Saturday, April 21, 2007


Mayme, it looks as though you are recovering very well. Those "other repairs" must have been significant if you can't mount stairs for that length of time.

Sara, it sounds like you have just had the anniversary from hell. I once bought a house as a "tax shelter". HA! That's the last time I listened to that accountant. Interest rates were so high that we were paying 13%. On top of that, at least once a month I had to send the pay up within ten days or else .... to get the rent so I could service that debt. When they called and said that their beloved German Shepherd that they'd left with a relative had lost her home and could they take her in how could I say no despite the lease provision about no pets. What they failed to tell me was that the poor old dog was incontinent. When they moved out the carpet had to be replaced and it probably still stinks in that house and that was almost 30 years ago. Needless to say, I sold it to the first person who came down the road. I'll never be a land lady again.

It's taken a week to recover from the kid visit. When I kept lying around sleeping on the sofa and not regaining my usual low level of vigor I stopped to think about the fact that the normal level of pain in my maxillary sinuses was intensifying. Yep, I'm now on anti biotic for that and have and appointment with the ENT 5/1. My doc says the continuing irritation from allergies will cause the polyps that were reamed out in '03 to reappear. The last allergy skin test I had showed no reaction to anything but Johnson grass, whatever that is. Back then the ENT told me that there are thousands of proteins out there in the environment that can irritate but they know how to treat only about 70 of them so those are the ones they test for. Makes sense. Just my luck to have the one or ones that aren't directly treatable. I already do Clariten, Flonase, irrigation and time release Mucinex. Oh well, I'm darned glad it isn't cancer, Parkinson's, heart disease, Alzheimer's (at least I don't think I have that!) or a myriad of far worse conditions.

BGF and I are commemorating our mutual 70th birthdays (we met in kindergarten in '42) by a trip to Callaway Gardens. She's the gardening nut who on her umpteenth trip to the Biltmore Estate gardens in Asheville, took her notebook and carefully studied what was planted in proximity to which even when they weren't in bloom and she was relying on the little signs. I finally burned out there. She's flying in from Newark on 5/19 and the next day, her birthday, we will take off from here in my trusty aging SUV to Callaway which is south east of Atlanta. We will stay at one of the garden hotel facilities and wander around for 3.5 days. I am especially interested in their butterfly display. The room turned out to be a bargain as the rate includes a full buffet breakfast, fitness center, and admission to the gardens each day. All that for $64 a day for each of us. I'm really getting psyched and hope I'm feeling up to snuff by then. Due to our mutual advanced age and slowing pace we decided on the long stay so we can maintain an easy pace and have the time to see everything. We have agreed that some dim distand day we'll take one of those river cruises down the Danube but that's probably out of reach financially for both of us. Drat.

Well, we are finally returning to spring but not without damage. My holly bushes were previously covered with flowers that have been completely destroyed. So much for anticipating all those beautiful bright red berries for next Christmas. I doubt if the local strawberry crop will see the light of day and I wonder about the SC peaches.

Time to get my act together and hike up the hill with She Who Must be Obeyed. She got her summer haircut yesterday so now I will be able to spot the ticks before they've had their fill as had the two I removed earlier this week. Her monthly heart worm pill has solved the flea problem as well as intestinal worms but I have to get the topical stuff to repel the ticks. At the quilt frame yesterday I was given some country wisdom about ticks. Apparently guinea hens (what do you call a male guinea, a guinea rooster?) consider them to be a delicacy. Someone else said I don't need to get exotic, that chickens have a taste for them as well. That's what I need; a yard full of tick eating delicacies for Shadow to kill!

