Archive for November, 2012

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Mom had a biopsy with wide margins done @ two weeks ago. The diagnosis was Merkel cell carcinoma. She was supposed to have a PET scan and surgery done the next week, but she picked up a virus.

She had a PET scan done the day before Thanksgiving. She told me everything was fine, but her oncologist called her today and wanted her to come in at once to discuss the results of the PET scan. She’ll go tomorrow, but called me and told me that she’s going to cancel her surgery because the urgency means that the cancer has spread, and she doesn’t want to go through surgery if it isn’t going to do any good. She’s also refusing to do radiation therapy which is very effective for MCC.

I hung up the phone this afternoon in exasperation with a strong desire to screech and pull my hair out. WHY is she being so difficult? Then, of course, I realized that she is afraid. She received a possible death sentence and doesn’t want disfigurement on top of that (the radical surgery to her face). She is sad and depressed and lonely.

My poor lil’ brother, who came to Georgia for the winter at my behest when I told him that Mom was thinking about selling off everything and moving north to be closer to her boys, doesn’t know what to do. He trims shrubberies, paints the house, and does miscellaneous handyman chores. Trying to talk somebody out of dying who seems desirous of doing so is difficult.

I’ll go up tomorrow and talk with her oncologist about the PET scan and try to keep her from cancelling her surgery tomorrow. Wish me luck. If you know anything about MCC, please feel free to post a link or anecdote.

I’m likely to be a trifle distracted running back and forth between Florida and Georgia, so I’m not sure how regularly I’ll post for the next few days.

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Rude Awakening

I’ve been battling some horrible gastroenteritis since Monday evening. This morning, I woke up long enough to open the pasture gate to let the sheep out to graze, feed SwampMan’s rabbits, feed SwampMan’s dog, feed SwampMan’s turkey (are we seeing a trend here?) and then back to the house for a sip of Sprite and more nausea. I NEVER want another drink of Sprite. EVER.

SwampMan came in and asked me why I had the fan on while I was covered with blankets and shivering from the cold. “Nausea”, I groaned weakly.

“Well, is there anything I can get to make you feel better?”

“Yeah, if you’re going out, I’d like something really, really salty. Potato chips, I think.”


I eventually turned the fan off when I was too cold to feel nausea and dozed off. I woke, wondered if I had any chips yet, read for awhile, then back to sleep. I couldn’t seem to wake up enough to get the chickens fed.

I woke up to “HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK” over and over again in front of our house, then BOOM!

I jumped up and ran to SwampMan. “What’s THAT?”

“What’s what?”

“The explosion and honking in front of our house?”

“Oh, I dunno.” He kept playing his computer game.

“You haven’t even looked?”

“No, why should I?”

I opened the blinds and looked out the front window just as a another “BOOM!” shook the house, and a ball of flame poofed skyward over the trees.

“Because there’s explosions and fire in the woods directly in front of our HOUSE? It could be a wreck with people burning up!”

SwampMan allowed that that might be worthy of investigation, so he ambled out. I was worried that our neighbors were exploding and roasting right there in front of our house, but I still stopped to pull on a pair of clean jeans and shirt before stepping outside. Then I went back inside to brush my hair. I walked as far as our gate and saw that neighbors had gathered along the road, concerned but not excited, along with a line of stopped vehicles. I leaned on the gate. If it was a real emergency involving lives, people would be running about with purpose and tools and yelling orders to each other. This was more of a “well, wouldja look at that!” kinda gathering.

SwampMan strolled back in about half hour to let me know that one of the neighbors from further down was just driving down the road, minding his own business, when he started noticing a burning odor. Then smoke started rising from the floorboard. He pulled over, and was trying to put out the fire with a floor mat, but the flames were high enough at that point to burn his hands, and he jumped clear. Good thing.

“Dang!” I said. “What kinda truck?”

“One that’s all exploded and burned!” SwampMan replied.

Well, that was helpful.

“You know, I was just about to go to the store and get you some tater chips!” he said. “I’ll go ahead and get a shower and change.”

*sigh* I had wanted the tater chips six hours ago.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

I hope that your Thanksgiving Day was, as it is supposed to be, a day of joy and family. It is truly my favorite holiday of the year.

Sorry for the lapse in blogging. I’ve been battling a virus and unable to keep anything down since Monday. If I haven’t shown improvement by tomorrow, SwampMan will carry me off to an emergency clinic.

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Eggnog Pancakes for Breakfast

The SwampDaughter’s kids are here for the day, so eggnog pancakes and bacon (with eggnog to drink, of course!) were on the menu this morning.

I had gotten a small container of eggnog yesterday from the grocery store because, in a moment of insanity, I had forgotten that the grandkids were going to be here today. After measuring out the amount needed for pancakes, then measuring out exact amounts to each child’s cup under jealous eyes, there is no eggnog left! This is probably a good thing, and will keep poor mommy from dealing with tummyaches later.

