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, I cannot remember the name, that she's that you cannot buy and it sure tasted 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

A new place to journal

I was really sad when I found out that AOL was shutting down the journals but a friend of mine I met through journaling told me where everybody was going so I set up an account there... thank you Betty.


A cruise to the lighthouse...

Today I decided instead of turning left at the top of the hill after cruising through the lagoon to turn right and head out towards the lighthouse and I'm so glad that I did.  It was so beautiful out there, you can't help but stop several times just to stare at the ocean and watch the surfers.  There wasn't a lot of people there which made it even nicer.  I just can't get over how beautiful of a walk that is.  I thought that the lighthouse with a lot further than it was.  By the time we got back Brodie was exhausted but I know that she also loved it.  Next time I go I'm going to be sure to take my camera and see if somebody will take a picture of Brodie and I, I hope they don't try to run off with my camera.

When I got back Heather came over to fix me up with food for couple of days.  She brought me some chicken, some squash and some KILLER pasta salad, I think it was the best that I have ever had.  She made me a bunless hamburger with salsa, avocado, horseradish\cheddar cheese and grilled onions, it sure was delicious.  She also made me a wrap with salami, Swiss cheese, pepperchinis, lettuce and pimentos, I can not wait for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Teresa's first day...

Yesterday morning was Teresa's, my new caregiver, first day of training and I think that she is going to work out great.  She's not afraid to jump in and she's very knowledgeable about just about everything.  Unfortunately I was having some unforeseen personal care problems which is always embarrassing but she was so sweet about it.  Susana is very good at training and it's going to be so great to have a caregiver and be able to get up every day.  She also loves to decorate and I am really excited about that, I was getting worried that I wouldn't be able to find anybody to help me decorate.

Charlie and Terrie came by yesterday morning and although it was really great to see them they didn't stay very long.  They brought by the guy who did the cabnet work for this place, Larry, to measure for a portable cabnet for my computer system so I don't have to live in the corner of my bedroom to operate/play with my computer system.  Charlie brought by a drawing and it looks like it's going to be perfect... pretty much like everything Charlie does.

I ended up staying in bed and I'm really hoping that everything goes smoothly today so I can get up and out of here.  It looks like it might rain but I have never been afraid of a little rain.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Milking this journal thing as long as I can...

Hopefully yesterday is the last Thursday that I have to stay in bed.  Tomorrow we are training a new girl, Teresa, and I think he's really going to work out well.  Then all of my shifts will be full and I can get up every day if I want.  It sure is a lot harder to stay in bed living here and it was in San Jose.

Heather came over last night and said that she was marinate in a pork butt for tacos tonight.  She came over this morning and made chicken stuffed with goat cheese, some yams and some rice and of course it was very good.  When I came back from my cruise around the wharf it already smelled really good in here.  Heather was making some pork cutlets, some spinach, my favorite potatoes and a couple of wraps... she is getting very creative with the wraps and they are just getting better and better.

Whenever Brodie and I cruise the wharf we know that we are sure to meet some very interesting people.  Today we met a poet and his girlfriend, I wrote a poem about a dog with a red bandanna and since Brodie wears a red service animal bandanna he decided to share it with us.  I gave me has card that had his web site on it and we talked for a few minutes and then we came back home, I cannot wait to check out his web site.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sneaking in another entry...

Yesterday Heather came over with some mushroom raviolis and some Mexican prawns and at first she was going to make shrimp scampi and some more garlic bread but then she decided that since there was still some of her cream sauce left she would make raviolis with prawns, it was soooooo good, she also made some eggplant ratatouille.  I always wondered what ratatouille was ever since I saw the cartoon.  She also made some chicken salad and some egg salad in case I needed sandwiches before she comes back.

Today turned out to be really nice.  Brodie and I went for a really long cruise across the lagoon and the wharf.  They have a lot of the Tule grass cleared away from the lagoon and you can see for ever, it looks so beautiful.  They're supposed to be done by the eighth of this month but I think it's going to take them longer than they expected.

After I got home my aunt called and said that she was going to drive me to pick up my records from Valley Medical Center so she talked my mom into going.  I called this morning to make sure my records were ready and they were.  When we got to Valley Medical as they went around the corner there was Cindy.  I have known Cindy for a very long time but we just started to become friends in the last months before I moved.  I've never really had anybody that I consider friends and I don't know why, I have a lot of acquaintances that I love to see but none that I keep in contact with unless I run into them... I guess I just must be a loner.  I always felt really comfortable around Cindy and I can see us becoming good friends.  We talked for a while and then she had an appointment and I needed to go pick up my records.  My mom and I were sitting by the entrance waiting for my aunt to come out of the bathroom and I heard a voice "there's somebody that looks familiar", I don't know if people say that to be funny or because they truly don't remember your name.  I turned around and that was Vicky, Vicky was my nurse when I was first injured.  She is such a neat lady and so compassionate.  I remember wanting my hair wash so bad right after my injury and nobody would do it... Vicki did and I think she got in trouble for it but that's just how she is.  I found out a few years later that Vicky's aunt and uncle lived on the same cul-de-sac as my aunt and uncle.  After Vicky left I heard another familiar voice and when I turned around there was Lynn, my OT who also got me through a lot, it was so great to see her.  We got to catch up a little and she told me about one of her patients that is looking for something similar to the system I have that runs my house.  Of course I told her that I would be glad to talk to anyone and to give her my phone number and e-mail address.  When I lived in San Jose they used to bring the new injuries to my house so they can see that I not only live alone but I'm able to take care of everything through a computer program and voice activation, it used to really make me feel good.

We went to the Spirits Store by where we used to live to get me a costume for Halloween, I decided to be a Queen since I'm already sitting on a throne, my chair, and Brodie's going to be a court jester.  We met Ellen at Holders Country inn for dinner and then came on home.  My mom and I used to eat there every Wednesday because she loves the Chicken Cordon Blu, I Had key lime Prawns, Squash and Cauliflower and Rice.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Heather came over Wednesday to set me up for a couple of days, she is really busy this week but she always makes time to help me out, she is such a sweet lady.  She had some fresh cod that was just caught and man was the amazing. She made this great sauce for it and also made some chicken soup, sautéed spinach, sautéed eggplant, roasted potatoes and of course a couple of wraps to last me until Sunday or Monday.

On Friday my mom and I went to Claudius shop to get a haircut and a manicure, we were supposed to play cards on Saturday but my brother and his daughter were going to come down for the weekend so we decided to play cards on Sunday instead.

Heather came by on Friday and we decided to go shopping and get stuff to make ravioli and garlic bread.  I had raviolis in the freezer from Costco, spinach and mozzarella cheese, and Heather was going to make the sauce and the garlic bread and some green beans.  The sauce was some heavy cream, artichoke pesto and mushrooms... needless to say it was awesome.  She makes the best garlic bread too.  Stanley and Corinne arrived on Friday night but it was really late so we just all said hello and went to bed.

Whenever Stanley is here he makes breakfast.  There was some left over cream sauce from the night before so he made its own version of eggs Benedict with scrambled eggs and bacon and it was delicious.  Unfortunately I had made an appointment to interview Teresa on Saturday so we got a late start at the boardwalk, Carrie, the girl next door, and Corinne wanted to spend the day together.  The interview went really well and Teresa will start on Friday evening but by the time I finished interviewing it was almost 1 p.m.  Stanley, Corinne, Carrie and I headed for the boardwalk and had a great day.  We stopped to have dinner at a restaurant on the corner called The Ideal.  Corinne and I have been there once before and the waitress remember us, I think mostly because of Brodie.  She remembered Brodie because I told her that I always bring my Barcuum cleaner when I go out to eat to clean up after me, she thought that was hilarious.  I had clam chowder and calamari and it was pretty good.  I guess every Saturday they have karaoke and it was so much fun to listen to everybody sing, I wish we could have sat somewhere and watched it.

On Sunday we met Lee and Claudia, my aunt and uncle and Ellen at our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner and then came back to my aunt's house to play cards.  About halfway through the games I started feeling really bad so we had to leave early.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wheelchair accessible dentist...

I am really going to miss my cruise along the wharf today and tomorrow and I'm sure that Brodie will also. Brodie is up right now having a spa day with Tue Tue, they always come back so proud of themselves and I think it is so cute.

Tuesday after our long cruise around the beach I came home to rest for a while and then went to the movies with my aunt and my mom, we went to see My Best Friend's Girl.  I liked it, my aunt and I thought it was funny but my mom did not like it because no matter how good the movie is if there's bad language she just can't get past it, she didn't like the other movie Dane Cook was in, good luck Chuck, for the same reason.  Dean Cook reminds me of the character Hugh Laurie plays in the TV series House.

