Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Back to School

I went to school this morning to attend Autumn's ancestor presentation to her class.  Jeannie went into work late so she could be there, and Donald was working in another classroom but came in for the presentation as well.  Autie stood in front of the kids in her class who were seated on mats on the floor; she had a large poster that she had made, with pictures, maps of Germany, Spain, and Africa, etc.  

I sat in a chair facing the class as Autumn talked about her ancestors.  Then she interviewed me in front of the class with lots of questions regarding where my family came from, how they got here and why they made the journey, as well as what is different now from when I grew up, what kinds of things we played with, etc. - just life in general for an 8 yr old.  Then the children asked me questions and though I didn't realize I'd be speaking to the whole class, I think I would have gotten an "A" for  speaking in complete sentences, distinctly and loud enough to be heard.  I loved it!

An interesting side note is that last week one of the children brought their 82 yr old great-grandmother for their presentation, and the g-grandma left Germany after World War II.  Asked about her life there and why she left, she elaborated on the hunger, bombed out buildings and lack of shelter, rubble in the streets, and a foreign army ever present following the war.  The teacher told me that the woman had tears in her eyes as she spoke of it, and it made me realize that although I think nearly everyone I knew in my childhood was poor (poor being a relative term), we can't understand what it would be like to go for extended periods of time without decent and palatable food, a roof over our heads, and a foreign army in our midst.   The children in the class were so attentive and polite, and it is good to see that children today are not just spoiled brats but are interested and caring.

One more thing about school - I would have done well in this school - actually I did ok scholastically, but there is less concern today with making kids sit rigidly at a desk and never  talk out loud unless told to by the teacher.  I was a talker as a child, and the Catholic school system of check marks for behavior is still a cause for laughter among those of us who had to deal with it.  On the back of the report card was a grid with behavioral problems and boxes that could be checked for each grading period if necessary.  The one I remember is "Exercises self control" - which means talking when you should not talk.  I think in the 7th grade the box for this misdemeanor had 4 check marks in each little box across the page!  I don't even see how they could have fit 4 checkmarks into one little box, but they did.  There were a couple of other lines that I can't recall but which meant "talking too much".  I just couldn't keep my mouth shut!   In the classroom this morning, at certain times and depending on what they were supposed to be doing, you could hear quiet conversations among groups of kids.  Now that's my idea of a fun classroom!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Departure time getting close

I haven't yet started to pack anything in the suitcase, but I do have some of my clothes stacked on the bed.  I used to be so organized and I just don't know what happened to me but I'm organized no more.

I appreciate all the wonderful comments to yesterday's post.   I went back and re-read my very first post in which I mentioned inheriting the gypsy gene from my Aunt Artie!  Here is a little of that post:

My thoughts this morning have centered around one of my aunts who lived to be in her 80's. When she was in her 70's she traveled around the world, and soon after returning home she bought an old Volkswagon van. She drove that across the country more than once, and her sense of humor, frugality, and her ways in general have been a great source of amusement to my kids. This morning the thought popped into my head that one of my sons has made the comparison a couple of times lately between Aunt Artie and me!

I don't take offense to it because while my siblings and I groan when the subject of Aunt Artie comes up, my kids just loved her to pieces! Actually we all did, but she could be soooo embarassing at times. She was really a gypsy at heart though, and maybe that is how I come by it honestly. But I vow I will never, ever, save used paper towels from a public restroom to wipe the dipstick when I change my oil! This episode still sends my kids into howls and fits of laughter. When my daughter washed her hands and then threw the paper towel into the receptacle, Artie dove in and retrieved it, saying "I save these to use when I check the oil in my van".

One of my brothers, reading this post, commented:

I'll never forget the time Aunt Artie stopped at our house in Redwood City on her way home from the Philippines. She stayed with some nuns for a month or two, and brought the following: six stale dinner rolls, used coffee grounds (she said there was still a good pot of coffee left in there), and (of course) used, dried paper towels.

What can I say except that I don't save paper towels.  I don't think I'm anywhere near as eccentric as my aunt, but who knows.

Aunt Artie was an athletic woman and played softball on a Cincinnati Women's League team, playing other league teams as well as traveling to Chicago to play.  Sort of like in "A League of Her Own", except I think those girls played hardball. Artie was married at least twice but had no children, so she had to pass on those gypsy genes to someone, and why not me?  (This is taken from an old scanned sepia photo, and isn't the clearest of pictures.)  Artie was probably in her early 20's in this photo, and lived to be 88 yrs old!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ready for Milwaukee!

I believe I mentioned I am going to Milwaukee to help my oldest brother and his wife celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next weekend.   Since I'm counting on most of my siblings being there I've found some old photos to take along for old times' sake, and just came across a DVD of old movie film.  I mean really old movie film - probably goes back to the late 1940's, and some of the scenes are priceless.   The camera was owned by my Dad's sister and when she came to town she always recorded events in film.   There is no sound, but I've already noticed a few scenes that my brothers are going to love, so get ready guys.

