Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas




Hi All,

Sorry I've been missing again, but hopefully after the holidays I can settle down and post on a more regular basis.   It's been a busy time of year, as you all well know.   

Weather permitting, our daughter and son-in-law will arrive after work tomorrow in time to have dinner with us.   They stay overnight here and leave for SIL's family after they cook us omelets for breakfast. Yes, that's right - they will cook the omelets.   How's that for service.   They surprised us with that last year, so I asked them if they would like to do it again this year and we'll have the ingredients.   It's a real treat for us.

The above photo was our Christmas card this year, so feel free to take a copy if you wish.

We hope you and your family have a most wonderful Christmas and a very happy, healthy 2015.





Saturday, November 29, 2014

Someone's Asleep At The Switch

Hi,

The scene above was actually taken last year about this same time, but it looks exactly the same way this morning after getting 2 inches of snow topped off by a little sleet last night.    Our long range weather forecast is predicting more snow than normal and colder than normal temperatures.  Oh goody!!!!  A repeat of last year.   At least we don't live in Buffalo, NY - I can't even imagine how they begin to clean up from that much snow.   I should not complain about the snow we have received so far.  But last winter went on forever, and I'm not  looking forward to this one being a long one either.

How careful are you when you open US Mail?   Do you check the name on the envelope before opening?   We don't and probably should, but 98% of the time the mail is ours.   Not the case yesterday.

An envelope appeared in our box from a major auto insurance company in Jersey City, NJ.   Mr. D didn't think anything of it because we get a  lot of junk mail.   After he opened it, he realized it was delivered to the wrong address.   That has happened before as now and then we get mail belonging to a neighbor.

The funny part is that the envelope was being sent to someone in Jersey City, NJ - the same city that it was mailed from.  Somehow it ended up in Wisconsin!  WHAT!  Someone was obviously asleep at the switch.  in fact, apparently more than one person was asleep to get this far!

Monday I'll be calling the company that mailed it out so they can do the paper work for their client all over again.   Then I plan on taking it  to the post office.  I know this sounds anal, but the Post Office would never know they made this kind of mistake if they are not told about it.   Even our carrier didn't catch it - the name was totally different, street totally different, and city totally different.

Mistakes do happen, but this was a big one that no one caught it.   What do you think - am I doing the right thing by taking it to the post office?   If I give it back to the carrier, he could very easily just throw it away.  No one would ever know.  When i worked, I always appreciated it if someone called a mistake to my attention so I learned from it and was more careful the next time around.

Until next time,


Mary

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving



Dear Friends,

I'm way overdue for a post, and unfortunately December probably will be the same.   The older I get, the slower I move!    If I get any slower, a snail will pass me by.  he he   In fact, I think I saw one run by me this morning.

Winter has arrived early here.   We've had about 5 inches of snow so far (most of which melted last week then was topped off by rain, turning into freezing rain, with a thin layer of snow.    This is way way too early.    I have a feeling that this is going to be another rough winter, and I know other parts of the country are experiencing bad weather too.  We'll be getting another inch tonight into tomorrow - just in time for us to drive to our daughter's house about 45 miles away.  Joy!

We have much to be thankful for this season.  We have reasonably good health compared to some, are able to live independently in our own house, have plenty of food, warm clothing, heat, and  many friends (local and online on Twitter, and in the blog world).,  Also a wonderful companion in our cat, Mario, who is  always ready for  a lap or a snuggle.   I'm feeling extra thankful because yesterday we took a few out-grown winter clothes to donate to the homeless shelter.  Nothing like visiting there to put things in perspective.   The smiles on their faces said it all - but of course there was a big Thank you with the smiles.   They were so very appreciative.  

We will be spending Thanksgiving Day at our daughter's.  Her husband loves doing the Thanksgiving Day meal, and his mother and I love it.   Kim helps him - they are both good cooks..   We are so grateful to have them.

We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Safe travels if you have to travel somewhere.   I'll try to do another couple of posts before Christmas.  It's a goal!!!   I have also missed reading your blogs, so I have much news to catch up on.  

Until next time,

Mary








Monday, November 3, 2014

The Tale Of The Not-So-Smart Clock

Hi,

Saturday night was the annual Fall, turn-your-clock-back night.  Mr. D and I made a big production of going around to the many clocks we have in the house and setting them at the proper time.   

