Eastern Utah
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Stamford, CT

We went to Stamford yesterday so the boys could take part in the "Reebok Sparta Race".  I had never heard of it before, which isn't surprising.  It is a really great idea, and at the Stamford event there was a Junior Division which my grandsons entered.  I'm not really sure if that's an option at all the events nation-wide, but I would think so. 

This event was held in a small park in the middle of Stamford, but the way the course was routed was truly ingeneous!  There are obstacles along the way - barriers to climb over, etc.  The race for the kids consisted of two laps, but if parents approved they were allowed to run an extra lap.  Most of the younger children had  one of their parents running the course with them, as did my son.  Each child that completed won a ribbon with a medal to be worn around the neck, and received headband, a t-shirt, and other small gifts.

I tried to take photos to show the course as well as the buildings of Stamford.  Here they are starting to line up.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

 One of the earlier groups had to run through a mud pit, and after the younger kids finished their run of course they had to splash around a bit in the dirt.  

It was a beautiful day for this event and the weather was just perfect!  Afterward we went to an Irish pub for lunch with another family.  The food was delicious and the decor was pretty spiffy.  I'll have to say that most of the pubs I've been to in Ireland were a little less classy, but probably more friendly and fun.  But then I'm biased!  I'm trying to eliminate most sugar and carbs from my diet, so I had a salad that was excellent.  The sandwiches and burgers looked good, but I remained virtuous and committed to my diet!  (No bread; greens, tomato, avocado, grilled chicken, and a carrot ginger dressing.)

The drive to Stamford was beautiful once we got off the highway and on to the side roads.  The scenery is actually great even on the highway as it is heavily treed on both sides of the roadways.  But the smaller roads were a bit winding, hilly, and passed some of the most beautiful homes and farms I've seen.  They are what you think of when you think "New England" although technically I believe we are not quite northern enough to be considered New England.

Stamford is quite a nice town - we passed the university and hospital, and then many of the large glass and steel office buildings alongside smaller and older buildings.  All in all, it is a very attractive place.

I know the quality of my photography is declining as fast as are my eyes.  I found it difficult to try to capture the intensity of the kids (and fathers) as they ran through the course, but they go by so quickly and I'm just too slow to get the action.  I had a wonderful day though and was totally whipped by the time I went to bed last night.  From all the standing and walking my legs ached, but this morning I feel great again!  The restorative power of sleep is amazing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Walk across the Hudson

Yesterday was the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and most schools were closed, so Sandy took the day off as well and we all went to walk across the Hudson River.  An old train bridge was rebuilt as a pedestrian walkway, and is about 1.3 miles from one side to another.  Considering the round trip, plus the access walk from the parking lot, we probably walked just under 3 miles on a beautiful sunny but cool day.  Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Part way across is a glass elevator that takes you down to ground level and a small park that also has a Children's Museum.

This photo was taken from the elevator car and looks down river towards Manhattan (eventually).

And this one looks across the bridge to the west side of the Hudson.

These pictures are of the bridge framework as we descend to river level:

Back on the bridge

 There was some kind of algae in the water - don't know why or what it is.

It was a great day for walking and I'm glad we went all the way to the other side.   We tried it several years ago when I had Lady, but got about half way across when the kids were too tired to go any further.  I was surprised tht it was much breezier on the east side than the west - you'd think it would be the same on both.

We finished the jigsaw puzzle, and I'll close with a full photo and a close-up.  It wasn't easy as all the pieces were triangular in shape.



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Puzzle time!

As always, there is a jigsaw puzzle being worked on the dining room table.  This time it's as diabolical as always - a picture in the shape of a triangle, with pieces that are all triangular shaped.  I placed a few of the pieces last night, but I'm just not as good at it as I used to be.  My 9 yr. old grandson is unbelieveably good at it though.

The boys have to read out loud at least 20 min. a day, and last night I listened to the 7 yr. old.  I last heard him read when I was here this past spring, and has he ever improved!  I am the book-giving grandma, so you know it makes me happy.  All my grandkids get a book or a series from me for birthdays and Christmases.  Everyone else can give toys, etc., but I'll stick to the books.  The 9 yr old is on the 5th or 6th in the Harry Potter series, which is amazing to me.  I never made it past the 6th book.