And to show how marvelously sophisticated I was, there is a short take on me coming home from work, dressed fit to kill, and walking up the sidewalk carrying my shoes (very, very high heels).
My aunt directed every move, so she then had me get into my Dad's new Pontiac and  back out the driveway and then drive in again.  It would be prize material except for carrying the shoes.

This is the same aunt whose gypsy blood I share.  When she was approaching my age now she flew around the world - literally - stopping to visit anyone she had ever met who said "If you're ever in Timbuctu (or wherever), stop in and see us".   Then she settled back down in the U.S., bought a Volkswagen Van (old hippie style) and drove several times back and forth across the country.  She had that VW rigged out to live in when traveling.  This is a woman at least in her 70's by that time, and I dedicated my short RVing lifestyle to her.   I know she would approve of my current style of motels/tent camping across the country.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I'm cold!II

I've been cold all day, and while the sun is finally shining it's too late for its rays to warm me or my house.  There's no doubt I could have warmed myself by getting busy and doing things around the house, but wrapping up in a fleecy throw, turning on the TV, and going to sleep seemed to have been a better option.

I've noticed for the past week that I'm increasingly suffering from carpal tunnel pain in my right hand - the hand that controls the cursor!  I am going to have to do something to reduce my computer usage or it's only going to get worse.

Every time I walk into the kitchen I see the elliptical sitting there, and I swear sometimes it winks at me.   I would be using it right now except I have my sandals on and not the proper shoes for it.  If you are wondering why I keep it in the kitchen, it's because I can set it close enough to grab on to something to break my fall if I should lose my balance - the fridge or the countertop is very good for this purpose.  So far I've been ok though and haven't lost my balance - just gotten incredibly tired knees and legs.

As much as I've been wanting a beer for the past few days, I haven't opened one yet.  I think maybe tonight's the night.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Got the elliptical going!

I worked it for about 5 minutes and then had to rest my legs.  They hurt just above my knees and in the lower thighs.  I wouldn't think anything on my legs would hurt with all the treadmill walking I've been doing.  Instead of running over to the gym today I've been doing laundry, and it puts my schedule out of whack.   

I've been thinking I'd like a beer this evening, and re-read the after-dental work instructions - avoid alcohol until healing is well established.  I think I safely fit in this category, so I will enjoy a delightful Golden Ale this evening.  I need a reward for something or other!

I "borrowed" a small carry-on suitcase from Jeannie last night.  I think it is part of my luggage set, but whoever needs it takes it.  I would really prefer to check a slightly larger bag but $25 check-in fee is way too much when I think of how it was when I used to fly a lot.  Larger and more comfortable seating, meals provided, and the list is long.  I really do hate flying but at this time of winter it's the only way I can go.  My April journey will be a lot less stressful on me as long as someone helps me pack up the Highlander.  All my children inherited the good-packing gene from their father, so I rely on them to organize my trip.   I used to be good at it too, but age seems to do something to spatial awareness.

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to finding a good chiropractor in my area.   I notice that during and after exercise my neck aches, as well as the soleus muscle in the calf of my right leg.  I know my spine isn't straight to begin with and I have been told a long time ago that I had a touch of scoliosis.  I'd be curious to hear of any readers who  use the services of, and have comments good or bad, about it.  I sure wouldn't want to talk to a medical doctor about it - they would no doubt want to prescribe muscle relaxants, pain relief, etc., when I just want the problem fixed.

I guess I should get back to the elliptical - five minutes isn't enough to get a decent workout or even to judge whether I want to keep using the device.   It looks like something you might see in a museum of torture devices.  (Hah, I'm just kidding.)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Puzzle Finished!

I stuck with it and finally finished it this afternoon.  I'll leave it up to admire my work for another day, and will take it apart and put it away tomorrow.  I have another one waiting to be assembled - the picture includes the Golden Gate in S.F.

Click to enlarge.  The colors in the photo are not as striking as the actual puzzle, but it's no doubt due to my camera settings and I don't know how to tweak them so as to not completely screw everything up.   A thousand pieces are a whole lot!

I want to mention how much I enjoy the comments on my blog, and today's comment by Chuck (Goldenshoe RV Trip) takes the cake!  I laughed out loud, and thank you Chuck for making my day.  Judging from the comments it seems I'm not alone in sometimes having trouble dressing myself!

I once had a very nice telescope and loved watching the night skies with it.  I took it with me when I moved to Ireland, and assembled it but found I needed to take it out the front door to see the full moon and the southern skies.  But Ireland is so cold and windy especially during winter evenings so I rarely stayed outdoors for long with it.  (I lived on the end of a peninsula and with water on three sides of me, including the Atlantic ocean, there was no escaping the damp cold.  

When I brought the telescope home to the U.S. with me I tried to set it up again in North Carolina.  Not much was visible in the skies with all the trees around me, but I never could get it set up to my satisfaction.  One of my kids eventually took it to see if he could get it to work and I've never heard anything else.  One of the things I loved about this telescope was the software that came with it.  There was a program called "Starry Skies" for which you selected the direction you wanted and could view the horizon with the heavenly bodies in that part of the skies labeled.  You could move from one part of the sky to another and I loved it.  I have never been able to use those star charts you hold over your head - can't figure out exactly what direction I'm supposed to be viewing and generally get frustrated and quit!  Starry Skies was perfect for me.  I found the disc but unfortunately it works with Windows 96 or something like that.  I could see the contents of the disc on my Mac but of course, I couldn't access them.

