Thursday, December 27, 2007

A very belated Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a very late Merry Christmas.

I've been working nonstop. This is the last year I will do this business of working Christmas to give the new people a day with their families. There seems to be a new person every year!

The new people don't last, so every year I work the holiday.

Doesn't even feel like I got a Christmas at all this year. Even Husband RJ isn't listening to the holiday music channel. And we both look a bit ragged.

More later, after I finish working the week.

Little Pond

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And the Sun Sets on Another Vacation

I woke up to this sunset Sunday afternoon at 4:30. I did manage to get up at dawn, when the area was drizzling freezing rain on top of a night of gentle snow.

We were snowed in all day. Not a blizzard, but very dangerous conditions, anyway. I had one thing only planned this vacation. I was to get a present for my Secret Santa recipient and it didn't happen, due to the storm. Hope I get them before Tuesday. That is pretty much the drop-deadline on shipping to Massachusetts.

That also means I didn't see my son in law host an evening of punkers at a local bar. Don't Look in the Basement played without me in their audience. MammaDog was worried about the storm and the venue, which was a little rough for an old lady like me.

Sleep, sleep, sleep! Never have I slept so much on a vacation since the first year after my diagnosis.

Hope it's not a new trend...

Little Pond

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ellie Before the Storm

Our HuggaMutt the day before the last dump of snow. Late afternoon on the Chemung's south bank.

It was darned cold and very breezy. My little pal is looking way down into the very cold, very fast river.

Whenever we go southside, the walk is long and arduous, very good preparation for all the shovelling we did the next day. Shovelled once by hand, and the second time we used the "electric shovel." Except for the pain in the butt of hauling around the cord, it was a little easier. Takes longer, though, what with constantly checking and moving the wire.

HuggaMutt was returned to her homestead on Grand Central, while we all await the next snowfall, tonight. Husband RJ doesn't use the wimpy electric shovel. Big, manly, gas-powered multi-stage snow blower for him.

I was exhausted enough with the shovel. But our vacation is nearly done, and I could still rest afterwards. Back to work Monday. Another co-worker is using up his use it or lose it time. I always leave a few days, in case. One year I didn't and lost two weeks to sudden disability caused by the strain of working and making it through the holidays.

We are much wiser now.

Little Pond

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lost in the Sun

Three disappointments: Poor batteries, brand new. Prelit Christmas tree with bands of unlightedness. Lazy dog.

The poor batteries, any cheap brand. Only good batteries for the camera are Duracell and Energizer. All others just can't handle it.

Prelit tree is a few years old. Lost a small section last year, but this year is missing lights in bands. We'll have to add strings of lights.

Lazy dog won't walk. She went up to the water's edge happily enough, but decided it was too cold for the tramp through the wooded areas. And today, I haven't the enthusiasm to push it.

Long, difficult hours at work are sapping me. Not overtime, just overwork. With another person out, we are piling on the extra chores, rushing through the evening's work, and not doing anything really well.

Like others in the advertising industry, well, I just wish Christmas would hurry up and get past.

Then I can try to recover a bit.

Oh, well, next week I hope to take five days to myself. I expect Husband RJ will, too. Let's hope this time he's not working at home. It makes everything suck for both of us.

Little Pond

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Husband RJ spent the entire weekend, including Monday, working at this computer. See, for the Chemung County Planning Department, Advent is simply the season when the County dumps on them all the paperwork that the other departments were too slow or incompetent to complete themselves.

At least that is how it looks to me. RJ is an excellent writer of grants, proposals, voucher requests, etc. They turn to him in the absolute drop-dead situations.

Because he can do it, get it done, and deliver on time. So every Advent is totally destroyed for him, year after year. He gnaws at himself until he squeezes out what they want.

And they know it, the jerks.

As for me, well, my breather comes for a different reason.

MSG poisoning. I stupidly ate high protein snack bars, instead of my beloved chocolate. Almost anything high protein, especially goosed-up high protein, contains isolates and hydrolyzed or autolyzed proteins, and lets not forget the caseinates. Some pretty high falutin names for what is essentially MSG.

The results: headache, nausea, cramps and some deadly--and not silent--episodes of bodily indiscretion. Finally, it is all followed by a few cleansing hours close to the porcelain facility.

All better today, except for a touch of nausea, and a little soreness all through the alimentary canal and its environs, if you catch my drift. (If you were around Sunday night you certainly would have caught it...)

So I still need to stay close to home. So let's terrorized the pets with the vacuum, broom and dustmop.

Little Pond

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Can't believe there are so many snow-phobic people out there. The stuff is all gone now, and the sun has graced my morning of T-day preps.

More photoblogging tomorrow.

Little Pond

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007


This is the last day of my vacation. I finished nearly everything on my to-do list. Didn't run around much, except for two lunches with my daughters, the MammaDog and VeggiGirl.

And I napped nearly every day.

So why am I still tired? Why do I still need to nap every day?

Back to work Monday. I'm still not sure if the Star-Gazette has the right to cancel all vacations taken at Thanksgiving week. After all, it was a concession to my disability. But the word that came down the pipe was that we needed every available body this week.

So the complications are arising. I must prepare for Thanksgiving every single morning this week, and still go to work that night. And for starters, Monday is Budget Day, at least three hours' work in the morning.

That leaves my inlaws at the mercy of my daughters. They want to help, but are very new to all this hostessing stuff. They want and need my help. I will barely have the energy to cook a tiny turkey breast Thursday. WE are definitely not hosting anything.

Hope I can help.

Little Pond

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

MDMHVONPA asks: Any ice ... yet?

Rest assured that should we have ice and snow, there will be photos!!!

We are up to our tushes in raking right now. Raking is a good chore for MSers, this one at least. We can lean on our rake and improve our upper body strength.

Of course, what with the changeable weather, we are also experiencing gusty winds here in the Twin Tiers. Which is to say that most of the leaves are being blown back into the areas just raked.

Husband RJ doesn't rake. He mows and blows them. Our back yard has a man-made hill of clippings and leaves. The City of Elmira will pick up leaves, but only when they get around to it. Otherwise, we skirt huge frozen piles of them all winter...

We are expecting winter weather this week. Watch this space.

Little Pond

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Finally got a fully night's sleep.

I literally cannot remember the last time I slept through the night.

Minus, of course the requisite two trips to the bathroom.

Now I need to return to my blogging.

Here is my first visit to the trails on the Southside of the Chemung River.

In three years, I have gone from indifference that bordered on fearful dislike to head over heels in love with our little waterway.

Little Pond

Monday, October 22, 2007

First Night in Forever

that I got a comfortable sleep.

