Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, January 29, 2016

I couldn't resist

I stopped at the Park office this morning to pay my rent, and chatted with the two ladies there for a while.  On the counter in front of me was a plate of thick buttery cookies, and I think I knew immediately that I would walk out of the office with a cookie in my hand.  A few minutes later I did just that.  It tasted pretty good, but in the two blocks from the Park to the gym I began to feel the effects of the sugar.  Now it's not that I don't ever eat sugar - it is in most foods, natural (such as fruit) and packaged.  But this cookie packed a punch and must have been loaded with sugar.  I didn't like the effects of it at all.

So someone broke into the office and stole a lot of keys.  It takes a key to enter the laundry, one to open the machines, another to open the money box, and a couple of other necessary keys that were explained to me but which I've forgotten.  At any rate, there are a lot of locks and keys to repelace.  But the problem is that one of the keys is critical to accessing the money and not even the company who provided the locks can break them, plus the company is on the other side of the continent!  

At least they aren't blaming it on the homeless, who seem to take the rap for anything that goes wrong.  I feel nothing but sadness that people are sleeping rough in the weather we've been having, and it's better here than in many other places.  It's not just the fact of being outdoors in the bad weather, it's not having the clothing or the equipment to keep warm and dry.  And I can never forget that many homeless have served our country and are suffering with PTSD.  I remember having a great uncle who came back from WWI with shell shock (now called PTSD).  He had family who took care of him until he died of old age, but if he lived in a large city with no one to care about him, he would have been on the streets.  I don't like to generalize and realize there are two sides to most stories.  But it makes me sad.

I have a long "ToDo" list for today but don't know where to start.  Sometimes I just don't do anything!

Joe brought his daughters by yesterday for about an hour.  Alyssa, who is in 2nd grade, had an assignment to ask an older person in her family about their experiences at her age and grade.  I did my best, but feel like I came from a different planet.  Questions such as "What did you wear to school?", gets the answer "Dresses".  "But Grandma, what did you wear when it was cold?"  "Dresses".  "But what if it was really cold?"  "Dresses with knee socks!"

In trying to answer these questions, and there were a lot of them, I had a good trip down memory lane.  I realize how relatively simple my life was compared to today's young generation, but I am so glad for the experience of doing without, because I can have empathy for today's folks who must do without, for whatever reason.  It is not the children's fault anyway.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016


I'm feeling pretty good today, and still experiencing the after-effects of working out at the gym last night.  I'm still taking it relatively easy so as not to aggravate my ribs, but what I do sure has me feeling great.  There is a machine Jeannie always uses that I had no idea what it was supposed to do, so I asked her last night what part of the body is it good for, and she replied "The Butt!"  Well, I decided I'd try it, and don't ask me why a 75 yr old woman is concerned with having a fine butt, but we'll see how it works.  I tried the machine and it actually feels pretty good, and will be part of my routine from now on.  I even spent 5 or 6 minutes in the sauna, an accomplishment since I usually don't stay more than a couple of minutes.  It probably wasn't as hot as it often is.  I also walked this morning on the treadmill - just about a mile and a quarter at 3.5 mph, plus a 4 min. cool down.  Not all that much, but I think I feel better when I do it at least 5 days/wk.

I got my rent bill this morning which includes utilities, and nearly fell over.  And to think I'm not even warm, but I guess the gas heat once in a while, plus the electric space heater, keeps me alive.  There isn't much I can do unless it's to replace all windows and doors to get some air-tightness.  I'm leaving the gas heat setting on 55 from now on!

Still waiting on the locks being replaced on the laundry room equipment, while the laundry is stacking up.  I haven't done towels for quite a while, and although I still have plenty of clean towels, they take a lot of room in a laundry basket.  When I go to the office to pay my rent I'm hoping to get a little more info on the "laundry room caper".

Someone gave Ara an airline voucher for a free trip that has to be used by this weekend, so she is flying here on Friday and going home Sunday.  It's a quick trip but it's nice to see her often.

It's pretty gloomy looking outside today although the rain doesn't start until tomorrow.

I wish I had more to say, but the story of my life is pretty much uneventful right now and nothing much is happening. 


