My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I've waited a loooong time...

...for the chance to use this graphic! :-)

Thank you all, once again, for your thoughtful comments on my busted elbow post! I still intend to reply to each one, but life has torn me away from blogging. My elbow has been healing very well and I've been relatively pain free, except when I overuse it. I have another appointment with my orthopedic doctor (who looks all of 17) this afternoon, and hope to trade the splint for a brace that will allow more mobility and not have to be wrapped in saran wrap and painter's tape before every shower!


Well, I was naughty... because I have almost no pain, substantially increased mobility, and a helluva lot to do every day, I was using my right arm a lot. I thought I was being prudent, with any twinges of discomfort as my guide. Um, oops! I didn't do any damage, but yesterday's elbow X-rays showed very little change from last week's, which had shown substantial healing from the original X-rays - the period when pain and immobility required I hold it still and do nothing with it. The doctor asked me if I was refraining from pushing, pulling, lifting and twisting and I confessed, I'd been a baaaaaaaad girl... but with good reason, because here on Reality Street where I live, there is no way I can just lay about on the fainting couch eating vegan bonbons and watching infomercials all day! So as punishment (well, not really - this was going to be my fate either way), he put me in this hideous contraption!

(That's not my torso, of course, as treatment for a broken elbow 
at our local hospital does not include transgender surgery. 
Though if it did, this wouldn't be a bad choice for a new look! LOL)

Not exactly the brace I'd been expecting, which I imagined to be a chic, lightweight little velcro'ed number in fashionable colors that I could remove at will (for showering, mostly!) and easily put back on by myself. This thing can't get wet and requires a mechanical engineering degree (and two high-functioning hands) to take off and put on! The Spanish Inquisition would have been delighted to get a shipment of these. And I'm in it for the next four weeks! With firm instructions to not vacuum nor mop nor do laundry nor make beds nor do dishes nor lift anything...

Yarite, Doogie Howser, that'll work! 

Especially since most of what has kept me busy and distracted is our housing situation. Our landlord decided (for reasons known only to himself) to put Dragonfly Cottage on the market on March 1 instead of May 1, which is the day after our lease expires and the date he'd told us he'd re-list it when we signed our lease back in September. Since he remained unmoved by our arguments that he was failing to keep his word (not for the first time), and that house showings will be intrusive and disruptive and will impede our enjoyment of the property (in real estate parlance), we started packing up a lot of our possessions and trying to find another rental in town that will allow our three dogs. (Due diligence, among other things, had us rule out buying Dragonfly Cottage ourselves). We just missed out on two rental houses that would have been ideal, and have settled for one that will just have to do. At least it's only for a few months, there's room for most of our belongings, they're allowing our dogs, and it's close to UPS for BW. But I won't be decorating it and don't expect any posts about it! We expect to be all moved in and spending the nights there by mid-April. Meanwhile, the real estate firm's photographer will be here at 9:30 this morning, and then we'll have to hunker down like mules in a hailstorm for the showings to follow. There are bound to be plenty of looky-lous since this cottage is a familiar landmark, and given that it's on a lot with zero drainage and we're heading into mud season (5" of snow yesterday and 40ยบ sunshine predicted for today), I'll be a one-armed daily floor mopper for a while. *sigh*

We grew very frustrated and tired of looking at over-priced, shoddily built or poorly maintained (when maintained at all) houses for sale. So after a year spent looking at many homes in a wide price range and variety of locales and making a few failed offers, we have decided to build. Our builder, Todd, is one of the best in town, and he's buying the lot. So we chose the floor plan, have been making modifications and will be choosing all the finishes while he's getting the construction loan and will build it and then sell the whole enchilada to us when it's finished. His estimated completion date is mid-July. Todd is still lining things up and expects to get started in a couple of weeks, so I'll post more about the new house when things actually start happening, and since this will be our first experience with new construction I'll be photographing and blogging about the project as it progresses. It's exciting and intimidating and surreal right now, and mostly we're focused on getting through house showings while packing and moving - again! Argh. After living in one place for 19 years, I can't believe we'll have lived in 4 houses (and three storage units) in 10 months!

I won't have much time for blogging in the next several weeks ~ and adding to my woes, as of this morning I can't access my PhotoBucket account, where I have hundreds of photos and images stored! I've emailed them an SOS, and hope my account wasn't hacked or something while I've been on broken-elbow hiatus. It's always something!