Recently the overwork/not enough rest has shown itself in RLS.

Did you know that news anchor Brian Williams, who indicated on TV that he doesn't believe RLS is real, is from Elmira NY? He lived one street down from us (long before we lived here).

My own special version of RLS includes the feeling that my legs have somehow managed to find themselves on sandpaper instead of sheets. Wet sandpaper, at that.

MS stands for Mighty Strange.

Little Pond

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Can't even tell you how long it's been

but I do know that I'm tired:

Too many 6-day weeks and too much anxiety are taking their toll. Feels like another bladder infection. Been up only three hours and ready for a nap. Work tonight starts at 4pm.

My immediate boss still expects the ax to fall. He believes that his changeover to hourly wage presages a more convenient layoff for Gannett.

Gotta say, though, our wages can't amount to much, even combined. The only bad thing would be that the need for using entry-level workers...

They will need to keep one of us. After all, our night workers are famous for the need to call one of us at home. Often. Very, very often. Our department head has no experience in our workings. My boss and I are it.

Well, once they are trained, then what? After all, if they blanch at the thought of paying our overtime, then they would prefer to pay an entry-level employee.

And next week the red flag will probably fly when they have to pay me a 7-day week. My boss will be on vacation. Reverse and repeat sometime in November for my week off, only will our hireling working the overtime, while my boss assumes most of my duties.

After that, all bets are off.

Little Pond

Monday, October 08, 2007


We can finally expect some relief for all the overtime worked.

Frankly, the extra pay isn't real compensation for the damage to my health. Extra money just goes into the big black hole that comprises our "budget," and the extra
work leaves me exhausted, unable to sleep without having nightmares, full of twitches and neuralgia, and craving some relaxation.

My house is dirty and dusty, smells musty, and needs a thorough scrubbing. Even the mirrors have a coat of dust on them. Gardener/husband RJ is beginning to track really mucky earth back and forth, and leaves are sticking to everyone's shoes.

You know what smooshed up leaves look like on the bottom of a shoe? Guess, keeping in mind that we have part-time custody of a dog.

But we need rest over all.

Happily, rest is forthcoming.

Little Pond

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stiffer and Fatter

When I'm nervous and unhappy, I eat. What with all the trouble at work and a recent bout of bad brakes on the Geo, we are now heavier than Husband RJ.

The two of us were harboring some sort of virus for about three weeks, during which we spent a great deal of time scoping out restrooms, county-wide. Now RJ is nearly the weight he was when we two tiny young-folk wed. I most assuredly am not.

Except for a rather nasty paunch, I look okay, but feel terrible.

Things are going, little by little, to worse at the paper. Three people gone from nights, replace by a worker who will give us fifteen hours. Not really enough time to properly train him over the next month. Looks like I'll be getting a lot of phone calls when he has to fly solo...

A shirt I regularly wear was cutting off the circulation in my arms last night. It's time to pare back. Again.

Monday I walked (using my monopod camera support as a walking stick) from the auto repair shop back home. Taking my time and snapping pictures along the way, it took about an hour to go thirteen blocks. Unfortunately, although rather fortuitously, I stopped to shop for hiking boots. They were marked down to about $70, and were very heavy.

By the time I got home, my neck was sore and stiff from supporting the camera. My body still aches from walking all off-kilter, carrying the shoes. A monopod (Sunpak) is rather fragile, and does not make a good walking stick. And the sidewalks are very bad in Elmira.

On the upside, I've slept very well the past three nights. I will clean the house today and maybe that will ensure a decent nap, too.

Little Pond

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Can't believe it's been over a week.

But Linda D. of BrainCheese (came through my email notification of blog comments) says she thought I had "grown silent."

Imagine me, silent!

Actually, working six nights a week does seem to have an effect. Why, HuggaMutt's been gone for days, and I still don't have time to miss her. In fact, I dreamed about the cats last night, but no Ellie.

Well, we've got a weekend replacement in training. Just no new people. His job will be secure.

Plus both my immediate superior, GF, and I are resigned to a probable layoff by Christmas. Should brighten up the holidays... We are readying things for the elimination of the night shift.

Sort of like when I preplanned my own funeral. Only not as entertaining.

Little Pond

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Misty Morning on the Chemung

I can walk only about one hour before I need to return home to rest. That doesn't stop me from throwing my dachshund/terrier mix into the car and heading to the strand of land down by the river.

We are rarely alone, and today was no different, but we still found plenty of solitude.

And a few good pictures.

Little Pond

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Final upshot of the muffler affair

Remember the trip to the muffler shop that quoted about $380? Well, this past week my tow bar rusted out and fell, scraping the ground. I dragged it back to the house, where Husband RJ and I tore the rest of it off the back of the Tracker.

Result? No more rattle-trap sounds. Completely back to normal.

So why is this in the MS Companion? Well, because, instead of crawling under the darned thing on my back, I can now simply apply a little attention (and Rust Rid) to the patchy rust spots and call it good. Total spent was about $36.00, since my first whack at the muffler did not take. Muffler patch is a wonderful thing.

And I am looking forward to the pleasant, easy task of spraying up old Flipper. It won't be pretty, but it will do.

Little Pond

Monday, September 03, 2007

Hurts Like Hell

After three days of tramping the banks of the Chemung River south of the city, I am sore and cranky. Twisted my back getting stuff for RiverDogging, but it was totally worth it.

My temples are throbbing, because it is the time of year that brings migraines. No real episodes yet, because when I see one coming, I lie down or get out of the light immediately. Otherwise I simply avoid the situations in the first place.

Back to work tomorrow. Yep. The job is still there.

So far.

Little Pond

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Like it never happened.

Thursday night was horrible, with the loss of two workers who quit. That means that our ad builder is doing the work of three people, because I am not able to contribute much, because I am doing the work of two. I try to get in an ad or two when needed, so I don't overload him further.

The stress is killing us. My boss and I went at it full force, literally shouting at one another. It was a horrific blowup, leaving me traumatized and depressed. I couldn't eat or sleep until work the next night.

He had the perfect right to fire me, and I didn't care. In fact, I dressed extra nice, in case I was escorted to the door.

But it didn't happened. Nothing did. We simply slogged through another awful night.

Maybe we needed to let off steam, but it was very upsetting for me.

Little Pond

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why, God? WHY????


Our department head told me that this means "What's That For??" (a phrase heard occasionally in my home when growing up. The proper parent answer, especially if the swat was a mistake, victim-wise: In Case!)? But I digress.

Okay, God. You finally give me a break, a vacation in the midst of chaos at the paper. The likelihood is very high indeed that I will be laid off when I return. It's happened before to me... But I digress again.