I just hate it when there is a simple, easy to use and easy to understand program for the computer, telephone, GPS, or whatever, and improvements propel it out of my realm of patience and understanding.  



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Gotta be careful today!  I was ready to leave the house to go to the library and then to the gym, and decided to hit the bathroom before leaving.  Lo and behold!  I realized I put my sweat pants on backwards this morning, with the drawstring tie in the back!  

It feels good to be exercising on the treadmill again.  I haven't done any exercise at all since my dental extraction early Monday.  I'm feeling great - never had a moment's pain after the tooth was pulled - just from the injection sites, and they still hurt a bit.  I'm glad that's over with although I have to see the dentist next Monday so he can be sure everything is ok.

I've been dealing with travel plans this morning and still haven't figured exactly what clothes and shoes I'm taking along.  Jeannie and I looked at dresses at Macy's, and I found one that was okay but not anything to rave about except it was on sale.  Jeanne mentioned that she had several dresses that would probably fit me and that I should take a look and try them on before spending the money for a new one.  I tried on four dresses when we got back to her house, and selected one that I like very much and it will go well with my new sandals.  I'll post a picture when I wear it in Milwaukee.  I have two lovely dresses, both long and both rather bare on top.  Milwaukee in Feb. isn't the place for "bare shoulders"!

All I have left to work on with my 1000 pc. jigsaw puzzle is blue sky!  I wonder why I always save something like that for last.  Every time I walk past the puzzle I spot a piece that fits, but I doubt I'll have it together before I leave next week.  I'll be glad when I can put it away, or give it to Joe & Sarah to work on.  Steve gave several puzzles to me and Joe took one home - he and Sarah finished it in two evenings.  My eyes were a heck of a lot better when I could do that, but I'm surprised I do as well as I do.

Not much going on here except I'm going crazy trying to get all my reservations made, papers together, list of things to do before I leave.  It'll happen and a week from tomorrow I'll be in Milwaukee enjoying a beer!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Odds and Ends

I had to get up so early yesterday morning for my 7:40 appt. with the dentist, that I'm being super lazy this morning to make up for it.  Actually I'm trying to finalize things for travel next week, and I've spent the entire morning doing internet searches.

Yesterday evening I wondered if I would have to end up taking something for pain relief, but in the end I didn't need it and I'm feeling a lot better this morning.  The only thing that aches is where all the needles went in to numb the area around the tooth that was pulled.  It was difficult to find enough things I could eat last night and I've also been taking it easy this morning.  The result is that I'm starving!

Finally the day has arrived that I get my hair trimmed.   I think yesterday it went over the edge from where I could do something with it, to becoming entirely unmanageable.

 I'm trying to renew my car registration online, and I can't get past the login.  It must a new system and requires a new userid and password.  No matter what I enter, it won't accept the password and I'm getting mighty frustrated!  I'll put it away for today and call their office tomorrow.  There are so many little items that I need to take care of during the next few days, and I wonder why I waited until now to get to it!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Waiting- UPDATE

It's not even 7 in the morning, I am showered and dressed, and just waiting until it's time to leave for my dental appointment.  I'm not too nervous about it as there isn't much I can do about it, and I just hope all goes well and the pain killers work!   When I was hit with pain on Friday evening and took an Alleve, the pain stopped about 15 minutes later.  I thought for sure it would come back, but fortunately I haven't even had a twinge.

Yesterday Jeannie asked if she could use my car as hers is making a weird noise, so of course I said ok.  She had to make a couple of stops and wanted me to go along with her and Arianna.  Autumn had a birthday part to attend and Donald was taking her to that.  We hadn't been out long when Arianna became pretty quiet, and when Jeannie helped her out of the car in the shopping center she noticed that Arianna was running a fever.  By the time we got back to their house she was alternating between feeling cold and hot, and Jeannie talked to the advice nurse at some length, and was told to give her 
children's tylenol or similar.  It worked pretty fast and by the time I left to come home she was feeling much better.

Autumn's party was at an ice skating rink (I would have loved to attend that one!) and instead of personal birthday gifts, the birthday girl had requested that gifts be for pets and would be donated to a pet shelter.   I hope it becomes a trend with these young kids - to think of others less fortunate than themselves when it comes to gifts.  Autumn has decided she wants to get birthday gifts that can be given to homeless children for her next birthday - it is a terrible blight on our country that there even are children who are homeless.

Jeanne is off work today for the national holiday, and I'm getting my hair trimmed tomorrow, but if her car hasn't been fixed by then I'll just let her keep mine for a while.  It means I will have to walk 3 or 4 city blocks to get to the gym and treadmill, which certainly won't hurt me to do.

