Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Singing on a Train....Wait for it.

I  have been busy and not busy.  I have been here and there.  Blogging has not been something that called to me or fulfilled me.  

My two-shot  vaccine regimen has been completed and I have been able to  hug my grandchildren, something that is unmeasurable in its pleasure.   All five of them caught Covid in their bubble while being social, but it was only a few days long  and they survived the worst.  

I was able to visit my oldest grandson on his 16th birthday.  He is a  handsome, tall and a thin nerdy boy with so much hair there must be birds who crave to nest on his head.  I hugged and ran my hands over his thin and boney shoulders and down his strong but lean back,  Then I hugged my granddaughter who is built like a draft horse and could lift the back of a car.  She has a strong and lovely body and will fight weight gain in  her  mid-life years, but her cheer activities have kept her healthy.  She was sharp and lacked patience as a child, but has evolved into a loving person as a 13-year-old.  My youngest, a boy at 10, is still evolving,  but his hug was free and honest.  He will  be the handsome  and  popular young man  in  college and will probably date the prom Queen who will break his heart and make him stronger to face life's twists and turns.

I have still failed to conquer my chronic cough which has made me hopeful and then depressed with each new attempt at treatment.  My allergist finally sent me for a C-Scan which he said revealed an infection in the lining of the sinus cavities under my eyes. He sent me to a well-respected ENT surgeon in the city.  I was nervous to meet with her, not for the illness, but because I had  to get there on time!  My husband and I Ubered after spending the night at my daughter's.  The ENT surgeon was nice and kind and told me her 'friend" my allergist was wrong after looking at my scans.  She ran another camera down my nose and into my throat (after an anesthetic spray) and said she saw swelling at the part of my throat where I swallow.  NO surprise to me as I  have a coughing/gagging spell every 1 to 2 hours day and night!  She diagnosed what she called  "silent acid reflux".  I was eager to accept this as I had feared surgery of some unnatural order.

I am  now on another set of drugs and waiting to see if  this will help.  But I am  afraid of the diet restrictions on the list she gave me.  It seems all I can eat is oatmeal and meat....!  This dance will be  difficult and I do not believe I will be successful!

Spring is here in all its full glory.  Warmer weather interrupted by rains is ahead.  I have planted my annual seedlings.

My son and his wife visited last week now that we have our shots.  They have not caught Covid nor have any vaccines.  They are now registered and since our state is wide-open I am hoping for a perfect family gathering the first of May.  I love all of my family and feel blessed for that.

It has been a difficult year and I wish all of you the strength that it takes to get through it.  You are all precious souls and need to be here for the rest of  us!

For some wonderful German mind engineering go to the link below"

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A Reset On Our Value System?


Empty streets and quiet cities...

The text below was taken from a New York Times Opinion Column written by Frank Bruni on how we are preparing ourselves for the future without the pandemic.

"...They wish, as any sane person does, that the pandemic had never happened. They hate what it did to this country, to this world, and to many aspects of their own lives and the lives of loved ones.

But its brutal winnowing of their social obligations and commitments beyond the home? They actually didn’t mind this, at least not so much. Their movements had grown hectic and their schedules overstuffed.

The way in which shuttered schools, canceled extracurricular activities, and closed offices compelled them and their children to spend more time together? There was stress in this, often proportional to a home’s square footage, but there was also intimacy. They liked how many nights everyone ate dinner together.

The halt to commuting? That was all upside and, along with the cessation of business travel, it produced a revelation: In-person meetings and the logistics that went into them weren’t as necessary as everyone thought. There were cheaper and easier alternatives."

I know the above is true with the attitudes of my two adult children and their families.  Americans live a rushed and career-oriented life.  We are often amazed that Europeans do not care so much about their jobs and are not afraid to take long vacations.  Maybe this pandemic will reset our Puritan work ethic problem!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Guinea Pigs Are We ALL?

This is a health post, and if you are not into that after this horrendous year, I will understand and you can move on.

I think with medical care some of us think Doctors are marvelous geniuses and inciteful and caring.  Afterall, we have seem them risking their lives for the past year saving lives in a pandemic.

Yet, our local physicians which run a private office within small practices are pretty much normal people, some with exceptional skills and others counting down  the days until they can retire, with most of them in a  mediocre middle.  Within a rural community this is even more so.

