Monday, August 31, 2009
Today another silence is upon the house. My upstairs neighbor knocked on my door this afternoon, and when I opened it, she went to give me some rent money, and broke down crying. She said she was sorry, she had just put Frasier down that morning. I was taken aback. I told her how sorry I was, and she hugged me and kept apologizing for any problems she caused. All I could think about were the times I got irritated with Frasier barking so much, but many of those times I just dealt with it through listening to headphones. I asked if Frasier was sick, and she said they think he had a tumor. She was just inconsoleable, and turned to go upstairs. I told her if there was anything she needed to please let me know.
A few hours later, I went upstairs to ask her if I could make dinner for her or something. I just feel so terrible about Frasier. She broke down sobbing again and I hugged her for a few minutes. She said she did everything she could to help him, but he just kept getting worse this summer. She tried puppy Prozac, that did nothing to alleviate his anxiety. And she said the last several weeks he had started pacing constantly, getting up and barking at night (which I heard sometimes), and just not doing well. I had no idea, because every time I saw him he seemed like he was ok. She must have been thinking about putting him down for awhile though. She said on Saturday when she had left the house, if she came back to him barking, she was going to have to put him down. He really did bark for at least 5 hours, and was still barking when I had left the house and came back. So, she put Frasier down herself this morning at the vet's office. She is a euthanasia tech. I think it would've broken my heart to do that myself! I just pray she is able to heal from this. He was 12 years old (I didn't realize that, he didn't act like a 12yo dog!), and lived a good life. And I told my neighbor that I knew Frasier just adored her because he always wanted her around him! I think she just needed to hear that so she knew she made the right decision! So, rest in peace, little Frasier. You were a cute little dog, and I did become attached to you, too!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Mike (?) showed me how to use the tanks. They seemed pretty simple enough! The tricky part was trying to show me how to use the cute lil Helios! One has to be really careful because liquid o2 is freezing, enough so that it can cause burns if not careful. So I was shown how to fill Helios, and then Mike (?) asked me to wear it for awhile to just see how long it would actually last me. So, I had it on from 2pm until about 9pm and it was still puffing. However, I don't think I really understood how to tell if the Helios was empty. So I may not have actually gotten 7 hours out of wearing it. But even 5 hours would have been fine with me, because that's about how much a tank used to last. I guess I'll just have to test it again!
I named my Helios: RD (pronounced like Artie). It's short for respiratory device. LOL! RD traveled with me on my first outing to the grocery store about an hour after I had him. It felt sooo weird to just be bringing RD with me, and sticking my license, EBT card, coupons and my phone in my back jean pockets. I don't think I'll really be using my big Targét purse/bag anymore! I mean, I can still stick RD in there if I wanted, but the thought of having a smaller purse is soooooo appealing!!!! Of course, this means that people are going to see me carrying oxygen. But you know what? I am pretty much past the "Oh my goodness, people are going to stare at me!!" point. That was me 9 years ago when I made my first outing with the tank. Now it's more like "Oh yeah, I'm wearing o2." Or, "I'm wearing o2, so what??" So, if people have to see my carrying around cute lil RD, then so be it. I cannot care what people think!! So, I'm hoping to be able to get a purse soon! My birthday is coming up next month, maybe I'll get some gift cards!!!
For those of you not familiar with liquid o2 and what it looks like, here is an example of the 2 reservoir tanks I have, and the lil Helios! Maybe I'll try later to take pics of my actual equipment!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In June, I received a letter from them. They said that after I signed up, they neglected to send me my welcome information. So, because of their error, I was given 30 days from the date of the letter to cancel without penalty. THANK THE LORD!!!!! After going on National Grid's website and looking up their service rates for the entire year, I realized that the highest their rate ever got to was 9 cents. NINE CENTS. And here I've been locked into 11 cents all this time!! What savings was that????? I immediately called, and tried to be nice to the woman I was telling to cancel my account. She didn't quite believe me that their outrageous plan to keep people locked into a price was just stupid. Anyway, she finally listened to my third request to cancel my account, and said that it would come off within 2 or 3 billing cycles. Ugh, fine!
