Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the mend

I have pampered myself today and spent most of the day in my recliner watching the Weather Channel.  I received a call from the Urgent Care Center this afternoon checking to see how I was doing, and to tell me my xrays were ok.

Yesterday my d-i-l Megan sent over some home made chicken noddle soup, which is the best medicine ever.  I immediately felt b etter after the first bowl - had some last night and the rest at lunch today.  I think I'll live.

I will probably leave for NY a day or two later than I had planned, and depending on how things go and how I feel, I may skip the visits along the way.  Maybe coming back.

That's about all I have to write about today.  I can't even put into words what I feel about the tragedy on the east coast and into the midwest and now, Canada.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update to today's (Tue) post

I stopped by the Urgent Care Center this afternoon and saw a doctor.  He said at this point I didn't have bronchitis or pneumonia, and recommended rest and drinking lots of fluids.  He also ordered chest X-rays and after looking at them he decided to send them out to be analyzed more thoroughly.  

I started out with a scratchy sore throat last week as well as a slight cough, and that wouldn't have had anything to do with the roof.  All my grandchildren have been passing something around to each other - all it takes is for one of them to attend kindergarten or pre-school - and I probably caught what I have from them.

I haven't decided to fly to NY, but will look into the schedules.  I absolutely won't go near any of the large airports including JFK or LaGuardia, but might consider Stewart or White Plains.  Probably not.  I want to drive this time because I have my heart set on visiting two of my elderly aunts in Kentucky, and it's this trip or never.  I'm hoping I'll feel better in a week and can look forward to the trip.

As far as the weather conditions in the east right now, I would hope things have cleared up by the time I would get there.  Downed trees would pose a big problem, but by the time I get there they should be cleared away and the power back on.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog today.

Roof repairs

I thought I'd write a short post today to let you know I'm still here, but barely.  I don't know what it is, but I have been feeling terrible!  Steve was here on the weekend and power washed and scraped the roof, and then rolled on the coating and caulked seams, vents, etc.  We're expecting showers tomorrow so I will find out how well it will hold.  

My muscles ache so that I can barely move and I guess I can attribute it to bending over to pick up all the pieces of roof, and to get everything into trash bags.  I have developed a really deep cough and it feels like it could turn into bronchitis.  I don't know if I could drive downtown to where my doctor's office is, and i'm thinking of going to an urgent care facility closer to home.

Last night I was watching the Weather Channel and started feeling pretty bad.  I took my blood pressure and found it pretty high, considering I take bp medicine.  I rested a few minutes and took it again, and found it higher so I took another dose of bp meds.

I was feeling bad enough that I got together all my medical insurance cards, drivers license, stent implant card, etc., plus wrote a list of emergency numbers, the meds I take, etc.  I left the front door unlocked, and of course I have a phone beside the bed.  I took a benadryl tablet and some cough syrup with codeine, and got a wonderful night's sleep, although I don't feel all that great as the morning goes on.

I'm planning to leave on my trip in one week, and honestly don't know how I will make it if I don't start to improve.

I hope everyone in the east survived Sandy without too much damage.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back on Freedom's Soil!

I got a call at 6:00 am this morning from my son, who had arrived in Bangor, Maine.    He wasn't there long before flying to Texas for about a week debriefing and then will be coming home to New York.  I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from my heart.

I'm walking with Jeannie this evening and afterwards will have dinner at her house.  My leg muscles are still sore, but skipping the walk yesterday helped to heal them.  Actually, doing nothing but lying around on the couch did more to heal them than anything.

Steve will be over early in the morning to start on power washing and coating the roof.  I wonder if I dare get up there to help.  I will feel a lot better leaving the house for the next month or so if the roof is taken care of.  Sacramento is likely to get rain while I'm gone.

Speaking of rain, I hope all those living along the eastern U.S. have taken precautions for the damage that is likely to occur from Hurricane Sandy's arrival.  Fortunately my son had a very large generator installed after a couple of lengthy power outages.  It cycles on once a week to test it, and always caught me off guard when it came on.