I found the wheelchair accessible dentist in this area this morning.  After the movie yesterday my aunt, my mom and I walked around the downtown office buildings looking at plants that will grow good in this area.  We came across a dentist's office and my aunt went up to the door but it was locked, as she turned around a lady came to the door and we asked her if she knew of any dentist offices that were wheelchair accessible and she said that she didn't but she would look into it.  She called me this morning and told me that there was one downtown, I will never get over how friendly and helpful EVERYBODY in Santa Cruz is.  I have an appointment next Tuesday.

We had a really nasty trees, five of them, at the end of the driveway.  They're called fruitless but they have these really nasty red plums that nobody could eat but they were squashed all over the concrete and they made a big mess.  My uncle Dick and my cousin Richard spent the last couple of days cutting them down and clearing them out and WOW what a difference it makes.  It brightens the whole driveway.  The fence behind it is really old and falling down, luckily I have a bunch of morning glories seeds that will eventually cover it up quite nicely.

There is the possibility that Stanley and Corinne are coming down on Friday evening and staying at night or two, I'm really excited about that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hurt baby seal...

Yesterday I had a really nice surprise.  Heather came over with some Mahi Mahi, I didn't expect to see her until Tuesday.  She made blackened Mahi Mahi and it was really good.  I have seen it on menus and cooking shows before but now I know how incredible it tastes.  She also made some squash... I can't remember what kind she said it was but it was delicious and some rice.  While she was at the store she got me some rice cream, I had never heard of it before but it was really good.  Low in calories, salt, no dairy... it may not sound like it but it was really good.  She also got me some rice creamer, both brands were Good Karma.

 I'm cutting all of my ties to San Jose so I need to find a new dentist here in Santa Cruz, one that can do ALL of the work that needs to be done in my chair.

It looked like there is a lot of good movies out so my goal this week it to go to the movie by myself, I get a little nervous because there is an elevator and I really don't like elevators and I especially don't like going into by myself but I'm going to do it.  If I print out the ticket on Fandango I can just tuck it in the side of my chair and get it out when I get there.

We were going to go through the lagoon and as I started over the boardwalk I smelled something really weird but really familiar.  As I got a little further I noticed that there with about 60 goats off to the side and then it dawned on me what the smell was, when I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains we had goats.  I guess in Santa Cruz they use goats to clear out brush and grass, they do it during the summer to keep down the grass on the Hill across the street from where I live.  Out of curiosity I wanted to be what Brodie's reaction would be because she has never seen a goat before.  I really wasn't surprised that as we got closer they started to run and she started to bark and lunge at them so I decided we'd better turnaround and get to the wharf through the park.  While we were cruising the wharf I saw the sad thing ever.  A baby seal was on the lower deck and it had several huge gashes on the side.  There was a couple of people standing there watching and I heard one of them say that a veterinarian was on the way so itmade me feel a little better and I hope the gashes work because of something a stupid person did.  I wanted to stay around and watch but I didn't know how long it was going to take and it was getting really hot, I needed to get home and take off my sweater.  I think I will go back and make sure that everything is OK, just because it will make you feel better.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just a really bad day...

I guess that every day can't be a really good day, today I'm having a really bad day and I think that everything is just closing in.  I tried to go for a walk a couple of times today but my heart just wasn't in it and all I wanted to do was get back home and sit in my room and lose myself in movies or playing games online at Pogo.

My morning caregiver starts school on Monday and is going to have to start leaving early.  Her four hours a day has already turned into six or seven and starting Monday she definitely have to leave after four hours, I don't know what's going to happen after that.  The girl that works in the afternoon seems to always have something going on and I think in the last two weeks she has only work about six hours.  My computer program, Multimedia Max, is not working.  I am not able to adjust the thermostat and I can only turn the light on/off sometimes.  Before I was always able to program new buttons and I cannot do that either.  I know it's just a bad day and everything always seems to work out and I know that this will also but right now it seems really defeating.

Friday, September 19, 2008


This morning we went for a walk with my aunt, her friend Susan, my mom and I.  Susan and her husband are longtime friends of my aunt and uncle.  Once a year they have about 40 people who meet and go camping for about a week and I have a really great time.  Susan's husband, I can't remember his name, was the best man for my uncle when he got married to my aunt 48 years ago, it has to be so cool to have friends from that long ago.

I went down to get Brodie's records from her veterinarian so I can take her to get groomed, unfortunately they don't groom dogs at her veterinarians.  After that I went down to Cedar Video to return the movie that I rented a couple of days ago.  Brodie and I cruised down to the wharf but we only went about halfway because it was kind of crowded and my chair was running out of juice because I forgot to charge it last night, it sure was beautiful though.

Heather came over and made some trout, some green beans, rice, a wrap and some tuna salad to hold me over for a couple of days, even though I shouldn't be I'm always amazed at how great everything Heather makes tastes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Triple ginger cookies...

On Monday my uncle and aunt, Heather and my mother and I went to see Burn after Reading, it was a very funny movie but also very weird.  I'm glad that I saw it but I won't be seeing it again.  After the movie Heather and I went to Trader Joe's and I got some triple ginger ginger cookies.  Next week I want to go see The Women.

On Tuesday I went to San Jose to see Tony to get my SP tube change and to get a copy of my records so I can start going to the doctor here in Santa Cruz.  I had always intended to keep the doctors that I have but it's just too hard to get to San Jose that often.

On Wednesday my uncle, my aunt, Cassie and I went to Moss Landing to have some clam chowder at a place called Phils Fish market, man was that delicious.  I also had an artichoke stuffed with crap and shrimp.  My uncle was having a craving for red clam chowder so we decided to go, I'm glad that we did and I hope that we go back again.

I joined a video rental place and rented two movies, one was called Bonnieville with Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates and the other one was the movie Juno, I liked open them a lot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Burn after reading...

Sunday was a nice relaxing stay at home, watching movies day.

Yesterday Brodie and I went for a really long cruise along the lagoon and down to the wharf, it was a lot more crowded than it usually is on the weekdays.  A lot of couples young and old, they must have taken a day off work knowing that it would be less crowded.  It was the man with his three children fishing off the side.  One of the boys, he looked like he was maybe four years old, decided that he wanted to take the fish off the hook so his father let him.  You could tell that he was afraid to touch it but I really wanted to do this when all of a sudden a bird came out of nowhere and try to grab the Fish, the little boy freaked out and jumped back and luckily the father caught the Fish again and wrestled it away from the bird.  As I was coming back down the wharf I looked over on the rail and I saw a Pelikan, I have never seen one that close so we sat there and stared at each other for a while.

Saturday on our way back from Claudia's we ran into Heather getting ready to go shopping.  She came over later that evening and made some cod, it was awesome, she also cooked sautéed spinach and this rice thing... I wish I could remember the name of it.  She made a veggie wrap at some tuna salad to hold me over until she could come back.

Yesterday she made some sausages with fennel, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, what looked like a little red onion but she called it something else and crushed tomatoes.  She also made my favorite roasted potatoes and she made some roasted eggplant, one of my new favorites.

Later on today we're going to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt's new movie Burn after Reading.  For sure Heather and I are going but I invited my mom and my aunt and uncle, we will see.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tomorrow is not promised

Tomorrow Is Not Promised

Sometimes people come into your life
and you know right away that they were meant to be there,
they serve some sort of purpose,
teach you a lesson
or help figure out who you are
and who you want to become.

You never know who these people may be:
your neighbor, child, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger
who, when you lock eyes with them,
you know at that very moment that they will affect your life
in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you
and at the time they seem painful and unfair,
but in reflection you realize
that without overcoming those obstacles
you would have never realized
your potential strength, will power, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason.
Nothing happens by chance
or by means of good or bad luck.
Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity
all occur to test the limits of your soul.

Without these small tests,
whether they be events, illnesses or relationships,
life would be like a smoothly paved straight flat road to nowhere,
safe and comfortable,
but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life
and the successes and downfalls you experience
create who you are,
and even the bad experiences can be learned from,
In fact, they are probably the poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart,
forgive them,
for they have helped you learn about trust
and the importance of being cautious to
whom you open your heart...

If someone loves you,
love them back unconditionally,
not only because they love you,
but because they are teaching you to love
and opening your heart and eyes to things
you would have never seen or felt without them.

Make every day count.
Appreciate every moment
and take from it everything that you possibly can,
for you may never be able to experience it again...

Talk to people you have never talked to before,
and actually listen,
let yourself fall in love,
break free and set your sights high...

Hold your head up
because you have every right too.
Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself...
for if you don't believe in yourself,
no one else will believe in you either.
You can make of your life anything you wish.

Create your own life
and then go out and live in it!
"Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last...
Tomorrow is Not Promised" 



Saturday, September 13, 2008

My first independent film...

