Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mail Order Blues

"Text" is hard!

I filled out the forms (on the internet)for Highmark BS/BC from the mail order and, safe to say, it’s hard. Through the message center at Highmark, I explained the key pads (typewriter) are not working with the screen. Help. Minutes later, the message center explained that the PDF and tools and the dreaded downloading and Preview will now allow you to type your information onto the form directly.

Yeah, right. Three hours later and four pages later (much swearing, too), I did it. The “Text” is difficult, especially on the left hand.

Mail order is fast and easy. I don’t have a car, either. I called the doctor with two scripts, metoprolol and losartan potassium, for high blood pressure. I’m a happy girl.

Seventeen years ago, I couldn’t speak and walk, aphasic to the max. What a difference a day makes.  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Swedish Cutting Board

Chop, chop!
This is the best thing I ever did. 

A Swedish Cutting Board. Chops carrots, potatoes, celery, pots and pans and nooks and crannies. I open jars and cans, too. My left hand is everything; the right hand is DOA, unfortunately. There’s suction cups, four corners, and it’s difficult. Not to worry, pried with my left hand (the suction cups) and it washes with a paper towel. It adheres well.

Use the little vise-grip (the red sphere) for jars and cans. The cutting board are four suction cups. Press tightly on the vise-grip. Use the jar gripper pad. or a tea towel works. (Remember, leftly loosy and righty tighty, sometimes, I get confused for the left hand.)  

Secret Ingredient Biscuits

Light and Fluffy

I have a cholesterol problem (statins give me joint pains) and I watch every mouthful. I had a whopping stroke, too. I watch an America Test Kitchen* on PBS.

That said, I substituted 3/4 cup of Vegan Hellman’s Mayo, 1 cup of Silk Cashew, 1 tsp. of diil, and two bulbs of garlic (10 seconds nuked, garlic press). It’s light and delicious.

Recipe: Secret Ingredient Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup Silk cashew 
3/4 cups Vegan Hellman’s Mayo
1 tsp. of dill
two cloves of garlic (10 seconds nuked, garlic press)

*ATK 1 cup of milk and 3/4 cup mayonnaise, alternative.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Mild Case of the Shingles

Ew. Shingles.

Sunday evening, I watched Madam Secretary with Tia Leone, and something happened.  My left brain and scalp itches, markedly. I tried to ignore it. A stabbing pain, in my brain, through and through. The stroke comes to mind.

Two days after, I broke out in, presumingly, hives. Sixty-eight years, I never broke out in hives. The left neck, throat, my left ear and left scalp itches. Very strange.

I have rats outside the house, specifically, the garage. I live out in the country, varmints, ground moles and, yes, rats. Tuesday, in the afternoon, I developed hives. I attributed that from organic rat poison…perfectly safe. I worried about owls, chipmunks and raccoons. It’s not their fault.

It’s not hives. Two times a year, fortunately, I had an appointment with my doctor Thursday, my biannual check-up.

“You have a mild case of the shingles,” the doctor said.

Incredulous, “Are you sure?”

The doctor furrows his brow, “Yes. I would know,” smirking. “You have prodromal discomfort, for two or three days before the rash?”

Tia Leone last Sunday, a stabbing pain, in my brain.


One in three developed shingles, a scabby purulent discharge, itches like crazy and oven-mitts comes to mind. The doctor prescribed valacyclovir hcl, 1 gram tablet, for seven days. 

I hate shots and Big Pharma.  Just so you know.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A cap and bottle, please.


Hats off for CVS “push & turn” medicine device. Not.

For two days, I went through needle-nosed pliers, a bottle cap with ridges, manicure scissors and my trusty hammer just in case. No avail. I had a stroke. The left hand is fine but, my right hand is dead in the water.

I looked on the Internet for hot water…it soften’s the bottle. Nada. My right and left tennis shoes, firmly placed for the medicine receptacle, my left hand pushes and turns. Nyet. A child can to this. Well, wrong.

I’m complaining. I’m calling CVS. I’m a little bit aphasic, words fail me. Script notes I can do, but the CVS man/woman computer is quite hard, forming apart of numbers and digits. My head is reeling. Sixteen years, I’m totally bad with numbers. Nevertheless, a cap and bottle, please.

The mountain tops are rainy and wet, and my neighbor takes the mail for me.

“Hey, to me a favor? Can you open a bottle for me?”

Two hands. Nice.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I had a chimney fire in my wood stove.

 A standby generator.

I had a chimney fire in my wood stove.

Two-doors down, the neighbor noticed a conflagration on my smokestack. The neighbor called me, I immediately closed the flue. I forgot the clean out the flue. My bad. Called Nickos Chimney tout suite.

Seems a tree had fallen, a big, whopping tree lay on the road. The electricity is gone. Eight hours later, in the evening, lights! Meanwhile, I’m a popsicle. 

There’s more. The water’s gone too. Frozen pipes. I forgot to turn on the water. Three days later, there’s water again. Thanks, Culligan! I have five gallons, four each. The dogs had fresh water. Slurp. The dogs are happy.

Ahh, the Jonah blizzard of 2016. The chimney fire, electric problem and water (I have well water). I finally learned. 

Be prepared! 

I live in the Laurel mountains in Pennsylvania and little woodland creatures abound. I love my life.

I called Generac, a standby generator. It automatically swings to action. Probable solved.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I did it myself; 45+ channels, crystal clear sound. It’s not brain surgery (pardon the pun).

Crazy person.

I’m cutting the cord…sort of.

I bought a $69 dollar, 19 inch, refurbished,TV at WalMart (gotta love WM) and HDTV antenna. I live in the mountains. I discontinued the landline, and use the cellphone. It’s a Tracfone, serviceable, but, its no charge; I’m disabled. I use my internet every blessed day and I own two TV’s and a Fire Stick.

Last month, I called Armstrong, to the tune of $200+/- per month. That’s a lot cable. I explained the situation, no landline, and keep the internet and pull the plug for TV (the fishing channel…really?). TV is manageable, and dropped down at $125+/-. Armstrong has excellent service.

I assembled TV (the left-hand is a bear, the four screws in the base for the TV), I lugged the set in my bedroom (its light) and antenna, (20 tries, I finally took duct tape and plastered the signals on the window…again, my left-hand). 

I did it myself; 45+ channels, crystal clear sound. It’s not brain surgery (pardon the pun).

Keep in mind, no internet and no TV; the wire doesn’t help for electricity in a big storm. The cable is out. A small generator, I have a wood stove, five-gallons of water and provisions, just in case. Plus, a have wonderful neighbors.

Bye, Armstrong.

P.S. 01/06/16: Three TV's and the antenna is fine. CBS, ABC, NBC and PBS (4 channels), the sound is good and the picture is clear. 45+ too. I'm a happy girl.