Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blown Away

The weather around the country has been unreal in the last couple of weeks. There have been so many tornadoes, so much damage, and too many lives lost in many areas in the south. Many areas have been hit by severe storms that they are not usually accustomed to getting. It's been crazy! While the area I live in does not usually have tornado warnings, we had an advisory yesterday, but nothing happened. Somehow I feel like that advisory should've been in place for today. The winds have been terrible. This morning there were wind gusts up to 80mph. That is insane!! All morning the winds have sounded pretty scary, and they've been doing a lot of damage to huge trees and homes in the area. This afternoon, the Mayor announced no unnecessary travel in the city. I skipped rehab on purpose, because I would've had to drive near the gorge to get there, and you wanna talk about winds?? That area is 10x worse when the winds are high!! My poor little Saturn would've been blown all over the place! So I didn't want to fight the winds! I had a doctor's appt this afternoon, but after the travel advisory went into place, I called to reschedule. I didn't want to be blown away, either!! Besides, there is so much debrish flying around here. On my street, no one can pass because of downed power lines and lots of tree branches and limbs strewn about. While I realize that the damages here are nothing like the areas hit by tornadoes, I do find it amazing (and scary) at how much destruction powerful winds can bring when Mother Nature is at her worst!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

I got up a lot earlier than usual, even before my 7am alarm to take Revatio went off. I'm glad for the extra 15 minutes, because by 7:20, my mom was calling me to see if I was ready to go to church. They picked me up 10 minutes later, and we met my sister and her family for mass. I'm so not used to being up at 8am, but the mass was nice. I lit a candle for my friend and her family. I've been praying so hard, begging God at times, to let N. turn around and heal. It doesn't hurt to ask for a miracle, does it?

After church, we went to the casino for the breakfast buffet. I had two plates of food, the first one mostly breakfast foods, and the second one some lunch items. Then, I had an ice cream sundae. Honestly, I don't know how I packed the whole thing in, but I did. I was in a food coma by the time I got home, and took a rather long nap! When I got up, I got settled in the living room to watch the Sabres game, and play online, which I totally missed doing since I had banned myself from internet usage during the day. That's pretty much where I've been all night!

I got a call from my friend in the afternoon, and she told me they removed the tubes from her brother. Tonight I got a message from her saying that N. had died. My heart breaks for the entire family. She said she had a feeling this was coming, but she had hope that maybe he could turn around. Her parents, on the other hand....well, all I know is that they are a mess, and it's understandable. A parent should never lose a child. I'm sure the wake and funeral arrangements will be made, and probably be later this week. I intend on being there for them. I wish that there was more I could do. I know N. is at peace now. I just wish it didn't have to be this way.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crazy Shoppers

I went out with my parents today to a couple stores, mainly Walmart (the only one I had to buy stuff from!). I kept thinking it was Saturday since we went around 2pm, and my dad was with us. But he had gotten out of work early for the holiday weekend! It was a madhouse at Walmart, and even the roads were jammed with people out and about to get last minute things for Easter. It was nice being out with my parents, since it has been awhile since we last shopped together. I got various things I needed to get at the store, including a new pair of earbuds since the ones I had finally stopped working a few days ago. I hate it when I can't listen to my music! I have a few new products to try eating, such as Jello dark chocolate mousse cups, and almond butter. I try to be healthy, and yet at the same time, I buy a cheese topping for popcorn that contains a ton of salt. lol Sometimes I don't understand myself!! Anyway, we didn't get home until almost 6pm since my parents wanted to stop at another grocery store (I stayed in the car), and then ended up at yet ANOTHER grocery store briefly to get a few more items (again, I stayed in the car lol). It was a nice afternoon with them, although a tad bit on the chilly side (even inside Walmart!). When is this weather going to get better???? And I don't mean better as in a few days out of the week, I mean CONSTANTLY better?? lol Anyway, I hope for a nice weekend, despite the fact that my friend and her family are constantly on my mind.

Hoping For A Miracle


On this very holy weekend, when Jesus made the biggest sacrifice for all of us, I'm praying so hard for my best friends brother. After going back and forth between being stable and then losing ground, N. has been given 72 hours to live. My friend's on her way back down to WV with her father. I am completely sad for the family, and trying to pray so hard for a miracle.

