Friday, November 21, 2008

"RACY" Grammy

Someone suggested I write more "racy" articles to gain more readers. I've been thinking about that and/or how to do that and have decided that "racy" is just not me. I don't really lead a "racy" life or engage in "racy" activities. I work, watch movies and tv, hang out with my family. My main social activities are things I do with my Elder group, some of that could be considered "racy" (mostly in the past) but let's face it, we're all looking in the face of 50, have responsible jobs/lives, grown kids, grandkids, etc. And do we really want our "racy" activities posted for all to see, not that there are any.

I kind of want to be able to look my kids and grandkids and assorted others in the eye and not wonder if they have read about....... Even if it might be something from my youth that I might think about writing about. I just won't.

I was a perfect, well-behaved child and that's all my kids and grandkids and assorted others need to KNOW.

On to other subjects. Perfect and Precious are doing well the last few Wednesdays they have been over. No, Perfect did not grow out of his terrible two's YET but we are getting more of a grasp of this behavior.

1) Hide the fruit bowl because as DD says, he is not asking for the banana, apple, etc. He just says the words because he knows them now. This cuts down on pieces of fruit laying about the house with one bite out of it. 2) Made some more Grammy rules...we will no longer be running or jumping in the house and the back door is kept locked up until we are waiting for SIL to arrive, which keeps Perfect inside under our watchful eyes. And the biggie 3) Be consistent....if you threaten time out, he must sit in time out. No matter how cute he is.

OH, and hands off the DVD player. Last week he was watching a Blues Clues DVD and we happened to be in the other room and he shoved the Cars DVD in the playing DVD player to also watch......well, after some stress and time and using tweezers, we were able to remove the two DVDs, straighten out the bent tray, and get the DVD player back working except the Cars DVD is still having some issues.

Precious is wanting so badly to become mobile. Perfect and I were trying to teach her to crawl the other night and she mostly resembled a rocking seal. Her arms and legs were flailing about and she was rocking back and forth on her belly but not making any forward progress. Perfect and I were both crawling about on our hands and knees saying 'watch us', until Perfect decided it was wrestling time and launched an attack on Grammy. Not good for Grammy's bad neck and shoulder, so we ceased that night's crawling lesson.

Then last week, I discovered that Precious is our bookworm. I so love to read and neither FS or DD are the insatiable reader that I am. DD reads a bit but I think FS has read just one handful of books. I've tried, over the 2 years he's been here, to read to Perfect and he doesn't have the patience and wants the pages turned or takes the book away from me.

But the other night Papa picked up a book and sat Precious next to him and started reading. She just stared at the book and sometimes touched the pictures and then turned her head around stared at Papa listening to him read. He'd turn the page and they did it all again. Then she was on the floor later with books all around her and just so enjoying herself looking at all the books. Finally, someone in my bloodline who shares a trait with me that I love!! Time to change the will, Precious gets the books.

I'm off to the country in a few minutes, hope everyone has a relaxing, fun-filled (and possibly "racy") weekend.


Thursday, November 20, 2008


As I mentioned last week, Friday I met several of the Elders for a very adult lunch (one in which at least I went home after only three hours leaving 3 of them standing outside a "hukka" bar about to go in and investigate). A couple of them stayed on until after dark (yes it starts as lunch, it always does!) but they had fun and that's all that mattered.

It's funny when you are with people you have known for years and years and you find things out about them that you have never known. Aunt Cracker told us a story of her and her sister always having turtles around the house and her mom finally cracked down and said no more turtles in the house. So the next turtle they snuck in and ended up putting it in a bag in a drawer where I suppose it was forgotten until their mom started looking through the house for what was smelling awful....and found the deceased turtle in the bag.

I've known Aunt Cracker for 30+ years and this was the first time I heard this story. So many things about each other that we have yet to find out about. A reason we women tend to lead long lives, we just need more time to get it all out.