In other unhappy news, two of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in town (Lulu's Cafe, which was less than a year old, and Tumbleweed, where I ate lunch nearly weekly for years) closed within days of each other this month. They were both very successful, so it wasn't due to lack of customers. Lulu's mysteriously claimed to have "received a new business venture opportunity that we couldn't resist," while the building Tumbleweed was in sold and they were given the immediate (and I mean immediate) heave-ho by the new owner(s). I never even got a chance to say goodbye to Anna and Liz, the sisters who own it, or use my finally filled up free smoothie punch card! Damn the luck. Since Tumbleweed had also been for sale we don't expect to see it re-open elsewhere and I don't know what poor Anna and Liz will do now to sell it as a business! It also put Fred the baker out on the street, as he baked delicious fresh artisan bread in the back area of Tumbleweed to sell as loaves and for use in Tumbleweed's yummy sandwiches. Boo-hoo! We ran into Fred at Home Depot last week and asked him what he's going to do, and he said (pointing to his cart full of tools), "projects!" I told him that was all well and good, but I doubted those tools would make decent bread! A third restaurant we like (a Mexican one with awesome vegan burritos and delicious sangria) is now for sale too, so who knows what may happen to that one. That'll just leave our favorite Chinese place, Chopstix. *sigh again* Guess we'll be back to eating all our meals at home again like we did when we lived 30 minutes from town! So you can bet the new house is going to have a spiffy kitchen! :-)

One last update before I vanish again for a spell - when Josie (who has suffered recurring bladder infections for years) had another "pee check" in January, she had crystals in her urine and her pH was elevated again. This time our vet had a new theory ~ an infection called ureaplasma. So we're on the second half of a month-long regimen of antibiotics (2 pills twice a day with food) to treat it, and her mid-treatment checkup last week was great. Ureaplasma is a tricky infection, as it doesn't show up on cultures, doesn't respond to the various antibiotics used to treat UTIs, and can cause secondary bladder infections like Josie's been experiencing all these years. So if we can clear up the ureaplasma, maybe poor Josie will have kicked these wretched infections once and for all! Fingers crossed!

I wish you a happy Leap Day, and hope it works a little magic for all of us!


  1. So much going on in your life right now..I hope you are going to have time to let your elbow heal properly. That sucks about the restaurants. Don't see why you should have to clean up after house viewers...get a cleaner and bill the landlord!
    Jane x

  2. What a busy time you're having. I'm sorry there's so much upheaval. The new house sounds good - can't wait to see photos - and it won't be too long before you can move into your OWN HOME (how sweet that must sound)

    Hope the elbow continues to improve and that Josie's problems will be solved once and for all.

  3. Sure hope Josie has good luck with the treatment.

    And you! Could you be leading a more complicated life? MAKE THE LOOKERS REMOVE THEIR SHOES! Sorry for the caps, but surely they can respect what is still your home. It's standard practice here, and the realtors usually provide shoe covers as an alternative if needed.

    A new house. Yikes. That will be an interesting change. Where is it located? Hope the process goes smoothly and you'll at last be able to settle into a space of your own for a while. The kitchen design should be exciting. Does this mean you've committed to staying in the area or are you still thinking of moving after retirement?

    Hope all goes smoothly and the weather surprises you with sunshine and dryness. (HA!)

  4. I read half of this post at lunch and am finishing it up now. I was excited to see that you posted!

    First of all, kudos on blogging with a broken elbow, especially with your dominant hand. I don't know how you're doing it! I'm still struggling, but that could be because I had a double break and now seem to have something torn in my shoulder....

    Anyway, more kudos on building a house! I remember you mentioning it to me a few months ago and I'm excited to read all about it once you're all settled in! In the meantime, you certainly have much to deal with. Yowzers!

    I certainly hope that this is the end of Josie's bladder issues. Poor girl! It sounds like your vet isn't giving up until its all solved, though. Lots of belly rubs to her and keep on healing well!

  5. You have so much going on in your lives right now.
    I am glad that your elbow is healing. Fingers crossed that by now you have swapped the splint for a brace.
    A pox on having to pack and move.
    Excitement and trepidation on your behalf about moving.
    And a further pox on losing your vegan eateries.
    Sending you nothing but good wishes.

