Saturday, April 17, 2010

Better than nasal discussions, Jane

The worms, I found fascinating. What I've just discovered in my basement (in the country) is not. I went downstairs to put something in the frig in the basement (the floor is painted cement) and there at the foot of the stairs, curled up, lay a garter snake. Thank heavens for Jock. I simply don't know how a snake could come inside...was he living here all winter?? I know they hibernate. Jock picked up the snake, all curled up and placed him outside in the tulip bed. Maybe he's still sleeping from hibernating. My granddaughter Kirsten has a pet snake living in a glass container in her bedroom. She is 13. Her mother used to pick up dead squirrels and take them to school in her school bag. Sheesh.



I think we have managed to gross everyone out. What say you?

Summer seems to have arrived too early for me. It was close to 90 F today and yesterday was 91 in town.

Having trouble getting my exercise. Old injuries in foot are giving me increasing discomfort. I'm going to go back to foot surgeon when I get back from NY and see if there is anything fixable. Shoes just don't fit. Think I have developed a bunion making all of them too narrow in fore foot (even the men's size 10 4E width and way too big in the rear. I sure don't want to have a bunionectomy. It put DD#2 in a boot for six weeks or more while still in her 30s. However, foot pain is depriving me of much walking here in the mountains and that is one of life's great pleasures for me. Also going to having hearing test Monday. I don't hear any of the night sounds, not even the owls. I should be hearing migrating warblers here and don't even with hearing aids. That's another of life's great pleasures for me.

Each day just walking down my long driveway there is another species of wild flower in bloom. Love the spring flowers. Today it was the wild geraniums.


Friday, April 16, 2010


Ah yes, I remember zo 1 at U MI back in '54. As I recall there are a lot of worms that are hermaphrodites (I admit to having to look up the correct spelling as I write) to wit: individuals are blessed with both male and female organs. I thought earth worms were among them. They line up side by side, head to toe and do their thing with each having been fertilized and ultimately producing offspring. It's an incredibly efficient arrangement. Now you know more about worms than you wanted to. I'm sure the gardeners among us understand how this works in many plants.

A few years ago I was about to get into my car that was parked near an empty lot outside my favorite potter's shop. This was in Dillsboro, a really neat little town nearby full of talented craftsman establishments and a tourist magnet. I heard some frantic duck quacks and looking up I spied a mallard hen (is that what a female duck is?) running as if from a knife wielding rapist. Hot on her trail came a very handsome mallard drake. He finally managed to mount her and a small number of passersby including me watched the proceedings in fascination. I'd never known how birds "do it" That drake once mounted was hung like a bull. I was stunned. She continued to complain but the drake's mission was completed whereupon they went their separate ways. His equipment receded as he waddled away. His back was visible to me but I suspect he had a duck smile on his face. I felt somewhat privileged to have witnessed that bit of nature.

I can't think of anything worthy of following the foregoing information so I'll bid everyone a good day, especially Bee.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Well, Jane, you've still got your sight

Ever seen copulating worms?

I counted 34 worms on the laneway, the first of the season...early one morning last week. Then, walking up through the woods, I looked down and saw the fattest worm yet....stopped...big bulge in the middle of this long fat worm. Then whoosh...the worm separated, both ends slid back into their respective holes in the ground and I realized that I had just witnessed two worms fornicating. Such excitement here in the country.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Feeling better? He, at age 75, was running about 8 or 10 weeks after the triple by-pass. His only problem was very long lasting pain in his chest as they did a lot of cutting. Perhaps he's indestructible. Cardiac surgeon says he will last forever unless he's hit by a truck.

This Rochester is in NY. DD works at U.Rochester. Her first husband was a chemist and after grad school at Cal Berkley went to work for Kodak. Dogwood is blooming. The place is full of flowering trees and wild flowers. They were a bit late due to the cold but everything is in bloom. Gotta keep up with the salt water flush. The frogs were making quite a bit of wonderful noise a few weeks ago but I can't hear them at night without my hearing aids. Can't even hear coyotes that gets pretty noisy at night. My favorites are the tree frogs and owls but I don't hear them anymore once I take hearing aids out. I miss those night sounds.

