Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I can put down the machete

Since August I've been slogging through Medicare and other insurers (a jungle, I tell ya) trying to find some way to keep using my oral chemotherapy, which I tolerate well and which has been keeping the Big C at bay, without having to exhaust my savings to pay for it.  Only in America, folks, do we get to choose between having needed meds and keeping our homes.  So, my insurance agent suggested pricing Canadian pharmacies, who'll only charge twice what Medicare will leave as out of pocket.  No help there, but her final suggestion was to get on the drug manufacturer's site and look for their Patient Assistance Program, which provides meds at no or minimal cost if the patient's income meets eligibility requirements.  SO..I contacted them, and no longer worry about whether or not I can pay for treatment.  What a blessing!  My application is still in process, but their agent assured me that our household income made me eligible.  And I've signed up for part D Medicare for all my other prescriptions (including 3 different eye drops, very pricey).  Whew!  All that research & wrangling, done away with by the manufacturer's good will.  The lesson here, kiddos, is to get on your drug mfg. site and look for their patient assistance --- many of the major manufacturers will have some kind of program so that your doctor can keep ordering your drug(s).

In the Knitting Knews, I bought some Lion Brand Mandala, only about 8 balls, and have been checking Ravelry for interesting knit patterns.  This yarn has long sections of many colors, but is all acrylic (why I'm not investing in more).  Disco has looked at some of the patterns, and was keen on Knitty's Wavedeck, so I've started that for her.  I may make a throw for her, too.  Her basement apt gets chilly in winter.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

What?!? I have something else to say

I mentioned the benefits of acrylic gel polish for flimsy nails, and that I'd looked at some local nail spas close to home.  Thursday, Disco & I went to RT Nail Spa on Nolensville Rd.  Wowsers, is this place pretty!  Gorgeous, actually.  We were walk-ins, but only had to wait about 20 minutes before we could sit at adjoining stations.  I think because we were walk-ins, we did not get terrifically fast service: our techs kept getting up to attend to clients that came in after us, so I can only assume those clients had appointments.  Good thing we didn't have somewhere else we had to be, because we got seated at 4:30 and did not get finished until 7:30.  So, at 7:30 p.m. we were ready for supper.  Our beautiful French nails were super shiny!  But somehow, both my thumbnails got smudged!  All I could figure was that the tech had me pull my hands out of the UV light too soon, and the top coat wasn't cured.  I went back, and got another top coat on both, and I'm pleased.  I will definitely be making an appointment for the next time.
I started another teeny tiny hedgehog while in TX, but only got half the body knit.  I kinda lost the urge to knit after that.  I had bought several balls of Lion Brand Mandala yarn, which is really interesting stuff and which has a large Facebook following.  But most of the patterns associated with this yarn are crochet; they look lovely but I don't do that much crochet.  I found a lacy poncho on the Drops Design site, called Angelique, which looks like a good candidate for "Mandalization".  I did start on that, but have lost my place.  And the pattern has a slew of charts, and the beginning is knitted flat, then changed to was seriously throwing me.  So....I think I'll go back to picking a pattern!!  I've seen some wild kimono type sweater worked side to side, so there are vertical stripes, but I'm not sure that's a knitted pattern.  Well, sounds like a dive into the patterns search on Ravelry.  If I don't surface in two weeks, send sandwiches.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Three months less 4 days

