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Monday, October 30, 2017


 We did not have a very pretty fall this year. It seems like it took longer for the trees to turn colors and then, suddenly, they were almost all pretty colors. But that didn't last long as we got some very strong winds a day or two later, and it wasn't just one day of wind but several during that week. And now most of the trees are almost naked. The picture above was taken 3 years ago when we did have a beautiful fall. It is my favorite time of year, but today it is feeling more like winter with blustery winds, overcast, gray skies and temp in low 30's. It seems fall has fallen away. I am so not ready for winter so I hope we get many nice days in November before the snow and bitter cold arrive.

I could have titled this post " Procrastinating Again" as that is what I have been doing the last couple of days. I really need to be doing some cleaning and organizing for company coming, starting Friday evening. My family has planned an open house for my 75th birthday this coming Sunday afternoon and I will have up to 8 extra people sleeping here Saturday night, and several more will be at the house on Sunday evening, after the open house, which is at the church. My son is providing supper but asked me to make a big bowl of potato salad as they love my salad.

I also have to plan a few other meals for the rest of the weekend. I plan to make pork carnitas and cole slaw for Saturday evening, along with all the extras. I can do the carnitas in the crock pot a few days before and freeze, and the cole slaw is an easy and quick salad. And then there are a couple breakfasts that will be kept very simple with cold cereal on hand and will bake some Grands cinnamon rolls. I am not going to make my own since I really don't have time nor the energy to get those made ahead. Besides, they are best fresh from the oven. One of my daughters has a wheat allergy and I found a recipe for apple cinnamon oatmeal breakfast bars that sound really good and they can be made ahead. So now I need to get to the grocery store to get everything I need.

I had planned to go to the store today as I had an eye exam at 11 in the same town I  get groceries. But since the weather is so crappy, and I tweaked my right knee when I was leaving the house, I was more than ready to go straight home and rest a bit. I grabbed a quick lunch at McDonald's drive-thru on the way home so lunch is done too. I rarely procrastinate when it comes to eating. 😤

 I could bore you with the long list of things I need to get done, so forget that. I wish I could forget that! With a houseful of people coming to stay, one bathroom could be a problem. At least it is about 3 times larger than what I had before, there can be at least 2 people doing hair and makeup at the same time. And some people will be sleeping on air mattress or sleeping bags on the floor so I guess the younger ones will have to call dibs for their floor space. Two can sleep on the floor in my room, one or two on the floor and one in the spare bed in the spare room, There is room for two on the kitchen floor and one or two in the dining area if the table is moved out a ways.  I would never have been able to do this if I had not moved here so I am well blessed.

I am going to ask some good friends from many years ago to come to the house after the open house and so will have to find extra seating as well. I have 6 dining chairs, 3 on sofa, leather chair and another upholstered chair in living room, one or two small people on ottoman, my rolling stool and the computer chair. If we need more seats I have 4 plastic patio chairs, a folding lawn chair, and even the wheel chair my daughter found to use at her daughter's wedding a couple years ago. It is 'stored' in the back of my van. I am not sure where we will be able to put all those chairs! And if I get desperate for more, there is the shower chair and the floor. But it will all work out and we will have fun. It is just too bad my birthday comes during cold weather and we could be outside, or at least in the garage, but I didn't have any say about when to be born.

Even though my family is taking care of everything for the open house, there is still a lot to be done by me. I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and family and am very thankful that I am still here at 75. My dad died at age 60 and Mom died at age 62. It is hard for me to believe I am that old as  it doesn't feel that old, even though my body is complaining in several places.

It is high time I stop procrastinating and get to work.

Monday, October 16, 2017


That is what I should do since I am so out of shape. But I am talking about the annual physical and I recently had mine, mostly for a med check as it is time to get my prescriptions renewed.

I have been having more problems with my back. I have arthritis in the lower back, around the waistline and lower that has bothered me for many years. It is the kind that makes it hard to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time. Recently something new popped up and turns out to be sciatica, making it hard to sit or lay without some pain.