Monday, January 25, 2016

Better Days

Better days are here so the east can begin digging out from the blizzard, and we have about 5 sunny days to look forward to.  I need to get out one of these nice days and start pulling weeds, although more rain will just bring more of them on.

I think I watched CNN for 2 days straight during the blizzard.  They had great coverage of the eastern areas hit by the storm, and not one mention of anything political.  I turned on the TV yesterday and the first words I heard were "Donald Trump" so I guess the networks are back to the "same old, same old."  I hit the OFF button in a hurry, and for the most part it's stayed off.  Why we need something like 10 stations carrying the same tired chatter over over for 24/7, is something I don't understand, and it will be this way for the next 9 or 10 months, I'm afraid.

Fortunately I have two books I just purchased so I've spent my time reading, as well as on the computer.  YouTube has some good channels and videos, but most of it is junk, to me at least.  There are a lot of voices predicting gloom and doom, especially in the world political and economic arenas, and I just won't watch that stuff anymore.  It can really be depressing if you let it. 

I stayed indoors all day yesterday because of the rain, so today I'm itching to get out and about.  I thought about going to the gym and using the treadmill, but so far I haven't even gotten dressed and it will soon be time for lunch.  I need to do a load of laundry but the Closed sign is still on the doors of the laundry room across the street, and I wonder just how long it will stay closed, and for what reason.  UPDATE:  I called the office and was told that someone stole all the keys to the machines in the laundry room.  It will take at least a couple of weeks according to the person I spoke to, to get new keys made.  That seems like a really long time to me.  I didn't ask where the keys were stored that they could be easily stolen.  I haven't noticed any police cars at the laundry room or at the office, but I could easily have missed them.

Has anyone else noticed that the sun seems to be setting in a totally different place the past few months?  It makes me wonder if there has been some kind of a minor pole shift.  It might just be attributed to the season, but I think it's a long ways away from where it sets in the summer and fall.  It's more southwest than where I usually see it.  It would be just like me to take notice of it after all these years!  


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wild Weather

The weather in the east is truly amazing, and reminds me of a few blizzards I have been through when I lived there.  There is something exciting about making the preparations, getting food (and drink) in, battening down the hatches, and watching the storm's progress on TV.  I've been doing that today - watching the progress of the storm, that is.  My granddaughter is in Philly, a niece is in NYC, and my son and his family are out in the Hudson Valley.  I hope all of them are prepared.

It has been especially interesting watching the behaviors of people who are urged to get off the roads early.  I laughed to myself and thought "those high powered execs in DC are too important to get off the roads when told to.  (I'm including govt as well as corporate officials, as both seem to live in a parallel universe.)  And by golly I wasn't far from wrong - the DC and Northern VA area still have people out getting stuck in the snow.  There have been an astounding number of accidents today in this area, and it puts the responders at risk.

The folks in NYC are having a good time and taking things in stride.  Most of them don't drive anyway, so they are throwing snowballs at each other in Times Square.  Oh how I wish I could be there this weekend.  A TV reporter noted that the line was out the door at Whole Foods, and out the door and down the block at the nearby liquor store.

So it has been raining here much of today and will be the same tomorrow, and then we should have a week of sunshine.

I have my air reservations made for my trip to NY in April.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Brought down a notch

I did a loan of laundry this morning but when I walked across the street to dry it, the door had a sign saying Closed Until Further Notice.  There have been numerous machine out of service lately, but I think it's to do with the fact that they enclosed the only open space (small, at that)  in the entire Park, which is next to the laundry, to make a dog park.  They were busy digging for weeks before all this was accomplished, way more than would have been required to plant the fence poles.  They've continued to dig around the area even since the opening of the dog park.  I think they messed up the plumbing out of the laundry room.

So I took my basket of laundry and went out to find a laundromat to dry it.  I cruised through several shopping areas to no avail.  I finally had to drive over to a part of Rancho Cordova that is not the best, to a laundromat I knew was there.  