It's currently still in the low 60's today, and I'm really comfortable in my sweat pants.  Of course they are California pants and not  suitable for really cold weather in the East.  I still have sweat shirts and pants from when I lived East, and it's rare that I can wear them in the Sacramento area.  I'm loving this weather!

Since I'm not driving much this trip I spend more time at home reading.  I just ordered another book to read on the way home (having already read the one I brought along for that occasion), and will probably order yet another before I leave.  (They are all part of a series).  It's not so difficult to read when I sit close to a window and can get some daylight.  Also, I'm starting to wear the glasses prescribed for me for getting my license renewed last March.  They were for distance, but they seem to work well with the computer now, as well as driving.  I can't figure it out.

This is turning out to be a beautiful day.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good day for a birthday party!

Yesterday was my grandson's birthday party, although he turned 7 last week.  It was a gorgeous day, in the high 70's and sunshine.  There were lots of kids and fortunately the weather was perfect for them to play outside.  There was so much food and lots left over, even after people took bowls and plates of it home.  I'm looking forward to leftovers this week - I love them.

Sandy's grandmother made me a round loaf of Portuguese bread and I sliced some for my breakfast this morning.  It is slightly sweet, and with butter slathered all over it, just perfect!

Now, after being around so many people for a few days I have the day completely to myself.  Just the thing for an introvert - I love being with company and conversation, but treasure getting my energy back with some "alone time".

I notice that the thermometer will rise to about 100 in Sacramento today, and I will really enjoy our high of mid-70's!  The weather here has been perfect to me.  I thought I had brought a sweater or light jacket, but only an old fleece pullover is all I can find among my clothes.  It's hard to pack for a month and get it into one suitcase to be checked.  So much easier to drive!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Community Day

This was the big day for the community - I attended it two or three years ago and marched with my grandson's group so I didn't see the first part of the parade.  Today I had a prime spot and saw everything, from the honor guard to the last sports team.  In between were lots of fire equipment, much of it volunteer companies, local businesses, schools, organizations including the Sons of Italy (of course--this is New York after all), a Scottish group, and many many more.

After the parade everyone goes to the park where there are some attractions for the kids, lots of tents for the adults to wander around, and much more.  I made a tour down two rows of tents but it was all local business and organization- sponsored, so I found a nice spot under a big shade tree and set up my chair.  I people-watched for the rest of the afternoon.

I have never seen so many good dogs in one place as today.  From the big shepherds and labs, to the medium sized dogs, to the little ones who are usually yappy.  They were all very well behaved and there was no barking or yapping.  I looked up at one point and saw two animals that were either alpacas or llamas - I think they were alpacas, but since I've heard that llamas spit I never go near anything that looks remotely like one.

The weather was just gorgeous, probably in the low to mid-eighties, with a nice breeze all day.  I was content to just sit at the park and watch the world go by.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I didn't get even one photo.

So in looking at the dogs, I feel sure I'd like a lab or german shepherd male.  The only problem with the shepherd is whether I could handle a male of the breed - I don't deal with dogs with a too-firm hand but try a firm voice and lots of love and kindness.

Friday, September 18, 2015


 The more I research getting another dog or puppy, the more confused I become.  I know I definitely want a black lab, but would prefer a young one that is finished with the chewing stage and is housebroken.

I'm shocked at some of the prices asked for adoption - $450 from one org., $750 from another.  Maybe if I was employed full time I could afford that, but as a retired person I find it too steep to consider.  I probably won't find another dog, but now and then I wish I could.

Note to Jo about comment yesterday, my glasses are no-line and are usable for close up, distance, and in between.  The problem is that I just need a new prescription, but in order for my insurance to pay any of the cost I will have to wait until the first of next year.  I could get just a new Rx for reading, but it is such a hassle taking them off and on constantly, that I would tend to leave them on and look over the top when I don't need them for reading.  There is probably no good fix for me at the present time and i may as well get used to it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pretty quiet here

I enjoyed reading all the comments about making Kombucha.  I am planning to get back to juicing when I return to CA, and don't know if I can handle two operations such as these.

I went to Nature's Pantry this morning to buy some more Kombucha, and now 7 bottles are lined up in the fridge.  I drink one bottle (16 oz) a day - and selected the Green-Green, and the Gingerade flavors.  I certainly haven't had even a hint of indigestion since I started drinking this product about 3 days ago.  That's the first thing I notice, and hope there are more good effects to come.