Going to hit the sack now.Jane

Montezuma's revenge

I'm with Sophie right now. Think it could be called the antibiotic revenge.
Had great plans for today, but sticking close to home.
JAN-it's good to hear your brother is doing so much better. Is that Rodchester MN, or NY you are going to?
DORIS-I'm glad the pollen in Savanah wasn't so bad. I went to the Lady and Son's a few years back, and was not impressed with the fried chicken either. My mom's --for that matter mine--is much better. Didn't have the meat loaf. I'm glad you had a good time.
There shouldn't be any pollen problem in Boca, they are tropical and don't have the azalea , oak etc. pollen we have. We still have 1 couple friends living there. He just retired, they are going to spend the summer in Colorado.
Trying to get some things done about the house. Going to put DH on a more healthful diet also. I went up to the Whole Foods this morning and looked at some of their classes. He goes to his treatment at 7 pm, which knocks out the dinner hour, then eats chips and dip, or some such at 9PM. I think I'll start out with a healthy breakfast for him tomorrow, pancakes (whole food mix) and maybe a smoothie.
My poor little dogs look like large rats now. I had them cut for the summer "do" and they are a bit short. A bit! At least they won't drag mulch in on their coats now.
As with all haircuts, it will grow out.
Sara in Fla.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Falling Asleep

Jane, I can sit for hours sewing quilts but am notorious about falling asleep the instant I sit down at meetings. My half-sister has, in the past year, found that she has thyroid problems. I'm doing the Basal Testing at the moment and my temperature is consistently beneath the norm. The homeopath that I see for food testing looked at the palms of my hands last week and asked if they were "always that colour". I guess that I'm so used to 'that' colour...reddish yellow....that I never gave it a thought until we compared the palms of our hands. I have a very 'high' colour. The bottoms of my feet, also. I wouldn't be surprised if some of my chemical sensitivities are linked to thyroid problems. I had thyroiditis some years ago; nothing was done with it at the time and maybe nothing could be done with it. Time will tell. Meanwhile, have a good trip. Going south to go north?! If your brother is picking you up, he must be well enough to drive from NM after his heart operation. That is good news.


checking in

Marion in NZ - thank you for the photo. What beautiful scenery! I love how we can click on these photos and they open up in a new "tab" even larger.

The DH and I drove to Atlanta a week ago, spent the night with our son and his wife, and continued on to Savannah, GA the next day. OH.... MY.... GOODNESS .... The pollen in Atlanta was unbelievable. There was a thick haze in the air, like we usually have in the summers, except it was a bright yellow green. We could see clouds of pollen blowing along. The car was completely covered in yellow-green pollen and it was rather disgusting. Between car and buildings, I only breathed through my mouth. I did not dare let that pollen into my nose and sinus cavities.

Savannah's pollen was much better. The haze disappeared right before we arrived there. Some rain on Thursday night cleared the air, so I didn't suffer too badly. The wind was strong the entire visit, though. On Saturday, I was with a small tour group (pre-arranged thru the group holding the seminar DH attended) that took a trolley tour of the historic district (basically downtown) and we saw lots of beautiful homes, many which have been in famous movies.

While on the tour, we went to eat lunch at . . . The Lady and Sons, which is Paula Deen's restaurant she started back in the 1990s before she became famous. I honestly have to say I was underwhelmed. I prefer the fried chicken and the banana pudding at our own local hometown meat-n-three, but Paula Deen's meatloaf was To Die For. Ohhhhhh my goodness.... if one can possibly imagine meatloaf that looked and tasted like chicken fried steak..... it was great stuff. So now I can say 'been there, done that'.

I'm hanging in there with the allergies. The meds all make me sleepy and tired. The antibiotics were the worst, though, as they always sap my energy. I hope to be off all this stuff in another four weeks. DH and I go to Boca Raton next week for a few days. I hope the pollen isn't too bad down there.

I will hopefully get up to my sewing room this week. Yesterday and today were 'lost' days, as I had Sophie by my side the whole time. She's got a very bad case of Montezuma's Revenge from who-knows-what-she-ate. Not only have I given her two complete baths and had two crate disasters to clean up from, I have to bathe her hindquarters after every ... 'incident.' (Too much fur back there.) I finally trimmed away her petticoat and some of her tail, but the bath is still necessary, and of course the blow-dryer after that. I am worn out, and so is she. I took her to the vet today, and she's on an antibiotic now, for colitis or whatever was evident from the 'sample' and white blood cell count. Poor Sophie. Poor me! She ate some small bits of rice and I hope it sits well. Why did I want another dog??? (LOL)