Another weekend coming up - it won't be long before I'm pulling out and starting my trek across the country.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Get a move on!

That's what I keep telling myself.  I plan to leave in about 10-12 days from now, and will just get there the easiest way possible, hopefully not over I-80.  I had vowed I would never again drive through Bakersfield or Barstow, but I may do it after all and take I-40 part of the way, at least to Memphis.  I just can't get myself to pack anything yet.

I went walking at Mather Field yesterday when Jeannie got off work.  We walked about an hour at what was a good clip for me - probably 3 mph.  I finally sat down on a bench after about 45 minutes and Jeannie walked on until the hour was up.  She really picked up the pace after I stopped - that girl can move!  She looks beautiful when she walks, and you can just see the energy emanating from her.

I'm making berry muffins for my breakfast this morning but read the instructions wrong and added about 1/4 cup more milk than was called for.  I may be eating them with a spoon, but I'll eat them.

I got my hair trimmed yesterday and it sure looked good.  Not much taken off, but just shaped up a bit.  

I'm back home after walking with Jeannie again tonight.  I was able to walk about 47 minutes before crapping out this evening.  I think I kept up the pace pretty well, but my legs were still feeling last night's walk.  

I'm getting a late supper, so I will just publish this and go eat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weird weather

While Sacramento was inundated with rain overnight and most of today, the Sierras are getting snowed in.   But the most surprising is that tornados have touched down in Yuba City,  about 50 miles north.  Then I heard on the weather channel that a possible tornado touched down in Elk Grove, just south of Sacramento.   I always thought I just had to worry about floods and earthquakes in California, but never tornados.   At least when I lived in country subject to tornados we had a basement!

I tried to start reading what I thought would be the last of the Nevada Barr books, I had to close it up and will return it to the library.   I have just had enough of the violence in her books .   I guess I need something light right now although I have really enjoyed reading her books - even though the action gets quite tense and over the top. 

I did a lot of laundry today and think I will start to separate some of the clothes I will take on my trip.  I had to dry everything in the dryer whereas I usually run it for 10 minutes and then hang the clothes on the line.  It had quit raining but the skies could have opened up at any time.

I will think about something to replace the rosebush when I get back from NY.   I might just plant something native to this area in a pot that I can move around if I want to, or I could get really silly and buy a couple of garden gnomes!

I hear rain hitting the roof again and wish it would just stay dry tonight.  I don't mind hearing rain on a shingle roof, but I hate the sound of it hitting this one and it doesn't help my sleep any, which is not good to begin with.  I wonder why I'm so tired in the daytime but having to get up every 1 to 2 hours during the night doesn't make for a good restful night. 

I'm trying to find a good photo of Lady so that I can make a nice collage with the snip of fur and paw print the vet sent to me.  I think I have other photos of her when she was much younger, but would have to look at all my flash drives to try to find them.  Any suggestions as to which of these two photos to use?  Would a younger one be better?  Thanks for any help you can give me.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walking again

Jeanne came over this evening and we went walking on the bike trail starting from behind my house, and all the way to Fair Oaks which is the village of my former apartment.   It was a nice walk and on part of it we saw wild turkeys as well as deer.  Jeannie emailed me a picture of the cake Donald made for the soccer party.

The team's name is "Flash Dash",  and Autumn wanted the letters saying "Super Awesome Job!" on the cake.

I will probably be stiff and sore tomorrow from the walk, but I know I need to do it more often.  We plan to meet on Tuesday evening when Jeannie gets off work and will walk at Mather Field

Steve brought Liam over this morning and dug out the world's ugliest rosebush.  Now I need to put something in its place, maybe in a large pot that will be easier to take care of.  The big trouble is that I don't water anything but I guess I'll have to change that in the future when I'm in the area.

