Thursday, February 28, 2008

A moment of gratitude and acknowledgement for modern medicine

  • I still have pain in both hips, but the operated hip hurts a lot less than it did before and hurts a lot less than the unoperated hip.
  • Insulin. Even though the 3/4 doses of short acting insulin have been a bit much these past few days, it keeps our wee boy alive, healthy, and mostly happy. How awesome is that? [post script: the boy is fighting off the cold and now needs 1 1/4 doses to start addressing the high sugars. Like I said, though, I'm grateful we have something at hand and we are learning how to use it to keep him happy and alive].
  • Statins. Matty and I are fat bastards. Even when we are in our thinner summer incarnations and exercising like the devil, we have high cholesterol. It runs in both families, and I don't see us taking up vegetarianism to address it. So, we are now on statins (Vytorin for him and Lipitor for me). Dr. Beck, who was Matty's pediatrician and now allergist, prescribed the Vytorin to Matt after ordering up his lipid panel. (Matty doesn't use a GP). Beck's own father died from a heart attack in his early 30s. Yes, there is controversy surrounding the use of statins and whether cholesterol even contributes to heart disease, but with the cards genetically stacked against us, we figured it was time to
    try to stick around a bit longer in this mortal coil.
  • Hormones. I am using Yaz, the same birth control pill I was on BC (before child). Yes, yes, I am a bit on the old side to be using birth control pills, but I was at the end of my tether. After only a few days, I feel that many of the things that have plagued me (namely, perimenopause - all the things you went through as a teenage girl, but even worse), are being addressed. It's not a long term solution, but it will help me get over this hump of being in nowoman's land.

Monday, February 25, 2008

2008 tomato bachelors and bachelorettes joining the party

Yellow Plum - why not?
Rosalita - a pink w/ white speckled grape
Mule Team - for the name
Mortgage Lifter - Matty chose for the name
Paul Robeson - A big black tomato tribute to a remarkable man.

Friday, February 22, 2008

the other, other Matt; Michelle; and stuff

English Matt Birch has been living in the trailer and climbing the hard boulders in Bishop, and Matty and Wyatt and I are enjoying his easy-going company. I especially enjoy his tea making abilities.

Last night was Michelle's (tall blonde Michelle, not motorcycle Michelle) birthday. She had her fun dinner down at Rossi's Steak and Spaghetti Western-Redneck-Wild West restaurant down in Big Pine. The Manhattans were cheap and strong, and the company was fun. Thanks to Kate (for babysitting Wyatt) and Birch (for designated driving).

Yes, the picture of the hung (as in by their necks) white dudes next to the Victorian woodstove with the reminder that rudeness would not be tolerated in the banquet room was disconcerting, but hey, it is the Owens Valley.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Introducing the 2008 Tomato Lineup

Snow White Cherry*
Black Cherry
Black Russian
Aunt Ruby's German Green
Green Grape
Kellogg's Breakfast*
Earl of Edgecombe*
Mystery Pink spawned from last year's Crnkovic Yugoslavian
Jaune Flammee
Principe Borghese

There will be a few others, for sure. These were sown last Saturday and will start appearing by next Monday. I cannot read or hear the word Kosovo without thinking of my dear Glenn Parker, who introduced the variety commercially...and Kosovo has been in the news a lot lately!

All, except the Principe Borghese, were from saved seed going back to 2002-2007.

*perennial MVPs

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Floating free

Dr. Mast cut me loose from the follow up visits. I won't be seeing the folks at the clinic again until the next surgery.

Mike, the physical therapist, also cut me loose.

So, I can do whatever I want, within reason. My leg will be the guide.

We've booked our flights for and rooms at Portillo for September. Because scheming for frequent flier miles is my passion, we are all flying on $3,000 tickets for $50 each. It's an open jaw into Santiago, Chile, and out of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Anybody up for a ski on the bunny slopes this weekend?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thanks for the great idea, Diane

We still use the sauna a lot. It helps that Janet is so good about firing it up at least once a week. I marvel that it still works as well as it does after five years.

