Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deno's Fried Pies - Denison, TX 10/22/1010

Oooooh.  Apricot fried pie.   indescribable.   sooo gooood!   These are supposed to be brought down from the original store in Ok.  We got ours in the late afternoon.  and I took mine home so I didn't eat it until around 7pm.  So if a day old fried pie can be this good, I wonder how good one from the original store is?  

After taking Mom to lunch and then the dr, I wanted to get her filthy car washed.  Only the car wash was closed due to the weather.  So we went to Sonic for a quick shake.  As we left and I was trying to get in WalMart's parking lot to turn so we could get back on the highway, I spotted Deno's.  And so I turned right instead of left.  Now, in spite of Mom's version of the story, I only turned across 1 lane and with no one coming, I still had to angle.... IT WAS NOT A PURE RIGHT TURN ACROSS THE FREEWAY as has been reported to my brother.

But ohhhh was it ever worth the detour!  I'll beeeee baaaackkk....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes - Sun 10/17/2010

Wow.  We all got stuck in Denton traffic.  Who knew Denton could have so much traffic on 360 on a Sunday afternoon?   2 cars and 1 motorcycle (a big motorcycle, Texas size).  Three groups of friends, ex-coworkers and new friends made the trip separately.  We ended up meeting about 45 minutes late but we didn't care.  The weather was nice and 2 of the antique stores were open!  I guess I should explain that we had 3 native Texans, 1 transplant from the far northeast that behaves like a Texan, 2 Yankees (they still require brown gravy and won't touch biscuits and cream/milk gravy - weird huh?) and 1 Californian (yes she's a carnivore too).  LOL the gravy discussion reared it's funny little head during the meal too - I can't help but feel sorry for people that miss the wonderful flavor of cream gravy  period!  But not to like gravy and biscuits - HORROR!

The service was not quite as good and friendly as usual.  They even forgot the story about the potatoes.... boiled in rosin sap so don't eat the potato peel or the paper wrapper, and they certainly didn't tell us about the potato butter... these are important parts of the experience and a good thing to know anyway.

The menu changed from the last time we were here.  The veggies weren't being served family style anymore.  And since we were early for Sunday evening, we had to pay extra for the potato - not that anyone minded ... I hadn't driven so darn far that I was going without having eaten a potato!  I don't know why I like them so much but I do.  I love them.

My filet (medium) was very good.  Everyone else's must have been good as the plates were all empty - there were other filet's, ribeye's and the lone chicken fried ribeye!  Several got (and really enjoyed) the mac and cheese.  It must have been good as the noise level disappeared after all the oohs and aaahs when the food appeared.  And it didn't really pick back up until dessert!

Oh yes dessert was ordered.  I got the apricot fried pie to go and others had a sample of everything else - pecan pie (served warm and then licked off the plate - where was my camera?), red velvet cake (really red but it disappeared off the plate too and an apricot fried pie.  I was disappointed to see the fried pie so thin however, after getting home and waiting a while so my stomach had some room, I heated mine in the oven and then devoured it.  It was really good - it had whole apricot and not just little bits of apricot in the filling.  Superb!

Afterwards, all 5 of the girls rambled through the 2 antique shops that were open while the guys 'talked shop' on one of the courthouse benches (shop talk my foot!).  We had a great time.   And the drive home went by much quicker than the drive up!

So the great moral of the story?  Everyone bonds over food - even those Yankees and a Cal-i-forn-i-a chick can behave themselves (well, you know we Texans always behave).  LOL we joke about it, recognize our differences (ok well yes we do give the Yankees a hard time) and have a great time.  And it's that kind of character that always allows us to do the best job with what we have as a team!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New sport - Handguns - Intro to Shooting class - The Bullet Trap 10/14/10

Wahoo!  Took a beginners class for hand guns tonight.  There were 10 people in the class (7 women, 2 grown men + 1 boy).  We had fun.  The class was partially classroom training to cover safety, law, different types of ammunition etc.  And then the fun part - we got to shoot 16 different guns (a few revolvers mixed in). There were 5 .22RF, 5 .39 Specials, 5 9mm, and 1 .45 ACP.   The Bullet Trap is an indoor range for hand guns and rifles.  It's about 9 minutes from my house.

I didn't particularly care for the revolvers although I did shoot well with a few and they felt comfortable.  The 9mm were harder to load and much harder to slide the barrel and then there were the few that I just couldn't eject the magazine with my left hand - remember that my left arm is messed up and weak from all the motorscooter accidents - well, yes I do remember there were really only 2.... but they sure messed up that arm.

I fell in love with the Wlson Combat CQB 1911.  Of course it was the $2400.00 custom gun.  But they loaded the magazine, slid the barrel and unloaded the barrel for us.   Left dang big holes in the target.  It was heavy too but I'm not sure how much of that is because it was the last gun of the evening and my arms were getting tired.

Here's the Smith and Wesson M41 target.  Not shabby at all 4 in or on the X circle and 1 just outside the X circle.  This gun was nice.

And saving the best for last - the Beretta U22 NEOS.  All 5 in the X circle!!!!!   I have no idea where the good aim came from either.  I didn't hold my breath or take forever - just stepped up, loaded the ammo, aimed and tried to make sure the 3 sites all lined up.

Overall, I shot many in or near the X circle.  The small hand guns (the ones most of us think of as girl guns) were really hard to aim and the kickback made it seem as though you were losing control of the aim.  I didn't like any of the small guns.  I liked the heavier ones because the recoil - although fairly strong - didn't seem to feel like I was loosing control.  But there were a few that were too heavy.

In Texas, the 'castle' law passed in 2007 allows us to carry our guns hidden from site in our cars.  But the instructor stated - and my policeman nephew confirmed - it is a really good idea to tell an officer up front that there is a loaded gun with you in the vehicle and tell them where it is located.  Oh, and that would be in case you are stopped by an officer.  The same holds true if you have the CHL.

Monday, September 27, 2010

DivaWow Clinic - Sat Sept 25 2010 - Elm Fork Shooting Range

I knew this was a female organization for women and outdoor sports such as bow & arrow, shotguns, rifles, handguns and fishing.  Their web sites show girly females, makeup, jewelry and all.  And boy was it ever a great day.  It rained like crazy until some time after lunch but what a lot of fun, support, and instruction!

Two of my sessions, fly casting and fly spinning ended up under the pavilion with the instructions demonstrating what they were talking about - the rods act as lightning rods and it was lightning outside pretty good.  In fact, they were watching the river levels and at a certain point, we would have to evacuate in 1 hour.  The shooting range flooded last weekend and apparently does so often during heavy rains - but that's good because otherwise the land would be too valuable to keep as a range.  I loved the fact that the older ladies (and I wasn't expecting it at all) were very feminine - nail polish, jewelry and makeup.  Their hands were so delicate - you could tell they wore hats or had used sun screen on their faces but some hands had plenty of sun exposure.  They were all great.

The bow and arrow session was conducted in the pouring down rain.  They had 2 shooting ranges, one with regular targets and the other had some 'animals' for target practice and some shooting  thing - I think they may be called blinds.  I did pretty darn good and hit the target every time.  It was fun.  My concern at not being able to move my elbow to prevent bruising was unfounded - my elbow won't turn the way that would cause bruising!