Jane in NC

Friday, April 20, 2007

West Michigan checking in

I need to sign in more often as I forget how every time.
It was a beautiful day here in West MI. I managed a slow walk
around the house and through the gardens. DH caught me and
ask what I was doing. I had a complete hysterectomy and 3 other
major repairs in that area last Friday. Every thing went well and I
came home Sunday night. My bladder started working fully yesterday
so no more catheteration every time I go potty. PTL! DH is just the
best. He is taking very good care of me with no complaints. I can't go
up stairs for a month so he set up a sewing machine for me downstairs.
I managed to sew a little last night. Tonight I did a dumb thing. I was pressing
what I sewed last night and stood with one foot on a rug, the other on the floor.
Threw my hip out. I took some pain meds I had left and it is doing its thing.
Brenda, glad you are doing better. Did you move? You mentioned missing your
little quilt group. Have you been to see baby Jack lately?
Dot, we haven't heard anything from you in a long time. Did the farm sale go through?
How about Helene, Ronna,Nellie, MMM, Joleen. I just want to hear what everyone is
Sara, sorry about the crummy time you had for your anniversary. I would too have been
very upset with smokers in my place.
Hugs to all, Mayme

if I could whisper here

I would, we are having our second really nice day here in a row.
Had to stay indoors yesterday as it was a quilting day but you can bet your boots I am doing the outside thing today.
First will have to hang out the laundry, oh yeah that is outside.
Wishing a beautiful day for you all too. Enjoy.
Sending hugs all around
Grace in Ont.

Thank You, Jean

For a visual reminder of why I don't have full-length mirrors in this house (simply by accident rather than plan). Nevertheless, your well-chosen, as usual, few words, succinct, is a sobering image and one that may cause weight-loss better than keeping our mouths shut and our noses out of our refrigerators.

Now a public reminder to you...if you find any dog kibble recipes, please let your friend know, would you? More informatin on the AussieL concerning the pet food recalls, melamine in rice from the east causing more recalls. I always thought that our pet food industry was regulated here in Canada and perhaps it isn't. Much of our products come from the US. So far, the products I use are not listed in recalls but it's of concern enough for me to think about making my own kibble or at least trying to. I can imagine that I don't have ovens big enough to supply three Aussies with kibble or I'd be lashed to the kitchen stove from now to next week or next month perhaps.

The overall picture is this: our cloth comes from the east; it's full of chemicals, not only from the growing state but more importantly, from the textile finisher's stage...and much of that happens both here and there. Cloth, to quote Jeff Gutcheon, is one big chemical bath from beginning to end. Looks like some of it has entered into our pet foods. Melamine has been found in rice products coming from the east. That's used in the production of fertilizers and plastics and is poisonous to animals...(and ourselves). Why do we buy products that come from other countries that don't have the stringent regulations that we, in North America do, in regard to chemicals?


Thursday, April 19, 2007


To those who asked how I stay motivated to stick to the diet and exercise regime -- I will tell you what I told the group at Curves this afternoon when someone asked me how I stay motivated to do the advanced workout four times a week. It is simple. Stand naked in front of a full length mirror. If you can arrange to do this under fluorescent lights in a changing room, so much the better. Repeat as required to keep the motivation up! I promise it works! LOL

Jean, about to make a simple salad for dinner ...

The problem with slow speed dial up is that it takes ages to download anything so I haven't gone into the chat board first to read any postings. But this has just come in from the Aussie L and I thought you might be interested, those with pets, to go into this site. Fortunately, all three of the dried kibble I use are on this list.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back on track!

Well! I am feeling much less frustrated to day! 11, almost 12, pounds since I started, so I have almost made up for the bad week. DH said something very unflattering about the baggy jeans I was wearing yesterday, so I dug out some older ones this morning and find that I have, indeed, dropped a full size. Life is good!

For those of you who are bored beyond tears by the continuing saga of my diet, please be patient. A study has just been completed that shows that people who are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes, like improving diet and exercise, do much better with a buddy --- **but only** if that "buddy" is a stranger! I am finding that my commitment to coming here once a week and reporting my progress has made it a lot easier to stick to the plan. I thank you all!

DORIS, dogs do not need a high protein diet. Cats do, dogs don't. Many of the joint and bone problems the larger breeds suffer from these days are the result of very high protein puppy foods, and can be avoided by giving a much lower quality diet to growing dogs. Think about dogs in the wild -- they are opportunistic feeders (a phrase that covers a lot of disgusting behaviour!) and certainly do not eat meat at every meal. They also don't necessarily eat a meal every day. We overfeed our domestic dogs, both in quantity and in quality, in North America.