Two weeks after cancelling, another US Energy Savings representative came to my front door. First of all, this guy looked like he didn't give two hoots about his job. He referred to his clipboard as he was talking to me, only looking directly at me when he asked to see my electric bill. Here was the exchange:
IR (Irritating rep): Ma'am, I need to see your electric bill so I can see if we can sign you up for big savings with our program.
Me: I just cancelled my account with you guys.
IR: (with a slow appalled glance at me, not the damn clipboard) You did?
Me: (I couldn't take this guy anymore, so I was completely rude) Yes, I did. You guys didn't save me anything and cost me a lot of money I didn't have.
IR: (referring to clipboard) Well our program is meant to help save.....
*he gets completely cut off by me in an even nastier tone*
Me: Sir, you don't have to keep talking because I am still not going to sign up again for this program.
IR: (after glaring at me) I wasn't going to do that ma'am. Have a great day.
Me: I turned around and shut the door.
I did get my July bill, and US Energy was still my supplier that month. Total cost for just their supply of electricity was $66.25. That doesn't include National Grid's basic service! I got my electric bill in the mail on Friday, and I was dreading opening it, but also hoping that I'd see better changes. I opened it, and saw that National Grid was my supplier once again.....at currently 4 cents a kilowatt!!! My total for supply this month? $22.96. Yes, that's a $43.29 cent difference!!! It really makes me mad, and makes me wish that another US Energy Savings person would come around to ask about signing up for them!!!!
Despite the fact that my bill dropped by 40 bucks, I still would like to get liquid oxygen. Now that I'm pretty sure I'll probably switch to it, I just have to figure out when! I'm not too sure about this week, if my sister and hubby can get the daybed. I guess I'll just have to see how it plays out. I'm looking forward to more savings, though. Heck, even if my electric bill drops another 20 bucks, I'd be happy!!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I hadn't really considered getting liquid o2 before because I just don't have the room. The hallway wasn't safe because of having a tenant upstairs. Every room of my apartment just didn't have the space for the liquid o2 unit. I have a lot of furniture!! However, since I'll be giving my daybed to my niece very soon, there will be room in the jewerly room! So when the o2 guy was here delivering my o2 tanks today, I asked him about the liquid o2. He feels that I'd be able to get 2 units since I'm on 3L, and that I could fill a Helios portable, but I'd only last a few hours with it. I posted on Facebook and the PH boards asking about liquid o2, and it seems that many who are on high flow rates are able to last much longer with the portables than what the o2 guy told me. So I'll try to call tomorrow afternoon at my o2 company's main office to ask more about the liquid o2 option! I really do feel I'll end up changing, and if it doesn't work out, I know I can change back!
I've also got some decisions to make about my jewelry, but I just don't want to say much about that yet until things are finalized. There might be something in the works. I just hope it works out, but we'll see!
I've also started making decisions about.....Christmas gifts!! And yes, I have 4 already! Whoo hoo! I know, people think I'm nuts, but I start shopping early since I already have some money, and I just like to!! This year, we decided to draw a name of one person to buy for, between my sisters and brothers-in-law, and Rick. So I'm focusing on my BIL, Brandon! It's made it a bit easier to shop, since I don't have as many people as before. I just like to do things early so I'm not out there shopping with the crazy people right before the holiday!!
Well, now I've decided to end this blog post! Until next time!!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
This year I went with mom and Joan. We got there a little after 1pm, and had to walk a bit to get to the main street where it's located. This year, they changed a few things, including closing the main street to traffic. BRILLIANT idea!!! There was soooo much more room to walk around, instead of watching out for people on the cramped sidewalks. There are thousands and thousands of people who come to this every year, and it's always been such a problem with trying to walk around and worry about cars in the street. I don't know why they didn't close it off to traffic sooner than this, but I do hope they keep it up!!