Anyway, finally get a vacation. It's taken four days to wind down enough not to be sick over the troubles at the paper. Bought a twelve pack on Saturday. I allow myself no more than two beers a day. Will last all vacation, because I won't drink when I'm traveling, or more spedifically, driving. And chores, or building projects must be at least 2/3 done before indulging.*

VeggiGirl stopped by to do laundry and catch up with us. We split two beers between us. Two freaking beers. Long necks to be sure, but we are still talking a total of 12oz (35ml) of Miller High Life, my favorite, going down the pipes.

Result? Full blown allergies this morning, with asthma, sneezing, phlegm down the back of my throat, and of course, the irritable allergic innards cramps.

And might I add, the hangover. A HANGOVER from one beer. Dry mouth, sick stomach and tiny headache, sweats, the works.

Guess I'll never go to Oktoberfest in Germany or Busch Gardens. Not in this lifetime, anyway.

Little Pond

*Drinking while on a building project:

1st beer: This job's a piece of cake. Could do it blindfolded.
2nd beer: Taking longer than I thought. Maybe I should let it go until later.
3rd beer: Project? What project?

Adjust dosage for body type and tolerance.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weird Work Week

Finally Friday. Thought it would never arrive. Looking forward to a very hard, very long day.

At this point the new hours are settling in, just in time to change them back to normal. Getting about 7 hours sleep a day, although last night I was exhausted enough to sleep 9.

Tiredness is on my face. I know because everyone says so. Also, my emotions are all screwed up. My younger daughter is having money troubles at the bank, with overdraughts, etc. Made me cry yesterday over it. On top of that, paranoia is the word of the day. Is my tiredness making me grumpy enough to get me into trouble with the bosses? Are they all talking about me behind closed doors? Are coworkers complaining about me? Do I look like I'm sleeping at the computer?

Or even worse: Am I really doing a bang-up job and they'll want me to work these hours permanently? Good Grief!!!

Today I decided not to do any housework before going to work. I thought it would feel sort of like a morning off, but it's not. Am barely holding my head erect, and whilst looking down, I can see all the dirt that needs cleaning.

And I miss the HuggaMutt and the Chemung River and grocery shopping with my firstborn, and...

Whoops. Crying again.

Little Pond

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Over the Hump Day

In one of the worst weeks of my tenure at the paper.

Working both day and night allows me to enjoy the headaches from both shifts. I hate it.

Advertising and Production had always had a sort of adversarial relationship, and to be caught in the middle is miserable. My allegiance must be to the job at hand, but then I still must face the night boss when he comes in. I hate it.

Our computers are tied into the local production network, and it is awful to watch things clog up and slow down, just when I really need to find enough closure to go home. Half hour of overtime last night, one hour tonight. I dread tomorrow night, when I will probably not get home by midnight. I hate it.

Two nights left, but likely the worst of the week. I hate it.

But next week is my week off.

Love it.

Little Pond

Friday, August 10, 2007

Now for something completely different

The real exodus has begun. Our ad designers are rebelling against having to supply/instruct the India outsource people, and are leaving. Ad Graphics now has a total of three people working, with one still out on family leave. One remainder is actively looking for work elsewhere and the other is a good worker who is battling cancer.

Evening crew is down to two. Our weekend person just gave notice, which should turn my world upside down again. I really need a vacation, but I am scheduled to work days next week to replace the layout person who goes on vacation. Also passively looking for work elsewhere.

Funny how I wanted to go on days forever, and the only way I can do it is to work someone else's shift, and return to nights afterward. Feels like an exacerbation coming...

Oh, and new person on sidebar: Welcome Stephen of One Life (2 Buddhas). I really miss Cathy of arthritis rants and raves, then cathy's rants and raves, but I don't seem able to reconnect. She was a good friend when I needed one, and I honestly can't seem to find her anymore. Am I just being dumb? Is this some sort of cyber-mental block?

Little Pond

Thursday, August 09, 2007

pb the Highbrow?

Been tagged by Mark of White Lightning. As you know, I'm not very good with memes, and sort of do my own thing with them.

Visit White Lightning for the proper meme. Since I am especially interested in names (got a real thing about them):

My Dad told me it meant a really fine lady, but it actually points to an aristocrat. A patrician.

I'm tagging the two lovebirds out in Arizona: Karen of Scottsdale and Norm of Radio.

Sorry, Mark, I am twice shy about copying code into my site...

pb of Little Pond

Friday, August 03, 2007


We are done with all the weddings and I can relax and take stock.

We are definitely poorer. Essentially a year of either prepping or attending weddings is over. I would set the costs at over ten grand, some of which came from a 401K loan and the rest from credit cards.

I don't want to think about it so much, because it will kill me. Debt makes me nervous.

On the upside, the drop in weight, mostly intentional, makes me feel better. Less stuff to haul up the stairs. Now some healthier habits. Less alcohol, more exercise (at least until the sidewalks ice over again) and -- gasp!! -- less time in front of the TV playing videos.

Also my new neuro seems to be very much on top of the drug situation. In fact, I have to rein him in, get him used to the idea that this MSer works for a living. Otherwise I could spend the rest of my working days in a Baclofen haze.

Believe it or not, that sounds lovely. Counting down to Hell Week when I am temporarily put on days to do one of my least favorite jobs at the paper: dummying layouts and dealing with our advertising representatives. Many of whom could be stuffed into a room together and wouldn't come up with a 60 IQ amongst them.

More on that to come, no doubt.

Little Pond

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Karen's Meme of 8

My Blogsister Karen tagged me with this meme:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves on their blog.
3. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged
4. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they’re tagged.

Karen, I'm not good about memes. Will 2 out of 4 do?

1-Lived in 4 states, all on the Eastern Seaboard: Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

2-Taught English in Worcester, MA and abroad in Madrid, Spain.

3-Fluent in Spanish but generally dream in French when it's not in English.

4-I do most of the electrical/plumbing work in my home. Husband RJ is the gardener and major breadwinner.

5-Was a computer tech back in the day, 1980's, when MSDOS was still king and we had to warm up the computers with a hairdryer after a cold winter night to get them to boot.

6-Used to teach Office Comportment and Dress! Haha to those of you who work with me now!!!

7-Did my own roofing before I got MS. Can hardly stand ladders now.

8-Promised myself I would not publish fiction before I was at least middle age. Even as a teenager and young adult, I could not believe that a regular person would have lived anything worth reading before then. Jury is still out on that one.

Well, Karen, I hope this is enough. My circle of bloggers mostly includes those who don't do memes, as I found out the last time.

Still love me, even though?

