Now I Need a Personal Chef

I had discovered a lovely recipe in the local newspaper for something called Pork and Butternut Squash Stew.  Sounded yummy to me so I went to le grocerie and acquired the appropriate ingredients, brought them home, and lined the little buggers up on the kitchen counter.

I got out my trusty, very sharp Henckels 8″ Chef’s knife and cut a rather large butternut squash in half.  Do you realize just how difficult it is to cut into, let alone cut apart, a large butternut squash?  It’s hard.  You must have le strength.  AND a very sharp knife.

The squash was halved, and halved again.  I got the little seeds out, got the skin peeled off successfully and commenced to start chopping this thing into 1-inch cubes.  After about 10 slices guess what happened?  Uh-huh, my ultra-sharp 8″ Henckels Chef’s knife sliced not only through the butternut squash but also through about a third of the top of my thumb.

Ow.

Being quick-witted, I immediately moved my thumb out of the way of the squash – crap – that stuff had to be cooked, I didn’t wish to bleed all over it!  I ran my thumb under cold water which, contrary to popular belief, just seems to make cut digits bleed even more copiously.  Ow.

Devoted Spouse comes to kitchen, instructs me to wrap my thumb with a paper towel and apply pressure to it.  In the meantime, there is more squash and also about a pound of pork loin to be chopped.  Devoted Spouse?  Meet very sharp (and cleaned off) 8″ Henckels Chef’s knife.  DS took over the food prep under my expert if a bit loud at times tutelage.

He did fine.  He followed all my directions.  All the ingredients made it into the pot in the right order.  The appropriate steps were taken and as I type this, the stew is burbling nicely on the stove and smells heavenly.  Thankfully the hacked digit is my left thumb so I can type.  And, no it doesn’t need stitches (well, I think it’s okay – I have a bandage on it VERY TIGHTLY to keep it from bleeding out).  Blechh.  Nasty.

The good news is Friday I won’t have to clean because I am wounded.  I can’t be scrubbing with a third of my thumb missing.  Nor will I be able to prepare a fancy meal for the next few days.  Fortunately there is plenty of pb & j and also something called Swanson’s that comes in various plastic packages and lives in my freezer.  Plus we have vodka.

Vodka?  Yes – I’ll just make a Cleaverini and sit back and enjoy my pork/squash stew.  I may also have to make myself a Slaptini for my kitchen stupidity.

Raising a glass to my friend  Sueanne!   Yes, dahlink- that was thumb dumb thing I did.  Uh-huh.

Bon Apetit!

I Promise Not to Tamper With Product Prior to Purchase

image courtesy of pcworld.com

As a consumer who is on a fixed income I watch prices carefully and shop around for the best value for my buck.  I don’t mind, I really don’t.  But when I find what I want to buy, is it asking too much to be able to open the product?  I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

Have you looked at the packaging lately?  One of my little digital cameras uses batteries I can only obtain through Radio Shack (excuuuuse me The Shack).  Not long ago I went to that store and ordered two batteries to be shipped to my home from the manufacturer.  Now these batteries are about maybe an inch in size…maybe.  They’re small.

The industrial strength plastic in which they were wrapped, however, was the size of Stephen King’s latest novel. This is the type of plastic that even a razor blade has difficulty slicing through. They couldn’t stop at one layer; no, you manage to get through the first section only to find the teeny little battery is further encased in MORE PLASTIC!

And that’s not counting all the blood involved as I invariably slice through one of my digits as I attempt to get this ^%&$ package opened.  Do you know how many scissors I have thoroughly ruined?  And don’t tell me about those little gadgets they sell that open this plastic – I have two of them and they don’t work any better — it’s nothing but a razor blade with a flippin’ handle and I still end up a bloody mess.  Gah….

For my birthday, Devoted Spouse gave me a CD I wanted.  Yippee skippy  – the other day I decided to open it and load it onto my laptop so I could download it to my mp3 player.  Crap on toast,  do you know how dangerous it is to simply open a CD these days?  Me and the old butcher knife slowly crept up to the CD and with it firmly in my grasp, I butchered the crap outta the cellophane plastic, scratching the CD case in the process.  Okay that wasn’t that bad.  But then there’s that pesky little strip of tape across the top to keep the REAL thieves from stealing the CD (not to mention the little bumpy piece of plastic on the back cover).  First I followed the instruction — you know the one that in teeny tiny letters on the back says, “PULL” ?   Yeah, that worked for about 1/100 of a millimeter worth of tape.  So I got my handy dandy Ginzu knife and ever so gently slid it under the tape and tried to pry off the tape that way.