So anyway, we got there, and started walking, and mom saw a yard sale and gravitated toward it. Joan and I tried to tell her to stay away, but mom said she'd catch up with us. Well, I had a feeling Joan and I shouldn't have gone too far because we ended up losing mom and tried to search for her for 45 minutes!! We were so aggravated that we ended up going to this one shop that had wine tasting so we could taste something!! We actually got carded! LOL Well, I finally spotted mom and took off like a rocket to make sure we didn't lose sight of her again, and when I caught up to her, I asked her where she had been!! She actually had walked almost the whole street! Argh! Well, we finally started walking TOGETHER, and ended up having a really nice time.
Another new addition to the festival was street musicians! It was neat hearing different types of music being played in certain sections. Another "why didn't they think of this earlier??" kind of thing!! My favorite was this marching band group, who played really lively music and kinda sang, too. They weren't dressed in anything costume-like, just street clothes, and they were fun to listen to! Then there were these 2 young boys singing a lot of old songs and playing acoustic guitars. They looked like they were young teens, and they were pretty good! So I definitely liked the music aspect of the festival as well!
In all the years I've gone to the art festival, I have almost never bought anything there. There are so many things usually out of my price range, or I just haven't seen anything I really liked. Well this year, I bought 2 things!! I bought my first Christmas present! I can't say what it is though, even though I now the person getting it doesn't read my blog. One never knows! lol I also bought myself another ring. It's pretty, it's made of glass. Yes, I know I have a sistore who makes gorgeous glass stuff, and I already have a ring she made for me! I couldn't help it, I loved it! I will have to take a picture of it soon. I'm just happy I was actually able to buy a couple artistic pieces, and not just a water bottle!
Going to the art festival is a bit of an anniversary of sorts for me. It's been 8 years since I've had to wear oxygen 24/7, and my first public outing with it was the art festival 8 years ago! I can still remember that day, and how I really didn't focus on anything b/c I was so worried about what people were thinking about me. I realized today, while searching for mom, that I just didn't care that I had it on. I'm so used to it, I don't even think about it anymore most of the time when I'm out. I never thought I'd get over that, but I did!!
Well, I need to put my achy legs to bed, since I decided I wanted to walk around the festival in sandles, and not more comfy sneakers!! Despite the achiness, I really did have a great time at the festival!
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I guess I had a better night's sleep. I've only been up for 45 minutes, and haven't ventured downstairs yet. But I am dressed and mostly packed. We'll probably leave in the early afternoon. I've enjoyed my visit here, but I'm not sure it brought me the peace and comfort I was looking for. I don't know what I'm looking for. I just feel lost. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. I'm hoping thise feeling of emptiness will pass soon.
I'm looking at all the pages I've written since I've been here. Wow, I got a lot out. I'll be typing all of it into my blog when I get back. My handwriting has sucked through most of these entries. No wonder I've enjoyed blogging so much more since I stopped writing in my actual journal!
Ok, this is me writing in the here and now! It's August 5th, and I got home safely, for the most part. Mom was getting tired on the way back again, and I asked her if she wanted me to drive b/c she was freaking me out!! She said no, and the trip ended up being ok after that. We ended up getting back to Niagara Falls around 6ish, and had dinner at my parents' before dad dropped me off with all of my stuff. Mittens was beyond happy to see me!! Boy, he was chatty!!
On the trip back, I found out about the death of another phriend, Patti. I am sad to hear she is gone, but she was just soooo sick with cancer as well as PH. She fought a very long and brave battle. She sounded like such a trooper, trying so hard not to complain because she felt what she was going through didn't compare to what others were dealing with. I consider her one of my heroes. She will be very missed.