I have written about this dibilitating cough that I started to get over a year ago.  It is the kind of dry cough that cannot be muffled and sometimes ends with a gag or at other times a raging sneezing fit and other times weeping eyes.  Because I am home 99% of the time, I have not had to leave a room or face embarassment.  It  would occur even in the evenings when I was sleeping.  Some nights I was awakened every two hours.  It has been a year since I have had more than 4 hours of continued sleep.  My primary sent me to an ENT who had me x-rayed as well as sent a camera through my nasel passage and down my throat.  Since she found nothing, she sent me to an allergist.  I had already spent over a month tracking what I ate and what I breathed, etc. purchasing a $200 room filter and last spring even leaving my house for a trip for a number of days to see if it was the house and nothing changed in each instance.  I have no fever and no loss of appetite.

The allergist ran those two dozen skin test pricks on my inside arm and said I was  allergic to a number of  things including polllens, but nothing severely.  ( I know that I am severly allergic to cat dander!)

He then started me on a nerve medication, something you give to someone who is under stress and needs tranquilzing.  No side effects after a month and also no reduction in coughing 8-10 times daily and then through the night.  We changed to a second nerve medication and he said that coughs can be VERY hard to find the cause.  A month of the second nerve medication and no side effeccts  and no reduction in cough.  I had to be taken off it gradually as it did  make me dizzy and I had a waking dream the day after! He then tried a third medication which did not reduce the cough but the warned side effect of anxiety and temper did kick in and I told him after two weeks, I was no longer taking it as I was getting murderous!  We are a fragile chemical factory!

At my most reent visit  (four months after my initial visit) he  prescribed a blood test (I was too tired to ask what he was looking for although I did ask if it  could  be a fungus) and also a CT Scan.  He called  last week and said they did find an infection in the top two sinus cavities by my eyes!  I then was put on a 10 day course  of antibiotics  and a 5 day course of a steroid.  I immediately called to explain that I was  getting my second  Covid Moderna shot in two days and wondered about the wisdom of being on a steriod ... my understanding that it suppressed the immune reaction.  He agreed I should only take the antibiotic.  I was thinking that ALL doctors should have COVID in the back of their mind with every patient when they are prescribing these days as many patients do not research their meds!

Anyway, I am on my 4th day of the antibiotic and the cough has been cut by about 30% and  usually is not so intense.  But the cough has not gone away.  I got no  reaction to  my second Covid  shot except for a sore arm muscle and what seems to be two days of fatigue.  I have taken advantage of this being a test tube to try to nap each day and rest generally by doing nothing this whole weekend as I have not felt super energetic.  I MUST do some exercise on Monday.  Tonight is take-out unhealthy pizza.

Anyway, I am so tired of being a guinea pig in this process and exhausted as it has been a whole year of this cough.  I have my fingers crossed and the doctor recommends taking the sterioids in about 9 days.  Wish me luck!  As someone who had fought food poisoning while living overseas and  dengue fever while overseas on a tropical island...under mediocre medical care, I was unprepared for this.




Sunday, March 07, 2021

Changing Seasons and Seeing Things in a New Light

The longer daylight and the angle of the sun have awakened the hormones in my birds. I saw an American Cardinal couple kissing the other day! Right out in the open! Right on my deck! Ah, young love. 

The longer daylight and the angle of the sun have also awakened dismay in me. I see all the dribbles and spots on my kitchen cupboards under the morning sun's spotlight. I see the dust bunnies and gunk on the kitchen lighting. 

My kitchen has a small island with a range. Since I have a high ceiling I did not want a huge ceiling vent fan coming down. It would be enormous to clean as well as allowing a draft of cold air to seep through in the winters down that long vent. Therefore, I had installed a counter pop-up fan behind the range. I can never use the fan on high. It is not as efficient and it draws the heat away, so affects cooking, but the filters can go in the dishwasher and there is less to clean.




But the "fancy" lighting fixture that was installed above is a bit of a nightmare to clean. I actually think it was for pool table lighting!  Since I have a bit of a wrought iron theme going in the living area, I selected it.  I have been putting off cleaning for quite some time and this year tried to remove the three lamp hoods and glass shades and pop them in the dishwasher.  I could not actually reach all the curled iron above which was covered in grease.  I got two of the fixtures down using my kitchen ladder and patience.  The last one would not come off.  The ceramic threads were misaligned.  I called in my tall friend. (You may remember the fellow who helped with the Osprey nest.)  HE could NOT get the glass shade off either!