Forty minutes, a dulled knife, a CD jewel case that came apart, and about 4 bandaids later, I had that %^&^ tape off my new CD.

The powers that be have convinced the American public that these plastic monstrosities are for public safety – to cut down on theft.  Heck even a thief can’t get into this crap without major bloodletting.

I’m going to Amazon.com and ordering a flak jacket, teflon butcher gloves, and protective eyewear so I’m prepared for my next encounter.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent…

arrested

No, that’s not me, but it might as well be.

You see Monday I went to my church fully intending to volunteer at our newest Food Pantry.  When I arrived I was told that all they needed was someone to lift the heavy bags of groceries and stack them on the shelves.  Well, gee, I can’t lift anything over about 5 pounds (at least I’m not supposed to) – so they didn’t need me at the Food Pantry,  I thought I could hang around and help sign people in, or pray for someone, but nope they weren’t interested.

Instead I was sent to the sanctuary to stuff the chairbacks with the little comment cards and pens.  Okay.  I don’t mind what I do as long as I’m serving.  At the time it seemed a simple task and a calming one as I was the only person (most of the time) in the sanctuary so I had time to think, pray, hum, sing a little and just enjoy serving.  What I didn’t realize was I was killing my back and leg muscles by bending, twisting, and the constant up and down motions between the seats.  I managed to get an entire section done – I don’t know how many chairs – I’m going to guess around 200 maybe?  Took me a couple of hours, but when I was done, every chair back had envelopes, two different types of cards, and working pens and they were all nicely arranged.  I was happy with my job, said my goodbyes and went home.

By last night I was hunched over and could hardly walk.  I was on a combination of icepacks and heat and I ended up taking several Valium and 2 Percocet before bed.  Yikes.  What had I done?

Tuesday morning I hobbled into the Torture Chamber of Horrors and saw the look of extreme displeasure on the face of my Physical Therapist.  I had to explain to her that I just sort of overdid the volunteer thing.  After doing my exercises, she worked me over good, pulling, pushing, twisting, contorting and pressing on sore spots till I was exhausted.  I fell asleep on the table while having an anodyne treatment.  But I walked out of there better than I walked in.

Unfortunately Queen Physical Therapist pretty much put me on house arrest for the next month.  There isn’t going to be any volunteering – I’m lucky she’s allowing me to attend upcoming classes at church in September.  So I guess I’ll have more time to study, craft, and relax with the occasional outing to Target thrown in for good measure.  But no more bending or twisting or lifting.  I now know what to call her – Officer Sam.  I had Agador Spartacus first, then Chunky Monkey, now I have the able ministrations of Officer Sam to get me back in shape.  And we only have 7 more visits under insurance in which to accomplish this task.

At least she didn’t cuff me…

Fractured Fairy Tales…Or How I Survived Surgery

A Note From Snoopy

Hey kids – look who’s checking up on you.   Made it through the dreaded back surgery.  Finished  the grueling school studying session to get ahead and got that homework submitted – shoot I’ve already finished reading my texts for the next week.

I have had three days now of recovery from this surgery – the doc said 48 hours…close enough.  I didn’t exactly follow all her instructions…I got bored and moved around a bit, but she had told me that the surgery was so successful she felt it was alright for me to do whatever felt comfortable (with the exception of planting the garden) — so hanging out in the comfy chair reading a book, lying on the new couch watching very bad tv, or just taking naps qualified as recuperation in her estimation.  Of course going to a function at our church Friday night was probably overdoing it a bit – but I really wanted to be there because it was a special occasion.  That sort of hurt the back a tad – and I’ve been a real slug today.  I will probably be a real slug Sunday.  Now for the fun stuff…

So 8:00 in the morning, Wednesday, and me with no coffee, I walk into the office and the nurse says, “We are going to have to reschedule because your insurance still hasn’t approved the procedure.”   Devoted Spouse was having none of that – I was going to have that surgery come heck or high water and he would find a way to pay for it (this stuff costs roughly $6,000).  Bless his heart.  So in I go to get ready.  As I’m getting undressed the doc comes in, takes my hand and says if my insurance gives her any crap, she will severely discount my bill and not to worry.  That helped considerably. (I know they do this all the time, but it made me feel better that I wasn’t going to be presented with a huge bill).  I need a new oven, not a $6,000 doctor bill.