Little Pond

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I was hoping to visit the Chemung River

without the HuggaMutt this week, but guess what? It ain't gonna happen. I need my little buddy to keep me honest. I will clean house instead.

Almost didn't visit the neuro yesterday. I can only see him M, W, F. I keep M and F open for resting, so W is it. That's a bad day for me. I like to visit my GolferGirl buddy in Corning on W. So I nearly forgot to go. They called on Tuesday.

We are increasing the Baclofen by one half tab per day. The goal is more sleep. This grandfatherly old fellow is a big believer in the ten per day sleep cycle. He's going to be sorely disappointed with me, though, because the best I can ever do, outside of an exacerbation, is about seven.

He was especially pleased to hear I dropped the bladder patch, although he seemed dubious about the "lost days" syndrome. I told him I had my coworkers to fill me in on what a riot I was to have around. They still ask me when I am going back on the patch, because I was so much fun. Too bad I can't remember enjoying myself.

Feeling a little tired, overworked at the paper. But the heat is done for a while and I am enjoying my Little Pond.

Little Pond

Saturday, July 07, 2007

What I did with my summer vacation.

Hah! No vacation.

I worked the latest chapter to Angry Planet. Over and over and over again. I want to really collapse the story, and the abridgement is a lot of work.

But Husband RJ gave me a hand! We took over 18 shots of his arm holding a pillow for the pregnant body. Wound up using #1. HeeHee.

Then a lot of Photoshopping to add the mail vest, red cape and fantasy background. Et Voila!

Pregnant soldier being surprised by sneaky lover in the corral.

I tried using another hand, but RJ said the fingernails were a dead giveaway that it was a lady's hand, even though I had Photoshopped in some hairy knuckles. That's when I co-opted him for the next few minutes.

Worked pretty well, except he doesn't have hairy knuckles.

Little Pond

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Fourth!

Most of my blogs will be idle, except for a short greeting in Little Pond.

Weather permitting, we will climb the Oriental Chestnut and begin some tree surgery. Our neighbor hates trees, and has cleared his property of them. Except our chestnut.

We will also clear out limbs that hang over our back porch, something we do every year. The darned thing grows fronds in the summer, and they turn into chestnuts. But those fronds wreak havoc on our downspouts. On the upside, the chestnuts become "badger eggs" for Ellie to play with in the fall.

My Geo Tracker is still quiet, thank you. Muffler patch is a wonderful thing. As are those new resin ramps. A family friend was badly injured when his jack gave out during a repair, so I wouldn't even consider it.

Husband RJ is prominently featured in a composite photo that will post soon to Angry Planet. See if you can recognize him.

Stay safe.

Little Pond

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chilled to the Bone

And loving it!

The air conditioning was finally restored last night at work. As was expected, there were complaints that it was too cold. Bring a sweater, kids. It never lasts too long around here.

As a result, I slept much better last night, not getting up until 8AM. That's seven--count them, 7-- straight hours of sleep!

Good thing, too, because right now, 2:54PM, it's 90 in the shade (32.22C)!

Can't wait to go to work...

Also, if you can lend an assist, one of my links has gone bad. I thought it was something I did, but I can't find Cathy's Rants and Ramblings anywhere.

Any help?

Little Pond

Monday, June 25, 2007

This is an amazing story

about two amazing people.

My Baby Blogsister and her husband, God bless them both.

They could use your prayers, if you can spare them.

Little Pond

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jury Duty in Little Pond

A summons, anyway. Last time I was really too sick, practically even to work.

The rules have all been rewritten to enlarge the jury pool. All sorts of allowances are being made for illness and disability. They even allow food for diabetics!

I have one week to prepare an excuse. Otherwise I report Monday the 9th of July.

Funny, this time around I'm rather resigned to it. It will cost me vacation days, because Gannett does not make any allowances for night workers.

One thing has just occurred to me. The fact that I must proof news pages for transmission may disqualify me. But I hear they are getting desperate. The local pool is especially bereft of literate candidates.

Guess that's normal for a town like ours. Elmira Correctional Facility and Southport Maximum Security Prison make us a Company town.

Little Pond

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Five days of misery

...were capped by a call from my family practitioner. He'd gotten the results of my latest specimen. As I expected, there is still a significant UTI. No blood, though, and that's nice.

But a full night's sleep would be an awfully good thing. I'd been on a sulfur (sulfa?) drug, and it didn't do the trick. Now I'm on Cipro, or its generic equivalent, starting yesterday morning.

Slept better last night, and even fell back asleep this morning for an extra 15 minutes. I paired it with Uristat, because I was so uncomfortable.

Except for a crazy nightmare about Shaquille O'Neal, a middle school and a spear, all played out like a video game, I'm fine. In the dream I just knew I needed either a one-up mushroom or the plus-one shirt a coworker owns. Then I would have won hands down.

Is this because I haven't played a video game in weeks? Or because I am starting the third book in my Dragon Lady Jo trilogy?

Or maybe it's just the infection.

Little Pond

Monday, June 18, 2007

Just a note

I am working tonight. This weekend I slept. That is, I pretty much slept through the weekend. I felt hot and sweaty. I felt cold and clammy. Never did I register higher than 98.8 F (37.111 C), so I stopped taking the temp.

Still can't figure how I managed Friday night at the paper, except that at one point, I caught someone else doing something I usually do. Thanks, guys.

No extra people tonight. Let's hope it's an easy one.

Little Pond

Friday, June 15, 2007

Holy Moley

Just the worst infection I ever had.

When the doctor asked if I gave a specimen, I told him it looked like I drew blood instead. He gave me the antipyretic and told me it would turn the urine orange. Then he stopped and said, "Well, in your case not orange, but I don't know what color." I suggested "coral."

Very, very sudden. Medico thought to chalk it up to the catheters. Maybe so, but it is the first UTI in nine months.

No pain, no burning, thanks to the MS. Just an incredible urge to go all the time, coupled with the total inability once in a restroom. Add to that sudden incontinence at any given minute, and I took the night off from work. It was about three hours before I felt any relief. And a few hours after that, I was back to the earlier symptoms.

Chills and sweats this morning. Hope to go to work tonight.

Little Pond

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Update at the Star Gazette

Just as predicted, we are preparing for another round of layoffs. This will be Number Three. They always come in threes.

We got a call to go downstairs and meet Someone. Had to be Corporate. We stood or sat around a table, and introduced ourselves to the Consolidation Coordinator and the new HR person. That translated to the Axeman and his Assistant.

Axeman handed out papers and began to explain that naturally we will downsize, naturally we will outsource, naturally we will suffer layoffs. All very PC, of course.

