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BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101

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Bat Goddess 20 Jun 10 - 10:24 AM
gnu 20 Jun 10 - 10:34 AM
Rapparee 20 Jun 10 - 11:30 AM
Charley Noble 20 Jun 10 - 02:36 PM
SINSULL 20 Jun 10 - 02:40 PM
Rapparee 20 Jun 10 - 03:25 PM
Rapparee 20 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM
katlaughing 20 Jun 10 - 03:43 PM
Nancy King 20 Jun 10 - 04:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jun 10 - 05:06 PM
Bat Goddess 20 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM
Rapparee 20 Jun 10 - 06:57 PM
olddude 20 Jun 10 - 07:31 PM
SINSULL 20 Jun 10 - 08:53 PM
Sandra in Sydney 21 Jun 10 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,kendall 21 Jun 10 - 07:07 AM
Tinker 21 Jun 10 - 07:59 AM
Charley Noble 21 Jun 10 - 08:14 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 Jun 10 - 09:32 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 21 Jun 10 - 11:19 AM
katlaughing 21 Jun 10 - 03:17 PM
jacqui.c 22 Jun 10 - 08:46 AM
olddude 22 Jun 10 - 09:58 AM
maeve 22 Jun 10 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,kendall 22 Jun 10 - 10:02 AM
olddude 22 Jun 10 - 10:25 AM
maeve 22 Jun 10 - 10:38 AM
wysiwyg 22 Jun 10 - 04:43 PM
LilyFestre 23 Jun 10 - 07:22 AM
Bat Goddess 09 Jul 10 - 09:13 AM
SINSULL 09 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM
open mike 09 Jul 10 - 09:33 AM
Sandra in Sydney 09 Jul 10 - 10:51 AM
gnu 09 Jul 10 - 11:27 AM
jacqui.c 09 Jul 10 - 11:44 AM
catspaw49 09 Jul 10 - 11:57 AM
ranger1 09 Jul 10 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,kendall 09 Jul 10 - 01:28 PM
Bat Goddess 09 Jul 10 - 09:34 PM
Charley Noble 09 Jul 10 - 09:58 PM
Micca 10 Jul 10 - 06:41 AM
Bat Goddess 10 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM
Jeri 10 Jul 10 - 08:10 AM
Bat Goddess 10 Jul 10 - 08:52 AM
Bat Goddess 10 Jul 10 - 12:35 PM
Noreen 10 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM
Bat Goddess 10 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,kendall 11 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM
Bat Goddess 11 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM
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Subject: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 10:24 AM

I haven't been posting the results of the last three and a half months' of followup exams with Dr. Zeitels because there hasn't been much to report. This past Wednesday morning Tom had a CT scan at Mass Eye & Ear and then a consult with Dr. Z who had said at Tom's last exam that he'd probably start planning the restoration after looking at the CT results.

As it turned out what we DID find out this time is what is postponing things moving forward. There's a spot in Tom's throat -- that had been on the edge of the cancer -- that Dr. Zeitels wants to keep an eye on. If it turns into something, it can be cleaned up pretty easily, but it bears watching. So Tom's got another appointment on Bastille Day a month away. It was a bit of a disappointment as Tom's pretty frustrated about not being able to talk and would desperately like to have voice restoration at least started, but at least now we know why Dr. Z. is still watching and waiting. Being cancer-free is still the top priority.

I also mentioned to Dr. Zeitels about Tom having a bad case of writer's block -- because he can't speak, he finds he can't write. You've probably noticed Tom has not been posting here as much as he used to and his voicelessness extends to emails as well. Sounds as if it's not that uncommon. Dr. Z started telling stories about people a lot more famous than Tom having problems writing for exactly the same reason. He also told us about Richard Rodgers, the composer, who, even after having a total laryngectomy and not even being able to hum, went back to writing songs.

Tom is so starved for conversation that's even harder for him than not having a singing voice. And, ultimately, he's a TEACHER, so not being able to "instruct" or discuss songs or history at our weekly and monthly sessions is very frustrating.

Tom and I often collaborate on writing, so I'm going to see what I can do to unblock his writing, maybe by switching part of our technique. I'm confident he'll again have both a speaking and a singing voice, but I'd like to see this interim period a little less frustrating for him.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 10:34 AM

Thoughts and prayers continue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 11:30 AM

I find it helpful to try to "write through" writer's block. The problem with being speechless while doing that is the lack of ability to cuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Charley Noble
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 02:36 PM

There are some creative symbol characters that people have come up with for expressing curses. Maybe we should start a new thread. I don't think the "Smiley Family" emoticons work that well and certainly they don't work on Mudcat at all.