The shotgun session was in the downpour as well.  I was shotting a Beretta 20 and I did manage to hit one of the orange things!  There wasn't as much kick as I expected but it was hard to do soaking wet and my fingers and cheek were just downright slippery.

Lunch was extremely good.  Fried chicken, potato salad, green beans and a big cookie.  I'm not sure how they kept the chicken from being soggy with all the humidity but it was really good.  And about the only time the pavilion was really quiet.

The semi-automatic session was a blast!  All but 1 shot was in the circle and 1 hit the top of the  target - but as the instructor said, if that had been someone in the house, they'd be dead - which is what I would want anyway - assuming they got in the house anyway.  This requires ear protection (and much more than what I had) as well as eye protection.  But I think this is what I'm going to try next.  It was more fun than I expected.

I missed the rifle session.  oops

The next day my arms were soooo sore.   I didn't have a bruise from the shotgun either.  So I need to work on a different part of my arms now.   Gotta go find a class to take!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Leftovers from Hurrican Hermine on 9/8/2010

The only time I saw the sun or some simblance of daylight was in the evening when the clouds parted enough to let the sun through for a few minutes.  The rest of the day was varying degrees of dark.  The rain was gentle, then would disappear then come pounding down with a fury!  I got up a few times to check the the roof over the hot water heater but it didn't leak at all - very glad I got that fixed earlier in the year.

When the rain let up for a bit around 11am yesterday, I went out and turned the rain barrel stand upside down to let it catch water along with the garden  barrow.  LOL when I went out again at noon, they were full.  I wasn't expecting that.  I had to go empty the rain gauge as it was full at 5".  I had an umbrella but had to wade through several inches of water and got soaked anyway.

The plan is to put the water in the rain barrel that isn't hooked up to the gutters.  LOL.  After cleaning out the patio gutters, I am not sure I want it hooked up to the roof gutters.

I also made sure some of the french drains were uncovered - they are more mosquito breeding farms unless it rains very hard. It wasn't until around noon that I could see where the french drain comes out in the front yard - I was getting worried that they were all clogged up.  But around noon, the fountain spray appeared and there's some mulch in the middle of the grass - guess there was more mulch in the drains than I thought.

There was a river in the alley.  Going pretty fast.  Fun to watch.

It stopped long enough for me to go out and get the mail.  But when I got back to the front porch I saw ants all over the brick.  I sprayed and then went to Lowe's for more ant spray.  Used 3 cans.  I hate ants in the house... or on the house.  There were even little ant eggs!  gross.  They need to stay in the ground away from the house.  Then they can do what they want.  I still remember the fire ant horror show.  yuck.

There was an additional 1.25" of rain in the rain gauge by the time the sun set.  That's a total of 6.25"  for the day.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

East Texas Roam - The Shed / Blue Moon Gardens

We took off this morning for Blue Moon Gardens and were going to meet friends for lunch at The Shed.  We were on some of the coolest roads (1 was even a 1 lane road as in 2 cars shared the same little road - well, 2 SUVs tried to share but 1 was nice and stayed still partially on the side of the road to let the qawking city kid slowly go by).  Gentle turns & hills, no passing lanes (wow - haven't seen those in a long time), a long horn steer, a road runner, lots of trees and small ponds. Google map took us on a leisurely route which was fine with me.

Other than a minor direction error (iPhones didn't get a signal in several areas), it was a nice ride.  Not too hot, not wet and not hot & sticky.

We met up with some friends in Edom at The Shed.  They've made a few changes since I was here a while back.  There's a new front door (I like the double screen doors better) and it looks like they've added on a room.  We sat under a vent and it felt like they thought we were still having 100+ degree days. brrrr

Service was slow especially considering we got there before the line started.  I thought I was going to get up and go by some candy at the front of the store (yes, much like some other country stores, the front door takes you through the gift area).  In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't get the yeast rolls before our meal.  I never would have made it out the door!
But the food more than made up for it.  I had chicken fried steak that could be cut with a fork.  There was 1 brisket special (smelled really good and disappeared too), and 2 chicken tenders orders  - several ordered tater tots but I had mashed potatoes and a salad
There was quite a conversation when ordered about gravy.  At least 1 of the yankees likes milk/cream gravy but the other 2 (including the brisket order) wanted brown gravy.  Can you imagine?  I can't.   Brown gravy goes with roast and turkey.  Cream gravy with biscuits, chicken and everything else.   I will never forget the time she told me she'd never had cream gravy until long after she arrived in Texas.  It was probably a good thing I wasn't driving at the time.

You can tell the food is good when it gets very quiet after all the oohs and ahhhs.

There was another discussion over tater tots.  I love good tater tots.  We were split on Sonic's tater tots but I have to say that I've never made it home from Sonic (even with a to-go order) with any tater tots.  They just disappear.  When my brother and SIL brought some home one time when I was recovering from yet another scooter accident, Sam (the male cat) quickly stuck his head in the sack and ran off with one!  The tater tots here must have been good too.

The desserts were very good and gobbled up quickly.  I had buttermilk, there was 1 lemon box pie, another buttermilk and I'm not sure what the other dessert was.  I didn't get a picture of the buttermilk pie because I wasn't thinking clearly enough - it was just so good and not sickly sweet.  One of the friends we met up with ordered 4 pies to take home (the whole pie not just a slice - and to be fair - one was for the other person that rode with him).  He drove down from Little Elm one time in December in the snow to get pies from The Shed so you know the pies are excellent.

Instead of leaving Edom, we wandered through 2 of the small shops next to The Shed.  My friend (she's a yankee from the city) asked about the sounds outside.  It was crickets.  I couldn't help but laugh, I expect that sound when I'm out of the city.  Yes, I usually consider myself a city kid......  but she'd never heard them so close to the highway.  Well, main street is more like it.    Anyway, the first store had great stuff outside but the interior was claustrophobic.  They had birdhouses, metail furniture and some other cool stuff - like bottle trees.

The 2nd shop had some wonderful handcarved fantasy type birdhouses.  Quite expensive but the craftmanship was wonderful.

We took off for Blue Moon Gardens which was just a few miles away.   I love this place.  They had butterflies (well at least I didn't have to explain butterflies but I'm not sure she saw them wither).  The butterfly is orange and it's hard to find but it is there.  It was roaming around the orange flowers in front.

And then there was the gazing ball - she'd never seen a gazing ball either.  I have a small one but I usually forget to put it outside during the warm months - I store it in the garage during hail season and the winter.  Blue Moon Gardens has several unusual ones. 

They also have fairy gardens.  I was disappointed that they don't have any fairy garden classes this year.  They do have a lot of fixtures and other things to create fairy gardens.  There are several very large ones here and there were a few small ones.   Next to one of the buildings, they have a fairy garden in the garden bed instead of a pot.  