Assistant explained that they were "over-informing" us. It was easy to link the "over-information" to the Night of the Long Knives last Fall, when hardworking, loyal, longtime employees cleared out their desks and were escorted to the door with no notice whatsoever. My guess is there were either lawsuits or the bosses were called before the Labor Board.

A and A also told us that Boss is no longer our boss. He was only temporary. Then they dismissed us so we could read our papers and learn all about being laid off.

But wait! No Longer Boss asked us to listen a minute: This was all going to be very Good for Gannett. We should not quit our jobs until they were ready to fire us. Keep in mind that this was going to be Good for Gannett.

Some of our jobs will be outsourced to Johnson City, New York. Some will be outsourced to Ithaca, New York. Some will be outsourced to California. And finally, some will go offshore, e.i. India.

No joke. We looked it up on the Corporate Site. Gannett is a proud employer or subcontractor of boiler rooms and chop shops in India.

We are promised a handbook that tells us how to look for a new job. Any survivors will have to take what is given them.

Frankly, nothing new, except the addition of India.

Little Pond

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Have a Happy Weekend

And thank you to our veterans, living and dead.

If you've been to Pat's Pond, you know that I worked a double shift last night. We are extremely short-handed, so I will be working the holiday.

Thought I'd list all the lovely sensations I experienced last night. Keep in mind that I grocery shop for two hours every Friday before I rest for work:

4pm--the classified pagination is not prepped: that person (and her backup) are out on bereavement and maternity leave, respectively. Class pagination is my supervisor's job, but he always takes two weeks this time of year.

6pm--the phones start, because we are already two hours behind. Am still prepping my class ads. Now we need to start them, ready or not. All night we will be re-prepping the class, over and over, because the system is overloaded and spitting the ads back to us.

7:30pm--finally put out the Obituary listings, because that is not tied to the unprepped ads.

8pm--now it is clear that the very late ads are not going to appear on the pages. And everything is running very, very slow. Somebody felt we would not need cable to run from Johnson City to Elmira and back. The delay is now killing us: we are prepping an extra day's class to cover the holiday.

9:30pm--turned in the Saturday class, two hours late. Stop to handle other overload related problems associated with the transmissions of pictures for editorial content. My neck is tingling so badly, I keep looking over my shoulder to see who is touching me.

At this point the fans, which we are using because the air conditioning is dead, are not cutting it. The numbness in my feet and legs is turning to dysaethesia instead. My legs are twitching and spazzing at weird intervals.

11pm--it is beginning to dawn on me that I will not get home by midnight. I estimate 2am.

12am--begin to work on the prepping for the Monday and Tuesday class. Ask a coworker to stay 1/2 hour. That poor fellow works two jobs and has joint custody of his three kids. After 45 minutes I send him home.

1:30am--realize that 3am will probably be more like it. I am now in the zone and must be careful to pay close attention to the details, because I can no longer pay attention. Then I remember a small chore that doesn't usually go well in the best of circumstances. These were not the best. Next hour spent doping out how to ship a small advertising sheet that is in a very, very, very old format. Our printers keep sending me a letter sized printout. I need tabloid.

3am--maybe I will make it home by four.

4am-practically levitate to the ceiling when a truck driver drops a bundle of papers on the table in the back of the room.

5am--finish the Tuesday classifieds, by killing an inhouse ad that I have been warned "absolutely must run." It doesn't fit and I can't change the position. Client ads take precedence, so screw the marketing department. Screw them, screw the horse they rode in on. Screw everyone and their pets, all fast asleep at home.

5:30am--go home, too wired to sleep, too exhausted to eat, too dumbed out to read the paper.

And who wants to read the paper after working on it all night?

Little Pond

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Better and better

Just came in from working on my exhaust system, so I must be getting better again. Just before inspection I took the Geo to my favorite discount place, who immediately quoted me $350 for a new system.

$350 for a new system is excellent, but right after taxes? I requested a written quote and removed my Tracker from the premises. Then I brought it to the downtown Chevy dealership, who not only passed the whole thing for NYS inspection, but fixed my horn, to boot, all for $40.00, inspection fee included. I didn't even get around the block (for a walk while waiting) before they called to tell me it was done.

The noise was a rattle, and there is a tiny hole. I stopped the rattle with some metal strapping, using some aluminum foil for padding. I'm thinking maybe some metal epoxy for the tiny hole. Or some sort of patching to make it all pretty.

Next project: ceiling fanw/light kit in dining room. And no, I will not DIY it. Got a perfectly acceptable home systems repair firm here in Elmira called Fix-Rite. Been using them for years.

The exciting part of this Father's Day project?

Looking for a remote control setup! It should add years to the life of the thing. RJ is kinda tough on those chain pulls. If all goes well, we will replace the kitchen ceiling fan before the winter. We find the fan is a very good investment, because we run them year round, changing the direction according to season. Supposedly they save on the air conditioning and heating costs. Anything that makes the place more comfortable is welcome.

MS seems to find trouble with both heat in summer and cold in winter. And, apropos of that, too: a quieter exhaust system is easier on my nerves. Working nights and driving home after midnight makes my Geo a prime target for bored city police. It's always a new, younger fellow, too. Makes for a touch of eye candy every now and again...

Little Pond

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The verdict is in.

Baclofen works for me. I'm taking 5 mg three times a day.

The charley horse effect is gone from my thighs most of the time. I have it now, but just came from River Dogging with Ellie. I always overdo with Ellie.

I actually forgot to put on the Detrol patch! It was three days before I noticed that I was all out. Even then, I only checked because I had a note to change it.

Needless to say, no more Detrol. And now I am not logy. I feel great.

Now if I could just get rid of that pesky job (and still retain the income).

Little Pond

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I finally gave up

You've probably seen the shift in attitude. There can be no doubt that I lost a lot this year. Disabled seems to be written all over me. Disgusts me when an older person runs to hold the door open for me. (Wait! I can still walk! I take Ellie to the River every day...)

My boss has made a point of reminding me to take my meds. It's embarrassing.

So I finally gave up and began to take a cane places, and I purchased an alarm watch.

The cane (or walking stick) allows me to balance myself when I need to stand still.

The alarm watch is a Timex, IronMan Triathlon. It has three alarm settings. One for my morning doses (rings daily), one for my evening doses (rings nightly), and one for the afternoon dose only on weekends. I have to remember my breakfast and (work lunch) 8pm doses on my own.

When I'm not working, the evening doses are really bed-time doses and don't need an alarm.

And the watch is on a plastic with velcro band, so I don't have to work a buckle, or get a rash from it. I'm waiting to see how long it takes me to get a rash from the back of the timepiece itself.

The rest of the problem is all griping and hyperbole. I knew from the first few years that the condition was progressive.