The nurse comes in with a shot of antibiotics (sort of like surgery condoms these days; it’s best to be prepared).  She asked me if I was nervous.  I responded by starting to cry.   She said, “I’ll go get the shots of Valium and be right back.”   She brought in two more needles and I knew life was about to get much calmer.  Yay.

We go in to “the room”…I stretch out on my tummy and get as comfortable as possible.  The x-ray technician and I become best buds – she spent an inordinate amount of time holding my hand, comforting me, and re-propping up my shoulder which was really killing me that morning.  Bless her heart.

And then it happened – my worst nightmare came to life.  I developed a case of gas.  This could only happen to me. The night prior to the surgery I ate a Fiber One Bar – what a stupid thing to do — note to anyone having surgery – do not eat a Fiber One Bar within 24 hours of your procedure.  Have you ever been in a situation where you have to (sorry) get rid of that gas and ya just want to hold it in forever but can’t?  I was so embarrassed but I told the x-ray lady – Hmmm, I’m so sorry but I seem to have a touch of gas.

FiberOnebar

I prayed for it to just be a teensy weensy episode and not anything like the killer poots from EmmaLou which can clear a room instantly.  She laughed like a hyena.  “Honey, you think no one has ever come in here and had the same thing happen?”  You don’t worry about a thing – you just fart to  your little heart’s content – we can handle it.  I know God will richly bless that woman for that remark because I was mortified.  So the minor (thankfully) gas attack came and went fortunately prior to the actual surgery.

The doctor comes in, rubs my shoulders, tells me it’s going to be a great procedure and I’m going to be just fine, not to worry and she’s going to talk me through the entire procedure.  If I wanted to, I could turn my head and watch the x-rays too.  Creepy but it’s like being at the movies — you don’t want to look but you open your eyes and peek out behind your splayed fingers anyway.  It was the coolest technology I’ve ever seen. All these x-ray pictures, and there were sonogram pics just flying out of another machine.  So cool.   As for pain, the last time I went to the Dentist and had a crown put in I had more pain and I wanted to take out a contract on him and have What’s-Her-Face from the ice skating world come break his kneecaps.  This back procedure was nothing by comparison.  I only felt like someone had pushed me hard on my back – that was it.

I laid on a gurney for an hour while the cement dried and hardened.  Bored to tears (although Devoted Spouse was doing his best to amuse me by having wheelchair races behind the curtain), all I could think of was what if what they shot into me isn’t really bone cement but it’s some concoction of ground up dead people’s bones and Elmer’s Glue?  It was not a pretty thought.  About that time, they allowed me to leave.  I walked out of the facility standing straighter than I had in four months (hallelujah!) and knowing that life was going to get better.

That’s my story.  Sorry it’s so long.  I’m doing really well but I’m still going to take a little longer break before I come back to blogging on a daily basis.  I promise to keep checking in.  I’ll try to find something funny to tell you.  Ok – here’s another chuckle for you.  Last night while standing in line at church to sign in, one of my friends came up behind me and slapped me on the back in greeting – she didn’t hurt me at all – but I freaked her out when I said – I just had back surgery and slapping me on the back is not a good idea.  I had a little too much fun at her expense.  It was worth it.

shot

News Flash…Dr. Frankenstein’s Medical Notes Sold on eBay…

scaredwoman

Hello all of my faithful 5 readers.  By now thanks to the amazing reliability of Twitter  you know I am going to have to have some mechanical work done on my back.  Apparently when I fell in January I fractured a vertebra and no one noticed because they were busy putting my arm back into my shoulder socket.  So this fracture is what has been causing the back spasms.

Fortunately a compressed disk fracture can be fixed by filling it with bone cement through a surgical procedure called a vertebroplasty.    Let’s hope they use something a little more reliable than this:

quikrete

This procedure will be done on Wednesday the 13th in the morning.  It is outpatient but I’ll be there awhile while the cement dries (please don’t  use crazy glue and leave an instrument in my back accidentally).  Plus I made sure they promised to sedate me so that may take awhile for me to come out of it.

But I’ll be home sometime later that day and have to have a bit of bed rest for a day or so and then should return to my usual wacky self.

I’m hearing rumors that EmmaLou may deliver meals but she’ll probably snack on them on the way up the stairs.

