Graduation adventure.

I finally took Sheila’s advice and got a prescription for steroids for my poison ivy on Monday afternoon at 4pm, less than 24 hours before we were scheduled to leave for the west coast for Vince’s graduation. I absolutely could not go to graduation and not talk to anyone and feel swollen and itchy. I got the script in my hand and an hour later at 5 pm, I went downstairs and started talking to Jeremy about packing for the trip and he said – oh thank goodness! you are talking fast again! I need your help and you were moving so slowly and talking not very much. And we packed together and made our plane at about 10 am the next morning and by the time we landed in Portland, my poison ivy was pretty much resolved. Yes, I should have done it a week ago and next time I will.

We flew to Portland to spend a few days with my parents at their house before flying to graduation. Jeremy was our sherpa. Edda did great on the flights.

My dad asked if we were traveling light and we said – absolutely not. We are traveling with all of Edda’s gear (bed/wheelchair) and Jeremy’s bike. So my dad picked us up in his 1997 minivan which has no air conditioning and in bad need of an alignment. But, we made it home to their house.

Since I’m on steroids, I feel great! Cheerful, energized, never jetlagged. Jeremy did the son-in-law duties of installing a flat screen TV to the wall of the family room.

We went out to dinner last night to celebrate and early Father’s Day, and Edda enjoyed a non-alcoholic ginger drink.

Today, Jeremy’s on a long bike ride and Edda’s puking this morning. So, a bit challenging because we’re on a flight tomorrow to Sacramento. Wish us luck that Edda feels better. If it’s not one things, it’s another.


Colleen hosted her retirement party at the house on Saturday afternoon. It’s nice to get the house ready for a party as I feel like our house would enjoy having more parties than usually happen. She did all the planning and decorating, we just did the cleanup.

There was a caricature artist (a fun idea).

This cake was very yummy!

I’m still working through my facial poison ivy, which was better and then got much worse on Saturday. I slept through the party and went to urgent care on Sunday and they decided that my poison ivy had progressed to an infection – a diagnosis that I completely agreed with at the time – but now that I’ve been on antibiotics for about 36 hours, I’m not really sure. Anyways, it’s better today, I’m taking the antibiotics and I still feel really worn out and tired. When I’m this way – I start feeling really sorry for myself.

Elka and Vince.

Elka had a few shots to get at the vet yesterday. She LOVES the vet. I’ve never had an animal look forward to the vet except Elka. They offered to consolidate all her shots because they were off sync, but I declined because it’s so close to the house (we walk) and she loves seeing everyone there. She loves all the good treats, she loves the spray cheese especially and doesn’t mind getting shots to getting spayed apparently. Again, I love looking at all the names of the pets.

Vince’s graduating ChemE class. May the force be with you, young ones and the wind always be at your back. Please keep our drinking water safe, develop safe energy sources and design new vaccines.

Movin’ right along.

I haven’t really been able to work this week at my regular work, mainly becuase my face is so swollen, I can’t wear my glasses so I can’t read. I also just feel really itchy and bad. I spent this week listening to a mystery audiobook and drifting in and out of a Benadryl induced sleep. The audiobook experience was hilarious because though I got the general gist of the book, oftentimes, I would wake to find the murder victim was pregnant! the main character having sex with a person I will never find out who! the suspected murderer is publishing a book and was there ever a mention of a book? Anyways, no idea. And during my waking hours, I made Vince this graduation cap topper which I’m extremely proud of.

Housing, plumbing and dress.

Lovelies, I’m slowing making my way through my stint with facial poison ivy. I did not see the doctor (sorry! – I just really don’t want to take steroids), but I did take the day off yesterday and most of the day off today and rested. I took a bunch of meetings today, but I did not turn on my camera and you won’t get to see how terribly bad it is, but I think the very worst is over, but man, it’s not fun.

Vince called a few days ago and told us that his housing for next year is secured – a room in a 4 bedroom apt on campus for $900 a month all utilities included. I think he was disappointed because it was the most expensive option he chose, preferring to probably pay about $600-$700 a month instead. I was like – that’s not bad, it’s less than you (I mean, I’m) paying now. And then slowly he asked if he could remain on the family cell phone plan to which the answer is yes. It was always going to be yes, regardless of the housing cost. I so clearly remember, you always hoping to pay a certain amount in rent, but you always end up paying more than you want to.

Speaking of paying, I paid my lovely plumber more than $1000 for this beautiful installation of my water main which was leaking. We also installed a smart water shut off valve just for funsies because as soon as I heard about it, I wanted it. Some women covet Jimmy Choo stilettos, I covet plumbing technology. But if it’s anything like any of our smart devices, it might be a miss since lights still turn on/off randomly in our house for no reason we can understand. Look at the beautiful shiney new copper! Look at the lovely crimped joints. No more soldering, just some magical crimping method.

