Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sad but true

Just a quick bitch, This is the first Memorial Day Weekend in roughly 11 years that I haven't gone camping. What could keep us from camping ? The weather. Seriously, it's too cold to camp this Arizona!! The highs for the weekend where we were heading are 70, which is good, but the low is 30. Seriously ? 30 fricken degrees ? Are you kidding me ? I went camping in New Hampshire the last 11 years, move to AZ and it's too cold ? Shouldn't that be the opposite ? Shouldn't it be too hot ? It was 110 tuesday. Flagstaff actually got snow this weekend. I hear any elevation above 6000 feet got snow. The weathermen were saying 12-18" above 8000 feet. Oh well, I guess it's for the better. T is sick, and I might be getting sick so I guess a weekend of doing nothing is a good thing. We'll just have to stay in and watch our new TV.

Friday, May 23, 2008

still alive

I know it's been a couple weeks since our last blog. Life definitely runs away with you sometimes. But I just wanted to say, "We're still here. We're still alive!"

Here's some good news: Joe went to the surgery center on Monday and the doc said that he has "a beautiful fistula". So.....he started to use his fistula this week at dialysis! Apparently, however, the technicians at the dialysis center don't know how to find the veins he's actually using BOTH the fistula and the catheter. Basically, this means that they will use a needle in the fistula to remove the blood and then will filter the blood back in through the catheter. They will do this until they can start using the fistula for both removing and replacing his blood. Not sure if I explained that correctly or not. Long story will still be a little while until they take his catheter out and he's able to swim.

As for me: I've had another nasty bout of feeling yucky: sinus/asthma/allergies/coughing/tired/achy/etc. No fever this time...but I had a mild asthma attack yesterday. I can't remember the last time I had one!

To catch you up...ever since we moved to Arizona, I've been using up an inhaler a month (which is bascially BAD in terms of asthma). So they put me on a steroid inhaler a few months back and that eliminated my needing to use my "rescue" inhaler every day. The rescue inhaler is to be used for immediate relief...the steriod inhaler is used to prevent the need for the rescue inhaler. Anyway, it seemed to work okay. But now that they are getting rid of the way inhalers were previously made (to reduce the CFCs released into the atmosphere), for some reason they switched me to Asmanex (the commercials you see on TV). It doesn't work at all. I used it every day as directed. And I STILL needed to use the rescue inhaler pretty much every day. The main rule regarding rescue inhalers is that if you're needing to use it daily, then your asthma is not under control.

Anyway, because of my sinus issues, my asthma has flared up over the past couple days and I ended up going to the doctor yesterday. He is having me start an oral steroid to reduce the inflammation in my lungs/bronchioles. It's only a 5 day treatment and I'm meeting with him again next week to follow up on it. I hope it works because he said that if it doesn't work, my breathing problems may not necessarily be asthma. So all in all, I'm hoping it works!

On a side note, I try to walk Lucy for 2 miles a day. I've slacked a little this week because of my breathing and sinus stuff. But anyway, on our walks we usually see something new every time. So....I wanted to share with everyone the wildlife that lives within a square mile of where we live:

There are so many jackrabbits around. I love them! I usually see at least 2 each day. They usually hide under short shrubs and, if they see Lucy coming, they generally run away in a flash.

This is a shovel-nosed snake. I was walking with Lucy one night. We were on the sidewalk and all of a sudden I heard a rustling next to us. It was a cream colored snake, no longer than a foot (or so I remember), and it fled away in a creepy s-shaped slither. After that walk, I searched online for snakes native to Arizona and this was it. Fit the description to a "t". Creepy, huh? But no's saliva is only MILDLY toxic.

On the same night as the snake spotting, I saw an owl perched towards the top of a really tall tree. I actually stopped Lucy because I wanted to make sure I wasn't seeing things. But it was definitely an owl. I waited long enough to see its head I know it wasn't one of those fake ones. Plus...I always look up in that same tree and I haven't seen it since.


Who knew there were bats in Arizona? I know that may sound like a dumb question...but I seriously never thought I'd see a bat in the middle of urban Phoenix. Several times (and it's equally as cool each time I see it), I've noticed bats flying around near the tree tops. Palm trees mostly...which is even weirder. Dusk is the time I have mostly seen these guys. It's so weird because, at first, I thought that there were some sick birds flying with broken wings because they kept flying in a weird, spastic pattern. But alas...they were bats.

Also.......and only if you're REALLY might even spot a BEAGLE!

Until next time,

Friday, May 9, 2008

green is the new black

After moving back to Arizona and having possibly the worst allergies of my entire life, I have really tried to take the whole "going green" movement to heart. I's really bad here. I think back in the 80's Arizona was the place to move to because it was GOOD for people with allergies, good for breathing, etc. Now it's the exact opposite, in my opinion. The population has probably more than doubled since then, people are buying bigger cars (that can't even fit into parking spots without hitting something), homes are being built further and further away thus depleting the natural environment, and pollution and allergies are just awful.

