Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, November 26, 2015


After listening to all the rock music at the gym I watched two programs that I had recorded of the Cumberland Highlanders at Jerusalem Ridge, KY.  This is the home of legendary musician Bill Monroe.  I needed a fix of bluegrass after the silly "other" music I've had to endure.  I will agree that the beat of rock is conducive to keeping up a rhythym in one's workout, so I don't really mind it.

I love anything Appalachian, the people, the music, the accents, the "Trail", the words.  It got me to thinking about words I recall from when I was young and spent time in the country.  I can't remember many of them, so readers please feel free to comment with your own country words.

One of my favorites that I remember my Mom saying was when one of the kids would limp - she would say they were "walking like a chicken with a bumblefoot."   What the heck is "bumblefoot" I can only imagine, but I remembered this saying recently when I was limping with my sciatica.  Poor chicken; poor Gypsy!

Other country favorites are "directly", as in "I'll be there directly" and could mean 10 minutes or several hours.  "Yonder" is another great inclusive word that can cover many situations, - up yonder, over yonder, the wild blue yonder.  Because today is Thanksgiving, we will be eating turkey and "dressing".  What the heck is this "stuffing" thing - Stove Top?  The proper word for what you stuff the turkey with or bake as a side dish is "Dressing".

So what words do you recall from your memory that maybe aren't used much any more, and relate to where you were born and raised?

I wish you all good food (however you refer to it) and good company today.  I will be leaving directly to go yonder to my youngest son's place for the full turkey and dressing dinner.

(Speaking of my youngest son, my baby, Joey, turned 38 yesterday.  He did a little celebrating last night at American River Brewing Company, and I can only hope he brought some samples home with him.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More about music

At the gym again this morning, and only one deceng song - Bill Hailey and the Comets singing "Rock Around the Clock".  The first concert I ever went to was to see Bill Hailey at Cincinnati Gardens.  I've only been to two rock concerts, and the second was Jimmy Hendrix.  Loud, loud, loud!

I've always preferred jazz and attended lots of jazz concerts in my younger years.  My favorite groups were Dave Brubeck, and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  Then jazz changed and the instruments were electrified, and it's never been the same.  Now I like true Bluegrass, but only on acoustic instruments - no plug-ins please.

It's been so chilly today, and the temp dropped drastically with the sun.  The moon sure is beautiful and seems huge as it is rising.  It probably won't rise out of the 50's for the coming week.

I give thanks for all the faithful blog readers out there, and hope you all have a very good Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I've never really been crazy about most of it.  I hear it the entire time I'm at the gym, and it's loud enough to interfere with my thoughts.  This morning I had to listen to "Hep me Rhonda git 'er outta my heart".  Sorry, that is pretty lame, if you ask me.

But there was another song that I don't really think of as rock & roll, called "Touch of Grey" by the Grateful Dead.  I will never forget the first time I heard it.  We were living in Sacramento and came home from church one Sunday morning to find our house on fire, with flames coming from the roof.  How we happened to be all together and out of the house will always be a mystery to me, as a couple of the older kids liked to sleep later and attend the evening services, but on this day we were all together.

The next day I was at the house surveying the extraordinary damage - the house was a total loss - and I was at a total loss where to start.  I got in my car and was driving away when I heard the song on the radio, with the refrain "We will survive" over and over.  God bless Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead - I've loved them ever since.  Hearing those words gave me a resolve that got me through the unbearable task of filling out insurance forms, replacing clothing and necessary items, furniture, etc.  It took about 6 months for us to be able to move back into our beautifully restored house, but we sold it soon after and I moved with 3 of the kids to take a job in Washington, DC.

Another silly rock & roll song, that is actually not as bad as "Rhonda", is Get a job, sha na na na.  Well, I got a job today - not much of a job but it will keep my mind busy.  I will volunteer 1 hour a week at the library sorting and shelving books.  I'm a little disappointed that I won't have more hours, but it's a start.

I have to say that my confidence was shaken a bit as the volunteer took me around to the various parts of the library.  I'm most familiar with non-fiction and fiction, and have checked out CD's once in a while, but epecially in the juvenile section I can't believe how the use of media has crept into the system.  CD's, DVD's, MP3's, videos, and lots of other stuff that I can't remember.  The juvenile section is huge, and includes 4 or 5 other languages (as in the adult section):  Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, another that I can't remember right now.  