I happen to have a smart alarm clock by my bed.  In the spring it didn't automatically change like it should have - it had to be manually set.   After getting the instruction book out and following the procedure exactly on how  to set Time Zone, I set the clock to Zone 3, which is what the book said for Wisconsin.   It should have gone off - right?   Wrong!

For some reason it didn't adjust, and had to be reset it manually--- again.   Mumbling under my breath "just  give me an old fashioned wind-up clock any day!" ha ha - I think it's time to retire this one even though it isn't more than 5 years old, if that.   Ha ha -  maybe it will accidentally drop on the concrete, brake, and we can blame Mario!  (poor kitty will tell you he gets blamed for everything).  

Does your smart clock work, or  do you still have a "dumb" clock?    Have "dumb-smart clock" - am willing to trade for "dumb clock"!

Until next time,

Mary


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween


Hi Everyone,

It's a very spooky halloween this year.  The wind is howling down from Canada at 50 MPH and the temp is 38.  Snow flurries are expected off and on today.   brrrrr!   We feel sorry for the children tonight as they make the rounds of the neighborhood for trick or treat.   I remember the days of walking our daughter around the neighborhood - sometimes in the rain, wind, and a little snow one time.   Not fun!

This is also "exchange leaves" day in the neighborhood.   Our yard was cleaned up last Saturday, but now is full of leaves from those up the street!   it's a good thing Mr. B will come one last time for cleanup.   We so appreciate him.  

Sorry I've been missing again for a month this time.  I always have good intentions, but then my brain goes dead on what to write about and/or my back is tired of sitting at the desk.   Maybe there is hope this month.   I'll try.

Since I'm such a hap-hazard poster, you might want to follow via email - that way you'll get a message when there is a new post.

Hope all is well with each of you and you haven't blown away yet!

Until next time,

Mary




Monday, September 29, 2014

Great Weekend

Hi Everyone,

Isn't that photo of the hummingbird great?   Our daughter's mother-in-law took that picture from her kitchen window, which I think is amazing.    She took the one below too:
Bev kindly gave me permission to use these lovely photos in my blog.

We had such a good Sunday.   Our son-in-law's mom, Bev (the family photographer) invited both her sons and families to their house yesterday for lunch. Bev and Steve have two sons - both married (one to our daughter).   Both sets of in-laws were invited yesterday (we're one of the fortunate in-laws).   We had food in abundance and it was such a good time. We are so fortunate to be considered part of their family.

After two weeks of perfect weather (lots of sunshine, temps between 72 and 78 daytime and no humidity) things changed today.  Fall is here.  We had rain today and only a high of 55.   This entire week will be below normal fall temperatures.   I'm not complaining because I'll take this any day over 90's and humidity.    I'm just hoping it doesn't mean an early winter.

Sorry I've been missing for so long again.  I'm trying to rectify that.   Now to go around and visit - my favorite part.

Until next time,

Mary

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Childhood Revisited - Part I

Hi Friends,

Yup - that's me.   I sure have no idea how old I was, and my mother passed away a few years ago, so I can't ask her.   I'm guessing I'm 3 or 4 maybe.  What is your guess?

Last spring a cousin sent me a brown mailing envelope containing many photos that she thought I'd appreciate having.   This was not one of them, but by and by I'll be sharing them with you.   One of my Mother's sisters passed away a couple of years after my mother, and the cousin was still dispensing of things.  It was so thoughtful of her to give me a folder full of pictures.

I'm having fun reliving my younger years and thought I'd talk about them here because I'm sure many of you can relate.

My mother and I were very poor, and yet I see that picture must have been taken in a photographer's studio.   I know my mother didn't have the money for such, so apparently one of her sister's must have paid for it.   

Most all of my dresses were "hand-me-downs" from a cousin or made for me out of "gunnie sack" or more commonly known as feed sack fabric!  Yes, that's right!  Apparently various feed items would come in those sacks.   Sometimes for animals on the farm.   he he - very stylish!  But they were usually a good cotton fabric and quite often had pretty, dainty flowers printed all over.   However I got a new dress, it was a real treat. I would prance around and feel like a princess! 

Probably most of you are not quite old enough to have had clothing made out of Gunnie Sacks or Feed Sacks.   But I'll bet most of you are familiar with "hand-me-downs."   It was like getting a new dress to me.  


Those were simpler times back then.   Sometimes I miss those carefree days of youth.  ha ha - but then I'd have to grow up all over again.   Nah - guess I'll stay this age.