  6. Jane ~ I know, and I can only hope that once moved in to the next rental, I'll have the luxury of May and June to kick back. But I have a feeling that's a misguided hope - I hear there are a bazillion, head-spinning decisions and choices to make when building a new house!

    How I wish I could follow your suggestion about hiring a cleaning lady and billing the landlord for it, but that's not how it works here. Though if he's unhappy with my (in)ability to clean to his satisfaction, that will certainly be one of my suggestions (along with the one that he shove my mop and a few other things - preferably of the pointy, serrated persuasion - up his arse!)

    jabblog ~ Thank you, "upheaval" is a good description, and a state of affairs I don't do well with. But oh my yes, our OWN HOME sounds like music to my ears! Thank you for your well wishes for Josie's and my speedy healing!

    Andrea ~ Thank you (and Josie thanks you too!)

    I know, and it seems the more I long and strive for a simple life, the more chaotic and complex it gets! What is that all about?! No problem with the all caps, I agree with your emphatic demand! While it's definitely not standard practice here (there's one realtor in town who won't even participate in any realtor open house walk-through if he's required to remove his shoes!), we were assured (without having to ask) by the listing agent (who, remember, is also the former tenant here, now our next door neighbor, and our landlord's girlfriend!) that people would be asked to remove their shoes, and the photographer did so yesterday. We also are getting 24 hour notice, and those are the only requests I had anyway (besides the, "DON'T LIST THIS HOUSE WHILE WE'RE RENTING IT!" one made in vain!)

    I already answered your questions about the new house in an email, but just for the public record (till I post about it in more detail later), it's in Sheridan about a mile, mile and a half from Dragonfly Cottage, and up on a sort of a bluff instead of down in the low spot where town is. So I'll be trading trees for mountain views, and will experience wind again - though not as bad as we did up on the mountain, and it'll mean much fresher air instead of the coal smoke in winter down here (Yuk! And you remember the nasty sewer gas smell from the park in the summer, don't you?!). Since building was something we felt we had to do rather than wanted to do, it doesn't mean we're committed to staying here once BW retires. But we'll just wait and see - the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley and all that!

    Thanks for your wishes too, I'm especially hoping for a much dryer spring than we experienced last year!

  7. Molly ~ You're so sweet, especially since I've been so awful about reciprocating with visits to your blog!

    I've sure been thinking about you, though, and am sorry to hear you're still struggling with your elbow, and now your shoulder! Not only did you experience a double break to my single, but I imagine it makes a big difference where the break happened. Mine was a clean break, and though it went into the soft tissue of the joint a bit, I don't think it did much damage (and hence no need, it appears, for surgery). After the first few days, I could use my right hand with no problem, and still can. THAT'S the problem! LOL I doubt typing is an issue, it's been more of an issue of time, focus and frame of mind. I've been feeling pretty grim and grumbly lately because of the house thing, and don't like to blog (or even write) when I'm in a mood like that.

    I'm not excited about the new house yet, because it doesn't feel real yet. But once we sign the contract and break ground and all that, I'll probably start getting pretty jazzed. I found a fun web site called Houzz a while back that has given us lots of great info and ideas (maybe too many ideas - it can get overwhelming sometimes but it's nice to see concepts we dream up in our heads actually appear in photos so we can see them!)

    Thank you for your supportive words for Josie, too! Our vet came up with the ureaplasma theory when treating another dog (Kia) who has similar issues as Josie. When she was discussing Kia with an internist at CSU, ureaplasma was mentioned and she was able to successfully treat Kia with Doxycycline. So she wanted to try it on Josie. I hope Josie does as well as Kia on this treatment!

    Meanwhile, Willow has a little lump on the back of her neck we're having to watch - it looked and acted like a blood blister, but we have to see how it responds to Dr. Gage draining it on Monday to know whether we'll need to have it removed and biopsied. I keep crying, "Uncle! Uncle, already!" to the Universe, but the Universe seems to be ignoring my pleas!

    I sure hope you feel much better very soon! Your discomfort and inconvenience have gone on MUCH too long, you poor kid!