I've been busy since I've been home, trying to straighten things up around here. I got a lot done today, after getting a new door put in, and exercising! The weather was on the cool side, and I think it helped, even though I don't like wearing jeans and a sweater during the summer! Yesterday I went to rehab and then to lunch with my o2 friends. I wasn't planning on going b/c of my lack of funds, but my one friend told me she had planned on treating me to lunch, and wanted me to go really bad. How could I say no?? I thought it was rather nice of her! On the way home from lunch, I stopped at the cemetary to say Happy Birthday to my Grandpa S. If he were still with us, he'd be 103! He also would not be a happy camper if he were still around!! lol Tomorrow is more rehab, and I really have to straighten the spare room out. It's gotten to be a landing place for various things, and I don't like it! Hopefully I'll have enough energy to do it, I think I used a couple of tomorrow's spoons to get through today! I'm off to bed now, though!
I woke up at 6am, and thought about looking out the window for a possible deer siting. I was just too tired to do it. So a little after 7, I woke up again to take Revatio and took a quick peek. Nothing. I woke up again close to 10am. After breakfast, a shower, and getting dressed, I felt like I already needed a nap. Grandma told me just to go lay down since we weren't doing much, so I came upstairs for awhile. I guess I feel better. I'm not totally sure.
We are supposed to visit mom's Uncle Eddy in a bit, and then go to church, then to Aunt Beverly's for dinner. I'd like to ask Beverly about hosting a jewelry party for Mandy and me. She knows quite a few people, and she loves hosting parties! I can't see her saying no!
I don't know what it is about this trip, but I feel more and more that perhaps I need to go talk to someone again like I did years ago when I was dealing with so many emotions. Mason's death is one blatantly obvious reason to go, but the death of another friend I used to work with almost a month after he died has also hit me. They both died way before their time. Of course, in God's eyes, it probably was their time to go. I makes me look at my health condition and question when I'm supposed to go. if you read info and statistics on people living with Eisenmenger's, their life span is definitely not much longer past 50. Add PH to the mix, and who knows? I am feeling pretty good these days, but who's to say it's going to stay that way? I guess it's just a lot of fear. I'm trying to handle it, but perhaps talking to a professional again will help me once more.
Well, as usual, plans didn't exactly happen the way they were supposed to. I didn't go to the creek. I guess I probably won't, since tomorrow morning is supposed to be rainy. Mom went and said there is water flowing. She likes to take a rock from the creek to bring home for her garden, so she did get one. I was too tired to go with her, and when I woke up from my nap, it was too warm to walk out there. Oh well, maybe another time.
We also didn't get to visit Uncle Eddy. By the time Grandma was ready to go, we had time to get to 4pm mass in Elmira, as long as we didn't go to see him. He was at mass, though, so mom got to say hello for a few minutes. I think he's 88?? Someone said something about turning 89 soon, and I think they were referring to Eddy. Anyway. We drove back to Grandma's to pick up a couple things, and then went to Beverly's.
Another plan that didn't work out was asking Beverly about hosting a jewelry party. She said she didn't do those type of things, even for me. It took me back a bit, but oh well. I tried!
Dinner was good, and we sat around talking for awhile. I hung out with my cousin, Tori, for a bit before we left. I can't believe she's going to be a junior in high school already! Her sister, Jessie, will be a freshman. She is extremely gifted in art. She can really do well with people. I'm really impressed!
