Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Review

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Broke a bone.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No. Like every year, no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Don't remember any, but I've been wrong before.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.
5. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Money, time energy.
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Staying positive through surgery and recovery.
7. What was your biggest failure? Allowing everything else to fall apart.
8. Did you suffer illness or injury? It was the big one, Martha.
9. What was the best thing you bought? Insurance.
10. Where did most of your money go? Target. Daycare.
12. What did you get really, really, really excited about? The aquarium
13. What song will always remind you of 2009? Super-massive Black Hole by Muse
14. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? Same/Same/Same
15. What do you wish you’d done more of? Working on the house before the accident.
16. What do you wish you’d done less of? Computer games
17. What was your favorite TV program? Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew
18. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate last year? I'm taking this question out next year.
19. What was the best book you read this year? Stiff
20. What was your greatest musical discovery? The Twilight soundtrack, which was actually quite good (Twilight, not New Moon, which wasn't as good).
21. What was your favorite film this year? Bandslam. Go figure.
22. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Spending more time after the kids went to bed just picking up and spending time on the house.
23. What kept you sane? My own laptop.
24. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Obama.
25. What political issue stirred you the most? Health Care Reform and the public option.
26. Who was the best new person you met? Hans and Marianna, who I actually met last year but didn't list them and they're super cool and I want them to adopt me.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Shit happens. Suck it up and deal or waste your life crying about it.
28. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "Suddenly I know I'm not dreaming. Hello? I'm still here. All that's left of yesterday." -Evanescence, Hello

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do you realize?

I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . . is what it is and I have learned to live with it and dress around it, if not love it.
I’ve come to realize that my job. . . is worth my full effort.
I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . I actually have those internal conversations out loud.
I’ve come to realize that I need. . . some quiet time every day to recharge.
I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . the will to keep cleaning today.
I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . people don't use their blinkers.
I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . I'm going to be really sorry in the morning.
I’ve come to realize that money... is a journey, not a destination.
I’ve come to realize that certain people. . . must just think differently than I do.
I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . struggle with depression.
I’ve come to realize that my sibling(s). . . is the most complicated relationship I'll ever have and that he will always be there, just on the edge of my brain.
I’ve come to realize that my mom… was absolutely doing the best she could with what she had to work with, just like the rest of us.
I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . needs a full keyboard if I ever want to text.
I’ve come to realize that when I wake up in the morning. . . it will always be a struggle to get out of bed.
I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . . I should have washed my face.
I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking. . . Star Wars IV, V, and VI are some of the best movies ever made.
I’ve come to realize that my dad. . . is a pretty great guy.
I’ve come to realize that today. . . was actually mildly productive.
I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . is my quiet time.
I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . is coming, ready or not.
I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . stop carrying an extra 60 pounds around.
I’ve come to realize that the person mostly likely to repost this is. . . Kashka?
I’ve come to realize that life. . . is managed, not cured. Thank you Dr. Phil.
I’ve come to realize that my friends. . . are the best, even when I'm injured and whiny.
I’ve come to realize that this year. . . sucks and I'm just holding my breath until next year.
I’ve come to realize that my exes. . . vary widely in personality and their ability to be nice to me.
I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . . shut off the computer and address the Christmas cards.
I’ve come to realize that I love. . .my family.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . . republicans.
I’ve come to realize my past. . . is how I got to where I am today and I decide how much it colors who I will be tomorrow.
I’ve come to realize that parties. . . start later and end earlier, and with less drinking these days.
I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . . of I don't know. I'm starting to feel like there's not much I can't conquer. I am bionic now, you know.
I’ve come to realize that my life. . . is pretty good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More strange questions

26. What color is your watch? Haven't worn one in years.
27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia?” bad movie I never saw
28. Would you strip for money? damn straight, but it would have to be worth it. but no one wants to see it...
29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? drive thru
30. What is your favorite number? 27
31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone? my mom
32. Any plans today? go to bed early and read for a bit
33. In how many states have you lived? 2
34. Biggest annoyance right now? kids that won't go to bed
35. Last song listened to? "If you're happy and you know it" - I know, you wish you were this cool.
36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Barely - I would have to really think about it.
37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? I wish
38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? I'm kinda tied to tennis shoes right now, but I'm hoping to break in my new Docs
39. Are you jealous of anyone? sure
40. Is anyone jealous of you? probably not
41. Do you love anyone? absolutely
42. Do any of your friends have children? lots of them
43. What do you usually do during the day? work
44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? no.
45. Do you use the word hello daily? probably not. I usually use "hi" or "hey" but will use "hello" as in, "um, hello? what was she thinking?"
46. What color is your car? midnight blue
47. What size wedding ring do you wear? 7
48. Are you thinking about someone right now? all of the people mentioned above, i guess
49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Over Chicago - The Beast is the best!!
50. How did you get your worst scar? Rock climbing/breaking my leg. And by worst I mean "coolest"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

I just heard on Jezebel that the FDA just put out a new warning on Singulair that it can cause depression. GAH! So my allergy/asthma med and my anti-depressant are canceling each other out?

I cut my thumb big time Friday night and ended up in the ER with 4 stitches. I honestly thought it would be more and that there would have to be internal stitches as well. The cut is about an inch and a half long right on the crease at the base of the thumb. The bleeding caused a huge bruise extending all the way around my thumb up to the first knuckle and all the way down the palm to my wrist underneath the thumb. But I managed NOT to cut the tendon, which would have required an orthopedic surgeon. Again.

I saw a really funny commercial this morning and clapped my hands together laughing, and it really, really hurt.

We now have 7 fish and have become fish people. The cat mysteriously has never even checked out the tank, much less sat in front of it watching as I would have expected.

I am a regular commenter on Jezebel and 70-80% of my comments get promoted. I'm kinda proud of that.

I have a new pair of tennis shoes on the advice of my LPT and she thinks I'm probably gonna have to wear them almost exclusively for the next 6 months. I also have a new pair of Doc Martens, but I haven't been able to break them in totally yet for them to be comfortable.

We bought a new water softener and a new lawn mower and bagger this week. I was talking to my dad today and he was fixing his garage door opener and I said, "Oh yeah, that's on the list, but the doors and openers aren't REALLY broken yet, so they're pretty far down the list." One day, we'll actually fix stuff before it's completely broken.

Speaking of which, I had to take my car in and get the hatch-lock-opener thingy fixed, as it was coming off and finally completely broke in half a few weeks ago. And I got the marker light wires fixed, which have been hanging off the back of the car since last winter, when they were torn loose by a giant chunk of ice.

Oh, and my wedding ring, which was digging in on one side so bad I hadn't worn it in months. They re-rounded it, re-sized it, soughtered it so the two halves wouldn't stretch anymore, and polished and re-tipped it. Now I can wear it again comfortably - so happy to have it back!

Kitten is mostly potty-trained: she hasn't had a pee accident in almost 2 weeks, although we still put her in a pull-up at night. But, she won't poop in the toilet. She is actually pooping now and I don't want to discourage that, but she won't try it in the toilet. I don't want to leave her in underwear at night until she will poop in the toilet, as she usually waits until we change her into one at night to go. Any advice?

And The Hammer won't go in the toilet AT ALL. I've tried bribery (m&ms, her own fish, a Thomas train table). I've tried reverse psychology (I don't want you to go, you are my baby and I want you to stay out of school and stay with me). I don't know where else to go here. This kid will probably train in a day if she would JUST GO. Any advice here?

Odd questions

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Currently blue and white.
2. Name one person who made you smile today? The Hammer.
3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Sleeping.
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Posting comments on Jezebel.
5. What is your favorite candy bar? Snickers
6. Have you ever been to a strip club? No, but I would consider it.
7. What is the last thing you said aloud? Probably "Fine, do whatever you want" or something to that effect.
8. What is your favorite ice cream? Bailey's Haagen Dazs - it's still very sentimental to me.
9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Coke.
10. Do you like your wallet? If you mean my purse, I absolutely adore my new purse. My wallet inside the purse is quite nice too.
11. What was the last thing you ate? Bread pudding at the KFC buffet. After 2 plates of chicken, potatoes, cole slaw and biscuits.
12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? I did grab a new sweater at Target on a whim. And there's a top I want at JCP on clearance to go with my Nancy Kerrigan skirt for Pants' Christmas party.
13. The last sporting event you watched? Two minutes of the Packers game this afternoon while I started a movie for the kids.
14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Plain, with light salt and butter.
15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? Text pic to Pants and my mom (Kitten by the dolphin tank)
16. Ever go camping? We used to go all the time and might try it in the backyard with the kids next summer.
17. Do you take vitamins daily? No, but I should. The kids do.
18. Do you go to church every Sunday? No.
19. Do you have a tan? No.
20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? Depends on the food, and the pizza. And I assume this question is referring to ASIAN food, not Chinese specifically.
21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? I prefer to drink everything with a straw.
22. What did your last text message say? Nothing - it was a picture.
23. What are you doing tomorrow? If all goes normally in our lives, I will be attending work like other people.
24. Favorite color? Blue, brown, whatever looks good on me.
25. Look to your left; what do you see? blankets folded up on the couch.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A week ago Thursday, my grandmother (my step-dad's mom for those of you wondering which of the myriad of grandparents I might be referring to) passed away after several days in the ICU on a ventilator. She has been ill, but her passing was somewhat unexpected.