While at the store I inquired about the fact that I understood they had fresh juice available.  They directed me back to the deli where they indeed have a large juicing machine, and made me a delicious drink on the spot.  It's expensive though, but when I started thinking about the cost of all the fresh ingredients I use when making it, I can see why.  It's so healthy and refreshing, and I'd rather pay for fresh produce than most snacks, drinks, packaged foods, etc.  I'm getting over jet lag and my energy is returning little by little.

I'm driving my d-i-l's Sienna van, which I love, but I decided I'm not going to do a lot of driving this time.  When I do, I'll stick to the places close to home that I'm familiar with.  If I had my own car with me I might stray further afield, but probably not.  I'm noticing I don't enjoy driving at all any more, probably due to my worsening eyesight.  I have the requirement on my license that I wear glasses but I actually see better without them.  I think I need a new prescription, but the insurance won't pay for new glasses until the first of the year, and I'm hoping to just make it until then.  I have to have them for reading and usually just keep them on most of the time, which may or may not be a good idea.

There is a jigsaw puzzle in the works, and several new ones in boxes.  Again, my eyesight makes it easier to work the puzzles if I'm in direct sunlight, and the table isn't located in such a spot.

No wildlife in sight during the past week.  I don't know where the deer go to browse now, but they aren't coming through this yard at least while I'm observing.  I miss the foxes and hope the mama comes back to the same spot next year when she has a new litter of sweet little fox babies.

I'm signed on a list for available dogs, and I specified black lab or a mix with mostly lab.  I've been getting some good returns although most are young puppies.  I think I would prefer a puppy to an old dog as I didn't have good luck with the last older one.  I'm not sure if I can handle puppy energy though, and especially the chewing.  I raised Smoky from a tiny little pup, and he chewed away on my kitchen cabinets if I was gone; when Chili, Joe & Sarah's gorgeous Dobie was a pup she chewed the plaster in the walls.  I think Smoky did some of that as well.  There just isn't any getting around it I guess.  If a person can survive that first year, then it is much smoother sailing after that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

More about the kombucha

I went out for a short time this morning to a couple of different food  stores, but just couldn't find anything I wanted.

Moonfly's comment about all the negative side effects of kombucha makes it sound like it would be bad for you.  For one thing, moderation is the key in anything, and if you've never tried it before then drink about 1/4 of a bottle 4 times a day.  One thing that is important is to drink lots of water afterwards. 

I think someone who is fairly concerned about their diet, exercise, and way of life is probably not full of toxins anyway.  I exercise, eat mostly organic foods, and don't take any medications that no doubt cause a huge amount of toxins in a person taking them.

I've been reading a lot about kombucha and it is good for the digestive tract, cleanses the liver, and is good for heartburn, acid reflux, etc.  I've found from many different sources that it is very good for you.  As I said though, if you've been eating a lot of junk, processed foods as well as those containing GMO's, you'd probably do well to go slowly, and observe how you feel.  Of course if you begin to have a lot of side effects, then stop drinking the kombucha or drink less of it until your system improves.

I used to consult WebMD sometimes when I  would be prescribed a new medication; those types of websites are geared to the medical topics, and of course they don't know what they are talking about when it comes to getting and staying healthy without medications.  The drug companies don't want people to choose health.  I often wonder about doctors, who are totally manipulated by the phamaceutical companies.  There are probably billions of dollars in the drug industry worldwide, so think about it, and you can see why they would ridicule anything natural that they can't make money from.

Also, the labels on the kombucha state that "trace amounts of alcohol may be present".  It's certainly not an alcoholic drink, no more than sauerkraut juice is alcoholic although they are both fermented.

Nancy1340, what equipment do you use in making your own kombucha?

It is a beautiful day here in the Hudson Valley, sunny and 76 degrees at 1 pm.  The creek is very low on water and they need some good rain in this area.  I'm worried most of all about the lack of rain in California. 