On Wednesday my uncle and I decided to go to Costco to get a few things... mostly a hotdog.  On our way we stopped by the Nickelodeon theater, it's a small theater that shows independent films.  There was a movie there that we both wanted to see but the last showing was at 7:10 p.m.  We also stopped at the AT&T store and I finally found an earpiece that will stay on my ear, I have the tiniest ears in the world and I can't seem to find an earpiece that works for me so I was so excited.  I shook my head and it didn't fall off, one of the guys in the store even did jumping jacks for me and it didn't fall out of his ear, talk about an enthusiastic salesperson, after that I just had to get it.  The next stop was the bakery where we got some fresh bread and they sliced it for us, it smelled so good.  We finally made it to Costco and picked up my prescription but we didn't get a hotdog, Heather was supposed to make me dinner and I didn't want to ruin my appetite but I told my uncle I would sit with him while he have one but he decided not to.  On the way back my uncle was going to show me a shortcut but it turned out to be very steep and about three quarters of the way up my chair just stopped, I had been running around all day and the battery was getting low and the hill just really drained it so we turned around and called my aunt to come and get us.  When we got back we decided to have a liverworts sandwich with our new fresh bread and go to the Nickelodeon theater and watch the movie.  I don't remember exactly what it was called but something about a midnight kiss, it was actually a really good movie.

I have been trying to figure out a way that I could cruise around town and stop at the store or at Costco to go shopping by myself so my aunt took a camera case and one of those things that go around your neck so you don't lose your keys and part of a wallet and put it all together for me, it works great.  I have my cell phone, my ID, some cash and my Costco/American Express card.

On Friday Heather came over and decided to make me a buffalo burger with cheddar/horseradish cheese and grilled onions, some Parmesan mashed potatoes and some beets and carrots, I had never had a buffalo burger before but it was really good.  She told me that she had rented a movie that I wanted to see called Baby Mama so she let me borrow it and I returned it for her that afternoon, I also signed up for a membership at the video store, it felt really great to go and do it by myself... with Brodie of course. Friday afternoon my uncle took my mom and I to Costco... I think he was still craving a hotdog so along with everything else that we needed we got some hotdogs and went over to my uncle and aunt's and had hot dogs and Chile, I guess hot dogs are really bad for you but they taste so good.

Today my mom and I cruised over to Claudia's beauty shop and got a manicure/pedicure and then came on home.  Heather came over and made cod, this really good kind of rice/pasta stuff and some sautéed spinach, man it was good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Santa Cruz people are so cool...

Yesterday and the day before Brodie and I took a very long cruz through the park, down to the end of the wharf and across the boardwalk.  If we leave here around 11 a.m. there is virtually nobody around, it is great.  I don't think that Brodie has ever seen a sea lion so usually stop at the end of the wharf and we watched them for a while and Brodie watches them very intently and whines, I'm not sure what that means but hopefully she will get used to them.  I can't even describe the feeling of cruising down the boardwalk and watching the waves crash on the shore, the boats floating in the water and the surfers riding the waves... are they crazy?  I just feel like I'm on vacation every day of my life.

And then it really doesn't end there.  I usually come home and my kitchen smells incredible because Heather is whipping up a couple of gourmet dishes.  On Monday she brought me some halibut and she made some green beans with onions and some rice.  I heard her talking about a taco salad that she had and when my eyes lit up she decided to make that for me also, it was the best I ever had.  She made me a couple of wraps, an Italian one and a chicken one.  She is very busy at work this week and that that she has seen more chicken than she cares to see in a lifetime.

Yesterday my uncle, my aunt, my mom and I went to see the movie Bangkok Dangerous, Nicolas Cage's new movie.  I really liked it and everybody else thought that it was just okay, it was the best movie I could see out of the choices but this Friday two really good movies come out.  I'm going to start going to the movies once a week, if I cannot find anybody to go with me I will go by myself.  There is a couple of theaters here that show independent films, I have to admit I have never seen one but I hear people talk about them so I'm going to check them out.

Susana called in sick today.  She have her wisdom teeth yanked out yesterday and she is still hurting and she has a headache.  He's usually off tomorrow so if she can find a babysitter she will be in tomorrow.

I finally got my camera yesterday and I am so excited, I love to have pictures of everything... it's just too bad thatIcannot take them because I would have a blast taking pictures of the ocean, the sea lions and the lagoon.

Whenever I cut through the park a usually see my neighbor Anthony, he works for the Parks and Recreation Department.  I told him that I was nervous about going over the water part of the lagoon so he did some research for me to find out just how much of boardwalk with the pontoons will hold, he said the vehicle that they take on there way about a ton so I should be fine.  They just painted their house a really wild purple color, it looks great and I'm sure that a lot of people will use their house at the landmark to guide people to their house... "turn left after the purple house".

Yesterday I met a guy and his dog in the park, he asked if I would like to have him unhook Brodie so the dogs could play for a while.  Being from San Jose my first instinct is to be scared because somebody is being nice but I put my tongue and said "sure, that would be great" and I'm glad that I did.  He moved to Santa Cruz around the same time that I did but from Modesto.  I'm not sure exactly what he does but he works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and he said that he has a couple of chefs that work for him, as it turns out I lives the next street over from me so I'm sure we will run into each other again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Friday I was so happy to get up.  When I lived in San Jose I stayed in bed a lot more and I think I got used to it.  Basically because thing like it with an awful lot of work to get up and then sit around and do nothing, there really wasn't anywhere I could go by myself and I didn't really know how to initiate doing things.  I'm still not very good at it but I'm working on it.  I'm getting an account with Fandango that I can go to the movies whenever I want by myself.

Saturday was a really good day although kind of hot.  Brodie and I went for a walk on the lagoon and of course as soon as we get the boardwalk she decided to poop, I really get embarrassed when she does that because there's no way I could pick it up and I hate leaving it.  She's used to going to the bathroom on the concrete because that's what her dog run was so it's hard to get her to only go in the dirt or on the grass.  She's only supposed to go when I get for the release word but she's getting older she just goes whenever she wants.

Today is another day of staying in bed and I'm already bored.  I have a bunch of books on my Yahoo music jukebox account so I think I will listen to a couple of books, that sounds relaxing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Prime rib at Gilda's

The last couple of days it has gotten really hot here really early so Brodie and I haven't been able to go on a very long walk.  Wednesday evening is prime rib night at Gilda's so pretty much the old neighborhood, about 10 of us, decided to stroll down there and have dinner, it was so nice to be able to sit down and talk to everyone, usually it's standing in the middle of the street or just a quick hello as we walk by.  I think are going to try to do it once a month.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes on the days when you stay home to do nothing end up being the busiest?  Today is Susanna day off so I was just going to stay in bed and watch some movies.  My mom gave me some coffee and some breakfast before she left for Los Gatos, she was taking Rosie to his doctor's appointment.  My uncle came by to make sure everything was OK, he was up on the roof and needed a break.  After he left my aunt called and asked if I needed anything from Costco, I told her if they were going to get a hotdog I would love one... they have the best hot dogs.  My uncle came back with a hot dog and a pink lemonade and then told me that he did not get one because he was supposed to be eating better, I felt a little guilty but I ate it anyway.  About an hour later Cassie to see if I was hungry and she hung out for a while and watched Will and Grace with me before her soccer game... it was about 90° outside.  About an hour later Heather came by and we visited for a while and she brought me some Keller mashed potatoes, I can't remember what she said she put in them but they were awesome.  I heard the front door open so I looked up, there is an alarm on the doors and windows so I can tell when they are opened and I have surveillance cameras in my room.  I see Brodie walking out the front door, who thought it would be a good idea to teach her to open the door?  She has never done that before unless I go outside without her.  I think that it had been a while and she needed to go to the bathroom.  I saw her walk down the driveway so I called my aunt and pulled her to be on the lookout for a visitor, Brodie likes to go over there because they have a big yard and a lawn.  She found Brodie and started to bring herback and apparently my mom's dog also went out the front door, went to the bathroom and was waiting outside my bedroom door.  Autumn came over because she was taking Yoda, their dog, for a walk to my aunt took Brodie and went with her.  My uncle came by again with some stew that they had made so I had a bowl, it was delicious and I ate WAY too much today... I will start my diet tomorrow.

I got an e-mail from Corinne, she got her haircut and she really look a lot older, she is so cute.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The final papers...

Pat came by with a final papers to close escrow on my ex-house in San Jose, I am really glad to get rid of it.  She brought by the gentleman, Floyd, who took down the rails for the ceiling lift and did the maintenance, his son as ALS and he is painting, patching, repairing and fixing everything at my old place in exchange for the rails.