*shake*
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 02:40 PM

Sorry, Tom. Little spots are a pain in the ass. You are in the best hands and if Dr. Z says wait, then it s best to wait.
Meantime,try to keep a diary of your experience. Maybe confronting the demon will release some of your creativity.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 03:25 PM

<|:-{


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM

So there, Charley! Santa Claus, who has shaved off the beard but not his mustache, is sticking his tongue out at you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 03:43 PM

How about going back to the old-fashioned pen and paper, rather than PC? Just a thought. Maybe actual hand-writing might unlock that block? I can imagine how frustrating it must be; writing in caps, i.e. "shouting" might feel better?

Good thoughts and thanksgivings are yours and lots of hugs!

luvyakat

P.S. Thanks for letting us know, Linn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Nancy King
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for the update, Linn (even though I got it in person yesterday...). Frustrating as all hell, I'm sure, but ultimately for the best.

BTW, you both LOOK great!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 05:06 PM

I agree with Kat - don't you just love the feel of a good pen and a nice quality paper? It's almost irresistible.

Good luck in getting rid of that little spot.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 05:40 PM

Mary, that's the problem -- he can't keep a journal because he can't WRITE, can't put one word in front of another, can't write press releases, business letters, etcet etcet. (Well, so far he's been able to write shopping lists, so at least he brings the right stuff home from the grocery store!)

We'll see what we can do to jar the block loose.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 06:57 PM

Try a..gasp!...fountain pen!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: olddude
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 07:31 PM

I have a nice melody that I been working on... do you think he may want to write the lyrics to it?? maybe that would jar him loose

Prayers

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 08:53 PM

I meant pen and ink. Start with lists - surgeries to date, meds to date, screw ups to date. Simple lists to be the backbone of the diary to come.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 04:29 AM

adding my good wishes to the list!

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:07 AM

I'm baffled by this. I can still write, but I don't want to! I submitted my new manuscript to Down East magazine and I really don't care if they accept it or not.My "Don't give a shit meter" is on dead zero.

Tom, believe me, I hear you. It is a bitch, but there is nothing we can do but follow Dr. Zs lead. At least we don't have to drive ourselves crazy trying to decide which option to take, we have no other options.(That's supposed to be a comfort.)

Hang in there old friend,we have a chance, let's dwell on that and "energize the thought".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Tinker
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 07:59 AM

Perhaps the list could be a shopping list with an adjective eventually added for particular items... ( Now why does Catspaw come to mind...)

I'm trying to imagine the frustration.... but it's pretty top of the charts. I was recently told to respond to things less as a teacher... my initial response was you might as well ask me to stop breathing....
And waiting is it's own limbo... Love and light to you both


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 08:14 AM

Kendall-

Good luck with Down East. There is a crowd of people eager to see what you've come up with.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 09:32 AM

Love and supportive thoughts, Tom and Linn (and Kendall, too!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 11:19 AM

Silly thought - how about painting?
At least you're holding and controlling something when you are using a paintbrush and not concentrating upon words.
After a while perhaps you can move on to a pen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Jun 10 - 03:17 PM

I like that idea. Fingerpainting, even! What fun that could be, maybe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: jacqui.c
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 08:46 AM

Good luck with this latest spot - we know what the waiting can be like. I hope Tom gets past his writers block before too long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 09:58 AM

Captain, you and Tom, write some lyrics with me ... it will be fun and you will have a new song ...

Get better both of you!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: maeve
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:01 AM

Hello, Tom and Linn. I think of you both often and fondly.

maeve


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:02 AM

Dan, I'm not much of a writer but I sure do appreciate your thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: olddude
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:25 AM

RU Kidding Captain, I read your book ... wish I was not much of a writer as you ... my gosh you are gifted


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: maeve
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 10:38 AM

You tell'm, Dan.

Kendall, we just found a replacement copy of your book. I'm happy to have it again.

m


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jun 10 - 04:43 PM

Linn, trust Tom to solve it.... I'll pray for you both. Steady, girl.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: LilyFestre
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 07:22 AM

If not painting, maybe drawing if words won't come? Anything. Scribble away...sometimes it's amazing what comes out that way.

My nana wasn't allowed to talk for months (years ago) and she carted around a magic slate (kids toy...you write on it and then lift the top layer to make it disappear and you have a clean slate to start on again). It was hard for her but that silly slate did help her to communicate with others.

Love and prayers.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:13 AM

This is old news Tom's recovering and mostly mobile again.

