Dear Dear Diary
I'm running Crown Tourney this coming weekend. So blogging is light because I'm stressed out of my gourd.
The amusing thing recently that happened was Mum and Da sent me a check for my birfday last week. My natal anniversary is in January. It was just rather... Strange.
Things I never knew about my grandparents still fascinate me.
Grandpa Burt, who I thought was one of the scariest men alive when I knew him, had to cultivate that. He was a principal of an elementary school, so I can see why it may be necessary. But he did love children and had a lot of patience with us. He liked to stick his dentures out at me. He also walked with a cane and I worried about the weapon, since he would threaten us with it.
He was a trash picker of extraordinary proportions. He could not pass a pile by the side of the road without thinking about how whatever it was he spotted could go wherever. I have my packrat urges from him. But I think anyone who went through the Depression has these urges. My other grandparents also belived in free-cycling, and but they preferred the carrion calling of estate sales and garage sales to outright curb trash.
But the side of him I really wish I knew was the young man with a motorcycle (one of the first Harley Davidsons!) and a fiddle who would travel the bars of the Adirondack Mountains, fiddling for his drinks, sharing songs and swapping stories. This is how he spent his summers while a student at Hamilton College, which he could afford to attend thanks to the GI bill. You see, he was a soldier of the Great War, that War to End All Wars, and they believed it would never happen again. He signed up as 101-day doughboy, off to a ship to take him to fight the Krauts, met by a ship from Spain that carried the influenza. He never made it to Europe as a young man, because he came down with the flu. He was sent off to a sanitorium in the Adirondacks to recover, where they sent tuberculosis patients. So naturally he next caught tuberculosis, and it's a wonder he could breathe. He ended up asthmatic but very full of fun.
I don't remember him as tall, but he was imposing. He met Meme while she was a teacher in a nearby school. They would go out drinking when drinking was illegal. And he was known for his impatience. Once, she was coat shopping. She waffled between two coats- the one she wanted and the one she could afford. He grumbled, "if you want that coat so much, I'll buy it for you." She demurred. Such an expensive gift would only be proper if they were engaged. "Fine then," he grumbled. "We're engaged. Let me buy the damn coat."
Read my colonoscopy report. (It's cool to understand what they are saying). They need 8 mg of Versed to knock me out- no wonder I was loopy/tired after. Normally someone my weight would get 5-6. I didn't really notice the pre-medication. Apparently other than internal hemorrhoids, I looked normal. He took lots of biopsies though. And I was surprised to notice he used the pediatric colonoscope. Any other comments must wait for next Monday when I see the gastroenterologist.
I made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for Jazz. We had cake for breakfast two days in a row. Life is good with Cake. :)
Insert blogger hating rant here about signing in more than once.
I have an idea for making knitting stitch markers. I'd like to make little skulls or little wobbly eyed monsters. It would be, for me, very fun to make. I want to take a few down to the local yarn store and see if they'd like to market them too, or sell them on commission. I think there may even be a store or two around here that sell stuff on commission.
I'd like to work with my art. I'd love to make art for a living. I have No Clue how to get from point A to point B without losing my shirt or my sanity in the process. Or even really where learn.
On other news, Tom still thinks I cannot go to the bathroom by myself. He must push on the door to let himself in, or paw the door until I let him in. He thinks the act of petting him helps me pee, and worries about my health/ability without a cat in the room with me. Until it's That Time Of The Month, and Things get pulled out of drawers and wrappers crinkle. Then he won't come near me. Instead, he politely turns his back and sits until all is silent. Then, and only then, does he approach for his petting. Silly boy.
I made angel food cake last night. I've never made it before. I used a box and followed directions. Mix on high until blended (whir fine white dust *every where* whir) and then medium speed for a minute DO NOT OVERBEAT. So I do what I always do to count a minute, instead of trusting a clock. It takes me exactly a minute to sing 1-100 via the song I learned while playing Blue Aardvark. This of course caused my husband to mumble about why the hell was I singing a timer when he has a perfectly good clock... Clocks cannot time a minute perfectly unless you start just as the minute turns or you have a second hand AND you can spend time looking at them. I wanted to look at the mixing and not at a clock. In the one medieval cookbook I have read lots of (Curye on Inglysch), they do a lot of timing by reciting psalms. You can mix this while you recite psalm 23 three times, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of carbs..."
