Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ohhhhhhhhhh, DEER...

Deer's Dinner...
... Yup. A week ago, these were in full glory. These were the lovely coral bells. They still ARE the lovely coral bells, but significantly trimmed by our "deer" friends at work. Taken through the window as we're having hail, fire, flood and frogs today in the weather forecast. 

At least the blossoms are still there (click and enlarge) so the butterflies and bees will be happy. 

I planted these last year, and they did "ok." This year, they took off, and came through our incredibly nasty winter just fine. And they were nice and bushed out. 

Oh well. Deer gotta live, too...


Jordana Paige bag
Talk about a random act of kindness! When I finally got to meet my knitting friends, we were ready to go to Le Mouton Rouge Knittery, because they wanted some Fluromania yarn. As we were leaving, J comes out with this Jordana Paige bag. "I don't like it. Do you want it?" I said, "Sure; what do you want for it?" She handed it to me and said, "Take it." This is about $80 - 90 worth of knitting bag. She says it's too heavy and that I could probably use it since I still travel for work. Well, not a lot, but I can certainly use it. It goes in the closet (well, I'm using it now) with the other JP and Namaste bags. I'm gradually weeding out my purses till about all I have are the combo knitting/purse bags. 

As to the Fluro sock. Well, I almost had a conniption. J said I was nuts to cast on 72 stitches and it was "huge." I thought, crap - gotta frog. But I tried it on yesterday. Now, it may EVENTUALLY be too big, since my feet and legs swell due to the heart Rx. 

But surprisingly, this one fit. Nicely. And remember, I've got "biker calves" so I wanted more room there. I can't quite figure out how to decrease down without being unable to get the sock over my ankle, if I need more room at the calf. 

Hubby, who has apparently (a) learned from his Great Sock Mistake; and (b) been married to a knitter for a while, says, "Can't you felt it??" Well, probably not, since it's 75% wool and 25% nylon, but I'm sure it'll be ok. 

I'm debating the toe. Should I try Star toe? I'm reading where the round toe may be a little flimsy. I usually do Kitchener Stitch. There appears to be no good spot to find out which toe is more durable. 

I really might try Star toe. I've wanted to, and I have some decent directions. It's only a sock. 

Next sock will probably be along the line of the FrankenSock with a spiral rib pattern on the cuff and perhaps Strong heel. I've gotta branch out as long as I'm on a sock kick.

The Kid & The House...

Well. Disappointing news. But good lesson. The house failed the home inspection. I mean FAILED the inspection. In a huge, big, very bad way. The inspector went over the house from roof to basement, and there are seven really nasty things that have caused The Kid to walk away. 

Thing one: Roof damage where we couldn't see it. Hail damage, and with the mansard roof, bad flashing and crickets (the part that makes the roof connect with the other sections of roof) - enough so that there's raccoon poop in one of the gullies, and it shouldn't have a gully there. 

Thing two: Rotted wood throughout, some on the garage roof, some on the front pillars and door frames, and on just about every window frame. Paint covers a lot. 

Thing three: Asbestos. I knew that it was there!! I pointed to it with the Realtor, and she assured me that it wasn't what I thought I was looking at. It's friable (breaking off) asbestos on many of the pipes in the basement. Many of the pipes which should have been removed when they updated the plumbing. 

Of course, there's also

Thing four: The plantings right up to the foundation, which perhaps have caused leaking of water into the basement; and

Thing five: The deck supports (under the new deck) are rotted. 

Thing six: The "updated" wiring -- isn't ALL updated. There's still some of the old porcelain connectors with corroded wires. Yes, there IS an updated fusebox. But too many of the old connectors are still live and not wired into the new box.

Thing seven: No attic ventilation (which I also noticed). 

Good thing: No mold anywhere.

All in all, if you wanted to rehab a house, this would be your house. If, on the other hand, you're a first-time home buyer, perhaps ONE of these things would be fixable (I mean, of 1, 2 and 3 -- and 5). But to have rotted wood, a bad roof, AND asbestos? Walk away.

So The Kid talked to me about "how do I do this?" and then called the Realtor. We truly believe it's not a case of deliberate "sell this pig to a dummy." I know that some of the damage had been there for a while. I believe that the homeowners put paint on it and figured, "We'll get to this." And then they had 4 kids and you know how that went. 

He's going to rent for a year or so (less, if he can get a 6-month lease) and then purchase. At least this way, too, we can take time. It was cutting close for his start date and this way he can look around. 

The Realtor mentioned that he could "ask" for the sellers to fix things, but he did say, "You know, asbestos is a deal-breaker." All in all, it cost him a couple hundred bucks, but he learned a LOT about what to look for. 

Even if Hubby and I were inclined to buy a property like this - it's a lot to tackle unless you really are a contractor yourself. 

So he'll be making appointments to see some rentals next week. I've offered to go with him on Tuesday, which will give me a break from 

The Great Freak-Out...

I am totally NOT happy with my cardiologist's nurse. Not my sister, who works in that office. She, as a matter of fact, wants to strangle the woman. 

See, I'm scheduled to have a CT scan of my heart next week. But I'm allergic to the IVP dye. Not the "I want to barf" variety of allergic. The "I can't breathe" variety. 

