The Grey Hat Goes for an Allergy Test…

…and the results are pretty dang surprising!  I know I have been quiet, but as usual I’ve been busy or just goofing off on the Twitters (@galinthegreyhat if you want to follow along).  So I had to have an allergy test done last Friday, the day after my birthday.  I thought to myself, I’m only allergic to latex and pollen so what else could pop up.

The short version is I’m NOT allergic to horses, feathers, and dogs.  However, I’m allergic to most trees, grasses (the kind you mow), some molds, weeds, cats, and cockroaches.  Yes, cockroaches.  Seems those fuckers will get you one way or another (pardon the language, but it is true) …in this case apparently the FDA allows just so much of their bits to get into ground coffee and chocolate.  Hungry?

So it was not a happy time while I was getting said tests done as the results came in – as seen below:

The lower arm test.

The lower arm test.

AND the upper arm test. That's actually two test sites that meshed together...awesome.

AND the upper arm test. That’s actually two test sites that meshed together…awesome.

Needless to say this made for an itchy afternoon.  I also jokingly asked where I could sign up for a plastic bubble, apparently that’s not really a thing…lame.  BUT it does prove that nature is in fact trying to kill me.  Thankfully I was allowed to take my allergy pill and slathered with antihistamine cream.  I have no idea if I will need shots or not.  That’s for another visit next week.  What I do know is that just about every nurse and doc in the place came to check out how GREAT the reactions were.  Um yeah….


Is it monsoon season? Or just open season on my family?

Did any of you ever watch ‘Days of Our Lives’?  It was/is (I’m not really sure, nor can I be arsed to look it up) a soap opera on NBC.  Anyway. there was a family on the show that it seemed all the bad shit ALWAYS happened to.  This was the Brady family.

ALL THE BAD THINGS happened to these people. (photo from fanpop)

ALL THE BAD THINGS happened to these people. (photo from fanpop)

Ok our problems aren’t as bad as theirs…but at this point it could make for bad reality TV on Bravo.  Read on dear reader…..
Dad was finally to be moved tonight off the ICU…but noooo that was too good to be true.  He’s stuck there for another night because his heart rate is still between 110 and 120!  At this rate I feel like they will have to put the pacemaker in BEFORE he leaves the ICU.  I trust the docs at the VA and all, but come on already can we get him closer to coming home please?  Also I bought him this really great dish garden I’d like to give him.  In all seriousness I really just want him to get better and get the hell out of there!  He’s bored and as he put it “the food is shit”.

Plus the nurse manager on the ICU is a monster bitch!  I really wanted the chance to say something to her tonight.  I noticed a sign on the first floor that said “Here at the ______ VA, EVERY DAY is Veteran’s Day”.  I basically wanted to remind her of that fact and that she was making the Veteran’s guest feel like shit for nothing!  Last night she yelled at my husband, niece, and I because we were in the hall (my dad was using the bathroom which is just out in his room).  “We are brining a patient into his/her room and YOU CANNOT BE HERE.  YOU WILL HAVE TO LEAVE THE FLOOR.”  Now mind you if an alarm rings from another patients room it will show up on all patients monitors complete with room number and their full name.  So HIPAA is out the window already there lady.  Anyway my mother quickly told us it was clear to come back in.  But even my husband who is usually quiet told her to “ease up, we were moving.”  Poor Dad said he would have asked for a new nurse if she was one of the staff assigned to him.  That’s pretty bad considering he’s an easy going guy.

Which brings me to my ENT appointment this morning.  Which went well.  Unless you add in having a camera shoved down/up/over in your nose (and then have that recorded – did I mention I got to watch? GROSS).  Then you get told you get to have one of those allergy scratch/stick tests.  F-me!  I was like look doc, I can tell you I’m allergic to latex.  You don’t want to know how I figured that one out, but I did.  I also have a wheat allergy/intolerance, coconut allergy, plus small critter allergy, and of course a problem with pollen.  Do we really need the test?  Apparently we do!  So that’s scheduled for the day after my birthday.  Talk about poor planning on my part.  But over and done with please and thank you.  Bigger kick in the ass is having to wait a week to get the results.  I will say this –  I sure as shit hope y’all have an epipen at the ready if something seriously screws me over on this test.  Because I’m pretty sure that shit show can’t wait a week.