So I went inside and found a spotless and immaculately cared for laundry, every machine working, and a full time attendant who was wiping down all the machines, sweeping the floor, etc.  From feeling pretty uppity about the area, I was brought down to reality.  You can't judge a book by its cover!  The laugh is on me.

Last night I cooked chicken and made the best chicken vegetable soup I've ever made; I am waiting for the left-over soup to warm up for my lunch.  I also have enough broth and chicken to either make more soup, or maybe soup and chicken enchiladas.  Not wanting to mess with tortillas and wrapping the enchiladas I might just go with soup.  My daughter-in-law Sarah made the best enchiladas for our Christmas gathering, and I know I could never match hers.

It's nice to have a couple of dry days between the rain.  I haven't heard one person complain about rain, and I think everyone is hoping it continues for the next month or so.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rain and Wind

I  could hear the rain on the roof during the night, but this morning the winds came through.  They aren't constant, but seems to blow in bands, regularly spaced and timed, just like it is shown on TV weather maps.  We are going to get some accumulation out of this one, although the big problem is usually that the storm drains can't handle it.

The snow bunnies are back from the mountains.  Jeannie called me around 6pm and said they had just gotten back, and that they had a wonderful time.  Autumn loved the snow, and Arianna loved the dog.  My sister has a big golden haired labradoodle, (the size of a large standard poodle) and I'm sure the dog enjoyed the little girl as much as the little girl enjoyed the dog.  Arianna has a slight allergy to dogs and cats, mainly when she pets and plays with them and then touches her eyes.  I'm relieved that they had a safe and fun trip - I don't think I worried nearly as much when I was younger.

I'm off to work now.  That sounds weird to me since I've been retired since 1996, with the exception of a few volunteer jobs throughout the years.  The rain is still coming down and the wind is blowing, but it looks like the sun is trying to break through the clouds.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

I thought I would die!

First, let me say it's an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous day here.  It may turn cloudy later in the day and will probably drop some moisture, but for now it is perfect!

I only see my chiropractor every two weeks now, so this is the first since my accident on the treadmill.  I'm doing much better although I still had sore ribs.  He did a mild adjustment on my neck and then on my ribcage, and that's when I thought I would die.  It was like everything happened all over again - the pain, having difficulty catching my breath, etc.  Before I left his office I felt 1000% better, and now that I'm home - dare I say it - I have no rib pain at all!

I'm sure if I had gone to my regular doctor when this happened, he would have ordered x-rays plus prescribed heavy duty pain killers that would have caused problems with my heart.  Who knows what else he would have done or told me to do or pills to take.  Thank God for chiropractic and for me finding one of the best around!

I have all the ingredients to make creamy chicken vegetable soup, but I'll probably do that tomorrow.  I put the chicken in the freezer when I brought them home, and two large chicken breasts will take a while to thaw.  I work at the library tomorrow, and hope to increase my hours of work.  I like the idea that I was only committed to working one hour each week when I started, as it gave me a chance to adapt without stress, and also gave the vol. coordinator a chance to see how I work.  But now it makes sense to add an hour or two since I have to drive there anyway.

I want to start clearing unused items from my house, and organizing what's left.  The trouble is that I just don't know where to begin.  I think I have a mental block against decision making.

I hope Jeannie & Donald get "down the hill" from Lake Tahoe before another bout of rain and snow hits the highways.  It is a curvy road that is totally downhill all the way, no matter which route you take - US (Freeway) 50, or I-80.  I think I-80 between Reno and Sacramento is the worst highway I've ever driven on, but US 50 has some stretches that aren't divided highway and some people will go the long way around to I-80 to avoid it.   I love 50 except when arriving in the town of Lake Tahoe itself, mainly because of the slow traffic, people walking everywhere, and the crowds in general.

It's time for me to get started doing something - I've been taking it easy for too long.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Checkin' In

Not much to relate except that my ribs feel a whole lot better - now they just ache rather than hurt!  I did the gym thing last night and went easy on the upper body stuff, but I was a little sore this morning.

I was up and out the door early for the market, and bought what I could from the fewer vendors and offerings.  In another month or two there will be much more beautiful California produce, but I got things I need and like to cook - a beautiful small head of cauliflower included.