If you are keeping track, the title is how long it's been since I posted.  We've had our ups and downs these three months.  The Plaidman no longer requires all communication be in "Canadian sign language" (repeat at increasing volume until understood), which is very nice for the nerves & blood pressure.  Disco is still dithering about becoming employed, you know, for like actual money.
I can't really give you a moment by moment for most of these 3 months, but I can tell you about the most "up" parts.  Y'all, we went to Texas in July which is total crazypants as it's Hell's lobby that time of year.  Yes we stayed with my wonderful Sis and her sweet hubby Steve, and got to spend time with the nieces two.  They have a rescue puppy!  She's seven months old, part border collie & part whippet, lovely smooth coat in black & white.  And loves everybody, of course.  And smart!  She's learned to stay back from the front door, while using the back door freely--she knows the difference.  We were bunked in the master suite, which was nice except the doggo knows how to open the door.  She liked to come wake me most mornings, of course I was quite tickled to have the alarm waking me with kisses.  We were there about 4 days, when the Plaidman tripped on the concrete steps on the deck.  He didn't feel that he'd hurt himself, until about an hour after.  We took him to the local ER, and after Xrays and ultrasound it was determined that he'd pulled a hamstring.  We were due to fly home in a few days, but Sis & Steve insisted we stay another week so he could recover some.  I had much calling to do to see if we could keep the cat sitter another week, change our flights (oh yeah, that's just more $$$$), and then the real hassle of getting emergency vacation supplies of my prescriptions.  I only needed 5 pills each of 3 prescriptions, but over the next few days I think I called the pharmacy 15 times.  Also had to have my specialty pharmacy reroute my anti-hormonal (cancer) drug from delivery at my house (absolutely useless, since I was in Texas) to delivery to my sister's house.  That actually went pretty well, they were only a day late in delivery.  I hope we can get back to normal delivery when I call them again.  So...we had to do laundry 3 times while we were there, as we only packed for a week with one laundry day.  Disco had no trouble putting together more outfits, because her cousins went thru their closets and gave her about 40 nice tops (some still had the tags on), which we somehow managed to pack into our 3 suitcases and 3 rolling carry-on cases (we checked all six pieces at the airport).  We each had a tote, and another carry-on: Disco & I had purses, and the Plaidman had a cane.  I was surprised that the cane didn't wind up in an overhead bin, since whenever I've had one that didn't fold up on a flight, the attendant has taken it from me.  Maybe I just look like someone that would smack somebody with my cane, I don't know.  We had a ladies day with Sis, went to the Burkes outlet and spent some dough.  Sis had to run home but Miss A had her friend C, Disco, and me load up to her dad's car and carried us to the nail spa.  Now, I have never cared to wear polish; it just seems to chip off within days and looks ratty if it's not redone.  I've maintained my nails, but with the treatments I'm taking they have just about up & died.  They are extremely fragile, splitting and peeling (peeling! like cheap leatherette!) and always snagging on my clothes.  Well, Sis says I should try the gel polish, as it would protect my nails and look nice too.  Why social media for sick folks doesn't mention this I do not know.  So now I have beautiful French nails, and have not had to file them in weeks.  I am quite pleased, especially since my darling daughter, the DiscoDame herself, paid for my manicure.  AND I was just checking Yelp for nail spas in the area:  we have four different ones with 5-star ratings very close to the house.  I will check them out.  Disco needs hers redone; I'm going to see if she'll try the French style since the nail tips are reinforced.
So, we finally made it back to home.  TomTom Tiger was just about out of his little mind, meowing up a storm -- but not howling or panting or showing any other signs of excess stress.  He couldn't decide which of us to follow around, and just kept zipping between us.  While Disco & her Dad were unloading the car, TomTom came into the bedroom with me.  I got to petting him, and he just rumbled his big purr.  He's a mellow little guy, as long as he can stay home.  We got some cute pictures from the cat sitter; I'll have to put them in the computer to get one in particular on here.

Ok kids, what did we learn on this trip?
A) Pack entire prescriptions, not just enough for the planned visit.  It's ok to save space by limiting the supplements, but you never know if you'll leave as scheduled.
B) Gel manicure is the bomb.
C) Nieces grow up too fast.  The Peerless One is taller than her sister, who's 7 years older.
D) Dudes older than 68 need to supervised on concrete.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

News of various sorts

I had to see my PCP early this month, some respiratory issue which turned out to be pneumonia.  I've been feeling better just lately, still on meds but not so much coughing.  I lost my voice, which hasn't come back yet.  Thankfully, the Plaidman picked up his hearing aids about 10 days ago, so he does hear my pitiful croak.  And we can turn down the volume on the TV!!

When I was in high school here in Nashville, my sister had a baby and gave him up for adoption.  I've just recently been contacted by his family.  I will likely set up a meeting, someplace public and well away from home.  I guess you can tell I'm of two minds about seeing this person.

I finished the two "chemo"caps I was making in Knit Picks cotton/Modal blend (the name of it escapes me just now).  It is nice stuff, very smooth and soft, not at all stiff like 100% cotton can be.  Sadly, no pics before I carried them to the oncologists' office for their collection crate.  After those were done, I started on Hermione 💘s Ron, a beanie in wool, with cables & lace.  I think my gauge is a bit tighter than the designer's, this beanie just barely fits on my head.  Erm, spoiler alert: I've finished the cap.  Anyway, I immediately started another, upsizing the needles and deciding that the two set-up rows don't count as the first two rows of the lace pattern.  So we shall see if my tight knitting can be offset by the larger needles.  I am using some of my nicer fingering weight yarns for these wool caps, as I intend to wear them.  I don't have a problem with wearing wool.