Glad I didn't divorce Matty over how hard he worked me when we were building it.

The internet makes the world very small

RRR Breakfaster's coverage of Sorry Day in Australia was incredibly moving. The Aborigine activist Kura (?) Cooper they spoke to in Canberra was so excited about the meaning of the day. She spoke of Aunties there hoping to reunite with their stolen siblings from a lifetime ago, and the thought made me cry.

I reckon the momentous nature of the occasion coupled with the positive change that seems to be afoot here in the U.S., with people having dialogue about the election without rancor, gives me heaps of humandkind hope for the first time in years. I could laugh at the radio when I heard Bush this morning. That' s not happened before.

I dropped DJ Fee B-Squared a note to thank her for the interview with Ms Cooper. In her note back, she mentioned that she'd JUST gotten the Phoenix Foundation's Happy Ending and thought of me. I missed it, but she did a shout out and played "Bright Grey."

The internet for me serves as a blender of good will connections and makes the world a less daunting place.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My liability for the hip surgery

came to $840. This is out of the $63,000+ billed.

I met my $250 deductible and most of my $3,000 copay, and the $840 was what was left.

I am GRATEFUL that the insurance mostly worked as it was advertised. For nonAmerican friends, bear in mind that Matty's employer and we cobbled together something like $850 a month in premiums for the privilege.

We switched policies a few weeks ago. We went with a Health Savings Account (the Bush Administration's way of saying, "here's a really dumb way for you to put money in a bad 'investment' vehicle") that is coupled with a high deductible health insurance policy. We went with it because theoretically, once we hit the $3,000 family deductible, we will get 100 percent coverage....we'll see. Matty's employers were really pushing the HSA because it's cheaper for them. It will cost something like $550 a month to insure us.

Between Matty's asthma, Wyatt's diabetes, and my hips, we're pretty sure we'll meet our deductible early each year.

Welcome to being middle aged and middle class.

Reforms are definitely needed so that the lower middle class and working poor, like most of our self employed or younger or alternative livin' friends, don't get screwed.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just add hormones

This would explain the rage and despair and humorlessness of last week.
On the plus side, a fair few of us enjoyed the Korean barbecue we put on. I guess I needed the iron.

Matty away to testify at a planning commission in some very posh neighborhood S. of San Francisco tonight. Poor bastard. I don't care how well he does. I just like it when he (and all my friends and family) come home safely.

Cycled to and from Wyatt's daycare to administer his lunchtime insulin. It worked out well.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cycled three blocks to the bank today

Cause to celebrate.

this be the hardware

Matty says we should turn what's keeping my hip together into a bottle opener when all is said and done.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Just add sunshine...and beer

I have been riding a low of late. Maybe the end of 2007, with the diabetes and the whole leg thing, was a bit much. I get rather crabby on the days that Matty goes for a ski, and I wander around the house trying to keep one eye on the boy and the other on the "to do" list in my head that always reads Greek to me.

I go back to work tomorrow. Parts of the last three months had been bliss and other good things, but perhaps, most of all, I need discipline in my life again. I need to focus four full hours on the work in front of my face. (I still will only work part time for the wonderful ANRF. I will seek an apprenticeship to help Peter roast his coffee beans as soon as I can haul my butt up the Black Sheep's rickety wooden staircase).

In short, lately I have been scattered in the extreme, and I think that this has contributed to the crabbiness. There are many, many loose ends - laundry, a disorganized house, a leg that sort of works, appointments to be made, taxes, a rental that needs showing, a child that needs chasing, blah blah blah, and all this has been driving me crazy.

BUT, the best thing that happened in many months, happened today:

We went for a play in the snow.

Wyatt put on his downhill gear and skied down a wee slope with all the glee and joy a nearly 3 year old could muster. He was a star. We were a happy family. Mood improved.

I snowshoed for nearly half an hour. It was the most physical thing I've done since the surgery back in November. Mood more improved.

Matt and I had a beer in the snow. Mood most improved.