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the cow jumped over the moon

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a year ago

A year ago, Robert had his heart valve replacement surgery.

Here he is, about a month ago, at the local record store (owned by our pal Aaron).

a year ago
A carefully placed album :)
Thank goodness all went well, and is well!  I don't know what I would do without him. Thank goodness for ACA/Obamacare - if we didn't have it, he wouldn't have gone for a regular check-up (he had no real symptoms; but we had insurance and a low co-pay), and when his valve would have failed, it would have been catastrophic! We'll see what the powers-that-be replace ACA with - but I'm not feeling very hopeful. Thanks to everyone for being supportive, esp Denise who was with me all day long that very very long emotional stressful day.

And look!  The crocuses are popping up in our front yard.  It's been oddly warm for the past week.

a year ago


And a pretty sunset last week at the old reservoir in town:

a year ago


blah and #tbt

Not feeling it this week - been sick, stressed, disgusted and grouchy. So I'll blab a bit. Tired of violence and hatred, tired of blow-hards, tired of financial stress and being ill. Just plain tired.

My husband is healing well - and that's a positive.

I really enjoy Sally Wainwright's shows. Recently realized that she did The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard. We just binge-watched season 2 of Happy Valley.

blah and #tbt

Still thinking about being 24 in '83. Which is probably not helping my mood much. Here's a few other pictures. "Youth is wasted on the wrong people" says an older man in It's A Wonderful Life.

blah and #tbt
#TBT - At the time, I blew this photo up and replaced
my (horrible) high school graduation photo with this photo
at my parents house.
blah and #tbt
'83 or '84  at college - I must have had a rough night

I'm semi-lurking in a Facebook group #100mugsin100days. I thought it would be good for inspiration and motivation - mostly it just makes me anxious. Carpal tunnel and arthritis make throwing difficult some days.

I need a nap, and cake. Robert just baked a coffee cake so away I go. My crabbiness is annoying me.

voting and vertigo

This morning, vertigo woke me up. That and a migraine kept me down and out most of the day but I had to go out to vote. Gosh, vertigo is weird.

Although I am a registered "Independent", I am able to ask for either a Democratic or Republican ballot - of course I requested the Democratic ballot. This vote is for the presidential primary, and for other primary state/local government officials, and some local tax levies.

I triple checked my ballot before it was cast.

As many of you know I live in Ohio - nothing was going to keep me from my civic and moral duty today.

Oddly, our governor is the least worst of the remaining Republican candidates running for the presidential nomination.

Update:  Watching the news, because you can cross-over and vote on the ballot for another party, a LOT of Ohioan Democrats are voting Republican and against Trump by voting for Kasich (our governor.) I actually thought about doing that, because like I mentioned above, he is the least worst.

Another Update:  Kasich won our state - trumped Trump.

first week in march

We recently watched Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, and all I have to say is - what? (apologies to anyone out there who is a huge fan), though there was something about them that I did enjoy. I'm reading an Inspector Gently book now - to see if I'm just 21st century jaded. I'm also getting annoyed with television shows recently - for instance, I cannot wait until we are done with the last episode of Downton Abbey (we DVRed it) - I think it jumped the shark years ago. EDIT:  We just watched the final episode - very well done! And The Walking Dead, which I normally enjoy, is bugging me too. In case you all think I'm a total curmudgeon (I'm only partly curmudgeon!), there are some television shows I find enjoyable. Like Life in Pieces and Brooklyn Nine Nine. Guess I need some light-hearted laughs.

And speaking of TV, we found out that we now get NBC Sports Network and oh dear - we watched soooo many soccer games this weekend. But that's really okay for now as you know I knit while I'm watching TV, and it is nice to sit and relax a bit with Robert. What else?  Oh, we went to the hospital again on Wednesday because Robert is having severe muscle/neck/head pains probably due to how he's holding himself since his surgery. The PA (physicians assistant) told me to stop following him around all the time - that there is really nothing I would be able to do if he fell, anyway. I'm in such fear of R falling down and splitting open his sternum, and I would trail along after him in the house.  He had a few tests done at the hospital, and I waited in a pretty waiting room at that hospital.  Another good thing about his check-up on Wednesday - now that he has been given the go-ahead to walk around freely, he can also cook a little.  Whoot!

first week in march
See, the hospital can do nice-looking waiting rooms.
The PA gave him the go-ahead to have massages, so we went on Friday (our pal Scott has his office in a building overlooking the square) and while R was getting his massage, I took this photo of the square, and then went to the post office. I don't think I have posted any photos of the so-called winter we have had this year. In fact, I think we had the most snow this winter on Friday, and by Sunday all of this snow was melted away. Hey, I'm not complaining.

first week in march
Friday: early March snow in the town square
I was asked to teach a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute once-a-week for six weeks pottery class to some high school students from Cleveland. Now to figure out what high school students like. I haven't taught that age group in a long time. This class starts in two weeks - better get researching.