It has gotten cold enough that I've shut my windows and am still shivering, so I got the little electric heater going.  Steve is going to pick up the materials at Home Depot for coating the roof and covering the swamp cooler, and then I will have him light the pilot light on the heater before I leave for NY.  I figure I'll set it on 50 or 55, which should protect pipes in the event of a real cold spell.

Enough for this evening - I'm heading off to sit in front of the little heater.

Last soccer game of season

Okay, you turn this way!

If I cover my face then I won't have to go for the ball!

No one on the green team is watching!

Ah, the joys of little kids' sports.   At least they don't keep score at this level.   There was an end-of-season party after the game which I didn't attend, but Donald made a cake that was outstanding and I will post a picture when Jeannie sends me one she took.  I had already set my camera to a sports setting and wasn't about to change it back and forth.  

I think I will really like the camera once I get used to it.   Of course it is much larger, heavier, and more unwieldy than a small point and shoot,   but it looks like I might be able to learn to take a few different kinds of shots which will be interesting.  I want to try some photos at night if possible.  There are a few stars and bright objects visible in the night sky here, more than in many cities, but the sky is still too bright to see most constellations.

 I enjoyed an evening with Steve, Meg & Liam, and a wonderful meal.  I even had an uneventful drive home in the dark!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back to running the swamp cooler

After a week or so of cooler temperatures, it's back to the 90's today and I decided to run the cooler.  Tomorrow will start another downward trend that will leave us in the upper 50's and rain by next Tuesday.  I'm not ready for rain but it will do the landscaping some good since I don't water anything outdoors.

The shower was wonderful this morning, and surprisingly my head didn't foam up when the water hit it.  My hair looks so much shinier and alive today - in fact I look shinier and more alive!

I had a lengthy and intensive phone interview this morning for the summer job I had applied for with the Park Service.  I really think I would love the place and do an excellent job, but I can only figure I'll get it if it's meant to be.  Unfortunately I have to wait a week or so before they make the final decision on summer staffing.

I tried removing the ban on anonymous comments earlier today and within the first half-hour had two spam comments.  Needless to say I'm not going back to that so it looks like the anonymous ban is back to stay.  Does anyone have a clue how one person can be singled out like that?  I've never really had a problem before, and an occasional spam is something I can deal with and delete.  But many multiple comments?

I did some yard work in response to the Park Police's visit this morning.  For my efforts I got stuck and was bleeding in 3 places.  I still have a thorn from a rose bush in one finger.  My son said he will come over and help me this coming weekend - it isn't weeds but more like little clumps of dead grass here and there.  Some come up easily and some don't, and the grasses in the rose bush are impossible.  The former owner left an old shovel that is rusty and nearly worthless to me since I can't put enough weight on it to dig out the bush.  That's what I will ask Steve to do.

While working I stopped short when I notice an interesting bug - I've seen them before but can't remember what they are called.  They blend in so well with the surroundings it's hard to spot them.

You need to click on the picture to get a larger view.  I tried using the leaf blower to blow away all the debris, but I have to admit I can't handle one of those things AT ALL.  I had leaves & stuff all over the street, and managed to get most of it swept up, but I just can't seem to be able to control anything.  It needs a super low speed that doesn't make everything fly through the air.  If anyone knows what that bug is I'd appreciate hearing about it.  The last I saw of him he was climbing up my porch steps.

I just can't help myself - I mapped out a tentative route to take from here to NY via Kentucky, where I hope to visit my elderly aunt.  I did it in Mapquest and will probably follow at least some of the route.  I had thought about swinging way down south and going through Louisiana and Mississippi, but when you look at the lines on the U.S. map it shows a big dip down and then back up again.  Too much time and too much fuel for this trip, although the weather might require it.  That will be for another time, possibly on my way back to the west coast next September or October.  I know I'm jumping the gun but I just can't help myself!