Until next time,

Mary

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Remembering 9/11


Photo taken from Google Images and  RoadSide America's Webside


Dear Friends,

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?    I was at work in an office downtown in our small city in the midwest - far away from where this horrific incident happened.   But it left a big impact on me that day.   My office mate and I didn't have the radio on that day, but someone came in and asked us if we had heard.  We immediately headed for our conference room to watch TV.

One by one people trickled into the conference room.   I got there just in time to see the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower.   Our conference room was dead quiet even with about 25 people huddled around the small TV in disbelief.   I remember thinking "I wonder if the world is coming to an end!"   It was downright scary.    My second thought was "I just want to go home and be with family."  But since the work day was only about an hour old, I could not do that.   We tried hard to keep the office running, man the phones, and do whatever was important to get done.  But, no one's heart was really in it that day.  We were just going thru the motions thinking of those poor people who were trapped, killed or injured in that horrific event.   That was one time where I really appreciated the media's overkill on a subject -  it was needed for that event.  We were able to catch up on all the news in the evening after work.

Mario's good blogging friend Cathy Keisha wrote a wonderful, first-hand post of what it was like for her Pop who worked in one of the Twin Towers.  I think you will find her post very interesting and worthwhile reading, if you have not already done so.

A couple of years after 9/11 our city decided to have a replica built of the original Twin Towers in a park located downtown for all to see and remember.    Roadside America's Website wrote a very nice article  along with the picture.   I think you'll find it interesting.   Every year a memorial service is held there on 9/11 to remember the event and honor those who perished. 

I hope and pray that we will never have to witness an event like that ever again.  But we'll have to remain on the alert forever.

What was the impact on you of this event?

Mary




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goodbye Muggies!


Streptocarpella



Dear Friends,
It's a glorious day in Wisconsin.   The temp is hovering in the low 7o's, there is no humidity (worth mentioning anyway), and a light breeze.  The windows are open and one can hear birds singing.   Days don't come any better than this.   It's a welcome relief after almost 2 weeks of high heat and high humidity.   And the best part is that I don't hurt anywhere! Humidity and Arthritis don't get along at all.  In fact, I hurt much less in the winter than in the summer when the humidity is with us.


What is everyone doing for the long weekend coming up?  For over 25 years we camped with a group of friends, and I do miss that on the holiday weekends. But, I don't miss all the work that goes with it.   It was getting to be too much for Mr. D. and me.   Maybe we'll go out there for a day trip to visit for a couple of hours.   Will see if it is going to rain or not.


The Streptocarpella plant pictured above is blooming it's little heart out this year.   Every year I get two baskets for each side of our patio.   It is a plant that likes mostly shade with a little filtered sun peeking through.  Our patio seems to be the perfect spot for it.   This is the first year that I haven't had a hummingbird visit every night.   Or at least, I haven't seen one.   The hummers do like the plant and I have missed seeing them this year.   

We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.  For us living in the northern states, it usually signals the end of summer (although we do have many nice days ahead of us in Sept and Oct.)

Until next time,

Mary



Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Helping Hand

Sunset over the Bay of Green Bay on Lake Michigan
Hi Friends,

Hopefully you all are having a great week.   I can't believe that it's almost the of August.   It seems the older I get, the faster time moves.  Some days it's over in a "wooooosh!"   

A couple of days ago I had two dentist appointments.  Yup  - you read it right - two.  I'm being fitted for partial plates (replacing teeth).   Tuesday morning my regular dentist played around with one of my plates, glued it back in my mouth with Fixident, and sent me on my way.   By 3:00, I was grinding my teeth and really irritating one side.   Well, to make a long story short, I called the dentist back and was able to get in again Tuesday afternoon.   More adjustments made, so I went on my merry way.

I decided to stop at Walgreens as I had a couple of coupons that were to expire. I loaded up on stuff, went thru the check out counter, and another passing customer in the next line said to me "Can I help you to your car with the packages?"    She could see I was loaded down and dealing with a cane.  Of course my car was right outside the door, so I didn't have far to walk.  But I decided to take her up on her offer.

Bless you Peggy Sue - you were a bright spot in my day.  I thanked her profusely and told her I'd write about her kindness in my blog (without names). Then she said, oh, you can use my name - it's Peggy Sue - and I don't mind if you publish my name.