Then to Costco where I spent more money than planned.  Why is it always like that?  I shouldn't go hungry the rest of the month, even if I am broke!

When Jeannie picked me up last night to drive to the gym she brought a small container of soup made by Chef Donald.  It was so delicious and I ate it all when I came home from the gym.  Now I'm determined to make some soup, but it's difficult to make it in small quantities.  I'm thinking of offering some of the ingredients to Donald and asking him to make enough extra for a few meals for me.  In fact that sounds like a wonderful idea and I will be totally nourished!

Jeannie, Donald, and girls are off to the mountains this afternoon so the girls can play in the snow.   They will stay through the holiday weekend at my sister's house in Carson City, NV.  Jeannie asked if I would like to go along, but I had to pass on that.  While I would love to be in some snow, I don't think the drive up and back, plus the holiday crowds, is worth it.

In fact I've come to the conclusion that outside of nearby camping opportunities, I'm finished with traveling after my spring trip to NY and summer trip to Alaska.  I don't know when I got so old I wouldn't want to travel anymore, but it crept up on me.  I think if I had a companion who like to travel the same way I do - few miles per day, camping in beautiful places, etc., no timetables or destinations written in stone, I might feel differently.

The bands of rain keep coming and will continue for a while.  The temps are milder than they were last week, so it is a little easier on me.  I have been wearing what's left of my wonderful backpacking long underwear, and I stay toasty warm.  My hands and nose are always cold though.  This too shall pass!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I'm not sleep deprived!

Although I certainly feel sleep deprived!  I crawled into bed at 6 pm last night, and got up for about half an hour around 10, then back to bed until 8 this morning.  I still feel drowsy.

This cold is getting worse than I could have imagined, and if only I could cough or sneeze without pain in my ribs.  

I had to go to Costco this morning to get a refill on my Rx eyedrops, and fortunately it wasn't crowded at all.  I should have filled up the gas tank but just couldn't even consider standing there at the pump.  I bought a bag of Clementine tangerines for the Vit. C, and hope they help.  I usually share a bag of tangerines with my granddaughters as they can't seem to get enough of them, but I'm keeping this bag for myself.

I can't decide whether to nap in the chair, sofa, or bed, but I think I'll be most comfortable if I crawl back in bed.  I don't think I'll post again for a few days until something interesting happens in my life.  (Yeah right.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A challenge for me

Somewhere recently I read that it is good to try to eliminate all negativity for 24 hrs.   I am mostly positive so I thought I would take on this challenge, which I did yesterday.  I found myself dropping something and saying things like "Oh crap!"  I guess in the long run that is a negative response, and I would catch myself and then say "I didn't mean it"!  Wonder if anyone was listening :-)

I think I will try to do this again, maybe on a regular basis.  I need to wait until I feel a little better though.

I usually sleep very well at night, but for some reason I woke up in the middle of last night with difficulty breathing.  I know I have COPD and will eventually have to use an inhaler.  I've filled several prescriptions for an inhaler over the past 10 years but have never once used one.  Too many instructions and things to remember to do, distance to maintain, etc.  My brain revolts when presented with things like that!  I refused to look at the clock but would say I finally went back to a deeper sleep after about an hour.  To make matters worse, I think I'm coming down with a cold, and maybe that's affecting my breathing.

I'm posting a picture of me in roller skates back in mid-December.  I look pretty graceful on skates while I'm standing still on the carpet!  (Click on photo to enlarge)

It is going to be a beautiful sunshiny day today, possibly reaching a warm 60F.  I work at the library in a couple of hours, so moving at my snail's pace I'd better start to get ready.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quiet Monday UPDATE

Yesterday was my sister's birthday and I took her to Outback for a late lunch/early dinner.  Neither one of us has any business driving after dark, so this worked out perfectly.  I enjoyed the loaded baked potato and creamy chicken soup with crispy tortilla strips, and could have stopped there.  I can't remember when I last ate a steak, so I got a 7 oz something or other.  It was ok, but I don't want any more steak for years to come.  I didn't feel all that well the rest of the day and through the night.  Amy enjoyed her meal and ended up with a sinful dessert of something made with ice cream, cake, syrup and lord only knows what else.