Because my camera didn't come with a full user guide, I downloaded it from the internet and printed all 151 pages of it.  I should probably get a 3 ring binder to hold the pages - not something you can put into your pocket while out for the day though.  I need to start reading and highlighting what I think I will use.  With the I-Mac I have a newer version of iPhoto which I don't really care for.  I'm thinking of eventually having my laptop refurbished and the hard drive reinstated, although I doubt if I can go back to the older technology and software versions.  It's sort of like Google and Blogger - you will change when THEY decide you will change, like it or not. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What a day!

I was having a nice leisurely morning, after an unsettling night, and decided to take a long, slow shower.  I had just applied a big blob of shampoo and had my hair good and soapy when the water went off.  Too late I remembered receiving a notice about 3 days ago about a water shut-off so they could fix a main.  What do I do now.

I knew the water might not be back on for a couple of hours so I grabbed the towel and tried to blot the shampoo out of my hair.  It felt sticky, so I went to the kitchen, where the only water supply was in the fridge.  I poured a glass of water from the Brita and tried to warm it in the microwave, but it was taking too long and I'm not the most patient person in the world, so I just leaned over the bathroom sink with a glass of cold water and started pouring it.   Knowing I didn't have much water on hand, and still had to brush my teeth, I just made "do" with one glass of cold, cold water on my head.  It really wasn't all that bad, but I'm looking forward to a long, hot shower tomorrow.  Also I made an appointment to get my hair shaped up - I've been growing it out and it is totally unmanageable by now, so I'll see if the hairdresser can make me look presentable to go to NY.

I took another look at the card from the vet that enclosed a snip of Lady's fur, and realized there is also a paw print on a white background, plus a beautiful card with the Rainbow Bridge story on it.  I've never been able to read it all the way through - I can't get past a few lines without crying, and that was even before Lady left on her last journey.   I'll have Smoky and Lady waiting for me, and hopefully one more.

Last night I had the usual trouble sleeping soundly when I woke straight up with a sound of something falling.  I grabbed my car keys which I keep by my bed (when I remember to bring them with me) thinking I can hit the "panic button" if needed.  I looked throughout all the rooms and couldn't find anything out of place.  This morning I saw what had fallen - my "Blue Star Mother's Flag" that is hanging on the front door by one of those suction cups that never stay put.  I think when I open and close the screen it brushes against the flag and probably works the suction cup loose.

This is the blue star flag, and many of you will know it indicates a loved one serving a wartime or combat deployment.  I can't wait to be able to take it down.  The number of stars indicate the number of family members who are deployed, and in WW II it was common for flags to contain several stars.  You can imagine what the gold star stands for if it appears on the flag.

The flag discussion started out to be about my uneasy night.  I think if I'm still able to handle it a year from now, I will look for another dog to love.  Right now I need a year and a trip or two just having to deal with my own needs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time lapse video of shuttle

This is one of the most awe-inspiring videos I've ever seen.  Those of us who are familiar with big trucks, RV's and the like are especially aware of how easy it is to bump a side mirror, but imagine maneuvering through the streets of Los Angeles with that wing span!  The turns and corners had me holding my breath, and the final shot is the driver PARKING the behemoth in a garage!  I hope the link works ok - the video is a little under 3 minutes and worth every bit of it.

Enjoy, and thanks to my brother Bill in Milwaukee (whose birthday is today and the darned kid is still younger than I am!)

Here's a link to a time-lapsed video of Endeavors trip to destination in LA from LAX

Time-lapse video: Space shuttle Endeavour’s trek across L.A. - Framework - Photos and Video - Visual framework.latimes.comThe space shuttle Endeavour made its final journey last weekend traveling 12-miles from Los Angeles International Airport, through Inglewood, to the California Science Center near downtown Los Angeles. The retired orbiter was carried through city streets atop a special transporter. Throngs of...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hey, I think I'll make it!

Actually I never had a doubt I'd make it, but didn't realize it would take so long.  I haven't had depression like that before, and there are other issues in my life right now that have me at loose ends.  I just realized I actually grabbed a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels, and cleaned my sliding door.  Then I actually washed all the kitchen windows along the front porch.  That must mean something - either I'm really distressed or else I'm alive again.  Hope it's the latter.

