, and beautiful...and tall. And she just stole 4 pieces of bacon from the counter. (Begin countdown to explosive bowel movement....T-8 hours?) We are so very happy that she and Amelia are best buds! Amelia likes nothing more than to bite Sara's long legs, while Sara desperately tries to play with toys. Amelia even goes so far as to drop random toys in Sara's path for distractionary purposes, making for optimal leg biting.


It was a tumultuous summer to say the least. New dog, new home, new MS symptoms and meds...trip to the Mayo Clinic...it's really only been these past 5-6 days that I've felt even a LITTLE BIT peaceful. (Yay plants!) It's probably also due to that Terence has been home, and we've had 4 awesome dinners together back to back, and actually gotten to spend some time together. Lots of playing with the pups at the field that we hijack from undeserving soccer players. Lots of home decorating/arranging - it's starting to finally feel like home.

Speaking of plants- let's revisit my previous entry from earlier today. (Woo-hoo, twice in one day!!) I was really excited about a box shelf that we put up to protect the small potted Polka Dot Plant from Little Man's  appetite for all things not intended for ingestion.

Well, our joy was short-lived. This afternoon we were trying to observe his behavior without him noticing...there he was, looking like a Bulgarian teen gymnast, with one leg on the counter, one on the wall, in a delicate balancing act...with his whole face shoved into the decorative cut-out of the shelf, chomping on the little plant.

So...Operation Photosynthesis...FAIL. :-( I just wanted the satisfaction of displaying something green!! Photosynthesis....DENIED!!!!!! AAAAAH!


And now, after a delicious gourmet grilled cheese brought forth by my Master Chef husband....a glass of wine and cookies. And...the movie "Cowboys and Aliens"? Forgive my question mark and general skepticism but seriously- Terence has chosen some real "retinal wreckers" recently....Time to launch "Operation Reclaim Netflix"!!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Oxygenating the Home"

Look! I'm back already. We're off to a good (twelfth) start!

I have two pressing issues today. (Both will indicate that I am not suffering, and have a pretty darn good life.) One problem is my addiction to Toffifay - "A Whole Hazelnut in Chewy Caramel with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling and Chocolate". I am pretty sure that I am single-handedly responsible for a huge surge in Toffifay inventory at the local CVS store. I find myself standing in the chocolate aisle, devastated, staring at the barren shelf. Then two seconds later I struck by the even more devastating reality that it was ME who bought the last two boxes last night. I turn to leave, feeling both relief and grief at the same time. This has to stop. I don't know why I can't eat just ONE, and have it NOT mean "entire box".

A few weeks ago I became obsessed with the idea of "houseplants" since we've really never had any. It's like photosynthesis suddenly became my greatest fascination, and I became convinced that we were oxygen deprived in our new home, because we didn't have any plants! This leads me to the second issue of the day - hanging a plant from the ceiling. I thought I'd become quite adept at using a stud-finder (insert  "like I needed any help, psh!" or "your mom is a stud-finder"....etc....) but there is simply no way the hole I nailed into the plaster would hold the hook, to support the giant hanging plant. UGH! So now there is a hole in the ceiling, and the giant hanging plant is residing in the bath tub. I'm sure Terence thinks it's super-fun to shower with a scene from "The Ruins".

I spent two hours in the greenhouse at Wilson Farms on Sunday. Phone in hand, I carefully researched and cross-checked the various species with the has-to-be-true (right?) internet information concerning what would -and more importantly-what would NOT, kill our pets upon ingestion. Surely ingestion will be inevitable at some point. The lady was very helpful, and after dealing with my million questions, states "You know, I'm going to compile a list for pet-owners!" For surely, she won't want to deal with the likes of me, ever again.

I walked out with three little plants, one medium plant, and the aforementioned giant hanging plant. Pictures of my new green pets soon to follow! Provided I can keep them alive long enough to a) figure out where to put them, and b) take photos....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Resuscitation

....and the SPELLING thereof! What a word! Have I EVER had to spell that word before? I don't think so. If it's spelled wrong, I apologize.