Eggnog pancakes were a definite hit with the Swamp Grandchildren. Little Zoe ate two of them! This may have been one too many, for she’s singing E-I-E-I-O at the top of her little lungs to her “babies” that are lined up in rocking chairs, covered with blankets. I believe that this is supposed to be a lullaby. She seems to have inherited my singing voice, though, which meanders in the vicinity of actually hitting the correct note but never actually crosses that correct note sound barrier.

Dylan and SwampMan are “supposed” to be cleaning out the garage. Dylan is snoozing on the floor. SwampMan is snoozing in the Lazy Chair. I’ll let you know later today if any garage cleaning action actually occurred!

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“Drivin’ That Train, High on Cocaine”…Yep, That’s Washington, DC

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Y’all Know What Time It Is

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Happy Veteran’s Day

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Obama Won Reelection Through Voter Fraud

Read the Townhall article. It was evident to me as soon as I saw that he won every single swing state through small margins where the voter turnout far exceeded the number of eligible voters.

Absolute corrupt scum.

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Food Preparedness

I think minimal hurricane Sandy served as a pretty good lesson as to what happens when you sit around and wait for the government to take care of you. (You get really cold and hungry is what happens.)

While I don’t want to denigrate any of the companies that sell prepackaged food supplies (2,000 calories a day for a year! Only $1,600.00!), you can gather your own supplies based on what your family will actually eat. For example, a lot of the prepackaged food storage supplies have a lot of wheat in them. This is not so good for those of us that have to be gluten free if we want to survive.

I’ve based my food storage mainly on rice and beans. Why rice and beans? They’re cheap and readily available. You may prefer to base yours on canned chicken and dried potatoes, or macaroni and tuna fish. WHATEVER.

We have a year-round growing season here. If TSHTF in the winter, for example, I may have collard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, potatoes, and onions in my garden. If I don’t, I’ll have seeds and, in the meantime, can eat wild greens such as dollar weed and stinging nettles along with my rice and beans while waiting for the garden to grow. You may have only a very short summer growing season and prefer to have hundreds of canned vegetables in storage, and lots and lots of deer jerky.

Regardless of where you start, food storage is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to do. You can purchase rice in 50# bags at a warehouse store and jump start your food storage program. Beans can be purchased in bulk at Hispanic stores or some grocery stores. I have a selection of black beans, white beans, red beans, pinto beans, and lentils. I’ll probably add some dried limas and various varieties of peas in the future. Sugar, salt, and grits are in there, too, as well as other things that are palatable to my family although not to myself (such as pasta in various forms including ramen noodles).

If you’re worried about the price, don’t be. You can do this over a period of time for very little additional cost to your food budget. For example, instead of buying one bag of rice, buy two. Better yet would be to buy a 3# bag of rice at a buy one get one special. Instead of having 3#s of rice for storage, now you have six! Instead of buying 5# of sugar, buy 10. In ten weeks, you’ll have 50# of sugar and 30# of rice in storage, assuming that you consumed the rest. In 52 weeks, you could have 260# of sugar in storage, and 156# of rice. You, however, will probably have stopped stockpiling sugar about a hundred pounds ago and moved on to salt, ramen noodles, and/or macaroni. But don’t stop there. Add 4# of dried beans weekly to your shopping list. In 10 weeks, that’s 40# of beans. In 52 weeks, that’s 208# of dried beans. Got kids? How about some dried milk? How many times during the year did buy one get one free vegetables or brownie mix go on sale? Hope you took advantage!

Aw, geez, once you start accumulating food, where in the world do you put it? Well, some folk store their extra flour in gallon-sized bags in the freezer. It makes sense to put it in there for a couple weeks, anyway, to kill any bug eggs that may be present. I like to use my vacuum sealer and put rice and beans @ 4# per bag, and vacuum seal. Then I put them in a 5-gallon bucket with a gasketed top or inside a bin with a lid.

Food safe buckets can be purchased from suppliers, along with gasketed, sealable lids. Buckets can be purchased nice and clean from the same type of company, OR you can pick them up used from restaurants, bakeries, and the grocery store deli. Sometimes they’re free, sometimes the businesses want a fee for them. Let your budget be your guide.

It is very important to actually use what you store. Don’t store something that the family doesn’t like! If they hate chili, for example, don’t stock up chili. Stock up on beef stew instead. A few hens for eggs is a good idea, and old hens that no longer lay make good chicken soup.

If you have the extra money in your budget and want to be prepared NOW, Emergency Essentials has basic emergency supplies that you can buy by the bucket, can, or in a kit. You can choose the minimum survival rations, or opt for a more varied diet.

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Voter Fraud and Disenfranchisement of the Military “Elected” Obama

It is becoming increasingly clear that Obama has been elected through voter fraud and disenfranchisement of the military. Swing states “accidentally” sent the absentee ballots too late for the military to vote. Ooooooops! Just an accident, guys!

Then there’s the cities in the “swing” states in which 100% of the voters voted 100% for Obama. Riiiiiiiight. Coincidentally, the GOP poll watchers were illegally evicted.

We’re going to need more ammunition.

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