Wednesday evening, my grandfather (step-dad's dad) was hit by a car on the highway near his house and injured very severely. He is in critical but stable condition in Baltimore and will be undergoing a second round of surgeries tomorrow. He broke his pelvis, his ankle, possibly his tibial plateau, his scapula (shoulder blade), some ribs, compound fracture of the right humerous (upper arm bone), and several vertebrae. I linked to his Caring Bridge site on the right panel.

Posting around here and elsewhere may be light, as I don't know what the next few days or weeks will bring. I put out the next Book Crack selection and my apologies for the previous, although I'm still 9 days early. But I wanted to get a jump on reserving it, as I may be traveling soon.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Last thoughts...

Last Road Trip: Don't even remember back that far.
Last Bad Advice: Can't think of any
Last Movie I Saw in a Theater: Don't laugh - Bandslam
Last TV Show Watched: Jungle Junction
Last TV Show I Enjoyed Watching: Sex Addicts with Dr. Drew
Last Book I Tried to Read: Cast of Killers - got it off the bookshelf at work, about the death of a movie director in the 20s, who had motive, and how the studio totally messed with the investigation.
Last Thing I Left Home Without: my pride? my brain? my sanity?
Last Take Out Meal: McD's breakfast this morning
Last Celebration: Halloween at Puck and Pusher's
Last Item Loaned Out and Haven’t Gotten Back: a book to Pants' aunt, I think.
Last Package Received: Nana sent Halloween stuff for the kiddos. And I get free stuff all the time that I've ordered.
Last Web Site Visited: Kashka_Z's
Last Injury: Yeah, I think we're all up to speed on that one.
Last Run In with the Law: Years ago, B.C. - before children.
Last Place I’d Want to Live: anywhere that doesn't have a cold enough winter to kill off the bugs annually.
Last Magazine Read: People
Last Thing I Broke: my leg. Oh, and the hatch lock on my car.
Last Thing I Fixed: we're not really in a "fix-it" place here right now.
Last Thing That Made Me Laugh: Kashka_Z
Last Thing That Made Me Go Huh? daycare
Last Thought: "How long until naptime?"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Raccoon accident

Conversation of the day:

I have just put the kids in their rooms for quiet time and Kitten is crying not 5 minutes later. Pants walks in and finds her rejected full-body raccoon costume, previously hanging in the closet, on the floor. I am listening from the living room.

Pants: What happened?
Kitten: I hurt myself!
P: What's with the raccoon?
K: I was swinging on it in the closet and I fell down!
[Snorting laughter coming from the living room]
P: You can't swing on things in the closet honey, they won't hold you.
K: Okay.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Random Thoughts

My costume last night didn't pull off as well as I had hoped - I couldn't find my ice skates and it's not nearly as funny to show up as Nancy Kerrigan without Pants walking around behind me with a tire iron. I did get to explain to several people why the limp is my own, though. And Puck had my back on the explanation - he voluntarily glowered over me several times through the evening.

On a related note, my ass wasn't nearly as awful in the tutu as I imagined it would be...

It's official, I hate daylight savings time. And Halloween candy. The Hammer threw up all night last night and the kids were running around like wild animals all day. I finally took them out into the back yard to try to run them around a little bit. It turns out Kitten is a bit of a runner, The Hammer is aces at shooting baskets, and they can both catch a ball fairly well. Nice surprise in a day full of yuck.

I didn't expect to need a second set of sheets for The Hammer's new "big girl bed" just two days after installing the first set, but had to go out an buy one today while the other is in the wash. See above.

I'm taking advice and I've been seizing teaching moments with the girls, like talking about the letters on the Stop sign today, showing them the number 9 when Kitten kept saying talking about 99 in the store, and talking with her about caterpillars and butterflies after reading a book where a caterpillar who felt very dull turned into a beautiful butterfly. I still wish Kitten was getting a full day of that kind of learning, but I guess I'll keep working on it and see what happens.

We love our aquarium and our 3 little fishies, but one of them is apparently a "schooling" fish and keeps annoying the crap out of one of the others, following him around all the time. I need a couple more so they can school together and leave the other fish alone. And yes, they are all male. The chick at the pet store said they could tell and I'm trusting her on that. She also said that any babies would probably get eaten, but I don't think we're ready for Wild Kingdom in the living room.

We also have to keep the food up in a cabinet so the kids don't feed them constantly and far too much. And the fish come up to the top, front and center, whenever the kids come to the tank. Pavlovian much?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Leggy update

Back to Doc P today for a checkup - he took new x-rays and said they looked the same, so all the new movement isn't bothering it any. He was impressed that I could bend my knee as far as I can (117 degrees bend just by pulling it back with my leg muscles, and I can get to 130 degrees if I actually grab my foot and pull it back - the other leg goes to 135 degrees). He also said he thought I was farther ahead than he would have guessed at this point. I don't have to go back for 6 months.

Not that I'm entirely healed, but he said the rest of it would just take time. I walk unassisted and usually don't look like a total gork. Sometimes I even look like I'm walking normal. My left leg is still weaker than the right and you can really see the weakness when I walk up and down stairs. They had me jog in place for 30 seconds on Monday and I've been sore all week. But I didn't fall over and die, so there's that. Anyway, Dr. P said most of the rest would take time to come back. I can quit PT anytime considering my progress, even though I'm not 100% yet.

Conversation of the week:
New PT lady: So is there anything you still can't do?
Syl: Well, I can't run.
NPTL: [looks at me suspiciously] Did you before?
S: No, I don't mean like a marathon. I mean I can't run. Like ever. Like to avoid oncoming cars. Ever.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

My 20 Gallon Project

Remember how I wanted to be a fish owner? Pusher and Puck offered us their fish tank, which had been sitting in their garage since they took it off AKJ and Dude's hands. So, rather than a little, tiny, 1-fish tank, we are now full-fledged owners of a 20-gallon aquarium.

It's a complete system, though, and quite nice. It looked way too complicated at first, but once I started cleaning the pieces and putting it back together, I figured it out. It came with a heater, filtration system, hood with light, and supplies. We went out this evening and bought new tubing, air stones, and gravel (bye bye turquoise!) so we could get the tank set up and have it running for a day before we get fish.

But guys, what was with the laughably wee plants and stuff? All of the decoration that came with it, which is what I assume y'all had in the tank when you used it, are WAY too small for the size of the tank. The plants don't even come halfway up! The lighthouse, as described by Kitten, is a "teeny castle". I'm going to have to purchase a couple new items that are a bit more to scale for a 20 gallon setup.

Still, a great deal. Thanks to everyone. Pics to come when it's ready and has fish.

Conversation of the day:
Pants: Let's get one of those fish. I like the price.
Syl: We're going to have a thousand dollar setup and 27 cent fish?
P: They just die anyway!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Education is for the rich

Pants and I toured a school this morning, The Goddard School. It would be ideal for our kids - on the way to work, more of an educational environment, a friend from daycare already there. But they wanted over $2000 per month to take our kids.

We have been considering moving our kids to a more educational environment so they get more socialization, more educational opportunities, more time playing outside, and are better prepared for school. The home daycare we are in has worked phenomenally well while the kids were younger, but as they get older I think they need more than what they are getting.

If we weren't already in debt up to our eyeballs, I might put our kids in this school anyway. But killing ourselves over pre-school? Who affords this school? Some people must, there were kids' names all over the classrooms. (Maybe they put up fake names. Does anyone really name their kid Anakin??)

It actually made me incredibly angry. I have been unable to find a pre-school program that is not phenomenally more than what we are paying a month now (hundreds more per month) or that runs all week. My kids don't have a way to get to and from pre-school for partial day programs, nor would our daycare allow us to go down to three days per week to put our kids in pre-school the other 2 days. I get it, my kids would take up a slot that could go to a full-time kid. Not that it matters, the ones I have looked at would still be too expensive for us.

There is one option, a Montessori school in Anoka, that is pretty close to what we're paying now, but both kids have to be potty trained before they can enroll and we have to figure out how to get to work from Anoka. It will mean more time commuting every day and more time away from the kids.

So my kids may have to start school without a lot of the skills other kids will have. I don't even know what those skills are, as I can't seem to find a list of what they should know. Should they be able to write letters, or just recognize them? Should they be able to just count, or do some rudimentary math? Tell time? Count money? I want to help my kids get a little more education, but what do I focus on?

I feel really lost on this.

Friday, October 23, 2009


So, I'm flipping through Jezebel this evening and watching the "10 Things You Might Have Missed on TV This Week." Kitten runs over to watch one of the videos and Pants immediately protests.

So I flip to the last one and say, "Ok, let's watch Judge Judy."

The Hammer pipes in: "I want to watch Judge Judy on our TV, like at [daycare lady's house].

Oh dear. My kid is watching Judge Judy at daycare? I'm paying this woman to watch Judge Judy with my children?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conversation in the car

Syl: You know how they make those little fences for the car that keep dogs from jumping out of the back compartment of an SUV? We need one of those, but for the back seat so the kids can't touch each other.
Pants: We could just try shock collars.

"Creamy" is what you're looking for

Because, apparently, yogurt doesn't come in a tub labeled, "No chunkies."