I told some stories about some family vacations our mother used to drag us on---to Washington, D.C. when we were way too young to appreciate it and all we wanted to do was hang at the hotel and swim in the pool. And camping in Colorado in the the snow and playing cards with my brother for days on end, refusing to leave our sleeping bags or the tent because it was too cold outside. My cat stayed in the bottom of my sleeping bag most of the time and our dog lived in my brother's bag. The only time we would leave our bags was to go down the mountain with our mother to shop. Down the mountains where the towns were hot and sunny (like in a normal summer day vs. our days in the mountains in the snow). Again, we would try our hardest to talk our mother into checking us into a hotel so we could while away our time swimming in a hotel pool. I'm starting to sense a theme from my childhood....we were deprived a pool!

I've tried a few family vacations with my current bunch and failed miserably (in my opinion)maybe they think differently--I know Papa agrees with me pretty much, I have to beg him to go on some trips with me. I've decided when Perfect and Precious and any others get older, I'll just vacation with the babies. A guy I work with has several grandchildren (9 I believe) and every summer they have "Grandma Camp" where his wife takes one of the grandkids at a time to a special place, like Chicago and the American Girl store with one granddaughter, while an older grandson wanted to go to the beach. She spends a week with each grandchild doing whatever that child chooses, just the two of them.

I guess along with feeling wonderful (like Tina Turner--you must keep up with the blogs!), I'm going to aspire to run a Grandma Camp, although of course, mine will be Grammy Camp but first I need to figure out how to or who is to sponser this endeavour of mine.

So until next time....and please if you feel the need to sponsor a cause, think "GRAMMY CAMP".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oh boy, you blog readers. I've been carrying around a little notebook and writing down ideas and have almost filled a page so far so have lots to say!!

First though, I've had some readers who either didn't begin at the very first blog where I started explaining my "rules", or they didn't read through EVERY blog and retain well, or probably they are all my age and I know, our short term memory they asked for a legend to help keep up with all my "fictitious" people.

Well, I haven't figured out how to do something like that on the side so until I investigate that more or someone tells me how, I've decided I'll just have to do LEGEND blogs from time to time to catch you all up on who everyone is.

First, I am Grammy!! Perfect is my two year old grandson and Precious is my 7 month old granddaughter. With me so far?

Papa is my "almost husband" who I've been with/lived with for many years although we've never married. My almost step-son and almost step-daughter and almost step-grandson are his kids and grandson.

Snoopy is my dog.

FS = Fantastic Son (mine) and DD = Darling Daughter (mine). I've yet to name the SIL (son-in-law) probably a good thing, eh! Oh and Perfect and Precious belong to my DD and SIL. Serious Girlfriend is my son's girlfriend and the possible bonus grandchildren are her three kids. Still with me?

The Elders are my group of closest girlfriends. I've mentioned Aunt Cracker (aka Samtastic) and I've named the others, I believe.

Polly (as in Polly Pundit or Pollyanna---because of something she announced to me one night at a CSN&Y concert and also, she always sees the good side of things) and Tiny Sun (can also be shortened to to Tiny or Sun---our small in stature Elder who also radiates Happiness or Sunnyness). You can figure out who's who!!

I find it quite interesting, especially with several very negatives in all of our Elder's lives, that we are for the most part, a group of very positive, optimistic gals and chose to look at the positive, interested in having big fun (especially when we are together), and we laugh...ALOT. And individually I find it interesting that each of us has surrounded ourselves with happy people.

Eat your heart out, those of you yet to find an Elder group such as I have! I wouldn't give mine up for the world.

Lana (is a co-worker, I picked that name because she uses it as her "bar name" for people she doesn't care for) and Mr. Fun is her husband (that is a tongue-in-cheek name!).

The Professor is my brother's friend/housemate/employer.

And finally Joe is Aunt Cracker's youngest son and Joe is also our renter in the country (but I messed up and used his real name, but figure since he doesn't own a computer, he'll never know!!)