By the time they left it was already 80° outside so unfortunately Brodie and I did not get to go for a walk.  I ended up just sitting around all day and I thought I was going to go crazy, I cannot believe that when I used to live in San Jose I sat around a lot and it didn't bother me.  I can not get over how lucky I feel to live in Santa Cruz where it is so beautiful, whenever we go cruising around I just can't stop smiling.

Heather came by to hook me up for a couple of days, she made Pork loin marinated in hoisin sauce, spinach and cheese raviolis with sausage, brown rice, sautéed spinach with arugula, roasted eggplant, another chicken and monster cheese wrap... that should last me until I see her again on Thursday, I'm sure it will last me through the weekend.

Monday, September 1, 2008


On Thursday Brodie & I went for a walk to the lagoon, it is so beautiful there.  We went on the trail that led to the top of the hill past the tennis courts, past the playground and through the park.  I wanted to go a long the trail that leads to the boardwalk and wharf but Brodie started limping so we came back through the lagoon and came back home, I hope this is not an indication that she's not going to be able to go on long walks anymore because it breaks my heart to see her limp and it breaks her heart if I leave her home.  The fillets that Heather made were awesome and the sauce was killer.  I have never put sauce on anything, gravy, ketchup... I always thought it was covering up the taste of what you are eating but ever since I started tasting Heather's sauces I am addicted, her sauces just make everything tastes better.

Friday night was the last night of the concert on the boardwalk and the band that was playing there was The Tubes, of course I didn't notice until after I was already in bed, I would have loved to have seen the concert.  Next summer I'm going to go to every concert that I can now that I know I can do it by myself, with Brodie.

On Saturday my uncle and my mom made a HUGE pot of chili and we were supposed to have some friends over to play cribbage.  At was 7:30 a.m. and Susanna wasn't here so I gave her a call on her cell phone and she said that she called and left me a message at 5 a.m. to let me know that she wouldn't be in because she wasn't feeling good.  After she said that I remembered my cell phone waking up and somebody leaving a message.  My uncle came over to tell us that one of the couples that was going to come over was sick and not going to be able to make it so I decided to just stay in bed and they could just play without me.  They decided to wait and do it on Sunday instead.

After I got up on Sunday I took Brodie for a walk and we decided to try a new route, this is going to be our new routine.  I came home and Heather was cooking.  I had talked to her yesterday and I told her that I really needed to start losing some weight and she said that she would help me out.  Tonight she made this awesome fish, bustle sprouts and some kind of grain thing thatis supposed to be really good for you, it looked like couscous and it actually tasted really good.  She also made me a big salad and a wrap for tomorrow.  She's coming back over tomorrow to set me up for a few days and hold me over while she is at work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A short visit and a killer dinner...

Stanley and Corinne left on Sunday afternoon at my mom went to the San Jose Airport to pick up David Sunday evening.

On Monday I had an appointment in Watsonville the wound care clinic and while I was there I met a doctor who specializes in spinal cord injury.  She was there because she was trying to open up a wound care clinic at the hospital where she works.  As it turns out she works at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.  I had heard of her through a girl I met in my support chat room on AOL and I had written her name down so I could look her up, small world.  She is going to set me up for a wheelchair evaluation so I can get a different driving system for my new chair.

On Tuesday Heather came by to visit for a while.  She was tired of thinking all weekend so asked us what we would like for dinner, David suggested something with chicken, we decided on chicken Parmesan.  Heather brought over two of the biggest chicken breasts I have ever seen in my life, she cut them in half and they were still huge.  She made the best chicken Parmesan, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and salad any of us have ever tasted.  My uncle and aunt came over for dinner and I still had leftovers for two days.

When we got back home David was working away on Multimedia Max, I still was not able to adjust the thermostat or turn off the lights in my bedroom.  Monday evening we went over to our new favorite Mexican restaurant to eat and my uncle and aunt stopped by to join us.

I dropped my new chair off yesterday so they could fix the leg rest, apparently when my nephew was helping me move it he ran into a parked car.  I have had a problem with it beeping a lot when I turned it on and believe it or not it actually happened while the chair was in the shop, usually it never happens when you want it to.  The guy called the manufacture and they told him how to fix it and he thought he fixed it up when he was taking it out to the van it did it again so they decided to keep it at the shop, the guy said he could not look at it until next month so luckily I have my old reliable backup chair.

Charlie, Angie & Parker came by today, Parker is getting so big and he is so cute and happy.  Terri needed a new car so they picked one out yesterday and wanted to take it for a drive so they drove to Santa Cruz and stopped by.  Unfortunately I stayed in bed today so I couldn't go outside and check it out but from what I could see in the surveillance cameras it was gorgeous.

Yesterday was Alex's, the guy across the street, birthday so Heather fixed him a filet, mashed potatoes, salad and I'm not sure what else.  Tonight she came over and brought me a filet for tomorrow night and made the killer sauce to go over the top, I tasted it and it really is over the top.  She also made her red roasted garlic potatoes... I can not wait for dinner tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our final weekend with Corinne


On Friday Corinne and I cruised over to Ross to see if we could find a birthday present for Jack, the little boy across the street.  It is really cool cruising around with Brodie on my left and Corinne standing on the back of my chair, I'm just sorry I couldn't get a picture of it.  We were invited to a birthday party for him on Saturday.  I don't really know him very well and I also don't know what to get seven-year-old so I decided to make him a card and put $10 in it, he loved it.  After we got back Heather called and said that she had some time and she was going to come over and make a couple of dishes for us.  She brought over some  Sea Bass and made some of her killer lemon, butter and caper sauce, some roasted garlic potatoes, sauteed spinach and some rice.  She also made some wraps to last us through the weekend.

The Gin Blossoms were performing at the boardwalk on Friday and I really wanted to go.  I was hoping my brother would come down on Friday evening but he had something to do so we ended up going over to my aunt's house and watching The Bucket List and it was a really good movie.  Corinne said that she would go to the concert with me but I really could not see her sitting still for an hour or two, however long the concert was but it was really nice of her to offer.

I had a lot of fun at the birthday party, Autumn and Alex have some really neat friends.  Carrie, by massage therapist, was there and it was really nice to actually get to talk to her, usually she is telling me not to talk and to relax.  They barbecued hot dogs, as bad as they are for you I LOVE them.

Today what kind of a lazy day.  I got up and Stanley fixed breakfast, Stanley came last night to take Corinne home, and we just kind of what a couple of movies and sat around.  My mom is leaving later on to pick David up at the San Jose Airport, he will be staying until Wednesday morning.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Running into old friends...

Yesterday Corinne and I decided to spend the day at the boardwalk.  I felt kind of bad and I wish that she had somebody to go on the right with but she said she didn't mind going by herself, the only ride she wanted somebody to go on with was the log ride.  Eventually she did find somebody so I think she got to do everything that she wanted to do.  We ended up coming home early because I was getting overheated, in the late part of the day there's just no shade at the boardwalk.  I was waiting for Corinne at one of the rides and I heard somebody say "hello Tammie" I looked over and saw a familiar face but I didn't recognize who she was, she had sunglasses on.  She said " It's Kimmy Anderson".  When I was in eighth grade and living in the Santa Cruz Mountains we were really good friends.  We have had to eighth grade reunions and I got to see her and talk to her again.  She is such a nice lady and I hope we run into each other again.  She was with her daughter and I tried to talk them into going on the log ride with Corinne but her daughter didn't want to go at the time.

Running into old friends...

Yesterday Corinne and I decided to spend the day at the boardwalk.  I felt kind of bad and I wished that she had somebody to go on the rides with but she said she didn't mind going by herself, the only ride she wanted somebody to go on with was the log ride.  Eventually she did find somebody so I think she got to do everything that she wanted to do.  We ended up coming home early because I was getting overheated, in the late part of the day there's just no shade at the boardwalk.  I was waiting for Corinne at one of the rides and I heard somebody say "hello Tammie" I looked over and saw a familiar face but I didn't recognize who she was, she had sunglasses on.  She said " It's Kimmy Anderson".  When I was in eighth grade and living in the Santa Cruz Mountains we were really good friends.  We have had to eighth grade reunions and I got to see her and talk to her again.  She is such a nice lady and I hope we run into each other again.  She was with her daughter and I tried to talk them into going on the log ride with Corinne but her daughter didn't want to go at the time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fun and comfort food

On Sunday Corinne and I decided to cruise downtown, Corinne loves walking around downtown and looking at the shops , a true shopper in the making.  We decided to go have lunch at Mobo's but by the time we got there they were close to clean up for the dinner rush.  They open 11:30 a.m., close at 12:30 p.m. and then open up again at 5 p.m.  We wanted to find someplace where we could sit outside because the weather was so beautiful.  Right on the corner there with a little Italian restaurant with a patio so we decided to give it a try.  EVERYTHING on the menu was very expensive and it made Corinne really nervous but I told her to just not look and order what sounds good.  I had seafood ravioli, shrimp and crab, with prawns and Corinne had some kind of walnut, gorgonzola raviolis.  They only gave you about six but they actually were very good, bill was about $42 so although it was a really good experience we definitely won't be going back there again.

