Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The worst day of my life...

Christmas was really nice. My cousin Rich and his family came over to celebrate with us.
Friday evening my brother and his family from Modesto came over and they stayed until Sunday. We had a KILLER prime rib roast that I got from Costco and Heather told me how to cook it. Corinne stayed here for a couple of days, her mom is coming to get her tonight.
Yesterday was one of the saddest days in my life. Corinne and I went to see Marley and Me and I pretty much cried through the whole movie. After that we went to Mobo's and bought home some sushi because Brodie had a doctor's appointment. They took an x-ray and told me that Brodie has bone cancer. If I have her leg amputated and put her through chemotherapy she might last a year but they strongly recommend I do nothing and they will keep her as comfortable as possible until she's not comfortable any more. I can't remember the last time I have been this sad. Every time I look at her I can't stop myself from crying. I always try to cry when there's nobody around but this time it's just not working.
Heather has been so busy but she came by tonight and made an awesome dinner of sea bass with a macadamia nuts, tangerine and avocado salsa she also made some basmati rice and asparagus. The other day she made seafood crapes, eggplant and my favorite roasted potatoes.
Susanna called in sick this morning so I ended up stuck in bed, Corinne and I were going to spend the day at the boardwalk because she's leaving in the morning. I like to stay in bed and rest once in a while but when you hear bad news it gives you WAY too much time to think.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A spa day for Brodie...

Today was kind of a low-key day. Brodie and TueTue had a spa day and that usually takes several hours. It was too cold to go outside so I just hung out and watched a couple of movies.
Last night Heather brought over a lasagna and garlic bread that she made for my lunch today, do I even need to say that it was the best lasagna I have ever had? She made it with spinach, artichokes and zucchini. This afternoon she brought over some truffles that her Baker made, they were so awesome they just melted in your mouth. My aunt came over with Luana, her nine months old granddaughter, and she gave her a little bite. You should've seen her face light up and her eyes got huge and she kept grabbing for my aunts arm for another bite.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Santa Cruz...

My aunt called last night and said that it looks like I'm not going to be able to go to my cousins for Christmas. He did a lot of work at his house to make it accessible and I was really looking forward to seeing it again, he redid since I lived there 20 years ago. It looks like were going to have Christmas at my uncle and aunt's across the street.
This morning I had Susana take pictures of my Christmas windows.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A really good weekend...

I really had a good weekend but I am exhausted. On Friday Teresa invited me to her company Christmas party at the Santa Cruz bowling alley. It brought back a lot of good memories, my boss and I used to go bowling and then have sushi every Monday. A lot of people I knew from seeing them around the Dominican building. I had just seen by Dr., Dr. Owens, Friday afternoon because I have a really bad UTI and she gave me some antibiotics. It was so cool watching the kids bowl, apparently was the first time for a lot of them. The scoreboards are automatic and next your name you mark whether you want the bumpers up or not. They had a lot of really good "bowling food" and it was a really nice group of people.
Saturday evening I went to a surprise birthday party for my old neighbor Liz. Jerry e-mailed me and said that they were going to spend the weekend in Aptos and he was going to surprise her at this really nice restaurant with some of her friends, she really was surprised. I hadn't seen them since I moved away in June and it was really great to see them both. They stopped by on Sunday to see the house and Jerry set up my Nintendo Wii game, I'm so excited because now I can start playing tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dogs are so funny...

My Mom's dog, Tue Tue, is always taking over Brodie's bed. TueTue will lay with Brodie but Brodie WILL NOT lay with Tue Tue so Brodie will just go and lay on the floor. Theresa felt really bad so she brought over a small bed for TueTue so Brodie could have hers back...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Resting and watching movies...

Today I ended up staying in bed. Susana was supposed to be here for three hours but she woke up late so she was only here for two hours, it's really cold outside anyway so I'm nice and warm and watching movies on pay-per-view. For some reason I woke up this morning with a sore neck so I took a muscle relaxer and it really wiped me out. Heather and Cassie came by so I did have a little visit from the outside world.
Whenever I see business windows painted for the holidays I always think how cool it would be to have my windows painted, there is always a name in the corner with a phone number so I saw one and I liked at Jack's, a hamburger place downtown, so I called. The lady called me back and said that she would do private homes so she is going to come out the next nice day that we have, probably Thursday, and paint my windows... I'm so excited.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A really nice weekend...