Changes

I almost didn't go to rehab today, but I'm extremely thankful I did. I found out shortly after getting there that this was the last day for the respiratory therapists. Apparently, starting next Tuesday, we will now have athletic trainers. Really?? This makes no sense to me, but I guess that's what happens when budgets are cut and things need to be a little downsized. In the past couple weeks, I've noticed our RT's talking to new people, and I was wondering what that was all about. One day last week, E. was showing two people a computer system she set up on keeping track of patients' progress. Tuesday, there were 2 men in the office for the whole time I was working out (one of them was looking at me almost every time I looked that way lol), talking to E. about who knows what, but now I know it was about the patients and the cardiopulmonary program. It'll definitely be new on Tuesday when I go in there. Well, new people. They've been warned about my oxygen situation, but I'm sure they still might be a little spooked by me. lol I'm just sad that the RTs won't be there anymore. Well, the RTs will still be in the hospital, working in different positions, and I can always go find them and say hi if I'd like! I know we'll all have to adjust to this change, and I'm hoping it will be easy! But, I am glad I did go to rehab today to find all this out, and to say goodbye to the RTs who were there!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saucy And Windy Weekend

I decided on Saturday to try making my first batch of spaghetti sauce. I had roma tomatoes that were a bit beyond my liking for salads and sandwiches, but were still perfectly fine to use for something like sauce. I had bought other ingredients on Friday while grocery shopping at Aldi's. I found a recipe for sauce made in the crock pot, and followed most of the directions. However, I added mushrooms and zucchini, mixed everything in a very large bowl, and then blended it before I put it in the crock pot to cook for about 5 hours. It smelled pretty yummy all day! I made spaghetti and broccoli, and tried out the sauce. It wasn't too bad! I think the next time I make a batch (which won't be for awhile, since I have 2 containers in the freezer and one in the fridge), I'll tweak it a bit and maybe add a tad more sugar, since I kinda like it a bit sweeter than it turned out. Today I stayed home simply because if I had stepped foot out the door, I would've blown halfway across the country. The winds were very bad, and had actually started late last night. In the course of the day, besides the winds, it rained, hailed, sleeted, cleared up, and repeated itself over several times. I tried not to pay attention to what it was doing outside. I put on my earphones and cleaned and sang for the longest time, and actually enjoyed the day! Speaking of a windy weekend, my sister, who lives down in North Carolina, had a tornado touch down half a mile from her house yesterday! They didn't even realize it had happened, they just knew the weather was terrible, and the power went out. Thank goodness they weren't hurt, and their house wasn't damaged! She did say there was a lot of damage in the neighborhood, but I don't think anyone was hurt. How very scary!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Not My Fault

On Monday, I got a call from my friend's aunt about my food stamp case, because I had asked her if she could provide some information about something since my food stamp caseworker hasn't bothered to get back to me at all. V. told me the information I wanted to know about, but she also gave me some disturbing news: my case had been incorrectly coded, and I've been getting too much in food stamps. WHAT??? Apparently someone put me down as having SSI, not SSD. I'm supposed to be getting $131 a month, not $152. She felt so bad about it, but she had no choice but to report it to her supervisor. I didn't expect her not to say anything, that is her job. At least SOMEONE is doing their job, not my caseworker! I'm not even sure how far back this goes. I've been on food stamps for at least 9 years. I remember when I very reluctantly applied for them, and there are times I still feel guilty about getting them. But, I wouldn't be eating if I didn't have them! Anyway, V. told me they wouldn't send me a bill for the food stamps I've been overpaid, but most likely, they'll take maybe $10 off of what I'm supposed to get a month to make up for how much I owe back. Yes, it seems absolutely ridiculous that I would have to pay them back for something that wasn't my fault, but that just isn't how the state works. I'm expecting a letter any day now saying things are going to be adjusted and what to expect. I know I can fight it and get a hearing if I don't agree. I have to see how all of that works, but this is just not something I wanted to worry about!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Uncertainties

I heard a couple of rather surprising pieces of information today, and while I can't describe them at this time, it made me think about my life and the course I'm on. It has been a long time since I've had that "what am I supposed to be doing with my life?" thought. It actually has made me sad that I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything with my life when I hear from plenty of people that I am. I suppose I'm just feeling sorry for myself tonight. Maybe things will look differently in the morning when I sleep on it!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Surprisingly Unexpected Gift

Before I signed back onto the internet tonight, I was doing a search on my laptop for something, and for some reason Euan's name was showing up in the results. I didn't recognize what it was, it didn't seem like a picture or anything, so I clicked on it. There before me appeared a complete chat log of conversations we had on MSN from the summer of 2008 until a month before he died in 2010. I was completely shocked. I read most of it, crying my eyes out and also laughing at some of our discussions. Our conversations flowed so easily from one topic to the next, whether they were serious or completely hysterical. I was so happy to be reading these talks again, but also so heartbroken at the same time. I hope to one day find someone who I could talk to so easily and effortlessly like we used to do. But for now, I will try to enjoy reading the things we shared, and I'll definitely remember him fondly as I always do. I think I know what my goal for tomorrow will be: turning on my computer to see if there are possibly any chat logs on there, too! I didn't even realize I was recording every conversation, so perhaps I'll find something on my computer also. Not holding my breathe, but, I just don't know for sure what'll I'll find! If they are on the computer, holy crap, it'll be a TON of reading!!