But add me to the list of people who are considering cooking up my own dog food. I used to do it and I may well start again. The reason for my reluctance is that I know that once I start doing that there is no way I will ever be able to get the dogs to eat commercial food again. They already refuse most commercial biscuits, preferring the ones that I make.

The sewing room project is more than half complete. Bags and bags of stuff have been sent off into the world or are waiting to go to Freecycle, and it is only patterns and magazines that are waiting to be sorted. May I suggest that you guys never let your sewing rooms contents go unsorted for more than ten years at a time? LOL

I am off to the airport soon. Two cats I adopted out were moved to Alberta and did not take well to the change. They are being flown back home this morning and I will be picking them up and bringing them back here. Poor things...

Hope you all get to do something that is fun today!


dog food

Rosey - thanks for the Natural Balance web addy. That is one of the "natural" brands we tried to get our Alex to eat for his skin problems. He refused it last autumn. If you hear anything on the Royal Canin dry "Shih Tzu" blend that we need to know, please contact me.

I think a dog can get too much protein. Wasn't that the problem with Alpo dog food some thirty years ago? That would seem weird, since they are carnivores, but my memory has this vague recollection . . . or it could be mad cow. (Denny Crane!)

OMG - I received a phone call yesterday and they caught me in a weak moment . . . I agreed to be a substitute teacher at the high school. What you see in all those teen movies (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sixteen Candles, Clueless, et al) is reality. Thank heavens for the seasoned teachers I ate lunch with in their lounge. As they were all complaining about their wild, uncontrollable students, I thanked them and started to feel much better about myself. :-0 Let's just say I had controlled chaos, since I was the substitute and have fond memories of how we treated subs some forty years ago. Aaaaackkk!

I had to have a nice hot cup of tea when I got home yesterday afternoon to decompress. LOL

I'm off to Sit & Sew today - my girls' day out or as the DH calls it, my "Venutian" day. LOL! Hugs to everyone!

For Pat in Rockport

And further information, from Aussie breeder, Sally M.:

This also indicates that just because a diet is grain free doesn't mean it is healthier or chemical free. I can see big changes coming in the pet food industry in the very near future. Thank god I work for the company I do - they've already sent someone to the plant in US to work on quality control until our plant is up and running in Aberfoyle then that person will work on our products out of Aberfoyle. I've just received info that the lab doing the work for us has tested all products from last fall and will be issuing certificates indicating that our products have tested clean.

And I've also found why I posted to the wrong board. Having come onto the blogger twice in a row, the chat board and the bulletin board reversed position. One more test to keep alert.

More Pet Food recalls & problems

Just heard from an Aussie breeder friend who works for Royal Canin here in Southern Ontario:

Here's one without wheat gluten but have found melamin in it. So much for holistic being all natural and chemical free!! latest recall, I don't know if you are aware- It doesn't contain wheat gluten but is causing renal failure- They have found melamine in it

And I'm on the right board, this time (lol).
I know many of you have beloved pets and I'm hoping our dog food products are free of has me concerned.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time to check in

I've been reading faithfully every day, enjoying hearing about all the posters' lives. I thought I should drop in to say hi; I'm still around although not getting much quilting done. At the moment I'm enduring a crummy cold. I thought I had made it through the whole winter without one, but, alas, it was not to be. Our winter can't decide if it's finished with us or not. We have a few tantalizing days and then, wham. Soon it will be gone, I hope.
I've been winning a few battles in the depression wars and have a life that's a little more "normal" (whatever that is!) . When I can get sewing again, I'll know things are right. I miss my small quilting group a lot and haven't been able to find others to quilt with so far. All the quilts on the regular BB are inspiring me, so maybe soon....
Hope everyone is surviving the storms. Happy quilting all.
Brenda in Nn Ontario

Tuesday morning post & in the right place...

It says above, Bulletin Board Chat. I don't know how I managed to make a slip to the other board either. But at least I know that it can be corrected with this new foremat.