Sunday I got up early and Theresa and I went to breakfast at Zachary's, I had heard a lot about it and it was supposed to be one of the best places in Santa Cruz so I wanted to try it, I had a spinach, bacon, avocado and garlic omelette and it came with homestyle potatoes and bread that they make there fresh. After that we went to petsmart to get a hat for the Halloween spider that was left hanging on the porch, I decided instead of putting it away I would just buy a Santa's hat and put it on, it looks really cute. While we were there they told us that we could go and have Brodie's picture taken with Santa so we did and then we went and got TueTue, my mom's dog, and took her back to get her picture taken with Santa also. We drove over to Costco but it was WAY too crowded so we decided not to stop.
We put some bells around Brodie's neck and one on her paws and she looked so cute that we decided to go across the street to show Uncle Dick and Aunt Kathy, Brodie was not amused. My uncle was talking about how much he disliked Christmas so we decided to get a bell, tie a bow around it and hang it from his rearview mirror because I knew that they were going out for their yearly Christmas dinner with friends. My aunt called and said that he grabbed it off the mirror and threw it in the back of the truck but then realized his mistake... they had to listen to the bell rolling around in the back of the truck all the way there. Heather and Linda came by for a while and we had a really nice visit, Linda works so much that I hardly ever get to see her.
Today I decided to take Brodie for a walk through the lagoon, it had been raining in the water was really high. I left her with my mother and went to Costco to pick up my meds, it was way too long of a trip for her and it took me about an hour and a half but would have taken me probably twice that if I had brought Brodie along, she has to go really slow.
When I got back a WONDERFUL aroma was coming out of my kitchen, Heather must be here I thought and sure enough there she was. She brought me part of a prime rib and smothered it with mushrooms, sautéed spinach and garlic and garlic mashed potatoes, I thought I was in heaven. She also made some egg plant with fennel and bell peppers and a chicken, spinach, artichoke and avocado wrap for my lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cleaning up the clutter...

This has been a real busy week but I think that we are finally ready for Christmas, except for the lights along the rails of the ramps.
On Monday I had a doctor's appointment to discuss the options for my back, I am so ready to see what they can do about that so I am eagerly waiting for my primary care doctor to talk to my rehab Dr. and see what they can come up with.
On Tuesday I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned, it is a long trip but very scenic so I enjoyed a long slow trip, I have to go slow for Brodie.
Wednesday and Thursday were just regular days. The weather was nice enough so that Brodie & I could go for our regular stroll. it usually starts to cool down about 3 p.m. On Thursday they deliver the Cabinet for my computer system, it is gorgeous, I could not believe how beautiful it was and I could not stop smiling... I can't wait for my brother to visit so we can set it up.
Friday I left Brodie here and went down to Claudius shop to get my manicure and pedicure. I usually don't answer my phone when I'm with somebody or in a building but I thought that it might be my mom so I answered it and it was my ex-boyfriend. I felt really bad because the earpiece was falling out of my ear and my fingernails were wet, I was having a really hard time hearing what he was saying so I asked him if he could call me back later but he didn't so I hope that I didn't hurt his feelings.
Today we got a lot of the clutter in the House picked up, it makes the crazy... er when the house is cluttered.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm not getting the flu, I'm not getting the flu...

The last couple of days I have been feeling a little sluggish so I decided to stay in bed today and rest, although I did take a bath with Dr. Bonner's eucalyptus soap. Everybody around me has the flu and I really do not want it. I always think that I'm going to stay in bed and relax and watch movies but it never happens, the phone starts ringing and people stop by.
I'm sure that by tomorrow morning I will be so restless from staying in bed that I will make myself do something, maybe go to see a movie. Friday I have an appointment with Claudia to get a manicure and a pedicure, that always makes me feel better.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Today I finally did it. I have been afraid to turn left the end of my street and go up the hill because it's pretty steep but it is the shortest distance to a lot of places so I just decided to do it and I made up the hill no problem. Part of the sidewalk going up the hill is always wet so I assume that there would be moss or something slippery there but there really wasn't. I had a doctor's appointment up that way and I didn't really want to go through the lagoon because Brodie is still limping. The doctor's appointment went great. I talked to the doctor about my spine curving while I am in the chair and she's going to talk to my rehab Dr. and decide what my options are. I have a lot of skin tags on my neck and they keep getting pulled by my turtlenecks and sweaters and that is very annoying so she pulled some of them off and she froze others, she said in about two weeks I will never have known that they were there.
Heather came by tonight to set me up for a couple of days because she's going to be very busy at work. Last Saturday Heather, Teresa and I went to see a movie called The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and then after Heather made rack of lamb, couscous, and we have some red wine... it was delicious. I had a lock of Brie cheese from Thanksgiving so she cut up some apples, found some kind of fig something, Brie cheese and she wrapped it up as big square dough and cooked it and it was so good I could not believe it. She made it again last night but we did not get the chance to try it so I cannot wait to try it tomorrow night. She also made a killer sausage and bean soup, a hamburger with Swiss cheese and avocado and a salad, some squash with Swiss cheese and some kind of fish... I will definitely not go hungry until she comes back.
Teresa came by after work and hung up the lights on the tree but a lot of them were not working so it's going to be a little bit more involved than we thought so she's coming back tomorrow or Thursday. When we get finished it is going to look so awesome. I really need to take some pictures.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas...