Sara and Rosey, is either of you finding hair on you pillow? How about super dry skin and hair or breaking fingernails? These are the symptoms I've had when I've been low. It's been so long since I started taking the thyroxin that I can't remember how long it took to kick in. I just noticed that I didn't hate the kindergartners in my class I was teaching and I didn't have to take them out for a "nature walk" so I wouldn't fall asleep in class. Five year olds deserve better than that from a teacher. In those days there was no such thing as a teacher's aid or a class with only 20 kids in it. Once I was sitting in a kindergarten chair back when I had functioning knees and weighed forty pounds less than I do now. The kids were sitting on the floor around me. I turned the book around to show them the picture on the page I'd just read and the next thing I knew I heard a child's voice saying "Mrs. Brown, why are your eyes closed?" Years later I learned that the reason I wasn't obese was that with endometriosis I had such horrendous menstrual flow that I was no doubt anemic a good part of the time and I ate like a lumber jack just to remake all that hemoglobin. Once under treatment I was not nearly as impaired and actually enjoyed my job. Five year olds are, or were in those days, so innocent.

I have boxes of papers and books that I need to go through and I'm going to buy some of those filter masks. The last time I did that job I just about sneezed my brains out. It's bad enough this time of year.

Did I tell you guys that I'm taking the train to Rochester next week? It leaves a very small town in north GA where I attend a quilt retreat every Nov. It's a pleasant rural drive of 2 hours or so and the town is so small that finding the station will be easy. I have a roomette for the overnight ride to NY City where I change trains at Penn Sta. and will take the coach for the rest of the trip. I will arrive in Rochester at about 11 pm and my brother will already be there (he's drivng from NM) to pick me up. There will be lots of festivities put on by DD#1 and her boyfriend through the weekend. I'm looking forward to it. I'll spend as much time with grands as they are willing to.

Time for NCIS which is about the only tv show I watch regularly. Otherwise it's public tv for Masterpiece Theater and such and old movies.


Books & Thyroid

Sara, I'm no expert although I may become one. I've just ordered a book on hypothyroidism given that it is a possibility that I may be on the cusp. I think it takes awhile for the thyroid medication to kick in and also to get it balanced. I'm supposing you thought that it might be an instant diet pill in trying to loose weight. I've tacked on extra pounds on my fanny that just aren't moving and I'm thinking the same thing...maybe...

I'm enjoying the Marcia Willett books. She is an English author and writes about the countryside, generally around Devon or Cornwall. She develops her characters quite well and the stories are about family dynamics. Nothing REALLY sad happens and for me, the books are like delving into comfort food all winter and now spring. I have more on order from the library. What will I do when I've read them all, I wonder. By then, my B&B season should be busier and I might not have as much time to spend reading.


Thyroid and pollen,etc.

Not that the two topics relate at all.
Don't have to worry about conception, that factory has been closed for quite awhile.
I'm hoping that I'll have some more energy soon. Today is the 5th day of a 5 day antibiotic, which makes me sleepy. How long does it take for Thyroid stuff to kick in?
As for the pollen, it's even worse today, cause it is windy.
I have grand hopes!
DH met with the acountant, not good news. It seems that the A/C business is a Sub-S corporation, so when it shows a profit, we are supposed to make lots of $$$. We are comfortable but no where near the very wealthy standard. I think Mr. Obama will be getting lots of our profit this year. Rats!
I hope we know what the actual figure is tomorrow. There is a big Tea Party group here in our city, I might just join with them on the evening of the 15th.
Not a lot going on here.
Has anyone read the Debbie McCumber books? I guess there are lots of them. I'm reading Knit Together. Sort of autobiographical. I keep falling asleep while trying to read.
If anyone has read some, let me know which you like the best.
Sara in Fla.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh dear ! Can you tell that the grandchildren are still here ?!?

Sorry about my abortive attempt to "post" below ! Just as I logged on, there was an interruption and I'm obviously not able to cope with two things at once any more...

Flights to England take a very long time ! Over 11 hours to H.K. then around another 11 to U.K. When DD#1 was living in Scotland we used to go via Dubai. 13hrs there and another 8 to Glasgow. There's no easy way to do it. We haven't gone via America for many years but the times and distances are similar. We have been upgraded once or twice and have enjoyed that. The extra leg room and service is nice but it's still a long journey and there's still the hanging around at the airports to be endured....

A cooler day today and I must do some super-market shopping. I will drop the boys off at the skate park while I am doing that. We are off go-carting this afternoon...oh joy...

