Health Woes… But Looking Up…

This year has been a tough one so far. We have had a number of health issues, that we are finally starting to see the end of. Some planned, some not. Mum Mum had the surgery on her feet, which was completely planned and needed, and although it was not a fun process for her, I think in the long run it will be for the best. Mum Mum and Pickle Pie have had a couple of flu/colds that impacted them, slowing everyone down some. I was able to stay pretty healthy throughout that time, but two weeks ago all that changed.

On mothers day (the US one) I felt like I was coming down with a flu. It migrated into a sore throat that would not go away. I finally went to the doc and found that I had Strep. I got the antibiotic shot in the butt that ached for a day or so. Upside was that I started to feel better… until midway through the weekend when I took a turn for the worse again.
At the same time Pickle Pie decided that she wanted to start flossing which is not something any of us have been good at lately, so we all jumped on the bandwagon and started. Saturday night I was flossing along side her and a tooth that had a crown on it broke… came right out. On a Saturday night. Try getting a dentist to see you on a Sunday (ain’t gonna happen… trust me… But what a gap in the Dental market).

Added to that is the fact that I was due to be flying out first thing on Monday morning… which I rescheduled to Monday afternoon.

I got up nice and early on Monday to try and get into my dentist, only to find a voicemail from my mum (who was in N. Ireland at the time) saying that my dad had come off his bike (push bicycle… not motorized) and was in an emergency clinic with a concussion. I ran out to get him and bring him back home so that he could stay under supervision, then went to the dentist to get a temporary seal put on the tooth. Ran home, packed and went to the airport.

That night I brushed my teeth, flossed and the seal popped out. Good thing is that I had previously had a root canal so I was not in pain. My throat was still killing me, although I had recovered my voice as I had lost it for a couple of days the week before.

Home Thursday only to run straight to the dentist to sit there for 4 hours to get a new crown. Friday I went to the doctor and ended up with another course of antibiotics for Tonsillitis.

Health wise is looking up, and with the news that Mum Mum shared the outlook for the year is certainly looking up. I just wish that our benefits choices had stuck late last year, as we will be out more cash than we really should have been. But hopefully that will be reflected in our tax numbers next year.

Oh, and don’t get me started on travel woes on the last trip. 🙂

Our fruit bat

Pickle Pie loves to eat. She loves fruit far more than either Dadawa or I ever expected a child of ours could. She’s a great influence on us that way.

She also flosses. She has a desire to! We should be flossing as often. Maybe one day we will.

She loves being upside down. As Dadawa and I found this morning, it’s an unbelievably easy way to do her hair. He held her by her ankles, and I snapped a hair elastic around whatever was hanging down. Presto! And it stayed in until dinnertime.

She is also nocturnal. Bedtime is closer to midnight than we really like, and she wakes between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Often, she has a nap midafternoon.

A Mother’s Day full of moms and naybses

Dadawa has made it a once-a-weekend tradition to make crepes for breakfast, and so for the holiday, we extended the invitation to include the local family (Nana, Bubba, Ama, Kong Kong, Apa, and Pa Kong) and Real Irish Bacon. I had far more than my share of bacon.

Skyped to Auntie Carol in “Bulgaria” while Pickle Pie dragged me upstairs for a first nap in her own bed since she was an infant.

Played outside with three of four of the neighborhood kids (not baby Erin) on our side of the complex. Pickle Pie inherited a great mini basketball hoop and scored about 78 points, all dunks. Lots of traveling and double-dribbling, though. So, apologies to Uncle Sanj. Maybe he needs to come visit, because Pickle Pie’s not taking that instruction from Daduh very well. I even hobbled around to play a bit. Grown-up neighbors came and went, bringing out water and light snacks at key points in what Pickle Pie called the “party.”

Speaking of which, Pickle Pie definitely loves parties. She will put on a few accessories, grab a bag, wave buh-bye, and be off to a “badee” at any moment. Please note that a “badee” is a completely different thing than the “padee,” which is what the “duddy” birds do on Daduh’s car, “Muh-ohmm.” [Dadawa, another vid to insert here, please?]