My uncle and aunt made a HUGE pot of Turkey noodle soup after Thanksgiving with the leftovers and it was so good. They invited their good friend Ellen, her daughter and their family and my mom and I over to have some. Later on my uncle brought the pot over with some more noodles, he didn't think it have enough noodles. We had some more and it was even better. Thursday their water heater broke, of course on the holiday and they won't be able to get it fixed until hopefully today. They left the pot of turkey soup here for Teresa to put in the refrigerator in the garage. The soup was so nuclear hot that she decided to put it outside the garage door to cool down before she put it in the refrigerator. When she was getting ready to leave she went to take the dogs out and came rushing the dogs back into the house, she said there was a HUGE raccoon coming up the driveway to get our turkey soup, they really have an incredible sense of smell. She said it was the biggest raccoon she had ever seen and she has lived here are whole life.
The last couple of weeks have been really busy trying to get everything ready for Christmas. Teresa helped me decorate and it looks really awesome. Last weekend we decorated the inside and this weekend we put up the lights outside and got the Christmas tree and set it up in the living room, tomorrow we're going to decorate it. My cousin Rich is building a ramp at his house in the mountains so that I could go there for Christmas, I am so excited because I haven't been able to see my cousin and his family or the house for a very long time... I practically grew up in this house and from what I've heard it is totally changed.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr. Owens. My spine is starting to collapse a little bit and I going to see if anything can be done about it. I had my spine x-rayed and it's not scoliosis which I thought it was at first it is just that my torso is so long as the muscles around it are getting so weak from not be used... that's what I think anyway. My left arm is always hurting because I've always leaning on it and I really hope that there's something we can do about it.
Tuesday I have a dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned, I have them cleaned every three months because sometimes it's hard to do a good job.
I've heard from my old neighbor/friend Jerry yesterday. He is having his 50th birthday party in Aptos towards the end of this month and he invited me so I asked Teresa and she said that she would take me, it will be so great to see Jerry and Liz again.
Jeff, one of the guys who built my house, was over helping my uncle and aunt all day yesterday and before he left he came over to say hello. He is such a sweet man and it's always great to see him.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Morning glories...

Teresa took some pictures of my babies, the morning glory seeds that are sprouting along the driveway fence. We soaked a bunch more seeds and we are going to plant them today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving was great. Stanley and his family came down Wednesday evening to stay the night, Robert, David and Corinne are getting to be so big and so good-looking.
Thursday morning, as he always does when he is here, Stanley made a big huge breakfast... scrambled eggs topped with eggplant, bacon and English muffins. I got David to hook up My Nintendo Wii and he showed me how to use it, I think I'm really going to love it. I played tennis and baseball and my arm was getting tired, it is also my eating arm so of course I don't want that to be tired on Thanksgiving.
Rich, Vanessa and their family showed up and so did Mike and Laura and we all ate way too much. Teresa stayed for the day and is always such a big help and so nice to be around. She made garlic mashed potatoes and she made this dip with blue cheese and onions, it was delicious. Of course we had all of the traditional dishes and then some and of course plenty of leftovers.
For some reason I just could not get comfortable in my chair, I was really lopsided and although I really tried to ignore it just didn't feel right. After we ate I had Teresa put me in my old chair and although it was a little bit more comfortable I think it's just my spine. I am very tall and I have a long torso so I'm going to make an appointment and see if there's anything that can be done about it, at first I thought it was maybe scoliosis but when I lay down my spine is straight so that is a big relief.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am always surprised when people remember me...

I cannot believe how much we got done this weekend. My mom's new window treatments came in the mail on Friday and last weekend Theresa took me to Home Depot and I bought a closet organizer that had to be installed, I had no idea where we were going to find somebody to install them but Mario showed up on Saturday to replace the window that one of his workers broke. Mario owns the company that cleans our house. Besides owning the company she does maintenance so it was perfect timing and we were so excited to get things done before Thanksgiving.
I have been soaking Morning Glory and Passion Flower seeds to plant along the driveway and they are sprouting like crazy, it is so cool to watch them grow. There was already some river rock there so we just sprinkled soil over the top threw down the seeds and sprinkled more dirt over the top and they are crazy, supposedly they're both very hardy and in no time the fence on my driveway will be covered with beautiful flowers and vines.
My uncle and aunt built a ramp to go in to their house that they are redoing so I finally got to go in and see everything, it is gorgeous. They have been living in the back house for a long time and working on the front house and they are finally getting so close and it really is a dream house.
It seems like Heather keeps out doing herself. Every time I think that she cannot make something any better she does. Tonight she brought over a couple of fillet minion's and some mashed potatoes with a whole bunch of really good stuff in them. Yesterday she brought some fresh cod, I am just so lucky to be eating like this.
I finally had my wheelchair evaluation were everybody showed up. Barbara, the OT that I saw last time and said that she would help me out and Eric, the guy who works at Rehab Specialist were both in there. I knew Eric because I worked with him before when I went to Transition. I used to go to Transitions a couple times a week to use the standing frame and work on other ways to make me more independent. While I was talking to Eric he asked me where I live, because it is a cul-de-sac most people have never heard of it but he had. He said a really good friend of his lives on the same street, he lives right across the street from me and my aunt and uncle know him very well. His ex-wife is a realtor and helped me find this place that I live in now... small world or what? On my way to the appointment I saw Carl, he is the guy who set me up with my very first wheelchair over 13 years ago.
Today while I was in Costco I ran into, not literally, a guy in a scooter with the cutest little Pappion puppy. He came over to say hello and put the puppy in my lap, Brodie was not amused. He asked me what my name was and when I told him he said " you're not Tammie Van..." and I said yes I am. Several years ago when I moved out of my mom's house in to my own I gave him a hospital bed that he says he still has, uses and very much appreciates. He has three other puppies and he's going to bring them over so Brodie and I can play with them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crazy busy...