I may have mentioned that when I am in NY I would like to try some backpacking on the Appalachian trail, maybe NY and CT, or even on my way back home I could hike through the Shenandoah in Virginia.  I don't have anyone to hike with so just figurd I'd do it alone.  One by one my kids have just casually mentioned "You could get Ara to hike with you."   A week or so ago I was talking to Ara and she said "I'll hike with you grandma", and yesterday it hit me that there was a conspiracy going on.  My kids know better than to tell me I shouldn't do something  because then I'll HAVE to do it, so they've probably collaborated with Ara figuring she would have the best chance of getting me to hike with a partner.  I think it's so funny (and so very sweet) that the 4 grown children are calling upon the grown granddaughter to control and look out for "the old lady"!  I have to say I can't think of a better solution and I really love them all for being concerned.  But I've raised them and probably know all their tricks, and no doubt used a lot of the same tricks when I was young.

When the two younger sons were in their late teens they were very interested in traveling to Ireland for a few weeks.  On a tight budget they took bikes and biked around the Ring of Kerry.  The girlfriend of my youngest son also went with them.  Before they left I told them, "Now don't cross the border into Northern Ireland.  Just stay out of Northern Ireland as it could be dangerous".  I told a friend about the trip and my warning, and they said "They wouldn't go into N. Ireland will they?", to which I replied "I certainly hope they do".  You want a kid to do something just tell them they shouldn't!  They did rent a car and drove up to Belfast where they had a great time, but didn't spend a whole lot of time there.  They could say they were there, which was the whole idea.

 I'm back home one hour after the time of my appointment.  It took longer for the numbing than it did to pull the tooth.  My dentist applies the numbing meds very slowly so it doesn't hurt, and waits until he is sure they have taken full effect.  The wisdom tooth is out, and I hope I don't have any more problems for a long time!   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dental work (Updated)

I've noticed the past few days that anything between warm and hot gives me a twinge in one of the molars on the side I thought was ok.  Last night it started throbbing and eventually I called the dentist's office and left a message for when they come in on Monday morning.  Tha pain finally got bad enough that I went to see what kind of remedy I might have, and found an Aleve bottle with two capsules left, so I took one.  It went to work and in about 15 minutes I felt no pain.

This morning I am still ok and have one Aleve left just in case.  I got a phone call and the dentist was on the line.  We talked for a few minutes and he must have had my records in hand (or maybe on his computer) because he thinks he knows which molar is giving me the problem.  He said it is either pull the tooth or do a root canal.  Well I choose pull the damn tooth as I don't have the money for a root canal right now, and my newly purchased dental plan doesn't pay for any major work for the first year.  I have an appointment for 7:40 on Monday morning - early for me any more as I don't get up before 8 am.  Years ago some dentist left the lower wisdom teeth and just filled them, so I'm hoping it's one of them rather than the one next to it.  My upper wisdom teeth never came in fortunately, but does that mean I'm only half wise?

Now I'm wondering if dental inflammation is the reason for my recent high blood pressure.

I was going to shop for a dress today but don't know what I was thinking of - shopping on a weekend!  I'll probably wait until Monday - wait!  I'll be numb from the tooth extraction.  Maybe I should do it tomorrow if I can get myself going early enough to beat the crowds.  I don't like to shop to begin with but the past couple of years the mall isn't so crowded, probably due to people buying so much online.  I hope the malls don't disappear until after I do!

I've noticed that I've been getting a lot more emails trying to sell Valentine Day gifts, or at least that's the excuse for the mail, sale, etc.   When I was a kid Valentine's Day meant buying big packages of silly little cards (no envelopes) with even sillier rhymes, and the little heart candies with the silly little love words on them.  I never did like the candy, and didn't think much of the cards except that everyone passed them out at school.  An ad that has been shown lately on TV is for a "love bear" - a huge teddy bear costing a bomb!  I wouldn't be very happy if I got something so dumb for Valentines day.  Of course I won't be getting anything, so I don't have to worry about someone buying me a stuffed teddy bear that cost over $100!  I'd rather see $100 donated to a soup kitchen so that homeless folks who don't have a Valentine could at least get a meal.  (I'm not as disillusioned as I sound - it's great having a Valentine from what I can remember.)

Happy Valentine's Day! 

UPDATE:  I was reading over the blog I wrote when I lived in Ireland, and came to a comment by LizW.  I responded to her comment/questions, but don't know how she found the Ireland blog or if she is a current reader of "On the road again".  If you are reading this, LizW, I thank you for taking the time to read my Ireland blog, and hope you look at the comment section where I tried to answer your questions.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Calendar error

My calendar shows that it's the 2nd Friday in February, but I'm sure there have been more than that.  I seems to me that Friday comes along about every 3 or 4 days!   And to add to the confusion, our temperatures will be in the 70's for about a week.  What happened to our rainy winter?   I'm not really complaining and it's nice to have the front door open with sunlight streaming in.

I have to go shopping tomorrow for a dress.  There was a time when that prospect would have filled me with anticipation, but now I just feel dread at having to go to a shopping center.  With some luck I can find a suitable dress with no problem.   A coat?  Good heavens it will be cold in Milwaukee, but I have a jacket I can wear.  Hopefully I won't be out in the weather for long, just from the hotel to the car, and then to the church, etc.  I am so looking forward to this celebration that it won't matter what the weather is like!

