I realized from a friend's comment that I had left a few things hanging on here, so I thought I'd better update.
My brother was declined for the trial islet treatment. Unfortunately, they strung him along. They should have been up-front in stating what they were looking for (consistently low blood sugar) instead of allowing him to start tracking his status and get his hopes up. He received the news that he was declined just before Christmas, so that didn't make for the greatest of holidays for him.
A couple of weeks ago, he started having pain in his abdomen. He then went to the ER the next morning, was admitted to the hospital, and they eventually figured out he had appendicitis. Given his other medical conditions, it wasn't the easy diagnosis it is with most people. He had surgery and is now recovering, having gone back to work this week and got the staples removed from the incision. The appendix was indeed rotten, so thankfully they got it out before it ruptured. Still hoping there are no post-op complications, or that something in one of his other health issues doesn't get stirred up by this.
We've managed to put some money aside from John's work for our upcoming vacation as well as various projects. I think we are finally able to go toilet shopping. The toilet I purchased in 2008, just prior to John moving in, has proved to be a piece of crap (no pun intended). It's defective, but I didn't really click in that there was a warranty on it until after it expired. The defective aspect is a larger-than-normal hole where the toilet water enters the bowl, leading to water spitting out of the bowl and hitting the seat and sometimes the wall. We have to raise the toilet seat, flush it, and then lower the seat in order for the seat not to be wet. In addition, the toilet is just sluggish and never seems to flush everything down without holding the button, which I don't think should be necessary. Last time I went to Home Depot. This time we plan on going to an actual plumbing supply store, and talking to someone who knows the products they sell. We'll pay more, but that's fine as long as I get a good toilet that will last and work properly.
I haven't talked much about Romy on this blog, more out of lack of time. I wasn't sure how I would like having a cat, but I think overall I'm very glad he's around. I wish he would learn not to put holes in my clothing by hooking his claws in and then tearing the clothes as he tries to extract himself, but I try to remember not to pick him up while wearing work clothes. This week I was unsuccessful at that, and he left a hole in my sweater. I salvaged it, but I wish he'd learn to retract his claws before trying to get away. I have been disappointed lately at how often Romy is curling up with John on the couch. I would like him to do that with me as well, but it happens much less frequently. I'm the person who isn't around all the time, and John is a cat person, so Romy goes to him more than me. Romy isn't the cuddly lap cat I'd hoped he'd be, and people keep telling me he will grow more like that as he gets older, but I'm impatient. Thankfully tonight he did decide that he wanted to come up on the couch with me for 10 minutes. I've been looking at the pictures of a couple of cats at the shelter, wondering if they'd be more cuddly with me, but I'm just not sure that's fair to Romy. It's his house, and I'm not sure he really wants a cat buddy invading his territory. What I may do instead is donate a spaying to the two cats I've been looking at, and perhaps that will help them get adopted. In all likelihood, those cats wouldn't want me anyway. Romy is the only cat so far who seemed to indicate he liked me for more than a reason to get out of his cage.
We've been having some bad recipe failures lately, so I started a photo collection of dinner failures on Facebook. I'm a decent cook, and a better baker. John is a good cook. But it seems that whenever we go outside our comfort zone and try a new recipe, it doesn't end up tasting very good, or looking very good, or both. It's a way of dealing with the disappointment.
After some unsuccessful trips to Michaels, I went online and purchased the yarn I needed for John's scarf. I have yet to start it, but I hope to cast on this weekend. It would be nice if I actually finished it before the end of winter. No luck yet with yarn for a scarf of my own, but that's not as important.
Our trip to Florida is coming sooner than I anticipate. It didn't strike me until a short time ago that this vacation will actually be 2 weeks out of the office. I intended to take a week, but with the flights we got and needing to be there before and after our friends, it resulted in 2 weeks away. It will be nice, but I'm afraid I won't get enough done before I leave, and I'm afraid I'll like vacation too much and won't want to go back. The dangers of time off. It's almost better not to bother with it. Almost.
I've started using sites like Groupon to see what deals I can get online, and look for deals in places we may be headed to on vacation. So far I've purchased a $20 Amazon gift card for $10, a $20 voucher for Bath & Body Works for $10, and a $40 manicure for $20. I used the Amazon gift card toward the purchase of a Kindle for myself (stole John's too many times since Christmas). The Bath & Body Works voucher was combined with a 7 for $20 sale on soap which I ordered my favorite scents no longer available in-store. The manicure was a great surprise because I had just booked an appointment for a week prior to our vacation. As we get closer to a trip home to SoCal, I'll pay more attention to the getaways there. I've seen a couple of great deals, but that's something we'd need to plan ahead for.