Today seemed like a really good day to take a bath and just go back to bed and watch movies. Usually I pick at least one day to stay in bed but I have been so busy that I really haven't stayed in bed much at all. DirecTV gave me a couple of free movies for being such a good customer so today would be the perfect day to take advantage of it.
Heather came by today to make sure that I have enough food to get me through the next couple of days, November and December are very busy for her at work. Yesterday she made some meat loaf and it was SO good, she made it with pork, sausage and hamburger and wrapped bacon around it and she also made my favorite roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach with garlic and mushrooms. Whenever Brodie sees her walk through the door she goes crazy and follows her around. Today when Heather left I saw Brodie walk in the kitchen and she sniffed around so and then around the sink and then around the counter and seemed confused that Heather left and there was no incredible smells in the kitchen, Brodie is so cute.
I took Brodie to the vet last week because she has been limping on her left front leg for over a week. They did all of the necessary tests and told me that she as arthritis in her elbows and her shoulders, that is what I was afraid of. She has a series of shots, two a week for a month and then one every couple of months. They also gave her some inflammatory medicine and then we just need to wait and see what happens. It's getting to be really frustrating because I'm getting to where I really can't go anywhere and I can't leave her at home, whenever I go somewhere I've always watching out for other dogs. She's not aggressive but the hackels go up and she barks. The vet says that it is because of me because I get so nervous and stressed when another dog comes around because I'm afraid of how she will act and apparently she can then that and it makes it worse so I need to chill out and eat peppermint, the doctor said that peppermint will make it harder for her to read my emotions... we shall see.
They started redoing the fences around my house on and they just finished it up last week , they are so quick and the fences are BEAUTIFUL. The fence going down my driveway was in good shape but they put a trellis along the top, now I don't have to look into my neighbors apartment.

Along the side of the driveway they put a bunch of river rock so I decided to sprinkle some soil, throw out some morning glory and passion flower seeds that we had soaked and then throw down some more soil on top of the river rock and see what happens. Yesterday I counted about 20 3 inch sprouts coming up so it looks like it's going to work and I am so excited, I checked them every day like they're my little babies and I'm so proud. Were going to soaks more seeds and go all the way down the driveway now that we know it's going to work.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lost voice recognition...

It has been such a long time since I have written anything. My home automation system is just falling apart and last week I lost my phone and my voice recognition software. I'm going to try Vonage and I really hope that I like it because I am just setting it up today and already my trial period is over, I guess it can't be any worse than having no telephone at all.
Yesterday Teresa took me to get a new microphone for my computer and to Home Depot... oh how we love Home Depot. I got a closet organizer for my front bedroom and some more soil to plant the rest of my seeds along the driveway. We went to this hamburger placed called Jacks that I often passed by and always wonder about. The hamburgers AND french fries were really good, I kind of had a feeling that they were because the place is always packed.
It's getting pretty close to Thanksgiving and I'm finally starting to think that I'm going to get my house organized in time. Teresa is such a huge help I am so glad that we found her. Thanksgiving is going to be at my aunt's house and it sounds like there's going to be a lot of people there, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. As I am cruising down the streets I see a lot of windows painted for the holidays and I've always wondered if they would do that for private homes, they always leave their name and phone numbers on the window so going to give them a call and find out.
Now that the fences are all done and they look GORGEOUS and when I open my bedroom door I'm not staring into the neighbors apartments and vice versa. We soaked some morning glory seeds until they sprouted and then poured some dirt in the river rock and put the seeds and it looks like they are liking it, I already have nine little babies growing, it is so exciting to watch. I'm trying to decide whether I should alternate passion flowers and morning glories or put morning glories in the middle and passion flowers on the end, it sure is a long driveway.
Heather is so creative and she has made some really amazing dishes. She wanted to make a quiche and she didn't have the pie crust so she made a crust with Bulger wheat and salsa and it was so good, I told her I would be her guinea pig anytime. She did not like the way it turned out because it all blended together but I loved it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CCI in San Francisci...

