Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We had quite a spread..... the centerpiece being a "TURDUCKEN". This is mostly a New Orleans thing. It's an expensive gimmick, but fun....
Picture a boneless TURkey, topped with a boneless DUCK, topped with a boneless ChickEN. Then a big layer of Green Onion Sausage. All folded up to look like a big turkey.
I think that Christine has a picture on her camera...I'll post one for you guys not familiar with the concept. Ate by candlelight and listened to The Nutcracker. Very low-key and pleasant.
Our patient had a pretty good day. We're dealing with alot of ups and downs these days. (he ended up in the Emergency Room the next day)
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Christine, Dom and I headed to Slidell to visit his mom and aunt. (I spared Ric the experience).
Dom promised me that it would be a pleasant 2 hour visit.
We arrived at noon. Let the fun begin! The girls started fighting immediately. Honestly, we hadn't even sat down yet.
After 15 or 20 minutes of it, I decided that I needed to spice up the day.......
I popped a beer and offered Aunt Lou one. Oh boy, oh boy..... She drank it with delight. Strangely, this made her get just a LITTLE bit louder, a little more crass, and alot more fun.
Lou and I had a second beer. *grinning* At this point, rather than fighting, the old gals just ignored each other and vied for attention..... even if it meant interrupting each other while they were conversing with us. This amused me. This was more fun than the sniping back and forth.
At exactly 1:58 PM, I jumped up and announced that I needed to get home and rattle the pots and pans. Off we went.
The four of us had a very pleasant time at home. My dear friend Goldie in KY sent me her annual big-ass-delicious COUNTRY HAM. As always, it was ab-fab. Had sandwiches, a cheese plate, alot of shrimp cocktail and my favorite Christmas Eve dish.... my homemade CRAB BISQUE. This stuff is so rich and flavorful, that it's sinful. It's always a big hit.
Played dominoes, drank whatever we had a taste for, (I seem to recall beer, wine, bubbly, white russians and martinis flowing throughout the afternoon and night) had a blast!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Hi gang. It's sure been a whirlwind couple of weeks.
Well, I'm pretty bummed out. Dropped my brother Ric off at the airport early this morning. Geez, time is a bizarre thing. None of can believe that he was here for 10 days.
The above pic was taken on Monday. The 5 of us booked 3 rooms at the Prince Conti in the French Quarter. Bummed around bar-hopping all day, then had a FABULOUS Reveillon Dinner at Muriel's on Jackson Square.
Earlier in the day, we were introduced to one of the waiters while in the Deja Vu. The guy's name was "CHAD", and he took excellent care of us. What a neat place.
Our "patient" is doing "OK". I had to take him to the ER yesterday. None of our medical team was in on the day after Christmas, so we dropped Christine and Ric off at a bar (for FOUR HOURS), and went to the Bogalusa LSU Hospital.
He'd been having intestinal trouble for 4 days, dehydrated, dizzy, etc. Immodium wasn't working.
So..... they ran some bloodwork. He's low on Potassium. Low on Calcium (from the MM), blood pressure was great..... did it after laying down for 2 minutes, while sitting up for 2 minutes, and then standing up. Said he wasn't dehydrated, gave him a prescription and sent us home. I'm imagining just some type of virus. The pills seem to be working, as he's out of bed sitting with Christine.
Other than that, Dom has been doing pretty well. The cancer is wearing him down, but he's keeping a good attitude. Thanks for all of the emails and good wishes.
Love to all of you-
Nan and Dom
Sunday, December 21, 2008
History Simplified with Actual Material
For those that don't know about history ... Here is a condensed version:
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.
The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1. Liberals, and
Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitt ing around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.
Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.
Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the .
Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.
Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.
Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservat ives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.
Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.
Here ends today's lesson in world history:
It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.
A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forw arded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals just to tick them off.
And there you have it. Let your next action reveal your true self.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Spent much of the day at my 94 year old mother in law's house. Her 93 year old sister lives with her. They're polar opposites.
