Green Thumbs and Silver Sticks

Water Woes

Still recovering from surgery.

Before, people were saying, “You’ll feel so much better, right away!”

After, it’s all “It’s going to be weeks before you feel better”.

I’ve got nothing in writing so I can’t point fingers.

I’ll say this much, surgical glue really ROCKS! No worries about wetting bandages or stitches. Showering the very next day. (Here is where I’d have put in a photograph of my incisions, and the black and blues which ensued. You can thank me for not doing it.)

Well, that’s not really accurate. I *would* have been showering if we had hot water. Those that have followed my blog for the past…wow, it’s been more than 10 years, I think…know that we have bad luck with water.

Such as:

  • Flooding in our first basement apartment, to the point we had to sleep with lights on and fans blowing for days. At least 6″ of water from heavy rains that just sluiced down the outside basement stairs, into our place.
  • Mold in the storage unit of our next apartment.
  • Not really having any water pressure in our NEXT apartment because the delightful landlord “forgot” to open the valve.

The next rental was full of water fun*.

  • The time I colored my hair and the plastic glove got stuck in the tub drain – which didn’t have a cover – and we had to call a plumber.
  • The time we were making RO water for our saltwater fish tank. We went out for the day and when we got home, it was raining indoors because the thingamabob came off the faucet and the sink on the second floor had runneth over…to the first floor.
  • The “unconfirmed” tornado that ripped thru our backyard. The rain earlier in the day was so hard that it was leaking into the kitchen windows. And by “leaking”, I mean pouring. It was a 100-yr-old house.
  • The time we had a 70 gallon pail of salt water getting ready to put into our fish tank…and Tom went to work…and I woke up to a big BANG. The pail had tipped and the living room flooded…it leaked thru to the basement, right above the burner. A few months later the burner flappy-thing (technical name) had rusted because “something” caused it to corrode.
  • When we moved we had to replace all of the carpet padding.

Whatever the hell has happened in this house for the past 14 years.

Friday we learned our water heater of 2 years had come very close to frying itself. We’d been having to hit the reset button for about 2 weeks, which meant spotty times of hot water/cold showers. The unit had kept sparking (I guess) and burnt thru the plastic around the wires and melted the insulation. Nice. So we have a new water heater sitting in our front hallway. The plumber can’t get here until Monday.

Last night our freezer did its own version of a John Carpenter movie.

Ice Station Steel Pitcher

Ice Station Steel Pitcher

I opened it to find everything covered in ice crystals. Now, there are only two of us living here (not counting the cat…I’m blaming him) and neither one of us remembers the last time we went into the freezer. It had frosted and then tried defrosting itself to the point where I couldn’t open the door. It took us 45 minutes to remove the food – the loss of the good ice cream and gelato hit us the hardest – remove the drawers and shelves and clear out all of the ice and snow. Not much went back in…guess I’ve got some shopping to do.

One the up-side, I won’t have to do a freezer cleaning for another 3 years.

I kid. Mostly.


*Unless you’re our old landlord, reading this. In that case, I made all of this up. I’m very creative.

p.s. I used the category “Funny Stuff” because I have a dark sense of humor. All of this makes me laugh.

It’s time

It’s been over 11 years since I’ve had any kind of hospital procedure and my Mom was always there with me.

I’ve spoken with my GB & it said it won’t give the surgeon any trouble. I feel like such a chicken, while I’ve been very lucky with my health.

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be comfy in my own bed.

Goodnight, Moon.



Sleeping Beauty

Who says I haven’t been around? Maybe you’ve just been looking for Moo, in all the wrong places (la la la, tips cowboy hat).

I realized (for the 100th time) why I haven’t been blogging…I mean other than the sadness and depression. I haven’t “worked” for Tom for about 4 years. When I did, I’d sit at the dining room table and get bored with QuickBooks…surf the web…do some blogging.