I'm confident in my shelving abilities and knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System, but to remember all the juvenile sections that I am not familiar with, is going to give me headaches.  And the media varieties could explode my brain.

If one hour a week isn't enough to suit me, once I get used to the library's vast collection, I have an idea for another volunteer job I might be interested in, but I'll put that on hold for a while.

Today started off rainy but I went to the gym and had a great workout.  I still don't do as much as when I'm with Jeannie, but I'm trying to hold on to what I've accomplished.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Me? Get a job?

First, I want to answer Larry's question about my sciatica.  It lasted about 5 weeks, but when it started to get better the relief was very fast.  I hope I never have that again, and I hope you can find a quick solution for yours.  I'm so glad I'm under chiropractic care; I found I cannot take Naproxyn and other NSAIDS, and lord only know what an MD would have prescribed for me.

My granddaughter, Ara, is here for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I went to Jeannie's house this morning and visited for a while.  We will all be going to Joe and Sarah's for Thanksgiving dinner.  For the first time I'm not planning to cook anything or bake pies.  There are enough younger women and men in the family, all of whom are exceptional cooks, who can do the job.

Tomorrow I'm going to speak with someone about a volunteer job that I'm interested in.  I'll post right away if and when I find out if it is mutually beneficial.  I also have another possibility in mind, and who knows, I may decide to do two different jobs.  I'm looking to fill a need in the community as well as to be with people.  Watching TV just doesn't equate to human contact.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Back to my routine

I got away from the routine when I was immobilized with sciatica, but last night Jeannie and I went to the gym together.  It is so much more fun when working out with someone rather than alone.  I covered almost twice the distance on the treadmill than I usually do, and got around to really trying out some of the exercise machines I have avoided.  Now that I know what they do I won't mind exercising by myself, but it's strange how I was encouraged just by Jeannie being there.

One thing I noticed is that I don't have the same strength that I did a year ago.  In contrast, Jeannie is probably in her prime - walking and exercising.  It's fun to watch her.  We ended the workout with a few minutes in the sauna - I probably spent about a minute and a half, and then sat on a bench outside while Jeannie enjoyed a much longer time in outrageous heat.  Another thing I used to be able to do but cannot any longer.  While sitting on the bench I noticed the sign saying people with heart disease should avoid the sauna.  I had always heard that the steam room should be avoided, and wonder if the gym is just protecting themseves by posting the warning on the sauna.  I think I will do without sauna or steam in the future.

Today is going to be a little warmer than usual, and that's welcome to me.  I have a hard time keeping warm - of course the exact opposite is true during Sacramento heat waves.  As cold as I've been, I'm craving ice cream!

Finally, in watching so much TV lately I'm stunned at the constant ads for prescription drugs.  Names that I've never heard before.  The drug companies must have come up with a whole new bunch, and they have to be running in-house contests for the dumbest names.  My favorite is "Harvoni".  Just say it aloud a couple of times and try to keep from laughing.  It sounds like an escape artist or magician - "The Great Harvoni".  (Oh wait, that was Houdini).  I can't remember why you are supposed to "ask your doctor if Harvoni is right for you",  I am definitely not making fun of anyone who takes this drug - only the name of it and the whole Rx drug scene!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I'm still breathing!

Alive and well, although sitting in front of the TV like a zombie watching events in Europe unfold.  I'm really getting sick of hearing about the whole thing, but can't seem to tear myself away from watching it.  To make matters worse, I'm watching these events on cable news channels which I rarely watch.

On a better note, my sciatica is gone and I went to the gym yesterday to walk on the treadmill.  I felt absolutely great!  I hope to go to the gym this evening with Donald and Jeannie, and will have to restrain myself from overdoing it, but it's been so long and I need to feel my muscles ache (for a good reason).

The Cincinnati chili on Sunday was super delicious!  We had a great time just being together and gabbing - the TV was on but I don't think anyone did more than glance at the screen now and then, and the sound was off.  I've had a good weekend, and having another birthday wasn't all that bad.  I'm sure, though, that time goes faster and you get older.

Obviously I'm not doing anything to write a blog about, so it might be a few days before the next one, or not.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fun at Straw Hat Pizza

We had a great time last night at Straw Hat - delicious pizza, salad bar, several pitchers of Stella, and of course, the karaoke for entertainment.  This is really a family place and about one-third is devoted to various entertainment for kids.