Sunday was a really great day. I had an appointment with CCI, Canine Companions for Independence, in San Francisco at the Stones Town Galleria Mall. Unfortunately I picked at 2 p.m. appointment so there wasn't much that we could do before or after. Teresa said that she would drive me and we decided to go to the Aquarium by the Bay after. We didn't think that we would have very much time so we ended up getting something to eat at Chevy's and although the food was really good at which we would have waited to get something to eat on Pier 39, that's where the Aquarium by the Bay ended up being. I'm so glad that we decided to check out the aquarium, we almost didn't because by the time we got there we only had two hours but the guy in the ticket booth told us it would only take 40 minutes. After the aquarium we just walked around and looked at all the stores and wished that we had more time, we are definitely going back for the day soon. while I was there I was introduced to Department 56 decorations and I LOVED them, I'm going to start collecting them. The ramp on my van hasn't been working very well and of course Sunday morning we had to really fight with it to get it to finally work. When we got to San Francisco everything worked perfectly until we got home and then it took a long time of playing with the door to get it open, Gabe is going to come by this morning to see if I can fix it, he is such a awesome man and he can fix anything.

Halloween decorations...

I almost forgot to take pictures of my Halloween decorations before I take them down. My neighbors had a party so they had most of my cool stuff but I decorated the front porch with what I had left.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween in downtown Santa Cruz...

Halloween turned out to be a really good day. Teresa met me on her lunch hour to help me pick out a shoulder bag for Heather for her birthday, I noticed that hers was being held together by Scotch tape in some places. Deborah and Clayton brought the girls by so that we could see their costumes, I have not seen the girls in several years and they are getting so big. Deborah and Clayton used to live next door to Uncle Dick and that Aunt Kathy and became really good friends of the family. Teresa came by after work and we headed downtown, I heard that Halloween is really crazy in Santa Cruz. They blocked off most of the streets downtown and everybody was just walking around visiting. Some of the costumes were so cool and creative and I had such a good time just watching everybody. About 8:00 p.m. it started raining really hard so we got under one of the overhangs to wait it out but it looked like it just wasn't going to stop so we decided to make a break for it and run home in the rain, we were SOAKED to the bone but it was worth it. Deborah was telling me about a taco bar downtown so we decided to try it, the talk was were delicious and I will definitely be back. I had to steak tacos and a Margarita on the rocks.
Today is Heather's birthday so her, Teresa and I went to see Angelina Jolie's new movie Changeling, it was the best movie I have seen for a very long time. Heather wasn't feeling well so she almost didn't go but we were all glad that she did.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling so much better...

It has been a long time since I have written anything in my journal. I haven't been feeling very good and I think it is my sinuses, it started out with a sore throat and then my nose is plugged up one minute and running the next. I have never had a problem with my sinuses, I would rather just get the flu and get it over with.
Last week was the cold water classic and I went down and checked it out just about every day. I couldn't really very much because everybody was standing up in front of me but it was so beautiful out in every once and while I caught a glimpse of one of the surfers riding a wave, I don't know how they do it.
My uncle and aunt started coming over and plain Cribbage every night before we go to bed, there's nothing like winning a few dollars before you go to sleep to give you some sweet dreams.
Ever since Teresa has started I feel like I got so much done. We only have about three more shelves in the garage and then we can start on organizing everything in my room, there really is a lot of storage but there's also a lot of stuff that just got put away without going through. I'm so glad that I found Teresa.
Of course Heather has the making some incredible dishes. Yesterday she made one that I can tell is going to be one of my favorites, bulgur wheat on the bottom, sauteed spinach, eggplant, squash topped with goat cheese and ricotta cheese. She also made some beans and sausages, a big salad and a couple of wraps.
Next Monday they're going to start building my new fences. It took a long time to contact the property owners around me but they all agreed to go in half so it's going to be so nice to have all new fences. The one at the back of the House is so old all that is holding it up is the trees behind it. The fence that runs down the driveway is the only one we don't have to replace, we are just putting a trellis at the top to guide my morning glories.
Yesterday I cruised down to Ross and Cost Plus and on the way back I stopped at a stationary store and got a couple of photograph cards of the boardwalk and the lighthouse so we could make Christmas cards.
Today is Halloween and after Teresa gets off work we are going to go downtown and down to the wharf, everyone says that it is an unbelievable sight that we will never forget.
On Sunday Teresa is taking me to San Francisco for my personal interview for my new service dog. They usually have the interviews at their campus in Santa Rosa but they come to San Francisco a couple of weekends to make it more convenient for the people that live so far away... like me. Hopefully it is going to be nice so we can make a day out of it and go to the zoo, I have lived here all my life and never been to San Francisco Zoo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The last couple of days Brodie has been limping on her right front leg, it must hurt pretty bad, so we haven't really gone on in the long cruises. Today I have an appointment to sign up with ParaCruz, it is a door to door driving service for people with disabilities. Unfortunately I wrote down the wrong address and we ended up about 4 miles out of the way. The ParaCruz office is at the bus depot, about four blocks away. I finally made it to my appointment so it's nice to have that in order if I ever do need it.
The time I got home it was so hot here there really wasn't much I could do outdoors so I earned a couple of badges on Pogo and watched TiVo.
Heather came over and made a couple of my favorite dishes, mustard chicken, roasted potatoes and a salad, she also made a salami and cheese wrap for tomorrow. She is really busy this weekend with a bunch of benefits and she has been having to walk everywhere she goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

UCSC and Costco...