Thanks to all who have written me to check that I'm still among the living and ok.  I truly appreciate it.

In today's mail was a card from the vet who handled Lady's last journey.  Inside was a small yellow ribbon that tied together a snip of Lady's fur.  I think I will get a small round frame and mount it, and if it's a good enough job I will hang it on the wall.

I had applied for a volunteer job in North Carolina that would run from Dec through March.  I really had hoped to get the position, but this is the 10th workday since they received my application, and it is now after-hours in the eastern time zone, I guess I can write it off.  I was reconciled to whatever the outcome, but I really would have liked that location.  I also have sent an application to a national park in Minnesota and hope to hear from them within the next two weeks - same thing though, I won't cry if I don't get it.

I am setting off for New York about the 10th of November and will be there for Thanksgiving.  Although I've looked at all the maps I won't bother with details of my route until the time comes to leave.  I know from experience that the weather will play the major role in deciding how I'll get there.  It would have been convenient to leave NY for North Carolina the end of November, but it will be just as convenient to drive back to CA.  I'll be returning east next year, at least for my grandson's birthday in September.

This trip I will try something new in the way of phone connections - I will take my little Verizon phone base which I can plug in at the motel and use the land phone.  I know I should get my hearing tested but couldn't afford the hearing device I probably need, but I can barely understand a word said on a cell phone.  It's almost worthless to me, and I'm glad it's a trac fone that I can toss when the days of service or minutes run out.

I think I should have just gone for the Jitterbug which supposedly is easier to hear, but I was put off by the fact that the Jitterbug added a camera to its supposedly simplistic phone.  If it now has a camera and texting, it no doubt has many of the bells and whistles that are on most cell phones.  I just don't need all that.  I'm tempted to just do away with a cell altogether although traveling long distances alone makes me wonder about giving up on a phone completely.  I'm hoping to drive across US 50 through Nevada on this trip, and I would wager I couldn't get a signal in many parts of that route.

I've taken a few pictures with my new camera but am not satisfied with the results.  To be fair, I haven't adjusted any settings nor do I know much about any of the features - just how to turn it on and off and click a photo.  In my recent nearly-catatonic state I haven't cared enough to try to figure it out.  Here is a photo Donald took with the camera shortly after I got it.  It sure doesn't make me look any better or any younger!

After being off line for a while I don't want to scare anyone away with a longer post.  Be back when I'm back.

I can feel my blood pressure rising with trying to deal with Blogger. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

At about 3:30 this afternoon if felt warm enough to shed my flannel pj's and don shorts and a t-shirt.  It is in the upper 70's but still feels cool in the house.  Every now and then I feel guilty for doing nothing today but reading and watching a bit of Book TV, but not really all that guilty.  I seem to need more days like this as time goes on.

Tammy, a reader of my blog, has written to tell me that when she tries to leave a comment she has to do the two-word verification.  I checked it to make sure I hadn't inadvertently checked the box when I switched to no anonymous comments, but "no word verification" was still in effect.  I would like to know if anyone else has run into this when trying to comment on my blog.   for the way it comes out. 

When Blogger had the regular one-word verification is was hassle enough.  I really detest the two word thing because you can't always separate the scrunched up letters, and can barely make out the two digit numbers.  I'd quit blogging altogether before I would put anyone through that idiotic exercise.  So if it happens to anyone else trying to leave a comment, please let me know - my email address is posted right below the header picture.  And thanks.

It's been a do-nothing day and results in nothing to blog about.  Later.

Friday, October 5, 2012

My lucky day

First of all, since the first 19 spam comments I received this morning, I changed the settings to disallow anonymous comments and haven't gotten n'ary a one since.

Second, I took a look at the four used books by Nevada Barr, putting them in chronological order.  For some reason I picked up the second book in the stack and looked at the synopsis on the back cover, and while I was handling the book it opened to reveal a $5 and two $1 bills!   I consider my luck to be running pretty high when money falls into my lap.  But then I'm a person who will stop  when I see a penny lying in the street, and I repeat the incantation that every kid knows, "Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck."