Jane, I know how you feel about living closer to your grands. I could move to Guelph, Ontario and I love the city, it's small, it's charming and it has a university, where if I wanted, I could return to, it has a health food store and a quilt shop. Everything I could ever want and I would live close to my grands. But I think of the fact that I've lived for so many years without neighbours in my backyard and could I cope. You live in a slice of heaven in the mountains of NC; that would be very hard to give up; that plus the weather along the southern shores of the Great Lakes, wintertime..they get more than their share of snow up there. At least we are on the opposite side of the lake and don't get the lake effect as Rochester does.

My SIL ran in the Boston Marathon this week-end and I spoke to him yesterday afternoon just after he managed to walk, under his own steam, back to their hotel. He did it in around 3 hours and some minutes. He will check it out on the computer to see where he placed when he comes back home today. He said the headwinds about 3/4's of the way through the race were very bad and slowed everyone down. That, and the rain and cold, didn't sound like fun. Good thing the runners were pumped on adrenalin.

And it's grey and overcast again here today but at least it may not be snow. Yesterday we had everything, snow, rain, sun, mostly grey. I'd almost welcome pollen-days just to get some warmth up here and some sun.


Monday, April 16, 2007

just a quick note

to say how we are all so sorry to hear of the shootings in Virginia. It is front page news here and we would like to send our love and prayers to anyone who needs them. Many hugs Bee in NZ

the recent freeze . . . and sinuses

LAURA IN AL - We here in middle TN had the same freeze over Easter and there is a lot of dead stuff on the bushes & trees. 22° lows over Easter did a lot of damage! The crepe myrtles look like dead lettuce, pecan & walnut trees look like they've been burned, etc. The list just goes on and on. Around here the local experts are saying to not do anything and things should start to come out within the next few weeks. We seem to have had March and April exchange personalities and our flora have suffered. My Russian Sage is gone, butterfly bushes look dead, rose bushes cooked, etc. etc. etc. and the Hostas all are like dead lettuce along with my mums. Ugh I'm just grateful we're not having that Nor'easter that is flooding and snowing the New England area. We'll keep our problems and not complain.

SINUSES - there is something going around that settles in the throat and sinuses. I think DH and I had a slight touch of it this weekend but so far we've gotten off rather easy. We know others who sound worse and in are bad shape. I'm knocking on wood that I stay on the mend. IN the meantime, I have suspended any walking in the wee hours of the morning. I need that rest to keep my immune system up , and will have to hit the dreaded treadmill. Ugh.

I did a massive clean-out of my garment stash this past weekend and will donate it to a local fashion design school. All their students are starving and on tight budgets, as students usually are, and they welcome donations. I've been cleaning out closets and carrying stuff to GoodWill also. It's sooo hard to get started on this type project but once I'm in motion, it really feels good.

Welp, the hockey playoff game between our Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks just started on TV so I've got to go watch. We have tickets for the home playoff games and . . . if you've never been to a NHL play-off game you don't know what you're missing. ;-) Makes regular season play look like high school intramurals. So much excitement, and we're exhausted the next day. LOL!

Hugs to everyone,
Doris W. in TN


Well, drat. My weight yesterday was the same as the last few weeks, but my measurements are down 3/4", so some of the fat seems to be coming off. What I thought was allergies seems to be a rotten cold. I keep getting calls from friends who either have it, too, or know others who do. So, taking decongestants, cough syrup, etc., and surviving.

Pat in Rockport, TX

Just venting

Before I get off on my rant about the bad weekend, Jane--wanted you to know the pics. of the grand kids and their blocks were wonderful. I do love the new added feature of the blog so that we can see pics. now.
A wild weekend everywhere, I'm glad I'm not in Boston now, can't even think of running in the weather they are having today. I've got the TV on the weather chanel and looking at Jim Cantori with all the snow/rain/and so on.
We had our first bad experience in renting our condo. Evidently the new magmt. co. didn't have us in the computer as being "non-smoking" and rented the place out to some smokers last week. Not only were there cigarette butts on the balcony, but the couch, chairs, bed, etc. all smelled of smoke. I sprayed Fabreze on everything, aired it out, but to no avail. Had the mgmt. call a carpet cleaning service, who came and worked on the couch and chairs and made it somewhat better, but the sinuses were in bad shape. On top of that, the wind from the no'easter hit Sat. afternoon and sandblasted everybody and everything! We were both crabby and not in good moods, not a way to celebrate 29 years of being married.
On top of that, the renters broke the lock on our Owners cabinet, and went through out personal things. --Yuck.
So, today I'm washing, Febrezing, everything we took with us, including the suitcase.