I just scrolled past the RFD channel on TV and would you believe there is a re-run of an old Porter Wagner show.  His guest was Dolly Parton and it must have  been one of her earliest shows.  She was cute as a button but it was obvious that this was before her "feminine enhancement".  Porter was wearing a white suit with shimmery decorations all over it.  It certainly takes you back to a gentler time, although the clothes of some of the performers look like the 60's, and I guess you can't call the 60's a gentler time.

Have a great weekend out there.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Traveling Music

I don't care for constant music while I'm on a long trip, but I do sometimes feel the need for some energetic music.  The remaining 3 CD's I ordered came today, and I'm loading them on my computer, one at a time and then listening to the entire CD.

I made just vegetable beef soup this afternoon dancing around the kitchen to a Cuban beat!  I have always loved Cuban music and wouldn't be surprised if I lived a former life in Cuba.  My dad also loved it, and back in the mid to late 40's he played records on an ancient record player - well it would seem ancient to younger folks today but it seems like wonderful technology to me!  I have said that I never want to leave the U.S. again, but if I ever have the opportunity to visit Cuba I will certainly do it!   (Gotta practice up on my ChaChaCha!)

After the Cuba CD I loaded and played "Rumba, Mambo, ChaChaCha".  Dang, I know the beat but couldn't remember the steps to the ChaCha.  Gotta keep trying to see if it comes back to me.  I guess my favorite is the Rumba beat tho', and I know the steps to that one - just follow the guy you're dancing with and hope he knows what he's doing!

One more to go, and that is "Music of the Andes".   I love that music also and it seems like it is original (South) American music - without Spanish-African roots.   Well, maybe a few Spanish roots.

These CD's will keep me awake and alert in the middle of the prairie, although I might zone out picturing the gorgeous Senor who is singing to me!

I think the soup looks, smells, and tastes delicious, but I'm sure I'll get tired of it before it's gone.   Try as I might, I can't make a small amount of soup.

I'm anxious to get this darn jigsaw puzzle finished and then put it away.   I have most everything together except for the sky, and that will be fun - all that blue.

I think I'll go eat a bowl of my soup.  It's only a little after 4 pm, but I'm going to the gym this evening and I don't like to work out on a full stomach.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February is flying by!

I look at the calendar and think "It can't be the 11th of February already!"  I have too much left to do in the next couple of weeks, and I spent at least an hour today working on the puzzle.  I'd like to get it finished and boxed before I go to Milwaukee.  Of course I will be doing the hardest part last - the blue sky!  Thanks, Nancy, for the link to a product that allows you to roll up the unfinished puzzle and store it.  I might look into that.  (Click to enlarge).

My grandchildren leave me little love notes all over the house, and of course I can't move them or, god forbid, throw them away!

I drove to Costco this morning and was sad but not too surprised to see that gas has risen from $3.07 to $3.37 in just about a week.  I'm not sure why the increase is so high as the cap in trade tax amounted (supposedly) to 10 or 12 cents per gallon.  The average person just can't get a break for too long and then it's yanked away from us.

In considering my wardrobe I am going to have to go shopping before I go to Milwaukee.  I have relaxed my style of living and dressing so drastically that I have little to wear to an "occasion" especially in the cold weather.  I'm going to get something that I can wear with my new sandals, and if I have to trudge through snow in my gym shoes and carrying my sandals in a bag, then I'll do that.

At Costco I bought a bag of organic frozen mixed fruit to go into my protein shakes.   Usually I use frozen blueberries but this time I decided to vary the taste.  I first picked up a bag of strawberries-blueberries-blackberries, then returned them to get a bag of 5 different fruits, including the three mentioned plus cherries and pomegranates.  I tried it out after my walk today and oh my goodness, I've never tasted anything so wonderful!  The only one of those fruits I've never tasted before is pomegranate, so that must be the wonderful flavor.  I never tried them because I don't care for the looks of them!  What a mistake.  I usually add a banana or a couple scoops of ice cream to make the shake extra creamy, but with these 5 fruits it was the consistency of soft ice cream.  That means I'll just have to eat the ice cream in a bowl.

I've yakked on long enough this evening, so I'll just say goodnight and see y'all tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blood Pressure - Again

I finally heard from my doctor regarding the blood pressure readings I sent him a couple of weeks ago.  By now I don't want to touch any bp medicine with a 10 ft. pole!  He says to keep monitoring and we may need to start a low dose of bp meds - he thinks 140's over 90's max is okay.  I'll do the monitoring but I may forget to write something down if it is over 149!  I wrote him back and told him I'd do the monitoring but that I've never felt better in my life and I think it's because I quit all prescription meds and pain relievers, antihistimines, etc.   I got soooo sick of that damn monitor - just hate it - but I'll accommodate the dr. anyway.  When I see him I'm going to thank him profusely for not prescribing anything when I first noted the blood pressure was a little high.

I'm leaving for Milwaukee on the 26th of Feb., and I haven't done anything to get ready for the trip.  I always wait until the last minute and then tell myself I work better under pressure.  I'll get back on the 4th of March and then will have a little over a month to get ready for my long road trip.