Thus he used his height and good eyes and long arms and cleaned the shades as well as the iron decoration with a rag and some Mr. Clean.  It now sparkles.  He also helped me re-assemble the parts that I had put through the dishwasher.


I now have to go to the hardware and get a finish polisher to shine the two black hoods.  Easy enough! It hangs about an inch off-center, but I will have to live with that.  Now I have to wash all the cupboards!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Find Me an Empath



The photo above was taken back in 2018 during our Amazon trip.  I have posted about some of this adventure before.  This was a cruise where we went up the better part of the Amazon on an ocean-going cruise ship.  The city above, which looks modern, was not truly ready for cruise ships and clods of tourists, but certainly ready to find a way to extract money from them.  I say this not disdainfully.  They are poor and enterprising people just trying to find a way to stay ahead while living under a corrupt regime with horrible inflation.  Three to five percent of the total income of Brazil is lost to corruption.  It is a tragic way of life.  (Of course, our Congress allows wealthy companies to write the legislation that helps them avoid taxes, so we certainly cannot pretend purity here.)

The city was muddy, rainy, and busy.  The people were poor but polite.  There was criminal behavior.  I have emblazoned on my brain the face of a man in his fifties that just wanted to take people on a bicycle/cart ride around the city for some money.  He waited patiently at the dock as each passenger disembarked.  It was horribly rainy and so no one was willing to ride.  His face was so unbearably sad.  My husband gave him some money, but that would not stop the suffering he faced each day and would feed his children for only a short time.  

This is the city where the Brazil variant of COVID emerged in early December of last year.  The more contagious brand.  Manaus already had 75% of people infected [in the spring of last year].  Now 27 to 50% were vulnerable to this new version.  It just does not seem fair.  Why must some people suffer so?  Why is empathy now considered a weakness among leaders in the U.S. and other countries?

At mid-day, I am going with hubby to a drive-through facility where he will get his second shot. He got no reaction to the first, but I am hearing a second can sometimes make you feel as if you are coming down with the flu--a simple trade-off to avoid the hospital oxygen tent.  It does appear that by the end of spring the majority of Americans will be protected from hospitalization and/or death if not from getting sick even with the current varients, so that is a good thing!

Please be kind to others.  It is so hard these days to just put one foot in front of the other.


Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Social Butterfly is a Luddite



Today is a cold, gray, rainy, mushy, and boring day.  Cannot do anything outside!  I am working with my library of photographs and deleting a bunch and blogging.  Hubby is reading his emails on his tiny phone screen and listening to Irish music.  

How he can manage email on a phone is always something I question!  He does lose emails and forget to answer others and that is why I encourage him to use his laptop more.  He has become more and more unable to work with his computer.  His age is part of it and now he actually fears using the devices.  Unfortunately, in our world, if you do not use a computer (and this is horribly true with the restrictions from the Pandemic) you lose touch with the world.  I was the one who got us both registered (at different locations) for our Covid shots after he messed up the first appointment.  We will be getting the second ones this month.

He got notice in his email that his car needed to be re-registered.  He kept putting off the task.  So, yesterday I had to go in and re-register his car for him.  Fortunately and surprisingly since it is a local government site, their interface was very simple and I almost wondered if I had completed it correctly until I got the email that verified that I had.  Now we wait to see if I actually did it correctly when the registration comes in the mail.

Last month Hubby gave a small webinar on extending vegetable growing across the three seasons via Zoom.  It was done in PowerPoint software and I spent hours and hours helping him with it.  The problem is that I would get all the typos, incorrect formatting, etc. removed, and then he would go back in to add something or edit some bulleted list and it would end up looking like he had selected three different presentation backgrounds!  Maybe he had!  I also provided the photos needed and learned that PowerPoint now can compress the slides automatically to reduce the bytes which saved me time.  Anyway, the whole experience made him even warier of computers and totally drained me! 