On a pleasant note--we found a new to us state park, and had a good time there on Friday. Saw my first Manatees--they were the same color as the brackish water. Odd looking creatures.
The Hancock's fabric store in Port Orange, Fla. is going out of business, and all of what they had left was 70-80% off, so I did manage to buy a few things. I'm sorry they are closing though.
OK, off to eat a salad with chicken and re-boot the laundry.
Sandblasted Sara in Fla.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Snow and culture

JANE, it is snowing like the dickens right now and we are at 1900 feet, but have not had the big wind (yet) just 10-15 mph.

REDBUD Tree: We had one when we lived further down in TN above Chattanooga, we had freezes come thru because we lost the peach blossoms and so forth, but the tree came through all right. Perhaps your tree will set some new leaves when it warms back up. Hang in there!

JANE again re culture. You timed that right. Went to a meeting the other night. There is a plan afoot to build something called Tanasi Appalachian Cultural Center up here off one of the exits (they changed the exit numbers so I don't know what it is, but it's two exits south of Johnson City). Ten acres have been donated. Now all they need is 50 million dollars. It was dreamed up by artists (fine arts that is) but is to include a comprehensive list of "art" i.e. fine art, quilts, cornshuck dolls, furniture makers, music makers, jam and jelly making go under agriculture as does a Farmers Market type thing, amphitheatre, film room, and on and on. It will be a place where those who are interested can sell their goods with a per cent going to the Center. Oh it will have a food thing of some sort as well. (Thinking faster than I can type). They have been up to West Virginia and looked at something called Tamarac just to get ideas. They have to convince the Dept of Transportation to approve all this since it will be off an exit. Originally they wanted to put it next to the new Welcome Center down by the state line, but state law does not allow sales from Welcome Centers. The Tennessee Arts Commissioner is already on board. TDOT is short of $$ since the Governor took the fuel tax money and spent it on something else. Anyhow Appalachian culture will be promoted one way or another. Just had to tell you. Lavinia-TN


I shouldn't have been posting. It went on the wrong page. Judy, where are you now that I need you.



Perhaps Judy can tell me how to fix the large boo-boo on that kid post. I'm afraid people won't realize that if the scroll all the way down they can access the preceding posts. I've also managed to post a duplicate comment today so perhaps I shouldn't be posting again at all.

I am still very exhausted from the visit but wouldn't trade it in for anything. If I could stand the density of population and the climate I'd move closer to them.

My guild has welcomed kids and several members have helped classroom teachers who want to do a quilt activity with the kids. One of our members leads a 4-H quilt club which meets in the class room of another member's quilt shop. There is real concern in this area of the country about preserving and passing on the Southern Appalachian culture and arts so there are many efforts being made in that area. I am also so pleased to see youngsters being mentored by the self taught musicians who perform everything from medieval ballads to blue grass. My neighbor, a house painter and craftsman who makes his own banjos, guitars and mandolins has taken a local boy under his wing. That boy has won regional awards and loves what he's doing. He's about the same age as my grandsons. Our guild show, like so many others, has a special youth category in our show. They all get some special recognition just for entering. There is a man in our guild who, after retiring from engineering, has taught himself to quilt and has brought his lovely granddaughter to the table as well. That is one lucky girl. The two of them are joined at the hip. I gather that he and his wife are more parents to her than her parents. She told me once that they "weren't very involved" in her life.

Now let's see if I can post this correctly in the right place and only once.

Jane in NC where they are predicting very high winds, possibly up to 60mph and up to an inch of snow at elevations above 3000 ft. I'm at 2900 ft.