It's a relief to be looking at several days of warming and clear weather ahead.  The temps are predicted to get into the low 70's by mid week, and the 70's has always been my idea of perfect weather.   I threw away my bikini long ago so I don't need hot weather anymore.  (I'm just joking - I've never even tried on a bikini, although in my doddering old age a few years from now I might go for it!)

I've been working on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle for some time now, but I only do a little at a time - I need to wait for optimal daylight to be able to distinguish slight variations in color.   I hope I can get it done soon, before I leave for Milwaukee if possible.  Years ago I had a large piece of cardboard that I would build the puzzle on, and then slide it in and out under the couch or even the bed to keep it from getting messed up, as well as to be able to use the coffee table.  The dining room table was always covered with sewing projects!

That's enough for today.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Supplements, etc.

This answers Nancy A.'s question yesterday about what brand of Turmeric I bought.  

Nature's Lab™ Turmeric Curcumin C3, 1,000 mg., 120 Vegetarian Capsules
Rated 4.2 out of 5
I ordered it online and they were giving about $3.00 off plus free shipping.  I'm a Costco member and I don't know if you can order it without membership.  The suggested dose is 2 capsules a day and I split the bottle with Jeannie so we each have a 30 day supply.  I figured a month is plenty of time to see how it works.

There are cheaper brands to be had.  This one has a higher amount of turmeric than many others, and it contains bioperine, which is black pepper and which enhances the turmeric.  The link above gives a great deal of info on this product, and I would suggest that if you are interested in trying turmeric you read the info page.  The product is also thought to increase skin elasticity and promotes healthy skin.  While I can't say that there is a correlation, the raised white skin patches that were all over my arms have either disappeared entirely or have become so faded they aren't as noticeable.  (The red marks have also disappeared since I quit taking aspirin.  Hallelujia!  I don't look like an abused woman any more.)

I just talked to Jeannie a little while ago and asked her if she had noticed any difference since taking the turmeric.  She said she hadn't, so maybe it takes longer for some folks than others, as well as the kind of pain and problems you are having in the first place.  I also have a positive mental attitude that won't quit and feel better than I have in years.  I know this won't last as everything goes in cycles, but at least I don't think the "down" will last all that long until I'm back "up" again.

I tried on a long dress with my sandals today hoping I won't have to hem the dress.  I need to hem it just a bit or I'll be stepping on it.  I bought some iron on fusing tape and will try that first.  Hope I don't mess it up because it's a beautiful dress, although I don't know if it is too bare for Milwaukee at the end of February!  Living in Sacramento has me spoiled - you can wear anything you want in any season, although I still won't wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.  My Mom would be pleased.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Just a Short One.

I don't have much to say because I've been in the house listening to all the rain pouring down.  One more day of rain, then about a week of sunshine before the next storm system moves in.  I hope they don't try to tell me that no dent has been made in the drought!

Coming back from the gym this evening close to sunset there was the most beautiful rainbow in the sky.  I could see it most of the way home, and it looked like it dropped down in the vicinity of my house, and I thought to myself "I'm gonna find that pot of gold for sure."    Of course it didn't happen.  Looking to the west about 20 minutes before the sun set was so gorgeous - you could see the red sun advancing atop a thick layer of cloud giving the cloud an unusually pretty color, and the clear blue sky out over the direction of the Pacific Ocean.  It's hard to drive when there is so much beautiful scenery all around you, but I made it home safe.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Woke up with the sun!

This morning I woke up with the sunlight streaking into my room.  What a beautiful sight!  Yesterday evening the wind and rain were fierce, and at one point it actually pulled my side door open, and the crash of the door against the railing on the small porch there gave me a fright.  I've never had anything like that happen, and I quickly pulled the door shut and locked it.  All evening I could hear thunder and noises that sounded like low flying planes overhead, heavy traffic, etc.  The noises of the wind were truly weird.  There will be more weather like this in a day or two, and I hope it keeps up as long as we get a good day in the middle of the storms now and then.

This morning I went to the farmer's market and was surprised to see how few stalls were set up.  And the ones that were there didn't have as many vegetables and fruits, although the ones they had are beautiful.   I'm always glad to replenish my supplies.  One stall had strawberries which will improve my breakfasts during the coming week.

I've lost track of the number of days since I started taking probiotics and turmeric, but I can really tell a difference.  Not that I was in severe pain, but my exercise level always left me with considerable aches - "good" pain - but I can say I barely feel any muscle aches at all now.  I also haven't had the severe indigestion that was giving me so much trouble.  I hate to be reliant on antacids for my future or any kind of pain reliever, and hope this relief continues. 

Contrary to the weather forecast, we are having rain off and on today.  This is the way this time of year is supposed to be in the Sacramento area.  The clouds are dark overhead, but somewhere the brilliant rays of sunshine are leaking through.  Spectacular!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Rainy Friday?

I woke up to a cloudy sky and just heard some rain on the aluminum carport.  As I understand it, most of the storms will make landfall north of our area, but we will get some rain - just not enough to make a dent in the drought, but enough to make the weeds grow and multiply.

