Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday afternoon

This month has flown by. It started out with me feeling less than stellar, probably a mild version of the respiratory virus Gregg eventually caught. He was so sick--he ran fevers for over a week and didn't start to come around (and go back to work) until the day before Thanksgiving. He's still got a pretty bad cough, but otherwise feels better. I was pretty worried about him. Thank you for all the well wishes and concern.

Thanksgiving was okay. I cooked a fairly standard meal: turkey breast, roast potatoes and carrots, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, collard greens. For the first time in his life my husband ate collard greens and LIKED them! I consider that a major cooking victory. For 90% of the time I've known him he wouldn't have even tried a mouthful, so the fact that he ate good size helpings two days in a row was a big deal to me. Over the years he's gradually expanded the list of healthy foods he'll eat, and that makes me happy. 

It's been an uneventful break from work. I've spent a lot of time sitting around watching tv, which is unusual for me. Even reading feels like too much effort at the moment. I supposed it's just some leftover depression from being sick and then looking after a sick person. Also, it's November and there isn't much light. I'm ready to fall asleep by 7pm on these days when it gets dark so early. 

Back to work in the morning. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Notes from Thanksgiving eve

Last night I spent several hours prepping food for our two-person feast. Here are the highlights:

RIP to my almost 20 year old corkscrew. Thank you for your service, friend. 

Poppy, bored and unattended while I worked in the kitchen, found some mischief to get up to. No turkey for her! Haha.

I made deviled eggs. They're Gregg's favorite and no holiday meal would be complete without them!

I also went ahead and made my cranberry mandarin orange relish with toasted walnuts (it's better after sitting in the fridge overnight), peeled carrots, and chopped celery and onions for the dressing. I also washed and chopped two big bundles of collard greens so they'd be ready to go. 

This morning I can sip a leisurely cup of coffee or three before beginning, thanks to all the prep work I did last night. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Ai yi yi

Another shit day. Gregg woke up running a fever and vomiting this morning. I went to work for a couple of hours (long enough to catch up on stuff and make bank deposits) and came home at 11:00am to take him up to Urgent Care. Even though the ER doctors had run lots of tests, including a CT scan to make sure his lung was clear of any blood clots, as far as I knew they hadn't tested for flu or strep. (They did do a Covid test, which was negative).

After waiting two hours, he finally saw a doctor and tested negative for flu, strep, and a second Covid test. They gave him a shot of Zofran to stop the nausea and a prescription for Zofran tabs that melt under the tongue. Their best guess is that he has a virus that's just going to have to run its course.

Funny story: while we were waiting to be seen (the Urgent Care was packed today, there are lots of things going around) Gregg had to go to the bathroom adjacent to the waiting area to throw up. He was clearly audible, retching and dry heaving, and a little girl went up to the desk and said, "There's a man calling for help in the bathroom!" Two nurses hurried out with a key to unlock the door. I had to rush up and tell them that it was just my husband in there vomiting! But bless that kid for being so concerned for a stranger. None of the adults sitting around the room could have cared less that there was a man in distress in the bathroom. 

Gregg still feels terrible, but at least he's not throwing up now. His sister texted me a little while ago to ask how he was doing. Here's the text exchange between us:

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

ER (updated)

I'm sitting in the ER with Gregg this morning. He's caught my cold, and he woke me up at 4am having difficulty breathing. Although he argued with me about it, I insisted on bringing him to the emergency room. Shortness of breath isn't anything to fool around with, especially for a person with only one lung.

His oxygen level is okay, thank goodness. Right now they're running some tests to make sure nothing too serious is going on. I'll update later on when we know more. 

Update: we are at home. They didn't find any blood clots (thank God!) or anything else too concerning. There is a slight issue with one side of his heart (with the electrical impulses that flow through one side) that he's seen a cardiologist for in the past and that they think he might want to follow up on again, but the doctor wasn't too worried about it. He's breathing a bit better now, so hopefully everything will be okay. I was scared.

Also, while we were waiting in the ER my mom texted me to let me know that one of my cousins OD'd and died last night. We weren't close, and he'd had drug problems for years and years, but it's still sad. He was only 55 years old. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

It's always something

It's been a rough week. I've managed to both catch a cold and pull some muscles in my lower back at the same time. How lucky can you get! I am not a happy camper!