Yesterday Brodie and I cruised through the lagoon, through the park, through the dog park and up to the lighthouse. O'Neill surf shop was setting up a big tent and a stage by Patrick and Sky's memorial plaque. Right down from the lighthouse, their favorite place to surf, there is a memorial plaque for my cousin Patrick and his friends Sky who passed away in 2000, Patrick was unknown cause and sky had cancer. Around the sign was filled with fresh flowers, I wanted to get a better look but there was a bunch of guys standing in front of it so I will try to see it again today. There is also a memorial bench for Patrick on the wharf, the first set of memorial benches on the right by the lifeguard headquarters. EVERYBODY knew him and loved him. I found out later that they are setting up for the O'Neill cold water classic, it is supposed to go on all week.
Teresa came by this morning to draw blood for my blood test and we didn't think she was going to have any luck but she finally did, she only got one vial and we are hoping that is going to be enough. It is so nice to have a doctor who will do house calls when we think it would be more convenient.
Today was a spa day for all of us. My mom and my aunt to Brodie and Tue Tue to the groomers at my mom and I went to Claudia's shop. It is always so nice to go there because it is always full of people and it's nice to get to know them. Claudia was really busy today but she is always so calm and never rushes so I don't really think anybody notices if they have to wait very long.
My uncle said that he would take me to Costco, I don't know which one of us love's Costco more. I was telling him about the flowers on Patrick and Sky's memorial area so he said he would take me to see where Skyler lived, he said that his mother grew a garden in the entire front lawn and that she takes flowers every week to their memorial spot. Unfortunately all of the roads were blocked off so we drove up to the UCSC campus and show me where defines all of his really good bargains. They have a store up there where everybody takes all of the used equipment and furniture from the college, schools and theaters and they sell everything very inexpensive. We found a bunch of stackable chairs for $2.50 apiece, these were metal and hard plastic... such a great deal. I bought eight and my uncle bought 10, we are going to have a bunch of people here for Thanksgiving and they will sure come in handy even if my aunt and my mom don't think so... they just roll their eyes and say "we are not going to let you two go anywhere else by yourself", they will be thanking us when Thanksgiving comes.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Awesome Halloween party...

Thursday was a pretty typical day, I haven't really been feeling the greatest so I decided to stay in bed and rest since everybody around me seems to be sick and I don't want it.
On Thursday morning I got an e-mail from Stanley asking if we would like to have company for the weekend, him, David, Zach and Corinne were going to come here and say the night, of course we always want company. Heather came over and made some asparagus ravioli with sausage, man was that killer.
On Friday my aunt took me to get some of the last minute things that I needed for my Halloween costume. We found some really long red eyelashes and some thick poster board for Brodie's costume and the think you sign for Woodworm party store. We also found Styrofoam balls to use as egg sacks for my spiders on the porch. We found everything, I love when that happens. Stanley and the gang got here on Friday night and we watched TV for a little bit and then went to bed.
On Saturday my mom and I had an appointment with Claudia to get and manicure/pedicure and although it is only a few blocks away there was no way we were going to get there. I think every high school marching band in California was in Santa Cruz that day, apparently they were having some sort of compensation and we are right across the street from the high school so every road was blocked off. Stanley took the boys, Corinne and a little neighbor girl Corinne is friends with to the boardwalk. Teresa came in at 1:00 p.m. to help me get into my costume so I wouldn't have to wear it all day, I will probably where it all day on Halloween. It was so cool because everybody was helping me. Autumn came over to do my makeup and I think she really did a great job. Before the party Theresa took me and the two boys over to the Woodworm shop because they wanted to take a picture of me and Brodie in our costumes so I got to meet the daughter of the owner of the store, she is such a sweet lady and working world she is eight months pregnant, it was starting to get cold so Teresa took me to her house and let me borrow a cape and a scarf and that sure did help a lot. Autumn and Alex's place was decorate so cool and the food was awesome, of course Heather helped, and the DJ played great music. I got to meet a lot of their friends and saw some really cool costumes and when it started to get too cold by brother and I left, the rest of the family had already bailed except for my uncle who was sitting on the porch talking with the security guard, my uncle just loves and gets along with EVERYBODY. My uncle made a huge batch of spaghetti and brought some over to the security guard and made a new friend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A long overdue outing...