Since it has only been a few minutes from the time I published this blog post, I will address Judy's comment about beer.   As of now, I've only tasted two different flavors of kombucha - multi-green and  pomegranate ginger.  Neither one tastes like beer, but maybe would be a bit closer to wine; I find pom. ginger tastes a little more vinegary or lemony than the green.  Both have a slight fizzy taste similar to  soda or beer, although neither tastes carbonated.  I think without the fruit and/or veggie flavor it might not taste as good to me, but so far I find it  outstanding.   I would like to repeat that the articles I've read about it stress how important it is to drink extra water (from your normal daily intake) if you drink kombucha.  I like the taste of water anyway so have no problem with that.  If anyone out there drinks it or tries it for the first time, I would love to hear your comments about it.  It probably won't appeal to everyone, but so far I think it's dynamite.  Thanks.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Keeping healthy

My chiroprator loaded me down with exercises to do and I'm trying to keep up with them.  None take very long, and none are difficult to do, but it's a matter of just getting down to it.

I had finally gotten the hang of juicing to my liking before I left Sac, and now I miss it.  With that in mind I drove to a natural food store that I knew carries unpasteurized juice, and bought 3 bottles (16 oz ea).  Two are kombucha green juice that contain a few other healthy ingredients.  I had no idea what kombucha is, and didn't know whether I would like it or not.  I opened one of the bottles today and the first drink was a total shock!  It seemed extremely tangy but also tasted extremely good and refreshing.  Each sip of it got tastier and the tang was still there although a bit softened.  I love the stuff!

Kombucha refers to a variety of "fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drink".  I sure felt a surge of energy and good health after each sip of that stuff.  I bought 2 kombucha multi-green drinks,  and 1 kombucha pomegranate ginger, which has an amber color.  Both are dated and the product doesn't have much of a shelf life, so I will probably visit the store every 3 or 4 days.  It is a fairly large store with loads of good things, but I tried to keep from shopping right now and just got the juice.

So I've shopped for and drank a healthy drink, and done quite a few exercises as well as walked on the treadmill for about 25 minutes.  I think I'll treat myself to a beer this evening!  (Beer is good for you, especially a golden ale or lager).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Totally turned around

All day long I've been thinking it's Monday, but here I am, a day ahead of myself.  Slow down, Gypsy!

I spent a couple of hours at the soccer field yesterday for the kids' first games of the season.  Today, Sunday, the family went to a Family Day celebration and picnic and I had planned to go.  Just before leaving I didn't feel so well and decided I'd rather rest at home.  

I am absolutely worn out by that plane trip and the subsequent jet lag.  Believe it or not, it is so much easier to drive, assuming you can take your time and stay off the interstates.  I had planned to fly here for Justin's First Communion this coming April, but if the weather doesn't look too horrible I may change my mind and drive.  The biggest problem is that to stay off most of the interstate requires driving north to avoid Salt Lake City, and in April the weather might not be predictable enough to do that.  

You may remember the last time I drove in April I made it ok to Dinosaur National Park in Utah, but when I reached I-80 after leaving Utah/Colorado the weather went straight downhill and I had to stay on the interstate and drive much faster than I prefer to drive.

So today I've done a bit of napping and reading, and am thinking about going downstairs to walk on the treadmill.  Having one so handy I have no excuse not to use it every day.

Wildlife sightings so far:  No deer; no foxes.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jet lag

I don't ever have problem getting used to time differences when I drive, but the plane travel is killing me!  I would love to just sleep for 24 hours.

My grandsons' soccer season started today so I watched them play.  The temps weren't bad at all, but I suddenly remembered what humidity is!  After the games the rain started coming down and it's been pouring ever since.  I sure don't mind seeing it, and the New Yorkers are grateful as well since they haven't had any rain for several weeks.  Sacramento should have a few of the drops.

I can't yet think straight enough to write much, and hope I'm back on track in the next day or two.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Glad the flight is over! UPDATE

I would love to say that after I return to Sac in October I won't ever get on another plane, but I'd better not be too hasty.   To begin with, security which is usually a breeze at the Sacramento airport, was a nightmare yesterday.  Long lines and much more stringency made it difficult for me.  I finally boarded the plane and had a bulkhead seat which provides great leg room but no place to set your carry on, so it had to be stowed in an overhead compartment.  I managed to grab a package of pop tarts before I put the bag away but had nothing else to snack on during the flight.

Even though it was raining the Chicago skyline was spectacular, and we had flown north, so came into Chicago over Lake Michigan after passing Green Bay.  My guess was that the northern route may have avoided the worst of the weather?  