On Monday I had two appointments in San Jose so that it was pretty much shot.  The first one was with Tony to get my SP tube change in the second was just the general appointment.  They are going to get together with an OT and a wound care specialist and try to help me pick out the best mattress/bed frame for me, my mattress is getting louder and louder everyday and I fear it's just a matter of time before it gives out.

Yesterday Corinne and I cruised over to Ross, I LOVE Ross.  I found a couple of oversized men's sweatshirts, I like to cut them all the way up the back so that if I get cold in my chair it's easy to just slip them on.  Corinne found a really pretty sweater dress, gray and purple, and we got her a gray camisol and some leggings... she really looked cute in them.  When we got home Heather was in the kitchen cooking.  She made the meat loaf that was covered with bacon, sautéed spinach, zucchini with red bell peppers, green beans and of course EVERYBODY'S favorite, her red roasted potatoes.  She also made a couple of wraps, one with chicken, avocado, spinach, pepperchinies and cheese and the other one has Black Forest Ham, cheese, spinach and pepperchinies.  We ate in the kitchen but it felt like we were in heaven, everything was so wonderful.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A nice surprise for the weekend...

Last Wednesday my mom and I took Helen out to lunch at the Santa Cruz Café.  Helen was a good friend of my Grandpa's and lives in the same retirement community where he lived.  My Aunt takes her out for breakfast once a week and she really looked over to it.  Since my aunt is on vacation and Monday was Helen's birthday we decided to take her out.  She has had a really interesting life and I really love hearing about it.

On Friday my brother, Stanley and his youngest son, David showed up and we all decided to go to the boardwalk for the day.  We cruised around for a while and then I went to go find a place to sit and wait for the concert, they have a free concert every Friday and yesterday was Papa Doo Run Run and they were AWSOME.  They are a band from Cupertino who my brother said that he remembers playing at our high school dances when we went to Los Gatos High School.  That was the first concert at the boardwalk that I actually sat and watched and I will that really be doing that a lot more.  The area for the wheelchairs is not really clearly marked, in fact the sign says "seeing and hearing impaired seating" so we had a fine of one and asked them and they told us that this was it.  It was a couple of hours before the show and I figured it would probably be crowded so I decided it and wait.  There was a lady and a scooter there and she have about five books sitting around her and she told me that they were all save, I didn't think that this was right?  There was no other place to sit but my brother talked her into scooting the books over a little bit so I can squeeze in.  I didn't really think it with fair that I had to wait two hours and that five people could just come up at the last minute and have a place to sit, apparently I wasn't the only one because several people seem to be upset that the lady could put books on the ground and nobody else could sit  there.  During the concert they announce that they had made a new CD and that they were selling hooded sweatshirts so I asked my brother to go down and get one and he brought back one that would signed by all of them including the gentleman that signed for the hearing-impaired, that was a really great surprise.

The morning Stanley made breakfast and Janet, Robert, Corinne, Zach andanother one of Roberts friends showed up and they all went to the beach.  They will be back tonight and then they will go home tomorrow except for Corinne, she is going to stay here for a week.

When Elaine was here I remember we will walking along the boardwalk and up ahead I could see a guy juggling tennis balls, Brodie can not resist tennis balls, so I said to Elaine "lets see how fast Brodie can distract this guy".  As we walked up to him Brodie very intently started watching the tennis balls and everybody around started laughing.  I was very surprised that it did not break the guys concentration but I can see his eyes darting around nervously so we walked away... it really was funny but I think you had to be there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Loosing our certificate...

Jerry came by on Sunday for a visit and it was really great to see him.  He stayed for a while and we caught up on each other's lives.

David was going to come for a visit on Sunday but he didn't make the plane so we decided to make it or another weekend, either this weekend or the next.

Today Brodie and I cruised over to the boardwalk.  Her behavior is getting worse and I'm afraid that pretty soon I will be able to bring her with me anymore.  She's not aggressive because she has never hurt another dog she's more anxious, she just wants to sniff them but it's not acceptable behavior for a service animal.  I was in the security office getting a tag to put on her caller and I could hear her growling so I turned around and sure enough it was the dog standing outside, perfect place for her to act out.  The only thing I can think of to do is to go to petsmart and by a parking caller and see if that works.  When I was coming back I noticed a sign on the wall of the veterinary clinic that she gets her toe nails done that said they do dog training, that is another option.  The only other option is to just leave her at home but unfortunately she knows how to open the doors and if I lock the doors she will scratch up the doors and the walls.

Here are a few of the pictures that Elaine took when she was here in July, I really do need to get my own camera.

JohnPatrick called me tonight to tell me that he just got back from signing up for Boy Scouts, he was so excited.  I love talking to him because he is so honest, when he is that he just says "I'm going to hang up now because I'm out of things to say"... why can't grown-ups do that?

There is a multiple fruit tree right outside of my window.  The guy that used to live in the house stage right of me apparently took a bunch of seeds from different fruits and planted them altogether, the result looks like one big tree that has peaches, plums and apples.  I'd love to sit here and watch the squirrels and the birds play and eat the fruit, I never thought I would have anything like that just right outside my window.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I conquered the railroad tracks...

I miss my uncle stopping by at least once a day with one of his crazy stories of what happened to him during the day.  My aunt and him went camping.  Once a year they get together with a bunch of friends and meet in the Fort Bragg area and it sounds like they really have a lot of fun.  My uncle is the kind of person who can go for a walk and come back with anywhere from four to 20 people that he just met for dinner, everybody that he meets is a friend.  I miss seeing my aunt every day too.

On Wednesday Jordan came by to carpet the stairs going up to my mom's place, he did a really good job.  The stairs turned out to be a lot more slippery than we thought it would be.  The dogs slipped a couple of times and I was afraid that somebody else would so we decided to add a runner, it looks great.

A couple of guys that my uncle met at Costco came by to give me a bid on laying some concrete.  It was an open area at the end of the driveway and it's really hard to back out because the driveway is so long so we decide to add a slap of concrete to turn around in the driveway.  They gave us a really good bid and start the next morning, they did a great job and it looks fantastic.  My uncle just went to Costco to get a hot dog and a soda.

On Thursday my mom went San Jose to play cards at the park where we used to live, whenever they are somebody short she fills in.  I thought about just staying in bed because nobody was going to be around but I've decided to get up because the lady was here to clean the house and I like to get out of her way.  I decided to cruise the lagoon and when I got up to the top of the hill I made myself braved the railroad tracks and I went on over to the boardwalk, I really felt great.  I seen a couple of college guys and it looked like they were interviewing people so I tried to cruise around them but it didn't work.  They stopped and asked me if I was rich and I said "absolutely not" and they asked me how much money I thought it took to be rich, I said $50,000... I am really not good at spontaneous questions, I think that is obvious.  They both laughed and Brodie and I went on our way.  When I got back Heather and Cassie were in the kitchen and something was smelling awfully good.  Heather was making roast potatoes, sautéed spinach and tilapia as well as some wraps with some prosciutto, I have never had prosciutto before but I tasted really good.

Yesterday I had another appointment with Rehab Specialist that I missed, I think this is the third one in a row because stuff just keeps happening.  This time we got lost but when we called they said that they needed the chair without me in it, unfortunately I was already in it so that wasn't going to work so I told them I would call them when I got home and reschedule AGAIN.  I really hate everything about this chair.  I have had it for six months and only been in it about six times, only one I had to.  Whenever I turn it on its start beeping and then shuts off, I have no clue why it does but it instantly sends me in to a bad mood because I know how my day is going to go.  People keep telling me that I just need to get used to the chair and everything will be fine... how am I supposed to get used to something like this??  I should have just gotten the same chair that I had only the 2008 model.  I will keep trying.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Goodbye to Château La Salle...

The dishes that Heather makes are so gorgeous and I was thinking last night I should start taking pictures of them and putting them on my journal, describing them just doesn't do justice.

When Heather was here yesterday she left some salmon, the cooking instructions and this killer sauce, some sautéed spinach and some brown rice for Cassie to heat up for me.  I think last night I forgot to mention that Heather also brought over some cappuccino cheesecake, I never was much for sweets but this cheesecake was AWESOME.

I really do not like commercials but if I had to pick one that was my favorite I would have to say the stain remover commercial, I don't know which product it is for.  A guy comes in for an interview and he has a stain on his shirt so while the guy is interviewing him he cannot hear what he is saying because all he can hear is the stain muttering really loud, no matter how many times I see this commercial it still cracks me up.