I know I have several others still to due time, but I didn't want to overwhelm you with too many names and/or new characters so until now, that's all you'll get. Please let me know if I've forgotten someone in this particular blog that I've talked about already.

OK, that's a lot for you to digest today so I'll stop for now and write more later.


Friday, November 14, 2008


That's what it was last weekend and will also be this weekend---a cold weekend in the country. This is our nesting time in the country. We don't go outside too often, except to take Snoopy for a walk--when it's not too miserably cold outside. But we are perfectly content to sit in the "cave" as Papa calls it, and watch old movies and watch out the window for anything interesting that may be happening outside. That's usually not much since we have 5 neighbors and when it's cold, they don't do much moving around either. So most of the excitement out the window is when the mailman arrives.

Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what we need. I've been hearing on the news in the last week that they have discovered that there are less heart attacks after daylight savings time ends. I believe that and think that it's because it gets dark earlier, it's cold outside, and so everyone puts their life/body into low gear and they relax more.

It's cold outside, so you don't have all the outside activity or yard work around the house, it's dark earlier and so people tend to stay inside and rest and sleep more. Or at least I do. I work real long hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday and then try to go to the Fitness Center after work on Mondays and Tuesdays and run "city" errands on Thursday, so usually by the time I get home on those three days, I've been at work 10 or 11 hours (or at least away from home that long) and I tend to go home, shower and put on my pajamas. I feel kind of guilty doing this in the summer because it's still light out but when the time changes, I have no guilt getting ready for bed at 6:30---I don't go to sleep that early, but I'm all ready to whenever the urge strikes me.

I've also recently read an article on Tina Turner and what it is she attributes to looking so good at her age (69)---Sleep. She says she sleeps alot and when she gets tired, she goes to sleep. She's kind of on her own clock. I would like to be able to live like that but since I don't have the income she does, I have to stay upright and awake most of the daytime hours (although I do nap alot on weekends). But I have decided I am not going to feel guilty about going to sleep earlier than usual from now on. I want to look good in my 90's!!

I used to be under the impression that it was a feat to exist with under 5 hours of sleep a night and I am so glad I got over that misconception. Sure I seemed to get more done but I felt horrible, was always tired, and quite irritable. Now if I could convince Papa who's an incurable insomniac, to work on increasing his sleeping hours, life would be good. But I can't pry his fingers away from the Mountain Dew cans (his drink of choice--morning, noon, and night) and he smokes and I think nicotine is another culprit keeping the sandman away. He has yet to believe any benefits of increasing his sleep--he teases me because he thinks I sleep too much. Just wait though and see who's around in their 90's and who looks the best, eh!!

So I'm off to join a few of the Elders for lunch (just lunch, we said, not lunch which turns into a visit going into the wee hours of the next day!). We are just lunching like grownups and then I'm picking up Snoopy and going down to meet Papa in the country and I'll report back next week.

Until then.....Grammy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Old Soul

I haven't talked about Perfect and Precious for a little bit. This is Wednesday and they will be coming over this afternoon for a fun-filled time of wrist rattles, lacing cards, animal dominos, chicken strips and pudding, and whatever else I can find to entertain us. I think Papa is headed to the country house early (tonight) so it will just be the three of us.

I saw the P's last week after a two week hiatus and Perfect was in the depths of his "terrible twos" which was not entertaining in the least. Testing limits and boundaries, Grammy's rules, screaming "No" and asking for his mama and dada while sitting in time-out. Maybe that's why Papa is leaving early for the country tonight--he was suffering last week in the depths of his "terrible 54's"----"can't you make him stop", "just give him a cookie and make him stop crying", "why can't he go outside" (it was pitch dark and cold), and the biggie "where is his dad"! So with that behaviour, it's probably a good idea that Papa head south, so I will only have one "terrible" to deal with at a time. Although I have hope that Perfect might have outgrown this stage in the last week. One can always hope.

Precious, on the other hand was just that, Precious. I've decided that although she is an infant now that she possesses a very old soul inside her. Sometimes when you look into her eyes, you feel like she knows so much about the world already and it makes one feel silly talking baby talk to her. We have adult conversations (at least on my side).