I bought a Texas Bird of Paradise tree.  The lady I spoke with has hers in the part of the yard that doesn't get much water.  I know they are drought tolerant but I've had other people tell me they need lots of water.  Mine was about 9' tall and made it through the winter but it up and died a few weeks ago.  There are a few shoots coming from the base of the tree but those may die when I cut the trunk.  I noticed there were some awful white things on the trunk that weren't there a few weeks ago.  I'm not sure that the back yard was getting enough water even though when I water, I water deep as opposed to often.  Oh well, I'll try again.
The trip home was nice and lazy.  The entire trip was good, I enjoyed the food, the company and the scenery outside the big city.   Already planning the next foodie trip.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer is still here darn it!

That cool spell did not last long enough.  Alas, the Texas Bird of Paradise bit the dust from the heat.  After all the pampering after the snows (I went out each day and shook all the snow from the limbs - one-armed as I had just had shoulder surgery - and then the storm that had the trunk bent over touching the ground - another one-armed fix).  There are 2 small shoots coming up from the root but I'm not sure if I cut the main trunk if they will survive.  Guess there is only 1 way to find out....

We did get about .5" of rain yesterday.  There are storms that are supposed to be coming that will drop some water; however, as I recall in May, we were supposed to have lots of water falling but it passed by my yard (and according to friends, it passed them by as well).

I'm ready to see some night time temperatures below 77 and day time temperatures below 92.    Note added next day:  Ha ha ha when I finally went to bed after midnight, the temperature was still in the 80's.   It dropped below 80 for an hour or so around 5am.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Don't All Cars Have Turn Signals?  And Why Don't School Zones Automatically Slow Engines?

I've noticed over the past few years that turn signals must be a very expensive option on cars.  So few are in use that I'm sure it must be due to the high cost of manufacturing and that they are no longer required to be on cars.  My vehicle is about 6 years old and there have been many changes in that time.

You must pay attention when you drive so you can avoid those vehicles - of course, you don't always know which cars/trucks/suvs/semis etc have blinkers untll it is too late and someone is changing lanes with an inch to spare in front of you.  So perhaps the 'NO' sign should cover the spot where the turn signals should be located.

Some people must be getting the economy version - 1 blink at a time.  Usually, I've noticed that those people may use the 1 blink option after they've almost completed the change; that way you don't know if they are going to change lanes again.  That 1 blink option wasn't available when I purchased my current vehicle.

I wonder if you get a discount at the vehicle inspection locations when you don't have the turn signals or you have the 1 blink turn signals?

I enjoy reading driver's minds, don't you?  The challenge is invigorating.  I just don't understand why they don't put a 'No' insignia where the turn signal is supposed to be so those of us who know what they are and how to use them (and how to read them assuming another car actually uses their blinkers) will know that we need to pay close attention to those vehicles.

They should be required on vehicles or if you really really don't want to pay for the optional turn signals, then all vehicles should have the engine drop when a turn is detected.

Another mandatory vehicle safety feature that should be included in all vehicles is a slow down the engine automatically to 20 mph in school zones.  Many school zones have solar powered school zone signs so they could just add another little contraption to force all vehicles to slow to 20 mph.   That way, vehicles wouldn't be able to speed up to the 10 miles over the regular speed limit until the end of the school zone is reached instead of when the end of the school zone sign is spotted - regardless if it is still .5 mile away.  That's assuming they slowed down in the first place.

But the downside would be the decrease in school zone tickets - and I see SOOO many of those being written (note:  read the sentence with a lot of sarcasm in case you missed it the first time).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cooler Weather & Paring Down the Homestead

Oh my does it ever feel so good outside.  Overcast, damp and the temperature is UNDER 80, in fact, it is UNDER 75 - it's 72 at 8am.  WOW I haven't seen this is quite a while.  Even thinking of something hot for lunch like a stew.

Today is trash day and I had to put on flip-flops to because it was so damp.  Usually, I put them on to keep from scorching the bottom of my feet.  It's cool enough to let the kitties outside but the mowers should be coming early today (they alternate - 1 week early the next week very late in the afternoon - so late I think about calling to see if they forgot!).  If I let them outside (only in the back and only as long as I'm back there) the mowers would open the gate and a kitty would assume its an open invitation to explore the world that I won't let them out in.  Well, actually, they'd probably fly to the back door since the mowers make so much noise.

I also left out 6 bags of goodies for the Kidney Foundation to  pick up.  Rugs, curtains, clothes, shoes and my first pair of motorcycle boots.  This is part of the paring down operation.  I have a hard time believing how much I've donated this year and there is still more to pare down.  I've cleaned out kitchen cabinets, the linen closet (more than once - by the way, those plastic giant like baggies where you suck the air out to make them more manageable and easier to store?  well they really just allow you to keep more stuff!).  I never thought of myself as a shoe person until I worked on the closet.  Usually I drive down to the trailer they have near the bowling alley but it was so hot on Monday that I called for a pickup.  At least today, the driver will be working in better weather conditions.

I removed all the builder installed closet rods and shelves.  My my, they must have been confused as they put in enough nails for an earthquake prone area - or maybe since they were from Colorado and just building a few homes on our block - they were afraid the cowboys would come riding through the neighborhood and the shelves would all come down?  Ha ha ha.  Anyway, I removed all the rods and shelves and took them to the dump and put up a wire shelving unit - well, it was 2 of them actually.  Hanging stuff on 1 side and all shelves on the other.  I did cull out quite a few clothes as I was putting them back in the closet.   I still have no idea why I have so many pairs of jeans.  And no, in case you are wondering, I did not get rid of more than 1 or 2 pairs of jeans.

So now, both bathrooms are done.  Well, the master bathroom still has a few things to go but I'm in a wait state.  Waiting on the cut-to-size (I don't like to use the word custom as it implies something more than I'm getting) window 'treatments' (another fancy word for blinds).  Those should be arriving this week.  Then I'm waiting on my brother or another tall person to hang a few things - those high ceilings look nice until you want to do something on the walls!  And I can't make up my mind about the towels - I'm still thinking a denim blue (not baby boy blue) and I found some at Target but not sure they are really absorbant enough - this time I only got the hand towels to try.  I also go the red but I'm afraid they will fade out to pink.

That's all for now as I'm going outside to enjoy the weather in case it doesn't last as long as they say (they being the weather people that can accurately - well mostly accurately - tell you the weather from yesterday).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes - Decatur TX  (Yes another visit)

This time there were 4 of us on the trip.  We even got the directions right (well, 1 small mishap or 2 but that was a case of driver doesn't remember to slow down in small towns/cities to see the small signs - yes, small does exist in Texas - and forgets that outside of the big cities, they don't always have the nice cloverleaf's and underpass U-turn lanes).   Then there was the case of the 2nd car not making it through a light (yes, driver speed again) and not knowing where we were going so they called, we pulled to the side to wait for them just in time to see them fly by - LOL - we had to work to catch up to them!).  I did mention driver speed correct?  both drivers!

We had to wait to get in but not for long.  It was a Friday night after all.   But the food was really good.  I tried the small ribeye this time.  It was good but I went for well-done and should have stuck with medium.  I always seem to forget that the ribeyes have fat on them.  I'll try another one another time but right now I'm partial to the filet.