Chicago airport is usually no problem  considering the heavy traffic, and it's normally not bad getting in and out of there.  But this time, we had to wait on the tarmac until a gate was free, and I didn't have much time (about 45 min.) between my flights.  As it turned out I had to walk pretty fast to get to the other side of the airport.  It must have been the same for many of the outgoing flights because a lot of folks were running to catch their connections, but pulling big carts on wheels behind them and weaving in and out of people ahead of them.  Not a good situation and I was breathing heavy by the time I got to my gate.

I boarded right away and again had a bulkhead seat, the first in the plane.  This smaller plane had only one seat on the left (starboard) side, and two on the opposite side.  

Did I actually write that the left was the starboard side of the plane?  Of course everyone knows the left is the port side, and I should have done a better job of proofreading!
Because the plane was already filled I had to put my carry-on in the overhead about a third of the way back.  I knew it would be a problem de-planing and I was going to be late anyway.

Again there was a delay in taking off and we sat on the tarmac for longer than usual, but once we were in the air we made good time and arrived 5-10 min. late, in the rain.  It was good to see the rain and this part of NY needs it.

On the first flight (from Sac to Chicago) there was a family with 3 young children, including a 2 year old who didn't like sitting still and made her voice heard throughout the flight.  When we landed in Chicago, they hit the brakes and put on the reverse thrust (or whatever it's called), which makes a very loud noise.  As soon as the noise stopped, the little 2 year old called out "Thanks for the ride" to the pilot.  Everyone on the plane broke into laughter.

Well, that's enough about my troubles with flying.  I'm here, safe and sound, and they had a big meal in the works when I arrived, and which I needed desperately after going all day on just two pop tarts! I slept late this morning and don't know how the kids kept quiet enough that I didn't wake up before they left for school.   I'm going to take it easy today and plan to hit the treadmill first thing to work out some of the kinks of sitting all day on a plane.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting down to the wire

I have just two days left to pack, straighten up the house, clean out the fridge, etc.  I have appointments with the chiropractor on both of those days as well as a lot of little trips here and there before I leave.

I wanted to make sure I wrote about my experience yesterday, in light of the little book I bought on the wonders of using salt, lemon, white vinegar, and baking soda.

I did a load of laundry yesterday, and while I'm always careful to make sure there are no tissues or other things in pockets, I didn't really check for big stains.  I did some juicing a couple days ago and included rainbow chard in the mix.  The stems have juice in them as well as the leaves, and the red chard has red stems, which stain pretty badly.  I was wearing white cotton capris and don't know how I got pink stain all down one side of them, but I washed them and dried them in the dryer, which usually will set a stain.  When I was folding the clothes and saw the stain I thought I would probably have to throw them away.

I looked in the little book and found "laundry solutions".  It said to make a paste of soda and vinegar, and when the fizzing stops, to rub the paste on the stain.  It also said I could use a soft brush to work at the stain, but I didn't do that.  I just smeared the paste over all the stain which went all down the left side of the pants, let it do its work for 10 minutes, and then threw it into the washer again.  When it came out it was pristine!

I'm amazed at how completely it got rid of the stain which had been "set" by previous washing & drying, but let me tell you it was worth the price of the little book!  When I get back in a month I am planning to completely go over my entire house with the solution.  I say that now but in reality I will probably not make it through the "entire house".   At my age I'm not going to tax myself completely over something that will last such a short time.  Moderation is the key!

I'm getting my hair trimmed this morning as it is starting to get into "that stage" now where I know it will be sticking out all over in another week. 

I mentioned in yesterday's post the difficulty I have in reading some blogs, as well as a lot of websites.  The blogs I read regularly don't cause me any problems.  One person commented on my font being difficult to read.  It doesn't show up that way to me, but if it does to any others who are reading this, please let me know.  I don't know how to fix it except to go back to the regular font.   I also don't understand it, but I use this font in my aol email, and sometimes in the middle of a word the font size will change.  It's the weirdest thing I ever saw, and I don't know if it's my computer or aol that is causing the problem.  