Now, I sit in my recliner with my laptop and it’s just not conducive to blogging. I don’t really go on my laptop very often. I’m using my iPad or my phone and trying to blog with those is not very flowy. Adding pictures, formatting…it’s all very fiddly and not fun.


At the end of July, I ended up in the Emergency Room. I was having a gall bladder attack but it felt like I was having a heart attack. No infection, no stones, a shot of Morphine, and a ‘scrip for Oxycodone and I was sent home. I’ve know for about 6 years that my GB (it no longer deserves to be anything more than initials) wasn’t performing well. My Gastroenterologist had sent me for testing.

What I didn’t know was I should have seen a general surgeon to have it removed. Every trip to my Gastro resulted in “Oh, those pains are your GB.” Never, “Oh, those pains are your GB and you should see a surgeon to remove it.”

I. HAD. NO. IDEA. that my Gastro Dude wasn’t THE Dude for this type of thing.

My GP finally told me when I showed up for a follow-up visit regarding my high cholesterol (don’t get me started), “You need to see a general surgeon.”


In less than 2 weeks I’m having my GB removed. On Twitter, I’ve given it a hashtag of #BBGB2014 (Bye Bye Gall Bladder).

I’ve been pretty miserable, what with being darned afraid to eat, being nauseated, having random stomach pains and shoulder pains for the past month.

Now I’m making a list of all the things I can do while recuperating. Nevermind that I’ve been told I’ll be feeling MUCH better, right away. I’m gonna RECUPERATE. I’ll do ALL THE THINGS…from the comfort of my bed, or futon, or recliner.

OK. My word count is nearing 400. Whew, what a day! I already feel like things will be easier.

Runs off to do laundry…and by laundry, I mean knitting.

Color Affection

p.s. Don’t worry. This blog will still be non-gramatically correct, have too many commas,, and run-on sentences. It’s not going to be high-in-fiber-good-for-you nor will it be something that is meant to educate, enlighten or be newsworthy. I only aim to ramble and possibly entertain. If I ever start to get “deep”, I’m sure someone will let me know in the Comments section.

p.p.s. I like comments. :)

2014-01-01 11.37.17

This is the magical Starbucks mug. The one that allows me to get a free drink, every day in January.

So far, I’ve been knitting a sweater that has only gotten smaller. I started it and finished the body in November. I spent weeks trying to get the first sleeve to cooperate and then I finally frogged the whole thing.

All Wound Up

How innocent, right?
Crazy Zauberball (blue/green) and Madeline Tosh Merino Light


Progress, of sorts.

Progress, of sorts.

How hard could a German Short-Row, Top-down sleeve be?

How hard could a German Short-Row, Top-down sleeve be?

Ripping is tougher than it looks

Ripping is tougher than it looks

Now I have restarted the Funky Grandpa sweater, confident that it will be done by June.

Don’t mock me.

We’ve had some C O L D days. Yes, it’s Winter but we’ve never had it so cold that our heating unit couldn’t keep up. It never got above 63 degrees, inside (57 in the bedroom). We learned to adapt.

Hats. Inside! And Wes slept on the heated waterbed.

Hats. Inside! And Wes slept on the heated waterbed.

The snow wasn’t without it’s beautiful parts.

Snow - shoveled to the side of the driveway, and then blown back with the high winds.

Snow – shoveled to the side of the driveway, and then blown back with the high winds.

This was beautiful until the town plowed our driveway in and I promptly got stuck on the “hump”, while trying to drive out. My car was halfway in the street for 40 minutes, as I tried to dig myself out…get into car and rock it back and forth…lather, rinse, repeat. A town worker drove by (lucky me) right before a friend of Tom’s came to help free me.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

And when the temperature went from -5 degrees to the low 40’s along with rain, it was transformed again.

False hope that Winter was over.

False hope that Winter was over.

And it’s only the 15th…

This story was published in ATO* News. I have deleted names of other FAA personnel for their privacy.