We got back to Grandma's near 10pm, watched TV, and then I chatted with Joanie for awhile. Now I'm off to bed and really hoping for a better sleep. I don't want to be sleepy on the ride home because I need to make sure mom is keeping her eyes on the road!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
I had a somewhat restless night. It's still raining, and it's very blah out. Gee, kinda like home! I woke up at 6:30am and decided to see if I could spot any deer in the backyard. I put on my glasses and sat on the floor to look out the window. I thought perhaps I had spotted a deer, but the gloominess of the early morning and the fact that my glasses are not the same prescription as my contacts made me finally realize that it was just part of a tree. Duh! So I went back to bed, woke up about an hour later to take Revatio, and looked out the window again. Still no deer. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
We just got back from having lunch with my cousin, Ryhan, and two of her daycare kids. We had the lunch buffet at Pizza Hut. It wasn't too bad, considering I never eat there anymore. The kids get to eat free, so that's a plus! Afterward, mom and I went to a store called Bargain Hut. Mom grew up knowing the shop as The Lovely Shop, so she still calls it that. It's a store that has high-end used clothing for a bargain! After I talked to Lisa on the phone in the van, I went in and browsed. I did find a pair of swishy pants for working out and/or relaxing. Bargain price - $3! When we left, mom drove down the street Grandpa K. used to live on, and showed me his house. Several family members lived in three house next to each other. They still look pretty nice.
Now we're back at Grandma's, and I'm pretty sure I"ll be crashing in a few minutes. I had a fitful sleep last night and early this morning, complete with some whacked out dreams. One of them involved my ex-boyfriend. I soooo can't understand why I dreamt about him. In the dream, he had seen me doing some things I'm not going to describe, and when he was able to talk to me, he just wanted to warn me about who I was hanging around with. Then I proceeded to tell him that even though our relationship wasn't all that great, I thanked him for being there for me when I had to quit my job. He was more supportive to me back then than my ex-best friend. It was just a very bizarre dream! So needless to say, a nap is welcome right about now! I just hope I can get an ok rest!
We went to dinner at a restaurant in Elmira called Moretti's. It's a fancy type of restaurant that seems to be in a not-so-great section of town. It was a nice dinner, though. I saw Uncle Paul, even though it seemed he hardly said two words. But, that's just how he is. Ryhan was fun to talk to, and it felt like we had the most conversations going on at the table! Afterward, we all went to the Holiday Inn's bar/restaurant to meet my Uncle Bob (Ryhan's dad) for a drink. Aunt Beverly and Aunt Jane met us there awhile later, and we had quite a good time! There was a trivia game thing going on, so we were trying to answer questions, and enjoyed the music in between them. I know Grandma didn't really want to stay, but what kept her from complaining was the giant TV screen with the Yankees game playing. She was happy! We eventually left, dropped off Aunt Dolores, and went back to Grandma's. I read a magazine and watched a design show with mom, and now I'm all ready to get to sleep rather shortly. Tomorrow's our last full day here, and I'm hoping to relax a little before going to Aunt Beverly's for dinner. Trip to the creek?? Maybe!
Oh--I took a ton of pics of the rooms in Grandma's house. I just felt like they should be captured on film. Many things have changed, and many things haven't. I just wanted to take pics to remember her house and the times we spent visiting here.
*Pics may or may not be posted here.....there are a lot, and might be boring!! lol
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
July 30, 2009
I'm sitting on my Grandma's front porch listening to music. My mom and I got here last night. We had left around 3:30, a little later than my mom had wanted. The trip isn't that long really, about 3 hours give or take. The ride down started out wet and a little worrisome. My mom was rather sleepy! When we stopped at the Scottsville rest stop, she got a snack and a drink, and that helped. I had also popped in my Michael Jackson CD, and we bebopped to that the rest of the way! We at at Friendly's when we got into town. It was rather noisy in there! We lost our Friendly's over a decade ago, so I forgot how loud that place could be. By the time we ate and got to Grandma's, it was close to 8pm.
There's something comforting about being here this time for some reason. I think being at Grandma's means more sometimes than when we were coming here as kids. It's so beautiful around here. She lives in Horseheads, NY, where there are so many hills. It's relatively quiet where here house is located. The backyard is huge! If you walk back far enough, you reach the creek at the bottom of the hill behind her house. My sistores and I used to walk to the creek so many times as kids. I haven't walked to see it in the past several years b/c I haven't had the energy. I would like to on this trip if the weather cooperates. It always brought me comfort, especially if there's a lot of water. Depending on the weather, sometimes the creek has been dry. It's been such a rainy summer in this area, that I can't imagine there'd be no water! So maybe I'll try to venture out there after dinner. Something tells me I might not have too many more chances to do so.