Starting this past Thursday (it's now 11 p.m. Sunday) I have been asking the Plaid Patrol for 2 chores that needed doing.  Our junior member has been thinking that we'd get out to the movie theater sometime this weekend, but only one of the chores got done.  So no movie yet!  We may go during the day tomorrow, but as wool is my witness we will get the other chore done too!  We have a magnet on the fridge that says, Don't fool yourself: Mom is watching.  
Right now, Mom is actually nodding....time to hit the sack!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Excessive delay ensued

Heavens, ducks!  I haven't posted since New Year's Eve.  You'll all be pleased to know I still "walk" the Earth (but only if I have to!), and I'm still knitting.  Gotta knit for sanity now; my country 'tis of thee continues on its shambling course to the gates of Hell.  More on that in a bit, let me fill you in on activities at Chez Plaid.  After the New Year (I think it was on the 6th, so still within the 12 days of Christmas), Plaidman & I went to All Star Medical and bought a power chair.  We decided to go with the chair rather than the scooter, so I can use it in the house.  We had it almost a month, used it to go to the zoo and go shopping, when the right motor stopped working.  So, back to the dealer we go.  They took it in the shop in back, and tried to find the problem without success.  The decision was made to send the entire motor back to the manufacturer.  In the meantime, we have a loaner chair of the same model.  Earlier this week we went back to the zoo, having seen only half of it at our last visit.  It was a gloriously sunny and mild day.  Have you ever seen rhinos romp like dogs at play?  We did!  I believe they were as thrilled by the sunny day as we were.  Who knew rhinos could be cute?

What I wanted for Valentine's Day included the obligatory heart-shaped box of chocolates, but mainly was some relief in communicating with the Plaidman.  He's my sweetie, and I have to yell at him to be understood because he's so deaf.  I don't like yelling at him, anymore than he likes being yelled at; DiscoDame doesn't help when she starts yelling at him too.  So, he actually called a hearing center & got an appointment for next week!  I'm looking forward to having conversation with him in conversational tones, without our "Canadian" sign language.  I wish I could explain that to you, but I think you'd have had to be there when Disco invented it.

What I got, besides a lovely card & chocolates, was further proof of the future of this great nation being carried away in Satan's handbasket.  Part of the reason I haven't posted lately was that the event at the Portland, FL, school just about tore out my heart.  I know I can't show you how badly this hurt me; I haven't the words for that.  I can tell you that a long time ago Plaidman and I buried our own firstborn child, and that pain will be part of me until I die.  To see so many other Moms & Dads having to go through that has moved me from grief to anger.  To see the survivors speaking about their terror and pain of loss, as children, just drives me to the angriest tears.  How can anyone troll these children, calling them "actors" with prepared speeches--these are young humans with actual brains and passions moving them to decry our government's lack of decency.  Someone else pointed out that thoughts & prayers from someone who neither thinks nor prays, are less than useless.  So many of our representatives owe their allegiance not to their constituents, but to the gun lobby's deep pockets.  Plaidman remembers protesting the bombings in SE Asia, folks chanting,
"Hey Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today"
and he suggested we use it now, only change "LBJ" to "NRA".  I think we must protest and resist the NRA's control of our Congressional representatives.  So, I need to find a way for this wheelchair bound old hippie to get out there and support our kids' efforts to make the changes we need to see.  Oh boy--here's where my head is at: When I think of protests, I hear Joan Baez singing "Joe Hill" in my mind.  That may not be the most useful thing I've got in my brain, but if it gets me going I'll take it.  One hopeful note in the news today:  Texas had an extremely high early voting turnout, partly because of Democratic efforts to get out the vote.  That's probably something I could do, working on getting folks to GO VOTE or GET REGISTERED.

Gosh, I haven't even talked about my knitting.  I found some patterns for Swiffer or Clorox mop covers, that can be washed/dried & reused.  Well, I happen to have a crapton of kitchen cotton laying around, and thought Sis might like to have some of these.  One pattern was really simple, just a seed stitch rectangle with stockinette borders that tuck into the slots on the back of the mop head.  It works, but was really not that interesting or fun to knit.  Then I tried one based on the Ball Band Dishcloth pattern, and that is so much fun to knit (even in cotton!) that I went a bit crazy and made four of them very quickly.  Two will go to Sis, but I'm keeping (& using) the other two.

  I've finally worked in the ends on the pink headband (Blue Leaf Lace Headband on Ravelry), and put a button on that one too.  I'll send both headbands down south, along with hedgehog toys for the girls.  I feel that the pink headband needs a steam blocking first.  I guess I could do that pretty quickly.

I did start a cap, Exeter on Ravelry, but as the yarn description in the pattern was misleading as to weight, I had to rip it and redo the math for it.  I'm working on the crown decreases.  Here it sits in my yarn bowl, which was a present from me to me.
And if you look carefully you'll see Sis' birthday present to me: a gorgeous shopper tote from Dooney & Bourke (gasp!).  Here's a pic of it alone, carried by Disco.
Disco also modelled my finally finished capelet, a Drops design I knit in Cascade Roslyn tweed.

Missing the "old country"...