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Big Redneck Wedding

My LPT is getting married on Saturday and I've been keeping tabs on her preparations for a couple of weeks. I started to relive my own wedding on the way to physical therapy today and I realized something. As beautiful as I wanted it to be, my reception was really, really redneck.

I present the evidence:
  • My brother and someone who will remain nameless (because he is NOT dead) snuck out to my rented Lincoln Town Car and blazed up a joint.
  • A co-worker of ours got so drunk that she was hitting on everyone at the reception. Including the BRIDE and GROOM. She later got into an actual fist fight in the parking lot because some other coworkers thought she might be a little too far gone to drive.
  • Apparently an anorexic we know drank too much and ate WAY too much cake, ended up puking her guts out in the bathroom, and got hauled out in an ambulance. Don't even know where I was for that one.
  • Pants' friends The Michaels got incredibly drunk and we played rounds of "Where's Michael?" for an hour, where a different one would show up every 5 minutes, ask where the other was, and stumble off to find him, no matter how hard we tried to make either one stay put.
  • One of them also brought a date, who none of us saw before or have seen since, who was 9 feet tall in a solid turquoise dress. She's the only thing I remember seeing walking down the aisle (What the HELL is that?).
  • I have a photo of two women (regular readers here) dry-humping Pants on the dance floor.
  • The groomsman who missed the wedding because he was IN JAIL showed up in a red suit and pink leopard-print hair.
  • Pants and I spent every dime we had on the wedding and had to take the wedding cards with us to the hotel so we had some money for our honeymoon. If you gave us money, thanks.
So although I have lovely memories of my wedding, I realize now that an open bar was perhaps not the best idea. I realize now that although our friends and family have come a long way, you can't take the redneck out of the country-raised. I realize now that I didn't know half of what went down during the reception and I'm kinda glad.

So there it is - my big redneck wedding.

Feel free to disagree...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hoping to become a fish owner

Kitten has been doing very well on the potty, going most of the weekend staying dry, although she is still having accidents once or twice a day, mostly in the evening. Last night she was dry when we changed into pajamas, though. We sent her to daycare today in underwear and agreed that she would wear a pull-up during nap time. She doesn't seem to have the sleeping thing down at all.

I promised her this weekend at the pet store that if she could stay dry for 7 days straight, she can get a fish. We will also be pulling her from daycare then and putting her into a preschool - another mom at daycare who put her older child in preschool recently said that any residual potty issues they had before cleared up immediately when he started school with the other kids.

So I'm hoping by November 1 to have both a small aquarium and a kid in preschool. Then we start working on The Hammer (who does seem interested, but will just sit on the potty and hasn't actually peed in it yet.)

S to the I to the M to the P

So, most mornings I wake up with a song in my dream/head. I've become attached to some songs this way, songs that I hadn't given much thought to before.

But this morning, I awoke with my favorite P&F song cycling through. I'm a total web doofus and I can't get You Tube to imbed here, so click here to enjoy Squirrels in My Pants.

I told Pants. His comment - "You just got served. Again."

A few minutes later, in a totally different room, I started singing it. Kitten's response? "You just got served. Again."

Friday, October 02, 2009

4 weeks

It's been a long week. I was really disappointed on Monday with my leg progress - I was so sore, leaning on my cane a lot. I spent the weekend in unbearable sciatic pain and it felt like my leg had a hangover. On Tuesday morning I went to PT and talked about the disappointment and the regression and it occurred to me that my soreness might have been from the furniture moving. I didn't tell my therapist.

The soreness lasted through Wednesday, but since yesterday I have been walking on my leg without a cane on and off, mostly without a limp. It has felt surprisingly normal. Very little residual weirdness once I get moving.

I thought about it today and it's been four weeks since I was given full weight-bearing permission on my leg. It surprised me that it's been so little time and I felt like I have actually come a really long way. It's been hard work and I'm not fully back to normal yet, but I've gotten pretty far.

The hardest thing to get used to is the up and down of it all. I thought recovery would be a straight line, steadily moving upward. It's actually been a series of back and forth, up and down movements, with the progression eventually moving up and forward, but in a really convoluted way. Like my nav system was programmed by a paranoid schizophrenic - eventually I'll get there, but we have to go in the most circuitous route in case we're being followed.

Um, did I just break into plural?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Claim your prize

Whoever had "Moving furniture is really dumb" in the leg pool has won a fabulous pair of crutches. Slightly used (and maybe a bit icky).

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Pants is hating his walking cast. He won't even wear sandals because he doesn't like anything pressing down on the top of his feet and now he has a giant plastic contraption velcroed over the top of it. He's pretty sure he won't make it 4 full weeks.

The Hammer's rash was not a yeast infection as previously believed and after 3 days on the wrong medication, we had to call back and get something else. It's finally clearing up.

I finally got the swelling to go down in my ankle - by cutting salt out of my diet. You can all say, "DUH" now. I'm still having sciatic issues, which I believe is what landed me in the ER a few weeks ago, but I think the culprit this time is my Target flip flops. Love that store, have always hated their shoes. Another DUH is probably in order - I know better than to wear cheap shoes.

On a better front, we had a fabulous weekend in the potty department and we may be mere weeks away from being completely trained in this house. Ah, but then what will the grandparents criticize us for? Oh, right, the whole rest of the list of crappy parenting we've exhibited...

I also got the girls' rooms cleaned out, weeded out the toys, vacuumed, moved furniture, the works. Today I got the bathroom cleaned out, everything except the floor and the tub. I completely reorganized the linen closet, everything in the vanity cabinet and drawers, and the rack next to the toilet. Pants is working through the laundry and we can almost see the (cement) floor in our bedroom. So we now have about 25% of the house actually truly clean - we'll see about the rest, I guess.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Pants is on his way home from the Urgent Care. With a pneumatic cast over his broken 5th metatarsal. He busted it clean in half on Saturday falling over a shoe in the entryway and he's been walking on it since (only partially due to manly stupidity). Thankfully it stayed in place and didn't need to be reset. Sadly, he needs to stay off it as much as possible and keep it up at all times.

Which puts me on child duty, something I'm not quite ready for yet. I'm still exhausted when I get home from the simple task of walking during the day. Yesterday I forgot I was injured for a millisecond and tried to break into a jog. I've been popping pills since then, but it didn't keep me from being up for hours early this morning while I waited for my muscles to let stop gnawing on my sciatic nerve.

As an added bonus, a little extra gift, The Hammer has a diaper rash that turned into a yeast infection (the rashy kind, not the feminine itchy kind) and I had to take her into the clinic yesterday. Now we have a medicated cream to slather on three times a day.

On the bright side, I guess, Kitten has been pooping daily for nearly a week and even went in the potty on her own on Sunday. That's a first for her. If we could all just stay off the injured list for a month or two we could get her completely trained in no time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

P.S. - Let Kanye be

For reasons I won't discuss here (*cough*exclusive New Moon trailer*cough*), I watched the VMAs on MTV on Sunday night and saw Kanye West's jerk-hole move to upstage Taylor Swift when she won an award. And yeah, he was a total ass.

But I have to let the guy off the hook. He did something celebrities rarely do - he went on Leno last night for his scheduled appearance on stage and made an unscheduled one in Jay's chair to apologize publicly. He offered no excuse and fully owned ruining Taylor's moment.

And then the guy cried about his deceased mom and admitted that he's been trying to outrun his pain by touring and recording and that maybe it was time to stop and deal with it if this is what he was turning into.

The boy cried about his mom on national television. And then said it wasn't an excuse, that there was no excuse for what he did.

I'm trying to teach my kids that actions have consequences and that you have to own them and apologize. I applaud Kanye West for standing up to own the consequences of his mistake and apologize without excuses.


I had PT today and not only did I walk across the room, my LPT told me to walk with my cane as much as I can. So I spent the rest of the day on my cane. And all evening on the couch with my ice machine.

But it wasn't a bad tradeoff. My ankle and foot swelled up like balloons and my whole leg is tired and I'm totally exhausted. But the walking was pretty good. Walking with a cane is nearly unassisted and at this point, I need the cane more mentally than physically. I keep wanting to protect the leg and not put too much weight on it, but I walk better and with less pain when I just walk right. I've developed a bit of a hitch in my walk this week, but it started to go away today with full weight on it. I might make it out of this without a limp.


My mom asked me if my legs were still the same length. Yes. They are.

I still have a large numb area on my lower leg. I doubt I will ever regain feeling there.

Someone said today that walking looks really painful. It's not. I look a little awkward right now and I'm uncomfortable and tired, but my slow gait and concentrated face aren't pain, they are there because I am trying really hard to learn to walk right.

I still don't do much around the house because by the time I get home, I'm really, really tired.

Yes, I sometimes skip the PT exercises I'm supposed to be doing at home. But yes, that's also me at my desk with a 5 lb. weight on my ankle and in the conference room fidgeting and stretching under the table.

I try to stretch a bit and bend my knee a bit while sitting so I don't fall over when I try to stand up and walk. No need to make myself look that much more like a cripple.

I have a handicapped parking sticker and I'm not afraid to use it.

I have a plain black cane. I didn't want to wait to order one and all of the "special" canes at the medical supply store were special in a 90-year-old way, not in a cool or fashionable way.