The guy who runs the karaoke has always loved to tease Arianna, and he came up behind her while singing a funny song and was trying to distract her.  She didn't look at him but just rolled her eyes.  It was so funny and happened several times.  Even some of the kids took part in the karaoke and sang a number or two.  Jeannie told the guy it was my birthday so he asked everyone to join him in singing Happy Birthday.   I didn't mind that so much, but dang, she must have told him my age because he announced that it was my 75th birthday.  Oh well, I guess it's an accomplishment to live all those years.  It sure doesn't seem like it was that long ago when I was a young kid.

I feel terrific this morning.  I had wondered about the carbs but I had an individual veggie pizza on very thin crust (delicious) and several mugs of Stella Artois, and I haven't had any reaction at all.

Today we are all going to Joe & Sarah's house to watch the Bengals game (I'm hoping to play with the kids because I'm not interested in football), plus he's making Cincinnati chili.  It's usually served over spaghetti with cheese and other toppings, but I will take only a very small amount of pasta.  

My sciatica is gone (I hope, for good), and I'm feeling energetic enough that I need to get back on my exercise schedule, maybe going back to the gym on Tuesday.  Also I want to continue cleaning out cabinets and drawers in the kitchen.  I have so much junk I need to throw out so that my kids won't have to go through it all when I'm gone.

There was a very welcome rain falling most of the morning beginning even before daylight.  I think after this we'll have to wait for another weather system to come in from the Pacific at just the right spot to go over Sacramento.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

My lucky Day

I've always considered 13 as my lucky number, and Friday the 13th is a lucky day for me, today being no exception.  I feel terrific this morning!  

Just a note to mention my "episode" of a couple days ago.  I have always been sensitive to medications, both prescription and OTC.  That's why I decided to stop taking them altogether and have had noticeable improvement in my health and how I feel since then.  Lately I developed an itchy rash and ended up using a topical cream that I found in my medicine cabinet, one that missed the clean-out and throw-away of all medicated products.  I didn't realize what was in the cream - but there must have been one ingredient or more that I shouldn't have used.  

I'm almost certain of the cause, because it's the same that happened to me about 2 wks ago - I am finally getting over a nasty bout with sciatica.  I used ice packs, and then moist heat for the pain and they worked pretty well although not eradicating the pain completely.  I can live with pain, but it became excruciating for me to walk, so I caved in and bought a small bottle of Aleve.  Bad move - within 2 days I had a reaction from the Aleve, and it is the same type of reaction I had a couple of nights ago with the soothing cream.

So don't think I would ever want to go to a doctor about this.  What do doctors do but to prescribe medications and send a patient for umpteen tests.  I have medicare backed by Blue Cross, so the insurance is too much of a temptation for doctors to ignore when ordering tests.  No way am I going to do this, and I am prepared to pay the consequences!  Of course if push comes to shove, who knows what they will do and I am no exception.  As it stands now, I'm prepared to live or die with the decisions I make.

It will be nice to get back to the treadmill at the gym next week.  I've been avoiding it until the sciatica is gone, and it looks like I'm about 98% improved.  Something about the planes from NY - from the smaller aircraft to Chicago, to the larger one to Sacramento, caused me grief.  I noticed I could barely sit in the seat shortly after leaving Chicago, and I think I mentioned that I just stood in the aisle for several minutes at a time.  I've never been the same since although things are looking up now.

It is a beautiful sunny day at 63 degrees - no doubt, much warmer than my house.  


Thursday, November 12, 2015

My time hasn't come (I hope)

I had a minor scare yesterday evening - actually, I thought I might die, literally.  I won't go into details, but as I sat there thinking, well, "I was ok with reaching 75 and even hoped I might do 80, but if it's my time then it's my time."  Period. 

I thought about a lot things, one of which popped into my mind quite unexpectedly.  I had a bag of caramel popcorn in my "kids' cabinet".  There were some other varieties that I don't care for, but I reasoned if I'm going to die, I'm not leaving a big bag of caramel popcorn!  I ate nearly the whole damn thing (and it was good), and then went to bed.  I slept ok except for waking up with leg cramps every now and then, but this morning I didn't feel so hot.   I knew instantly it was the popcorn I ate last night.  
It's way more sugar than I'm used to these days.