So Thank You to Peggy Sue (reminds me of the song Peggy Sue, which has been going thru my head) for helping an old lady with her packages. What an angel you were.   Such a nice lady.   Goes to show us that kindness is not by any means dead yet. Sometimes you find it where you least expect it.

Hopefully your day has been blessed with an unexpected kind deed - or you have blessed someone elses day with a kind deed.

Until next time,

Mary



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One special lady - Aunt Ruthie

Ruth Williamson, 86

Dear Friends,

My family has almost reached the end of another era this summer.

I think I've mentioned before that my mother was 2nd from the oldest in a family of 7 girls, 2 boys, and 3 infants that passed away before they had a chance at life.   

Aunt Ruthie passed away on July 7, 2014 at the age of 86 after about a 3-month battle with stomach Cancer.   She was my mother's second-from-the-youngest sister.   There is now one sister remaining, Aunt Lillian, and no brothers!  Almost the end of an era!

I always felt especially close to Aunt Ruthie (we are only 11 years apart in age).   She and her husband and two children had a farm in Cross Plains, WI - which is only about 10 miles from the City of Madison, WI, where I grew up.

After my parents passed on, Aunt Ruthie and I became extra close.  Whenever we were in Madison, we would meet somewhere for lunch and/or visit her in her home.   She was my contact and only source of news of the family, and I'm really missing her.

I'm so thankful that our daughter and son-in-law drove Mr. D and I down to Cross Plains at the end of June so we could visit with her and her daughter-in-law and son one more time.  We enjoyed the visit so much, and so did she.    

Rest in peace Aunt Ruthie.   I'm thankful you are no longer in pain, are with your beloved husband and so many of your brothers and sisters once again. 
Until we meet again........

Love,

Mary


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Where Are The Cows?

Hi Friends,

Wisconsin has long been known as the Dairy State. One could take a ride down any country road and usually see cows out in the pasture.   There was always something peaceful about that scene, and it was so very typical Wisconsin.

I think I've mentioned before, that I was born on a farm.   My mother left there before I turned 1 year old, but all her brothers and sisters had farms. Spending time on a farm visiting was how I grew up. I always wanted to be in the barn with the dog, cats, and cows.  

We spent a week of driving back and forth to our daughter/son-in-law's house about 2 weeks ago taking care of their two cats.  They live about 45 minutes from us and we enjoy driving the back roads to get there.  I began to notice there were no cows in any pasture along the way.   Where are the cows?  I noticed the same situation when we drove to Oshkosh on the I-system also a couple of weeks ago.  Where are the cows?

I have since learned that the corporation farmers keep their cows in those huge barns round the clock. Those poor cows never get to graze in the meadow in the fresh air or feel the sunshine on their backs. The reason is that the cows give better milk production when they remain inside rather than free roaming - or so I hear.   How very sad for them! 

There are not very many small, independent farmers left these days.  Those that we did go by are also keeping their cows inside the barns - or so it seems. I realize you need to make a profit on a farm to stay in business. Farm equipment is not cheap and the farm is your only means of support.  You can't always depend on the weather to give you a good crop season either to help make up the cash flow or feed your own animals.   But couldn't there be a happy medium in still letting the cows out to pasture some of the time?   I guess this is the way of the future, but once again is it for the better??

Thanks for putting up with my rant. I still think it's sad, and I think I'll try Goat's Milk! Most small farmers work very hard for a living, and with animals to feed and cows to milk, getting away on vacation is next to impossible.    Do you see cows in the pasture in your state?   Or do you have any information on this subject and/or wish to make comments?   I welcome them for another perspective.   


Oh, the new header picture at the top of my blog was taken in our daughter's back yard.  Her husband has a green thumb for working with flowers and I couldn't resist getting a picture of the beautiful Hollyhocks.

Hope you are having a good week.


Mary


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hotter Than ...............






Glacier National Park



Hi All,

As is the case with most of the US, we are baking here today.  The current temp is 93 with a Dew Point of 73.    The a/c is running full force  and I don't even care how much it costs this month to keep us cool.  I'm just so thankful to have it.    Our state doesn't experience temperatures like this every year - it might be every 3-5 years.  We are fortunate so far this year that this is the first time we've hit 90. It is supposed to cool off tonight with a high tomorrow of 71.  I can't wait.

I went to the mailbox (at the end of our driveway) a few minutes ago and got light headed just from being out there for all of 2-3 minutes.   That's when I decided to post a picture of a glacier in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. Just looking at it makes me feel a tad cooler (ha ha - because I'm back inside where the a/c is cranked up).