This morning my good sense was screaming to me to stay home, but my bull-headedness told me "Ya got to go climb back on the horse what throwed ya!"  As usual, I listen to bull-headedness before common sense.  I can't say I felt very good, but I'm glad I did it anyway.  My ribs on the right side are what hurt, and deep breathing, coughing, and sneezing are a nightmare.  But I had a much kinder, gentler horse today!

After spending the past hour juicing some ingredients that needed to be used soon, I came up with a really delicious batch.  But I'm about to die from the pain in my ribs!  (Of course, that is an exaggeration.)  I plan to steam some tamales for my lunch that I bought at Costco, but I will delay having them and just rest for a while. 

I just received an email that I think really hits the nail on the head, and I decided to send it to everyone I know.  I don't like to get political, but this is not related to any political party but to all of them.

         THE DEBT CEILING I love it when a complicated situation can be explained in such simple terms!

   Democrats don't understand THE DEBT CEILING
   Republicans don't understand THE DEBT CEILING
   Liberals don't understand THE DEBT CEILING
   NO ONE understands THE DEBT CEILING

SO, allow me to explain.
oowow me to
​ ​
Let's say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood. Your home has sewage all the way up to your ceiling.
  What do you think you should do --
1.  Raise the ceiling, or
2.  Pump out the shit?
Your choice is coming November 2016       

Friday, January 8, 2016

After the fall

I'm still able to move although I'm trying not to.  I've used a heat pad several times but don't know that it helps all that much.  The evening I fell I used an ice pack but I didn't really notice an improvement, plus I don't see any swelling anywhere.  I think I'll be sore for a while, but starting tomorrow I'm going to go back to my regular life!

I want to thank all those who wrote comments - I appreciate your kind thoughts.  Looking back to my accident, I felt myself going down and was soon flat on my stomach, moving with the belt away from the machine and onto the floor.  It's a few inches from the belt to the floor, and I felt every impact as I hit - my knees, chest, shoulder, etc.  Somehow I rolled onto my back and tried to get air into my lungs.  That was the scariest part - difficulty in catching my breath.  

I feel so stupid because all I would have had to do is hit "Pause" and the machine stops until you hit "Start" again.  But I quickly remove my pullover every day that I walk, and don't pause the machine.  I'm sure it's because I'm better early in the day than I am in the evening.  Well, so much for that - I'm on the mend.

If I thought I could tolerate something like aspirin or NSAIDs I would probably try one, but experience with my sciatica and Aleve - thinking I was having a heart attack - will say "No" to painkillers.  I didn't realize what could be causing it at the time, but before I got rid of all OTCs and meds, I was having frequent episodes of thinking I might be experiencing what it's like to die.  Heart feeling like it stopped with a thud,  slight dizziness, etc.  It all came back with the Aleve, and I'm not going down that road again.

I have an orientation class for new library volunteers this afternoon.  I can't imagine what they will tell me that I don't already know, but I guess that is an  arrogant way to look at it.  I'll surely enjoy and benefit from the session.

It is good to see the sun today and to know the next few days will be sunny with maybe a shower or two now and then.  

I've decided to watch as little TV as I can from now on - the same old crap is on every news channel, 24/7, and I'm totally sick of it.  I'm also of the opinion that you can't believe a word you hear - there may be some small truth now and then, but most of it is lies.  Yesterday I found a YouTube video of "Mozart for Babies" (gentle classical music), and set the computer on my bed, crawled under the comforter, and relaxed almost to the point of sleep (maybe I drowsed off now and then).  Sure puts me in a better frame of mind than anything on TV! 

If I'm going to make it to my meeting in 4 hours, I'd better get out of this chair and moving!  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Falling - I hate it!

I did  it again - lost my balance and took a painful tumble.  I was at the gym with Jeannie last night and on the treadmill.  After about 5 minutes I decided to remove my fleece pullover, which I do every time I'm on the treadmill.  Maybe I was tired, but when pulling it over my head I don't know how it happened but I was down and moving on the belt towards the floor.  For some reason I really hurt my arm which was bleeding and bruised, but going off the belt and onto the floor was the worst.  It knocked the air out of me.  I felt like a fool as people were trying to help me up, get assistance, etc.  I just needed to stay where I was until I could get air back into my lungs.