I've taken two at-home covid tests since that's definitely going around again, but they've both been negative. I guess that's something to be grateful for. At work I've stayed holed up in my office because a terrible stomach virus has been spreading like wildfire through the school. Children are throwing up and having diarrhea left and right, and I don't need that to add to my woes! Several staff members have colds and I suppose that's how I caught mine. Schools are just crawling with germs. I've kept Lysol spray and disinfecting wipes handy and only venture outside my office when absolutely necessary.

I hope I feel better by the weekend. Tomorrow is my dear husband's birthday, and I'd like to make him a cake and a special meal, but if I'm still feeling this way then I'll have to put it off. I ordered him a lot of new clothes online last week, so he'll have gifts, at least. 

How's your week going?

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween!

Some pictures from the annual Halloween trick or treat neighborhood crawl!

The new parents with baby Georgia..

Poppy and George walked with us. They had fun too!

Little Carsen..


A Cat, a Bat, and a Witch..

Poppy hated for the night to end!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Another weekend rolls around

The full Hunter's Moon rising over our street Friday night.

October is really flying by this year. Before we know it, it's going to be the holidays and then the end of 2023. I wish it would slow down a bit.

Marla and Martina came over yesterday for one of our "girls' nights". Marla's birthday was Thursday, so I invited them early in the week, then almost canceled at the last minute. I've had some low-level depression going on, and then yesterday morning my dad had to go back to the hospital, so I wasn't sure if I felt up to company. In the end I decided to go ahead with it since I'd already purchased food and drinks, and I'm glad I did. Spending a few hours with my two best friends really boosted me up and made me feel better. As always, we laughed and laughed. It was just what I needed. 

I kept the food super simple. We had toasty ham and Swiss sliders on Hawaiian rolls covered with a buttery sauce and poppy seeds, homemade guacamole with assorted chips, one of those pre-made rings of cold shrimp with cocktail sauce, and store-bought cupcakes. In keeping with the season I had an assortment of chilled ciders to drink. 

I didn't get a picture of the ham and cheese sliders, but they were the best part. 

And Martina brought me a present! She was shopping for some new baking dishes and she saw one she thought I'd like. I was chuffed!

Isn't it pretty? And I really need new baking/casserole dishes. I told Martina that the next time they come over, I'll bake something in it to share. That was so sweet and thoughtful of her!

Today I'm on my own until early afternoon. Gregg has started going to the three nursing homes where he cleans aquariums early on Sunday mornings. There's not much traffic and things are quiet and he's able to work efficiently. Plus, he has to take my car, since all three jobs are out of town and his old truck just isn't trustworthy to drive that far. We really need to get him another car, but we'd have to scrape to afford it at the moment, so we've been putting it off. Getting a decent raise with this new job has unfortunately been somewhat eclipsed by inflation.

But anyway, I have several hours to myself this morning. It's a pretty day and I'll take the dogs for a walk whenever I finish this post. Fall color is almost at its peak and it's nice to be outside. This afternoon I'm going to make soup. Not to brag, but last week I made the most delicious batch of chicken soup ever! Gregg isn't normally much of a soup guy, but it was so good he eagerly ate it for supper three days in a row. We finished every drop! So when I was looking for a good, cheap recipe for making my customary large meal-with-leftovers Sunday supper, I asked him if he wanted soup again and he said, "Sure!" A cold front is on its way next week and temperatures will be going down almost to freezing, so soup will be just the thing.

I always serve chicken soup with grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. Yummy!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Fall Festival Fun

Last week at work was a busy one for me, because on Friday we had annual Fall Festival and school fundraiser. There's a committee of teachers and staff who make all the plans, and as the bookkeeper my role was to book (and pay) for vendors, order games, schedule (and again, pay for) things like the buses to get the West Florence high school marching band to our school for the kick off parade, and of course, receive and deposit payments for admission wristbands to the Friday night carnival and all donations to our student activity fund. It was a lot, but everything went off without a hitch and our school made more money this year than we ever have, or so I'm told. And it was all a big success!

The fun kicked off with a costume parade of the entire school around the quarter mile car line. The teachers dressed up, the office staff (including me!) dressed up, and the entire school--teachers, staff, and students--participated. We were led by the West Florence High School marching band and cheerleaders. Loads of parents and community members came out to watch and cheer us on. It was so much fun!

I'm including three brief clips of the parade here: first, the band leading everyone out the front doors of the school, and then two others I filmed after I'd completed the walk with the other office staff.