Yesterday I had my first doctor's appointment with my new primary care doctor, she is really great. She is brand new and doesn't have a lot of patients yet and I like that. My aunt found her for my mom and they were so impressed with her but they couldn't wait to introduce me to her. Her nurse, Teresa, is my new part-time caregiver. I had an appointment there yesterday for a Pap smear and a Depo shot and I was trying to tell Teresa out hard it was going to be to try to do a pap smear in my chair and she was going to ask the doctor to come here to do it but I didn't get a phone call so I went up there in my chair, I made sure to wear a skirt so it would be easier. Since I have one last year and they have always come up clean she said that I only need one every two or three years so I decided to wait until next year. A usually do all those yearly tests around my birthday, not a really good birthday present but at least I remember to do it. Dr. Owen said that she would be glad to make a house visit any time I needed it, how cool is that? Teresa gave me the shots, Depo, Flu, Pneumonia and Tetanus so I won't have to worry about those for a while and when she comes on Thursday she's going to draw blood to test my cholesterol, she couldn't believe I have never had my cholesterol checked.
After the doctor's appointment my mom and I went grocery shopping. All of the grocery stores around here are so small all I can do is try to find a place where I'm not in everybody's way, people shopping after work really have no patience left but they really try to be polite.
Today Brodie and I went on a extra long walk, the last three days because of cleaning out the garage and the doctor's appointments I haven't been able to take her for a walk and she is really getting crazy... acting more crazy than usual. We cruise the wharf AND down to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day and everybody must have been at work so it felt like we have the whole ocean to ourselves.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No more silver fillings...

Teresa came back over on Sunday morning to get me up and do some more clearing out of the garage. It was looking so good and I was so excited to get going on it, the weirdest things get me excited. We got most of it cleaned out and the two trips to the Gray Bears, the Gray Bears are an organization here in Santa Cruz that help senior citizen with just about everything. A lot of the stuff that I wanted to keep came into the house so it kind of feels like it did when I first moved in but the garage and looks great and my cousin is going to be able to put up the remaining shelves without having to maneuver around everything. There is a lot of stuff on the left side of the garage but now that I have Teresa to help me I'm excited to get it all sorted and put away, I think a lot of it is medical supplies.
On Sunday afternoon Heather came by with a Chinese chicken salad and a Turkey wrap. Sunday evening we went across the street to my uncles to play cribbage, my mom and I kicked butt. My uncle made some chicken and potato soup and my aunt made her famous wedge salad, both were delicious.
Monday morning my uncle came over to see if I wanted to go to Noah's bagels to get a bagel, of course I did. We were only going to bring back about six but I think we ended up bringing back about 10, by the time we finished naming off the kind of bagels we wanted we were way past six. In the afternoon I had a dentist appointment. I had three silver fillings so they took those out and put in white ones, to me it looks a lot nicer and the silver ones were done a long time ago. I decided to leave Brodie at my uncles because my dentist appointment was about a half-hour trip in my chair, she's really getting old and it is harder for her to keep up. I'm not sure what she did but she broke into the house that my aunt and uncle are redoing so they brought her back here. Heather came by with prawns to set me up for a couple of days. She cooked the prawns with zucchini, tomatoes, onions, cilanto and tequila, it was SO good. She also made some rice and of course some spinach. She also made me some more of her musterd chicken, red roasted potatoes, some baby broccoli with garlic and a chicken and avocado wrap and a salad. It is always a great adventure when Heather comes over.

Both of my automatic doors started acting up at the same time. I got them from the same place that I got them when I lived in San Jose, a place called Open Sesame. I have a garage door like button that I keep in my chair and by my bed and I can also open it through my computer program using x10. The front door won't open or close all the way and the one in my room makes a noise and jumps but won't open, it is very frustrating because that is the way I let my morning caregivers in. When I e-mailed him to come and fix it I was so frustrated and in the subject line I put "won't Open Sesame", probably not very nice but he is coming out this morning to fix it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cleaning out the garage...

Friday Heather brought over some chicken that she cooked with mustard for Saturday and guess what... I ate it, it smelled so good I could not wait. We were supposed to go out to eat and then play cribbage at my uncle's house and as it ended up it was a good thing that I ate because nobody was hungry so we just played cribbage until about 8 p.m. and it had a sandwich, this probably sounds weird but my uncle got me hooked on liver worst sandwiches. Teresa got off work and came over to put me to bed about 8:30 p.m. and she said that she would help clean out the garage.
We decided Saturday, today, to go through the remaining stuff in the garage and either decide to keep it or take it to the Gray Bears. I had a three-bedroom house and my mom had a two-bedroom and when we moved over here we had to try really hard to downsize everything into two 2-bedroom houses, not easy for a couple of pack rats like us and even though we did get rid of a lot of stuff we still had a garage full. When we started it looked really hopeless but now it looks great, but really got rid of a lot more stuff and even though I don't know what I'm going to do with two huge boxes of clothes that are sitting in my bathroom we did really well. My cousin Rich is going to come back on Tuesday to start building shelves in the garage and he is going to be so surprised how clean it looks, when he left on Thursday he was pretty frustrated thinking that I was going to have to work around all the junk... well joke to everyone else.
This morning I had one of Heather's killer wraps and some awesome chicken soup that she made and for dinner she made me as shrimp Luis salad, man was it delicious. Teresa is coming back over after work to put me to bed, she is going to work out so great.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Queen for a day...

