Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I’m just sittin’ here watching the wheels go round and round…

Well, as you probably could tell, both from the previous post and the date stamp on Monday’s post, my inability to fall asleep Monday night resulted in me oversleeping Tuesday morning. I woke up an hour late!

Worse yet, when I went to change the bandage on my cat bite, I happened to press on my finger before putting the bandage on and a lot of yellow pus came out! Gross!

The morning was still a bit cool, but Tuesday warmed up to be a beautiful day!

The infection worried me. Okay it worried me a lot! Now, normally, something like that would fall into the ‘suck it up” category. But after that whole spinal fusion thing, I was admittedly scared.

So, at lunch, I drove over to the Urgent Care facility on Schoolcraft. I wanted somebody to give me a shot of antibiotic. I’d never been there before, but figured it was a whole lot closer and a whole lot easier than driving all the way out to Richmond to see my doctor. But, there was probably 25 people already waiting! I gave up, got back in the car and went home for lunch (which turned out to be a ham sandwich, a pickle and some chips). I redressed the wound and, sure enough, it was still oozing.

I thought about various options in the afternoon and then left at 4:00 PM. I drove over to St. Mary Mercy hospital’s Emergency Room. I went there, not because I thought it was an “emergency” but because I am pre-registered there. Because I use them for all my lab work and I’ve been to their Emergency Room once or twice in the past for emergencies, I have a card with a number on it. That way I don’t have endless forms to fill out, have to remember what pills I take or what date I had my gall bladder out. I don’t even show them my insurance card! So, I thought it would be a quick in-and-out visit.

I was wrong…

I got right in, alright, but I was required to fill out an animal bite report before they would treat me. That made me uneasy (one of the questions was “Did I preserved the animal’s head!”). Then I went into their triage section and hopped up on a bed. I talked with a very lovely, if very young, woman doctor. I apologized for using the Emergency Room for a non-emergency. But after she removed the bandage and lightly pressed on my finger, she said it was a good thing I came in.

She sent a swab of the pus to the lab and said they would need blood work and x-rays done. I asked about the x-ray thing and she explained they had to make sure there wasn’t anything foreign left in the wound (which, BTW is less than a 1/4-inch little slit). She also said I might have to stay in the hospital a few days, depending on the test results!

I asked if Scruffy would have to be quarantined, (something I hadn’t thought of before), and she said that would be up to Animal Control. So, I sat there and fretted while I waited.

Eventually, a nurse came in and drew blood and left a needle in my arm for an I.V. Then they wheeled me down to x-ray. They took me back to a different place and a different male nurse took my vitals again. His oxygen sensor thing (the one they clamp on your finger) didn’t work so he had to get another machine. He did and it worked, so he said, “Well, you’re alive!” I said, “Good, because if I was dead and you were an angel, I was gonna complain. You don’t look anything like I expected for an angel.”

Finally another doctor came in and said they were going to give me an intravenous antibiotic, called Unasyn, which they did. While I waited for that to drip through, I thought of various scenarios for poor Scruffy.

Perhaps a rally outside the Animal Shelter, with t-shirts and signs that said “Free Scruffy” or “Lock up criminals, not cats!” Or, maybe a standoff at the house (You’ll never take us alive!) but I wasn’t sure what kind of ordinance they issue Animal Control officers.

Finally, I decided on the old switch-a-roo. I’d hand over Caley and say she was named Scruffy. Then when the 10 days were up, I’d call there and say I was too traumatized and they would have to just keep “Scruffy.” Two problems solved at once!

Can you tell I was bored (and hungry)?   

The IV finally ran out and they came back. I had a prescription to get filled and I have to see a hand specialist (though I’m not sure why) first thing Wednesday morning. Well, I have to call and make an appointment first thing in the morning. When I see him is probably a different matter.

I left there at 7:00 PM. I stopped at CVS and waited for the prescription. I got home just before 8:00, dragged in the trashcan and treated the cats.

I warmed up more meatloaf and another baked potato and ate a late supper. I watched a taped TV show to take my mind off things and then went to bed.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Song Snippet

Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble been doggin' my soul since the day I was born

Worry, worry, worry, worry
Worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone"

~Ray LaMontagne "Trouble"

Sleepless in Redford

Monday was another chilly day here in Southeast Michigan, but at least it didn’t rain!

For the first time ever, I forgot to put the coffee cup under the single serve coffee maker when I turned it on (I was cleaning the kitchen counter at the same time). Jake told me that when he did that, the little reservoir you sit the cup on caught it all. But, I always push the button for a large cup of coffee (I have a large cup, you see), so mine caught "most" of it, but I still had a mess to clean up!

I went to the Newburgh Grille at lunch and had a bowl of Chicken Lemon Rice soup and a mini Greek salad. I told you it wouldn’t take much to put soup back in my menu on these Fall-like days, LOL!

When I got home after work, I took the trashcan out to the road. Then I treated the cats and changed clothes.

I had been putting the word out at work I had a free mini bike for anybody willing to take on the project. Some folks wanted a picture, so I went back out in the garage and took some pictures of the little Honda. It’s a long shot, I know, but there are a lot of mechanics where I work. I'd hate to just put it out to the road.

I took the night off as my finger and back were still both bothering me. I warmed up two slices of the meatloaf and a baked potato for dinner. Both were excellent, but the meatloaf was a little dry.

I loaded up the dishwasher enough to justify turning it on. I’m hoping the “drying” cycle warms up the house a bit. I’ll be damned if I turn on the furnace on July 29!