Next is fashion. So, unbelievably, there is a ton of fashion videos which I’ve watched for a long, long time. Mostly “haul” videos of luxury purses which is interesting and mystifying to me at the same time. Tons of women with 25, 35, 45 purses worth more $4000 each. Like (besides the money) – how do you need so many purses? Where do you store all the purses? Can you possibly use all 45 purses?

But recently, two things! I’ve turned to fashion bloggers who talk about how to get dressed nicely and I’ve discovered ebay for thrifting. I’ve always hated the idea of a capsule wardrobe, where every piece is tan, black, beige or navy of very high quality and then you mix/match them. So boring! So repetitive. I can’t have 7,000 items in my closest and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on clothes, but I want to have fun. So since I’ve been renting clothes and listening to the videos and buying inexpensive, but nice clothing, I’m learning about fashion and what makes me feel good and look good for not a huge ton of money (because I’d rather spend the $ on plumbing). Really, I never thought I would do this! For example, look at this rocking outfit. The rule I’m following here is to only wear two colors – so I’m wearing red and black (there’s black in the dress and the grey is a tone of black) and the kicker is that my watch band even matches. I felt so good and so comfortable this day. And the cost breakdown is this: grey sweater – originally from Target, probably priced at $25 dollars, but I paid $5 at a thrift shop, red Rothy shoes – new would be $155, bought slightly used on ebay for $53, Mata Traders red dress – new approx $110, on ebay used for $21.50. (Disregard the dirty laundry and also you can see a bit of my eye swelling from the poison ivy). I wore this on a regular Saturday all day. Felt great.

Because I’m so embarrassed about my face, I missed Edda’s class year end picnic. Jeremy and Elka went in my stead. Jeremy brought me home Cheetos and a cookie. Lovely husband.

Poison Ivy and air fryer.

I’m feeling poorly today. I don’t know what it is, but this is the season of itchy-ness. First I got a tick bite and that was weeks and weeks of intense itching (which pretty much confirms that I’ve never been bitten by a tick before because, man, I would totally notice) and still kind of itches on my belly. Then I got like a bug bite on the right side of my face (I think twice, once maybe by a bee) last week that almost swelled my ear shut and now, I have poison ivy on my nose tip and on the same side of my face as the previous bug bite. This is what it looked like yesterday and I don’t even want to show you what it looks like today because it’s super weepy and my eye is swollen and I’d like nothing better than to stay in bed a lot of the day, but I’m actually on for a guitar lesson (which I don’t want to miss) and a couple hours of volunteering at Main Street. But kind of relaxing things – like I’m not performing or anything, but I’m just feeling run down and not great. I should probably get some steroids, but I don’t want to and also, I like to suffer.

As a side note, the plumber is here today and is ripping out the main to the house to replace the leaky son-of-a-bitch and therefore, the water is not working now and I need to use the bathroom. And I want to be able to flush and I can not.

Jeremy, in an act of true love, not only bought me an air fryer as a gift, but also CLEARED countertop space for me. Again, true love. It’s my quest to make healthy, low carb, high protein, high veggie lunches quickly. I’ve been surprising myself, cooking doesn’t have to be a whole thing. It can be much easier than going out. (Though I have to say, I don’t do any cleaning…Jeremy cleans for me). For a long time, I’ve been making egg based lunches – usually scrambled with cheese and an english muffin. Then I moved to boiled eggs and no cheese (I basically stopped eating cheese in the house) with microwaved frozen veggies and canned beans. Now I want to move to a piece of chicken and/or fish with the veggies and I want to do it fast.

Of course, we first made tater tots in the air fryer and they were AMAZING. And for sure, not on the list of “healthy things”. And I know it would be amazing for chicken nuggets or chicken patties. But the next day, I tried tilapia filets and they came out overdone and looking like this:


Jeremy is going to spend the weekend working on his bike in the living room. He spent a lot of money on bike parts and is switching stuff around and upgrading everything. He’s watching a lot of youtube videos.

Pediatrician and bicycles.

We took Edda to the pediatrician yesterday and I got what I wanted – though I was prepared to not get what I wanted. I got an order for a urinalysis and a script for amoxicillin. We are trying to get a urine sample from the Edda-mame, but no luck so far. We can’t start the antibiotics until we get the urine sample, otherwise we’ll be killing the little buggers if they are there. We are kind of kicking ourselves because I think the seizures were caused by her constipation and she had an enormous bowel movement on Monday afternoon and no seizures after that. We should have given her an enema on Saturday. Oh well. Live and learn – we are tucking it away in our standard operating procedure from now on.