If I didn't dislike gmail so much I would go back to using it exclusively.  My main gripe is that they cut way down on the size of the space in which you can write an email or reply to one.  The only thing I can figure out is that they are trying to accommodate those who use their smart phones for email and thus have much smaller screens.   I could be wrong about that but it makes more sense to me than anything else I can think of.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trip to the Mall - UPDATE

I don't do that very often, but I needed to get a new watchband and Sears has a watch repair shop in their store.  The man behind the counter changed the buckle on the band to chrome to match the watch, and had it installed and on my wrist in about two minutes.  I love that place because you can hardly find anyone to put a new band on a watch these days - the stores that sell them (such as Target) will not do the installation.

I then went across the street to Barnes & Noble, and bought some books for my grandson's birthday.  I browsed through thousands of books I think, and finally told a clerk what type of book I was looking for, and she immediately showed me what I wanted.  You don't get that kind of service online, folks.  I would have totally missed these books, and I am sure they will match Justin's age, reading skills, and personality better than anything I found myself.  I knew what I wanted but just didn't know where to look. 

I also got someone to help me find a book I heard about yesterday on C-Span2's "Book TV".  It's called "American Warlords" and was written by Johnathan Jordan.  I heard Mr. Jordan speak about the book and then take questions from the audience, and am very interested in reading it.  Unfortunately, they only have the hardcover book so far, and it's too big and heavy to carry on the plane; I'll wait and buy it when it comes out in paperback.  It seems like an excellent account of how men who were polar opposites in their politics and thinking, came together before and during the second World War to form a cohesive strategy and battle plans.

Listening to the author speak about the conditions at home before and during the war, such as rationing, was really interesting to me.  My parents went through it although I was too young to know or be affected by it, but I'm sure those times played a critical role in shaping my overall character and personality.  I just wonder if Americans today would accept the hardships and deprivations our parents and grandparents went through.

Now I'm back home and opened up the house to let some fresh air in.  I discovered a newspaper on my front porch, and remembered that I was signed up for Sunday and holiday delivery.  I thought yesterday's edition would be my last, but I have one more today.  I cancelled the delivery permanently because I can only read the darker printed headlines & titles, and it's too much of a struggle to read the smaller and lighter print.  They offered me an online subscription, but I cannot imagine reading an entire newspaper online.  As it is I look at the Google news headlines and keep up with some of the news, but there isn't anything that can beat holding a newspaper in my opinion.  The internet is good for a lot of things, but it would be a stretch to think that everything you want to know or read is best found online.  How often am I frustrated by something with black print on a dark blue background, or vice versa.   I'm to the point where I will be cutting back on the blogs I read as well, because I just find it too hard to deal with the colors.  I might add that everything is easier to read if the sunlight comes through the window in just the right spot, but that isn't a constant.  It's something I am beginning to accept as inevitable, and will deal w!ith it in the best way I can.

Oh, I almost forgot.  On my way into B&N I picked up a small book on display which was just meant for me to see (and buy):  "Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda".  Does anyone believe this is just a coincidence, or did the little elves know I was coming! 

UPDATE:  Yes, Linda, I use white vinegar for cleaning.

Friday, September 4, 2015

In a Cleaning Frenzy!

Now does this sound like me?  You're right, I've never been in a cleaning frenzy in my life!  A woman who will switch sleeping on sides of the bed so the sheets only have to be washed half as often, doesn't get in that kind of frenzy.

But I have inexpensive laminate floors, and never know how to  clean them as I don't want them to warp.  I have a steam cleaner but it's a hassle to get out, hook up, fool with the water, cleaning pads, etc., so I don't often use it.  (Besides, it is in my storage room snuggled behind the camping gear.)  The spots in my living room were getting more and more noticeable, so I did a search on the "best way to clean inexpensive laminate flooring".   The answer I got was to use a solution of half vinegar and half boiling water.  You can use a mop, a spray bottle, or whatever you want.  I have a spray bottle and got that out.  

Why boiling water and not just very hot tap water?  I decided to see if hot water would work just as well, and I don't know how it could have worked any better.  I had some black scuff marks that didn't respond to normal spot cleaning, so I sprayed my solution on them, and wiped them up with a paper towel.  Immediate results!  The spots were gone instantly, and I went through the room looking for spots to attack.  I even used it on part of the kitchen floor, and intend to do a proper job of it just before I leave for NY.