The potatoes & yeast rolls are still to die for!  Bill tried the mac'n'cheese and pronounced it very good in addition to his chicken fried steak.  Kimberly and Wende had the ribeyes too.  We haven't tried any deserts yet -- it's just the right amount of food so we can drive ourselves back to the Dallas area.  We did look at all the Babe;s goods (honey, sorghum molasses etc) and I explained how sorghum molasses on Babe's biscuits at the Babe's locations was the best!  I should have bought some to bring home but then I'd be forced to learn to make decent bisquits from scratch and so far all I've done is talk about it.

Wende and I walked around the town square and found several antique shops (all closed on Friday night) and came across another small restaurant.  There's a Bed & Breakfast on the square (it's for sale).   I do want to come back on a Saturday to visit the antique stores and do some more sightseeing.

The town is hilly and we drove down (literally) to the local museum.  Then drove around a little bit more to look at the old homes with porches (found 1 for sale that I'm drooling over but have to wait to win the lottery first!) and the tinest little church that I've ever seen.  It is so cute.

All in all, spending time with 3 yankees was a pleasure.  We're planning a trip to Bubba's - another one of the Babe's family of restaurants - in the future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Five Guy's Burgers & Fries, Plano, TX

Five Guy's was recommended by several people.  My brother and sister-in-law ate 'discovered' it while on a trip to Maryland.  They loved it.

The set-up is nice - it's on Spring Creek near Sam's Club & Performance Bicycles.  Not fancy at all and the people are very nice.   There's a sign that tells you where the potatoes come from that are being used that day.  I like the red and white decor.

Simple menu is easy to use but a wide variety of toppings are available at no extra charge.  There are 1 or 2 items that cost extra.   I like that they always cook the meat medium well - and it does taste good.  Meals come in a paper bag.

I had cheese, mayo, mustard, grilled onions and grilled mushrooms.  It was good but not great.  The fries were ok - I had the lightly salted (really really light on the salt) and a side of the Cajun spices (ok but nothing special).   Lots of fries although I didn't eat even half of them.  I'm a really really picky eater when it comes to fries.

Using lot's of napkins is usually a good sign for me but it was good but just not great.  Since it doesn't have a drive-through window, I'd just as soon go to What-a-Burger (so would my other brother!)

I'll go back sometime though.  This is a brand new location so maybe it was a timing issue.  The grill must need to be seasoned a little more?

UPDATE 10/14/2010
I went back to the same Five Guy's Burgers & Fries and I must say it was much better.  I got the same thing but without grilled mushrooms - cheese, mayo, mustard and  grilled onions - and it was good. The staff is still very friendly and the place was very busy.  I went in about 11:15 to beat the lunch crowd but people were coming in fairly steadily.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes - Decatur TX

An hour drive for dinner was planned with visions of carnivore heaven in mind.  Woe is the restaurant that doesn't deliver!  And boy did Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes deliver.  I'll be back for sure.

We could smell Sweetie Pie's Ribeyes as we drove by,  slowly,  to capture that aroma to help our already hungry tastebuds burst with desire.

Just before going inside , I noticed the antique stores just down the street and made a mental note to return with sufficient time to stroll around the courthouse.  My friend - a non-Texan - had never seen a courthouse so I explained how small towns and town squares were often built around the courthouse.  In this case, the road around the courthouse was a 2 way street instead of one way streets (and that messed me up too!). Sometimes, I take things for granted.

Walking into the aroma heaven, we were seated quickly.  I was worried about going on a Friday night but forgot that we weren't in the big city with 1-2 hour waits on weekends!   Beer and wine were included on the menu - good thing as I was really ready for a Shiner Bock.  We were sitting at the table where Sweetie Pie could watch over us as we ate his kin.  As a carnivore, that didn't bother me a bit since I knew the meat wasn't going to waste.  Sweetie Pie is pretty darn cute for a steer!

The yeast rolls were excellent - especially with butter.   I would have liked to have had honey or molasses - then I would have been in hog heaven - or should that be roll heaven?  either way, it was wonderful.  Had to be careful not to eat too many rolls with real butter so I had room for meat & potato.

We both had Hot Bacon Vinaigrette on the salad.  It was the first time I'd tried the Hot Bacon Vinaigrette and it was delicious.  I absolutely love salad when someone else makes it.  Silly I know, but true.

I had the filet mignon and my friend had the small ribeye steak.  Neither one of us needed to use any additional seasonings.  They were grilled just right (mine was medium and ohhh sooo good).

The potatoes were pretty darn good too!  Best I've had in a long time.  They are cooked in rosin so you can't eat the peel or remove the wrapper.  I love to eat potato peels from baked potatoes but I didn't miss it this time because it was perfect.   They serve a scoop of butter (yes it appeared to be a large ice scoop) but before you squeal in delight - they add salt, pepper and sour cream to the butter.  ummmm  goood!  I love extra salt and butter on my baked potatoes but this didn't need anything else to melt in my mouth.

The portions were just right.  I wasn't too stuffed to drive back to the Dallas area but next time, I'm going to have to try a dessert.  If the desserts are like their Babe's Chicken House desserts - they are scrumptious!

This is clearly a family restaurant and there were some young un's present but they were well behaved.  The little guy that sat at a nearby table was fascinated with the juke box lights.  Instead of the Hokey Pokey that the wait staff dance to at Babe's Chicken House, the wait staff danced a country western line dance.  I wonder why at both restaurants that it is only the female wait staff and kids that are brave enough to dance in public?

I'll be back but I will have to prepare in advance and not eat all day so I can stuff myself and then leave plenty of time to recover in order to drive back in a timely fashion.   Maybe a walk around the courthouse would be a good digestive recovery mechanism?

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Oh my gosh.  It's hot.

I'm still cleaning up the garden beds since I missed yard work since April 2009 due to the 'Great Scooter Events of 2009'  LOL  I still think there are weeds coming in with the dirt and mulch though.  I've been working in the mornings until about 9:30 or 10.  

and then job searching the rest of the day.

I'm excavating some overgrown monkey grass.  It's the varigated kind and I love it but it has just gotten too big and isn't allowing enough water and air to circulate around the other plants it wants to smother!  Each one is about 2" wide and deep.  That is going to be a lot of filler dirt.  Since this is clay, using water makes it workable.  But I got so muddy this morning that it wasn't funny - I was worried that even after washing off outside that I'd clog the drains.  I got several of the pieces to the side of the house and started on the remaining 2 before I gave up this morning around 8ish.  It was just too hot.  May have to start gardening in the dark.  The titanium elbow has been a big help???

Also trying to pare down the house clutter.  And yeah! the handyman is coming back to install closet doors that have to be cut to size, change faucets in the master bathroom and caulk the master shower (I still have problems getting up off the floor with the left arm).

Also started walking 3x a week.  Between 1-2 miles.  early in the morning at 6:30am.  The Nike+ isn't tracking the mileage very well but the new iPhone app that I got is great!  It even maps the route walked!  But I can't stop and take picture with it while walking.  I think it tracks walks like the Nike+.   I'm so happy that at least I feel like doing something.

still hot....

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Of course it was starting to get hot as in the 80's already which requires use of the a/c in the late afternoon and evening.  Now we get a cold spell.   And the rain that's been forecasted every day for weeks has finally decided to descend from the clouds.  I heard it during the night and assumed it was a dream.