Last Friday evening Tom left the Press Room session to speak with some friends on the sidewalk before driving home. As he started across Daniel St., his right knee gave out on him and he fell. I was still at the session, standing and leading "Ten Stone", when Joe Stevens (yes, THAT Joe Stevens -- http://joestevens.com) spoke into my ear, "Tom's fallen on the street," and I bolted to and through the Press Room door, leaving a bunch of startled people in my wake.

Tom was on his feet surrounded by friends when I got there. I decided he was too shaken to drive so I drove him home in my car after a stop at his car for his cane. Yes, he was walking and feeling fine on Friday night, although he was hurting by the time he came to bed.

The next morning, up at 6:30, he couldn't put ANY weight on his right foot. We debated for some time on how to get him downstairs and into my car to take him to Lee Urgent Care (which didn't open until 9). I helped him get dressed, but he couldn't move from sitting on the side of the bed. There was a bunch of drama involved regarding crutches, etc. but eventually we figured it was safer all around to call the local EMTs (Nottingham fire/rescue is a mile down the road) for a lift assist and Tom got to ride down the stairs in a really cool specialty chair rig assisted by several EMTs, Nottingham police, etcet etcet. Took him to Lee Urgent Care, by now open for some time, where he was x-rayed, poked and prodded. Verdict: he sprained everything sprainable between the bottom of his right foot and his knee. Mostly the foot and ankle.

Prescription for pain meds (Tylenol and codeine) in hand, we went to Hannaford's (10 miles up Rte. 4) to fill the 'script, then home (back 5 miles towards Lee Circle I basically spend the rest of the day and the next pingponging up and down Rte. 4). Getting him from car to house was a MAJOR project. I grabbed a stool for him to use as a walker, but none of our cane collection included two matching canes which could have made life easier. Eventually, he made it from the car to the shade at the side of the house, then up the four stairs to the deck, across the deck, and up one more step into the house. He collapsed into an armchair in the living room where he was ensconced for the next couple days.

There's more, but I have to go to work. Those of you who are my Facebook friends already know about this, but I figured I'd better post this here to update others who have been asking for an update on Tom.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:28 AM

Ouch!
Any idea how long it will take to get mobile again, Tom?
Meantime, elevation to keep the swelling down; ice to ease pain and swelling.
A good book to take your mind off the ice and elevation.
So sorry.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: open mike
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:33 AM

i recall hearing of a guru who had chosen not to speak
he carried a chalk board tied around his neck so he
could communicate with written words..
i hope Tom (and you) will find a way around this..


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 10:51 AM

definitely OUCH.

get well soon, Tom

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 11:27 AM

Crap!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: jacqui.c
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 11:44 AM

Just one damn thing after another! You get to wondering when you're going to get a break, don't you?

Heal fast and well Tom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 11:57 AM

Uh......Couple of things here...............

First, Jacqui......I don't think Tom needs a break. The sprains are bad enough doncha' think?

And since gnu brought it up, how is the crap part coming along? Hope the bathroom is large enough to accomodate the gimpy leg!


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: ranger1
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 12:04 PM

Oh, ouch, Tom!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 01:28 PM

Remember my friend, you have a large support group here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:34 PM

He's more or less mobile -- he drove himself to The Press Room for the session, but left early because the noise level was even worse than usual (aided and abetted by what we not so lovingly refer to as the "Sopwith Camel" -- the air conditioning system). But the foot (it's mostly foot that's sprained) is still swollen, though the swelling is going down. (And the sweltering weather, of course, is NOT helping!)

Later in the day last Saturday, Jeri (thanks, Jeri!!!) gave me a hitch into Portsmouth so I could bring his car home. (Must have been some sort of a car gathering in the area -- I got behind a Cobra on the way out of town and saw several more classic Cobras on Rte. 4.)

He didn't sleep well Saturday night because of the pain and planned to call Urgent Care as soon as they opened. Meanwhile, Sunday morning I went to our local Independence Day celebration at Demmon's Old Country Store in West Nottingham -- 7 a.m. free breakfast, 8-ish to 9 a bunch of us from The Press Room sit around and play music and sing, then at 9 a.m. (this is a tradition started by David Behm, a member of our musical circle who passed away a few years ago) the Declaration of Independence is read from the porch of the store. A friend and coworker met me there with a pair of matched canes for Tom to use and a camping toilet (since our bathroom is on the second floor). And later in the day another friend brought over a walker. Saturday we'd had the offer of crutches, but since Tom had never used crutches before, he didn't particularly trust them.