Today was such a cool day. I met my new urologist who is actually a doctor and very knowledgeable. I was a little nervous but it turns out that he not only has several patients who are in chairs but gave me several pamphlets on people in chairs who got together and opened up by company and they also give advice. I seem to always have a problem with my SP tube or the tape making blisters on my tummy so my new caregiver brought me some tubular gauze and it seems to be working great so I told the doctor about it and he said that he is going to forward the information to a couple of his patients that have the same problem.
After we left the urologist we went to Woodworm party store. Since I'm in a chair I decided to be a queen for Halloween and convert my chair into a throne. My aunt went by the party store to see if they had a queen costume and they said that they didn't but they took my number. A couple days later a lady called and said that they had ordered a costume for me and that it was in and that the owners would like to give it to me, no charge. When I got there and saw it I just couldn't believe it, it was so beautiful... I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed. That was such a sweet thing to do. The only thing that they asked is that I give them a picture of me in the costume.
My cousin Rich is starting to build shelves in the garage. I feel bad for him because it is still kind of cluttered but I'm really going to try to go through some of the stuff this weekend so he has room to work. He is even going to make me a little workbench that I can put my toolbox under, I love my tools.
My uncle and aunt invited us over for lunch and of course it was a great and then Brodie and I took a trip to the lighthouse, to me it still is breathtaking.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today was the day of my wheelchair evaluation, I have been waiting for this for a long time. I actually got my new chair about eight months ago but have only been in it about six times. Every time I turned it on it starts beeping constantly and then shuts off and when I called Rehab Specialist they tell me it needs to be charged, make sure the charger is plugged into the wall and of course make sure the charger is plugged into the chair... I have been injured or 13 years now and I think I know how to charge of chair. It wasn't until my nephew ran it into a parked car and I had to take it in to get fixed but they finally saw for themselves. While the guy was moving it around the shop it started beeping and shut off several times so he called the manufacturer and they told him how to fix it so he fixed it. When my mom went to pick it up the guy was driving it out of the van and it started beeping and shut off so they decided to keep it and found out that the driving mechanism was faulty so they ordered a new part... why does nobody listened to me?
I saw my new rehab doctor yesterday and she said she would be at the wheelchair evaluation, she wasn't there. We were told that a representative from Rehab Specialist would be there, he wasn't there. Luckily the OT showed up so we got to do the pressure mapping and she recommended a Roho cushion and wrote down everything else we wanted to change and we will go back and a couple of weeks when she can get somebody out there from Rehab Specialist.
After my appointment on the way out of the hospital we just happen to run into Roger. Dr. Jet told me about Roger the day before, he has the support group. He said that he had a support group that was really going strong but that he really hasn't had time to keep it going strong so it kind of fizzled out but he said he really wants to get one going again, I told him I would be glad to do anything I could to help and he was really excited. He's going to call a bunch of peers to get together and decide how to go from there.
Teresa came over tonight and got my Halloween decorations out of the garage and we sorted them and she's going to come back on Saturday so we can decorate, I LOVE Halloween.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My new rehab doctor...

Today was a very productive day. I had an appointment with my new rehab doctor and she recommended a urologist. I also found a primary care doctor, my new primary care doctors nurse is my new part-time caregiver, and I have a wheelchair in evaluation for my new chair tomorrow. They are going to write me a prescription for a new bed frame, the one I have right now is not compatible with my rotating air mattress. During my appointment with Dr. Jet I mentioned that I used to go to a support group at Valley Medical Center and that I really miss it. She told me that they do have a support group at Dominican and she gave me the number of the guy that runs it. She said that there's not a lot of females but that was a good group, I always seem to get along better with males anyway, I'm really excited about the fact that I might be going to support groups again.
Somebody told me that they had computer classes at the Senior Center so I want to find out more about that. My aunt happened to be going by so she stopped to talk to them and found out that the computer courses were only for seniors but they were looking for volunteers to teach them how to get on the Internet and maneuver their way around, I think I would like to do that so I am going to go down and see when they need volunteers.
Heather came by today with some kind of fish called Cobia that she's that you cannot buy and it sure tasted good, I looked it up and said that Cobia mostly feed on crab so you know if it has good taste it must taste good. She also brought some prawns and made some rice and some mixed sautéed vegetables, I can not brag about this woman enough. She made me another veggie wrap and she said she will be by tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My new Journal

A friend of mine told me about this site. They close down the AOL journals but I still have been able to write in it for a couple of days, I'm waiting for them to throw me completely off-line. Meat while I was playing on Pogo and I heard that familiar sound that you hear when somebody at the comment to your journal, I was so excited when I heard it. I didn't realize how much I began to care about these people that make a comment on my journal and how much I look forward to reading their comments every day.

I'm kind of Leary of getting into another journal and then having my heart broken again when they take it off line but I'm going to give it a try. Thank you Betty.