All the yard ornaments have been moved pending decent weather that will allow the fence company to return to stain and seal the fence.  I took advantage of the time and moved all the yard ornaments that go into the ground, let them dry, cleaned the dirt and some of the rust off then used a rust inhibitor.  I'm using a bronze hammered rust prevention paint spray on the parts that will be above ground.  They are looking good!

Of course, now that everything is in a jumble in the yard, I've decided to move a few things once the fence is stained/sealed.  Assuming of course, that it does eventually occur.

The St Augustine sod pieces are still alive.  While I do like  Burmuda, I've found that you just can't walk on it barefooted.  St Augustine, on the other hand, is delightful to walk on.  And I'm hoping it will cover some of the concrete edges that show around the garden bed borders - Burmuda let it show!  

Some of the metal edging behind the garden border is  gone.  Especially areas where I had them expand the bed when installing the border.  I kept tripping over the edging.  I got most of what I wanted out and then my brother and sister-in-law came over to help with the rest.  Most of it will be left as it helps keep the mulch from coming out of the beds.  But there are a few places where it wasn't low enough or the beds were increased.  I forgot about the edging around the brick patio in the back (it's just a 10x10) so need to get that out.  I'm going to try to put the same edgers in front of the patio but not around the whole thing.

I'm getting rid of some of the daylilies as they keep growing and getting more crowded but aren't blooming.  Some haven't bloomed in years in spite of dividing so they are being booted out of the garden.

I pulled 4 bags of iris' out over the last week.  They must love clay as they can cover a city block in 2 years!  well, at least a good part of the garden and where I don't need them!  As for the   cannas, those will be pulled and dug out and put in a few pots.  They love the clay too!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Ants con't

Yes the ants are still around.  When I called the pest company, they said I had to wait longer than the technican said.... so I can't get anyone out again until Friday.  But I still have ants and now some larger ants.  I intensely dislike ants.  The tub in the master bathroom has lots of dead ones in it.  Yuck.

The fence stain & seal company can't come out due to the high winds.  So no telling when they will be here.  In the mean time, I have plants that need to be put in the ground near the fence - I'm thinking that I'll have to put those in pots since they've already been waiting 2 weeks and are getting that 'I'm ready to be planted NOW or I'll die' look.

The weather has been great but is about to get really hot.  I put down some St Augustine sod in the back - another dislike is not being able to walk on the grass barefoot.  I also just realized that I'm going to have to adjust the sprinkler on the side where my neighbor waters every day. I only had it run a short amount of time to get the area close to the foundation but now that the fence has the extra pickets and her water doesn't water my back yard anymore and drown everything, I'll need to run the sprinkler a little longer.  No  problem - just have to remember to do it!

I must say, it's been nice to sit in the covered swing now that the fence is solid.  I still like the looks of the shadowbox from inside the yard.  The cats do miss seeing out the fence although they are getting used to it.  They tend to run back to the house when they hear some noises since they can't tell that the noise is not so close that they need to run and hide.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ants con't
So the pest guy comes out yesterday and sprays inside with something that they will eat and take back to the nest.  But you can't kill ants for 5 days to allow time for the nest to die.  He sprayed outside too.

In the mean time, last night I notice that the ants are traveling through the hollow metal parts of the shower.  I'm watching and trying not to kill but ants... ugh.  

He does mention that he may have to cut a hole in the closet next to the shower if the ants are living under the shower.  fat chance.   I don't have the money to repair that kind of closet damage properly.  

Speaking of the closet next to the shower, why woudn't a builder go ahead and spend 5 extra bucks to put in an opening behind the shower for plumbing problems?  It's in the closet for heaven's sake.   I hope they make builders live in houses they've built for at least a year.  An the silly architects too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hi ho hi ho it's not off to the surgeon I go....

Yahoo.   No more orthopedic surgeon visits.  No more physical therapy.  I'm done.  I just have to ease back into doing things like I used to (well, all except the falling of the motorscooter part).   They even gave me a t-shirt.  so funny.  I'm sure both offices are having parties to celebrate getting rid of me - I've been going to both since Sept 2009!.

Just knowing I don't have to go anymore is a big morale booster.  yea.  sis boom ba!

However, none of this would be possible without many thanks to Dr Robert Berry at Team Orthopedics and Matt and staff at the Peak Physical Therapy in McKinney for being so nice, helpful and supportive.

And a great big thank you to Alan, Marijan, Craig, Layne, Wende and Bill for helping me do things and getting me around.  I know Alan is thrilled to stop doing kitty litter duty but Sam really does miss Alan. Of course, I miss Sam going in to mess up (but not use) the litter box within 5 minutes of Alan's careful leveling it out after having cleaned it out.  And thanks to facebook for keeping me sane and able to stay in touch with everyone during my recoveries.  All the offers of help were greatly appreciated.  I'm a very lucky gal.

Monday, April 26, 2010


So the most intelligent man in the world says that aliens may hurt us.  Well, duh.  It didn't take the most intelligent man to figure that one out.  If there are other cultures and life beyond this earth, then there's bound to be more than one species of aliens.  And who can say what the state of their culture is?  Some may be more advanced -  especially if they manage to get here - and some may not be as advanced.  I'll save the discussion on civilized or not for another blog.

Even as a child, it seemed strange that in the movies, when aliens came, our military thinks we can outpower them.  If they got here, then they can probably destroy us.  so what?

Another thing about outer space movies that I saw as a child,  why were the aliens always portrayed as peaceful, or lived in pure white clean antiseptic worlds?  Why would we think or assume that just because the aliens made a trip to the earth, that they were better than us?  or they could provide a better life for us?   We all come from the same God.

And don't forget the Twilight Zone movie where everyone made the same stupid assumptions and got on the spaceships to go to a better place only to discover that the 'golden book of life' was really a cookbook with humans as an ingredient.  No wonder they were fed so well on the trip.  ha

Sometimes I wonder about humanity and the ability to think on one's own versus sheep group think where you follow without knowing anything.

I seem to always forget that my drier yard attracts all the ants that would drown otherwise in my neighbors yard.

So as I'm getting ready for bed last night, a glance down at the tub in the master bathroom looks suspiciously dirty.   Oh, the 'dirt' is moving!  Yikes!   it's ants.  I follow the trail to an orchid pot, lift it up and there is the ant baby factory.  A few shrieks, a can of RAID and a thingy of Clorox wipes later, they are all gone.  They scattered from the sill around the tub into the shower but they have been sprayed AND sent down the drain.

This morning, after calling the pest company (they'll be here Wed afternoon), I found an ant trail on the outside of the master bathroom.  Another can of RAID.  Sprayed the crape myrtle near the fence as well.  I do not like ants.  Neither do the cats.

I wonder what will happen when I sell the house and give the reason for moving as 'the neighbor next door'.  She really is nice, she just wants a forest in the middle of the city.  If I say anything, the batteries in the sprinkler control box are always to blame.......

I've had the sprinkler on once so far this year.  And only because  the ground was dry enough to crack and the wind was making it worse.  Other than the tomato plant and herbs (in baskets), I haven't really watered much so far because it is SPRING not the middle of summer and watering every day is a waste.