She is starting to talk in her own baby language and her feet actually touch the ground in her walker now. We've all decided that she is taking after her mama and is going to surpass Perfect in height probably about the time she starts to walk. She is just growing so fast.

These two are just so completely different, but the same at the same time. They look different but I have to do double takes in some pictures to make sure who I am looking at. They have different temperments. Perfect was never a cuddler, but Precious is and is completely content just being held and carried around. Perfect seems to thrive on noise and Precious seems to get overstimulated when it's noisy (and usually Perfect is causing all the noise). But watching the two of them together is heart-warming. Precious just adores her brother, you can see it in her face when he is giving her attention and Perfect tries to entertain his sister bringing her various toys and wanting to occasionally hold her.

It's just a wonderful opportunity being able to watch them grow and change and wonder what the future has in store for my P's.

Until next time.....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Magical Doctors

I've been wanting to write about how impressed I am with a doctor I am seeing right now. I'm not sure what kind of doctor he actually is but he is a pain management specialist--maybe that's what kind of doctor he is. Anyway, for a good year or so now, I have been having a problem with my neck. I had been seeing a chiropractor for "routine adjustments" and while it helped, my neck would start hurting again after a couple of days. I thought my insurance would frown if I started going to see him every other day and him as well as I've asked him to marry me several times after an adjustment. I don't think he takes me seriously.

Anyway, the chiropractor suggested I might look into therapeutic massage since I "seem to carry alot of stress" in my neck and shoulders. He didn't have to tell me that. I'm well aware of where my stress sits and it's funny, I so want someone (small, of course) to just stand on the bone at the base of my neck some days to push it back in place. Yeah, that would solve it all, I thought.

So I found a good therapeutic massage therapist and started going weekly for one hour sessions. She informed me, my back and shoulders and neck were just a mess of bumps and it was going to take some time with weekly, hourly sessions (at $96 a pop) to get me some relief.

I so enjoyed my massages for a few weeks and I'm sure, in time, my "bumps" would have gone away. Though I still noticed within hours of a session my neck was quite painful and since the insurance wasn't covering the massages, maybe I should see a "real doctor", one that is covered under my insurance. Just to make sure I really didn't have a real medical issue and before I had to declare bankruptcy.

My primary doc referred me to a good orthopedic doctor who after an exam and and x-rays explained that I had alot (evidence was bone spurs) of arthritis radiating from the "big bone" at the base of my neck. I KNEW IT!! That bone was the source of my problem. He said the arthritis was caused by a break and did I remember when I could have injured this. A car accident, fall (and I'm always falling!), something in the past that happened....

Well, it took me all of about 10 minutes before I realized exactly when I injured myself (when I was in kindergarden), and this is another story that will be left untold--a remnant of a dysfunctional childhood. But bottom line, I had hit the floor on my back and suffered a concussion and believe this is when that bone was injured. Then again in 2nd grade, I had a bad fall on the playground, hit the same part of my head, and another concussion and most likely injured this back bone a second time. This bone is so close to my head, how could I hit my head hard on the back without this bone also hitting hard. So mystery solved BUT pain is still there.

So the Ortho Doc sent me to Physical Therapy for about 8 weeks. I must say, this therapist (that my insurance also covered) greatly increased the range of motion in my neck (how bad was this you ask? I couldn't turn my head left to look over my shoulder when entering the highway---just used my mirrors and hoped no one was in a blind spot!).

I did exercises there every other day and at home every day; I was put in a traction machine, he massaged my neck and shoulders (wonderfully and it was covered by my insurance!!) and for eight weeks, tried to eliminate the pain. We all (me, the ortho doc, and the therapist) discussed my amount of pain and let's face it, arthritis does not go away and I would probably have to live with a certain amount of pain but with my exercises, at least I could manevour my head around and wouldn't be scaring other drivers on the road with me quite so much!