Blah Day, Monday

My phone alarm went off at 9:10 this morning, the second time it goes off in the mornings (the first time is at 7am so I can take Revatio and go back to sleep), and I felt like I woke up in the middle of the night. It was rather dark and dreary, and shortly after I put my eyes in, the water poured from the sky. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I just love Mondays that are soooooo yucky. I got ready to go to out for bloodwork and run a few errands before coming back to print out all the typing I did for my friend on Sunday. Before I did all the printing, though, I made several phone calls. I'm trying to finish the planning for my next PH support group meeting on May 7th. The invites need to go out soon, but I also didn't know if I should ask someone to provide refreshments or do it myself. Since I don't have a lot of money, I called the PHA and talked to someone who said I would still be able to submit a form asking for help with food. I'm not planning on going overboard with a huge lunch this time, since the meeting is going to pretty much be informal. So I broke my online time briefly to get to the website I needed to fill out the info for the fund that can provide some money for food. That was all done and out of the way! Next on my list of calls was Cleveland Clinic. I hadn't heard anything about appointments for May, so I called to see if they were actually done. Nope. Figures. I had emailed my PH nurses about a month ago, and they either didn't get it or forgot to do something about it. Hopefully I can get some dates soon so I can book a hotel room. I know we'll have to stay overnight since I usually get scheduled so early in the morning. My last call was to a woman who goes to pulmonary rehab at the same hospital I go. She comes on MWT, though, so I never see her. But apparently she has PH, and is on a lung transplant list. She found out about the meetings I have and wanted to know more, so one of the therapists gave me her info. I had to leave a message, but hopefully she'll give me a call back soon! Maybe she'd like to come to the meeting in May! After all the calls, and after all the printing was done, I laid down for awhile, trying to warm up, especially my feet. They felt like solid blocks of ice. Despite the fact that it was around 60 degrees, the dampness didn't really keep the temperature in the house up, so it was 63 inside. I had turned the heat off for most of the day, so I just put my little heater on in my room. Eventually I fell asleep, but my poor little feet never did get warm until I took a bath tonight! I can't wait for summer when I can go around barefoot and not really worry about them freezing all the time! After dinner and watching some tv, I spent the evening online with phriends, and tutoring. My upstairs neighbor gave me some new wine when she got home, and now it's made me sleepy, so I think I have to call it a night!!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Struggling Spring

Spring is ever so slowly trying to work itself into the WNY area, and I am ever so anxious to get to the consistently warmer days. Signs of spring have been popping up all over for the last month. I hear more chirping now from the birds that have returned to the area, and I saw my first robin about 2 weeks ago! There is always something about seeing that first robin, it makes you really feel hope that the warmer days are ahead. My greenery of my tulips started sprouting before the middle of March got here, thanks to some days that were warmer than usual. Then we had snow again. I really hope the tulips aren't going to be too wimpy because of that! They are my favorite flower, and they don't have a very long life span, so it really stinks when they don't turn out that great because the cold has hit them too early! Although spring is coming (well, technically it is here), the temperatures are still trying to work themselves up the thermometer. Yesterday was a beautiful day, in the mid 50s, and it felt nice. Today it's in the mid 40s, which is actually what it should be around this time of year, and I'm sitting here freezing. This time of year, I try to keep the heat lower, or even off, depending on how warm it gets outside. But sometimes I just want to crank it because I'm too cold! I am still wearing layers. The long underwear isn't going anywhere yet. lol My mom and I were out shopping yesterday, and I was trying to find some stuff for gardening. I have never been one to really like growing things, or digging in the dirt, but the last couple years, I've been trying to get over that so I can have some fresh veggies for once. The one year I had a grape tomato plant on my front porch, which did pretty well, but the squirrels ate most of them! Last year I had a bigger tomato plant on my front porch, and I did get a few tomatoes from that. I tried growing several plants in the backyard, but I put them in too late, and by the time they grew big enough, it was fall. lol So this year, I'm going to try roma tomatoes, and green onions. I'm not actually digging into the ground. There is no way I can do that. I have a plastic container that I used last year for the failed tomato plants that I will use for the green onions. And yesterday I bought a rather large plastic planter with a drainage tray that I will try using for the tomato plants. I think I'll try either 4 or 5 plants in there. I'm kind of excited about it, and hoping that I'll actually get a bunch of tomatoes instead of maybe 3. lol I'm think I need to start growing the roma tomatoes since I bought them as seeds. That way I can actually plant them in a month or so! I just have to hope that no animal is going to try stealing them away from me!! lol (By the way, for some reason my posts won't let me put spaces between paragraphs. I really hate it, and can't figure out how to fix it!!! So, sorry if one huge paragraph is too hard to read, I'm not doing it on purpose! I was an English teacher, I know when to start new paragraphs!! LOL)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Testing 1 2 3


In the world of smartphones, there are so many different things you can do with a phone. Besides talking and texting, you can go on the internet, play games, watch videos, and even watch movies. You can video chat or use gps to get somewhere. Tonight, I discovered how to blog with my phone. I sit in my dark bedroom typing this, and crossing my fingers that it actually works! Here goes nothing!