Things to be thankful for:
    they weren't fire ants (they were all over my hands and not a single sting - just that awful creepy crawly sensation),
    they weren't termites (a friend just posted on Facebook that he woke up to a swarm of termites this morning),
    an extra can of RAID ant spray is always useful

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marshall Grains in Grapevine

Friday I trekked out to Marshall Grains in Grapevine - about 45 minutes from here.  Traffic wasn't bad at all but the building sits at the edge of 2 highways and it is hard to spot.  Finally figured out where the entrance was located - going fast means you miss the entrance!

What a wonderful store.  They had so many plants.  Several that I drooled over (Eve's Necklace, Fringe, Bird of Paradise).  Got some plants but no trees.

My Bird of Paradise is slow to leaf out so I wasn't sure if it made it through the winter or not - it wasn't the cold I was worried about since that wasn't much of a problem but all the snow!  It is doing fine and I've since discovered that it grows well even further north.  I guess I just forget it is slow to leaf in the spring.   I sure do like it.  Next yard, I'll plan the ornamental trees a little better.

Itching to plant some plants near the fence but I'm waiting until the fence is stained and sealed.   I like the fence and the work they did installing new pickets between the old pickets of the shadowbox fence.  I sure hope it helps with the overwatering from next door.  I know water will still come in as their soil is so drenched but at least the water coming through the fence will stop.  Hopefully, the mosquitos will leave as well - I found some mosquito pellets that I will sprinkle on top of the mulch after they stain and seal the fence.

Allen Recycle Day

Today was the Allen recycle and trash day.  The lines were longer this year but they went fast.  I went to both sites in less than 45 minutes.  Lots of volunteers and city workers scattered throughout the lines so that made it nice.  There were lots of really nice people.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Confused Cats

Oh yes, the cats are confused.  They just stare at the fence.   It took a while for them to get used to it but when we went out for a bit this afternoon, there were birds to distract them.  We weren't out long as Millie got irrated when Sam joined us on the covered swing and was pestering her with his tail.  LOL.   It will be better when the new cushions arrive as I only have 2 on there now and can't sit in the middle to separate them.   A rat or bird got into one of the cushions last fall for nesting/hibernating material.  The new ones should be here next week.

I spent the morning with the chain saw trimming the poor crape myrtle that is drowning from the water next door.  2 of the 4 trucks were rubbing against each other - enough that one was worn through to the middle so it came down.  With more light now and less water, hopefully it will recover soon.  And maybe the ants that were hiding in the rubbed out places will be able to live under the ground since they won't be drowning (darn it!).

The hard part is leaving the hanging baskets, bird houses and crosses away from the fence until they come back to stain and seal it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The new fence

The fence now has pickets on the outside so I can enjoy the shadowbox on the inside.  It looks nice and they did a really good job.  I was in the alley pulling weeds when I heard my neighbor come over and start asking the fence guys questions.  Not sure what she was asking - LOL - I did tell her there would be work done on 3 different days.  Cleaning / fence work / stain & seal.  And I will have the fence sealed every 3 years since she waters so much and I want the fence to last a long time.

Another thing, I'll be able to nap on the covered swing without being bothered by all the comings and goings in the alley.

But I wonder what the cats will think?  Both would look through the pickets but neither figured out how to jump it.  But Sam was getting close and he did try working his head through the broken picket (it's been replaced!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Catching up is h-a-r-d to dooooo...

Worked in the yard since I haven't been able to do any gardening since last April.  Sore am I.

My brother made a quick trip from NW Arkansas on Saturday to see a friend of his.  His friend has had a few mini-strokes and isn't doing well.  After visiting with his friend, we caught up on happenings and then ran to Fry's before meeting my other brother and sister-in-law for a late dinner.  Sunday morning I followed him to Sherman where we picked up breakfast at Whataburger and then on to Moms in Denison.  He left around 10:30 Sunday morning and made it back just in time for the races to be cancelled due to the rain!

I'm having my fence redone - the neighbor on one side waters every day.  So if I water my foundation, then it floods.  So while I love the shadowbox fence, the fence company is coming in to add pickets to the outside of the fence - that way I still get the beauty of the shadowbox and she gets to see a regular fence.  The stain company came yesterday to clean and bleach the fence before the new pickets are added tomorrow.   Then they will be back in 2 weeks to stain and seal the fence.  Maybe then my plants will quit drowning and the mosquitos won't be so bad this summer.

She's looking for a job as well.  Her oldest daughter is in her first year at college and the youngest daughter graduates high school next year.  We're in the same field so will be comparing a few things.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great Weekend

Saturday was plant hunt day.  Drove to Denton to see their Redbud Festival searching for an Eve's Necklace tree but they were all gone.  It must have opened early as I was there about 15 minutes before opening time and it was already crowded and people lined up with plants.  Nice festival though, bought a few native plants and some pretty glass garden ornaments.

Also ran over to Dad's to help him with his new microwave - he is so impatient and was mad because it didn't work the same as the one he had for 10 years before it broke.   He's having trouble getting around and his rememberer is starting to fail.

Sunday was work in the back yard.  Used the chain saw ( it's electric and qualifies as light gardening right?) to remove a dying double Rose of Sharon.  Sure hated to get rid of it but it was time for it to go.  Removed some of the spreading flowers underneath it.  The ground was really really dry - more so than the rest of the yard.  Ran the sprinkler for the first time yesterday so I was surprised.  The sprinkler is running again today since the the ground all around the house has cracks from being dry.

Cleaned the patio and furniture again - the pollen is really heavy this year and is lasting for-ever!  I let the kitties come out for a bit (after the chain saw was put up and stored).  They actually came out twice but didn't stay long the second time as there was a dog fight next door and it spooked them.  They were still as stone during the fight and ran to the back door as soon as it was over - we couldn't see it of course.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Friends - what a wonderful thing to have in your life.

Lunch with a friend, dinner with a another friend and lunch tomorrow with more friends. And thats after a great lunch a day before yesterday with another group of friends.  

All have watched and walked me through turmoil at work, then being laid off, then the Great Scooter Accidents of 2009 and the resulting recoveries.  When I couldn't drive or the weather was too bad for me to attempt to drive, they maintained conversations via email, IM and FB.  So to see so many different friends in the same week is fantastic for me.

now if I could just get a job......

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Wonderful Weekend

Easter weather was very nice this year.  What a wonderful holiday.  It's my favorite holiday.   There's a small white easter tree in the entry way - while none of the decorations are religous, the holiday for me is.

On Sunday, we went to my mom's in Denison.  Did some work around the yard - well, I did what I could with 1 shoulder.   Sure were  a lot of weeds.   Her new Desert Willow survived though - I was surprised with the harsh winter we had (well for us it was harsh).