Emmadelivery

Hopefully I will be walking with considerably less pain soon and may be able to plant flowers after all, or at least throw out some wild flower seeds and turn my garden into some type of prairie.  But I’m still leaving the laundry for Devoted Spouse.

Both of my blogs:  Crone and Bear It and http:craponacrutch.com  will  be taking a break for awhile.  I must work ahead in school to turn in assignments before I go have this procedure coz heaven knows what the pain meds will do to me afterward and I hesitate to turn in homework with slurred typing.  So I’m off to study ahead and get some work done.

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Now let’s have a little levity  — I told Devoted Spouse that if anything would do it, this procedure would certainly cement our relationship.

Here in Ohio there has been a weird fascination with concrete geese.  People buy them, dress them up in strange outfits and then put them on their front porches.  The outfits change with the weather or the occasion.  It’s bizarre.  I wondered if having cement in my back would qualify me as one of these geese and would the crazy woman down the street put some strange outfit on me and park me on her porch.  I don’t want orange feet.

concrete geese

I also wondered would this procedure help solidify my study processes for school.  Of course my study habits are never set in stone so we’ll just have to wait and see if this treatment firms up my school priorities. I can be such a bone head. I simply have no choice; I must be putty in the hands of these doctors and hope for the best.

Please God, let the concrete harden and do its job, and don’t accidentally spill any on my butt coz I’ll never be able to live that down. (HardA$$). I’m already a SmartA$$ (Twitter inside joke). Smart Mouth Broad will be happy to explain it to you.

Try and stay out of trouble until I return. Feel free to email me – I will answer emails but I probably won’t be on Twitter.

Wish me luck –  I’ll be back as soon as I can.  But now I must hit the books!

Breaking News – This is Big! You Must Read This!

announcing

Yes, the pic below is of Devoted Spouse holding the sling contraption from Hades and yes, that is a lit Bic in his hand.  What is the significance of this picture you might ask?

announce

Ta-dah!!!   I no longer have to wear the sling contraption from Hades.  The physical therapists want me to get more movement in the arm and I am now allowed to go anywhere I want without this stupid piece of crap covering me.  (with some restraints of course – I won’t be playing basketball anytime soon).  YIPPEE SKIPPY!!  I am one happy girl!

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Now, before you panic and fear he will burn down the house, we aren’t going to burn it just yet – I still need final release from the Orthopedic dude.  Then I’m calling my friend Mike who has a nice piece of property with a big bonfire area and we are going to watch this sucker burn to nothing but ashes.  I can’t wait!

Lord Give Me Patience, and I Want it Right Now!

witch-doctor-uganda-africa_1631357Tuesday was my return visit to the Witch Shoulder Doctor  to hear his verdict based on the wonderful notes written by Agador Spartacus, Physical Therapist to the Stars Middle-Aged Mundane.    This picture doesn’t really do him justice and Dr. Ortho Pedic is nice enough as doctors go, but he’s in the wrong field.  He should live in Pennsylvania, wear a top hat and yearly fondle a  Punxatawny rodent.  Apparently, Dr. Ortho Pedic  saw his shadow and I have 6 more weeks of this **&%^&&%% sling contraption.  Stupid doctor.

Can I drive?  No.

Can I move my arm to the side?  No.

Can I have more Percoset?  Yes (okay 1 out of 3 is not bad).

I am now faced with even more physical therapy – not just for the shoulder that I still maintain they should have at least duct-taped in, or set with Velcro so if it comes out I can stick it back in,  but also for my lower back due to the most horrific back spasms which make me walk like I’m 105 years old and refer to all men younger than 90 as  Sonny.  Grrrr.    So now Chunky Monkey gets to take out his aggression on my back after he stretches my arm enough to pull it right out of the socket again.  I just know when all is said and done I’m going to have one arm dragging the floor.  I know it.  Did I mention I’m feeling a tad hateful right now?

Crap on a crutch.  I can’t do anything with this arm for fear of hurting it more — I can’t exercise because not only am I off-balanced (I know you know I’ve always been off-balanced but now I have a legitimate excuse to say that) but I can’t take the chance of falling and hurting anything else.  Plus the most walking I can do is from the front of Target to the Pharmacy Counter where even the Pharmacist suggests I sit down and she’ll get me some water and one of the la-la pills she is filling for me.  Pitiful.  People give me pitiful looks and I want to throw my sling at them but it’s foam and wouldn’t hurt.  Crap on a crutch.

Seems I still have a ways to go…  if only I had seen the sign back in January…

shoulder-drop-off