What was stopping me from blogging for this long!?! It's embarrassing how long it has been. For the past 5 months, I've been so wrapped up in the MS induced pharmaceutical shit-storm, that at ANY given point, I've been too distracted to type in the web address to even get me to this page. That, and the fact that "sleeping" started becoming the best option over just about everything else. Stupid, right!?

Today, there is an equally serious obstacle...the Fat Orange Cat. I actually can't see what I'm typing because he is blocking the screen with a frantic "stompade" of my abdominal region. He is so big. I'll have to spell-check this, for sure!

In all seriousness...I'm back from my somewhat involuntary "blog hiatus" because...I now feel pretty good! I'm 30 days into my Gilenya (fingolimod) treatment - (and as of yesterday, I'm 33 years into my LIFE.) and it feels pretty amazing to be taking a PILL for Multiple Sclerosis, available for the first time in history. I sure don't miss the incessant stabbing with needles and the resulting super-sexy welts and bruises. Seemed especially stupid to keep it up when apparently the disease kept progressing anyway. Looking back it's been kind of a rough road, since...well...I don't even know since when. But a rough road nonetheless. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm worry-free, however, the anxiety over the initial risks seems to be fading. As are what we can only assume were random wacky side-effects, like having trouble breathing...headache and back-ache. In fact, I did read that a possible side-effect of Gilenya is "an MS relapse". (And that, my friends, would explain why I felt like my rib cage was being crushed for the past 3 weeks.)  I spent time in the ER with doctors trying to determine if what I felt was the drug OR the disease. Guess it was both. Coincidentally, just as I start this new treatment, another oral medication for MS gets approved! When it rains, it pours, I guess? I know it's not a CURE yet...but to any and all who might be considering Gilenya for their MS....I feel really good about finally arriving at this decision to jump in and join the 30,000 trailblazing patients worldwide.

Enough about the serious stuff. Join me tomorrow, when I will use this blog to "rip Sears a new one". But it will have to be AFTER I go to my work-out in wet clothes since, while we GOT the new dryer today (MIRACULOUS) after 7 weeks, the guy who has to BY LAW come and connect it....never came back after the delivery. Oh, and there is more....TOMORROW!

Today was strange. I feel like the only thing at which I truly succeeded was:

1) Eating an entire box of chocolates.

I did prepare Mahi Mahi with balsamic asparagus for dinner...but due to lack of seasoning....see above.

PS. I guess I technically succeeded in re-opening the crypt that was/is "this blog".


Monday, February 20, 2012

Viruses and other nuisances...

Holy smokes, it's been a long time. I don't understand why this particular resolution is so hard for me!

So long story short, I'm currently battling with the Tysabri decision. I think it's clear in my balance, cognition, and right hand, that I need to treat my MS, one way or the other. It was exciting three weeks ago, when the FDA approved a new blood-test, that would help determine your risk-markers for PML (a nasty nasty brain infection) while on Tysabri. So that was all fun and games, and I was eager to start the infusions, pending the results...guess I hadn't given much thought to testing positive. :-( That was a sad day...not for any other reason, really, than how confident I had become that there was a viable treatment option for me. My decision had been made...and then it quickly got un-made. Now there is an element of fear, knowing that my risks for PML are greater.

On a happier note, Terence and I just ordered family portraits, that we took up in Kennebunkport, ME last month! With the 6:45am meeting time, and 12 degree freezing weather...I'm so pleased with the results! :-)

On a SUPER HAPPY NOTE - Terence is making chili, and Lauren and Travis are coming over to watch "What's Your Number"!

On an aggravating note...why do there always have to be either CHILDREN or YORKIES (or other dogs...), yelling/barking outside our apartment? It's like a torture chamber, 3 hours out of every day.

I guess I should end on a positive note? Hm...