I've been trying to map out a route or two with the intention of visiting as many national parks & monuments as I can without zig-zagging too badly.  It's impossible to not zig-zag, but I'd like to map it out in a logical way if I could.   The overview maps - USA and Regional) don't show all the little roads, which are the way to get in to most national parks.   I have large maps of all the individual states, but that doesn't always help because the border doesn't always indicate how close a park is on the other side.   Another consideration is the time of year and the weather.  I won't ever travel during the summer months again if I can help it, and many of the parks close in the fall because of snow, which leaves me just a small window of opportunity in those areas, i.e., the far north and the southwest, plus those in the mountain ranges.  

I can always see a few of them on my way to and from NY next September,  and I'm thinking maybe I should just devote an entire year of traveling the country in search of national parks, monuments, battlefields, and so on.  Have any readers ever undertaken to map out a logical route for this purpose?  I'd love to get comments and suggestions, and if you don't want to comment, my email address is listed on the front page of my blog.  And thanks for any help.

Temporary halt to anonymous comments

After having to delete more than 75 spam comments yesterday, and waking up this morning to 19 more in my mailbox, I've decided to not accept anonymous comments.  I regret the inconvenience this may cause the readers of this blog, but I don't know what else to do about it.  I'm hoping to open it up again within a few days so that anyone can comment, but I worry that the same thing will happen again.  Each and every spam comment was close to being the same - advertising one type of pill or another, and they looked like they could have been from the same sender.

For every comment I get, an email comes to my aol mailbox.  I marked all these comments as spam, and I don't know why aol continued to send more to my inbox.  Blogger catches them but I eventually have to go in and delete them.   I've about had it with this crap.

Sorry about this, and I hope you will understand that I know of no other way to handle it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Time Warp

I went to a Hallmark store today trying to find a Welcome Home card and wrapping paper with a patriotic theme.  They had a whole display of greeting cards, but not one sheet of suitable wrapping paper.  I went up to a clerk and showed her the card I was holding, and asked if they had wrapping paper suitable for someone coming home from Vietnam.   We both stood in silence for a second, and then I'm not sure who laughed the loudest.   Is this a sign of advancing age?

I also picked up couple of new maps at AAA, and asked about camping books.   AAA and Woodalls evidently have formed a partnership, and produced regional camping books that are about the same as Woodalls' large directory, but since they cover a much smaller area of the country, the print is easier to read.  I looked at a few localities when I got home and found that some campgrounds offer the AAA discount, but many of them say "No tent camping". I wonder how they would feel about a modified SUV or van camper, but then if they don't want me in my tent, I don't want them.   I would definitely prefer to set up my tent except in rainy  or very cold weather.   I actually don't mind sleeping in a tent during a rain, but setting up and taking down would be uncomfortable.    I've already found some promising sites for my next trip, although as always, weather will determine the route.  I really want to try for more National and State parks this time.

For some reason I am getting tons of spam comments.  So far today I have deleted about 20 of them from the spam folder.  I notice that before the new blogger interface I rarely got spam, although I know some folks did and I got one now and then.    I've also figured out the problems I have with new blogger must be related to Firefox, which is my default browser.  When I use Safari I can at least get to the "new post" page, although when I get there I don't know which way to turn unless I'm strictly creating a new post and don't need to do anything else.

The weather has turned blessedly cool and the trend should continue for at least several days.  This is Sacramento, so I won't get too complacent and think the unbearable heat is over for the year.