Did you ever wonder how the pioneers ever survived those early days without a/c?   They had to do hard, physical work too.   I suppose it helps some when you finally get used to it and don't know any other way of living.   Makes me happy I am living in this century!

I have some errands that need to be run, but that will have to wait until it cools down some.  We're supposed to get severe storms tonight and maybe that will help bring the cold front down. 

A very good Blogging friend (Beth) is going through another horrible health scare again after thinking she was in remission.  Please add her to your prayers.   Such a lovely person.    

Stay cool!

Mary

P.S.  It seems like I just got thru complaining about our bitterly cold winter - now I'm complaining because we have heat.  Guess I'm never happy with the weather, and it's something we can't even control.  


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keep Your Cool!







Hi Everyone,

Sorry I've been missing so long.   We've been fine - just busier than what I am able to handle.   I swear people retire just to have more time to go to doctor appointments, dentists, and any other appointment you can think of. We've had plenty of them lately - yes, all is well.  My doctor said I have the blood of a 20-year-old.   Hmmm, why does my body feel like 120!    Why can I barely walk because of back problems.  But, I have the blood work of a 20-year-old!  ha ha   But, we're back now and I hope to get around to visit again.  I've missed all of you.  

As all of you know, I love animals.  My mother said I was always in the barn with the cows when I was young.  A couple of weeks ago, D and I were looking outside in the backyard on one of those miserably HOT days where the Dew Point was 70 and the temperature 80!    There were two squirrels out there laying FLAT on the grass - just as flat as they could get, trying to stay cool.
I apologize that the photo is rather blurry, but D was shaky and he wanted to take the pictures.   We tried to get the two squirrels in the same shot, but they wouldn't cooperate.  The grass was getting long too as our wonderful friend who mows for us was camping that weekend..  Just the right length for the squirrels to think they were hiding.  



Squirrels sure do have the right idea on how to stay cool.   Just lay in the tall grass or cool concrete and relax.   I think I prefer a lawn chair however!  LOL.

Hope you are all well.

Until next time,

Mary




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Unwanted Guests

Hi,

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. D decided to clean the grill to get it ready for the season.   Imagine his surprise when he opened it up and started working in it.   Yup - a mouse nest.   Apparently they were nice and comfy for the extremely cold winter.  They were well fed too because of my feeding the birds.   They stripped the insulation from the grill cover to build their cozy nest.  Ingenious little critters!

Now we'll spend the next two weeks with mouse traps trying to catch the little critters.   Mario has continuous bird, mouse, squirrel TV at our house.   He's a happy cat while his humans are grumbling!  He he   Guess it serves us right for feeding them so well and providing nesting material.   We'll have to come up with a different game plan for next winter.  

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I sure did.  Daughter & SIL came Saturday night and took us out for dinner.   It's always nice spending time with them and we never seem to get enough of it.

Mary
  


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goodbye Winter - Hello Spring


Dear Readers,

I hope it's safe to say Hello Spring - it is May!  But, maybe I should rap on wood or something.   Mother Nature could still make a liar out of me.  It's a cool spring with temps in the 50's daytime and high 30's at night.   Storms arriving tomorrow - joy!  After this past long winter, even a cool Spring is welcomed.  At least we haven't had the severe storms that so many have had -  so far anyway.

Some good pieces of news for a change.  Mr. D decided to join the Parkinson's water class at the CP Center.   They wanted me to come with him the first session, in case he needed help!  haha! It should be the other way around.  Mr. D is like a fish in water.   But I appeased them and went anyway.   It was nice to see what types of things they were doing.   

The 45 minutes consisted of water walking, stretching, different muscle exercises with the arms, using a 8 inch pool ball and sinking it (not easy), passing it from hand to hand behind the back.  Peddling a pretend bicycle backwards - one leg at a time.   They try to incorporate things that are not done normally to work on retraining the brain.   It's difficult to explain in writing, but some of the arm things were actually difficult.

There are 3 Parkinson's patients in the class, with Mr. D being the 4th.   All three were much more advanced than he is.   This  session will last for 5 more weeks, twice a week.   Then it will be up to him if he wants to stay in that class or switch to a different one.   We both feel that warm water is so therapeutic and we feel better for the day after getting out of the pool. We are blessed to have that option in our small city!   This pool is the only one in Wisconsin operated by the CP Center.