This is not the world for him because he is a very social person.  He loves talking to people.  He calls old classmates on the phone just to chat.  He will 'talk the leg off ' of the man or women at the restaurant that is completing our take-out order.  When the man comes to help with our stuff around the yard, he is right behind him talking away.  He is looking forward to a class reunion this fall of those in their late 70's.  He and another mate are planning on driving down to Florida together, and I am now hoping I can get out of it since they will be able to assist each other along the trip!  Maybe they can combine it with a fishing trip, which he would love.  With the increase in vaccinations, this looks more promising.

I really like people and I even love some people, but I would also love some time alone just moving around on a free schedule while he would be gone.  No meals on time, no helping someone find something, etc.  I am a loner and while I have finally accepted that, I actually wish I was a bit more amenable to social activities.  


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Shining Star

In the time of Covid, time itself seems to be moving in clods and clunks.  Most days go by pretty fast.  But there are others that make me realize how long I have been hiding out in my house.  The other day, I missed an old gardener friend and had not heard from her for several many months.  I realized then that the lockdowns and sheltering in place have changed everyone's perspective on time.



When our gardener meeting minutes came out I noticed she had dropped from several committees. I thought the worst but reminded myself that it had to be something normal. I tried to call but did not get her, so emailed. She responded right away and wrote that she was fine and that she owed my husband and me dinner. I think we paid for her dinner over a year ago on our way to a meeting...so long ago.  I had forgotten, but she remembered.  She then went on to say that she has dropped out of the gardening group but is volunteering one day a week at the local library.  She said that she had just turned 95 and decided she needed to slow down.

For some insight, this woman is a volunteer master.  There is nowhere in the county that she has not donated her precious time.  She has won awards from the county for her time donated.  BUT when she explained that she had just turned 95, I was a bit surprised.  It seemed just a few years ago she was in her 80s when we used to work booths, etc. together. She never seemed that old to me.  Wow.  Time seems to have flown while I was sheltering and nervously eating chocolate.

She has been a widow for almost two decades.  Her children are all doctors and live in the city while another lives somewhere in Germany!  This gene pool should be duplicated!

I am always envious of those who fit in everywhere and are not intimidated by some new task or the pace of activity, and she is a shining example.

I am Timid Theresa and always move in slowly with trepidation.  I am sure I will disappoint or I will not like the endeavor.

Do you have friends that are 'stars'?  Are you a 'star'?  (Having read Bloggers I follow for years, I find lots of shining stars.)


Saturday, February 20, 2021

I Will Send You Next Door

The world has been topsy turvy with such odd weather.  We got just a taste of that.  I will send you to my other blog for a trip in the icy woods, since I have nothing to write here.  (Do you see the finch?)



Tuesday, February 09, 2021

A Litany of Activities and the Answer to Your Question on the Prior Post

The last time I saw my 13-year-old ( or is she still 12?) granddaughter was just before Christmas.  She looked at me sideways and asked "What do you do all day, Neena (my pet name)?"   The image of what she thought about an old lady who has no job, lives remotely in the country, and does not look at her cell phone every ten minutes flashed before me.  I am sure she thought I sat all day and stared out at the window.

Actually, I do a lot of that staring out the window in feeding and counting the birds that come to my feeders.




I also read quite a bit.  Reading three books right now:  Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta; The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz  by Erik Larson; and Best American Short Stories 2020 (The Best American Series ®) edited by
Curtis Sittenfeld.  I am going through a bit of an addiction to Winston Churchill because I am also taking the Great Course of him on my computer.  You study history long enough and you realize that pure damn luck has a lot to do with where you are at any time and that smart leaders are very complicated.

I watch a lot of British TV in the evenings and science fiction/space shows.  Hubby and I are binge-watching the various series of Star Trek each night.

I do sit and look at my phone every 10 minutes or so to see if any of the three places where I have registered for the COVID shot have contacted me to face the dragon on their website and pick a time.  Nothing...except 'we have no vaccines at this time' or 'working on our site and we will be available in the near future.'

I try to do my exercises 3 to 4 times weekly, but my continued chronic cough has interrupted my sleep for over a year and thus my energies are not as high as I would like.  My allergist is treating me with various versions of tranquilizers which seem to be making me edgier rather than calmer and do not seem to impact this cough which emerges every hour to an hour and a half during the day and two or three times at night.  My daughter is angry that I am not more pro-active in seeking a solution, but my insurance company is not as liberal as hers and my medical network is much smaller.