Fortunately, Jazz asked if we had clothespins. I asked what for? And he told me about how his mother and grandmother always let the cake cool upside down or it ends up like pound cake. The light clicked on. Apparently if you make it from scratch, it's a LOT of egg whites. Like a souffle, it can be scared into falling flat. I have made one souffle successfully (and a few not so successfully). I know the concept. On reading the directions, it did indeed suggest cooling the cake upside down, but it wasn't emphatic about it, and in fact down right confusing because of the way it also mentioned cooling "loaf pan" baking of this cake. In case you don't have a large round pan with a hole in it, you can make Loaves of Cake. This seems just Odd. And yet amusing. I feel I ought to make Loaves of Cake some time now. But no, I have the Pan with the Hole in It, and I've had it for years. Because you have to have one of these pans, to my mind, in order to have a complete kitchen. Mum's kitchen and every other kitchen I have thoroughly explored always had one of these pans. Even if said pan has never ever been used. So I've had one ever since I've had my own kitchen. I am not completely sure where it's from - Meme's kitchen, Gram's kitchen, or even from Mum, or I found it in a garage sale for a nickel. It's an old pan, and I used it for the first time last night.
Angel food cake tastes like a huge marshmallow. Yum. And you eat a huge slice and wonder what you just had that made you still hungry for dessert.
Um, I think I should explain Blue Aardvark because it was probably a local game. We played it at Girl Scout Camp. Get a circle of people holding hands. One person goes in the center. They are the Aardvark. Or IT, but I guess they want to call it an aardvark because it's more amusing. Everyone in the circle sings a counting song. Meanwhile the Aardvark runs through the circle trying to break the chain by running down some in the circle. They then take the place of one of the people who let go. That person becomes the Aardvark and has to repeat. This goes on until the song ends, and that person in the middle is the Blue Aardvark because they lost. Repeat song and game. One - two - three- four - five - six - seven - eight- nine - ten- 11- 12- 13- 14- 15- 16- 17- 18- 19 - 20- one and twenty, two and twenty, three, four, five, six, seven twenty, 28, 29, 30.... etc.
I also made Scotch eggs. I am tempted to take them down to the bar and have Danny slip them in the deep fryer. I'd like to say I don't believe in cholesterol but sometimes I worry cholesterol believes in me.
I am not a glass half full or half empty person. I have a glass. If it's empty, I need to fill it. It's that simple. I'm a I-have-a-glass person. Sometimes, that's good enough.
A knitting blog I read regularly has for the top post title, "Hope is all that matters," and a dear friend has "And Hope That I Might Find You" and these resonate with a post I had to write to friends that helped my sweetie cope with my colonoscopy. He doesn't handle worry about me well. Some days, I don't handle worry about me well. I know I am frequently doomed to dissappointment, like any faith I have in the office of the President, but yet, I still hope for better. I have been pushed, shoved, kicked while down and rubbed my face in the dirt, and yet I still have hope. It's Pandora's most precious gift, and hold on to it we must.
I have threatened to go on disability, but other than an inability to interact with the public and leave my home, I'm not really disabled. It does however seriously limit my career choices. I'd love to do something like teach my needle craft one on one or any of the other myriad skills I have learned over the years- how to make cheese, how to ferment things, how to tailor a cordial, how to do calligraphy, etc. It's explaining these things to other people that really help me learn what I am doing with my crafting and make it even better. There's a lot of knowledge stuffed in the brain and I'm not sure the best ways to express it. I'd also love to just stay home and Make things, but I have no idea how to go about selling stuff. I'm not that good at Ebay either. I'd like to do more to earn a living, but I don't know what to do.
Still, I have hope.
I'm going to discuss my colonoscopy now, so if you don't want to read that, skip this.
I type colonoscopies on a regular basis. They are lovely because the doc repeats himself frequently. I can pretty much say, okay, it's Dr. Fang talking for a colonoscopy? Type fangc and tada there is most of the text of the actual procedure, like:
Under satisfactory IV sedation, after informed consent including the risks of perforation, anesthesia, and complications of other unforeseen events, a rectal examination was done. It was normal. Next, a videocoloscope was introduced and carried to the cecum without difficulty. The ileocecal valve and appendiceal orifice were clearly identified. The scope was then slowly withdrawn. The cecum, ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colons were within normal limits. Retroflexed view of the rectum did not reveal any internal hemorrhoids or polyps. The scope was then straightened and withdrawn. The patient tolerated the procedure well and was returned to the Recovery Room in stable condition.