Happy Mother's Day to all you ladies - fur babies count for they are like children to some of us.   (Yes, I'm a crazy cat lady - and admit it).

Mary








Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter



HAPPY  
EASTER

Hi,

I couldn't help but reflect back upon Easters' past because it always meant another family gathering after Sunrise Easter Service.   As I've said before, my mother was from a family of 10 children and all the major holidays were spent with at least one or two of her sisters and their family, and sometimes more.

When we moved to our current home some 40 years ago, we would still travel to Madison for every holiday.  That tradition continued until my parents and/or one of her sisters were too old to host the gathering anymore.   Meanwhile the cousins all grew up, married, and had extended families to spend holidays with.

My husband has two surviving siblings - a brother who lives about 5 hours away and a sister who lives 3 hours away.   Each has families of their own.   

We had a lot of good times during those years and now that there is just Mr. D and I, it's too quiet.  But I guess that is the cycle of life.  And I am thankful that I'm still able to enjoy a holiday, albeit a quiet one.  I'm also thankful that I have those fond memories (and can still remember those times - he he).

Whatever you do for Easter, we hope you can enjoy the beauty of the day and remember why it is we celebrate Easter.

Easter Blessings to each of you,

Mary

P.S.  Last minute update - turns out we have an invitation for tomorrow for dinner.   Will be going to Son-in-law's brother's house for the day.   It's a long story, but I can share that part some other post.   So we'll be with family after all!





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Has Finally Sprung

Dear Readers,

It's finally happened!  Spring is here!   Last week at this time we were being warned of a possible big snow storm.   We ended up with about an inch, that promptly melted the next morning.  The Big Storm missed us by about 150 miles - it was close.

The tulips are starting to come up and also the Daffodils.   As you can see, the grass hasn't turned green yet, but hey -  we can't expect a miracle in one week.  LOL.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that Mr. D, my other half, is probably headed for knee replacement surgery once again.   He saw the doctor about 2 weeks ago.  The X-ray showed he had no cartilage.   He had knee replacement of his other leg about 15 years ago, so this is not totally unexpected.   Right now he says the Cortisone has helped.   We know he is buying some time - eventually it will have to be replaced.   

We are very thankful for the stair climber we had bought about 4 years ago.  Thankfully he is  riding in it now, whereas before he only used it to transport "stuff" up and down the steps.  I think it was a male ego thing.  He still insists on going with me to the grocery store, but refuses to ride in one of those auto carts available in most larger stores.   Time will tell.

I'll try to be more regular with posting now -  maybe at least once a week.   But will still visit all of you hopefully on a daily basis or every other day anyway.

Thanks for visiting. 

Mary



Monday, March 17, 2014

Finally An Answer

Hi Friends,

Happy St. Patrick's Day!   I've always loved this holiday even tho there is not even a tiny drop of Irish in my blood.   I think it's because I've always loved this song, and it usually means Spring is around the corner.


When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,
And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.

I'm so please that I went to my regular doctor this past week. I suggested he check my Thyriod levels again because of tearing up so easily, body hurting all over, feeling tired, and on and on. I've been on Thyroid meds for 25+ years, so I know the symptoms pretty well. It was not the generic Synthroid making me feel that way, although it may have played a tiny part in having the symptoms. The doctor prescribed Synthroid at 0.112 MG - I was taking 0.138 in a generic. He also put me on Cymbalta to help with the pain and mood. So all in all, it was a good visit.

There isn't much that can be done about my back. He said the same thing a couple of other doctors have told me - You never want to have surgery on your back unless it's absolutely necessary because you sometimes create more problems than before.

Spring is slowly coming to our state.  We did have one day this past week where the temperature actually hit 50!.  Woohoo - It was fun to see people walking or jogging on the street once again.    We still have about 8 inches of snow on the ground, but it is slowly melting.   

Hope Spring has arrived where you live.   Enjoy the  "wearing of the green."

Until next time,

Mary

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Here We Go Again



Disclaimer:  This is written from my perspective only and based on my experience.  I am not a doctor nor a pharmacist, nor do I have a medical background.   I'm just the normal person who experiences problems with SOME generic drugs.  I just want to raise awareness  to the fact that generics are NOT exactly the same as Brand Name drugs.


Dear Friends,

Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning might remember I've touched on the subject of Brand Name drugs versus Generic.   That blog post was primarily talking about Parkinson's Drugs.  Here's the post if you wish to read it, click here.    Well, now I'm having problems with a generic Synthroid for my Thyroid.   