Aunt Lou drinks beer, hung out with Jack Keruac, Charles Bukowski, assorted poets and artists. Lived a fast life. Swears like a sailor. Horrible, horrible temper.
Dom's mom is afraid of her own shadow. No smoking, no drinking, used to be a good Catholic.
They fight like cats and dogs. Can't live with each other, yet can't live without.
They're both hard of hearing.
It's like a fucking nightmare over there.... them arguing, swearing, yelling, talking over each other,Lou's little dog yapping and snapping at us, multiple tvs blaring..... unbelievable.
As you're probably sick of hearing, the country is going DIGITAL next month. As they're too cheap to buy cable or satellite television, they had to buy converter boxes for their tvs.
Mrs. M has 3 sets. Aunt Lou has 1. Rabbit ears on all of 'em.
Today's job was to convert their televisions.
Unfortunately, Lou bought a DVD player, thinking it was a converter box. You should have
heard the yelling.
She convinced Dom's mother to give her one of her boxes.
Dom hooked Mrs. M's tvs up, then hooked up Lou's.
Went to the hardware store. Came back 20 minutes later, and Lou had yanked it out of the wall and threw it across the room.
(Mrs. M started bitching and moaning that she liked Lou's remote better than 2 that she kept for herself.... 3 different brands in all).
Straightened out the bent prong that was so forcefully yanked out of the wall, and hooked up Mrs. M's 3rd television.
Mrs M: 3
Ho Ho Fucking Ho.
Couldn't wait to get out of there.
Honestly, I don't know how he does it. *sighing and making note to self to come up with an excuse not to join Dom and Chris on XMAS Eve visit over there*
Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm happy to report that after 2 days in bed after his Aredia infusion, Dom sprung out of bed Sunday morning, and has been feeling great!
Thankfully, he doesn't "fight it" anymore, and is starting to actually enjoy a couple days per month between the sheets! Probably to get away from ME. Ha!
Brother Ric flies in on Wednesday. Thus, the cleaning frenzy. His home is immaculate- I always come back from Cincinnati feeling guilty when I compare our housekeeping skills.
Booked some rooms in the French Quarter for next Monday, when Christine flies in. Going to be joined by Dom's cousin Joe from Pensacola. We'll whoop it up a bit, then enjoy a Reveillon dinner at either Antoine's or Muriel's.
Dunno much else, gang..... our patient is doing well, and I'm dying for the sight of my brother on Wednesday!
Friday, December 12, 2008
WHAT PETS WRITE IN THEIR DIARIES.....
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary......
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary...
Day 983 of my captivity..
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now................
Went in to the Tulane Urology Clinic on Wed. afternoon for his PROSTATE BIOPSY. It rained cats and dogs all the way there and home (during rush hour), his nurse was a bitch, Dr. Lee breezed in and out much too quickly, as a different doc did the biopsy.
His butt hurt and he got grumpy. *giggling* We'll find out the results in "a week or two". I'm going to start bugging them on Monday afternoon. I feel pretty confident that this is just a case of an enlarged prostate. *crossing my fingers*
Moving right along to Thursday:
Woke up to snow. Drove morning rush hour through snow and sleet. Jacknifed 18 wheelers, cars in ditches, bridges shut down, the works. Dom's fanny still hurt and he got grumpy. *snickering*
In theory, his 2 hour Aredia infusion was to be at 10:30 am. At some point, Dr. Safah was to swing by to visit him.
In actuality, it took THREE different gals to finally get a vein that "didn't roll", or that wasn't "too small". They finally drew the needed blood at 11am, and put an order in for the Aredia.
Now, Dom's hands, arms and butt hurt. He was really, really grumpy.
The blood lab didn't give the nurses his results until after 1:30 PM. (Couldn't do the infusion until they checked his numbers). We didn't get out of there until almost 4pm. Luckily, the roads were clear, and I drove like a madwoman on the way home.
Today, as expected, Dom has spent the day in bed. At least he doesn't fight it anymore. He realizes that this is going to be a monthly thing.....