    Ellie C ~ Thank you for your kind words of support as well, and for the well-placed poxes! LOL I did get the brace, at least, but have added a photo of it in an update, and sometimes I wish I had the splint back! Excitement and trepidation are perfect emotions that I share with regard to our move into the newly built house this summer - relief and resignation are what accompany our upcoming move into the next rental. But it sure beats homelessness! Many thanks for your good wishes! xoxo

  8. (Wagging finger) "naughty naughty Laloofah" are wearing the human equivalent of the cone of shame.
    Chris keeps telling me to STOP ...DON"T PUSH IT etc disadvantage of him working from home is that he can see what I'm up to!
    Jane x

  9. I hope you have a fast recovery of the arm.

  10. Jane ~ I'm "wearing the human equivalent of the cone of shame" - ROTFL! That's brilliant! :-D

    BW says the same to me when he's home, and of course he can help/intervene then, too. Trouble is, he's often NOT at home! But he was today, so my arm caught a break. No pun intended. ;-)

    Leovi ~ Thank you, Leovi!

  11. Happy Leap Day to you! (belated) :-)

  12. I have never seen a gadget like the one you now have on your arm (naughty Laurie by the way!), it's quite Terminator-ish...

    Did you manage to get back into Photobucket? That would be like me losing Flickr - I'd cry! But that is great news about Josie - fingers crossed she carries on infection-free.

    I know how stressed you've been over the housing issues, but just think, in less than six months it will all be over and you'll be in the house you want and won't have to deal with any more cruddy landlords - hurrah!

  13. By the way, just noticed the profile pic - lovely to see you (you're like the elusive pimpernel when it comes to posting photos of yourself) :O)

  14. veganelder ~ Thanks ~ and now, happy March!

    Barbara ~ I'd never seen one either. I was thinking Bionic Woman, but you're right, Terminator is more like it! (BW thinks it looks cool, and said it makes me look like a Transformer! Just what every middle-aged woman wants to hear as she's heading out to run errands. LOL!)

    I DID manage to get back into PhotoBucket, hallelujah! Got a very helpful email late yesterday that allowed me to change my password and get in. That was so weird, I still don't know what made my account lose its mind that way and stop recognizing my account password. But all is well now!

    I can't remember when the vet wants to test Josie again, but seems like it's in the middle of our move to the rental. I need to call her and ask again - I've just had too much to keep track of lately.

    Less than 6 months - I think I can make that! It's the moves I dread, especially since I doubt I'll be able to be of much use in the upcoming one. And I prefer to do it ourselves, as we take much better care of our own stuff than someone else will. But I can't wait till we're settled into the new home of our own. Living in a brand new house will be a trip!

    I'm glad you like my latest profile pic, which is a highly cropped version of one Andrea took when she and her husband and Robyn and I met in the park for Sheridan's first vegan meet up last summer. :-) You're right, I am almost always behind the camera rather than in front of it, which is how I prefer it!

  15. I just read your update and youch! There goes that vegan mind meld thing again because my static splint just arrived yesterday. I'm dreading having to wear it, although I think mine might end up being a bit easier to take off & put on.

    I hope that the lump on Willow is nothing. The universe needs to give into your Uncle crying, already! You've definitely put in your time as far as challenges go.

    I'm amazed that you could use your hand so much. It took well over a month for mine to not be swollen and stiff anymore, and even then I could barely move my wrist. My break must have just been more traumatizing to everything on that arm, I'm guessing?

    Take care of yourself and try not to overdo it, although I know all too well how tempting that is. :)

  16. TW! Yes, you've been a bad girl, but I still love ya. one expects the "Spanish Inquisition." Now, go find a "Comfy Chair" and be a good girl ;-). It's going to be difficult with all you have to do, but I insist....yeah, right ;-). Best to you and BW. xoxo

  17. Laurie, you poor wee soul! What a bad time you've been having: hurting your arm and being put into such a horrific-looking sling; favourite eateries closing down; health problems for Josie and Willow; and being kicked out of your nice wee cottage! Good grief!!!
    However, it's so exciting that you're goiong to be building your own home! I'm really looking forward to seeing it growing. I haven't had a chance to read blogs recently,, but I'm going to enjoy catching up with yours. I spotted some house photos... Or is that a sore subject now. :o(