But the real kicker came when I went to pick up the new Rx, well THAT was a treat to the tune of $250 with insurance!  There is something seriously wrong in this country.  There is also something seriously wrong with my doctor if he thinks I’m ever refilling this Rx again.  So not happening.

So this has been my life for the past few days.  Good times right?  I hope to have something better for you later this week…assuming the sky doesn’t fall that is.

I really hope not. (source

I really hope not. (source

When it rains, it pours



Gather round children I’m hear to tell you a story or three. A story of still being grossly ill with a sinus infection. Of needing to see a flipping ENT again. Which I might add makes me feel like this crap will not end well. But when you get them every 3 months measures need to be taken. Time to “narrow it down” as someone once said. On the upside I now have MORE antibiotics, plus some brilliant nose spray crap.

Story two is of mystery bruises that as it turns out were caused by 81mg of aspirin taken daily so that the mister and I can have a successful (and eventual) pregnancy. I guess all the bruises will now just be a sign that taking said aspirin is working on thinning my blood. JOY!

Finally, the hot water heater in the house went last night. So the mister and I were playing Little House on the Prairie – the home game this morning. Hot water buckets in the shower in order to get ourself ready and off to work on time. There is a new heater “installed” but yet still leaking all over the basement. #lesigh

Oh and to top it all off Gattis and company are being total arseholes about the Sherlocked Convention. So yes I’ve had a shite time of things today.

(Posted this to the LJ too – remember that?)

Come out to the country they said, you can sleep in they said.

Saturday I took my momma out for her belated Mother’s Day outing in Troy.  We went to my new favorite spot for eats, The Whistling Kettle and my mother loved it.  But all that may be for another post at another time.

This post is about my overnight visit at my folks place out in the middle of freaking nowheresville.  They love it, me I’m a city girl.

It's "kinda" like this, but not really.

It’s “kinda” like this, but not really.

Before my momma drove out to visit me and leave the niece with the mister she called to ask if I wanted to come out and spend the night.  We had family coming but and well, it would be nice if I was there.  Plus my mister has the cold of death so it might be a nice break from cough city.  Needless to say I packed a bag.  After our short trip to Troy we swung back to my house to grab the kid and my bags.

Of course my head was pounding on the way out to their place so I opted to skip out on movie night (How To Train Your Dragon 2) as that would not have been fun times and stay in to watch Frozen (pretty cute, but man was Prince Hans a DOUCHE).



I then took the time to enjoy use of the cable TV and binged on five episodes of L&O: Criminal Intent (omg I love that show, probably because Goren is basically Sherlock Holmes) and once momma got home, I enjoyed chatting with her during commercials.  We chatted mostly about the episodes “What’s this one again?”  “Are you sure I’ve never seen this one?”  We are BIG Law and Order junkies in my family, and by we I mean me and my momma.

Before I knew it, it was midnight and I was super tired.  So tired that I couldn’t watch through to the end of the Criminal Intent episode we were watching to find out the solution.  That’s tired people!  So I went to bed looking forward to sleeping in, even if it meant till 8am.  Then I remembered I would be sleeping in a twin bed.  You will never miss your big bed more until you find yourself in a twin.  The bed was comfy, but SMALL.  I was in the nieces room as she opted to pass out on the couch….she just isn’t ready to hang with the big girls I guess.

It was a little like this but imagine more Bieber. *shudder*

It was a little like this but imagine more Bieber and less purple. *shudder*

I did seem to fall asleep pretty quick.  Usually, it is WAY too quiet for me to fall asleep easy out there.  I’m used to city sounds people.  You see the next thing I heard was the sound of three sets of toe nails tap dancing all over the kitchen floor with a small yip here and there, and my Dad talking to the dogs those feets and yips they belong to.  Which meant one thing, it was very close to 6am….NOOOOOO!  Sleeping in FAIL!

Think two dogs who look like these guys and a doxie/something mix to make up the third. (thank you internet as my phone doesn't want to sync...pos)

Think two dogs who look like these guys and a doxie/something mix to make up the third. (thank you internet as my phone doesn’t want to sync…pos)

My parent’s three dogs: Sadie, Fritz, and Jack were wide awake and ready to go!  I rolled over and tried to fall back asleep and damn near rolled off the bed.  But somehow I did manage to sleep for another two hours, yet also managed to wake up a few times too.  Which left me feeling not myself and very, very tired as the day wore on.