My uncle and aunt have been running around all day, actually for about a week, getting ready to go on vacation.  Every year they meet a big group of people around the Fort Bragg area and from what it sounds like they just have a great time, they both really need it.

I finally got an offer on my house in San Jose that sounds pretty decent so hopefully I will finally be rid of it, right now I'm still paying space rent and I've really anxious to just get rid of it and not look back.

I was talking to Carrie, the massage therapist, and somehow the conversation got around to relationships.  She told me that she has been with her husband for I think she said 17 years and she said that he always has been and still is her best friend, I think that is so cool.  My cousin and her husband are the same way, they just never get tired of each other.  I have had very few relationships and I have never felt that way.  I think I always worried too much about what they think instead of being myself and feeling comfortable enough say or doing anything, I don't know if I have really felt comfortable enough with anybody to feel like I can say anything I want, I'm afraid to hurt anybody's feelingsor say the wrong thing.  I wish I could find somebody that I felt that comfortable with.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Losing my weekend morning caregiver...

On Friday evening my weekend morning caregiver called and said that she went into the hospital for some tests and they decided to keep her overnight or more tests.  They thought that they had a tubal pregnancy but it turns out that it was not a tubal pregnancy but she is pregnant, about eight weeks.  Her and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for a while so I am really happy for her but that means that I need to find another morning weakened caregiver.  She said that her sister would come in and work for her on Saturday but since she worked for me all week I didn't think it was fair to have her work on the weekends as well so I told her not to worry about it and I would just stay in bed but that I have plans for Sunday so I did need to get up, her sister came on Sunday.

Sunday I went to the art and wine Festival downtown with Cassie and her mother, they are really fun to hang out with.  Of course the first thing that we did when we got there was eat.  They had a stuffed artichoke booth and that sounds good to all of us so we stopped there.  I had a shrimp and crab stuffed artichoke and although it sounds kind of wierd it tasted really good, they put thousand island dressing on it.  They also had shrimp and crab french fries, also with thousand islands dressing and garlic french fries... I just love Santa Cruz.  I had just eaten a big bowl of fruit so I wasn't very hungry but I wanted to try it.  Cassie's little brother dropped his on the ground so I gave him mine.  I also noticed that they had calamari and chips so I was going to try that and then funnel cake before I left but I just wasn't hungry, the heat was starting to get to me.  I did buy a really pretty skirt, a top to match and a scarf and then we decided to go downtown and check out some stores.  I had already taken off my longsleeve shirt , of course I didn't put any sunscreen on, and I can already feel my neck and my shoulders burning so I decided that I had better go home.

Sunday evening we went out to dinner with Lee and Claudia, Bill and Vernetta and my uncle and aunt.  The Chinese food that would usually go to was closed so we tried a Mexican restaurant downtown, the food was awesome and everybody loved it so we found a new place to eat.

Heather has been really busy with weddings, reunions, company picnics and other occasions so I haven't seen her very much, she said it's always like this during the summer.  She made me a really good stew, some wraps, salads and a bunch of other stuff to hold me over.  She came by tonight and made me a filet with a shittake mushroom sauce, the filet was so tender it just melted in my mouth... it was like eating silk, eggplant with cauliflower and her famous roasted red potatos and herbs that I love so much.  She's going to be busy for a few more days but she said she would come by on Wednesday and make salmon and spinach for me, sometimes I just feel like I live in a fine food restaurant.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chair repair... NOT

Yesterday I had an appointment at rehab specialist to fix my new chair, I missed my appointment because we were running late.  I found out a couple of months ago that when it was getting moved here my nephew crashed it into a parked car so the right leg keeps falling off.  I also don't like the joystick so I need to get that change also.  Basically I don't like the chair but everybody keeps telling me that I just need to get used to it.  What I should've done was got the same chair that I have only with a different wheel set up because now I am stuck with this one for five years, I hope it goes by fast.  I rescheduled for next Friday at a later time.

Last night Esmeralda, my weekend morning caregiver, called and said she went into the hospital for a routine checkup and ended up staying overnight for more tests, I really hope everything is OK with her.  So today I'm going to relax and stay in bed.

Tomorrow we're going to go for dinner at a killer Chinese restaurant that my uncle found and then come back here and play cards, I love playing cards.

I cannot believe that I missed John Waite last night at the boardwalk, I have been waiting to see his concert.  My mom said that she could hear it upstairs and it sounded pretty good.  Next Friday is the lead singer from Santana and there's a rumor that Carlos might be there, I am definitely not going to miss that one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu...

My cousins wife called me this morning to see if I wanted to meet her at the theater to watch The Dark Knight again and then go to Mobo's for sushi, today was the first day I ever went to Mobo's and did not order sushi and I was not disappointed.  I ordered one of those Japanese boxes and they put a little bit of everything in there.

When I came home my house smell wonderful, Heather was cooking in the kitchen.  She is going to be very busy at work until Monday so she was making a bunch of dishes to hold me over, she is always so thoughtful.  Tonight for dinner she made Chicken Cordon Blue, zucchini and green beans and roasted red potatoes and for dessert she'd made cheese, Apple and onion wraps.  She also made some beef stew, sauce or raviolis and sausage, chicken salad, a couple of her great wraps... so much stuff I cannot remember.

Pretty much yesterday and today I was playing phone tag with Dr. Martinalli trying to get some pills for Brodie.  I finally got hold of her just that I went to bed so she is going to leave them at the front desk so I can pick them up tomorrow morning.

Wound care Center...

Sunday was a real relaxing day, I was exhausted.  My body is not used to staying up in the chair 14 to 16 hours a day but I would and will do it again if given the opportunity.

Yesterday was my first appointment at the wound care Center and everybody was so nice and so knowledgeable.  I always dread when I have to transfer out of my chair for any reason but they really knew what they were doing.  They gave me some new ideas and some new products and the prescription for a Roho seat cushion because the doctor did not like the J2 deep cushion that I have on my chair now.  I also had some blisters around my SP tube probably because of rubbing and my scoliosis brace so he gave me some skin barrier pads to try.  I got home and Heather brought over some vegetable crapes with a cream sauce and made some brown rice and some guacamole, it sure was delicious.

Today after I got up I had Susanna take my van to get washed, it had not been washed since I moved here and I was embarrassed to let anybody see it.  When I lived in San Jose I got it washed about every two weeks to a month, it sure looks good would it is clean.  I remember the first time I took it to get cleaned they put ArmorAll on the floor and I slid around in the van for about a week before we could wash it off... it's kind of funny NOW.  Heather came back over and made some killer tacos, black beans, salsa and some more guacamole.  She's going to be busy at work for a while so she's coming back over tomorrow to make some chicken Cordon Bleu, stew, chicken salad and enough salad to get me through the week, I feel so spoiled eating all of this fantastic food AND I'm losing weight.

I noticed when I got up this morning that Brodie's bed was soaked so I called the vet and they're going to put her back on her not leaking pill.  They had to move her urethra because whenever she would urinate and stand back up the urine would get caught in her thighs and burn and inch because of her muscular pitbull thighs.  After a while she started leaking so they gave her some pills but took her off because the leaking stopped, here we go again.  They put her on some antibiotics because of itching and that's when she seems to be the most so hopefully it's a temporary thing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old friends and reminiscing...

Elaine and Sue got here early Thursday and it was SO great to see them both.  We spent most of the afternoon reminiscing about our 10 years together working at Xicor, Elaine was my boss and Sue worked in payroll.  I started out as the custodian and loved my job but after about two years everyone kept bugging me to apply for the mail coordinator job, I didn't want to because there was a schedule and it seemed like a lot more responsibility.  I also filled in for the receptionist when they would call in sick and I did some of their brakes and lunches.  There was three buildings, two of them two-story so people would often ask me to go by stores and pick up office supplies for them since it was right around the corner from the mail room.  After the mail coordinator found another job and I filled in for a couple of months while they were trying to find somebody, I found out later they were trying to find anyone, I decided to take the position.  It actually was a really fun job, it was kind of a glorified people visiting job that I got paid for.  I would go to the post office in the morning in the company truck and pickup buckets of mail, usually anywhere from six to sixteen, bring it back, sort it and then deliver it it.  I really started to enjoy it and could see myself doing it until I retire...obviously that didn't happen.  We all went out to dinner, Chinese food, and then Elaine and Sue taught us how to play this new game that I think they called 31 and we had a blast.