I'll survive.

Little Pond

(by the way, does anyone know off-hand how to program a quick macro for inputting my URL while in blogger? I'm now working from Windows Vista)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Not so positive post

Once again the visit to the neuro has brought negative news. I am losing ground again. Man, that just seems to go hand in hand with Spring each year. Let's hope I can regain ground by Fall.

Still, that is just an observation. I've almost always known, right from the start, that I have relapsing-remissive MS. In my case, it's always been a progressive thing. Little by little. It makes it manageable.

But. That is not the least positive thing that came from my visit. A few days later, his office cc'd me the note he sent to my primary care physician.

It turns out that the urologist never sent them a report!
The urologist also never gave me a script for the catheters, either. My neuro's office contacted them for information, and the damned uro-people gave them the same runaround I got!

I thought maybe it was just me. Perhaps I was being a scratchy-sort of lady who made the uro-people react badly. It was not me. The neuro-people were non-plussed by the encounter.

Laugh of the morning: The uro-people wanted to know "what I was going to use them for!" The neuro-people shot back, "she's going to sip ice-tea! What do you think she will use them for?"

Like Mencia says: If you ain't laughing, you ain't living.

Little Pond

Monday, April 30, 2007

New Stuff

The past weekend was completely dedicated to learning the new Presario.

Usually we purchase a refurbished machine and have Radio Shack do all the installations. And we usually trade in the old machine. This time we were so far, far, far behind the times, it was almost necessary to start new.

On top of that, the kids are lusting after the old machine. So.

So. We will hook up as a network, at least for a few months. This will allow us to cover the kids and still have everything we need. At least until we get it all transferred.

Now that the "kids" are all adults, we purchased a wireless notebook. To get the darned thing out of the dining room.

Except that Husband RJ wants it in the dining room. I want it in the office that we will put in MammaDog's old bedroom.

Except that Husband RJ, unbeknownst to me, filled MammaDog's old room with seedling flats. I mean I know now, but it wasn't mentioned to me during the decision process.

Anyway, some sort of side table or flat desk will replace the big, bulky Sauder cheapie. And we can close up and remove the Presario when we need the space for dinners.

A question to the over 40 crowd: when you were a kid, could you ever have imagined that we would be worried about such mundane stuff concerning our personal computers?


Little Pond

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Not Quite Lost Days

Ellie and I drove to the Grove Street Boat Ramp/Fishing Access Site (hereinafter the "Goose Poop Area" or GPA) to get our last bit of exercise before the storm that is forecast for this evening.

Ellie roots around in our primary GPA

This sort of thing surely must have birthed the English phrase "mucking about." Our trip was a sort of test. A week on the Baclofen now. 5mg, three times daily is definitely out. It was heaven on the weekend, because I spent three hours napping each day. At work, well, they are lost days. I look at something, mention it to my coworkers, who inform me that we've already discussed it. They jog my memory, I remember it, then an awkward silence or disgusted look. 5mg, two times daily still seems to be leaving me a bit slow.

However. After our very long walk in squishy, mucky ground, I feel the spasms in my legs again. Due for a dose even as I type. If I get through the weekend without pain and with sleep, it will probably be worth the trouble of trying to figure out the proper spacing for the dose. Or maybe another dose altogether.

More later.

Little Pond

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Finally gave in.

I wasn't planning on it, but when my neurologist suggested something for the strange charleyhorse in my upper thighs, I took it.

I can live with the spasm and pain, and I can live without sleep, but I cannot do both. Makes me feel sorry for myself just remembering it.

He prescribed Baclofen 10MG, three times a day. That was way too much, and now, a week later, I take only two, twice a day. Each an hour or so before I sleep. And I sleep!

By the way, the first day I was so loguey I screwed up my other meds and packed all the wrong stuff in my pill case for work. Now I am more normal than I've been in weeks and weeks.

Let's see how long it works before I decide to wean off them.

Little Pond

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Short and to the point

It is snowing and I am glad. The cold will dampen the burst of pollen that is making me asthmatic.

The addition of Flonase has made me much more comfortable this Spring. So far, just two asthma spells in about seven weeks!

My visit with the new/old neurologist proved okay, if somewhat ineffectual. More on that later.

It will be a much longer post.

Little Pond

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Holy Week

All right. I have to admit that Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. Easter definitely took second place. Still does, even with all the chocolate.

Don't get me wrong. I love Easter, with its wonderful message of renewal. And Jesus' promises manifested in his own Resurrection? Both sublime and overwhelmingly joyful.

But the season has so many problems for me now.

--I am allergic to palms, so the troubles start early. Here we go again. No mass for Palm Sunday. Well, this year I looked forward to the Reconciliation service instead. Always on the last Saturday before Easter. I walked to the church, some fifteen minutes. Only to find that this year, because our churches are shrinking, the service was celebrated at one of our sister parishes. And I returned home on foot, way too late to drive to the other parish.

No big deal. God knows I tried.

--I am allegic to candle smoke. Well, it makes me asthmatic, anyway. That cancels the Easter Vigil, where EVERYONE lights a candle during the service. Too bad, but there is still the Sunday Morning Service.

--I am allergic to many perfumes and colognes. Took me years to find some I can wear. Easter Sunday everyone and their family comes to Mass. The place is packed and I cannot breathe without reacting to some person's signature fragrance. No Mass on Easter Sunday. You haven't lived life to the fullest, until you've seen the look on some poor parishoner's face when they smell the Albuterol inhaler.

--And one last health-related, more specifically MS-related, issue. Up into the attic to find the Easter weaths and decorations. Where the heck are they all? Where is the Easter plaque? Now, I know me well. It is up there somewhere, probably right under my nose the whole time, just like the lady at Conklin and Rorick said.

Never mind, we'll buy something else. Takes forever though, because Husband RJ is not Catholic, so everything needs to be rather generic. A nice little suncatcher that says something sweet and generic about God and creation: "God touches the earth with beauty." Another sweet little generic sentiment for after Easter: "Life is but a journey" done in black ink on blond maple.

The rest of the decorations turn up after a thorough search. All are duly hung in their proper spots. The new items are paraded past Husband RJ, who pronounces them appropriate, and prepped and hung.

Voila! Easter may now arrive!

Actually, I'm getting quite good at the rebound.

Little Pond

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Finally! (With update)

Back to tired lower legs. Maybe now the thighs will settle down.
Ellie and I went to the strand along the river, staying inside the city for a change. We caught the last little bit of sunshine. No more until sunday. I didn't even take this shot of opalescent sky on purpose.
Okay, I'm still spazzy. So sue me.
Update Sunday 1PM EDT: A terrible night with Restless Leg Syndrome keeping me busy and costing some four hours sleep total. Feeling a nap coming on soon, but the sun is making an appearance and Ellie and I want to visit the River.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I stopped posting for a very good reason.