Much better, but I really thought it would be a lot longer.  It is nicely warm as a layering piece, and a gorgeous color.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Too cold

It's 3:30 pm and about 15F -- too cold to go outside for pictures.  But I finished my Kara cowl, and have worn it a few times.  It's an excellent layering piece, adding a deep red splash and a warm neckline to any outfit.  I have also been knitting for Sis and Miss A:  Swiffer mop head covers for Sis in two patterns, and the Hans My Hedgehog patterns for Miss A.  There are two of the hedgehog patterns, one making a tiny pocket "hog" about 2.5" in fingering yarn, and the other in worsted which made up to about 7" long.  The larger one used some of the yarn Sis gave to me over Thanksgiving, and looks a lot like Miss A's actual live hedgehog!  So maybe the pet hedgie can have a buddy....

Sis keeps hermit crabs in a sandy habitat next to the fireplace, with a heat lamp for continuous warmth.  They are some pretty weird little critters.  I watched an episode of Blue Planet the other day, that had me cracking up -- a conch had caught a smaller snail, and was emptying that snail's shell with a rowdy audience of hermit crabs all vying to get into the emptied shell!  At one point there were four hermits fighting each other to get that shell, then one actually climbed up the conch and into the shell before the conch turned it loose!  A risky move, as the conch could have eaten the hermit crab too, but it paid off since that little guy hustled away with the shell.

Well, I had to fill out another set of forms for the disability, so much fun.  It's a good thing I scanned and saved the earlier documents, as I had to attach some of them to this new form.  I suppose this will be a nearly endless process, so I'm scanning just about everything.

One of my Christmas presents was a two-week rental of a power chair, pretty nifty.  This one breaks down into four bits, with the heaviest bit just 36 lbs. and well within Disco's lifting capability.  I should get her to take it apart & put it back together several times; she's been letting Plaidman take charge of that but she says she wants "us girls" to be able to go places without him.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Back from the boonies

The entire Plaid Patrol rode to south Texas for the week of Thanksgiving.  It's a long darn drive, but then we spent the whole week with family.  We were only able to do that because we'd hired a pet sitter to come in twice a day, to keep the elderly cat at home & happy.  And he seems to have warmed up to the sitter, even playing with her and letting her pet him, and he was quite happy to see us back.  I would have posted from Texas, but never got near enough to an unused (& functional) computer.
I delivered the Diamond Halter top to niece A, did not get to see her in it but made her promise to send me a picture.  I'm still working on the red tweed capelet, just have about 6" of ribbed turtleneck to go on that one.  I got about an inch of ribbing done while there, but most days we had other fun stuff to do and the knitting just stayed in the bag.  Speaking of bags, Sis did not disappoint in the "birthday present" bag: It's a Dooney & Burke tote with Pittsburgh Pirates themed print on white leather, just gorgeous and a great bag for the knitting.  I will have to send her something wonderful and knitted asap.  Sis brought Pup over from his assisted living facility Tuesday, then Disco, Plaidman, the nieces & I went to the facility the next day and had lunch with him.  Later that afternoon Plaidman went back to Sis', while us ladies went to Savers.  Guess who we found there -- the Shopping Queen herself, aka Sis!  We all spent some time together there, then the nieces departed for home.  I spent way too much money there, even with the 30% discount card Sis gave me.  Most of it was for stuff Disco wanted, I wish I could find the receipt to show her!  We finally got all our purchases out to Sis' Giganto Craft (an ancient Escalade), then it took all three of us (Disco, Sis & me) to get me into the front seat.  I am not anything like nimble anymore.  In fact, since I stayed in the upstairs guest room, I had to climb 16 stairs every evening to get to bed, and come down those stairs (dressed & ready for the day) every morning.  I thought my knees would give out.  Then there was the guest bed, wonderful to sleep in but so tall that I needed both a stepstool and my walker to get into it.  Slept like a stone, until it was time to visit the loo.  And that was for six nights.  I've been home a few days, and I've recovered some.  Thursday we had Pup back over to the house for our noon Thanksgiving supper.  Afterwards, the annual T-Day lawn tournament was held out on the front lawn, with 3 father & daughter teams and one niece + boyfriend team.  Pup teamed with Sis, Steverino teamed with the Peerless niece, Plaidman teamed with Disco, and Miss A teamed with Seth.  Pup has macular degeneration, so his shots were guided by other players standing near the "hole" and waving.  It was agreed that Peerless & her Dad won the tourney.  I wasn't the only spectator, we had some neighbors come by to check out the game.  Then we all went back inside and played LCR; Peerless took a $27.00 pot!  Just her day.  Pup got delivered back to his home, and we all pretty much called it a night.  Friday Peerless treated a bunch of us to a movie, Justice League,
which we all found marvelous.   Saturday we began the long drive back home, and got here about 8 p.m. on Sunday.