My day is also busy with cooking for someone with allergies and ordering food mostly remotely which takes up a LOT of time and creativity.

As my blog title says:  I am taking it ONE DAY AT A TIME.

And, to answer your question, the series of photos in the prior post came about because a pair of Canada geese have been sitting on the osprey nest.  They did successfully raise a small flock a few years ago at this nest and drove away the osprey couple for whom we built the nest.  Osprey arrive to mate about 2 weeks later than our local geese do and while they have talons and a sharp beak they are no match for the heavy geese with their long strong necks.  This year we want the nest available for our Osprey as their nesting sites are more selective.  The metal deterrent is something we used last year and then took it down when we saw Osprey in the area.  Our young friend who stands over six feet did the setup and we will now wait for the Osprey season.






Sunday, February 07, 2021

Having Friends in High Places

Tabor's world continues to turn and it seems to be moving fast enough to stay ahead of the Virus.  Hubby has gotten his first shot and that is a relief to me.  My daughter and her family all had the virus for a long weekend in January.  They got tested and were found positive.  They did not suffer terribly.  Mostly fatigue and aches.  Now I just worry about my son and his wife.  Both have some health issues, so I keep praying for more vaccines.  I have not yet been scheduled for any shots, although I have called and registered everywhere in the area; so I am hanging out mostly indoors.

I have a "brief" photo montage below that cautions you about helping friends.  Let me know if you have figured it out and I will explain in the next post.

Now off to read your posts.














Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Transitions

Well, yesterday, an Official (our new incoming President) held a memorial for the 400,000 who had died in this pandemic.  He did not pretend it was a hoax of his party's making.  He did not pretend it was just a little cold-type-flu that impacted only the weak and unChristian.  He took the route of science and facts and calmly honored those who are no longer with us.  Dr. Gupta (CNN's talking head doctor) said the flu was hard to really understand for Americans because it was so hidden for most.  We are all sheltering in place.

There have been funerals in parking lots, funeral parlors have been overbooked and turned away customers.  Los Angeles reduced its air quality regulations because so many people were being cremated!

AND if this was a hoax, it was a good one, fooling everyone across the globe!

Both hubby and I cried as the Spirituals were sung while all of our new officials stood quietly.  The Washington Mall and reflecting pool with its thousands of American flags waving in the gentle winter breeze were the perfect backdrop as the sun set.  Someone had gotten the entire Mall lit with soft lights as well!  

If you listened carefully, that warm breeze across the continent was a global sigh of relief that a gentle, smart, generous, purposed adult had taken the reigns of our nation.  A person who was surrounded by loving family and staff and not people who wanted a piece of the pie.  Of course, there will be more storms before the calm, but I have faith in our Democracy.



Thursday, January 07, 2021

Yesterday

Yesterday, I made Krupuk and ate too much before I realized it...you know I was watching TV and not monitoring my snack food intake.  This really plays fast and loose with any calorie count you "maintain".  It does not help when you are watching Breaking News.



Yesterday, a young friend of mine gave birth to a baby girl (their second) in a Washington D.C. hospital.  It went uneventfully and peacefully.  Life does go on.

Yesterday, my doctor responded to my complaint about a medication I am taking which has no effect on my chronic cough.  (The first week we tried one tablet twice a day and then three weeks later since there was little effect two tablets twice a day, and then last week, after my visit telling him the cough still happened 8 to ten times throughout the day and night, he upped it to three tablets twice a day.)  After my call yesterday he upped it to three tablets three times a day(!)...after which I will no longer comply if it does not work over the next ten days.

Yesterday, I remembered visiting the Capital on a tour with my parents one spring many years ago.  We were strictly required to stay in lines and areas and be quiet when in the Rotunda.



Yesterday, I wept and raged and sighed and was sorely embarrassed for our country.  I felt for those few police officers who were tasked with protecting the Capital building.  During the Black Lives Matter protest, the President called out the National Guard in full force and riot gear.  The President called those protesting at the Black Lives Matter Movement "criminals."  Yesterday he said he "loved" the "protestors" that violently broke into the Capital building.  

Some Congressmen/women are calling for enacting the 25th Amendment.  My only response is "What the hell took you so long?"