I've been on Thyroid medication for something like 20+ years.   On January 1st, we switched insurance companies for both insurance coverage and prescription drug coverage.     When I saw my doctor in January for new prescriptions, he requested a generic version of Synthroid (I think I remember telling him - let's try them again because it's so very much cheaper.)   Well, bad decision.   

I held off cracking open the new bottle because I still had older ones to use up. I decided to try the new generic last Monday.   By the second day my system felt hyper - felt like it was rushing rushing rushing!   People who have anxiety attacks tell me that is how they feel when they are having an attack.   I kept taking the drug for 2 more days by thinking I'll get used to it.  WRONG!   Over the weekend, I went back to taking my left over Synthroid drug - symptoms went totally away.   Yesterday I decided to take another of the generic - back to anxious feeling again.  So, on Thursday I'll be visiting my doctor to get a new prescription for Synthroid.  Guess I'll just have to pay the outrageous price.   I don't know for sure that it's the generic drug, but I'm suspecting that it is.   Generics only have a fraction of the original ingredients found in the brand name.  That is a percentage approved by the FDA.

I don't have a total dislike for generics, but I use them cautiously because I've had several bad experiences.   It's a shame that drugs have to be so very pricy that we have to resort to a lesser quality.    if generics work for you - that's great.  I wish more of them worked for me.  But it is "buyer beware."   The consumer also has no knowledge of the "fillers" used in the generic.

Dr. Oz has a great article that I ran across yesterday when I was researching generics again.   It was written by a physician and is  easy to understand.  You might find this interesting and helpful.    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/what-you-need-know-about-generic-drugs

Until next time,

Mary




Friday, March 7, 2014

Goodbye RFA - - Now What?


Hi,

It's been awhile again since I've posted or visited any blogs.   Sorry about that.  

Got some bad news the other day.  It's been 6 months since I had the last Radio Frequency Ablation Procedure done at the hospital for the Sacroiliac joint.  The nerves have since rejuvenated and are back to their angry selves - causing pain.  Medicare has decided they will no longer pay for that procedure because they feel it's experimental.  Never mind that I had 2 last year, which they paid for, and which got rid of the pain in the sacro joint.   Now I'm up a creek without a paddle!

The doctor told me they have done appeal after appeal with Medicare, and they deny all of the preauthorizations.  Other insurances are doing the same.  

I did have a Cortisone shot in the Sacro joint last week, which only took the edge off the sharp pain.  But sitting in a car continues to be a problem and getting into some cars is impossible.  The ice pack and/or heating pad are my dear friends.

I have to meet with the doctor's Nurse Practitioner in 2 weeks, and meanwhile I have to start Physical Therapy again next week - never mind that I'm still doing PT on my own for my back.    Sorry if I'm sounding negative - I guess I'm just mad!   I did ask the doctor about paying for the RFA myself, but she said no!   I suspect maybe it's a liability issue if I were to sue or something like that.

I shouldn't complain because there are many people in worse shape.  But I don't deal with chronic pain very well.  As my dentist says - may pain nerves are all close to the surface on my body.

The good news here is that the temperatures are warming up.  We'll be in the 30's most of this coming week.  Woohoo - good bye frigid nights - I hope.

I just had to share the picture at the top of the page.  It was taken about 4 years ago when we took a cruise to Alaska.   This was the scene as we left Vancouver, BC and traveled up the Intercoastal waterway to Alaska.   Beautiful country.   I will feature pictures from that trip in weeks to come.

Thanks for reading my blog.   

Mary
   


Friday, February 28, 2014

The Ice Age Commeth Again - And A Happy Ending



Hi Friends,

A new record was set in our city last night - 50 days of subzero temperatures this winter.   Sigh!  They are promising to give us temps around 27+ next Thursday!   This is getting very old.

I've talked before about our wonderful Mr. J who does our snow clearing for us.  Well, there is more to the job than just shoveling or using the snow blower.   About a week and a half ago - after another snowfall - Mr. J decided the mountains were getting too high along the driveway. Winter is far from over here and the piles would only get higher, making it difficult to shovel.   Even with the blower it was getting hard to blow the snow up and over.  So this wonderful man stayed on that day, after clearing the driveway and patio of snow, climbed the mountains and manually shoveled the snow farther out into the yard.   He knows we still have the month of March to get through and we can sometimes get a big snowfall of 12+ inches.  He said he is just trying to stay ahead of the game.