So after eight weeks, my treatment stopped. Ortho doc told me to take 800 mg of ibuprofen twice a day and do my PT exercises at home and that was about all he could do for me and I tottered away.

THEN I started working out at the Fitness Center where I work in the constant effort of trying to lose weight. I met with my "fitness coordinator" who worked up my exercise plan and every night I was gung ho in the fitness room. I think I even out worked-out some of the men on some nights. (I did get some sideways looks at times when I was on the treadmill or eliptical, by a neighbor on the same machine and it was like a competition of who was going to stop first---they didn't want a female to outlast them but I did first.)

But after a couple of weeks, my gung-honess was rapidly deteriorating when I couldn't lift my left arm to perform my weight exercises. Actually, I couldn't lift it more than about 6 inches from my side, let alone lift it high enough to put on deodarant or fasten a necklace. At first, I thought I must have pulled a muscle and was just working weights on my right side and letting my left side slide until I had a horrifying thought that my body would somehow become lopsided with a thin, toned right side and flabby left and how was I ever going to fix that. Then about the same time, I heard on the news that a swimmer at the Olympics had surgery on her shoulder and it had something to do with her arthritis. An AH HA moment as Oprah calls them. I do not have to nor will I live with arthritis pain and what the heck was wrong with my arm now.

So I marched back to the Ortho Doc's office saying I am not satisified, I want the pain gone and by the way, what is wrong with my arm. Finally, he sends me for a MRI which shows not one but two bulging discs in my neck and they are pressing on the nerve running down my shoulder and down my arm. AH HA! And with that, he writes me a prescription for a muscle relaxer so I can sleep and he sends me to the Magical Doctor that I wanted to tell you about.

This doctor tells me he can eliminate the pain but the process is going to hurt a little but he has plans for me. Plan A is epidural injections in the bone...yes THE bone, at the base of neck. These injections will contain a medicine that will hopefully reduce the inflammation in the bulges and they will go back in (my Plan A is take a hammer and just pound them back in!).

I hear some horror stories from all my friends with back "issues" but I trust Dr. Magic and I'm gonna get an injection. So they withhold my ibuprofen and muscle relaxers for three days so I'm good and hurting (and no food all day for me) and I go in for Injection One---got hopped up on Valium in the office and he numbed the spot---(no I did not cry, my eyes were watering from allergies or something!) He worked on me for about 15 minutes or so and injected this medicine in the bone and I felt hot fire running across my shoulder and down my left arm. It was truly magic. How did he know from the bone in the back of my neck that the med would go that way and not down the other arm or in my back or down my legs or in my head. No, he hit the exact spot of all my discomfort. I was amazed by his magical skills.....and yes, I'll come back in two weeks and we can do this again!!

I won't go into how I felt that night or the next 24 hours. I was just enthralled by my magical doctor.

So two weeks later, I'm again in the office, popping my Valium and got Injection Two....he wants to help with my arthritis this time and when he injected the medicine, it felt like a very warm heating pad going across both shoulders and my neck but for some reason he was writing me pain medicine prescriptions before I got off the table and telling me we had alot of work still to do.

Again, I won't go into my next 24 hours!

Another four weeks pass and I go in for the third injection......lots of eye watering this time (can't they use baby orajel on me or something before they give me those #$*#&$* numbing shots?!) and the magic was gone for this injection, I didn't feel anything anywhere but Dr. Magic (who is from India) serenaded me with Margaritaville while he worked, which was somewhat amusing with his accent.

So now we are about to start Plan B---Nerve block shots in the joint (given on the side of my neck, I think I'll just openly cry during this--it can't be painless in the least and there's just not enough Valium....) I asked him if they could just put me to sleep for these and he said "No, I like to talk to you while I work" now I'm entertaining to Dr. Magic. I can get two of these injections, maybe if I sob during Shot one, he'll put me out for the second one! One can only hope. Dr. Magic also talks about Plan C.....until next time.

"Not Painfree Yet" Grammy signing off.