Went back to work (at the non-profit) on Tuesday after some vacation time/being with the husband, so I took some photos in the bathroom there. Linked to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog for her Visible Monday post.
first week in march
Second-hand top (long-sleeved shirt and vest) and very very old scarf from somewhere, 
and matching brown specs.I had a good hair day and had to document it.

leap day monday

leap day monday

It's been a weird a weird warm winter, but I'm not complaining - after the past two, this has been a nice reprieve.
leap day monday
Photos from Friday:  Leaving the hospital/Nearly home/Home!
Robert is doing very well!  I cannot believe a week ago I was waiting with Denise (she was with me for a big chunk of the nearly 12 hours I was there while Robert was having the surgery - thank you sweetest friend!) in the Ugliest Waiting Room Ever. Waiting for a loved one while they are in surgery is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. But I have to say,  modern medicine is amazing. And he and I are both very very happy he is on the mend and home.

leap day monday
Denise waving - the cheeriest thing in this, the Ugliest Waiting Room Ever.
During the week, Mom and SisterM came to visit Robert at the hospital, then they took me to lunch! Then BrotherC brought over some home-made soup on Saturday! We have received soo many well wishes from family and friends and here on the blog and on FB!  We also had an on-line fundraiser that our dear friend Mike did for us - what a help that has been and will be since Robert will be unable to work for 2-3 months. People are awesome.  

Revving back up to go back to work at the non-profit tomorrow. Re: pottery teaching -  I'm not teaching any full classes this month, so will try to get more private students and do a few evening open studios.

I love the way this un-bisqued piece looks - need to figure out how to get this look as a finished piece. I'm going to pop out to the community arts center to unload a kiln and glaze this piece in a few minutes as R is taking a nap.

leap day monday
Sgraffito-ed tumbler
I'm applying for a spot at the famous and most amazing Hessler Street Fair, which will be held in late May. I have been a vendor there years ago and wow were those times a blast.  I'm applying because 1) well, it will be fun (especially if I can get a space next to Joan) and most importantly 2) having this scheduled will kick my butt in gear to get moving and do more art! 

quick husband update

Hello all! A quick update to let everyone know that Robert is doing very well!  He had his open heart/aortic valve replacement surgery on Monday, and it's looking as if he'll be leaving the hospital on Friday!!

I'll write again once he's home and all settled in.

quick husband update
Photo taken the day before he went in to the hospital

smash!

Stupid me - I was wrapping up some of my pots to take home (I fire at the pottery classroom) and somehow I knocked this one over :(  Arghhhh!

smash!

Still working out what glazes to use. Below is a mosaic of a handful of recent pots/mugs glazed with Spectrum Shino glazes I have been playing around with - some I really like, others I'm having trouble with.  I really need to make my own glazes one of these day-zes.

smash!

I made some citrus marmalade/jam on Sunday (blood oranges, regular oranges, and key limes), and I just winged it. I simmered everything together for about a half hour, then scooped out a lot of the rind so that it wasn't too bitter, and then added the sugar. Turned out pretty good (that is, I didn't cook it too long and turn it into fruit leather!) Whoot!

smash!

Robert had a dental appointment yesterday outside of our town - two teeth were extracted. Ouch!!Hopefully now his heart surgery will be scheduled. In the waiting room, there were some annoying people talking about how President Obama has ruined our country.  I was reading Wodehouse's Leave it to Psmith, but I could hear them talking and I wanted to say something, but I'm not as clever as Wodehouse so I kept my mouth shut.

how to pass time while at the hospital

Robert had a heart catheterization (and a bunch of other tests) on Friday. To keep calm, I loaded up a bag full of stuff to do while I was waiting for him. I felt like I was 'mommy-ing' myself (remembering when I would pack up things to keep my son occupied when we were on a road trip or visiting). The bag included a book, my knitting (I'm knitting more caps for monks), and my old school Nintendo DS.

how to pass time while at the hospital


We arrived at 11:00 a.m. This is pretty much what I did while waiting and trying not to stress too much...
  • knitted - while he was in pre-op, I finished a cap but didn't cast on another because I wanted to...
  • play my DS, until I was called by the nurse to see Robert off to his heart cath and I went back to the waiting room and then I... 
  • started to read - until a smelly woman (I feel bad writing this out as I don't want to be mean or disrespectful) was sitting near me in the waiting room and I had to leave, so I...
  • walked the halls and tried to find a spot to get cell phone reception, and then I... 
  • walked the halls some more, and went into the bathroom, where I took out the scissors from my knitting bag and cut my bangs.
  • Going back to the waiting room, I was able to read and also play my DS for a bit more, but I was...
  • a little hungry so I went to the cafeteria and was surprised at how cheap everything was, so I purchased a brat with grilled onions and peppers, topped with mustard. They didn't have Coke Zero but they had the Pepsi (boo hiss) equivalent, so I had that instead, and while I was just finished eating...
  • the buzzer went off so I went to see how Robert was doing. Hospitals now give you those buzzers like they give you in chain restaurants, to tell you when your table is ready, or in this case when your loved one is out of surgery. 
He had a few more tests and we left the hospital around 4:30.  All the tests that had immediate results looked good. On Monday, we're going to see one of his doctors to hear about the other results, and on Tuesday he has a dental appointment for surgery clearance. Then they'll schedule his open heart/aortic value replacement surgery.

In other news, since I was able to extend both the bisque and glaze firings, this test bowl looks pretty good - only a few tiny tiny pinholes, and no blistering or pitting!

how to pass time while at the hospital

how to pass time while at the hospital

It's Super Bowl Sunday!! I'll probably be rooting for the Denver Broncos - mostly because I had a fondness for them back in the day. But honestly, we'll just enjoy watching the game and be happy with whichever team wins.

health insurance

As some of you know, Robert needs heart surgery. We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what health insurance plan we can afford and what covers the doctors that he needs. We had signed up for a plan at the beginning of re-enrollment, but changed it today (re-enrollment was extended - whoot!) due to the fact that the surgeons his cardiologist wants him to use aren't on the previous plan.

Thank goodness for ACA (Affordable Care Act)/Obamacare, and thank you so much for the best customer service rep at our Ohio health care exchange.

This new plan is more expensive, and our finances will be VERY tight this year - even more so than last year, but not as bad as 2014. But Robert's health is most important.  He will be off work for probably two months.  Another thank you for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) - he won't lose his job for having this surgery.

Any guesses for which political party was instrumental in both FMLA and ACA? And today, President Obama vetoed a bill (voted on by nearly all Republicans and one Democrat) to REPEAL ACA!  Between this and his executive action regarding more background checks for guns, I am very thankful for our President!

Oh we finished the puzzle - he did most of it, but I halped! (Two pieces missing - we think Sephora ate them):

health insurance



First things first:  It has been two weeks since I smoked my last cigarette and I'm doing this cold-turkey.  It's awful. I'm miserable. I'm sleeping a lot and bitching a lot. It's not so much that I'm craving a cigarette - it's that I'm having a hard time dealing with the lack of nicotine in my system.  I cannot focus, I'm tired, I repeat myself even more than usual, I'm bitchy, I'm tired..you get the picture.

I didn't start smoking until I was 40 years old.  Stupid, huh?  And I usually only smoked a half a pack a day. So you would think that I wouldn't have so much trouble! But today I am better than I was yesterday, and yesterday was better than the day before, etc etc etc. Still, it's not happening fast enough. I just want to be back to normal, whatever that is. But I am determined - I won't crack and smoke again. I just won't.

Second, today are the last sessions of the summer pottery classes I am teaching. I'm not offering any more until September, and looking forward to doing my own work in this next month and a half, especially lidded jars and textured oval bowls.

These colors bowls are ones I made for demonstration purposes in class
Oh and third, I really want a Dairy Twist this very moment.  I have been eating a lot lately, but I'm not too worried about it. I figure that once I get over this nicotine withdrawal, I will work on losing the few pounds I have put on these past coupla weeks.



a year agoblah and #tbtfirst week in marchleap day mondayquick husband updatesmash!how to pass time while at the hospitalhealth insurance

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