I watched a little TV and then decided to go to sleep at 9:30 PM. Well, at least I tried. I gave up at 10:00 PM and turned the lights back on and watched Longmire. Then I watched the news. Then I tried reading a book. It was after midnight when I finally dozed off.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Sometime in the night, Caley jumping up on the bed woke me up. She walked next to me, so I reached out to pet her. Apparently, Scruffy (who I didn’t know was sleeping next to me) took umbrage at that. So, he tried to bite her. Unfortunately, my hand was between the two of them and he nailed me in the ring finger. Damn that hurt!

I got up and was bleeding like a stuck pig. So, I washed it out with peroxide and put a tight bandage on it. I finally got back to sleep, but it was throbbing.

I woke up Sunday morning and my still-throbbing finger was a deep red. I figured I had put the bandage on too tight (I didn’t want to bleed on the sheets). So, I took it off, washed it out again (it was still bleeding), put some Neosporin on it and a looser bandage.

I had some coffee and filled in the rather extensive Blog entry.  But my finger still was throbbing and still red so, fearing infection, I ate the last four amoxicillin tablets I had in-house (for dental visits).

I had another cup of coffee (breakfast seemed too much trouble) and started my grocery list. I shaved, showered, dressed and headed to Kroger’s at 10:00 AM. I got everything I needed (mostly restocking pantry items) and went home. I got back there about 11:30.

I treated the cats (cursing Scruffy under my breath) and unpacked the groceries. I had one more cup of coffee and then made some lunch (not having breakfast was beginning to bother me). I made a ham and cheese sandwich, with a McClure’s dill pickle on the side. 

Then I went out to unload the trailer. I looked for my neighbor, to ask him to help, but he was absent. I started by taking off the bungee cord web and took out all the boxes and loose stuff. Then I took off the 2x4’s I screwed into the trailer bed.

I realized I should have done this with the trailer attached to the car, so it wouldn’t flip up. But, instead, I put jack stands under the rear frame. Then I loosened the tie-downs and got the mini-bike off. This was harder than it sounds as we noticed when we tried to load it that the rear wheel was locked up. During loading, we rolled it on the front tire and picked up the rear.

Here, I just slid (well, dragged) it backwards. When the rear end went off the trailer, gravity pulled the rest off, LOL! Not pretty, but effective!!

The hardest part about getting the Triumph off was undoing the tie-downs. I put it up on the center stand and then got to work on them, alternating from side to side, so the tension on one side wouldn’t topple it over. When it was finally free, I took it off the center stand and rolled it off the trailer. It hung up momentarily on the center stand, but I got it free, then down.

It had been steadily getting darker outside, although it was only 2:00 PM. So, I hurried to get the trailer out in the back and swept out before it started raining.  Then I quickly pulled the car back in the garage. I didn’t want to have to deal with mud, either out back or in the driveway! I took a bunch of photos for Jake (as he requested).

I came inside and washed my hands, even though I’d worn work gloves through most of the unloading. I changed the bandage and noticed my finger was a lot less red.

I processed the photos and sent them off. I started the last load of laundry. My back was hurting, so I lay down and tried to take a nap. BTW, it never did rain and the sun was back out by 3:00 PM! But, it was only 66 degrees F. and felt like Fall.

Between my finger and my back, I couldn’t fall asleep, though. It did rain for a brief while around 4:00 PM. I gave up trying to sleep at 5:00 and started my Sunday supper.

I decided the cool weather was perfect for meatloaf. Hell, a few more days like Sunday and I'll be making chili, stew and soup!

As you know, I have several methods of making meatloaf. But, I was not using any of my tried and true recipes. I was using one I found on the Internet the other day. It’s one of those copycat recipes. This time it was for the Boston Market meatloaf, which I’ve never even tried. But, it was so different from the way that I make meatloaf, I thought I’d give it a shot.

So, I warmed up one cup of tomato sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons of barbeque sauce (it calls for Kraft, but I only have Sweet Baby Ray’s, so that’s what I used) and one tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. I stirred it until it started to bubble, then I pulled it off and let it cool.

Meanwhile, I put 1 1/2 pounds of ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl. I added in all but two tablespoons of the tomato/barbeque sauce I’d made and mixed it well by hand (I had to use rubber gloves due to my bandage).

Then I added in six tablespoons of all-purpose flour (I told you it was different enough that I just had to try it, LOL), 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and a dash of garlic powder. I mixed that all by hand until I was satisfied it was incorporated. Then I did the unthinkable (for me, anyway), I put it all into a loaf pan! I covered it with aluminum foil and stuck it in a preheated 400 degree F. oven.

Then I took four medium sized baking potatoes, punched holes in them with a fork, rubbed them with canola oil and heavily (HEAVILY) salted them with Kosher salt. I used tongs (didn’t want my rubber gloves to melt, LOL) and put the potatoes on the rack, next to the loaf pan. I set the timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, I pulled out the loaf pan, took off the foil, drained the excess fat and cut it into eight equal slices (all the way through, BTW). The I drizzled the last two tablespoons of tomato/barbeque sauce right down the middle. You are not supposed to spread it, so I didn’t. Then I stuck the uncovered loaf pan back in the oven for 30 more minutes.

When the timer went off again, I pulled out the loaf pan and let it rest a few minutes. I checked the baked potatoes and they were done. So, I split one, topped it with butter, sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh cut chives from my garden. I put two slices of meatloaf on the plate as well and went in to watch the news while I ate supper.

Well, the potato was excellent, as always, crispy outside, soft inside. I do believe this is the best way to bake a potato!

The meatloaf tasted great, but I kinda missed the texture of onions, or green peppers or something. However, I must say I did really like the taste.

I watched Mountain Man, took a pain pill and went to bed at 10:00 PM