So, today, he feels like he's been run over by a truck, his eyes hurt, his butt hurts and he's really, really, really grumpy. But, at least he's between the sheets with the curtains drawn and resting comfortably.
Here's what's in the works, medically:
Appointment with Dr. Safah on Jan. 8th, followed by his infusion that afternoon. This will be 4 months of Thalidomide treatment. She's going to test his blood to see if his plasma cell count dropped. Four months is normally when you see some action.
She'll let us know a week later.
We were both under the impression that he'd be hospitalized for the stem-cell transplant in late January. She basically told us, "Not so fast..... just keep doing what you're doing, and we'll take a look at your blood in a month.... this might be a long process".
Tonite, he's back on the Coumadin.
So, that's the scoop, kids. Thankfully, Dom has little-to-no interest in this blog. He won't see that I'm talking about his butt. That would get him REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GRUMPY!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Woke up this morning to a BIG surprise! We haven't had a snowfall like this since the early 90's..... The last time that I remember any snow was when Ric and Christine were here for XMAS of '03.... we spent a fun morning at Al and Ada's home.... while Al fried our Christmas turkey. (Drinking beer, eating Ada's gumbo...... what fun!)
Pics above were taken around 7:30 am on Thurs. (Looks like I need to adjust my timer on the camera, ehhhhhh?)
First pic is Dom's workshop, the second is our South Valley Road (heading towards civilization, and the last is a view to the West from our porch.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
So, threw together some clothes and hit the road to Metairie.
Got to Linda's around 11 am. Watched my Crimson Tide lose, drank beer, chit chatted, had a lovely time.
Linda has a beautiful home. I was delighted for her.
Came home just in time for my Saints game. Again, Dom was feeling good, so we happily watched the game together.
Moving a little slow today.... alot of aches and pains..... for a change, I'm the one who doesn't feel so hot.
We've got a big week coming up. Prostate Biopsy on Wed., then Aredia infusion on Thursday. I've been slowly decorating the house, and looking forward to having our Christine and my brother Ric here for the holidays!
Friday, December 5, 2008
All is well in Mudville. Dom has been feeling pretty good, as he has for the past couple of days. We tore up the roads yesterday, making about a zillion stops, finishing off with 2 beers with our dear buddy, Richard Mc, in Bogalusa. Today was unpacking Christmas decorations and a little bit of internet shopping for Christmas.
If Dominic still feels good in the morning, I'm headed to Lovely Linda's house in Metairie for the night. I haven't had a chance to see her new home, and am looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Lin can't stand sports..... Yours truly has turned into a RABID Alabama Crimson Tide fan. Part of the deal with my visit is that she allows me to watch the Alabama/Florida game without chit-chat or interruption. (Hey.... what are friends for, right???????? Never mind that we didn't see each other for a good 18 months until recently.... priorities, priorities!). I've got my PJs, ALABAMA bandana and beer huggy packed. Between Dom feeling good, the game, and spending time with Lin, life can hold no more! ROLL TIDE ROLL!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
40. Oh I just couldn't. Hell, she's only sixteen.
39. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.
38. Duct tape won't fix that.
37. Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.
36. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
35. We don't keep firearms in this house.
34. Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
33. You can't feed that to the dog.
32. I thought
31. No kids in the back of the pick-up, it's just not safe.
30. Wrasslin's fake.
29. Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
28. We're vegetarians.
27. Do you think my gut is too big?
26. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.
25. Honey, we don't need another dog.
24. Who's Richard Petty?
23. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
22. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.
21. Spittin is such a nasty habit.
20. I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.
19. Trim the fat off that steak.
18. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
17. The tires on that truck are too big.
16. I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.
15. I've got it all on the C drive.
14. Unsweetened tea tastes better.
13. Would you like your salmon poached or broiled?
12. My fiance, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.
11. I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.
10. Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
08. She's too young to be wearing a bikini.
07. Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
06. Hey, here's an episode of 'Hee Haw' that we haven't seen.
05. I don't have a favorite college team.
04. Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
03. I believe you cooked those green beans too long.
02. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.