So this morning I'm feeling a little sore and bruised, and my ribs are achy, but I'll survive.  I wanted to continue on with our workout but Jeannie cut everything short - didn't do her regular workout at all.  She didn't even stay in the sauna for as long, with the excuse that her blood sugar was getting low.  I don't know if she was just worried that I would hurt myself further or if she herself didn't feel like continuing.  When she dropped me off I ran in to get her a banana to help raise her blood sugar.  I  will probably skip the treadmill this morning, although I do much better in the morning than later on in the day.

I have the prescription for new glasses in hand, and will take it to Walmart Optical this morning.  I'm really anxious to see how much improvement they bring.

Later:  I'm back from ordering my glasses.  They will be in by the 16th, although past experience has shown it usually takes less time than they estimate.

I'm going to try the heating pad for my aches & pains.  It seems I just get over one incident and then another one happens.  I refuse to give up (or to grow up, for that matter!)  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Welcome Rain

I don't like the cold associated with it, but the rain is very welcome.  I have the feeling it will cause problems in areas that have frequent mudslides, as well as areas that were burned the last year or so.  It is interesting to look at the weather report showing El Nino and the bands of "weather" coming in, one right after another, from the Pacific.  They are lined up and ready to pour the moisture on us.  I just wish it wasn't so cold.

I've been out of the house twice today - once to go to the gym, and the second time to go work at the library.  My boss wasn't there, so I continued a job she had given me and only worked one hour.  I will begin working an extra hour or so maybe starting next week.  I get my eyes examined for new glasses tomorrow, and I really hope there will be some improvement in my ability to read.

My appointment isn't until after 3 pm, which is late in the day for me to be driving in the area of the opthamologist's office.  It's not so bad during morning hours, but I will probably hit the early "driving home from work" traffic when returning.  And of course it will be another rainy day.

I'm sure many of you have heard of Marie Kondo's book, "The life-changing magic of tidying up".  It has made a strong impact on everyone I know who has read it, and I certainly need something to impact me regarding tidying up!  I just checked my library account, and I am now 148 of 424 holds for the book.  I was on the list before I went to NY in September, but cancelled it just in case it might be my turn before I got back.  Kondo now has written a second book along the same lines, so maybe I should get in line for that one as well.

I almost feel like taking a nap right now, but if I do I will stay up a bit later and that throws off the whole next day!  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Still here in 2016

I haven't much felt like writing a blog for the past few days, but I did have a great time, especially since Dec. 30 up until last night (Jan 3rd).  It's back to the old grind today.

On the 30th, Jeannie & Donald helped me drink the growler of ale that I got for Christmas; we celebrated at their house on the 31st with lots of food, snacks, and champagne at midnight.  I bought some pork tamales for our supper since I remember from long ago that it's good luck to eat tamales on New Year's Eve.   I believe it's true, so I am expecting a year filled with love, luck, and joy.

I only see the chiropractor once every other week now, and today was the day.  I always feel so much better after a visit to his office, and a lot of it has to do with the positive vibes projected from the entire staff.  Today was no exception.

It looks like we are in for at least a week of rain mixed with periods of sunshine.  It's cold though, so I rummaged through my clothes until I came up with a heavy duty set of long underwear.  I know I'm getting old because I've never been bothered by the cold in the past.  

I am going to see about a new prescription for eyeglasses on Wednesday.  I am noticing my vision get worse by the day - partly the mac degeneration, and partly the fact that I need new glasses.  At least I hope they will help.  I've tried to change the settings on my computer so that the print is larger and darker, but it doesn't seem to apply to my email programs and 
other applications. 

My diet went completely off track over the holidays - I had carbs and sugar galore!   I will be glad to get back to what is for me a healthier eating style.  First I have to finish off the little bit of dips, chips, etc., that Jeannie sent me home with after New Year's.

I wish all readers love, luck, and joy in your lives this year.