I did bring it up to my doctor and she ordered x-rays of the back. She really wants to do an MRI but in order for Medicare to pay for it we have to jump through their hoops. One is x-rays, and that is done. Then it is physical therapy, so I am doing that now. I just finished my second week of that. It has helped some, but it won't make things disappear. Some days I get along quite well, and other days I can barely make it out of bed to get to bathroom. I have even brought the cane back in the house and have to use it sometimes. Not all the time, thankfully, but some days it is really needed and I don't want to take a chance of falling.

X-rays show some disc degeneration and a little stenosis, and if I understand stenosis correctly, that means bone is starting to form in the spinal nerve canal and that isn't good.

It was also time for a bone density scan as it had been a few years since that was done. The doctor said that is still good so am not concerned about that. I do eat a lot of yogurt, cheese, some ice cream and milk on cereal when I have it. Then I looked at the radiologist report and that said the numbers have gone down since the last scan, but still in normal range and the chance of a broken bone is still very low. I would guess the lower numbers are just normal aging process, and tells me I am no spring chicken anymore. Like I didn't already know that!

One other thing that I had been concerned about was my thyroid numbers. The TSH number was slightly below normal 6 months ago but the doctor was not concerned about it and said she would retest in 6 months. She may not have been concerned but I was. I knew I did not feel like I should, and my numbers have always been higher and that is why I was on synthroid. So now, 6 months later, the number had gone down even lower! She finally agreed and lowered my dose of synthroid. I have noticed a little difference already even though I haven't been on the new dose very long. It does make me wonder why the thyroid is now producing more hormone after 25 years of steady lowering.

I have had insomnia for quite some time and some nights barely get any sleep, and then end up taking a long nap during the day and that is not very productive. My energy level has always been low and that made it worse. So I agreed to take a new med, which I really didn't want to do. She suggested taking an old antidepressant that hardly anyone prescribes as an antidepressant anymore, but only prescribe it for sleeping since that is a side effect of the drug. It does seem to be helping. I don't always sleep well but seem to sleep longer once I finally get to sleep, and have not had to take a nap during the day. I also have a little more energy. So I think we have made some progress there.

Everything else looks good. Blood pressure was great and cholesterol was super good. Can you believe that I eat lots of butter? I have decided to stop eating artificial foods like margarine. I haven't completely stopped all artificial food but am working at eliminating when I behave myself.

Now, if I could only leave the sugar alone. The monster has a hold on me again and that is not good and the scale shows it. I am glad the medical community finally admits that sugar is addictive. They didn't have to tell me that as I already knew it.

Speaking of food, I see that it is time to think about what I am going to eat for supper, so it is time for me to get out of here. See you all later.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


A person is never too old to learn and this summer was a learning experience for me: butterflies.

Yes, one more post on the Painted Ladies. This is the last one, I promise.

These pictures are the last ones I took before the butterflies were gone, and I was not going to post them. And then I heard something on the news.

At Denver a huge blip showed up on the radar and it was moving against the wind. It turned out to be migrating Painted Lady butterflies and it was 70 MILES across! Yes, 70 miles, not feet or yards. I saw a picture of the radar and those butterflies covered a whole county in Colorado.

It turns out that there was an extra large number of these butterflies this year. I had seen them all over and people in other areas commented on them as well. I don't remember noticing them before this year, and I am closing in on my 75th birthday.

This got me curious about these butterflies so did a little searching. I found that they migrate just like the Monarchs. Thistle is the plant they prefer, and maybe that is why they liked my plant since it is purple too. I don't know if they see color like we do, as I know some animals, insects and birds don't see colors. But my plant is the only one of mine that they fed on here. I did see them on many other kinds of plant in other areas, so assume because there were so many, they had to feed wherever they could find food, even if it wasn't what they preferred. But that is just a guess. There are a lot of thistles in this area, although farmers spray to keep them out of their crops.

Not only are the butterflies gone, but these flowers are drying up and getting ready for winter. They have turned a very dark purple and getting smaller. I just hope they won't be covered in snow for a long time. I am not looking forward to winter coming but it is getting close. We have had a lot more rain than usual already this month and some say that means we will get more than usual amount of snow. We shall see.

All the rain has delayed soybean harvest and the farmers are itching to get in the fields. This fall has not been very pretty so far. Some trees are getting bare already but the pretty colors are hard to find. The leaves are either still green or already gone. In an older post I showed several pretty pictures of all the fall colors and porch displays but I have seen nothing that is nice enough for a picture. How sad.