I planted an upside down tomato planter today.  It is very heavy.  Sure hope it works.  I found my bird netting to use later.  Getting that scooter out of the garage means that I'm finding all the stuff in the cabinets that I forgot I had.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good News Bad News
The good news is that my arm is doing really great and the surgeon was impressed with the movement and strength.  ( I was embarrased at the lack of strength)

The bad news is that the elbow still hurts (but that's a side effect of the newly added weight training at physical therapy and moving the silly thing after being in a sling for so darn long - remember, the shattered elbow was replaced last April, then the Great Scooter Oops in Sept).  And that I still can't do anything with the shoulder ... well, not anything but almost.  I can't start rifle shooting lessons, go kayacing or heavy gardening (like using the shovel and moving the heavy stuff) yet.

The surgeon suggested walking - hahaha I go to sleep when walking around the block.  He was glad to hear that the scooter isn't around any more.

And when I called to cancel the insurance on the scooter yesterday, the agent mentioned something about it being a death trap.   LOL

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MotorScooter has left the house!

Oh my, all the trouble I've had with getting a listing on *****list to work and I sell the motorscooter within 5 days of finally getting the ad to post!   Very nice couple, he has a motorcycle and she rides bicycles.  He took it for a ride (she doesn't have her motorcycle license yet) and he was excited about it.  Instead of putting it in back of their truck, he rode it home!   While I'm very glad to sell it, I'm heartbroken at the same time.  I had a lot of fun on it and would still like to get a motorcycle to ride.  

Make that love to get a motorcycle.  But I'm still in physical therapy from the Labor Day Crash of 2009.   boo hoo.

But I did get green cash!

And she seems like she will really enjoy the scooter even if she doesn't plan to wear all the protective gear.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Worn Out and Embarrased

Went to physical therapy earlier than usual - 7:15am.  They decided I could use a change in weights - as in more.  Since my arm is moving quite well (except for the elbow), they also gave me some additional exercises to do at home.  Oh my gosh, they wore me out and I actually broke a sweat today.  I guess I'll have to start wearing something different now.... hey remember, I'm recovering from shoulder surgery and we've been working to get the arm to move!  They really wore me out.

After coming home and trying to apply at a great company in Ft Worth - I'm having problems with their web site as in when you type, the screen goes to the right but never returns so you can't read the next entry - and doing a few other chores, I ran out to have lunch with my sister.  This was a belated birthday lunch (for me not her) so we had mexican food (brisket tacos were good but next time, I'll have them leave off the BBQ sauce).  It's quite a drive over there and I was suprised that I was so drowsy on the way home.  I actually laid down and had a nap!

How embarrasing.  My nephew woke me up as he was bringing a key over so I could stay at his house tomorrow to wait for a furniture delivery.  He thought it was funny.

I'm sore and tired.  And also tired in case I haven't mentioned it by now.  Hope I can stay awake long enough to catch a favorite tv show (that's why I have Tivo).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What a wonderful day.  Nice outside, not too cold this morning nor too windy. It's windy this afternoon but it's still nice outside.   2 trips to garden centers so I'm starting to pot some of the plants and do the usual spring 'where should I put this?'.  I love ceramic pots and have a few ... LOL ..

My nephew came over to do a few things for me (still recovering from shoulder surgery) and commented on a 'funny' smell in the back yard.  I was enjoying being outside and sorta gardening so I forgot about the vinegar.  I let him smell the jasmine to clear his nose before we went inside.

I've gone organic and sprayed this morning with vinegar to get rid of all the lovely weeds in the garden beds... it seems the organic companies will do the lawns but not the flower beds so my yard looks good but the flower beds are another story. Anyway, I forgot and I didn't realize it in time to put down any pre-emergent myself.   So this morning I was out back using vineger.  Seems to work well.  The cats avoid the weeds.

The cats are only allowed to go outside in the back only if I'm out there.   I had gone out earlier through the garage and hadn't intended to let them outside today.  However, after glancing at the living room windows a few times and seeing those poor pitiful sad faces, I caved and let them out for a while.  I was surprised the wind didn't bother them.  They had great fun eating the pansies and oxalis (not the weed oxalis) and trying to figure out all the sounds.  And of course, just good old sunbathing.  I can't wait for the butterflies, Sam, the male cat, thinks he can catch one and it's fun to watch him try.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Second Day of Spring 2010

LOL we have 9" of snow. It was 73 on Friday. It started late Saturday night - I was up reading a book and decided to check email around 11:30 pm and saw one from my nephew. He mentioned the snow so I looked outside and sure enough, it had been snowing. It continued until late Sunday morning. It wasn't big snowflakes but little flurries. And by golly, it covered more than it did a few weeks ago. Beautiful. The male cat is fascinated with the snow so he sat in a window from about midnight until morning. I didn't let him go out when I went outside to take pictures. It was just too darn cold for me to have to chase him in the snow and then chase him in the house to dry him off. (yes he is spoiled). The female cat kept going to the kitchen window and whining because she couldn't get her sun time again today.

It melted as quickly as it came! And it's supposed to be in the mid 60's tomorrow.

Wonder what we'll get on the first day of summer?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring 2010

and the wind chill is 22 and the real temperature is 34. snow flurries in the area and are expected here tonight and tomorrow. What a wild ride of weather this year. Yesterday it was 73.

I did go out around 6pm and move some spring plants in pots to the garage since it was misting and I was afraid it might actually freeze hard tonight and kill those plants. Jasmine has already bloomed once - I wonder if it will bloom again now that it has almost frozen and will warm up soon. Well, I'm assuming it will warm up soon.

Dreary day except for the part when my nephew came over and put my Christmas boxes in the attic for me. I waited because I wanted to clean out the boxes and get rid of things I didn't need anymore. Even he was impressed at how much was gone - he pulled them down from the attic for me last year. So now I have more space in the attic. He's a great young man.

I showed him where the muscle scraping was done by the physical therapist yesterday. At least the swelling had gone down by the time he saw it. Man did that hurt afterwards. I could feel the bumps as she used the scraping tool. But I do feel that at least they don't think I'm just making up the pain or that it is just related to the weather. I have a titanium replacement for the head of the ulna. With all the weather changes in the past 2-3 weeks, I could tell the pain wasn't just coming and going with the weather since the pain never stopped. Nothing like waking up in the middle of the night with elbow pain. Out of the past 10 months, it's been in a sling off and on for 7 months so it thinks it should be folded next to my chest. I was thinking of taping it to my body so it would be forced to stay straight while I'm sleeping. Doctors never think of the after effects when there's been more than one incident to the same limb in such a short period of time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What a wonderful day! Sunny and just a little on the cool side this morning.

Physical therapy went quick this morning and I was surprised to see that the arm moved so far. Laying down, it actually almost touched the table. The one elbow twist touches the table but the one going towards the back is still quite stiff and sore and doesn't want to move very much. But that's more from the replacement elbow part than the shoulder surgery.

