Blue wild flax, work day

In the midst of the day’s work on the workshop in the back yard, I took out some time to play with the dogs and take photographs in the (now fading) wildflower garden. The night temperatures are pretty low, and there’s been relatively little rain. Rain and thunderstorms figure in the forecast quite often, but actual storms and precipitation just aren’t making it to our town very often.

I spent a lot of the day at the top of a tall ladder. There was wind, and so I have ended up with a sinus headache. The hot tea will take effect, soon, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (That is, soon after I heat the water and steep the tea.)

The first week of my four-week poetry workshop approaches, and I have to decide which of the haiku I’ve written, I should send to the instructor. Between my aunt Marion’s funeral and burial on Monday and acting as carpenter’s assistant, the week has been quite scattered. This coming week, I have to go in for a blood panel, and then an appointment with my doctor. Nine-month check-up on the progress with the type 2 diabetes. One needs the lab results to know for certain, but I think it’s going great.

Also, I am supposed to make appointments with eye and foot doctors. I am not ready for any new adventures, right now, and so I am not making those appointments yet. The past twelve months have held quite enough events as it is.

Now that Mother is no longer acting as gate-keeper for contacts with the broader family on my father’s side, I have gotten a couple of email addresses. I’ve gotten a response to the one email I sent out, this week, and a new-to-me cousin on the west coast is favorable to the notion of making and maintaining contact. By token of which, we are now “Friends” on Facebook. I still don’t have emails for the cousins that I met at the funeral on Monday. Hopefully, information on those will be forthcoming. Two of them are people that I met in 1969, when I stayed with the family for a week, and I also met the widow of the third cousin and their offspring, Monday. Lovely people!

Some mental health days

lunch - beef sandwich with mustard, havarti cheese, mixed salad greens with French dressing
Late Lunch

Yesterday, I had my second meeting with the grief counselor from hospice, and today it has finally sunk in that I no longer need to be wedded to my telephone. I need not expect a call from hospital, retirement center or nursing home, demanding decisions from me. Unless by or about a sibling or my husband, which is quite different from decision-making on behalf of a parent. I can leave my telephone in the house, on its charger in the other room…even when I go shopping.

I discover that I have been sitting in this chair, subconsciously feeling that it has been an uncomfortable amount of time since the phone has rung, summoning me, and I’ve been waiting for the ball to drop…the sky to fall on me…the river to flood or a tornado to head in my direction.

I think that I should do things out of the routine for a few days: exercising, going for a walk, playing the piano. I could find something else to do with the chicken breasts that Al bought at the butcher shop.

This afternoon I have tallied the sequence of the most unsettling events and losses in my life, as well as unwelcome discoveries, and decided that I really do need to take some mental health days. (One can do that, even when one is no longer an employee, I assume. And much more easily!) My tally of “life changes” points just needs some time to time out.

I did also get out into the back yard to help Al raise the last section of the final wall of the workshop. I expect that it won’t be long before the windows are delivered and the walls will sport door, windows, plywood (inside) and pressboard (outside).

I have no commitments, now, until next month’s haircut, aside from any holiday doings over the weekend. For which I do not have to cook. I think that I will pull up the latest edition of Stress Management and find out what changes, if any, have been made to the stress-relieving exercises and imageries.

A bright note to the day. The keepsake that I had ordered from Café Press arrived with this afternoon’s mail delivery. I decided on a keepsake notions box, because if at some point, I have to move out of the house, it will be readily portable. SFF Net closed down at the end of last month, and it was pretty much my Internet home for nearly twenty years. I’m missing it a lot.


Long, Cold Winter

Things have been rather tangled, here, this year, what with the type-2 diabetes diagnoses (both of us), frigid weather, much snow (and sleet and rain and fog), postponed appointments and the fumbling for proper diets. I haven’t gotten out as much to take pictures. Conditions have not favored frost formations on the windows, either.

The puppies are showing signs of maturing. Not chewing so readily on towels, washcloths, upholstery and such. Although I did discover, while taking my husband’s new blue jeans out of the dryer, last night, that my puppy had eaten an entire belt loop from one of them. There has been almost no lint in the lint trap since I tossed all the stuff that had chewed spots.

I hear sounds of puppies and husband’s alarm clock. Guess it is time to accommodate morning rituals.

Hope your day is going along as you would have it be!


Frost & Scampers


Our promised storm was not visible here, away from the winds. I think that a No Travel advisory is still in effect in the area. The temperature is expected to drop after Noon with a high of -2°F for tomorrow. The out-of-doors is beautiful, but I don’t want to go outside again until April.

We were having a sleep-in, this morning, but I woke up an hour before my alarm. Got on the telephone to the clinic to find out what was about with my appointment times through March. Also, called the pharmacy to discover the why of a particular prescription oddity.

Still worrying the ins and outs of the diet, but now I do have an appointment with a diabetes dietitian, next week. I do hope that it is of some help. If I’m understanding this, the idea is to eat enough carbohydrates to avoid the “I’m starving” mechanism that sets off the liver’s manufacturing glucose, but not enough at a time to spur the pancreas into overdrive. I, who can forget to eat, … I consider purchasing an alarm that will ring when it is time for a meal or snack. With a variable tone, so that it will not fade into the background noise and , through familiarity, go unheard.