But this does not cover what it's like in the room itself. Or the two days of bowel preparation before hand. I had to not eat solid food after breakfast on the day before. This went well until I had tea. Then I wanted something more... and the height of cruelty was the smell of fried onions in the breeze just outside the hospital. After breakfast, I was limited to clear liquids only, but I was permitted to drink as much as I wanted. My breakfast was cheesey mashed taters, because I don't believe there is such a thing as too much cheese, and a vanilla Ensure with a shot of espresso. After that, I wasn't allowed milk or cheese, so I thought I'd make the best of it. For dinner we had big mugs of boullion with a frozen icee-pop (the stick things in the plastic sleeve). I gave Jazz the red one, because I couldn't have red food coloring, and I had the Green one. Then I had to have the Dessert From Hell. A glass of Fleet Phospho-Soda and gingerale. The Fleet makes it heavier and almost greasy textured. I managed to drink the whole thing without puking, but it was close. Then the innards made noises that scared the cat. Pepe was too scared of my stomach to sit on my lap, but he stared at it from a nearby perch for quite some time. I won't go into a poo description. You don't need it. But I'm grateful I wasn't bleeding at the time. Then I got woken up the dogs needing an early morning run, and had my Breakfast From Hell more or less on time. The preparation called for me to have another full bottle, but there was no way I could have choked that down. So I cheated and had half. I was pretty sure I had nothing left to poo anyway, and I was pretty much proven right. Then I had tea, because without the tea there'd be too much blood in my caffeine system, and I'd have a withdrawal migraine. The other option was to have Penguinmints, but they are solid. So I had to have tea. And that made me hungry. So I ate another popsicle- an orange one. That helped. I could feel I was dehydrated, so I kept pushing fluids.
Then my driver came- K- and I will drive for her next week for hers. That's the bargain. I sat and knitted a heel on my sock, but I realized it was too short, so I frogged it. The doc was more than hour behind. Pun not intended, because I'm pretty sure he didn't spend an hour there. I had fun telling all of the nurses about my allergies and the comments ranged from "how the hell do you fly?" to "how do you go out to eat?" And I had to explain I avoided the former and limited the latter. The Recovery Room/preparation area was very cleanser smelling, so I had to get out my air filter. I explained what it was to every nurse that may have had a hand in my care, and I showed my necklace and the lovely yellow bracelet they gave me. If I hadn't, they would not have looked at it at all. I coughed repeatedly. I could feel the flush of my cheeks.
I did ask the nurse about Versed. According to my drug book, the brand name "Versed" is discontinued. But the generic is widely available still. She was confused and insisted it was still "Versed." She was also confused that I was still coherent at that point. When the doc came in, I complimented him on his haircut, and he was downright shocked that I even noticed.
I should mention I have a habit of being aware for surgery. I found this out during wisdom tooth removal when they knocked me out completely. "Count to ten backwards." Okay, did that. I then asked the nurse if I would go to sleep soon. She was startled, and said, "yes, any moment now!" I nodded, and fell asleep. Sort of. As soon as the scalpel touched gum, I screamed. The dentist removed the scalpel and said, "I can't do this!" and a riot ensued. I was then calmed down, and asked if I would permit them to continue. Since I didn't want to go through this again, I let them. But the nurse had to assure me they gave me the legal limit of drugs, and hold my hand the entire time. I remember crying the entire time.
I think I'm used to functioning with my senses slightly fuzzed with reactions. This is NOT a good defense mechanism to cultivate, particularly when it comes to surgery. I told the nurse, I think, that I was likely to be aware, and I would appreciate it if they would talk to me during surgery to let me know when I feel something. Regardless, I was definitely more alert than they expected me to be before the procedure started, and even during, when he was doing something unpleasant in the realm of my bladder, I told him quite clearly, "If you do that again, I'm going to pee." Then he said, "More towels please!" And I made a note to ask him on Monday if I peed on him. I remember coming to slowly in the recovery room, and the nurse saying I could put my clothes on. I did as much as I could without standing, and K came and stood in front of me so I wouldn't fall. The nurse brought me a wheelchair, and I didn't protest it. I usually do. That was the first time I didn't notice an elevator ride- elevators terrify me, because I worry that I'll be trapped in one with a flower or other perfume. I don't remember the car ride home either. I probably slept. But I think I did tell K the "pee" story.
I came home and napped for a little. The basset insisted on sharing the couch, and Sassy shared my pillow. When I woke up, we had Chinese- sweet and sour chicken, and cream cheese wontons. I feel fine now, if a little dry still. How dehydrated am I? I didn't pee Saturday morning. Now we wait for results. I hope he took pics.