NOTE:  The number of spam comments has reached 25 for today.  I will wait and see if it dies down tomorrow, and if not I will not accept anonymous comments for a while.  I hate to do it, but it's really aggravating, and the comments are all trying to sell  the same thing.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More books

I finished the third and final book by Barbara Thacker, who drove a Toyota Chinook from New Mexico to Canada and back, down to Baja California where she stayed for 13 months, and from NM to Washington and all points in between.  The books were written in the 1990's and while she has settled in New Mexico I don't think there are any more books to be written.  They are excellent reading if you are interested in traveling long and leisurely over this continent.  I especially enjoyed reading about the National Parks she visited.  A few things are irksome, including references to lady rangers as "rangerettes".  Mostly I really enjoyed her writing.

Since I've read all of Nevada Barr's books that our regional library system has to offer, I visited a local used bookstore and purchased 4 more, including two that take place on the Natchez Trace, and one each in the Dry Tortugas and Rocky Mountain National Park.  Neither the library nor the bookstore had the one featuring Yosemite, so I will probably order it from Amazon.  All these books were available used from Amazon, for $.01 plus S/H, making each book a total of $4.00 + tax.  I decided to give the business to a local trying to make a living and paid about the same for the four books.  The thing that ticked me off was that I was trying to order all four from the same used bookseller in Oregon, thinking they might give me a break on shipping charges.  No breaks available!

I found the I Caps (vitamins) at Target and bought a bottle of 100 for a fairly steep price (at least steep to me).  When I got home and compared it with the sample packs given to me by the doctor I found they weren't the same at all, although similar, same brand and advertised for the same purpose.  It would take two tabs twice a day of Target's, but only one capsule twice a day from the sample version.  I will try to find the ones I want someplace else and return those I bought from Target.

My daughter recently underwent bladder surgery as I wrote in my blog a few weeks ago.  Saturday she and Donald went hiking in the Desolation Wilderness on a fairly strenuous trail.  On top of it they went a little out of their way when they missed a turn off, with the result that she overdid it and has to have the surgery repaired next Wednesday.  So I will be staying overnight at her house on Tuesday and driving her for the 5:45 a.m. appointment.  Since it is dark at that time and the surgery clinic is an area I'm not familiar with, she drove my car from her house and I was able to get us back, and we will do the same thing this time.  I don't think my eyes have improved to the extent that I have good vision in the dark again.  The doctor had told Jeannie that she could hike, but I don't think they realize how strenuously that girl exercises!

I'm determined to walk every morning I can and try to get off the blood pressure meds if possible.  If past experience can be counted on, I get really bored with walking around this community I live in, so I don't keep it up.  Either that or I am in travel mode.  At least the walking seems to prevent leg cramps at night, but I still have to get up every two hours or so.  You can't get a decent night's sleep doing that.  I wouldn't trade travel mode for leg cramps at any rate!  I'm itching to go someplace again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bless my eye surgeon

It could be my imagination but I think my vision is somewhat better today, which makes my mood better as well.  I'm glad I asked him to go ahead with the laser treatment when I was there yesterday.

Before I even had coffee this morning I decided to walk, so at 7 am I walked a little over a mile and a half around the development.  It was a good time to go as there was no traffic, and no other walkers.  One lady was out arranging a hose in her front yard and just stared at me when I smiled, waved and said hello.  It brings out negative feelings against seniors, and damn, I are one!  If many are like the ones I encounter then we must have a really bad reputation.

I did some more hacking away at a couple of overgrown bushes in my back yard.  I think they are some sort of camellia, which should be pretty, but I remember the few blossoms I had last year weren't nice at all.  Maybe hacking it down some will have a good effect on it.  I can only work for a short while because even though the air is cool, the sun is really hot.  Tomorrow if I can get out there early I will get the ladder out so I can level off the tops of the bushes.

I got out my entire collection of AAA maps today and had them spread all over the living room floor.  It took a while but I finally had them sorted by region and state, and then kept the latest version of each.  The rest went into a stack for donation to Goodwill.  I don't know if they would even take them, but if I can drop them off and get away real quick then they can do what they want.  Some of them go back to 2004, about the time I started driving from Asheville to Sacramento every year.  I doubt there is much difference between the older and newer versions, although the inset maps of large cities might have been "improved" somewhat.