Dinner was delicious Indian at Nana and Bubba’s. Then, back home. Pickle Pie crashed on the sofa after a spoonful of Blue Bell coffee ice cream, some mozzarella shreds, two or three Baked Lays, a “ment, [of type] BIG” (a standard Altoid), and sparkling water (“glug-lug, ssssst”) for dessert.

A really good day.

Cheezey McCheezles…

Yes, this is not only the company that I work for that released this, but they are using the software that I help implement. Monitor in the background actually showing the dashboards from our tools… Sigh… Although it is funny!

Points of contention with my mother

It is not that bad for Pickle Pie to be exposed to NCIS.
I do not respect her.
She does not blame victims (including herself) for their misfortune, major or minor.
I do not recognize that she has done her best for me.
It is okay for her to talk or text on her cellphone while driving. However, she must ask my permission to make a phone call or talk to me while I am driving.
Now, because of these and other issues too numerous and hurtful to share here, she swears she will never call upon me for help, ever. I let her know I do love her and am here for her regardless, but she was having none of that. I’m just tired of the SOS and drama. Hope we will have resolution one day!


Any itching I feel now is simply from mosquito bites. The pest guy positively identified our specimens as American ticks, and only a few hitchhikers, not an infestation. We are to monitor the situation.
The wedding I was a bridesmaid in went great, and I think our family may have two new friends because of it.
Janette’s visit was too short but very sweet, and Pickle Pie got to know her a bit.
Got an A-ok from the doc about my feet, and I am approved for normal shoe use as of next week. Just need to work on range of motion now.
Life is returning to normal.

I don’t normally like widgets…

Well, not quite true… but none last long on my PC… they just take up too much memory that Outlook and Firefox need to fight over. That being said, I saw this one online a while back and figured, what the heck, I work at my desk all day, lets give it a whirl.

It is called IOGraphica and when running it tracks your mouse movements and make a pretty picture out of it. The following is after tracking my movements for an hour and a half. Note that I have an extended desktop set-up hence the kinda blank area in the top right.The bigger the black circle, the longer the mouse was left in that spot without moving… I must have been on a call, away from the desk, or fast asleep… Not sure which!

Work/Life/Sleep Balance…

I don’t talk about work on the blog. For many reasons. One of them being that I will not mouth off about anything work related on what is a public forum… as we all know how that can come back to bite you in the ass. Also, I will never mention if/when I may be traveling, as that makes Mum Mum, Pickle Pie, Cammie and the house easier targets… Not that it stops break-ins, as was evidenced lately, but hey. If you ever want to know what is going on with my work, I am happy to email or IM or talk about it over a beer or on the phone, but that is the best I will ever do. Too much at risk otherwise.

That being said, work has been busy. Actually really busy. Ask me what I do all day, and it is sometimes hard to answer, but I know that on average my to do list seems longer at the end of the day than at the beginning, and the items on the list at the beginning are rarely all taken care of by the time I sign off for the night. And yet I go through spurts of being very productive… Guess I am just running quick enough to keep in place… should be glad I am not always falling further behind.

I get up early. This is not what used to be natural for me. I like, no scratch that, love, my sleep. But I have now been programmed, partly by work, and mostly by the cat, to get up early. Cat gets food before anyone else in the house on most normal days. I then get to work, and when Mum Mum and Pickle Pie get up, I try and break away to help get the little one ready for the day. Some days I can, some I cannot, but I try. Work takes up the whole day, although lunch breaks are sometimes carved out to a) eat, b) help Mum Mum with Pickle Pie so that she can eat, c) sometimes to catch up on a show… with mixed results. At the end of the day I sign-off (or set myself to away) and head up. Evenings are busy, but fun. Errands run, walks taken, baths given, playing happens, cooking/preparing dinner entwined either by me or Mum Mum, and then at some point the little one crashes. This is decision time… Do I a) go to sleep, b) go back to work, c) read something enjoyable and relaxing, d) work on my own side projects (mainly writing… which will be a completely separate post)… answer varies, but more often these days is b followed by a couple of minutes of c, then a… d is sadly at the bottom of the pile most days. I went through a period where I was good… but ergh… different post there…

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not lamenting my life. When we made the decision that Mum Mum would stop work, I never expected that I would be working short hours, unencumbered by stress, and that my reading or hobby patterns would keep up at the same level as before. It is a shift I have been happy to make, although I do have a tendency to want to fall back on old lazy habits… but that is because I am at the core a lazy person I think.