But I am regretting that I refused to get a cane with a foam handle. I think it might have been more comfortable than the plastic felix handle, especially when I get tired and lean on it more.

I like my scars and I'm not afraid to show them off. They're my badge of bravery/cool/stupidity.

People think it's cool that I broke my leg rock-climbing. They don't realize that I would still tell them that, even if I had broken my leg falling out of the bathtub.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

So here's what happened

Ok, so actually I don't know. I was up with the kids and went into their rooms to get them some clothes. I had been up for a little over an hour; I didn't fall, twist my leg, or do anything I wasn't supposed to do.

Suddenly, after I got Kitten's clothes out of her drawer but was still in her room, my leg hurt really bad right behind the knee. I couldn't bend it without pain. I couldn't put weight on it, which was a problem because I was still in Kitten's room. I had to hobble out to the couch on one crutch, by which time I was sobbing.

MIL was taking the kids today anyway, so we got them dressed and in the car so we could drop them off on our way to the ER. I left a message for the on-call doc at Dr. Pittman's clinic but never got a call back. The ER was slow and we were there for almost 4 hours. They did x-rays, and ultrasound to check for a blood clot, and then more x-rays. Nothing came up and they don't know why I'm in pain. I would have put money on a new fracture.

On the bright side, the ER doc came in with a glowing look and told me how good my tibial plateau looked, as if it had never been broken. He said it was amazing for such a traumatic injury. Even people who haven't heard of Dr. Pittman think he's the best.

So here I sit, on the couch again with my leg elevated, back to 0% weight-bearing until I see Dr. Pittman on Tuesday.

A haiku to explain my morning

Horrific leg pain
Back to ER - no damage -
Three more days on couch.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Leg Status

My 10 week appointment today (I feel like I'm gonna give birth to a healthy leg in a few months...).

Anyway, more x-rays and Dr. Pittman is no longer concerned about reinjuring the fractures - he considers them healed. He is impressed with my range of motion - 5-120 degrees. Can't quite get straight and have to really push to get 120, but it's pretty good, I guess. He says I have up to a year to regain my full range, but if I'm making this much progress I should strike while the iron is hot. He assigned me 6 more weeks of physical therapy.

Also, I get to use my leg. Full weight-bearing. I was so excited I picked up a cane today at the medical supply store on my way to work and used it for my full shift. Found out my leg is still really weak and had to return to using a crutch instead. But I can walk comfortably now with just one. So I'll be switching back and forth until I get more strength back and then will work on walking without the cane.

No further restrictions - back to work full time tomorrow (except for time off for PT) and nothing I can't do as long as I'm comfortable. If it hurts, don't do it again for awhile, like kneeling. He did specifically mention that now would be a bad time to pick up marathon training...

And I don't have to go back for 2 months for another check.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cane talk

I go back to Dr. Pittman tomorrow and I'm hoping to ditch the crutches, even if it means I end up with a cane. In fact, I'm gonna push for the cane. If I have to use one for a long time, I'm going to get a nice one...

The handle is really the most important part, the rest is really aesthetics.
  • Root Knob Handle: considered these, but, um, they just seem so... I don't really want to walk around cradling a testicle all day.
  • Tourist/Hook Handle: traditional, but can cramp fingers together.
  • Derby Handle: More decorative, but comfortable and ergonomic.
  • Fritz Handle: Open-ended design that won't cramp fingers, very comfortable
  • Cosmopolitan Handle: New design, comfortable
  • Left/Right Hand: Ergonomic handle that is ordered for either the left or right hand
  • Palm Grip: As the name suggests, meant to be used with a flatter palm as opposed to gripping it with the fingers. Also ordered for left or right hand.
And then there are those aesthetics - I can get canes in wood, including exotic woods like zebrano or Irish blackthorn, or a metal or plastic (lucite) cane. And accessories! Ice picks, rubber tips, cane holders, hangers and stands.

And then there are these canes...

Oh, and here's what I'll probably end up with.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hi ho, hi ho

I finally got approval and I'm off to work tomorrow for half days until I see Dr. Pittman again next Wednesday. After which I expect to be back at work full time without restrictions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Hammer!

Today you are three. Your birth was the most painful experience of my life and I will hold it over you for the rest of yours.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best. Snark. Ever.

Okay, I love Twilight and I'm so ashamed and horrified.

But this here is the best, funniest, snarkiest take on it, chapter by chapter, that you will find. Written by someone who also loved it and was also horrified and ashamed.

For all those who have read it and want to enjoy the riff, and all those who will never read and want to enjoy the riff (check out Horrify the Twilight Noob).

But for those of you in the middle or on the fence, be warned: it's a summary. Spoilers abound.

Ok, and this is pretty funny, but specifically based on the movie.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

Sitting here on the couch, again, with the ice machine strapped to my leg.

I was given a small igloo cooler in the hospital with a pump attachment and a pack attachment. When you fill the cooler with ice and water, the pump circulates the cold water through the ice pack, keeping whatever body part it's strapped to icy cold for a LONG time. I used it at the beginning every day and now that I've been doing PT and nightly exercise, I've been using it again. It's a pretty cool machine, actually. I had been considering donating it to the high school or something when I was done, but Pants has talked me into keeping it for future sprains, injuries, etc. With our genes, our children have already been through the emergency room once each with major injuries and lord knows what the future holds.

I've made great progress in PT, pedaling the exercise bike all the way around (instead of back and forth to the stopping points in my knee) and walking completely around the office on one crutch only. I have 102 degrees of bend in my leg, but the straightening was not improving as much. My PT lady put her hands on the top of my leg, on either side of my knee, and pushed. OW. On my direction, she found a spot on the side of my knee that appears to have some scar tissue and is keeping my leg from straightening all the way. She she took out what amounts to a big plastic knuckle and said, "This is going to hurt." I'll spare you the details, but it did. My leg does straighten out farther now, though.

I skipped exercises Sunday and felt way stronger on Monday. I guess my poor muscles needed a day off.

I put jeans on today and had to put on a belt. On the fourth hole in. Hollah!

I had to go out in the rain today to run an errand for Pants. I don't go out in the rain much now because I'm too slow and don't have an umbrella hand, but there I was. And when I got to Pants' car, what do you know? The window was down a couple of inches. And it had been raining all day. Between going all the way back to the house for a towel and just getting in, I got in. So I spent the next 90 minutes in wet pants. For an errand that wasn't even mine.

We told the kids this morning we had an adventure tonight because Jeff James, Pants' college roommate, was supposed to play at Acapulco in Coon Rapids. He got canceled today, though, and we had already promised the kids an adventure. So we went to Dave & Busters. Dinner was expensive, although they were lightening fast with the kids' meals and had Happy Hour specials on Mojitos, so yay. And then off to the games. Pants had some credits on some old D&B cards, which is the only reason we went there and we played some simple games with the kids. We had enough tickets for them each to get a small stuffed piece of crap. And then we had to drag The Hammer out kicking and screaming because it was late, they were tired, and she didn't want to go.

But they totally fell into their beds when we got home with very little fight.

Still no call from Disability saying it's okay to come back to work. My doctor approved it, why won't they??

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekly (?) leg update

I have now experienced 3 sessions of physical therapy (PT) and have done my exercises at home each day. On Friday, they taunted me with the idea that I could go down to one crutch if I was strong enough.

Do you have any idea how much my life would change if I could have a hand free to carry things?

But they took one look at me on one crutch and said, "You're not ready." Dammit.

When I thought about the prospect of putting 50% weight on my leg, I thought I would have to hold myself back. It turns out that I have had to push myself to get up to 50%. Three reasons: fear of pain, weak muscles, and soreness.

The fear is... whatever. It is what it is. My leg muscles are also weak and it feels sometimes like they won't hold my weight, even at 50%. And the soreness - my leg muscles, especially in my lower leg, are constantly sore and my knee gets really stiff now if I use it and then sit down for a few hours. I'm constantly stretching my leg now, hoping to stave off the stiffness and work out the soreness.

Oh, and work. I got approved (I begged) for 4 hours per day, three days per week. However, the paperwork only got sent over on Friday to Disability and I can't go back to work until they review and approve the change. Which could take up to three days. So although the doctor (ok, his assistant, but she was there in my surgery and saw me in the hospital) has approved a partial return to work, I can't go back tomorrow.

My mental health has gone downhill since I last saw the Dr. and was put out of work for another 4 weeks. I cannot take the thought of being out of work for another 4 weeks, being at home all that time. I don't want to watch another movie at home. I don't want to read another book. I don't want to go back to Target. I'm still limited in where I can go (can't stand too long, walk too far, etc.) and the thrill of driving has turned into disappointment that I don't really have anywhere to go.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I didn't wake up thinking, "I'm going to talk about genitalia with my 4 year old today."

Scene: Bathroom. Kitten is going potty.

K: Mommy, I don't have a weenie.
Syl: [blink. blink. swallow.] No, honey, you have a vulva. Girls have vulvas and boys have penises.
K: I don't have a weenie.
S: Nope. Only boys have penises. Girls and boys have different parts. We're just built different.
K: Mason has a weenie. (Boy from daycare, also potty training)
S: It's called a penis, honey. Boys have penises.
K: Ok.