On the way home from eating lunch with my sister (she claimed she needed to be rescued from her work) I was almost smushed by a semi. Given that I drive a big red XUV (yes XUV not SUV) and am hard to miss, the whole vehicle must have been in his blind spot (hey I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt) as he decided to move right over in my lane. Fortunately, there was an exit lane open and I moved once I realized it wasn't the wind pushing him. Scared me to death. I went ahead and exited. I couldn't honk because I'm still driving one handed. My bad arm automatically tried to reach the wheel though so now my shoulder is hurting - that's one stretch that they don't do in therapy!. I'm one very blessed person. But it also made me realize that I don't miss driving in traffic - I'm getting spoiled.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh what a wonderful day. Started out with physical therapy - there's 1 muscle that hasn't been used much since the original scooter accident last May - and it does not want to participate. And boy does the therapist want it to participate! The arm moves over my head but I'm not sure I need it to touch all the way to my butt. Oh my gosh. He manipulated the muscle on Monday and it was sooo sore today when he was moving it again. But the elbow is hurting so it makes it hard to do all the wall walks. But at least I haven't jumped off the table in pain or tried to hit him like I did the other physical therapist - I'm glad she's not there any more as I was always afraid she was going to break the elbow bones and I don't need any more breaks on the left arm. 2 is more than sufficient for a life time.

The thunderstorms that I was so looking forward to lasted all of about 20 minutes. It got dark, then you could hear the thunder coming, the rain starts pouring in buckets, then comes the lightning show and more thunder. And it was gone before I could get somewhere to just sit and enjoy it. The sun was out within the hour. And of course the weatherpeople had me all pumped up about getting at least half a day of thunderstorms - never trust weather people. I always love it when the sun is shining yet the weather channel says it is raining in my zip code - right (well, it could be raining in the alternate universe???).

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Job hunting sucks. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised when I didn't the the last job. The 1st interview was with a very nice professional young woman from Chicago. She got as excited about the work as I did - LOL - I really do get excited about work. Anyway, I made it through that phase and was ready to meet with the actual hiring manager.

Of course, being one-armed with a sling meant that my suit jacket was over the left arm. Hard to carry a purse, portfolio and umbrella in the rain but lets just say that after the umbrella flew away and my jacket flew off (not all the way since my right arm was in the sleeve) and the wind blew my hair all over the place, I made it through the 1st set of doors but couldn't get the 2nd set of doors open. No one, including the receptionist offered to help even though it was pretty clear I was handicapped at that point. And no button to push to open the doors. Oh well, I finally made it into the building, cleaned myself up and wasn't late.

So I meet the hiring manager who is my age or older. She didn't want to talk business since the previous woman 'interrogated' me but wanted to make sure I could work with the team. I tried to keep the conversation professional while listening to her discuss her dislike of SAP, the current status of not being able to hire, the frustration of having 7 positions, 3 filled with youngsters, 1 contract person she was going to lose, the 1 open position (contract to hire) and the other empty roles that might remain empty. We got along just fine. Then she told me the last person was technically very good but didn't get along with the rest of the team. So they let her go (she was a contractor and was told there was no more work - HA - I know the person but I didn't say anything). Then she tells me the youngsters are bright but hard to work with since they are in the early stages of their careers.

I know I get along with everyone, including youngsters so it was frustrating to know that this interview was a farce. Working with youngsters can really help their careers especially when the more mature person isn't no longer interested in climbing the ladder. Why waste my time? Then of course, she mentions that she prefers more mature people to work with. So why didn't she set up team interviews? That's pretty commom. But waste my time?? and insult me too?? I was still excited about the job when I left even though I knew there wasn't a chance in hell that I'd get the job.

urrggggg. I hate job hunting.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Helpful Hints for arm/shoulder Slings

Experience: 1 crushed bone @ elbow (soft cast, sling), 1 clean break arm right below shoulder (hard cast 4 days then sling with waist band), shoulder surgery (sling with waist band) AND all on left side
all the result of 2 motor scooter accidents within a 5 month period
this is a 150cc street legal requires a motorcycle license (top speed 60 and don't ask if I've been on the freeway becuase the answer is yes and motorscooter could go over the minimum required speed limit! yes it was a scary 5 minutes on a freeway but the traffice was very very light that morning).

Fabreze works wonders on stinky slings. Don't use it on soft/hard casts though. I just had to suffer through that.

Back scratchers have multiple functions in addition to scratching your back: assist with grabbing seat belt; grabbing/moving light things around; assisting with putting on clothes regardless of whether it is a pull on or button up top;

Stick: round 3 ft' long stick to keep in the car to punch buttons such as letting you in some parking garages or to order food at some drive throughs. Keep it where it will not become a projectile in the event of a wreck! Mine fits between the passenger seat and the console unit and I kept it pushed down where it wouldn't come loose. By the way, small pillows under the arm and next to the door help stabilze the arm while driving since you can't use the arm to reach the steering wheel.

Cars: please don't drive while on pain killers. I had to a few times after I couldn't afford a taxi (those are scarce where I live) but I made sure it was during the day when traffic was very light. Only went to the dr and therapy for months. yuck.

Clothes are the hardest thing especially when living alone. Once I started the wall walks exercises and the Dr approved showers, I did them in the shower to soap under arm (remember, most of the time it was glued to my side and it hurt to move it and I wasn't supposed to move it either). To put on clothes: Slip the arm opening over the arm while doing wall walks then you slide it up, insert your head and good arm without moving your bad arm (short sleeve only). And yes, sometimes it is better not to change into nightclothes but just wear the shirt you've been wearning all day. Weird but cuts on moving the arm accidentily. I stuck to large loose very short sleeve shirts that I use when gardening. Cold in the winter but it works and kept my arm from moving while at the same time, helped me to feel human (but I am really really tired of these shirts). These shirts were good at physical therapy too.

Baby wipes are a heaven send while waiting for Dr to approve showers. Sometimes that takes weeks. By the time of the broken bone in the 2nd accident, I had an extra sling so could wear the old one to shower (don't get the one you wear all the time in the shower unless you can wrap it in plastic) and didn't have to worry about ruining the current sling. AND don't take a shower until the doctor/surgeon says you can - Baby wipes really do work just fine!

Shower: the drug store has plastic wraps to cover casts and they work pretty well in spite of their size and looks. Don't use oil in the shower as you may slip easier than normal. Put a little shower oil on a facecloth and wipe it over your body where you are able (My right side is much dryer than the left because I can't use my left arm yet). And no, I still haven't found a way to shave my legs yet.

Bras: keep them snapped/hooked and just pull them up and down with the good arm to get them off and on. After shoulder surgery, I had keep the left strap off so it stayed under the armpit. Works well but be aware that during physical therapy, it may slip (however, the therapists are used to it so don't be embarrassed - its only annoying to you anyway). Sidenote: keeping them snapped in the washer kept other lingerie from getting snagged.

There wasn't anything I could with my hair - fortunately it has some curl so could put in some curl product after I combed it out while leaning over. Once it got long enough, it could wear it up by grabbing it and twisting with the right hand, lean head against the wall to hold the twisted part and then use right hand to put in the hair clip. it works. My hairdresser (wonder person) told me of 1 customer with shoulder surgery that came in every 3rd day to get her hair washed while she was waiting on shower approval from dr - wished I could've afforded that but the drive would have done me in.

If you know you're going to have surgery, practice BEFORE surgery if you can.

DISCLAIMER: This is for reference ONLY and ONLY pertains to my specific experiences. Check with your doctor and/or surgeon first before attempting anything mentioned in this post. I am not liable for anything you do because of something you read and tried that was mentioned in this post. These are based on my experiences and I hope no one else has this much injury on any limb in such a short period of time (or at any time really).