Status unchanged. Still wobbly and still spazzing in the thighs.

Nothing much changed here, except a blizzard and the coming Spring.

Lately, I've been off in my fantasy world, being Josephine Lindorm. My snickering workmates finally read the stuff, and want to be part of it. Since there are three other gamers at work, I am incorporating them into a future chapter. They get to pick the character, the names, weapons, etc. It's all Final Fantasy, but a story outside the game.

In my fantasy, I am not only healthy, but self healing. I not only walk long distances, I float when things get hairy. Not only do I see perfectly, my eyes stream light during battle. Not stuck in the house all day, but instead travelling long distances alone.

Pathetic. It's what happens when geeks grow old.

Little Pond

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Quick Update

Yeah, my legs are still like jelly. When I walked with Ellie, the struggle to stay upright in the snow masked the problem. Now that she's returned to Golden Glow, I go out alone, using a walking stick to keep balance.

And my thighs are shaky and spazzing. Never had this problem before. Even now I can feel the twitching, while I'm typing. It's disturbing, and was even more so at work this week.

Monday night I will be alone and "in charge" at work. It's sort of a mini-vacation, if all goes well. The push and pull between the Ad Graphics and Composing Room is getting tiresome. The one tries to pile me with work to validate my presence (and thereby avoiding layoff, we hope) and the other wants to hang on, not losing the department to consolidation. I sympathize and appreciate both efforts, but it is wearying.

Lay me off, already. The overwork and idleness, push-me pull-you is getting on my nerves.

Little Pond

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

MidWinter Blahs

...are the rule, now. Everyone around me is grouchy and/or telling me about their physical complaints. Like I have none, or like I will want to hear their organ recital...

I feel great. Mostly recovered from the Copaxone hiatus. Getting outdoors with the HuggaMutt and doing some strenuous walking.

The snow facilitates the strenuous part. I carry a cell phone, so fear of falling isn't it. Still, it's essential to keep the CuddleBum off leash as much as is legal, because she will get underfoot or pull me off-balance.

A fellow dog-owner told me it's because we are two-legged, and the dogs have four wheel drive.

He's exactly right.

Little Pond

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Grumpy this morning

I had a horrible nightmare just before I woke this morning.

In the dream I had a new neurologist. The woman surprised me with a pair of leg braces. She didn't consult with me about it, it was just her policy. I helplessly obeyed.

Now, I know (or used to know) braces very well. My youngest brother wore them for Legges-Perthes, a disease more commonly known as hip dysplasia, and even more commonly known today as a disease in pets. My brother wore a long brace on one leg and a ridiculously built-up shoe on the other.

Furthermore, I worked for a short while in a company that made orthotics, or braces for humans, and prosthetics. At that time we saw plenty of children and teenagers forced to wear similar (or even worse) braces. It still pains me to remember my little brother stuck in those things, and in awful pain when he was not.

The braces in my dream were regular leg braces for people who could not properly lock their knees while walking. It is no coincidence that this is one of my worrisome tendencies. My dream-self checked for drop-foot bracing, but there was none. Another problem I have (at times like now, when I am stressed) is not being able to pick up the front of my foot. It causes some of the most spectacular crashes when I am out with Ellie. She can recognize the sound of such a "trip," and scoots away, with tail tucked under her bum.

My dream self noted with satisfaction that I did not yet need a drop-foot brace. She strapped the braces into place and tried to stand up.

That's when I woke up, rolled out of the side of the bed, and went downstairs as fast as I could.

I grabbed the railing very tightly on the way down.

Little Pond

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow clogged arbor.

If you were a local, dear Reader, you would know that this is an arbor that doesn't produce grapes for either eating or fermenting.

Grape vines are ruthlessly pruned down to a few very bare branches in the wine making world.

We will regret out laziness. The supporting structure is bowing under the weight of the snow.

But RJ and I can no longer drink much wine or even eat the grapes. Our only regret will be the repairs that are forthcoming.

Under all this snow is ice. On the roads and walkways.

Itty bitty baby steps will be the norm for Ellie and my walk this morning.

Update 9 AM: There is only about a foot of snow. But the frigid temps are cancelling all sorts of stuff.

Little Pond

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Getting Back to Normal

Restarted Copaxone on Tuesday, and am better.

Feet feel nasty and squishy and legs were restless and "wet" all night. Numbness hangs on in hands and face and the incontinence has me in the bathroom more than every hour.

Lots of work to do to clean up all the messes that occurred while I was extremely subpar. This includes home repair, financial-disaster checks, and cooking. Trying to be nice to poor RJ, who had to put up with a lot. Even at work, they tell me it's time to quit bitching, that I sound like a yenta.

Am cooking: vegetarian chili and creamy spinach soup.
Am shopping: RJ and I are giving each other fancy pillows for Valentine's Day. Romantic, eh?
Am exercising: HuggaMutt is here for the first time since I started really having troubles. We didn't want her stuck in the house during the cold spell.

Big DVD and gaming weekend ahead!

Little Pond

Monday, February 05, 2007

Going on six days

beyond my prescription. I saved one for a couple days and used it Saturday, but essentially I've been out of Copaxone six days now.
  • Fatigue replaces being tired.
  • My neck is extremely sore and stiff.
  • The numbness is climbing up my legs, as it does during an exacerbation.
  • I've lost my sense of balance, and must use a cane, and not a walking stick, to steady myself, even around the house
  • The ring of tingly numbness around my eyes is making a reappearance.
What was I writing about?

Oh, yes. The lack of Copaxone.
  • My memory has gone straight to hell.
I guess this is an endorsement of Copaxone. They should get it in by tomorrow.

Little Pond

Saturday, February 03, 2007



Name a famous black MSer.

Now go to Little Pond for BHM entry of the weekend.

Little Pond

Need Help from Game Geeks!!!

We have an old copy of Torin's Passage, that was a favorite of my daughters when they were little. It will not play on any computer or console, now.

I assume we need some sort of simulator. Help, anyone?

Leave a comment and I will answer.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Now what?

This week I lost my local Copaxone supplier and my neurologist.

The neurologist simply vanished, the way that neurologists do, here in Upstate New York. I was told that it is just too hard to work ethically here. People come from all over the country to scam our Disability System. They bring lawyers to help them.

May they roast in Hell from one Eternity to the next. That means that those of us who really need doctors can't get them when we need them.