Jeremy is slowly doing major surgery on his bicycles for an upcoming cross country trip (not on the bike, he’s not biking 3000 miles), it’s flying in luggage to California. He’s super delighted to be doing this. We talk about bikes a lot. Like a lot.

Memorial day weekend.

It was a bit of a rough weekend for us, we are a little unlucky with summer long weekends. Edda had a cluster of seizures on Saturday (seven), a bunch on Sunday (four) and two on Monday. This is very unusual for her, she has never had more than 2 a day, and never for so many days in a row. So we are keeping her at home today – she’s still running her low grade fever which she hasn’t been able to kick – and we’ll see a professional and see what they say. She was also clearly constipated which often adds to her seizure woes. Otherwise, she seems mostly OK, enjoying her TV and sometimes even laughing a lot.

Anyways, we really had no plans for the weekend, so it’s just as well we stayed close to home. On Friday, before the seizure clusterf*ck happened, we went to line dancing at Main Street which was a lot of fun. We brought Elka who was the star of the show. She wore her dog park vest which had her name on it and everyone asked if she was a working dog and I had to explain, no she’s a family dog, and Elka basked in the extra attention and occasional dropped hot dog.

The only other plan we had at the beginning of the weekend was to have dinner with our friends Tom and Noah and we decided to bring a festive cake:

I did manage to go for a run on Sunday – I love being in the woods and being where no one else really is.

It was muddy and damp – I scooted at least three turtles off the trail during my run. The trails are mountain biking trails and I get worried that there might be a bike/turtle mishap which would be bad for everyone.

On Sunday, we had an impromptu visit from Bob and Katherine and their new puppies Whimsy (white) and Bunter (brown). Elka was very excited and kind of nervous. Whimsy clearly wants to be alpha and so there was a bit of growling and Elka who is very nice, but submissive was like – really – I have to be beta to this 15 pound puppy?

They are cuties – but a lot of work.

Friday sign off.

I feel much much better today – the bees are gone. My bug bite is much reduced. I took a Benadryl last night before bed and slept well and had vivid dreams which were shocking and not at all typical of me. I like to power through things, but sometimes I need to cry uncle and sleep for the day. I’m trying to get some stuff wrapped up with work and then, off for the long weekend to just hang out with Edda, Jeremy and Elka.

OMG, my face hurts.

Hello loves, I’ve been dealing with a insect bite that happened a few days ago on my the side of my face next to my ear. I was also mowing the lawn yesterday and discovered that bumblebees had settled into an eave of the house and I was trying to deal with that by taping over the hole with cardboard and I may or may not have been restung in the exact same place? I kind of can’t decide because today it got so exponentially worse, I thought my ear was going to swell shut.

Jeremy and I got into a slight argument over said bees because I was hot, sweaty and itchy and upset about the bees living in my house that when Jeremy got off a long west-coast call at 8 pm and found me outside winding the up cord for the lawn mower and putting it away, I snapped at him and wanted him to call the exterminator to take care of the bees, which resulted in the grumps from both of us. And also because I had sealed off the opening to the hive with cardboard, I could see a handful of angry bees buzzing around their previously opened front door while I was super grumpy. But at some point before it got too far, we decided to be nice to each other and we were for the rest of the night.

And I did call our very nice exterminator who had helped us with our mouse infestation in the attic a while ago by pointed out the little mouse trails in our insulation and then poisoned them. On the phone, I was like – I have bees in the house, can you help me? And he said – do you have bumblebees, honey bees, wasps or yellowjackets? And I was like….I have….bees…that fly around and buzz and are scary. And he came over in 15 minutes and took care of my bee problem. Talk about prompt service! I was honestly abuzz with gratefulness. (Honestly, I get upset two ways, I get upset because there are bees in the house. And I get upset that I have to kill them with pesticides that are no good for anyone, including the person doing the application.) And then because I was about to fall over from my swollen ear (I had been icing it the 2nd half of the morning), Jeremy kindly went to the store and got me some Benadryl and I took that and an advil and my ear felt better, but then I crashed and fell asleep for 4 hours in the afternoon which is what I do when I take Benadryl.

Jeremy went to work yesterday for an 8 am coffee date and was home by 10 am. He rode his bike to the train station for the first time since the pandemic. He showed me all his upgrades to his bike – mainly the lights that are now detachable and USB rechargeable.

My droopy peonies which are beautiful, but droopy. I did better this year, but next year, I can do better, I’m sure. I have an idea.

I went on my Wed pokemon walk with Elka. Six-seven pm is a gorgeous time to be outside.

Jeremy is repairing Seni’s bike and having a good time doing it.