I have found some cookbooks that address gluten-free cooking for the diabetic diet, which I am finding helpful.


Catching up…

The exhaustion and chemical/fragrance exposures caught up with me over the weekend, and on Tuesday, late afternoon, we headed for the Emergency Department at the local hospital. My blood oxygen level had dipped to 84 or 85%. I managed to identify the corticosteroid to which I’m not (yet) allergic (third in the list the attending physician rattled off). I am allergic to prednisone, and so put off the nurse who asked to insert an IV injection port “just in case the doctor wanted medication administered”.

I still have the cough, but I’m down to one dose of albuterol a day; the price on the stuff certainly has dropped since I last needed to buy meds (fall of 2014): from $1.65 to $0.50 a dose. Same drug store. And the doctor prescribed meds twice the amount of medication in each dose. Al and I have gone shopping several times, since then, and I can make it through an entire shopping trip of several stops without running out of energy/breath. Still exhausted by evening, but that might have something to do with my not taking naps.

The puppies have been a great joy. Except that Thaddeus had a plump tick on his neck that had been there for a while. We dropped off at the veterinary clinic, where a helpful technician removed it. Must look up tick & flea medications.

I’ve been fooling around a little with Picasa on account of the cell phone photographs not always being really great.

Frosty Window | Monday Afternoon

frost pattern on the window

On the sick list since late Friday evening/early Saturday evening. Bad cold. And now Al also has caught it. Living on chicken soup?

Al fetched more milk, fresh fruit and a couple rotisserie chickens from the store. Also, cranberry juice/7-Up (childhood rehydrating treat), and both ice cream and chocolate pudding (easy on the throat). We had fruit before we went to sleep. Well, before I went to sleep, anyway. That first 48 hours is rough!

Tuesday Morning … Breakfast

Stayed up until rather late, but once again I awoke a little past seven o’clock, this morning. Still, I did my morning reading, and then made coffee just before Al’s alarm went off. This morning he took me up on my offer to make scrambled eggs for him and bring those along, too. I poured coffee for myself, but never got around to drinking it.

This morning’s breakfast included orange juice, plain omelet, seven blackberries and a sliced tomato. It was filling, so Samantha got pieces instead of leftover scraps from my plate.

plain omelet, sliced tomato, 7 blackberries, coffee and orange juice
Omelet for Breakfast

Last night we decided to go out to eat. The first Applebee’s Restaurant that we went into seemed to be having trouble with one of the air handling units in the kitchen; what we’d thought when we first walked in was “Oh, what wonderful smells of cooking onions!” But when we were seated (near the kitchen door), it became evident that there was smoke involved. I made my way unassisted to a comfortable chair near the door, while Al made our apologies to the floor manager.

The lure of Monday night’s $5.99 burger special was not diminished, however, and so we drove to another of the chain’s restaurants that was along the route home. There were no problems with air quality, and so we enjoyed a lovely meal.

Al considers pullover shirt and bluejeans to be a universally accepted wardrobe. That’s what we’re both used to wearing. Actually, aside from my long skirts for lounging and outdoor work, that’s what I’ve got in the closet besides the obligatory formal funeral skirts and jackets with sleeveless shells in various colors. With my shorter haircut (a quarter of an inch, rather than three eighths), black t-shirt from blood donation years, ratty looking bluejeans and an old shirt (which pretended to be a jacket to keep the rain off the t-shirt), and Al also wearing an old shirt and bluejeans, we must have looked like buddies, perhaps taking a break from cleaning the garage, to get a little supper. Our hostess greeted us with “Right this way, gentlemen!” as she escorted us to our table, and, on the way, looked at me and asked how our day was going. I, a contralto, responded, “It’s going good, thanks. And you?” I got an immediate apology and a very compliment on my summer haircut. We were amused, Al and I. Observed that it has to do with the length of hair; my ceasing to wear pierced earrings (2002) did not noticeably affect gender identification, all other things being equal. I do think the hostess’s response of an apology and her follow-up on my attempted icebreaker comment about our too often making assumptions without paying close attention was the most comfortable. A welcome change from the embarrassed silence and pretending it never happened.

That was a long way around. . . . I woke up today with chest congestion and irritation, expanded chest cage and inability to take a deep breath or to empty my lungs as fully as I needed to (animal fat smoke in the air at the first restaurant), and so I had to use the nebulizer, today. I still have 14 doses with an expiration date of June 2015 and 25 that expire in September. I needs must find a new doctor; Dan left Sanford in late June of last year.

The albuterol has made me sleepy. Think I’ll take advantage of that and take a nap, now.

Where did the weekend go?

I’ve gotten a full night of solid sleep. A good sleep. And a couple of naps. Yesterday I did my share of the tax forms (the last year I will need to report self-employment income). Today I have gathered laundry, which is now in the dryer. I have taken my iron supplement, which it seems has been on the “I forgot” non-list for quite a while.

I am going to try to stay up, now, until midnight, so that I am not wide awake at two in the morning. I need to be getting things done, and it’s not happening.