01. Nope, no more for me. I'm drivin' tonight
This Thalidomide therapy is kicking Dominic's ass. He is SO tired and lethargic. Getting occasional dizzy spells..... anemia, etc. He breezed right through the first couple months of treatment, but it's finally catching up on him.
He's been slipping between the sheets before 7 pm most nights, and staying in bed until late morning.
I'm spending the night at Linda's on Saturday, and wanted him to come along. He won't do it, as he doesn't want to go to sleep at 6:30 while visiting her. (Not that anyone would care, but nevermind...must be a pride-thing).
I spoke to his Tulane Cancer Center nurse, Amy, yesterday. She fondly refers to Dom as her "PROBLEM CHILD". (if she only knew!!!!!!!!!!) *grinning*
2 new things this week...... she had him stop his STEROIDS. It was only scheduled for the first 2 months of treatment, but they continued it to clear up the now-gone rash from the food reaction in Ft. Myers. (which I still question..... but, ours not to wonder why, ours but.....)
Secondly, she's ordering him another bone x-ray. His back is absolutely killing him. It's in a "new spot", and I'm fearing a new lesion. He'd like to wait until next week's Tulane visit, but if it gets too bad, she'll order it for a Bogalusa or Slidell hospital. 400 mg. of MOTRIN/Ibuprofin seems to help his pain.
Sooooo....... Dom's attitude remains positive, but he's a hurtin' little cowboy. Send the good vibes and prayers, friends and family!
Monday, December 1, 2008
"This is set to be the best planetary gathering of the year, simply because it involves three of the brightest objects in the sky after the sun," said Geza Gyuk, director of astronomy at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
"As long as you have clear skies in the early part of the evening, this is one astronomical event that's hard to miss."
In fact, some historians think that a similar conjunction between Jupiter and Venus in 2 B.C. may be the source of the "star of Bethlehem" story related in the Bible.
The stellar pair would have appeared so close together, scholars think, that they might have seemed to meld into one brilliant beacon of light.
Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Well, the stock market and the economy has just destroyed my finances. Also, looks like the price of tea bags has gone up astronomically. Question: I drink three cups of tea each morning. I can use one tea bag three times to make three cups of tea. And I can combine two of the third-use bags for a fourth cup.
Anyone have any other easy cost-cutting ideas for food or drink?
Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Go to the nearest convenience store/gas station, and while purchasing a cup of coffee, stuff your pockets with handfuls of sugar, sweetener, and half & halfs.
Even better, do the same at Burger King, after ordering a "senior coffee", which is appx. 1/2 the cost.
Or, order a child's burger at New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company, and quietly fill up on all you can carry at the fixings bar.
Don't forget that many grocery stores offer complimentary coffee, and usually have tasting samples at their deli.
Chinese take-out outlets, which are becoming more widespread, usually have baskets of soy sauce, hot mustard, and....yes, TEA! for their customers to take with them.
Don't neglect to take advantage of the abundance of available straws, salt & pepper packets, ketchup packets, plastic utensils, and paper napkins.
Speaking of straws, always have one with you; in old time barbershops & hardware stores, you will occasionally find an old "ice chest" type of soft drink machine that requires you to deposit your coins, slide the choice of beverage to the hopper, and pull it up past the mechanism now unlocked by the coins.
Here's what you do.
Use your bottle opener (you DO carry one with you, I hope), and simply open your preferred soda.
Now take your straw, and have at it.
Finally, don't forget this--
There are actually LOAVES of fresh French Bread actually, well, loafing (HAHAHA) on doorsteps of closed sandwich shops EVERYWHERE.
Go early, cause this must be a well known fact; they're always gone by 10am or so.
Good God, man.
The possibilities are endless.
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Wow Foster K, great suggestions!