We've discussed vulvas in the bathtub, but only in the sense of calling it by its name and telling them to wash it. We've glossed over the physical difference between boys and girls, but they've see Pants peeing, so it's not a huge mystery. But this is truly the first direct, pointed conversation we've had on the subject. I was pretty calm, I think, except for the blinking and swallowing part. It caught me off guard.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Letters to Washington

Dear Senator Klobuchar,
I have been following some of the healthcare debate and, although I have excellent health care provided through my husband's employer, I beg you to vote yes for a public option.

I broke my leg very severely 7 weeks ago, requiring surgery, a three-day hospital stay, and I am still at home recovering on my employer's excellent disability benefits.

I have been uninsured, though, and if this had happened then I would most definitely have had to file for bankruptcy or live with the debt for the rest of my life.

I cannot be the only person who thinks that a public option would stem the flow of medical bankruptcies and crushing debt. I cannot be the only person who thinks that access to healthcare might stem the tide of unintended pregnancies and that regular checkups for children might detect more child abuse.

Senator Klobuchar, I am well insured and I would like others to have that opportunity. Please vote for a public option so that those who do not have employer-provided insurance may spend less time and money worrying about their basic needs and more time contributing to the health and welfare of their families and this country.


I have emailed the same letter to Senator Al Franken and Congressman Erik Paulsen. I urge everyone to contact their senators and representatives to express their opinion on the public option. Whatever that opinion is, please express it logically and respectfully. I have seen too much impassioned fear-mongering to last me a lifetime.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Redesigning my basement

Pants has gotten moving on demolishing our basement and it started to become apparent to me that I have no vision for what I want to do down there. We might be mere weeks from painting and we're starting to talk about furniture and such and I have no idea where I want to go with any of these things.

  • We have a large brown brick fireplace that we love and which will be staying, unaltered. I will try to post a photo tomorrow.
  • Although there is one largish window, it's still a basement. I think we need to keep it light.
  • I have kids, ergo, the carpet will be a bit darker shade and all furniture decisions must weigh that factor.
  • We have little money and Pants is incredibly cheap. My mother has offered to purchase a daybed for the basement so they can stay here when they come.
I've been looking for something to build an idea around and the best I've found is this painting. I like the blues and greens and browns and I think it gives me a lot of options for incorporating shades of those into the room.

Better ideas? Better art? Anyone? Help?

P.S. - the barn door and track is gone and has been replaced by an actual door leading to the well. Pants has also gotten the entire drop-ceiling down, but has discovered that the can lights were never secured to the studs, they were just resting on the ceiling tiles. Brilliant.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Rusty Machinery

My body is no longer a well-oiled machine.

Ok, let that sink in and try to stifle the giggles. Yes, get up off the floor. I'm sorry I made you pee a little.

What I mean is that all of the muscles in my left leg have atrophied to the point of flabby and I started physical therapy today to get them back into shape and continue to increase the bend in my knee. I spent 45 minutes with a nice chick who did some very simple exercises with me and printed them out so I can keep doing them at home.

And I got down on the floor tonight to do them and found that I am so sore and stiff that I can barely move. Now, I maybe overdid it a little bit at Target (ok, I needed a playground ball for a couple of the exercises and a backpack purse to carry my stuff), but holy crap am I sore. And I have a couple of sensitive spots where the plates are rubbing.

It also turns out that putting your foot down while walking on crutches, as opposed to walking on one leg with the affected leg out up and out of the way, changes the arm and shoulder muscles used while walking with crutches. Cuz, dang, those hurt too.

On the upside, I did get to run a couple of errands and see a movie today (HP6). I went without the popcorn and slushie - no hands for carrying them. I also got up the front step at home by myself, since my physical therapist said it could be done without a railing and told me she would show me on Monday. Knowing that was possible then, and indeed, totally plausible, I just up and did it.

Additionally, I purchased a handle to screw into the door frame since the step up into the door is a taller step and harder to get into. The handle, a $3 modification that even comes with its own screws, will allow me to use a crutch on one side and pull myself up with the other hand.

So now I can get back into my own house, as well as out. And in and out of the car. And into the movie theater (although some bastards took the handicapped seats in front of the railing).

And I have asked to return to work on Monday, August 17. Of course, Dr. Pittman is out of the office all next week and the return call from the clinic came just as the movie was starting, so I won't know anything until Monday at least, if then. Based on today's activities, I think I can make it to work from the parking ramp, which is the hold up. It's not like we're running marathons in there.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New Busted Leg Updates

Saw Dr. Pittman today and he is pretty happy with my progress. Here's the scoop:
  • I am moving to 50% weight bearing on my leg for the next 4 weeks, unless it hurts and then I should stop. The swelling may still go up and down for awhile. He even told me how to figure out what 50% felt like.
  • Dr. Pittman ordered physical therapy twice a week for the next 4 weeks.
  • I can drive now.
  • I no longer have to wear the cast - he said my leg is stable enough. If I have a really bad fall, which less likely on 2 legs than on just one, I should come back and have it looked at, though.
  • I have to stick with the crutches, at least for the next 4 weeks. I guess a cane is pretty much full weight bearing. It would have been nice to have a hand free, though.
  • The remaining numbness is a wait-and-see thing. Could get feeling back, but maybe not.
  • I have been written out of work for another 4 weeks, which kind of bums me out.
  • There are no longer "cards" for metal detectors. After 9/11 they usually aren't trusted anyway and if the plates set off the machine, they will wand me or ask to see my incisions. He also said that the stainless steel used in the plates usually isn't picked up on metal detectors today, although that could change.
  • I can start rubbing whatever scar cream I see fit on the incisions. He said they would not always be bright red, but I should absolutely put a heavy sunscreen on them if I'm out, or they will not fade as much.
  • The million dollar cadaver bone answer is: my body will eat away at the cadaver bone and replace it with my own bone. It will basically be dissolved, it's not just going to show up somewhere weird or anything.
So, yay for no more cast, physical therapy, and for driving, but boo for not going back to work anytime soon. Now if I can just figure out how to get up the front steps without help, I can actually leave the house occasionally...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Random Thoughts - Busted Leg Updates

It has occurred to me that my leg is no longer tingling uncontrollably and sending odd sensations all over the place. Now, I can't sleep because I'm bored to death and my couch is trashed.

So I took the opportunity, since my leg isn't burning uncontrollably anymore, to shave my legs the other day. I'm still afraid to shave too close to the scars so there are a couple of spots I missed. It's easier now that I can bend my leg a bit in the shower.

I currently have the ability to perform a 90 degree bend in my leg, which was my goal before this week's appointment. My CPM machine went back 2 weeks ago and now I get to bend my knee on my own. I also have improved my ankle flex to at least 90 degrees so I can walk again. My leg won't go as flat as the other, but if you looked at it by itself, it would look pretty close.

I still have a few places on my lower leg that are all but completely numb and I am assuming now that they will probably stay that way. Not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, and definitely something that I can live with, if not get used to.

My questions for Dr. Pittman:
  • Can I drive? He has never specifically told me not to drive, but I just assumed it would be a bad idea. I now have a temporary handicapped parking sticker and would like to be able to drive.
  • How much longer will I need to wear the cast? And if I need to continue wearing it, can I take it off when I sit for long periods, like in the car, at work, or in the wheelchair?
  • Will I keep the crutches during physical therapy or will I get something else, like a cane or a walker?
  • Can I get some kind of card for metal detectors?
  • Can I start rubbing a scar healer on the incisions, like Mederma?
  • Is the remaining numbness permanent?
  • How exactly will the cadaver bone resolve itself? Will it "work its way out" or will it dissolve?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Random Thoughts

I went up north this weekend with my parents, who were in town for my grandfather's 80th birthday. My stepdad threw out his back early last week and it was a bit disconcerting for the two of us, me in a wheelchair and him unable to stand upright, to watch seniors, ages 70 to 95, dance every polka while we couldn't walk. My grandfather and his fiance (congrats!) are in better shape than I am. Although I apparently hear better.

Oh, and the reason I went up with my parents is that my husband heard about my plan to drive up to Aitkin on Saturday with the girls for the party and turned to look at me like I had grown another head. A furry bear head, with cabbage growing out the top. It did not take him long to convince me of the insanity of his taking 2 children under the age of 5 and his crippled wife on a 2 1/2 hour trip, one way, to attend a party where he would have to do all the child-minding while I sat in a wheelchair, and then drive us 2 1/2 hours home just a short time later. When I can only sit in the front seat of a car comfortably for about 20 minutes.

It was nearly 3 years ago that my grandmother died of Alzheimer's and we're really happy that my grandfather has found someone to share the rest of his life with. We were thrilled to hear that they got engaged this weekend, although we didn't think they ever would. It became clearer when he told us a story at dinner about one of their dance couples that were not married. She had a stroke and her children blamed him for "forcing" her to dance all the time and they would not allow him to see her at all. I know, the polka drama is overwhelming. But they weren't married and he had no rights over her kids so if they wanted to be unreasonable, they could. Thankfully, we met my future grandmother's family at the party and they seem quite nice. Everyone is very happy for them and there don't seem to be any hard feelings or awkwardness from anywhere. Even grandpa's step-children (the children of my deceased grandmother from her first marriage) were at the party and seemed genuinely happy for him to have found someone so nice and with whom he can share his interests (read: polka).