My drugstore informed me that I cannot get Copaxone from them anymore. I must order from out of state. So far, I am having no luck. At least I haven't heard back from the one listed as my new supplier. They informed me that they were not what the Insurance designates them to be. Why doesn't anyone want to supply Copaxone?

Already I am having problems. Apparently the drug was working, because I am having very painful spasms in my arms and legs, and the fatigue is becoming almost unbearable.

But I expect we will work out something soon.

Little Pond

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry for the Blogging Blank.

Been rather down in the dumps, physically and emotionally. This is a very bad time of year, money-wise and I usually let it beat me up a bit. Then, after everyone around me is sick to death of my whining and crabbing, I straighten up and move on.

The latest? My lactose intolerance is under control. Yep, finally bought my first cartons of Lactaid milk. And my innards are thanking me. Not only that, but I can now have a glass of warm milk at night before bed. A hugely helpful sleeping aid, with the added benefit of extra calcium.

Bottom line: Getting a constant problem under control seems to clear up the skin, eases digestive troubles, and makes me less crampy, that is to say, less gassy.

Been getting some sunshine, too.

Makes for a happier, healthier HuggaMutt, too.

Little Pond

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Felt good to get home.

Nothing quite like those eye drops used to dilate pupils! In my case, the effect lasts nearly twelve hours. I’ve gotten smarter and now keep prescription sunglasses and darkening flip-ups in my glove compartment. Still, I find it difficult to see the green light on the traffic signals. Red and yellow, okay, though. It’s rather like being color blind for a little while.

And note: no one wants to use the drops that undo the process anymore. They are expensive and insurance won’t cover them.

We’ve not seen Old Sol since Sunday morning, but what was waiting for me when I left the ophthalmologist’s office, nearly disabled by the drops? Bloody blinding sunlight!! This, by the way, was gone by the time I arrived home.

It was ten at night before my eyes returned to normal. But I am exhausted from compensating all day for the blurriness.

Still, a day like today makes me appreciate my eyes more than ever. And I will enjoy the sun again, if it ever returns.

Little Pond

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Heart Palpitations

Good Lord. Grow up.

My new video games, of all things, are responsible for a series of worrisome events.

I am trying to learn to play a shoot-em-up. Versus a role-playing game. MS makes this difficult. I can't think that fast, and I certainly can't react that fast.

But let's backtrack. I began having heart palpitations at odd times. Like when sleeping and eating or reading. My husband immediately blamed it on the games. Apparently, he stopped enjoying his combat simulators and flight simulators years ago for the same reason.

So why am I attempting to play games outside my preference? Because the story line from my favorite RPG is followed in the latest shooter by the same developers. And I want to watch the FMV or full motion videos that will emerge as I progress through the game.

Guess I'm going to need to delegate. I will hand the game (and a memory card) to someone else, and watch the resultant video clips when they are done. Real shootists can finish a game in less than two days, marathoning it in 48 (yes, that's straight through) hours.

And I can take leisurely walks with Ellie, instead.

Little Pond

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year, Part 2

This is the second in a series aimed at the newly diagnosed MSer. Remember? Part 1 was just directing the newbie to my fancy welcome post from the earliest age of the MS Companion. Regular visitors may feel some deja vu.


I mean this both ways. Stage as in steps and "stage" as in put on a show.

1--people do not understand the fatigue you face. Except maybe those with chronic obstructive lung disease (also in my family), who can't catch a breath and have to stop many times during any exertion. You do the work that shows first. Take it from me, an A Type cleaner. In my childhood, our house was spotless. I hate dirty house, and now I am often stuck in the home, unable to venture out.

Today is a good example. It is freezing out, and I know that the cold, biting wind will trigger an asthma spell. I am stuck in the house, and it is dirty. (So why are you posting, instead of cleaning???) Glad you asked. I am taking my first rest from cleaning. I will eat part of my breakfast, and post.

So far, I have cleaned counter tops, vacuumed the bedroom and bath, and started rubbing the stove with the Magic Eraser. This is visible stuff (Stage 1): people will see that I have cleaned. After this rest, I will vacuum and sweep the downstairs. I may also triage that, too, depending upon how tired I am. After all, I have to work tonight. There's always tomorrow.

And that is it. Which brings us to:

2--Nearly every job has a surface (effective) result and a deeper (well-done) result. Later this week I will tackle the deeper clean. I will vacuum-dust and wipe mirrors and windows. This is necessary because of the asthma, or maybe it wouldn't even get done. It is Stage 2. I won't put away the rest of the Christmas stuff. That is Stage 2 for weekend. I put away a few of the most visible Christmas last weekend for Stage 1.

I will not steam-clean carpets or clean the basement. If I didn't have Christmas to stow, they might be Stage 3.

Cheating? Cheap tricks? I hope so. It's gotten me through a decade of Relapsing-Remitting MS, including raising two daughters, while cleaning up after a gardener.

BTW, open the blinds and let in the light. Even on a gray day. Especially on a gray day. If you don't have to clean, dress warmly and take a short walk. With the dog. Or with a cane. Or with a friend or relative. Or take the car to a park to sit a bit. Seasonal Affective Disorder is rife right now in the colder climes. And it's worse for shut-ins. If you can get out at all, do so, even if you don't feel like it.

God Bless.

Little Pond

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gray day, gray health, gray mood.

But not the darkest! It is indeed a very gray day. I slept in until 8:00 on the strength of the dim light. But my health is improving. Still seem to have a cold, but just a cold. Just the tiresome little headache and runny nose and plugged ears.

Husband RJ has a mild flu. THE flu, but milder because of the shot. He went to work one day for a meeting. Wrong move! Surrounded by flu victims hyper from medicines. They would not let him leave, buttonholing him as he ran for the door.

I have a cold, but RJ has aches, fever, exhaustion, and dry, hacky cough. I've been walking, blogging, playing video games, and he, well, he's been moping.

Hurray for moping! After all, it could have been deathly ill, flat-out in bed, with vomiting and diarrhea.

We believe in flu shots. And it is still not too late to get one. We've gotten them in January in the past and have been able to avoid the mess that inevitably comes up in February and March around here.

Some day I'll tell you about the pregnancy that was highlighted by three successive bouts of the flu. And yes, all were the flu, verified by a doctor, separated by four weeks of recuperation. I was young, thank heavens.

Hugs, but no kiss. Not till the nose stops running.

Little Pond

Monday, January 01, 2007

First Things First Redux

Let's start the New Year with our new friends.

If you are a new visitor or even a relative newbie to Multiple Sclerosis, you probably ought to start here. It's not my first post, but the first one I composed with the new reader in mind.

Good Luck and God Bless You.

And a very Happy and Healthier New Year to all my old friends!


Little Pond