I already do the McDonalds thing, and it's even better with the cold weather and my big jacket pockets. And the "senior" thing works OK, except that I just made 60 y/o and there doesn't seem to be a standard universal policy as to what constitutes "senior." I'll check with AARP on that one.
I don't ask for child's plates; just seems too embarrassing. I do ask the wait staff what the cheapest thing on the menu is that has the most food, and take everything (including extra sugers) home in a doggie bag.
And I won't resort to taking the bags of french bread from outside of the stores- that would be dishonest.
And for under $10 (tax included!), I can get a go box at King's, the Chineese food place on Vets. I can really pack that go box (whitch I noticed has gotten a tad smaller in the last year or so).
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Now you're getting it, Johnny!
Love the King's idea, but really, take it a step further.
Pay for TWO boxes, and ask for a large bag in which to carry them.
Now, surreptitiously flatten out the boxes and place in the bottom of the bag.
Do you know why?
Bueller? Bueller? Anyone...?
(For support of all the weight of the enormous amount of stuff you're gonna throw in the bag!)
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Foster K. Those Chineese folks are already weary of me when I come in there. They are very hawkish, and have admonished me for taking too many shrimp. They no longer carry lobster claws; I suspect that I am the reason.
And the bag thing would never work. Not only would they immediately be suspicious of my intentions, but the food would get all mixed up in there. I'll stick with the four or five pounds that I can sheepishly walk out with.*
*note to any of the Chineese people at Kings that might be reading this: I am a very short fat, bald guy. Be suspicious of short, fat, bald guys.
I'll continue to monitor this dialog over the next day, or so.... and will edit this post to include new stuff!
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Foster K
Clearly, Johnny, you have been around the block.
Forget the Chinese; they're too smart.
Try this instead.
Get yourself a Luzianne Tea polo shirt (or Budweiser, Coke, whatever...).
Hang out in the parking lot of your local grocery store, and I mean EARLY, like 6:30 am.
When the real delivery guys arrive, just follow behind whoever your chosen brand guy is (don't let him see you, of course), and after he stocks the shelves, just wait for him to depart, and then fill up a buggy with the same product as your shirt, and leave through the BACK DOOR, muttering about mold, or insects, or whatever.
You can even ask the gatekeeper if he'll give you some ice (they have a BEAST of an ice machine), and he'll be glad to help, cause he knows how hard you guys work.
I suggest a collection of branded shirts, sufficiently weathered & worn, as appropriate to the product desired.
Another skill is to enter a convenience store in the wee hours, wearing shorts and cowboy boots.
Announce to the staff that you're "Just DYING for a wiener!"
While they're making jokes and laughing (and they certainly will be), start dropping dogs into your boots.
Now, they will be hot, so have socks on at least as high as the boots.
You'll walk funny leaving, but they'll be expecting that.
Re: Tea Bags: How Many Times?
by Gentilly Johnny
Great idea, Foster K. And I know just the right grocery store; nothin' but Catholic high school kids working there.
And you're right, never try to get away with anything "suspicious" where Asians or Middle Easterners work. The small theft-loss margin keeps them prospering and multiplying.
Off of werk now. Time for some nefrarious computer mischief at home.
Unfortunately, Dom is presently in bed. 2 pm. Felt weak, achy and dizzy around noon, so slipped between the sheets. I'm hoping that he's sleeping, but don't want to open the door to peak in on him.... he's a very light sleeper. I've got a big pot of Turkey Noodle Soup going on the stove. That'll make him happy.
Tomorrow is our 20th anniversary. We were scheduled to be in the Caribbean. In fact, today was the day that we were going to reunite in St. Lucia with our 2 favorite Caribbean men- Levi Baron and Spencer Ambrose. Got a phone call yesterday from Spencer, and a sweet email from Levi. NEXT YEAR we'll get together!
Dunno much else. Christmas is practically upon us. I need to get up into the attic and start hauling down decorations. Maybe even consider writing out some Christmas Cards.
Hope that everyone had a delightful holiday weekend. Ours was great..... mellow, but Dom felt "pretty good" all weekend.