I struggled through breakfast, shower, etc., and went to Costco.  While walking through Costco I felt worse and worse, but as the afternoon goes on I'm feeling decidedly better.  

My gas heater clicked on a few times throughout the night, for just a few minutes each time, but even though the house was chilly this morning it was a lot better than usual.  The sun is shining and the day is beautiful, and I'm warmly dressed.  And I'm still alive!  What more can I ask for.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More on dog search

The quest goes on, and I appreciate the comments I've received on this subject.  Thanks "gracehoper" for the comments about the Bradshaw shelter.  I watch their website every day, and receive info almost daily of new dogs to the shelter.  

I also met a man with a shepherd puppy at Liam's soccer game and got to talking with him about the puppy.  He has a contact who called him about his puppy, and he offered to let this contact know of my search.  I told him I was looking for a male black lab or german shepherd puppy, so I hope putting the word out will help.  I know puppies chew and have certain behavior issues until they grow a bit and get used to the routine.  However, I think I would like to be a part of shaping the behavior and training rather than maybe finding an older dog with issues that I might not like or be able to handle.  We'll see - I'm not as obsessed about this as I was, so whatever develops is going to be ok with me.

I finally got the pilot light fixed on my heater, but I haven't heard it click on as yet.  I was sure the heat would come on in early morning but I didn't hear it.  I'm warm enough wearing my long underwear, sweater, etc.  I took some laundry across the street to the Park's laundry room this morning.  It was so nice in the sun I decided to come back home and get my clothespins, so a lot of the wash was line dried.  

It has been a beautiful day.   We'll have to wait until Sunday for a little more rain, but in the meantime let the sun shine!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Gentle Rain

I'm so happy that we had several hours today of a nice gentle rain, with more expected tomorrow.  High today and tomorrow - 55 degrees, so I've been sitting in front of the heater for a big part of the day.

I'm having a problem with iPhoto on my laptop - every time I try to open it, I get a message that there is a problem with the photo library, and do I want them to fix it.  Of course I respond in the affirmative, but it never gets fixed.  I just hope that a lot of my photos aren't lost forever.  I usually back them up to a flash drive now and then, but haven't done it lately.   I have a feeling that a trip to the Apple store is in my future, but I hope they can patch this computer up and I don't have to deal with a new one.  For one thing, there have been at least two new operating systems since the one I am using, which means that I wouldn't be able to recognize anything.  They probably moved a few things from one side of the screen to another - that's a big fix for many programs but it doesn't make a damn bit of difference!  

If I was a bit younger and got out more I honestly think I could ditch the TV and the computer!  They are both monumental time-wasters.  Today I noted I have accumulated a lot of recorded shows so I attempted to view and delete a few of them.  I think I watched 5 or 6 Animal Cops Houston shows.  The best part about the recordings is that I can fast forward through the commercials.

I just finished eating an early dinner of small shrimp and fresh vegetables.  The shrimp were ready to go and didn't take long to heat up until they got the lovely pink color.  I thought I may have put a little too much seasoning on them, but they were perfect.  It's been a number of years since I've fixed shrimp and I wondered how I'd do, but the old girl hasn't lost her touch.  I only cook for myself these days and I do quick and easy.  Anything that can be combined and cooked together is combined - my vegetables included cauliflower (just perfect lately), broccoli, and two green leafy vegetables.  I top them with a little butter and lots of shredded cheddar.

I have two small hummers at the feeder right now, and I wonder if they are juveniles.  It's rare for me to see two at the feeder at the same time, although in North Carolina they seemed to line up and wait their turn.  When one comes to the feeder I sit here grinning like the Cheshire Cat!  They seem to put on a show for me, and often turn around slowly so I can see them on all sides.  I love it when they do that.