Marion .


SARA, all that yard work makes my nose itch and sneeze just to think about it. I still find the warm salt (non iodized salt) wash all the way with an ear syringe very helpful. I use the syringe in order to get that wash as far up and as far back as I can until the gag reflex is engaged. It's disgusting and one makes repulsive noises but a lot of stuff is cleared including the post nasal stuff accumulated over night. My doc says it clears as much as possible in the way of allergens and bacteria. My microbiologist quilting pal also says the salt actually kills a lot of bacteria. I haven't had a sinus infection since I got serious and do this every morning and sometimes at bedtimes.

I've been correcting hypothyroid problems since I was 21. I should have been starting at about 16 when I was falling asleep at school, the supper table and bathtub. No danger in bathtub, by the way, when your nose slips under water you wake up abruptly to say the least. Family doc was a jerk and he never suggested a test. I learned about thyroid function in high school biology. He must have missed school that day. I once fell asleep standing in the interminable lines at university registration in the dark ages when it was done manually. I woke with a start when my knees began to buckle. I didn't weigh 300 pounds so the idiots at health service said "all undergraduates are tired". It was later after graduation when the gyn asked about my pep and energy when seriously looking at my fertility problem in view of the late diagnosis of endometriosis. I told him I hadn't had any since my mid teens. Sure enough, even after the crude testing of oxygen consumption in those days it was obvious. You have no idea what a difference that made in my life. By the way, I conceived not too long after that. Better send Carl out to the barn to sleep!

MARION, forget how long the flight is from England. How long a flight is it from Cullowhee, NC USA? I'll show up on your doorstep some day. You live in such a beautiful part of the world. Don't I wish I could afford it.


The spring yard work is finished!

Yea, I'm doing a snoopy dance. I had a 16 yr. old girl (who is home schooled) come over this morning and help me finish with the pine straw and triming. It is finally all done and looks good.

I'm trying to picture in my mind how long an airplane trip it would be from England to N.Z. It must take 24 hrs. to get there. Bee, sounds like you are having good weather and a good time with the grands.

My DH is doing well in his proton beam treatments. It has been 1 week and 1 day. Since I was so miserable last week with sinuses gunk and coughing he insisted I go to Dr. for a check up.
I had previously gone for labs. Now I'm taking pot-fulls of meds. Something for the cough, something called a Z pack, an antibiotic, and low and behold my thyroid is very low. I have a thyroid med to take every morning before I get up. Maybe that explains the extra weight gain and the lack of energy. The Dr. was excited -go figure- to find the low thyroid, saying this is something that is fixable, and that the weight would be coming off. OK, I'm all for that.

Been doing some small sample quilts to see if it is something I'd like to make a large one of.
Dug out my old Mary Lou Weidman books and want to do something with angels. More thinking than doing.

Going to get the doggies their spring hair cuts today.
Sara in Fla.

A frustrating exercise !

I've been trying to post a photo and have had no luck so far. Maybe I'll give it one more try (and maybe I won't..) DH and I went over to the Peninsular for a night last week to stay with friends who are holidaying there. It's a beautiful spot and only an hour and a half from home. Thats what the photo was about...

School holidays here and we have two grandsons staying...aged 12 and 10. It's all go as you can imagine. Lots of "action man" activities... all quite exhausting ! Just had a phone call from a English friend. He has been climbing over here and says he just needs a place to " rest his weary bones" for a day or two ! I was pleased to hear from him. He's been out of touch for two months and I wondered where he was and how he was faring...

We are enjoying some beautiful weather at the moment. Sunny and warm (26degs), no wind and the lovely colours of autumn to enjoy. Its a lovely time of year . Bee , big hugs to you. This is a difficult and lonely time for you. Sorry to hear of your troubles too Thea . I too, am surprised that the views of a 6yr old can carry so much weight.

All the best.

Marion. (Wow! That's a surprise ! The photo came through after all..)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


An emotional roller-coaster ride for you and Harry. My thoughts are with you in his return to hospital. Brave feelings needed; not always there, are they. Even though we are 'older' and somehow supposed to be able to cope with whatever life throws at us, we are all vulnerable. A sadness for you and for Tenneh, in New Zealand.



thinking of you and hoping your little one will be with you . Harry is back in hospital , not good but keeping on hoping. Thank you for all your kind thoughts. Hugs Bee.