And yes, I know - it was almost 30+ years ago that I had the reaction. And things have changed. BUT - research (Mayo Clinic) says that you STILL have a good chance of reaction to the new stuff if you did to the old. 

She's messing me around, saying, "Oh, Doc wants you to have the test" and talking to me like a 12-year-old. Which is Annoyance the First. 

Annoyance the Second is that she's obviously not communicating to the doctor what my concerns actually are. So she says "Doc wants you to go see an allergist." We went 10 rounds with me explaining that I already have an allergist and that the test for IVP is a blood draw. She said, "I've never heard of that." I said, "It's because you don't work for an allergist."

I was losing my temper. So I'm going to call my allergist to get the exact name of the test. SHE has to ask the doc which dye he's using. And between the 2 of us, get a test scheduled before the 16th... 

WHY they waited??? I've been a patient there for over 2 years, and it's all over my medical records. I will be complaining to the office manager. I already expressed my dismay to the nurse, but you could feel the breeze blowing as it went in one ear and out the other. 

I'm not REFUSING to have the test. I'm asking for an ALTERNATIVE, so that I can survive it. 

Raisa and The Collar of Shame...

The Collar of Shame
We tried the "pillow collar" for her, after her spay. She slipped out of that quicker than spit. Well, she's got a lot of hair, and looks bigger than she actually is. 

We didn't want to use the cone, and this was recommended for her. 

She is not happy. This morning, she finally ate and drank some water. She perked up and did sing the Happy Toast Song. We're keeping her home from obedience tomorrow. She'll likely be physically able to go, but as you can see, no bandage. And it's too soon, I think. She can wait a week. Let her relax and heal a bit.

Butterflies are Free...

What kind of butterfly?
And on the cone flowers. I'm not sure which variety this is. But it's cute and prolific. The bees have been back, too. But I haven't been able to get a good shot of them. I may have to pull out the Canon. 

The verbena (hot pink) and butterfly bush are finally blooming. But we need a lot more sun. The butterfly bush would be twice its size if it was out from under the big maple. 

Many of the day lilies are blooming and we are overrun with marigolds. But it's all bright and lovely, so I can't complain too much. 

We may rip out the remaining two rosebushes, which are now all stem-and-thorn and nary a bud on them. 

Yes, I'm still on my quest to make fully half the front yard into a garden. 

The dill has collapsed somewhat. It's in pots, and probably would do better wild, but then it does take over. Anyway, it's all due to the wet. I need to harvest some of that and keep it set aside since the cucumbers are taking their time. 

The Eating Plan...

I know I shouldn't look at the scale. It's a roller coaster for a while and I'm over the "I want to eat EVERYTHING" phase. But today, I've done 2 rounds of Almased shakes. I'm really not horribly hungry, and I need a bit of a kick-start, if only for my own mental health. 

Almased tastes good, especially with non-sweetened chocolate almond milk! And I don't usually use the flax seed, though I do have it. I should probably add it. 

It's not cheap. But it's the only one I've managed to use that doesn't make me feel all bloaty and annoyed. 

I didn't lose the weight I wanted to, before the Florida trip. And I really wanted to lose the weight before the heart procedure. But at any rate, a week of this should be good. It'll give me an incentive, even if I use it twice a day and eat a salad with protein at the end of the day. 

Really, Tennessee??

So this happened... Tennessee, which state TURNED DOWN Medicaid expansion, has a governor who's a blithering idiot. Check out THIS STORY where, in his infinite wisdom, he's decided to have women arrested if they're using drugs while pregnant.

OK, I kind of get that. You're carrying another human being; you need to be careful with drugs, alcohol and tobacco. But hey - here's an idea... Since TN has a large population of under-served women in regard to basic health, women's issues and the like? How about ALLOWING the expanded Medicaid?

Then, maybe, women can learn what most of us who have "real" medical care know: that this is something pretty basic.

But nooooooooooooo - this macho man would rather jail them. No matter that these women will be jailed under his own direction. No matter that this disproportionately nails the poor in his state. 

You gotta be loyal to the party. At any expense. 

Just read the story, please. And thankfully, the ACLU is seeking plaintiffs to challenge this law. 

Again - someone without ovaries making a sweeping decision about those of us who have them. Which brings us to...

Random Picture...

Ok, Random GRAPHIC. And, appropriately, by a woman. This quote by Jane Goodall means a lot to me. 

Read it and tell me what you think. Someone said that perhaps women, being more likely the "nurturers," would have more influence. 

I'm not sure about that. But what I am sure about is that we, as a society, have to take into account our actions. 

We're no longer isolated. We're interconnected to a degree that boggles the mind. What we do has an impact on people. Whether deliberate (like our friend the governor of TN) or not, our actions mean something to someone. 

Whether a family member, a co-worker, the person who bags your groceries, or even the person who cuts you off in traffic.

I'm just as guilty of being frustrated and angry. But I'm trying to just take a breath. Realizing that maybe that person is having a crappy day. Trying to put myself in his or her shoes, so that I can maybe acknowledge what's going on. 

And many times, I fail. I shake my head. I make a judgment, and sometimes that turns into an action. Whether a deliberate action on my part that affects someone -- or an action that affects a complete other person. Because of a judgment I made about someone else. 

It's a difficult task to work on. But it's worth it in the long run. 

No comments: