Wow. O.O

Feb. 28th, 2009 12:04 pm
ar_wahan: (Default)
As you might have inferred from a close reading of yesterday's post, I am rather reluctant to turn to pain medications. I'm not sure why this is so. Perhaps it's because I have to take so many "maintenance" meds and supplements every day, I don't want to pop yet another pill.

Last night I picked up Alison (my friend and UU minister, for those just joining us!) at her home and we drove down to the UU meetinghouse to set up an event called "Just Desserts." This is where people new to us and perhaps curious to know us better, are invited to a gathering with, well, desserts and beverages, to meet longtime members, board members, and the minister, and to share a little about ourselves and our spiritual journeys. (That's why I was baking brownies and cupcakes over the last two days.) It was a nice gathering. Of course, Alison and I had to stay to clean up afterward. Then upon heading home, it was so incredibly foggy that I could barely see the center line in the road, and we had to creep along at 15 mph in a 35 mph zone.

As as result, I didn't get home until after 10 p.m. In a classic example of "eat dessert first!" I had not yet had dinner. Spouse hadn't either. I assembled a Boboli shell pizza and salad as planned, and we had dinner around 10:45. Very Parisian of us, no? :)

Because it was so late, I didn't want to take the muscle relaxant and then wait at least an hour as instructed before taking the CVS version of Tylenol P.M. So I just took the Tylenol P.M.

OK, now to explain the subject line. Chronic stress -- including physical stress -- can elevate blood sugar in anyone. I have diabetes. In the last week or so, I've woken up with high blood sugar after a night of back and side pain -- somewhere between 181 - 288. I can correct it with a bolus from my insulin pump, and since the pain wears off during the day, the rest of the numbers are OK.

I think the tension of being in court all day on Wednesday aggravated the pain that night and Thursday night. On Friday, I woke up with a record high fasting blood glucose: 341. That's what prompted me to finally pick up the phone and make an appointment to find out if there was anything I should be doing about what I thought was just "pulled muscles."

So this morning, after sleeping like a log until 9:30 (I'm usually up by 8:30 on weekends, and even earlier lately, since lying around in bed is painful), my fasting blood glucose was... *drum roll* . . . . 78!!! (That's well within the normal range, for those who don't know such minutiae.)

*headdesk*
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
As the newsletter editor of my UU Society, I knew that our March 8 guest speaker will be Tyler Boudreau, author of Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine.

I mentioned to my minister today over lunch that I was impressed that we'd managed to get him as a speaker -- that by coincidence, when I was on Amazon.com yesterday or the day before to order something, his book was prominently displayed on the screen that Amazon was showing me, even though I was actually looking for rice cookers!

Link here )

Well, imagine how surprised I was to learn that this author not only asked to speak to us, AND lives in our area ... he's been attending services recently!

I had no idea . . .
ar_wahan: (Default)
Some of our UUs (the minister, president, members of board and social justice committee, maybe others) were planning to attend a fundraising banquet Jan. 27 for The Amherst Survival Center, an organization founded by one of our members years ago as a food pantry, place for people in need to get meals, household items and clothing with no questions asked (or paperwork requirements), and now a free health clinic a couple of days a week. I was planning to attend.

The bad news: The event is sold out.

The good news: The event is sold out.

:D

(Our minister snagged two of the last tickets so she and her spouse can go.)
ar_wahan: (Default)
The last few days have been busy but good.

Yesterday I went to the New England UU Conference, came home with a lot of ideas about Social Action projects, plus a new bumper sticker and a tee shirt! :P

Today our friend Stan, state senator, gave a GREAT talk (not sermon) about how we should redefine what it means to be a patriot. I will post once we get link from our UU church web site. It was brilliant. I gave the greeting and led responsive reading. Our choir (self included) did a terrific job on two South African songs (in Zulu, which was a bit of a challenge).

Afterward, I went to a sale at Penney's and FINALLY was able to put together (from "separates") a black pantsuit with pants with belt loops (so I can attach insulin pump via belt) and a jacket. I haven't needed "business wear" for 13 years, and having the pump makes wearing dresses difficult. I can put it in a pocket on a half slip, but if it beeps at me during a meeting, that means I have to hike up my skirt and fish in the pocket and haul it out to turn it off, which would hardly look professional! The "garters" that supposedly hold it around one''s thigh tend to slip if one is wearing pantyhose, and even without pantyhose, the elastic does weaken, causing the whole thing to slide down toward one's ankle. Not a good solution. So I prefer wearing the pump on my belt, if I can only get belt loops!

And speaking of pumps ... I got a notice Saturday that had me steaming. My Deltec Cozmo insulin pump's four year warranty expiring. "After your warranty expires, we will be unable to replace your current system if a problem arises." Meaning, unless I go back to using long-acting insulin by syringe, I'm dead. Literally. OK. BUT ... the only way out of this is to PURCHASE A NEW INSULIN PUMP. I was kindly provided the paperwork to fill out and fax in to Deltec, which will very kindly "contact your insurance company to verify your benefit coverage, then get your new CozMore insulin technology system to you right away."

That's nice ... but that means I'll be having to pay about $1100 out of pocket for the pump. When my current one works fine.

What a racket. >_

Relieved

Oct. 12th, 2008 08:36 pm
ar_wahan: (Default)
Ellen was given transfusions and hopefully is on her way home. The whole Emily Dickinson weekend is done. We had half (20) the guests we aim for (40), but as a smaller group, they BONDED more than in the past, and lingered after the very good UU service (with a good speaker on Emily Dickinson in place of the "sermon") far longer than they have in the past. Meaning, they'd made connections and didn't want to part.

If we can figure out how to get maybe 20-25 people here and up the fee (HEY, maybe I can to a LJ Poll to see what people think!), we can continue to do this -- as long as C. and H. are not part of the leadership.

Just thoughts to myself.
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
One of my favorite columnists sounds like a UU who doesn't know it.... especially at the end.


http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/story/708323.html
ar_wahan: (cooking)
I was making [personal profile] daily_rant 's tomato pie tonight. It calls for various shredded cheeses and mayo to be mixed up and spread on top. I was  mixing the stuff and tapped the  spoon on the edge of a glass mixing bowl that I have had for many years to get some of the glop to come off, and the top two-thirds of the bowl exploded, sending shards flying in all directions!

Spouse came out and helped me clean up. As far as I can tell, none of the glass ended up in the cheese mixture, and the pie is now baking. But yeah, that was weird . . . . Was it perhaps because I had added bacon to the recipe? Is this a kosher kitchenette god? Or a god who is just pissed at not being called a full kitchen god? Just kidding, there. But if you don't see me post ever again, send the cops after a disgruntled kitchenette god.

Now that the drama is over, off to make a salad . . .
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
On my way in to do more work on the kitchenette makeover this morning, I stopped at a building supply store to see if I could get something for the base cabinet that was at least complimentary to the countertop that Anne had donated to this project (see last post). She had gone online to the company that had supplied it several years ago and could find no corresponding color code, so she assumed it had been discontinued.

I went in with the cut-out section of the counter (the "donut hole" that was left after the guys made a hole for the sink last night). I was flipping through all the samples of laminate on the key-chain like things they're on, and found one that would work with it. Kara, a young saleswoman in the kitchen area, agreed with me that it would do. Then I asked about the finish. Was what we already had matte, semi-gloss, gloss, what?

She didn't know, and asked another employee walking by. He said without a second's thought, "That looks like 60" (means nothing to me). Then he took a second look at my donut hole, and returned almost immediately *with a sample of the identical laminate!*

I know this sounds silly, but I was jumping-up-and-down gleeful.

Then I continued on to the meetinghouse and was able to remove the stain dribbles that had threatened to break my heart when I'd seen them last night! Took a load of demolition stuff to the dump, then went home, checked email from clients, managed to catch a few folks I need to interview to schedule interview, then took Samurai out to a late lunch and a little grocery shopping. She bought a bedspread for college while I applied more polyurethane to cabinets at the meetinghouse.

Then we went back to order the counter before the building supply store closed. It will only be $139. I'd worried it would be a lot more; I am donating it, FYI.

One thing to understand: There are two entrances to our sanctuary. One is through the front door. The other is through the kitchenette, which has looked beat up and horrid for ages. Since this entrance is right off our parking lot, for many this has been their first view of our UU Society, and of UUism in general.

We won't get the counter in time for our first service of the fall, but a month from now, we are going to look *fabulous.* :D

I know Anne took "before" pictures. I'll ask her to send me some, as well as the "afters."

Our UU crew rocks!
ar_wahan: (Default)
I was at the UU meetinghouse Saturday moving in my old kitchen cabinets . . . on Monday carting in tools I own, moving stuff around, setting up dropcloths and beginning to stain a new sink base . . . hanging around Monday checking work-related email via laptop until I could apply a second coat of stain  . . . back in the morning Tuesday to apply polyurethane and help with other odd tasks . . . back again late Tuesday afternoon to polyurethane the sink base before a meeting . . . and back again at 4 p.m. today to help move the new cabinetry into the kitchenette. (I was supposed to be there this morning to paint, but said NO, I had client work to do. As it was, the painting coordinator had found more warm bodies to help.)

I actually did very little real work at the meetinghouse this afternoon/evening, other than to mark out where a hole needed to be cut to get the kitchen sink plumbing into the base (it does not come in through the open BACK, as one might assume. The pipes must enter from the LEFT SIDE. It is UU plumbing, after all! :P)

I did do some grunt work stuff and bought Chinese takeout for a crew of seven at my expense. Set up some card tables and chairs, found plates, napkins, etc. Anne, the woman leading this operation (a professional contractor) had been panicking that we did not have enough volunteers for tonight, so I'd sent out an email offering to bribe feed any volunteers. We had seven people (myself, Anne, and five guys) show up. I got us all fed for only $42! And I came home with leftovers! I'm impressed. I thought I'd be spending a lot more.

My old wall cabinet has been mounted on the wall, and looks terrific . . . except.  Last night, after the meeting on the Iraqi refugee family resettlement issue, I went upstairs to hastily put on a second coat of stain on one side of the cabinet (half of this side had never been stained, since it had been butted up against another cabinet over the fridge). The key word here is hastily. The cabinet was lying on its side.  I was in a hurry, as Alison was waiting to walk out to the parking lot with me (some women have been mugged there at night).

I didn't realize until this evening that some of the stain I put on last night had dribbled over the edge onto the door side (even though I had wiped it with a rag . . . it must have dribbled before that). It made horrid snakey lines. I was crushed -- I'd worked so hard on this project! But Anne has assured me that we will find a way to fix this.

The old base cabinet, which had sagged some over the years, has been straightened with support braces to its former squareness. The doors even close properly now!  Whee! I'm going to go to local building supply place tomorrow to see if I can order a new countertop to go with one Anne had donated for the sink base (it had been a "misorder" a few years ago, and she'd had it lying around. The exact pattern is apparently no longer available from that manufacturer, but I bet I can find something that will work with it).

In between all of this, I managed to do two phone interviews and write a brief fundraising appeal, and deal with another client emergency this morning (not my fault -- another case of this particular client changing its mind yet again).

And . . . I'll likely be going back tomorrow, unless clients jerk my chain. I have to fix those stain dribbles or I will go mad.

That's all.
ar_wahan: (Default)
... while trying to get Samurai equipped for Life in a Residence Hall (apparently "dorm" is no longer PC), is to help demolish the horrid kitchenette off of the sanctuary at my UU meetinghouse (it's used to prepare social hour snacks, coffee, etc.). I had offered two old kitchen cabinets that had been in our basement since our remodel in 1992; they were WAY better than the ones in place. I'd also purchased/donated a new sink base to match them. On Saturday, I went down to help some other volunteers rip the old and gunky cabinets out. Today I went back down to stain the new sink base to match the ones I had donated (I am VERY LUCKY -- the original owners of our house had custom-mixed the stain, and had left me the formula!!!! So it's three parts Minwax Early American, one part Golden Oak and one part Cherry).

I was there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, not just staining, but doing other stuff as needed.

I am beat. I've showered and made dinner, sort of (basmati rice, Cholesterol Chicken (my name) from supermarket -- the kind in bags that is "crunchy" a la KFC, and a bagged salad supplemented by stuff from my pitiful garden).

OK, 'night all.
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
I just received another email. This one was from the UUA, announcing the formation of the Knoxville Relief Fund in response to Sunday's hate crime directed at the people gathered for a joint service at the Tennessee Valley UU Church.

I know one of you was interested in helping these two congregations. Maybe others are, too. Here's the link:

http://www.uua.org/giving/donatenow/117168.shtml
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
Email just in from a member of our church's stained glass committee:

"Much as I would like us to have a relaxing summer, having made the best decisions for preserving our glass, something has come up that impels me to again contact you. Someone has lobbed a projectile at the middle (angel) section of the Tiffany. They broke though the Plexiglas and there is now a small hole and cracks outward from the hole, although the Tiffany stained-glass is not further damaged. The projectile evidently missed the glass by an inch and hit the wood frame."

Here is photo from last year or so of what she is talking about:


And of course, last night was my last board meeting as president. Guess I'm not done yet....
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
I just read that the Rev. Dr. Forrest Church, a brilliant thinker, preacher and writer (on topics UU and not) is terminally ill. I heard him speak about his new book, So Help Me God, back in Concord (MA) in September. The newest UU World has a piece from the editor saying that when he visited the UUA headquarters in December, Church's cancer was in remission.

It's returned, has spread, and he's terminal.
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
Julia Ward Howe called for a nationwide rally (well, actually, kind of a protest strike, if you read the words closely) of mothers in 1870.  (And yes, she was a Unitarian. :P) We read this as a responsive reading this morning. It is as timely now -- it not more so -- than it was then.

MOTHERS DAY PROCLAMATION

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons
of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a
great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of
peace.

Julia Ward Howe
Boston
1870

ar_wahan: (Default)
Spouse, upon returning home and hearing jazz music coming from the basement (one of his CDs on my machine), and then coming downstairs: "Wow!"

Samurai, upon returning home and poking her head downstairs at my request: "Wow! We have a floor??"

It is conquered.

Today the basement.... tomorrow the world!

And I am SO glad I am not going to choir practice (7-9 p.m.) tonight! I just took my last hot shower before the new heating system (includes hot water) is installed tomorrow. Given our last oil fill-up was $800, I am not sad to see the circa 1965 boiler go.

Now I'm off to concoct dinner (vegetarian chili and rice), and CRASH.

I have a Small Group (UU) meeting tomorrow, a TON of paid work due by end of day, and Stella to probably pick up and bring home after the meeting. So that means I need to remember to take my laptop with me in the morning, so I can get started while waiting and waiting in the waiting room of the veterinary hospital, since Dr. Katz will want to talk with me before releasing Stella. And he is always running late.

*thud*

Oh wait, that's right -- can't do *thud* yet. Dinner first. :P
ar_wahan: (Default)
I crashed early last night, and vet called just before 10 p.m. He told Samurai that Stella is "doing much better." Her chemical parameters are balancing out, there is nothing wrong with her kidneys, and I'm supposed to call him in the afternoon.

Now off to print out an invoice, look at Friday's assignment so I can start thinking about it, send a link to [personal profile] starseeking , and then descend into the  dark dungeon of doom basement to finish preparations for tomorrow's heating upgrade.

I have choir practice tonight for Choir Sunday May 25, but I may skip it if I'm too worn out after today's exertions.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I am no longer under the weather, but still a bit stressed. Got a very difficult assignment done -- one that I rescued, TYVM, after an interview with a supposedly "supportive" patient from the nonprofit went south -- and so I got Brownie Points for salvaging the project by suggesting another interview with the doctor and merging the two stories. (Client was going to abandon this story and have me go somewhere else. I knew I could rescue it.) I was told I did a "marvelous job with a very difficult subject." I know putting it out here sounds vain, but hey, this is my journal, and I have a lot of insecurities about myself, even though I may show myself as more confident here. I am very happy they liked what I did. I want a record of that.

I signed a contract today and put 50% down on a new heating system. It will pay for itself pretty fast (87% efficiency vs. 77% efficiency), and will be better for our planet, too, but still, it's a lot of money. This system can be converted over to biodiesel in the future.

Our UU Canvass {pledge drive) celebratory potluck is next Saturday. Canvass chair was searching for talent for a talent show. I wrote a parody of a song that the choir sang earlier (a popular song, not a hymn) and am now trying to recruit backup singers. I have two so far. I'm not really soloist material, and need backup. Aaaaccckkk! Sadly, but warmly at the same time, is that one of the respondents is L., a truly lovely woman who is perhaps My Biggest Fan, but she cannot sing on key at all. *sigh*

Spouse and I went to joint therapy session Tuesday. It went well. Good thing is, he didn't even blink about being asked to come back in May for another joint session. I asked to see the therapist myself later this month because now *I* am starting to feel depressed.

More on that sometime later, maybe.

Time to serve dinner.

Eeek!

Feb. 12th, 2008 12:27 pm
ar_wahan: (UU chalice design from Cafepress coffee)
Just copied this from the Weather Channel page and sent it out to our board members and Alison. We're supposed to meet tonight at 6:30 until about 9 p.m. (assuming we don't run overtime). Right when driving will be "quite hazardous." I first emailed them to say to "stay tuned," as we may cancel. Now I've asked them to weigh in.

Gah. And Alison and I have the farthest to drive, down steep and winding roads, too.

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 4 PM EST WEDNESDAY. THIS WINTER STORM WARNING INCLUDES ALL OF SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE...AS WELL AS WESTERN...CENTRAL AND MUCH OF NORTHERN MASSACHUSETTS EXCEPT FOR THE IMMEDIATE COAST.

SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS BETWEEN 5 PM AND 7 PM. THE SNOW WILL DEVELOP ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE... ONCE THE SNOW BEGINS IT WILL QUICKLY BECOME HEAVY...FALLING AT THE RATE OF 1 INCH PER HOUR AND REDUCING VISIBILITIES TO UNDER ONE HALF MILE. ROADS WILL QUICKLY BECOME SNOW COVERED AND TRAVEL WILL BECOME QUITE HAZARDOUS BY MID TO LATE EVENING. THE SNOW WILL THEN CHANGE TO SLEET AND THEN TO FREEZING RAIN BETWEEN 1 AM AND 4 AM ACROSS MASSACHUSETTS... FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED TO BE FALLING ACROSS THIS REGION DURING THE WEDNESDAY MORNING RUSH HOUR...SO UNTREATED ROADWAYS ARE EXPECTED TO BE ICY AND SNOW COVERED. THE FREEZING RAIN SHOULD FINALLY CHANGE TO RAIN ACROSS MOST LOCATIONS BY LATE MORNING OR EARLY AFTERNOON ALTHOUGH A FEW OF THE NORMALLY COLDER SPOTS IN SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE MAY STILL BE AROUND FREEZING THROUGH MID AFTERNOON. HEAVY RAIN MAY RESULT IN SOME URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE STREET FLOODING DURING THE AFTERNOON. BEFORE THE CHANGE OVER...SNOW WILL ACCUMULATE 4 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS THE REGION WITH THE HIGHER AMOUNTS EXPECTED TO THE NORTH OF THE MASSACHUSETTS TURNPIKE...PARTICULARLY IN SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE. AN ADDITIONAL ONE QUARTER INCH OF GLAZE IS POSSIBLE ON TOP OF THE SNOW BEFORE A CHANGE TO ALL RAIN. A WINTER STORM WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN AN AVERAGE OF 6 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED IN A 12 HOUR PERIOD OR FOR 8 OR MORE INCHES IN A 24 HOUR PERIOD. TRAVEL WILL BE SLOW AT BEST ON WELL TREATED SURFACES...AND QUITE DIFFICULT ON ANY UNPLOWED OR UNTREATED SURFACES.
ar_wahan: (animeme)
Doctor's appointment went OK. Read more... )
After all this, went to a meeting with the guy who inherited the hastily put together, and not well done, church web site made by an amateur volunteer in 1997. K, a recently retired OIT specialist from the university, does know what he is doing. The interim director of religoius education recently made her own web site for her quilting business, and asked for this meeting. I came along as president, newsletter editor, and the various myriad other hats I wear. I got there a bit late, and they'd already come up with some wonderful ideas. I chimed in here and there. I think we're going to have a much better website, in terms of content/usefulness as well as appearance. Cool!

Came home to find lots of emails from clients. I am suddenly being bombarded with work. Good  in many ways, bad in others. I need a little more free time in the next couple of weeks, and won't have it.

Su and I went out to dinner for our mutual celebration of birthdays. She, too, had gone to Ireland last summer with her son (18 months older than Samurai). I showed her my photos (on laptop), and she showed me hers -- because the restaurant had wifi and she could get onto the album at the site of the company where she'd sent her film to be developed and turned into digital images! We are both horse lovers, and enjoyed recalling our horses and equestrian adventures in Ireland.

The Mexican restaurant did not have chili rellenos (guess I'll just have to make some), but I did have a nice spinach-filled enchilada, plus side dishes of rice and beans.. We exchanged gifts, and I ended up with (appropriately) Great Irish Tales of Fantasy (by Joyce, Yeats, Lord Dunsany, others)  that she'd picked up over there.

Su has a new hobby... not ghosthunting (she doesn't call it that, since she believes it is intrusive, and I have to agree), but -- can't remember what she calls it -- ghostwatching or maybe ghostlistening. She had some interesting stories to share. What was nice is that there was one instance where something didn't make sense to her, and I suggested an explanation that clicked.

I'm going to  be very busy the next few days; may not be on much. (Sure, right! you snort knowingly.)

"Feed"back

Jan. 9th, 2008 07:56 pm
ar_wahan: (cooking)
I just got a call from the coordinator of our UU volunteers who cook for the homeless shelter once a month. She wanted the recipe for the cobbler-esque recipe given to me by [personal profile] fionnabhar , because it was so well received last week!

Thanks again!

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