It felt strange this morning not to take prescription meds first thing after making my coffee.  I am now off all Rx drugs, and hope to begin tapering off some of the supplements, although I'll probably do that gradually until they are gone.  I'll still take a few though.  A few days ago I bought a bottle of very good grade Turmeric capsules, and am sharing them with Jeannie.  Supposedly they are great for many ailments, including pain, so I'd like to give them a try.  Today will be the 4th day I have taken them.  I do notice that my legs don't hurt - normally they ache because of the strenuous (for me) walk that I try to do every day.   I'm also stopping the Ranitidine, Zyrtec, or do I mean Zantac? for indigestion, plus the HRT.  I'm going to try a daily probiotic, as I've heard so many folks swear by them.  I hope it will help with the occasional indigestion I get.

I just spent quite some time on the phone with Ara, my granddaughter in PA.  It was so nice to have a long  chat with her, and we talked about the good times we've had when she visits Sacramento and when she, her mom (Jeannie) and I would spend Sunday mornings  going on a walk or to a farmers' market, just being together and talking a mile a minute - three generations connecting.

We talked about my upcoming trip to the east coast, and she offered to go backpacking with me if I decide to try it.  It would be so nice to have someone to hike with, and I'd be more likely to do it and to succeed.  But that is a long way off for now.  I need to plan for my trip to Milwaukee and South Dakota.

I just got back from my walk on the treadmill and side trip to the grocery for milk.  The power went off as soon as I walked in the store, and though they had a few emergency lights and working cash registers, the main power never did come back on while I was there.   I had to have help identifying the milk I wanted it was so dark, and I had left my glasses in the car as well.

I finally got through the Friday traffic that ran like thick molasses today, and discovered that I don't have any power, including internet access.  I'm typing this off battery, but won't be able to publish until we get power back.  I'm also hungry for some lunch but don't want to open the dark fridge back up - I quickly put the milk away and hope everything stays cold.  Dang, now what do I do:  no lights, no heat, no nothing!

Well, I took a little nap, and when I woke and looked at the digital alarm clock it was flashing so I knew the power was back on.  I had my lunch and now feel terrific!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I haven't written lately about my quilting efforts, so I thought I'd explain where I am now.  As you know I tried to just sort of wing it, cutting squares and strips to put together a short little rectangular piece.  I put it away to think about it, and in the meantime I watch "how to" videos now and then, one of which struck a chord with me.  It was on "squaring the blocks", which I realize I didn't do properly.  The exercise in trying it on my own is not a waste, however, it reinforces my initial plan to take lessons and learn the basics from professionals and from the very beginning.  At least now I can see why this is so necessary for me - if I were years younger I would have the time to teach myself, but as it is, I want to quilt something that ends up looking good as well.

I've been researching the blood pressure issue (I won't call it a problem because it probably isn't), after sending my doctor the list of results from 1 week of monitoring my bp.   It looks like he is correct in that I shouldn't take it for granted I have a problem that needs to be treated.   I have decided to quit monitoring bp, and to continue my exercise regimen to keep me healthy.  I also am no longer going to worry about cholesterol or a host of maladies that benefit the drug cartels (the legal ones).  As healthy a lifestyle as I can manage will keep me going for my allotted time, and I feel such a relief in knowing that  Oh, I'm also discontinuing low dose aspirin, and plan to quit most of the supplements I'm on as they are used up.

I was talking to my granddaughter (Autumn) last night, and she asked me how old I was.  I told her I was 74.   She said one of the women who work in her classroom asked her how old her grandma is.  Autie said "I told her you were 73, and that you exercise".  The lady replied "Heck, I'm 56 and I need to exercise!"   I think it's so cute that my little darling associates me with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.  You just never know what makes an impression on kids - she also talks to me about the books she is reading, as she knows I love to read and I almost always give her books as a present for birthday, Christmas, and  occasionally an "I love you" present.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Glasses

I'm not good at taking selfies (in fact I think the word "selfie" is dumb to begin with), so I'll publish a picture when I can.   My new glasses came in today, so I was off to Walmart to pick them up.   They improve my distance vision, but the close up reading is definitely not as good.  The tech explained why that is, and not understanding much of the explanation I'll just take his word for it.   The eye doctor is trying to make sure I can pass the vision test for my driver's license renewal.

I believe I mentioned that I went back to plastic frames as I didn't much like the titanium, even though they are much lighter but they seem more delicate and breakable.

This morning I visited Target, Dollar Tree, and Walmart, and bought a bunch of small items of interest to kids (and adults).  Autumn's girl scout group has become aware of a local man who travels to Mexico several times a year, and who takes used clothing, toys, etc., for locals who live in extreme poverty in the city he visits.  The girl scout troop asked the kids and parents to gather used clothing and toys they might have, as the gentleman is going back to Mexico very soon.  

I am donating the two pair of Ryka gym shoes that I bought at a very good price at Costco, and even bought cushy insoles for, but which just never felt right for me.  I decided to buy some little things for the kids that they aren't likely to get.  At the three stores mentioned I bought crayons, coloring books, pencils, pads of ruled paper as well as plain art paper, etc.