She is also a State/Nationally-ranked bowler and can whoop his ass on the lanes. It intrigues him, I think, that she's better than he is. Go Lou!

My mother asked to borrow Twilight, which I promptly re-read and gave to her. I also read Finger-Lickin' Fifteen, which she had just finished, while we were up north. I thought I had brought another book, but I forgot to throw it in my bag so I had to settle for Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley, which I found in the room I was sleeping in. I also finished that little nugget of wisdom before my return home. I have decided not to finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because, although the premise was irresistable, the writing is a little drab. I might continue long enough for Charlotte to rot away as a zombie without Mr. Collins noticing. I'm also reading Undead and Unreturnable (more vampires) courtesy of Suzuri and her fabulous Mai Tai pinata, but I'm a bit concerned about what I've missed, as it's a series and the book is somewhere in the middle.

Someone has taken umbrage with my carefully stenciled cedar mailbox (it's actually a reject card-holder idea from the wedding, if that makes more sense) and has started whacking it. First it was broken on one side, then it was really wobbly, and now it has fallen off the pole. My neighbor was nice enough to put it up by our door and Pants put it back on the pole this afternoon so we can get mail tomorrow. I will have to get a new mailbox, one that is apparently not as enticing to vandals, as no one else's box appears to have been whacked.

I go back to Dr. Pittman on Wednesday to get more x-rays and a schedule for physical therapy. I am trying to come up with my list of questions so if any of you remember something I told you I was going to ask at my next appointment, or have lingering questions about my condition, please leave a comment.

I've decided that I've lost a few pounds, unbelievably sitting here on the couch, and I can only think that it's from eating at home so much more, not eating downtown for lunch every day. Go figure.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A new wrinkle

As of today, I have 13 days until I return to the doctor and start physical therapy. My disability will run for one additional week (unless I still can't put pressure on my knee, I imagine).

Meaning that I have less than 3 weeks before I will return to work.

While the idea of having something to do during the day fills me with utter glee, I suddenly realized this evening that I'm not sure what I'm going to wear. That might seem silly - many of you have seen me out and about with actual clothes on.

My office is business casual, but my team usually gets away with jeans on most days. However, the extent of my current ass-covering wardrobethat fits over my bulky isolation cast includes two pairs of nylon running shorts, two pairs of pajama pants, one pair of knee-length sweat pants, and one pair of very casual knee-length pants that look like cut-off sweats. When I'm not out and don't expect company, I can usually be found in a nightgown or pajamas of some sort (so call if you're coming, I'm just saying).

Of the items I have, I think only two are truly work appropriate - the pink sweatpants and the blue pajama pants. I might be able to squeeze in the black sweats that look like cutoffs, but that's stretching the office dress code, even for me.

So here I sit, suddenly wondering what I'm going to wear on my return to work in three weeks. I browsed around the internets for dresses but it seemed expensive and impractical to fill out my wardrobe with a bunch of dresses I can only wear once. If I opt for pants, I'm would have to cut the left leg off each pair so they will go over my cast.

So my options are:
  • a couple of versatile skirts, although I'm going to have to wear shorts underneath so my thighs don't light on fire on my way in from the parking ramp.
  • More basic pajama pants like these - although I have them in blue and the only other appropriate option is black.
  • Gauchos - are these still in?
And that's all I could find. Any suggestions, internet? I have a limited budget and one big, fat leg. And although I can't weigh myself, I can only assume my butt is growing as I speak.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to the 50s

Ok, so from a article I clicked over to the site and read this article on why men shouldn't get married. And all the way through the article I wondered, "Who are these people?"

I don't know women who insist that their fiancees spend their life savings on weddings. Or even engagement rings. In fact, I know women who didn't have an engagement ring and were absolutely fine with it. And I don't remember being asked if I wanted one or not - my husband went overboard, as far as I was concerned. And if you're going to blame the engagement ring requirement on a De Beers ad campaign from the 40s, you may as well point the finger at your own gender - I'm pretty sure it was a male-dominated field at that time.

I don't know women who insist on staying home with their kids. The families I know with children weigh the cost of daycare against the cost of working and make a joint decision based on what's best for the family. If staying home is a moral decision, it is agreed upon by both parents from the outset (before the children arrive) and accommodations are made from day 1 to make that a possibility. In fact, I know stay-at-home dads who do so because they make less than their spouse and the money works out better. And as far as a man being trapped in a career or job because they are the sole bread-winner, welcome to life. Suck it up, pal, a lot of us are trapped at one time or another because the money is too good to quit. Or have an honest talk with the family unit about making changes in lifestyle so you can explore other options. Any wife who flatly refuses is someone you shouldn't have married in the first place.

I don't know anyone with a maid, or a cook, or a nanny. People with that kind of money are a bit rarefied for those of us down here working our asses off to pay the bills each month. Grow a spine and say no.

The marriages described in the article appear as nothing more than a caricature or a TV sitcom, the same sitcoms they rail against for their anti-male message. I agree that men are portrayed deplorably on TV - so are women and children. Entertainment is essentially bringing stereotypical behavior to an extreme to produce laughs, generally at someone's expense. It's not a portrayal of real life. NO ONE WOULD WATCH THAT SHOW. But I'm not sure the marriages described here actually exist either.

In the end, the ultimate power over the marriage rests with the two people involved. I don't believe anyone has any business getting a marriage license until both parties have disclosed the entire state of their finances and credit history and had discussions at length regarding children, work, division of labor inside the house, and what will happen in the event of several predicatable crises (death of a spouse, job loss, affair, etc.). These discussions should not stop at the alter, they should continue throughout the marriage as life and circumstances change. If either party is not willing to have these discussions, the other one should run for their life.

So if any man finds himself "trapped" in a job he doesn't like because he was "forced" to be the sole provider for the family while his wife is out shopping and living a life of leisure while the children are in school, he has only to blame himself. He chose the woman, married her blindly without having some important discussion, and allows the behavior he finds so odious to continue.

My marriage is a partnership where we both make decisions based upon our financial and emotional health and that of our family. We are both fully responsible for the exact place we are at in life and there is no blame game. When things get tough, we take responsibility for our own shortcomings and the problems that resulted and we work together for solutions.

And as Jezebel pointed out, misandry definitely exists, but the movement won't get far when it's solely populated with misogynists.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Casting Call for Stephanie Plum

I promised my mom today that I would cast the Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" novels. So here goes (some castings have options):

Stephanie Plum: amatuer bounty hunter in Trenton NJ. I like Ginnifer Goodwin and she has a bit of the roundness in her face suggesting more of a hungarian look (Steph is half Italian, half hungarian). Anne Hathaway could also pull it off, I think.

Joe Morelli: hot Italian lothario turned responsible cop, Steph's on-again-off-again lover. Adrian Grenier has the look, but he's too happy. Ryan Reynolds doesn't feel Italian enough, but he smolders more. Too old, though. Jury is still out on this one.

Ranger (Carlos Manoso): Latin bounty hunter and object of Steph's occasional lust. The only suitable male I found was Jay Hernandez, although he looks a little young (actual age is appropriate). Super hot, super mysterious.

Lula: former 'ho, larger than life and stuffed into too-small clothing. We all agree it has to be Queen Latifah.

Connie: the no-nonsense bail bonds office manager. Debi Mazur for sure, although my mom likes Leah Remini for it.

Grandma Mazur: crazy old grandma with way too much energy and not enough rationality, attends funerals as a hobby. Mom likes Betty White but I'm leaning towards Cloris Leachman.

Stephanie's parents: her mother just wants her to be like other Italian daughters in the burg - married with kids. Her father just wants to be left in peace - he talks under his breath a lot. I came up with two pairs: Jaclyn Smith and Kevin Spacey as a younger set or Tom Bergeron and Swoosie Kurtz as an older set. I think Tom ends up with more audible lines, though, so I'm going younger. Jaclyn Smith and Kevin Spacey it is.

Vinnie Plum: sleazy owner of the bail bonds operation and Stephanie's cousin. I could only think of one good Italian-looking sleaze and it was Jon Favreau. Keep your hands off Connie before she pulls her Glock, dude.

Feel free to throw in your two cents.

Side View

In this view from the side, which highlights the fact that the plates are not parallel (the large plate is on the side while the smaller plate is on the back facing forward), you can see the three screws holding the smaller plate in place. You can also see the braces on the top of the larger plate that extend the support across the front of the bone. Fibula is the small bone to the left.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


You are looking at my tibia in x-ray - the front of my leg is on the right and the back is on the left. The plates are shoring up the tibia bone, which bears the weight of the body in the lower part of the leg (the fibula doesn't bear much weight). Dr. Pittman did not want to have to put a plate in the back, since that's where all of the blood vessels and nerves are and they don't like to play around back there. But note the plate in the back. He didn't want my knee to just keep falling out of the joint.

Yeah, that's what he said.

Just. Keep. Falling. Out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Random Thoughts

Pants and I have decided that after my long recovery and convalescence on the couch, the living room furniture will be banished to the basement and we will have to get something else. Between the broken leg, the last 3-4 months of both of my pregnancies, and his vigilance with The Hammer keeping him up nights, the cushions are going to be on the floor soon.