I need to get a decent campground guide, but not one that is targeted for big rigs.  I'd also prefer one that has all the forest service and other govt. campgrounds.   Somewhere I had picked up a book on camping in the southwest which I was looking through this afternoon.  It is well arranged and I'm highlighting those in New Mexico that sound interesting to me.  They include government, both federal and state, as well as private sites.  I would really like to see more of the national parks and monuments this year.  Since I could very well be making two cross country trips next year, I should  be able to take in a few of them.

I'm planning to grill mahi mahi this evening.  I bought charcoal a couple of days ago and never could get it to light, so I ended up using my oven.  Tonight I'm determined to try it again, because mahi mahi is superb when grilled.  The marinade I concocted tastes good enough to eat by itself!  Due to the great size of the fish and the increased chance for mercury pollution, I try to eat it less often but since I got the marinade down pat I think it's one of the tastiest kinds of fish I fix.  They are all good!

I love it when things are on the upbeat.  If I could only muster up some energy to do a bit of cleaning! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

I saw Dr. G today

Dr. G is my eye surgeon, and I've met only one other doctor that I can remember who inspired so much confidence, and neither of them was arrogant.  I have been worried about what I think is a worsening of my vision, but according to all the tests they did today, my vision is still about 20/40.  The transplants look great, but since there was a bit of cloudiness on my right eye, he offered to do a laser treatment to break it up.  He had already done that on my left eye a while back.

He checked me for macular degeneration since I was worried because I found a website that said there could be a correlation between seniors' use of daily aspirin and macular degeneration.  He recommended I take a multivitamin with zinc, and gave me some samples to start with.  I think I'd better be thankful for what I can see and not worry about what I can't.  As long as I can still drive safely I'll be happy.

I have about a two week wait until I can expect to hear about the volunteer job I'm interested in, and will leave in 6 weeks if I get the job.  That will give me about 4 weeks to plan my trip, what to take, etc.  I'm okay with the outcome, either way.

Yesterday was Ara's birthday, and I was at Jeannie's house when we talked to her briefly.  She and Dylan were back in PA and had a wonderful trip, spending some time in Yellowstone.  I'm so anxious to hear more about that.  They had a problem at one of the Indiana toll booths, but it came out ok in the long run, after they had to submit to dogs checking her car.  I guess two young people traveling across country, looking like they had been camping at Yellowstone, arouses suspicions of dangerous, drug & gun totin' delinquents.  I don't think she or I will ever set foot in the state of Indiana again!

I think the fog is lifting from my life and the depressed state I was in is slowly disintegrating.  If you believe in astrology, the past few weeks have found many people in distressed and depressed mood.  If you don't believe in it, then just ignore this paragraph.

On the way to my appointment this morning I stopped at a camera store - one of my film cameras quit working and I had a partially used roll in it.  I hoped they could remove the film in the darkroom and develop what was on it.  I told the tech that I had put a new battery in the camera but that it still wouldn't turn on.  He took out the battery and checked it out, then reinserted it.  The camera opened and closed perfectly!  Evidently I had put the battery in backwards.  I remember not being able to see the + and - to indicate which end went which way - one of the many times my eyes fail to see the fine print.  I had planned to just trash the camera, but decided to finish the half-used roll of film which has 18 out of 36 pictures left on it.

Triple digit weather for today and the next two days while the northern plains is getting snow!  That's just too unfair.  I am so tired of hot weather.  Maybe I can slip in another camping trip, this time to someplace with few people around.

I couldn't read the ingredients in the vitamin capsules when I wrote the blog - either the dilation of my eyes or the laser treatment hadn't worn off yet.  Now I see that they are for an age related eye disease study; the vitamins in it are A, C, E, and Zinc, with trace amounts of a couple of other substances - copper and protein.  The brand he gave me are I-Caps.  I doubt I will be able to notice a difference but maybe they will prevent further damage to my eyes, but I will sure blog about it if anything noticeable happens.