  18. I'll keep my fingers crossed for Josie. Time will fly by while you wait for your new house to be built. That is an exciting adventure with a few bumps --- but in the end all should be well for you, husband and dogs. I am in the selling stage of this house. I think I am in for the long haul before it sells. It is a nice house but the folks are not in a rush to buy around here. Enjoyed your post -- barbara

  19. Molly ~ Our parallel lives can get a little spooky at times, girl! Especially if Jane is going to join in the Vegan Mind-Meld experience with us! :-) I'm not sure what a static splint is. Is it like my brace? I was wearing a splint for the first two weeks - much like a cast but it only wrapped around half the diameter of my arm and was held on with ace bandages (which were always coming loose!) And it wasn't quite as rigid as a cast, so I could bend my elbow a bit. Is that what you've got?

    WIllow's lump turned out to be a blood blister, yay! Dr. Gage drained it and then told me to watch it - if it grew back, it was a growth that would need to be biopsied, if it didn't it was a little "trauma blister." It didn't, thank goodness! She and Josie must have gotten just a little too into their playtime or something, since they like grabbing each other by the back of the neck.

    I don't know what the difference might have been for us - location and/or type of our breaks, I'd guess. Plus yours involved your shoulder too. My fingers were quite swollen for the first few days, but after he cut my splint back so my hand was much freer, that got lots better.

    I'm trying to be good, honest! But it's getting harder as the arm feels better and better and I have more and more to do. Sometimes it just feels ridiculous to let my dominant arm just sit there while my left one does all the work (awkwardly) when my right arm feels quite capable! It's even easy to forget the situation, and I find myself using it without thinking about it.

    Spud ~ It's comforting to know that I'm still lovable even when I'm bad. :-) But oh noooo - not.... THE COMFY CHAIR! At least it's not the SOFT CUSHION! ("Have you got all the stuffing up one end?") LOL

  20. Penny ~ Thank you for all your sweet sympathy for my rather challenging couple of months! :-) But at least my arm is doing better now, Willow turned out to be fine (and we're hoping Josie will too, though we won't know till her next U/A in three weeks), and given the hits our budget is taking with two rentals and a move and house construction, we really can't afford to eat out anyway - so, fewer eateries means fewer temptations! (Looking desperately for a bright side to that one, lol) And we're not really being "kicked out" of the cottage - our lease is up Apr 30 so we were probably going to be moving anyway. But it wasn't supposed to be put not the market till then, so what's causing us hardship (and pissing us off) is that the owner listed it two months early and burdened us with the intrusiveness, disruption and extra work of dealing with showings. He also abandoned our agreement (and this one WAS in our lease) of letting us continue to rent the place month-to-month for the same amount after Apr 30 until it sold or we moved, whichever came first. He changed that to requiring we sign a one-year lease with an increase in rent of $200/month. So I think we can all agree he's a stinky turd.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the new house grow too, but right now we're in the really difficult stage of scaling back our desires to make it match our budget, and we're still in the dark about some things (like measurements) that makes it hard to "go shopping!" But it's become clear from the bid estimate we got last night along with the contract that we're going to have to eliminate or scale down some of what we were wanting, which is never much fun. I hope things get a lot clearer in the coming days and we can get some great sales, promotions, and other discounts.

    The house photos you saw are not a sore subject - this place was a lot of fun in the beginning, less fun as things about it (and about our landlord and this location) were revealed to us, but we're still really glad we had a chance to live here, and I had fun decorating it. You wouldn't recognize it now - I've already taken down a lot of pictures (and spackled and painted the nail holes) and removed a lot of decor. The main bath, living room and front porch look especially sparse these days, but I still have a lot to pack up.

    But don't even talk to me about being behind on blog visits - I'm reminded of a poster I had on my wall in college that had a mountain goat standing on a rock precipice all alone and said, "I'm so far behind I think I'm first!" :-) I wonder some days if I'll ever get caught up, or if I'll just have to start all over once we're settled in!

    Barbara ~ My instincts tell me you are right about what our house-building experience will be like - that it'll seem to go by quickly, there will be bumps (there already are and we haven't even started yet, so here's hoping we're getting most of them out of the way early, lol), and that in the end we'll have done the right thing and be really pleased.

    I hope your home sells more quickly than you think it will, but am so grateful that you were out of harm's way during those devastating tornadoes! Stay safe, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for a quick and easy home sale for you while you keep yours crossed for Josie! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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