I got sucked into a bit of nostalgia tonight and googled my ex from high school. Turns out he has 7 albums, 6 available on for download. I'm tempted to download New Year's Day off his last album - D-Day for our relationship. They call it a catchy disco/Motown tune. You know you wanna hear it.

Since I was in a stalkery mood, I tried googling another ex, but the name is far too common. Bummer, dude.

But all this talk about CDs and writing music makes me want to write a novel. I'm just not sure I can write something that isn't complete drivel. Alas, I still don't think I'll sign up for NaNo this year. I will have some atoning to do come September for this leg thing that should last well through the end of the year.

Both Kitten and The Hammer ate ceasar salad tonight. With lettuce and everything. Kitten even asked for more. Holy crap, my kid's eating a vegetable! Lettuce counts, right? Even smothered in ceasar dressing?

I swore off the Unisom today because not only does it make me sleep until noon, it also makes me all wobbly when I get up. Bad combination, wobbly and crutches. I'm trying the relaxation instead.

Finished Pat Conroy's Beach Music today - for the fifth or sixth time. The first time was on cassette tape in my Pontiac driving from Michigan to college at the end of spring break. I wept my way through my entire home state in the middle of a snowstorm, so heartbreaking were the last 10 or so chapters. I return to the book every few years and it's one of the few books I own that actually looks like I've read it.

The surprises continue

Yeah, check the time on this post. What is Syl doing up, you ask? Syl asks herself the same question. I took an expired Unisom over an hour ago and still can't sleep. Last night's pill knocked me out flat. Damn expiration dates.

The main problem is my leg, of course. After the surgery, parts of my leg were almost completely numb - side affect from getting the plates in place. The nerves got jumbled or nicked and those areas went numb. Doc said I might always be just a bit numb right around the incisions, but whatever.

What I hadn't planned on really was those numb places to start coming back to life. They aren't whistling and skipping happily back, either. They are pissed off. I can still feel the numbness under the skin in those spots, but the skin itself feels like a 3rd degree razor burn and anything brushing against it is annoying as hell. It feels like I'm covered in ants.

Additionally, the muscles and fascia underneath the skin are coming back, albeit more slowly, so I get tingles up and down my leg as those parts test themselves out. I know that you know what it feels like to have your hand go numb and then wake up. It's a milder version of that, but it lasts for hours, days, weeks.

When I was pregnant, I had Restless Leg Syndrome. In fact, we guessed The Hammer's due date by when I started having RLS and it was eerily accurate (I think they ended up changing it by 3 days). This is like having much more persistant RLS, but on one side. It strikes mostly at night when I'm trying to sleep and makes it nearly impossible. I am trying to do some autogenic relaxation, which helped when I was pregnant, but I think I need to get the CD out again. Going through it in my head just isn't cutting it anymore.

So, tomorrow's list:
  • Tylenol PM
  • Move the CD player to my rolling fun cart
  • Send Pants to hunt down my relaxation CD downstairs
It has to be better than taking expired sleep aids that will decide on their own when and how they will work.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Groundhog's Day

My first post-op appointment was today and I had the staples removed from my incisions. Apparently there were around 40 and although it's a relatively simple thing, I nearly yakked when it was over. I actually had to lay down. I got through the break, the ambulance ride, the splint, the surgery, and it's the removal of the staples that makes me want to puke. Weird.

They did a couple more x-rays to see how much progress has been made. Although he said it was going really well, apparently my leg saw its shadow and I have 4 more weeks before I can bear any weight on it. That's another 4 weeks before I'm allowed back to work or to exercise the leg at all on my own.

He also said the swelling and tingling in my leg would come and go and that I shouldn't let it stop me from getting up and about, as long as I'm not bearing weight on my leg. So altogether, good news, but I keep thinking this should be going much faster than it is. He reminded me again how serious and traumatic the injury was and that I have to be patient and let the cartilage rebuild itself. Bones heal in 4-6 weeks but cartilage takes longer.

Book Crack Update

It sounds like we've all finished the book, so I've posted 15 discussion questions. Feel free to go off on any, all, or none, or create your own discussions.

The next book selection will be posted August 15.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


So here I am, still sitting on the couch with little to do. And of course, the only thing on TV today was the Michael Jackson memorial. So yeah, we watched it.

I read an article days ago about Jackson appearing on the 25th anniversary of Motown special and performing the moon walk for the first time, exploding into popular music with Billie Jean and his hot dance moves.

The article, not those about his oddities, or the molestation trials, or those about his kids or drug use or parentage, that article brought back for five minutes the feeling of being 9 and absolutely worshiping Michael Jackson. Playing the Thriller album over and over and staring at him with the tiger. Performing a dance to Thriller with my best friend in 4th grade, in an absolute mockery of Michael Jackson and the idea of the talent show (we didn't make the show; if it had been the gong show, they would have been fighting over the gong to get us out of there).

So thank you to the nameless someone who brought me back to the iconic days when Michael Jackson was just the king of pop making great music. It didn't last, but it felt really good to go back there, even for a few minutes.

Friday, July 03, 2009

In the news

Dead Celebrities - I don't want to see retrospectives. I don't want to see "never-before-seen" home videos. I don't want to see pictures of people in the back of an ambulance, pictures of their children, pictures of their family, or mourners, or the house they lived in when they were 5. I don't want to know who's going to get the kids or the house or the millions. I can remember the good parts without glossing over the awful or pretending it didn't happen.

Sarah Palin resigns as Governor of Alaska - WTF? Since when is a governor with 18 months left in office a lame duck? Don't even pretend you're doing something noble for Alaska. Sarah Palin is all about Sarah Palin and what everyone else can do for her. If she thinks she's going to run for president on the Republican ticket in 2012, she's out of her mind - her star is tarnished and the party blames her for McCain's loss. And with 2 1/2 more years before the election, there's too much time on the public stage for her to seal her own fate with her mouth. So best of luck Sarah. I hope Alaska is better off with the Lieutenant Governor you are giving a leg up and I hope I hear very little from you for the rest of my life.

MN Senate Race - I don't know how this played nationally, but it was pretty huge news here. Al Franken was declared the winner of the Senate race by the MN Supreme Court by just over 300 votes and Norm Coleman has conceded. Minnesota should have a second sitting senator early next week.

Our governer has also declared his intentions not to run again, and it appears that while Republican governors are starting to jockey for position on the 2012 ticket, several are having a difficult time keeping their personal lives out of the media. Affairs keep bringing them down. Poor Republican party, in bed with the Christian Right and family values wonks and yet their candidates keep proving to be so damn fallible. Affairs funded by public money, pregnant teenage daughters, what's a Republican to do?

Other Random Thoughts

Mostly non-leg related.

Meimei has taken to calling herself "The Hammer". As in, "I'm the Hammer!" And going forward, that is how she will be known here. We're hoping it's a reference to Handy Manny, but all the tools have names. So I guess she's The Hammer.

I think I'm going to pick up crocheting again, since I seem to have some time on my hands...

For some weird reason, my nails are absolutely fabulous and I have no desire to bite them. It certainly can't be the drugs I'm on, but I have no idea why they look so nice.

Does anyone know anyone who can cut fine hair and is willing to make a house call? I just want a straight cut about chin length without the pain of hauling my leg into a shop.

We have started the ball rolling to get our roof replaced. Next up, basement refinishing...

I got up and made the kids toast this morning. And got them some milk. Yay!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oh dear god, I'm still here?

So, I'm beginning to get a feel of just how long I'm gonna be stuck in the same place and I'm suddenly wondering if I can get a wheelchair and a pair of binoculars to spy on the neighbors. Of course, you know how well that turns out...

Like Pusher, I also love how refreshingly, brutally honest Dr. Pittman is. He tries to sugar coat occasionally, but it's so laughingly obvious it's just funny. Like when he told me that sometimes injuries like this can result in arthritis. But most certainly for me. But it could be up to 20 years before I feel the effects. No worries.

Because Pants had to run out the door this morning to get to work on time, I let him go and then got up by myself to go to the bathroom. Nothing dangerous or stupid, just the bathroom. And then I hopped into the kitchen and made myself a bowl of cereal, which I ate at the counter. All of this is quite mundane, except it's the first time I've traveled by myself on crutches without a spotter.

Don't get me wrong, I haven't had any issues on the crutches since surgery, but I did take a nasty fall a couple of days before surgery when I was still on my splint. Dear me, it hurt like absolute hell and may have contributed to the eventual severity of the break. It was arrogant and vain to try to get up by myself at that time and I got overconfident after making it to the bathroom and getting myself a snack in the kitchen. I started to get cocky and stupid and fell over.

So, keep it simple, do what I have to, and get my dumb ass back to the couch. Safety in simplicity, I tell you. Kashka, you can bring that lesson to class.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Random Thoughts - Busted Up

So, I had a post about how this all happened, but for reasons I'll go into later, I deleted it. Anywho - this is the scoop:

Girls Adventure Weekend (GAW) was a ropes course at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. As a side note, we rented the climbing wall Friday night for those who wanted to do some climbing. After about 2 hours of climbing, I was going to do one more try at bouldering, which is more about endurance and problem solving than strength. It's horizontal, and your feet never go higher than about 3 feet up the rock wall. You also are not on ropes, though, but you have a spotter. Long story short, my foot slipped off a foot hold and I fell off the wall, landing all my (considerable) weight on one leg. The biggest problem is that I misjudged the distance and I was about a foot higher up than I thought I was. If you judge correctly, your body prepares for landing, which is what happened every other time I fell off the wall bouldering. If you judge poorly, your body doesn't know how to prepare and you break stuff.