*(Air Traffic Organization)

I’m just the proud wife.

Morristown Controller’s Diligence Saves Four Lives – written by Kyle Pearson (staff writer)

November 12 –

Morristown Tower air traffic controller Thomas Prestia makes a habit of watching VFR aircraft after they leave the tower’s airspace. This summer, that extra attention saved the lives of at least four people.

 Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 1.39.09 PM

On the evening of Aug. 5, a medical helicopter departed Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey on its way to the company’s home base north of the airport. After pilot Rob Cooper cleared the Class D airspace around the airport, he checked in with Prestia for a frequency change.

Before issuing the new frequency, Prestia pointed out two southbound aircraft to Cooper. Both were small planes, and both were flying directly at the helicopter at the same altitude. Neither was on Prestia’s frequency.

Cooper saw the second plane but thought it was the first. He told Prestia he couldn’t see the other plane, and Prestia knew Cooper couldn’t see the aircraft that was closest to the helicopter. Prestia quickly called it out again, saying it was at Cooper’s 11 o’clock at the same altitude.

Seconds later, Cooper saw the first plane and told Prestia he was taking evasive action. “That was a first for me,” Prestia said. “I’ve never heard a pilot say ‘We’re taking evasive action.’”

Watching on the tower’s radar monitor, Prestia saw the two aircrafts’ radar targets merge as they passed each other. “On the radar they were one target,” he said. “All I could see was that and the other aircraft a mile behind.”

They certainly got close. As the two aircraft passed, Cooper later told Prestia he could see the whites of the other pilot’s eyes.

Without Prestia’s immediate and determined action, they probably would have hit—and quickly. Prestia estimates the southbound aircraft was flying at about 100 miles per hour, and the helicopter was going at least that fast.

“If he hadn’t said something, I’m fairly certain we would have been a pile of ash,” Cooper said.

But Prestia didn’t panic. He didn’t rush his transmission and confuse Cooper. “I tend to slow down,” he said. “I’ve found that if I say something once, slowly and clearly, pilots will understand faster than If I say something quickly twice. I can go faster by saying things one time.”

Prestia also keeps pilots on the tower’s frequency unless they ask to switch to the unicom frequency. That way he can watch them and issue traffic that they might not otherwise see. That definitely paid off in this case.

“If I had switched him at the border [of Morristown Tower’s airspace], he would have been gone,” Prestia said. “I wouldn’t have been there to help him.”

Cooper was definitely glad Prestia was there. He thanked Prestia on the frequency, called the facility after he landed to thank him again and sent a letter to the tower thanking him. The next day he stopped by to thank Prestia in person.

Prestia sent the letter to his wife when he received it. It brought tears to her eyes and Prestia’s. “I sent the letter to my wife, and she told me she was crying,” Prestia said. “I sort of was, too. It’s going up on the wall.”

In the letter, Cooper thanked Prestia for “his excellent handling of our situation and actions outside of his airspace. He, in my opinion, did save me and my aircrew from a collision with another aircraft just outside of Morristown Airport Class D airspace.”

After recounting the incident, and estimating that the plane was between 1/8 and 1/16 of a mile away when he turned left to avoid a collision, Cooper continues to praise Prestia: “He is truly a great asset to the Morristown Airport and the FAA. His dedication and professionalism were demonstrated to both me and my aircrew, and we thank him for his work.”

Prestia’s managers at Morristown Tower feel the same way. “Tom went the extra mile to make sure the pilot saw the other aircraft,” said ##### an operations supervisor at Morristown Tower.

“Tom is the type of controller who always goes outside his airspace and his normal duties,” said #####, the air traffic manager at Morristown Tower. “He thinks of a lot of different scenarios at once. He’ll call other facilities and verify information that he thinks is important to an airplane’s safety.”

Prestia is deservedly proud of his actions, but he’s just thinking of it as another day at a job he’s loved for the last 27 years. “It’s not anything different than I would normally do,” he said.


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