The Grandparents being in town, along with us having some very close friends around us, makes the joy of raising Pickle Pie a lot easier. If we were in Paris, like nearly happened a couple of years ago, it would be a lot harder for us, but would offer its own fun challenges… as well as lots and lots of good bread and wine for me and good cheese and wine for Mum Mum 🙂

I am slowly but surely moving to a more active mindset and trying to make sure as much as we can, we stay, or I stay, on top of things around the house… and that I stop using silly excuses as a good excuse to lay around doing very little.

Anyhoo… That is it from me, except… Is it telling that the Work is first in the title and Sleep is last? Should it read Life/Sleep/Work balance?

Dadawa shallow posts…

So Mum Mum is putting me to shame, and I will hopefully put amends to that. Work is pretty busy these days and I have been very bad overall about posting to the blog. Hope to change that soon, but in the meantime, here are my thoughts on some books I have read and movies we have watched recently…

Book twelve of the Dresden Files results in exactly what the title mentions… Changes! It is no huge secret or spoiler that Harry finds out that he has a daughter, and the whole book is his search to find her. Along the way decisions are made, bargains made, a lot of action takes place, and we get to hear Mouse talk. Knowing that book 13 has already been named (Ghost Story) it seems that Jim will be going back to his naming standards, but this book leaves you on edge. It is a cliff hanger for dang sure… and I will leave it there.

I love the way Jim writes, and the level of humor is always great to read, while moving the plot along at one heck of a pace. Every chapter pretty much ends in a miny cliffhanger and wants to pulls you along, making you want to read more.

If you have not read any Jim Butcher, then do so… but start at the beginning and enjoy watching Harry get tossed around and beat down book after book, and coming out with the scars to match…

Persuader is book umm… hold on… (quick Google search later)… Book 7 in the Jack Reacher series. Although this is the second book of Lee Child’s that I have read, it was the first one that I had heard off. Again, based on the old group that I had subscribed tor, where I would get the first 20 odd pages in a new book, split into five emails, one for each day of the week, I had read the beginning of this book, which was why I thought I might have already read the book before. By the time I got to the end of the book I still had that feeling, but I know I had not read it already. The story is different that the one I had read before (Nothing To Lose… which is generally agreed to be the worst in the series, including by the author hisself!) but something felt the same. It is a fun book to read. Jack Reacher gets into silly situations, makes sillier decisions and shoots his way out. Twists and turns are there, like they should be, but nothing that I would consider to be truly original. Someone described these books to me as Man Trash and I would agree.

This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, and to me feels like I knew the story. The reason is that having read Nothing To Lose the story is almost identical… Jack goes to small town, quite by chance… He gets involved in a situation due to corrupt cops, and then large conspiracies that encompass most of the town appear… and off we go again. Nothing new, nothing original… but this was his first book in the series, so maybe that explains why Nothing To Lose is not considered his best… if it is a simple re-write of this… If interested in counterfeiting, then it is interesting background, but otherwise, it is forgettable…

So, this was completely not what I expected. The trailer looked like a comical martial arts flick with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, so when it starts with some odd white guy as the main onscreen presence, I was confused. End result was a combination of The Karate Kid and The NeverEnding Story. It had all the elements of a standard epic fantasy, and as such the twists were easily guessed at. That being said, it was a fun, light flick, that I completely enjoyed.

Marvel seems to be going long term on the film plans. This relaunch of the Incredible Hulk was entirely successful. Norton does a great job and the overall plot line worked really well for me. I certainly did enjoy it and got a giggle at seeing Tony Stark making an appearance in the plot. How/if they link it all together will be interesting, but this was a fun action flick that I would happily watch again in the future.