I wanted to come to Grandma's to get away from home for a few days. This has been such a hard summer. The weather has sucked for much of it, with cooler temps and a lot of rain. The only good thing about that, though, is I haven't had to turn on the a/c!
This summer just has put a huge hole in my heart (besides the 2 I already have) with the loss of Mason. Although I'm not hurting as bad as when he first left us, there are just so many reminders he isn't there. Every time something happens, he was almost always the first person I told. Any time I want to complain about something, I wish he were around b/c he either would make me feel better about it, or make me laugh. I miss his knowledge about certain things. I just MISS him. Every time someone signs onto Yahoo messenger, I still look to see if it was him. I could delete his name, but there's no way I could bring myself to do that. I keep hoping for signs that he knows I'm missing him so much. I do feel he's given me a couple of them. The song "Halo" by Beyoncé played so many times after he died, and I would ask him for a sign. I also believe he gave me a sign last Friday night on my Farm Town farm on Facebook. It may seem silly to some people, but I truly feel it was him letting me know he was alright and that he was still around to see us.
For those who don't know, Facebook has an application called Farm Town. It's similar to a Sims game, where you build a virtual farm-planting crops, hiring others to harvest and plow, animals, going from level to level and being able to make your farm grow. I think it was a great way for Mason to be occupied while he was waiting for his call for new lungs. It has also become a wonderful way for phriends to connect. Well anyway, being that Farm Town is in beta form, there are many glitches. Too many for me to name them all! One of them sometimes happens when you make your avatar (or character) go to the market to sell stuff, or hire someone to work on your farm. When you go there and come back to your farm, sometimes it looks like people from the market have followed you back. Their avatar shows up on your farm even though they really aren't there. Just a fluke in the game!
Last Friday, my friend had harvested for me, and while he was plowing, I went to the market to sell my stuff. I went back to my farm, and someone had "followed" me. It was a spiky-haired male. When I clicked on the avatar, it showed his name. Mason. I just kind of got teary-eyed. Although obviously it wasn't Mason (he had named his avatar Gomer, actually), I felt it was Mason giving me a very unexpected sign that he was around. It made me sad, but comforted me at the same time.
Well, it's now much later in the day when I finished writing this. We had dinner kinda late, then watched a movie. It's just going on 1am, and I think I'll get to bed. I'm listening to it quietly rain outside, which I believe is supposed to continue for much of tomorrow. I didn't make it to the creek today, and probably not tomorrow with the rain. Hopefully I can make it at some point! Off to bed though!
Monday, August 03, 2009
When my Grandpa S. died 15 years ago, I got several items from him, including a table, his glass candy dish, and his hope chest. The hope chest has been in my parents' basement all this time, which I didn't care about for the first 10 years since I hadn't moved and then when I did move, I kinda forgot it was there. But the past couple of years, I was really hoping to have it. It needed to be stripped and stained and completely refinished. My mom said last September she'd do it, and had started, but the stripping stuff was making her ill. I had tried to help her, but that stuff is really lethal!! I finally asked Eve in June if she'd come over to help strip it and stain it, and she spent a Friday afternoon at my parents' doing just that. So, here are the pictures! A week after she stained the hope chest, I bought the stuff to put over the finish, and put it on a couple times one of the days that Lisa was here. Finally last week, the hope chest was brought over by Dad and Joanie, and it's now in my bedroom!! I'm soooooo happy, I just love it!! I'm going to use it to store my Harry Potter books, and a bunch of sweaters and such that won't fit in my drawers during the winter. I'm just glad to have another piece of my Grandpa with me here.
By the way, when I asked my Dad how old he thought the hope chest was, I thought maybe 1940s or 1930s. He said at least the 1900s!! I was shocked! It makes it even MORE special to me!!