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Archive for July, 2010

Enjoying the Lazy Days of Summer

July 29th, 2010 at 02:11 pm

Not a lot happening at my house, which is not a bad thing.

My mom-in-law is moving forward slowly in her recovery of her surgeries. She's still too weak to do the chemo yet, and after yesterday's visit to a wound specialist, we're hopeful for her ileostomy site to improve. Along with my parent's lost battles with mesothelioma and Alzheimer's Disease, I'm adding what my mom-in-law is going through now with colon cancer to the list of things I never, ever want to have happen to me or anyone. The body is very strong and resilient, but so fragile too.

My dad-in-law uses a walker, so I've been getting them to appointments, running errands, and helping him at the house (mom-in-law is in a nursing home for her after-care.) Luckily, I'm off for the summer, though the time is whizzing by quickly.

Otherwise, we've been pretty low-key at our house. The weather has been good for hanging out the laundry. The heat/humidity has been upping the fan usage a lot, which my electric bills have been reflecting. We haven't resorted to putting in the window ac units, as it's been such extremes in temps this summer, and it's a pain to put in the units and take them out, with our old "once they're open, they're open til it snows" windows. (Yes, we do need windows, but replacing them is like starting a teeny snowball rolling from the top of a very tall snow-covered hill...we're living with them for the time being as we navigate through the college years of the girls!) As it turns out, we're going through a very wonderful few days of weather at the moment, and enjoying it greatly!

My husband got a new toy, which I turned out loving. We got a cheap water smoker grill at Home Depot. We chose the electric one for the ease of use, and darn if isn't an outdoor equivalent to my beloved indoor slow cooker! We fill the two racks with marinated chicken breasts and leg quarters and put a couple pieces of hickory wood at the bottom, put water into the tray, and it's good to go. We've been feasting on chicken all week. I put a turkey breast on last weekend - no marinade or anything, just the water and hickory pieces - and put it on to smoke - it was lovely. The trick will be to watch for meat sales.

We've been making a huge effort to eat at home after the fast food/ordering in increased at the end of the school year followed by all the family medical crises. Between the grilling, crock potting, and lots of main-dish salads, we're are eating both cheaply and well.

Otherwise, our activities have been inexpensive. We've been swimming at the two lakes near us a lot. We've been going to the library once or twice a week for loads of books, magazines and dvds. We have five county libraries within 10-12 miles of us, all on the way to other errands, so we vary where we go. Walking, biking, backyard badminton - we're an easy crowd here! The only thing we haven't gotten to do much of is our camping. Our day's has been eaten up by medical, and then my husband's oncall at work has been a bit high (grumble, grumble,) but there is still August...or next year, if need be. Some years are like this...

Couldn't resist a few back-to-school supply purchases, even though I am so not ready to go back yet! I had some MaxPerks rewards ($40) from OfficeMax to use up and I made my start on the computer ink for at home and for my oldest at college. I also did my first coupon thingy at Walgreens. I happened to be near one during one of the medical appts, and was able to get the girls some spiral notebooks, pocket folders and pens for pretty cheap. The staff had to help me find all the coupons I needed, and there wasn't a limit on amount purchased (except for the pens.) It was a good deal, but a bit of a pain to pull everything together to get the deal, plus it's not a store that's in my regular path. I'm happy to have gotten the deal, but give me my pretty much low everyday, as I hate shopping, prices at Target :-)

That's all for now...Enjoy your day!

Invasion of the Pinchy Bugs and Ants

July 13th, 2010 at 01:42 am

Well, "pinchy bugs" is the name given to these bugs by my daughters due to their nasty bite.

Their numbers seem to be increasing, so I finally looked them up on the internet. I found out that they are called earwigs. And these evil creatures are not only biting us, but it turns out that they are also responsible for demolishing several plants and flowers in our yard. I was wondering what could possibly be attacking my rhubarb that normally withstands all kinds of neglect. These bugs are also after my new Twist and Shout hydrangea. They are in the house winging about, with the cats leaping after them and girls frantically screaming. I'm getting frazzled...

And the ants go marching on.... if only they'd bypass my house! We've tried the more gentle natural approach, and we've resorted to an all-out chemical warfare against both the ants and the earwigs. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that I'm able to buy that is making a dent in their populations. I think I'm killing more as I walk along my sidewalk, so at least there is that.

What's up with earwigs in MN anyway?? I've lived my whole life in here, and never have I seen them until last year. And as long as I'm asking, what about the possums too? I've only seen them here in the last five or so years, though they've quickly succeeded in becoming the number one roadkill. I'll ignore their freaky looks as long as they do not come to my house, as I'm pretty sure if Home Depot doesn't sell something to get rid of the ants and earwigs, there is little hope in getting rid of possums.

Good old MN mosquitoes are a pain, but at least you know what's what with them! Time for bug patrol!

More medical and more college

July 8th, 2010 at 02:53 am

Tomorrow marks four weeks since the last episode for my youngest...meaning the current medicine combination is working! We are very happy and relieved.

My mom-in-law was scheduled to have surgery for colon cancer this Friday, but was rushed to surgery two weeks early for a blockage in her colon. The surgery went well, and she was about to be released when she had a sudden turn in health. Last Friday, she had the rest of her colon removed as it ended up infected and diseased. It's been a pretty intense week with regards to her recovery. As of yesterday afternoon, she started to head in a positive direction, and today was even better.

May I say the family is more than ready to be done with all things medical! As I've said before, we are blessed for all the medical resources we have available...and for family, friends and all the love, prayers and support in which we've been surrounded. We are very, very blessed.

In between all the medical, regular life marches on... My second girl is getting ready to apply to college soon, and today we toured her number one choice. The cost is a good $10,000 cheaper a year compared to her older sister's, though a little more nickle-dimey for some expenses. I guess you only pay for what you want, but I swear I saw dollar signs in my girl's eyes and a cash register ringing up in my head!

That's all for the moment! Take care!!