On Friday we decided to go to the movies to see mamma Mia.  I thought it was a good movie.  I am not much for musicals and I heard that it was a shame to cast Pierce Bronson in a a single role but in my opinion I did okay, I loved the parts where he did the deep voice singing.  After the movie I want to take them to Mobo's or sushi but it was closed to get ready for dinner.  I was trying to act like I knew my way around Santa Cruz so I took them a long way around to Mobo's, when I stepped outside the theater if you were to look straight you could see the restaurant.  We came back and got something to eat and they decided to go to the boardwalk and walk around and listen to Blue Oyster Cult, Every Friday They Have Two Performances of a free Concert.  Elaine invited somebody else that used to work at Xicor named Kelly and she brought her daughter and her daughter's friend.  I got along really well with Kelly and come to find out she lives in Watsonville, about 10 minutes away, so we plan on getting together and doing something.  Everybody was getting cold and tired so I decided to call it a day and come back here.  About 1:30 a.m. I heard Elaine and Sue screaming, apparently my uncle came over after his poker game to say hello... my uncle almost always comes over at the end of the day so we can catch up on daily activities.

On Saturday everybody woke up late so we just kind of hung around and did some more reminiscing.  My uncle came over and we followed him back to this house and he made us egg and bacon sandwiches and then we decided to come back over here and play 31 again until dinner.  My aunt made a killer dinner, pork chops with sauerkraut that we put over mashed potatoes, a wedge salad, asparagus and grilled mushrooms... that is on top of the fruit and vegetable trays that she made us to snack on while we are playing cards.  After dinner Elaine and Sue took off and I came home to go to bed, I was exhausted but have the greatest time.

When we were on the boardwalk one of the patrol officers asked me if I would mind taking my service dog to the office to get a tag put on her identifying her as a service animal.  They told me that they are having a problem because they are no longer allowed to make people prove that their animal is a service animal and they are having to give these tags to anyone that asks for them.  Apparently now you can take any animal with you and claim that it is a service animal.

While I was rolling down the boardwalk, where only service animals are allowed, I came upon a couple twice with a pit bull (my service dog is part pit bull so I have no problem with pits) as soon as the pit saw my service animal he crouched down, ready to attack.  When we walked by he lunged barking and growling and the owners were laughing.

I agree that sometimes it is not easy to produce the certificate.  I hang one on the back of my head rest, one in the side pocket of my wheelchair and I have one in my backpack.

Everybody of course absolutely love my newhouse, I am so proud of it.  I think I love it more every day and I cannot wait to show it off to everybody, it is perfect in every way.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight

Actually I guess in life just in general it helps a lot if you have a sense of humor.

Of course when Heather was here on Sunday we were talking about food and I mentioned that I LOVE twice baked potatoes and my mom loves Chiken Cordon Blue so guess what we are having her dinner tomorrow night??  She keeps telling me to think of things that I have a craving for to e-mail them to her but I have no idea how to top the ideas that she already has.

Heather made this awesome Spinach, Apple and raisin salad with an unbelievable dressing and my uncle brought over some chicken soup that he had made so I had it made for dinner.

Hopefully we are on the road to solving Brodie's itchy but problem.  Now that I'm settled in I can take her to Petsmart once a month and then have them immediately put on her advantix and we'll going to try changing her diet and see if any of that helps.

After Brodie's appointment Cassie and I went to Longs to get a couple of things and I decided to go to the movies to see The Dark Knight, it was a great movie but for some reason whenever there is a distraction in the movie theater I lose my concentration on the movie.  About halfway through this movie a guy came in with a huge backpack, a large soda and a large popcorn which he proceeded to drop all over the floor because he had way too much stuff in his hands.  As he sat down next to me, of course, I noticed that he hadn't turned his iPod off and I could hear music.  After a while he jumped up from his chair and started frantically looking around and apparently he couldn't find what he was looking for so he decided to take a cigarette lighter out of his backpack and use it as a flashlight.  After a minute or so of this he decided to go out to the lobby and bring back somebody who had a flashlight.  Luckily they finally found what I was looking for, it looked and sounded like a box full of marbles, maybe it was his candy?  There was two guys sitting in front of us all the way to the right and one of them got up and came over and asked me if we were OK and asked what the guy was doing, I told him we were fine and he was just looking for something.  I thought that was very sweet of the guy to come and see if we were OK, nothing like that would have ever happened in San Jose.  Luckily my aunt and my mom want to go see it because of course I was paying attention to all of the commotion and lost track of where the movie was, I don't know if that's a dyslexic thing or just a being nosy thing.

Claudia came over and cut my hair and gave me a manicure, I really love the way she cuts my hair.  We decided to all get together next Saturday and go out to dinner and come back here and play Cribbage, I LOVE that game... and I LOVE food.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stuck in the bathroom...

A sense of humor is a MUST when you have a spinal cord injury.  This morning everything was going great, I was ahead of schedule and it looked like I was going to be on time for my appointment at Rehab Specialist at 10 a.m... wrong.  After I took my bath when I try to come back through the hall way to get dressed the lift broke and I was stuck in the bathroom with just my shower cape on.  I knew that I had seen my shower chair in the garage so I sent Susanna to look for it and she found the shower chair but not the seat, the shower chair is basically no good without the seat.  My mom called Bill from West Coast mobility, luckily he lives not too far from here.  He ended up spending the other Bill, there are two Bills that work there and he fixed it within a matter of minutes.  Didn't want to be in the lift when he got here so I had Susanna bring my wheelchair into the bathroom and she put me in there and covered me up as good as possible.  Needless to say I went back to bed for the day.

Yesterday Heather came over and she ended up making some outrageous enchiladas.  she told me that she wasn't very good at making Spanish rice but I think it was just about the best I ever had, the enchiladas definitely where.  She found some little baby zucchinis and squashs, they were SO cute and tasted great.  It were only about 3 inches tall, I have never seen them before.

Brodie and I went exploring and it seems like I'm comfortable with getting a little further every time.  My uncle was telling me tonight how to get to Costco, Petsmart, Cost Plus and a couple of the theaters in this area.  I wanted to go see The Dark Night or Mamma Mia on Sunday but Heather told me the theaters are a mad house so it would be best to not try it, I'll take Cassidy and go this week.

Brodie has been scratching like crazy so I made her an appointment for tomorrow morning to see if there was anything that they can do.  They gave me some medicated shampoo that I tried on Sunday and I thought it was going to be OK but now I can't tell if it's better or worse.  I upped her Benadryl and she takes omega-3 pills and I just don't know what else I can do, it just breaks my heart to watch her scratching and biting.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shared Adventures...

Shared Adventures :: A Santa Cruz, CA Nonprofit Organization

When I moved here I switched from Sprint to AT&T so unfortunately I had to describe over the phone what I need it as far as a cell phone... it has never worked before so why did I think it would work this time?  Everything has been so busy around here I haven't been able to find anyone to help me set up my phone so of course by the time I noticed it was the wrong phone I only had two days left to find the corporate AT&T dealer to exchange it, I found when in the Capitola Mall.  I was on the telephone twice that day and went to a singular store here in Santa Cruz to find out what my options were because of course I had no idea where the paperwork got to.  They told me over the telephone that they could not fax or e-mail the information to me so I was panicked.  My aunt Kathy showed up and she was only on the phone about five minutes and they not only e-mail me a copy of the invoice but they were holding a phone or me at the Capitol Mall, how does she do that?  Of course when I got there I think I got the most unfriendly person in Capitola, my problem REALLY seem to be getting on her nerves.  Luckily my every member of the name of the person that she talked to and as soon as I gave her the name she became a little bit more friendly and after a little bit more hassle she exchange the cell phone for me.  When I got it home and try to program in everything that I needed I noticed that there was no USB cable to get the information off of my computer, why was I surprised?  Luckily the cingular store here in Santa Cruz should have the USB cable.

Today was the day on the beach in Santa Cruz with Shared Adventures.  I was really looking forward to going but Cassidy went to San Jose to visit with her grandparents, there will definitely be another one.  It looked like it was going to be cold this morning but it turned out to be a really good day, it is generally foggy here and tell us about noon and then it clears up.  If I have my phone working I would have tried to go by myself but it's still a little nervous about going that far by myself.  I know that in a couple months I will be cruising around by myself with no cares and I cannot wait to get to that point but it does help to have an accessible cell phone.

Monday I finally get to get my new chair fixed, they called me from Watsonville and the parts are in.  The driving mechanism is still not working very good for me on going to find out what their other options are.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New people seeing my " stuff"

Yesterday was a nice relaxing day.  Heather came over and visited with me for a while and made me dinner for a couple of nights because she is going to be very busy at work.  She made Tilapia with avocado and corn on top, it was great.  She also made some rice and spinach with garlic.  She also made some tuna salad and some chicken noodle soup.

Carrie came by for my massage and brought Autumn from across the street to help her turn me, Autumn is an emergency room nurse at Watsonville Hospital.  They are both really good friends with Heather and they were teasing me about having my own private chef... I hate saying that but I love hearing it.