While yes I gripe, after all was said and done l I really did have a great time staying out there.  But I am happy to be home with my still sick mister, three quiet cats, and a much larger bed to sleep in!

Raising a glass of iced tea to John Harney {@harneytea}

While I was enjoying my lunch today and stalking my recent tea order I hopped on to Facebook to see what I’d missed in the last 12+ hours.  I was surprised to see notes of remembrance for John Harney, founder of Harney and Sons Fine Teas.  So I asked about to several tea friends online and found out that Mr. Harney had passed away on Monday, June 16, 2014.

You all might be wondering why I’m bummed out about some “tea guy”.  After all this isn’t a tea blog at all.  Well, funny thing is that if it weren’t for John Harney there would be no Gal In the Grey Hat!  Truth.  I met Mr. Harney in October 2011 at World Tea East (in Philadelphia) which was a scaled down version of the World Tea Expo (held on the West Coast).  I had quit my job a few weeks prior and was going to find out all I could about tea in order to properly start my business.  I met a lot of people at the event.  But meeting John Harney….well, he was larger than life.  Always with a smile to welcome anyone that happened past their booth.  He reminded me of my Pop, very warm, welcoming.  Meeting him felt a lot like coming home in a way.

As I stopped back to say goodbye on the final day of the event he told me “give me a call, we’ll give you a tour.”  I thought to my self, no some poor sucker in the factory will be stuck giving me a tour.  But I called, I figured it would be a nice road trip for my husband and I.  Plus tea (I drink a lot of tea.)  When we arrived at the factory I told the nice woman in reception who we were and why we were there and she asked that I go through the door and to my left to wait and our guide would be along shortly.

While we waited John’s son Mike came by and chatted with us, and he remembered my name too.  Which was very nice indeed.  Then out pops John Harney asking if I was ready for my tour!  Well, color me surprised that the founder of Harney and Sons was going to give me and my husband the grand tour of the place!  It was an awesome tour.  He even dumped a few handfuls of prepackaged tea in my bag (typical grandpa move).

An awesome day of tea.

An awesome day of tea.

Ok right, so what does John Harney have to do with Gal In The Grey Hat?  Fast forward to 2012 and my second visit to World Tea East (again in Philly).  It was near our anniversary so I dragged the mister along with me.  The night before the event began I made an impule purchase at the Gap of all places and got this:

Looks familiar right?

Looks familiar right?

That’s right, the grey hat was purchased.  Naturally I had to wear it the next day…and I did.

This was me on day one of WTE.

This was me on day one of WTE.

One of the first booths I dragged my mister too was H & S.  Once again John and Mike welcomed me with hellos and hugs.  I even helped out sorting their name tags and the like while John made me tea and Mike (knowing my mister was not a tea fan) grabbed him a bottle (yeah a BOTTLE) of their iced tea to ‘just try’.  But I’ll never forget what John told me about the new hat…”It doesn’t always have to be about the tea, plus I love that hat. Do something with it.”

A few short months later this little blog was born.  My new renewed goal is to do what John Harney asked me to do in 2012…to do something with this blog.  More posts?  One of these days a book?  Who knows, but I know this I will certainly do something with this here blog that would make John Harney proud.  I’m also going to go enjoy a glass of their Pomegranate Oolong (irony is this was the tea he gave me loads of when I visited the factory) made from one of their ice tea pouches.

Sooo Orange is the New Black is back!

Oh yesss!

Oh yesss!

So why are you reading this post?  No seriously stop reading this and go watch it.  I truly enjoyed this season.  Yes I binged all 13 episodes yesterday…I couldn’t help it.  Netflix never asked if I was still watching…it just KNEW I was totally in for the long haul.  That being said I need to re-watch.  But I’m thinking of watching all the way back to season 1. I mean why not?  Right?

Hell, I’m thinking I might even do a little blog-a-long when I do.  So stay tuned for that. Could be awesome or it could be shit…we’ll see.

Happy Sunday Funday.