The ambulance had to come and carry me out of the barn on a backboard. The ride to the hospital was torture. As a side note to AKJ, though, if I was speaking mostly in sentences and able to make snide comments, it hurt less than birth au naturel, which I judged at a 9. Because a girl's gotta have somewhere to go, right?The ambulance ride might have gone up to a 9, though.

Anyway, the greater Sandstone Medical Center, which my husband assures me was two double-wides parked together, splinted the leg, gave me some morphine, and kept me overnight since it was already almost 1 am. Pants came and got me in the morning and drove me to Mercy ER, who told me to call the Ortho clinic on Monday. Over the weekend, SIL called the MD she works for and he told her to make sure we see Dr. Pittman (Oh, Dr. Pittman!).

My MIL has been waiting for me to have a break down, and today was the day. I became convinced I had a blood clot in my calf, which is the biggest danger to me now, and broke down sobbing this morning about what a burden I was. And how bad I stink. I called Dr. Pittman, who happens to be on call this weekend, and he said it was pretty unlikely with the blood thinners I'm on, but I should have it checked out. I went to the ER to have an ultrasound, which was fine of course. He said that it hurt so much because it was a "horrible" break. He actually used that word.

Yes, and an added bonus to all of this is that I get to give myself a shot of blood thinner in the stomach every day for the next 10 days. Yay!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Thoughts - Busted Up Edition

So, I'm here on the floor in my home leg-bending machine, and thought I share some items regarding my broken leg.

My leg machine will be my best friend for much of the next three weeks. It's just a machine that I strap my leg into and it slowly bends it up and down to whatever degree I have it set to, which is currently 50. It is not painful and actually feels kinda good. The number one purpose is to keep me from getting a blood clot, but it will also help my mobility later and keep the soft tissue from adhering to the new hardware in my leg.

My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Pittman, is very young and handsome (and married, sorry ladies). When people asked who did my surgery, they all would say, "Oh, Dr. Pittman!" with an undertone of, How did you get God to do your surgery? Even so, he said this severity of break was something he had never seen before and he had to put in bigger plates than expected and change strategies on the fly.

I had new x-rays done on Monday before surgery and a CT scan. On Tuesday before surgery, we brought him the DVD with the CT scan on it so he could put together a plan. He came into OR prep and told me he was going to stop taking pictures because it just kept getting worse with each new view.

Turns out I didn't just break my tibia and fibula. The knee sits on the tibia in what's called the tibial plateau. Which I crushed. There were dozens of breaks in the base of the plateau, and several in the fibula as well. On the pictures showing the hardware they put in, some areas look cloudy - it's because of the numerous breaks.

I don't have a cast. I have dressings over the incisions and a foam isolator, which velcros around my leg from mid-thigh to ankle and is effectively my cast. I am allowed to have the isolator open and/or off if I'm sleeping or in the leg machine or if there is no possibility of being bumped or knocked into - i.e. when the kids aren't here or are sleeping.

As far as pain, I'm not really in any. It's kinda nice. In the splint, I was constantly afraid of moving the wrong way or even protecting the leg the wrong way and hurting it. I had those dreams a couple of times where you are slipping or falling and you jerk yourself awake trying to stop yourself. Ow. Owie owie ouch ow. But now, not so much. It actually doesn't hurt any more.

Not that I'm not in any pain at all. The muscles in my leg are all very sore, like I worked out really hard and overdid it. They said it was from moving the muscles to get the plate on the bone and then moving the muscles into place. That even sounds painful. That's the real reason for being immobile for two weeks as well - let the muscles and soft tissue calm down and let the bone start healing up around the screws behind the plate.

And yes, I did get cadaver bone put in. The fall crushed my cartilage too, so he plumped up the cartilage and put in some cadaver bone as a scaffolding for more cartilage to build up around it. They said it would work it's way out of my system in about a year, but Kashka assures me if I have a hankering for brains in the mean time, she'll help me corner some bad people. On the Robin Hood theory, you know. And I need help, since I can't really outrun them. In exchange, I promised not to eat Kashka's brains. The rest of you are on your own...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Off to the hospital

I'm off to the hospital in a couple of hours for surgery on my knee. Still trying to decide if I'm going stinky or if I should try to wash my hair in the sink and do the sponge bath thing again. You can not imagine how sweaty one gets while simply sitting their ass on the couch.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


So, watching the Disney Channel this morning, a movie came on and I said to myself, "Self, that looks like Kristen Stewart. That's odd."

And I hit the Info button and it was her. KStew of Twighlight fame. The movie was called Catch That Kid where Kristen's dad has a climbing accident and can't move. They don't have insurance and the operation will cost $250k, but he'll be magically healed. They can't afford it.

But KStew's mom is a security specialist and KStew decides to rob the bank she is upgrading because they turned her down for a loan. Not sure how it ends, we went outside.

But the worst part was Kristen Stewart. She was... a younger version of Bella from Twilight. Not the versatile character actress, Kristin. Pretty much one character. I can't imagine she'll get far with that.

But then, look at Tom Cruise.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Random Thoughts

Kitten decided to potty train herself this weekend. As long as she wasn't wearing pants of any sort, she did pretty well, but seemed to forget herself if we put jeans on her and had three accidents that way. So she ran around in her underwear most of the weekend. But she seems to really have the idea of it, at least peeing. And she's excited about it.

Pants and I went to a graduation party with a large Indian family and it was FABULOUS. I can now claim a minor obsession with all things India. The food was amazing. The family was gorgeous and so hospitable. The dancing was a mix of club and traditional India. The clothes were absolutely opulent. And damn, in addition to the high school graduation we were there for, there was a new MD, a new Masters graduate, and a bioengineering major. I bet that gets him farther than an English degree...

The kids have been staying up late - last night Kitten was up past midnight. In her room, but still. What do I do with a kid who will just sit up in her room for hours and not go to bed? I hear duct tape is frowned upon.

We put up the swing set that MIL and family gave the kids for the summer. Yes, I know we didn't want one. Yes I know we live no more than 100 feet from a park. THAT'S WHY WE BOUGHT THE HOUSE. But oh dear, she was sure we needed one. So now the kids have a swing set. Yep, the same metal swing set you remember from when you were little too, with two swings, a two-person glider, and the attached slide. Great.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Thoughts

Meimei has turned into The Beast again. Don't know what's going on, could be molars, could be growing pains or acid reflux, but she's been a complete basket case for 3 days. Wild screaming fits. Mood swings. Willful misbehaving. She's an imp, but she's usually not malicious about it. She purposefully dumped a cup of water on the table today and then pretended to drink out of the empty cup when I called her on it. Grrr.

I believe that my foot problems have developed into Plantar Fasciitis. Which is to say, my feet really hurt if I'm not wearing very expensive shoes. Many of my sandals either got worn to death last summer or are causing blisters, so I'm on the hunt for a new pair. I found a fabulous pair of Ettienne's that are a bit dressier in black, but I need a brown pair. I bought a pair of Borns, but I'm actually pretty unhappy with them. I might have to go buy the expensive pair. When I get paid again, I guess.

In the end, it's all another symptom of TFF. Too Fucking Fat. I'm up over 200 again because of our recent spate of fast food dinners. Ick. Nothing fits and my body can't take this.

I'm fighting off another viscious round of athlete's foot as well. I think I'm on the tail end of it now that I know specifically how to cure it when it gets that bad. And as an added bonus, my heels have been well-buffed and moisturized and my toenails are painted.

Product Plug: If you are looking for an awesome quick nail polish, try Sally Hansen's Insta Dry. It honestly goes on with one swipe, one coat, and dries in 60 seconds as promised. It will start wearing off in just a day or two at the tips of your nails, so it's not particularly long lasting, but if you're on your way somewhere and looking for a quick fix, this is the one. Not that I've ever polished in the car on the way to say, a wedding or anything.

Pants and I are looking into the purchase of a new water softener. We have a tiny bit of extra money from the garage sale/regular monthly budget, which could nearly pay off another credit card. However, our water softener doesn't work any longer so all of our dishes are covered in mineral deposits. You hate to invite anyone over when it looks like the glasses are covered in soap. So we're starting to feel that the water softener is a "must do now" project, but we don't want to skimp, either. We want to make a smart purchase, not just the cheapest purchase. In that vein, Pants also wants to replace the water heater with a tankless unit and move the water softener to where the water heater was. This turns a $600 project into a $2000 project, but I can't say he's wrong. It gives us more room in the laundry/utility room and makes the sink in there actually functional (currently the water softener is kind of in front of it, making it difficult to access). Plus, it's energy efficient, thus saving us money on our gas bill and getting us a credit on this year's taxes. But it means putting the purchases mainly on a credit card (which is running a deal for no interest for 12 months on appliances) and having another bill to pay.

But I'm really tired of our dishes looking gross and weird.

Oh. And we are now a nukkie-free household. Cold turkey.