I just walked to the door to see the sunset, which is spectacular!  During the summer I can sit in my chair and watch it, but it is setting more to the northwest during the winter months and I don't have a line of sight.  The colors are beautiful, whereas the rest of the sky is filled with dark clouds.  The sunset is like an island of light and beauty.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


The temperature outside right now is 41; inside my house the thermometer reads 47!  Fortunately the sun is beaming in the windows on the northeast side of the house.  I will ask Donald to light the pilot on the heater for me, but I'll set it to something like 55.  I can't stand it when the thing clicks off and on constantly, but I need the house to be a little warmer when I get up.  This reminds me of when I lived in Ireland in a beautiful old stone farmhouse!  I had small heaters in the kitchen, living room and bathroom, plus a fire going in the living room almost year around.  The downstairs heaters used gas tanks and I never had a problem with them, so I'm wondering if a Mr. Buddy heater would work in my current house.  If they are ok for an RV they should be ok for a house, right?  Comments welcome on this.

I finally put my "winter sheets" on the bed yesterday, plus a blanket, and switched the lighter weight comforter to my down comforter, so as long as I was snuggled under the covers I was warm and comfortable all night.  Getting up to go to the bathroom was hell though!

I am hoping to find my way over to the park in East Sac where my grandson is playing soccer this morning.   I'm going to bundle up, although during the day it gets warmer outside my house than indoors.   This will complete my "soccer duty", as I will have attended games for all my grandchildren who play soccer this year.

I have expanded my search for a young dog to include male german shepherds, and think I will try to find the Sac. County Animal Shelter that isn't far from my house and take a look now and then.  I also signed up for notifications of dogs who match my specs.  I have done that with labs and gotten pretty many returns, but not many that were in the age or gender category that I prefer.

I looked at all the dogs available from the shelter and most of them are pit bulls.  It's a darn shame that they have such bad reputations, because I believe they are mostly sweet, lovable dogs unless they've been bred and trained to be aggressive.  I don't want to run into a problem with the people who live around me, and there is a lot of prejudice with that type of dog so it's out for me. 

This dog search has become as much something to keep me occupied, and who knows if the dog I'm looking for will turn up.   

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Grandkid week!

Autumn and Arianna (Jeannie's) were over last night for a couple of hours.  They are so much fun and I can have adult conversations with them.   I hope to see Alyssa and Keira (Joe's) today as I have Keira's birthday present waiting.  And Liam (Steve's) will be over tomorrow afternoon, after which Steve said he will take me to ARBC (American River Brewing Company).  I am so ready to go back there and have one of their delicious golden ales.   I haven't had a beer since I've been trying to reduce the carbs in my diet, but I don't mind falling off the wagon this time.  Jeannie, Joe, and I all have birthdays coming up so I am sure I'll have more beers during November.

It is COLD the past few days, getting down to 40 at night.  I can't run my heater until Donald can come over and light the pilot for me, and I'm still trying to stay warm with the Lasko heater.  I am also trying to keep from spending too much money this month since I will probably break the bank next month, so have refrained from going out to buy a 2nd heater.   I don't mind carrying this one around with me for now but I worry when the kids come over.  I probably shouldn't worry because kids seem to be warmer than adults.  My mother used to go crazy trying to dress us warmly and then having us taking off sweaters and jackets because we were hot.

The afternoon has flown by and it's almost time for the sun to set.  I still haven't published this blog.  Having nothing else to say, I'll just do it now.

Monday, November 2, 2015

We finaly got rain!

Probably not much rainfall, but what we got is sure welcome.  The temps won't get out of the upper 50's today and I'm chilled, but when I go out in a few minutes I will be able to wear a new rain jacket I bought.  It is warm even without the zip out lining, so I'm ready to stay comfortable.  

I have my small Lasko heater in front of me now to take the chill off.  I bought the heater when I lived in my 5th wheel several years ago, and I'm still loving it.  On cool mornings I have it in the bathroom to warm the air enough for my shower, and I like being able to move it around wherever I am.  

About two years ago I bought another heater that I thought I would like, but it blew a fuse within a minute of turning it on.  So I'm back to the Lasko.  I'd like to buy a new one but Walmart is where they carry them and I seldom get to Walmart.  When I do go there I try to get in and out quickly before I get angry, and never think of the heater.

I've been  putting off a chore for months now, and that is to empty out the "black hole" that exists in the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  It gets to the point where I have to put an item inside and then close the door quick so it doesn't fall back out.  I'm hoping I can throw a lot of things out, but you know how you can go for years and not use something, but you need it just after you throw it away.  

The sun is peeking out through the clouds and makes the world look so much brighter.  I appreciate the rain though, and hope we have some more of it.  I noticed that the layers of dust and dirt on my car washed away pretty well.