I’ve been laid up all week with a bad back.  Or, more accurately, with a bad lower back, hips, and sacrum.

I fell on an untreated snowy, icy sidewalk outside my place of employment two years ago and injured the sacrum, the bone in the gluteus area, the tailbone, and my pride.  I’ve had problems ever since.

We drained our waterbed on Sunday — that was a huge thing right there.  On Friday of last week I spent more than $900 on a mattress that I think (hope) will help my (our) hip problems a lot.  I was waking up every morning with my hips and legs just screaming in pain and stiffness.

My greatest problem this week is that I cannot sit for very long without excruciating pain and, given the job that I do, I sit all day.  I’ll tell you, I have a lot of respect for people that live with chronic pain.

Tuesday I called my step-aunt and wished her a Happy Birthday.  She was thrilled that I knew and that I called.  It was easy for me to remember, because it’s also my mother’s birthday.  Kay Ann (the step-aunt) is thrilled to death to have family around her here.  She grew up in this area but her kids and grandkids are all out in California, where her second husband moved them when she married him.  She hates California and, when she divorced him, they were living in Utah, so she moved back “home” to the place of her roots.  My aunt and uncle did the same thing.  Their kids are in Massachusetts and Connecticut but they, too, returned to the place they lived in their younger years.  There’s something about living in this part of New York that sort of takes hold of you and stays with you.  You either love it or hate it.

I spent the last three days just sort of laying low.  I finally got the chance to clean off more than 30 hours of programming on the DVR, got two parts of a sweater knitted (waiting for more yarn to come in the mail to finish), and am about halfway through a scarf for my step-aunt.  I’d sit and knit a bit and then get up and walk around some, in order to give my hips and back a break.

I’m bored now, but unable to spend much time sitting here at the computer.  I’ve not been around to any blogs I normally visit and am behind in a lot of things I normally try to keep myself up-to-date on.

Have you been watching Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?  We have, and I’m not.  However, collectively, with Lisa, Joe and myself, we are.  That’s not saying much, is it?  Last night they asked the question “How many e’s are in the phrase Pledge of Allegiance?”  I was sure that “allegiance” ended with e-n-c-e.  Me, who is a stickler for grammar, spelling and punctuation!  LOL!

The American Idol field is thinning out and, so far, I’ve not had any issue with who has been voted off.  The women, by far, outshine the men and I think it’s very unfortunate that they feel they have to have an even number of men and women to start out the finals.  My favorite male performer, believe it or not, is Chris Sligh.  The guy isn’t much to look at, for sure, but he’s got an amazing voice and, last week when he sang Trouble, it melted my heart.

I have a hard time finding a favorite among the women because that field is rich with talent.  Melinda Doolittle reminds me of a young Gladys Knight — with the vocals to accompany the looks.  Jordin Sparks, Lakisha Jones, Sabrina Sloan and Stephanie Edwards are also top contenders who should easily sail into the top 12 for the finals, unless the voting swings against Lakisha merely because of her weight.  We are, after all, a visual society and we hold stuff like that against people.

Kellie Pickler was on the show last night and Ryan Seacrest asked her what she’d bought with some of her money so far.  She said “Shoes, of course,” but when Ryan asked her if that was all, we all knew he was insinuating that she had probably bought herself some new boobs as well.  My ex used to say, about women like her, “With all that vacuum between her ears, she probably gives a hell of a blow job.”  And she could probably give Dyson a run for their money, too.

Yesterday morning, on my way to the chiropractor, I saw a trucker cause an accident.  Now, I have nothing against truckers as a whole, but you can tell the ones that have no regard for traffic around them — they’re the ones whose turn signal doesn’t mean “Hey, give me a break and let me in,” it means “Watch the hell out, here I come.”  And that’s exactly what happened yesterday morning.  It was rush-hour traffic, bumper to bumper and it’s not like the SUV beside him was riding in his blind spot.  There were several vehicles in that lane and the trucker just TOOK the lane.  The SUV driver had two choices — stay where he was and get crushed by the truck, or swerve away from it and hit another vehicle.  He took the latter choice and hit another vehicle, sideswiping it and losing a piece of his front-end.  The trucker just kept going, and kept slaloming in and out of traffic.  I called 911 and reported the accident and the trucker’s information to them.  I also called the company listed on the trailer and gave them the information as well.

The same thing happened to me a while back.  I was forward of the trailer’s rear wheels and the truck just started into my lane.  To my left was a concrete k-rail and, beyond that, a 30+ foot drop onto another road below.  I hit my brakes, standing on them.  I hit my horn, and the trucker blew his back at me.

I called the state police and reported it, giving them the information, and I also called the trucking company where I was told by the owner that he’d “…take care of it.”  The state trooper called me back later that morning and told me that the trucker had said that I’d been speeding (impossible at that time of the morning) and wouldn’t let him in.  I pointed out to the trooper that this proved that he was aware of the fact that I was there and that he acted intentionally with that knowledge.  She agreed and they charged the driver with improper lane change and some sort of assault.

I think that a vast majority of truckers are safe drivers and are more often the victims of careless 4-wheel-drivers who have no respect for them.  But every now and then you run into assholes like the two described above.

Allegany State ParkWe’ve got our reservations set for 3 nights over the 4th of July holday at Allegany State Park, down on the NY/PA border.  Our site is almost right on the water and, what appealed to us was the somewhat secluded nature of the sites in this part of the park.  There are hiking/biking trails, beaches along the waterfront, and more than 65,000 acres of park.  In the wintertime they have skiing and snowmobile trails as well. 

We’ve also got reservations for Memorial Day weekend at the same place we camped last year — Newtown Battlefield State Park.  We got the same site we had last year.  We just loved it.  It was quiet and, the part where we chose to camp is undesireable for those with kids or who are looking for amenities (that sort of take away the whole concept of camping). 

I’m really looking forward to the spring — I’ve had all the fun I can take with the snow and cold weather.  It’s just about time to get my seedlings started for May planting.  Weve got a rabbit that is de-barking our brning bush and several other plantings out front, but we hope hat it won’t be so bad that it will do permanent damage to the bush.

Off to visit blogs now…