I rise

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Maya Angelou today.   I recall reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in middle or high school and not “getting it” at the time.  I also recall re-reading it years later and finding it hit me right in the feels.  I then went out and bought up a lot of her poetry.  Which I now see I need to re-purchase as I don’t know where it’s gone in the many moves I’ve had since 2002.  Oh darn, I have to buy amazing poetry by an amazing woman.

I’ll leave you all with this bit of one of her famous poems because it is beautiful.

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

- Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

Sunday Blog Dump

What’s this…another post so soon?  Listen baby children (to quote AKH), I am simply working through the pain is all.  I have dreams of cortisone shots in the wrists happening at tomorrow’s appointment.  I KNOW…I hate needles unless we’re talking tattoo needles – which is a whole different animal.  But seriously the amount of pain I am currently in means that I will mark my wrists for said shots.  Yes it is that bad.

Yes, please yes!

Yes, please yes!

Plus, I am currently at home and bored.  Well, I also don’t want to leave my chair as middle kitty seems to have seen something on the wall.  I can only assume it was a spider and that it is now somewhere on the floor.  No thanks, I’m good staying in my chair a little longer if it’s all the same to you guys.  I dislike spiders, but I HATE ticks and wasps.  Which are stories for another time.  For now I will just say I have met the business end of both and it resulted in much unhappiness on my part.

Trust me taking this shit for over a month was NOT my idea of a good time.

Trust me taking this shit for over a month was NOT my idea of a good time.

So here I sit, slowly typing away trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my day.  There’s laundry to fold YAY (not).  But I guess I can watch last season of MadMen or season three of Scandal while I do it.  There’s a book I can probably finish too.  I know I live in EXCITING times people.  I did have the option of going up to Saratoga while the hubbins flies in gliders all day.  But going up there would involve spending money I don’t really want to spend.  So yay for saving money.  Boo for staying home to do boring chores.

Not much else is going on at the moment in the life of the hat.  Maybe I’ll do some tea reviews that I owe folks for the other blog…probably another sound choice.  I doubt any of this will be done before the mister gets home.  Ah well, a gal can dream.

A Family Wedding Weekend (AKA The Sign of Three the home game)

So last weekend one of the the hubbins cousins got married in a swanky area of Rhode Island.  Several mysteries abounded that weekend including but not limited to the following: what happened to my pants? Where is Aunt ___?  Whose in jail?

Right so we’ll fast forward to Friday night’s stag/hen night.  We pub crawled to the couples favorite bars.  You know much like Sherlock and John had a drink in every street where they found a body.  If only I had Molly Hopper calculate my booze consumption to stay in the sweet spot all night….maybe I wouldn’t have needed a new pair of pants (jeans) the following morning.  Because you guessed it I pulled a Sherlock (him in the flat) me in the parking lot of the hotel.  The only thing missing was me flailing about yelling “I know ash!”



But for all I know that may have happened as I was spouting on about Sherlock most of the night leading up to my needing the new jeans.

"Don't tell me I don't."

“Don’t tell me I don’t.”

Yet, thanks to the genius of my hubbins (making me drink water and take advil),  I was up and ready to take on the wedding day…once I scored new pants.  But before we left in search of said pants.  My hubbins had a riddle for me…he wanted to know if I could figure out what three of his relatives had in common.  I got it on the third try…they were all in jail!  No one knows the whole story here.  But let’s just say they got out and made it to the wedding.

It isn;t a wedding weekend until someone lands in the slammer.

It isn’t a wedding weekend until someone lands in the slammer.

Which brings us to the final mystery of the weekend…where was Aunt __?  Damn near close to death.  But lucky for her and all of us there’s a medic in the family.  So while she missed the wedding I’m happy to report she’s still very much alive.  Much like James Sholto.

"I believe I am in need of medical attention."

“I believe I am in need of medical attention.”

Now I know what you might be wondering IF you’ve seen The Sign of Three…so whose pregnant?  No one that I know of.  But we shall see what if anything comes in nine months won’t we?

Ugh aka State of the Wrists/Blog

I had hoped to be back to full on blogging by now.  But the whole wrist issue is still a thing.   At the moment there is no relief in sight until Monday when I hopefully get shot full of cortisone in both wrists.  If it works I’ll be back in business…until then, have a cat picture or two.



Yoga sleepy kitty.

Yoga sleepy kitty.