So when I got home around 9:30, he'd called Urgent Care and I needed to pick up a new precription for stronger pain meds...AND (almost as importantly) get to McDonald's before they stopped serving breakfast so I could get him some COFFEE (what with all the ruckus, we were out) and a sausage McMuffin. So did that and the other thing and schlepped the breakfast back home for Tom and immediately headed the OTHER direction on Rte. 4 to get the Rx filled. That's basically what I did for the about three days -- pingponged back and forth on Rte. 4.

Anywho, he took the meds and decided not to attempt to get to an annual music party at friends' close by. So I did. I really needed the R&R by this time. (And a couple beers. And some music. Did I mention food? And singing. And being with friends...)

He's still sleeping downstairs in an armchair with his feet elevated, but he can now get upstairs when necessary. It's been sooo hot and humid that two people sleeping in the same bed is a pretty scary thought anyway. I gave him a bo's'n's pipe to call if he needs me, but a "wheeeeeeee" whistle actually cut through the drone of the fan better. And by Tuesday he tried out his ability to drive, though he only went up to Rte. 4 and back.

He's maneuvering a lot better now and I guess I can relax a bit. Work is crazy and looks like it's going to get even crazier. Whatever happened to those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer"? (Well, we've got the last two, at least.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 09:58 PM

Linn-

Give Tom our best and extra hugs for you as well.

Charley Noble and JudyB, too far away to be any real help


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Micca
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 06:41 AM

Linn, I dont recall if Tom drinks Coke but here is a recipe(if he is allowed alcohol)Take a pint pot (20oz UK pint) and stick a bunch of ice cubes in it, pour 1 oz of lime juice and 2 oz of Dark Rum (not any of that poncy white crap unless its Wray and Nephews 120+ stuff) and 10 oz of Full Strength Coke, and you have a classic Cuba Libre, very refreshing and cool, Taste very strongly of "More!!" and 2 or 3 and you feel NO PAIN!!!
Get well soon Tom, got the T shirt for sprained ankle!! Nasty sensation!
will call when I get a chance
Micca


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM

Micca, that's the ONLY way he'll ingest Coke! But he does enjoy that mixture upon occasion...

I think the foot being sprained is actually worse than the ankle, but sprains seem to be even nastier than a clean break.

AFGO...

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 08:10 AM

Me: migraine, dead air and not enough coffee on the planet.

As for Coke, mix some with low sodium soy sauce, garlic, ginger, a little rice wine vinegar and marinate your meat in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 08:52 AM

A) of all, I really don't care for colas. B) of all, I seldom drink sodas at all. I like carbonation, but I get it from seltzer which I buy in 2 litre bottles. And, most importantly, C) of all, I strive to avoid ingesting high fructose corn syrup in ANYTHING. (And I don't do artificial sweeteners because, if the chemists who developed them are scared spitless of them, damned if I'm going to put them in my body!)

Soda (pop/tonic/sodapop) used to taste a heck of a lot better, too, in the '50s when there was a LOT more variety and the SUGAR sweetened drinks (and not that heavily sweetened) were served up in GLASS bottles. Yes, it DOES make a difference.

(Steps off soapbox)
Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 12:35 PM

Steps off soapbox and/or wooden soda crate -- remember those? I know, I know...I'm OLD.

(No, actually, I'm RETRO!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM

Golly, Micca- your recipe for Cuba Libre takes me back a few years... another time, another place!

Following your story with interest, Tom and Linn, and sending healing thoughts.

Nx


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM

Tom was inspired...fixed himself a Cuba Libre.

I just spent a delightful 45 minutes or hour on the phone with my 90 year old great aunt in Milwaukee...so now I have to actually get something done around here. (Did a quick but productive yardsale loop this morning; only 2 yardsales but I scored a bag full of dentist sample-sized spools of dental floss, plus a couple 100 yard packages -- close to a lifetime supply -- for FREE! Yeehah! I'm excited! And how pathetic is that?!?)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM

Some of my best items around here, kitchen gadgets and such, came from garage sales. I saw a sign for one yesterday but it was threatening rain and late enough in the afternoon I figured it wasn't worth the trip to check it out.

I'm glad to see that Tom is more ambulatory than he was before. That sounded like a really nasty sprain.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM

Why does Tom never post for himself?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curmudgeon: Waiting 101
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM

Kendall, Tom doesn't post because he has a form of writer's block. Dr. Z says it's not uncommon when someone has no actual voice, they often can't write. Tom can't write. He can't post here. He can't write emails. He can't write press releases. He can't write business letters or personal letters. He can't write a damned thing except grocery lists.

I just came home from work and found him to be in a lot of pain -- in his OTHER foot. And the pain pills don't seem to be working.

He's going back to Urgent Care tomorrow -- after he follows me when I drop my car off with my mechanic and takes me to work.

Linn


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