Autumn got me an appointment at the hospital to see a wound care specialist so I can get some advice about how to treat and prevent pressure sores.  Hopefully the doctor can tell me the best mattress for me and give me some positioning tips, I have pretty much tried everything I could think of and asked everybody I've ran into.

I really wanted to keep going to Valley Medical and Moorpark for all of my appointments and treatment but now I just don't know.  Although I know and like everybody there they no longer have a wound care specialist and Watsonville is only about 20 minutes away AND really close to The Wooden Nickel.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Getting doctors appointments out of the way...

Most of my day today was spent in San Jose, I had three appointments.  The first one was that Moorpark and it was really great to see everybody that worked there, it has been a long time.  My second appointment was that Valley Medical to see Tony to get my SP tube change and the last one was to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.  I ran into Cindy at Valley Medical and I got to visit with her for couple of minutes and then she had to get back to work, she volunteers there.  I met her through the support group and we got to be a little bit closer right before I move to Santa Cruz.  Cathy, the lady who cleaned my teeth, said that my teeth looked really good and I have not been there since October.  She said that I needed to floss more but she always says that.  I'm glad that I got all of that done because now I won't have to go back to San Jose until August then I get to start all of my yearly appointments, not really looking forward to those.

I have an appointment with the wound care specialist at Watsonville Hospital on Wednesday.  I have been having a lot of problems with skin breakdowns and although they don't get really bad they are constant so I want to figure out what I can do or how I can position myself in bed so they are not so constant.

Tomorrow I'm going to take my Bluetooth viser talk over to the singular store so they can make it so I can use voice activation and then I will fill a lot more comfortable cruising around by myself.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm back...

Technology is so cool... when it is working.  When it is not working you sure do miss it and wonder what you ever did without it.  Actually the only thing that was wrong was my microphone had a short in it but that meant that I could not do ANYTHING.  I tried to fix it myself which meant taping the court in different directions so that the table that has my keyboard and mouse looked like a spider web but that only worked for a while, Dan the computer man sent me two different microphones and trying to be really careful.

Every Friday evening they have a free concert on the beach by the boardwalk at last Friday was Eddie Money and I was really anxious to go but of course it would not happen.  My celing lift was getting stuck and I ended up in bed all day waiting for the repair guy to show up.  Luckily he is really good about answering pages when it comes to repair and he lives here in town but of course I didn't get fixed in time to make the concert.  Bill, the guy who installs and fixes the lift system, has a son who is a quadriplegic so he knows how frustrating it is when your equipment is not working.  I love talking to him because he is so genuinely carrying and I always learn a lot from him.

The weather has been really nice here and I have really been getting out a lot, it is so great to have everything within rolling distant.  My computer went down one day and I wanted to take Brodie to Pet Smart to get a bath so I just cruised down there to see if they had any openings, of course they didn't have one that day so I made one for the next morning and it worked out great.

I have been a little leery of going around by myself because they're always this something that could happen to leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere so I found a hands-free Bluetooth visor adapter and tomorrow I'm going to take it to cingular to have them sync it for me and I will be good to go.  I'm just going to get on my chest strapped and I will be able to call anybody by voice command.

I found a new caregiver to replace Christina, I really liked her but I can just tell that it was not going to work out.  A week ago Friday she showed up with about 4 inches long nails and really could not do much of anything and then on Sunday she didn't show up at all and only called three hours later because her dad called and tracked her down.

Heather came by today and said that she had a surprise for Cassy and I for dinner... LOBSTER.  It was the best lobster I have ever had, she also made this killer white rice and green beans with mushrooms.  For dessert she made caramelized onions with nectarines and brie cheese wrapped in a tortilla, I would've never thought about putting those together but it did taste and incredible.

Tomorrow I have three appointments in San Jose.  The first one is at Moorpark to get my Depo shot and then to Valley Medical to see Tony and get my tube change then to the dentist to see Cathy and get my teeth cleaned.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beautiful weather...

Today was a pretty good day, a lot cooler than I thought it was going to be.  Claudia came by to do my manicure and pedicure.  She has her own shop at a senior retirement complex and loves it.  Years ago I remember I used to come here and we, my mom and I, would get our haircut at her shop, I met lots of really cool people there.  I remember they had a parakeet in the lobby that actually talked, I guess you can teach them to talk but it takes a lot of work.  I met Claudia through my uncle and aunt, one of their awesome friends.

Cassie came by and we strolled down to Long's and Trader Joe's and on the way back we stopped by the Chefworks, obviously a store that has everything you need for your kitchen, for something to do... I just love Santa Cruz.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

No-show caregiver...

At the end of the cul-de-sac where I live you can turn right to go downtown or to the boardwalk, if you turn left there is a VERY steep hill that I have not been able to brave yet but I found out yesterday that if I go all the way to the end of the lagoon and then up the hill, not nearly as steep a hill, it takes me to the top.  It takes a lot longer that the view is very beautiful.  On the way up the hill there are some tennis courts, a playground for children and the dog park.  It is so great to be able to just leave your house and explore.  My only fear is that something's going to happen to my chair and I will be stuck.  Now that they passed a law against using cell phones in the car there are a lot of hands free Bluetooth speakers that you hang on your viser so I ordered one to see if I could find a place to put it on my chair.

Yesterday was a great day.  I took Brodie over to get her toenails cut and went over to my uncles where my cousin was having a barbecue.  There were some people there that I already knew and some of his friends I met a new ones.  My cousin barbecued flank steaks and corn on the cob and of course they have lots of fruit, vegetable, salads and snacks.  My mom brought over some more peach cobbler and of course everybody loved it.

I must be terribly hard on microphones because mine keep shorting out, I hope that it not just me.  The microphone for the voice activation software clips on to my shirt and since I have no hand function I have to yank it off and sometimes when I'm in my chair I drive away forgetting that it is clipped on my shirt and yank it out.  Right now I have the cord wrapped around my keyboard, this is the only way it will work.

My morning caregiver did not show up this morning nor did she call.  Her father was here, he does the yard work and owns a cleaning company that cleans here, and noticed that her car wasn't here so they started to call her and when she didn't answer he called her cousin, who also works here during the week, to fill in for her.  I felt bad because she works AND has three kids so I just told her to stay home and I decided to stay in bed for the day.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July weekend...

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because it involves three of my favorite things...fireworks, barbecues and friends.  Autumn and Cassie came over this morning and invited me and my mom to their house for a barbecue.  I have met a few of Autumn's friends and they are all very impressive so I was looking forward to meeting some more.  I asked them if I could bring something and they said I could bring desert, I guess I forgot that today was a holiday and pretty much everything is close but luckily I had a couple of boxes of Krusteaz peach and Berry cobbler mixes, both of them killer, so my mom made them and they were a hit.  Alex, Autumn's husband, was barbecuing flank steak, chicken, beans, garlic bread, corn on the Cobb and they also had a couple different kinds of salad and fruit... it was quite a feast.  Unfortunately I couldn't stay and visit very long because the heat was already getting to me, I hate not being able to regulate my temperature.  I usually hold out as long as I can and it takes me a very long time to cool down but I just wanted to say and visit with everybody.  Cassie came back with me and put me to bed so that she could go out with her friends.  I couldn't really go anywhere anyway because Brodie freaks out when she hears the fireworks so I can't take her anywhere and I cannot leave her here alone.  Next year I will be smart and get her a tranquilizer from the veterinarian and maybe I will be able to speak out.  I tried to bring her with me to the barbecue but they have a cat and so Brodie was just acting foolish so I just brought her home where she proceeded to jump all over my couch and scratch the doors, since she can open the doors it doesn't do much good to try to take off without her.  My mom and the thing here to watch her.  I really can't blame her because she is a service dog and her job is to stay with me, protect me and help me if I drop anything or if I'd need to reach sonething.

Earlier Brodie and I took a walk to the lagoon, they finally opened it back up after all the fire scares.  The last couple of days I think it has been a little too hot for Brodie so I think we will have to start going earlier but it is a BEAUTIFUL walk... or roll.  I haven't gotten up the courage to cross over the water yet but I'm working on it, I'm tryingto go a little further each time.

Yesterday was a pretty relaxing day.  My morning caregiver and the massage therapist were not feeling very good so I just stayed in bed.  I thought it was going to be a boring day but I don't think there will be any more of those since I moved to Santa Cruz.  Terrie, Angie and Parker came by for a visit.  It was Terrie's birthday and Angie and Parker brought her to Santa Cruz for the day and to eat at Mobo's, everybody for miles around loves Mobo's.

Tomorrow Rich, Vanessa and the kids are having a barbecue at my uncle's house so my mom and I were invited, this time I'm going to bring Brodie so that my mom can go.