There's a sort of "hill" I drive over on the way to work every morning and every morning it's the same view: beautiful Phoenix skyline and vast expanse of the Valley of the Sun blanketed under a brown cloud. It just makes me sick thinking about what is going into our lungs. I'm on allergy meds now, for the first time in my life, so I sneeze and itch less...but I'm still breathing in that crud every day just like everyone else.

It's sad that in order to fully "go green" it is necessary to spend oodles of money. In order to live a "green" life, you'd have to buy everything organic, drive significantly less (which is near impossible in this day and age), buy an eco-friendly car or convert yours for a painfully high price, recycle everything that you can and only buy recycled products, et cetera, et cetera.

I'll tell you what, though...

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd recycle my Honda and get one of these cool buys:

the Koenigsegg CCXR which is second most powerful production car in the world and runs on ethanol.

OR, I would indulge in this cute little creation designed in America, manufactured in India and currently being sold in the UK:

Is it called Greeny (also called the G-Wiz...why didn't I think of that?) and is ENTIRELY emissions free. How cool is that?

That's all I got for now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

i'm the reject from a freakshow

Thanks to my friend, Lindsay, I am charged with the task of telling the world about 6 things that are weird about me. The challenge here is narrowing the list down to 6. Here's my attempt:
  1. The first things that comes to mind is the fact that I'm [almost] 28 and am infatuated with the CW's newest show, Gossip Girl. It's a good thing that Joe goes to dialysis on Monday nights now, otherwise he'd be forced to watch it, too. I don't know what it is about that show that makes me like it so much because it's bascially about the over-scandalous and dramatic lives of the richest of the rich New York City teenagers on the Upper East Side and is anything but realistic. I mean, seriously people...these kids are like 16 years old and they meet at bars for drinks on school nights? How do they get in? [It's only a show, Theresa!] Anyway, it's just plain awesome and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Dare I mention that I religiously watch The Bachelor, too?
  2. My wardrobe consists [pretty much] entirely of black and brown. And my idea of branching out is wearing different shades of brown. I do spice it up sometimes, though, and wear gray or khaki. Yep, you're talkin' to a real life rebel here.
  3. I sometimes like to sing Elvis's "Hound Dog" in a really funny voice to our puppy, Lucy. What makes this even weirder is the fact that I dance like someone from another planet while singing it. It's cute, though, because it makes her excited (or angry...not really sure which, to be completely honest).
  4. Sometimes, when I run out of clean underwear or socks, I'll just buy new ones instead of washing them right away. I'm pretty sure this is more common than I realize, but I still think it's weird.
  5. My eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to reading books. Our bookshelf is overflowing so much that I am contemplating buying a new bookshelf to go right next to the one we already have. The weird part about this, though, is that I've only read about half of them. I have a "to read" list the length of the Amazon!
  6. Tunaritos. I refuse to eat a tuna sandwich without Nacho Cheese Doritos with it. And by "with it", I actually mean inside it. For example, I will place a layer of Doritos between the tuna and the bread. It's really really REALLY good, I promise. It gives an otherwise mushy sandwich a little crunchy twist. And it adds a little extra flavor, too. By the way...the name "Tunarito" is mine so don't you even try to steal it!
And thus ends the story of why I would be rejected from a freakshow: I'm just TOO WEIRD! All right, it's your turn!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Crown King Camping Trip

We went up to Crown King, AZ this weekend, it was quite the trip. First you drive an hour north on the freeway, then get off and continue 35 miles up an unmaintained dirt road that winds through the mountains. I had a blast offroading, Theresa was a little less thrilled. Did I mention neither of us had a vehicle with the proper ground clearance to get there? We remedied that situation by renting and enormous truck through enterprise who have a half price weekend deal. So we got to drive a 2008 Chevy Silverado. I wouldn't want to own it (12 mpg, freaking enormous, parallel parking basically impossible). We got to our campground, Hazelett Hollow around noon on Saturday and set up camp. Setting up was a feat in itself, because of the altitude. I'm not positive because we forgot the GPS, but I think it was over 6,000 feet. Once set up we made some lunch, then explored a little on foot, walking the dog 2 miles in the process. After that we took the truck and gathered an excess of firewood, then relaxed before starting a fire and dinner. This is about the time we found out that the little boy at the site next to ours really liked to scream...a lot. Roughly every 10 minutes this kid let out a blood curdling shriek. I really think he had Tourettes. Our dog was much quieter than that little beast. So we could have ignored him if he only screamed during the day, but for some reason he screamed all night, too. His parents didn't seem like they were doing anything to stop him. The weather was so nice we didn't even put the rain fly on the tent, which may have been a bad idea, because it was COLD. Low 40's cold, so cold our little dog was shivering when we went to bed. She actually slept under the blankets between us. So after the freezing night, and interrupted sleep from the screaming kid, we got up at 7:30 and took down camp. All in all it was well worth it, and we had fun despite the inconveniences. Here's some pictures.

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