Now if I could find a solution for keeping the dust down.  No matter if I use a dust mop, broom, or vacuum cleaner, I can see tons of dust when the afternoon sunbeams shine into the room.  It's almost as bad as if I had a dog!

The vinegar water solution works on cleaning just about anything, so I'm going to use the rest of it on my kitchen countertops.  And I'm never going to pay for another commercial spray cleaner that contains a bunch of chemicals I don't want in my house.  By the way, you don't have to scrub or rub hard - the vinegar does the work.  So why do we need all that chemical-laden crap to begin with. 
I guess the natural solutions are the way Grandma did it in the old days, and it's good enough for me. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Visit to the police tomorrow

I think I'll get in and out of the station with no trouble.  I have been searching online to see how I can dispose of various meds, both Rx and OTC, and found a police station not far from my chiropractor that takes these substances.  I'll be seeing the chiro tomorrow, so afterward I'll head on over to the station.  

Fortunately I called in advance to make sure what they would take.  They accept all pills (including capsules) but no liquids or creams, so my cough syrups went down the drain, and the Ben-Gay & Neosporin into the garbage.  The officer told me to take everything out of the containers and just dump it all together in a plastic bag.  I didn't have all that many prescription meds, but quite a few OTC's and vitamins that I wanted to get rid of.  I buy most of this kind of stuff at Costco because it is so much cheaper there, although you end up buying a larger quantity.  I think I purchased boxes of Benadryl, 48 pills to a box, and packaged in 4 box lots.  I have two unopened boxes, so that's 98 Benadryls I have to open up and add to the stash.  Add a couple bottles of Costco 81mg aspirin, which are very nice looking yellow pills, and I have a regular rainbow of colored pills and capsules in that bag.

I now have so much more room in my medicine cabinet and the kitchen cabinet over the sink where I keep my vitamins & supplements.  Plus, I don't have to worry about safely disposing of them.  I wonder how they do it but doubt if I will ask.  I used to hammer the pills and add them to used coffee grounds which supposedly reduces their effectiveness, but in the case of most of them I'm sure they still make their way into the sewers, landfill, and the groundwater.  

I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I've been wanting to get rid of this stuff for years now.  And it is a beautiful day today, at 81 just before 2 pm, going up to 85 degrees for the day.  For some reason I'm feeling on top of the world today - it doesn't happen all that often so I am especially happy when it does.  I noticed it when coming from the gym this morning, so it must be those lovely endorphins hanging around.  I love it when that happens!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Another Day with Liam

Liam, who turned 5 yrs old last week, spent a few hours with me today.  As always, he brought along some dinosaur encyclopedias, as well as flash cards for the 50 states.  I got my big U.S. wall map and laid it on the big coffee table so it was all visible.  He would pull a card, read the state, capitol, and various facts, and then find the state on the map.  He really knows his geography!

Then of course came the dinosaurs.  He was reading me the stats on various dinos, and gave the length & height of each.  I looked at the pictures and asked him "wonder why the T Rex has such big teeth whereas the Spinosaurus is a much larger dinosaur but has smaller teeth."  Liam looked at me as though I was dense and said in a "teacherly voice", "Grandma, it's because spinosaurus (the big one) ate fish and T Rex was a meat eater."  It is so logical that I'm embarassed I didn't see it myself!

He starts school this Thursday - the school has Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2, meaning he will be in Kind. for two years.  It seems better than to spend another year in play school, but I hope his teacers are ready for him

Geography was always my favorite subject in grade school, and I'm so happy to have a grandchild who shares my love for travel and exploration, and learning about other places and peoples.  Argentina is his favorite place, and maybe that's why "Argentinosaurus" is his favorite dinosaur!

I still haven't even thought about packing for my trip and I'll be scrambling at the last minute.   That's better than getting it all packed now and then having to go through everything several times to see if I remembered important items.

I called the newspaper this morning intending to just do a vacation stop, but ending up cancelling the paper altogether.  I can't read it and usually just look at the darker headlines.  It's becoming more difficult to work the NY Times xword puzzle as well, and I don't need all the ads because that just makes me want to shop.  I will miss going out and picking it up off the porch on Sunday mornings.   Getting older ain't fun, and I'm noticing I have more trouble understanding people on the phone.  I complain about not being able to decipher the accents anymore, but it's probably my own hearing loss.  I certainly didn't have hearing troubles until just a few years ago.