In 1992 I was married for the 2nd time, to a man from El Salvador.  We were making preparations to visit his family in that country, including a niece and two nephews he had never met.  Of course he had to buy lots of presents to take back - mostly clothing, but I bought my own presents to give to the family, and for the children I bought crayons and coloring books.  My husband scoffed at the idea that I would buy "that stuff" to take to them, but I just ignored him.  I was the hit of all times when I gave them the silly little items and they absolutely loved them.  About 15 minutes later I noticed the adults (his mother, brother & sister) had crowded out the kids and were coloring away in the books!   So I feel confident that my little package for the  children will be appreciated.

I think I feel a nap coming on! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I haven't been a fan of football for years so I didn't watch the game, except bits of it every now and then.  While I really didn't care who won, I've always liked Boston teams.  At least in the past, and I'm more familiar with baseball, their teams have been extremely good sportsmen and the fans are enthusiastic but polite.  I've seen Cincinnati & Boston in the World Series and you never heard booing going on,  from either side.   So congratulations to the Pats!

I had been asked to watch Joe's girls as they were having a few people over and wanted an adult party.  I asked him to leave their car seats when he dropped the girls off at my house, and we went to Jeannie & Donald's house.  The girls had a great time with Ara & Arianna, and I enjoyed doing the NY Times xword puzzle with Jeannie while Donald was cooking.  We had hot chicken wings, grilled "sliders" topped with bacon, and some delicious baked potato skins with all the fixins.  Various chips and dips were also on the table.

Other than driving Mike's boys on one occasion from their daycare to home, it was unusual for me to drive the kids.  I felt perfectly comfortable both ways (about 7 miles each way); more traffic going over in early afternoon, but coming back in the dark with less traffic.  Then I'm not familiar with Joe's new neighborhood and can't read street signs in the dark, so I got lost.  What good is that darn updated GPS if I don't use it!  I need to put some addresses in it so I don't have to go through this again.  But I got them home and then drove myself a little out of the way when I missed a turn getting out of their subdivision, but I did get here intact.

Here are two pictures of my new shoes:

Kind of plain, nothing fancy, but the toe and heel are not closed in so I hope they are comfortable over a several hour period.  I actually prefer my Birkenstocks and that's what I wear most often, but I don't think I can get away with wearing them in Milwaukee in late February, at a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.  If it snows I have a problem with either pair of shoes!

After about 3 years of suffering many ailments and getting blown off by her doctor, Jeannie finally changed doctors.  What a difference it is making.  First of all, he listens to what she is saying and has referred her for several tests and to see specialists.  I mentioned she has problems with her feet and couldn't get the other doctor to take her seriously.  This one referred her to a podiatrist who has already made a difference.   She is going to try a different specialty shoe store tomorrow after work and I think I'll accompany her, but oh lord I hope I don't see shoes that I like!

She has already been diagnosed by the new doctors for several other ailments, and will see an endocrinologist on Thursday.  I just hope they can zero in on what is wrong with her thyroid and treat it to make it right.  A person in their early 40's shouldn't have to go through what she has been going through, without at least a better explanation than what she's been getting.

I'm thinking about popping open a beer now that I'm safely home.  I drank a couple of Clausthaler's (German import) non-alcoholic beer today.  It tastes pretty good and if I ever had to quit drinking beer entirely that is what I would switch to.

Ride 'em cowgirl!

I was up and out pretty early for me on a Saturday; we had a half hour drive from Jeannie's house.  With a 5 and an 8 yr old in the back seat, this is how it went most of the way:

You're looking at me!

I'm not looking at you, I'm looking out the window.

Mom, make her stop looking at me.

Mom, she hit me!  

Mom, I don't want her looking at me or looking out my window.

And on and on for the entire trip.  I told Jeannie to just think of how I felt with 4 kids in the car when they were little.

Fortunately things were much friendlier when we arrived at the riding place.  There were two horses (and about 8or 10 girls), and they took two at a time starting with the smallest girls - which meant that Autumn was one of the last to ride.  One horse was a paint mare, and the other was a gorgeous gelding.  I kept hoping Autumn would get to ride the gelding; the mare was gentle and friendly and sweet; the gelding was friendly and sweet, but he was always looking for treats and a little more spirited!

While the first two girls were taking their turn on the horses, one of the ranch girls took the other little girls on a tour of the facilities, showing them the other horses, the tack room, etc.  When they got back to where the moms were, Autie said to her mom, "We had to clean up horse poop!"  She didn't seem fazed about it and thought it was pretty funny.  Here are some of the pictures I took:  (Click to enlarge.)


I was very glad I went as I enjoyed seeing all the girls having so much fun.  Autumn and Arianna left with friends and their parents for the afternoon, so Jeannie and I went shopping for shoes.  Jeanne has been having trouble finding shoes that fit and feel good so we went to a specialty store.  I need something a little more dressy than my Birkenstocks, and found a nice pair of sandals that felt good.  I haven't been able to wear any type of closed in shoe except the runners I wear to the gym, and I hope these will be better for when I wear a dress.

I'll need to dress up a little for my brother & s-i-l's 50th anniversary coming up, as well as for a couple of occasions in New York, and the sandals were on sale!  They feel good, but I'll not be doing much dancing in them!