We just can't thank him enough for taking care of our snow.  He is our guardian angel of the snows, and we wouldn't be able to stay in our house if we didn't have his services.   We are so blessed to have him in the winter and our special yard crew (Harrison and Dad) in the summer for yard work.

We lost another wonder Twitter human to Lung Cancer last week - Ingrid, human of @nocrybabydogs.   I had known Ingrid for 5 years.  Mario did a nice blog tribute to her at http://mariodacat.blogspot.com
last week.  But then this morning I received this link that appeared in the newspaper of the lady (@DanaPixie) who adopted Ingrid's dog.   Thought you might find it interesting.   After the sadness of losing Ingrid, it was heartwarming to read this amazing story.


Daffy and TSK (Dana and Jim's kitty) are getting along fine.  Daffy arrived at her new home on Wednesday night and slept in the big bed with Dana, Jim, and TSK. I teasingly asked Dana if she had given Daffy and TSK catnip  before bed to have them both so peaceful and low key!  Pictures of Daffy's journey were posted at each "hand-off" stop so we could easily keep track of her journey.   There was a round of cheers on Twitter when Daffy was placed in the arms of her new mom, Dana.  All eyes were glued to #4Legs4Daffy for three days while she made her journey.  Three special Twitter friends had volunteered to each take a leg of that journey.   We are so thankful that they all made it to the destination and back home again.

The power of the social media never ceases to amaze me.   I have met so many wonderful people through it - including all of you blog readers, Twitter friends, the Blogosphere friends, and Face Book friends.  Plus we have a group of special local friends who are near and dear to us.   We are blessed!

Until next time - stay warm and dry.   Maybe by June we'll have some warmer days!

Mary


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How Many Pieces?


Hi everyone,

These are the photos I wanted to post last week, but deleted them from the camera before downloading.

What is so special about this?  As quoted from a sign next to the replica: "It's a replica of Green Bay Packer's Stadium, designed and built by 15 Engineering Students from Milwaukee School of Engineering.  It was  completed August 5, 2013" and is exhibited in the lobby of Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

"It took 1500 hours designing and building the project.  The design is based on pictures and computer projections.   The replica is built on a 1" : 6' scale.  The replica measures 15' x 13" and is 27" tall."
"Over 130,000 pieces were used, equaling to approximately 500 pounds of plastic."  Most of those pieces, if not all, are Legos.

It is pretty awesome to see that in the huge lobby of the hospital and boggles my mind every time I look at it.   ha ha - I always wonder how many times the a chain reaction was started and it toppled.   I think now they have it permanently affixed together so there is no chance of that happening.  Mr. D says it was made out of a whole bunch of Legos!

Just had to share this with you because I find it fascinating.

Thoughts are with all our friends living in the southern states and Eastern seaboard.   The latest winter storm sure is raising havoc down there.   I can't complain about the 1 inch we received today.  It's peanuts compared to what others are receiving.

Take care everyone - stay safe, and I hope your power stays on.

Mary











Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dumb, Dumb , And Dumber!

Original Oil Painting by Mr. D, who is a hobby artist.
Other Paintings by him can be found in Mario's blog

Hi,

I had something totally different planned for today's post, but I pulled a "Mary."   

Yesterday Mr. D and I went to the hospital again as I had an appointment in their Wound  Center every Tuesday.  (I have a wound on my ankle area that has been stubborn at healing.  Somewhere around Thanksgiving I hit the ankle on the corner of something (can't even remember what), treated it myself at home with Peroxide.   After about 3 weeks of it not healing, I kicked the same area again, breaking it open and deepening the wound.   Meanwhile I continued to go to my water exercise class thinking the heavy Chlorine would really clean it out.   It did, but still didn't heal (No I'm not diabetic).

Finally just before Christmas Mr. D suggested I go see the doctor.   He prescribed a salve and suggested I go downtown to the hospital and visit the Wound Center because they have "all kinds of special things that can be used to heal a wound like yours."

Once a week since right after Christmas I faithfully go to the Wound Center where the doctor measures the area, digs around in it, cleaning it out some, treats it with a piece of Pomogram (which looks like felt) and then a layer of Medihoney Gel over the top of that.   Of course it is wrapped and protected.   I continue the treatment at home every 3 days.  This is not serious, so don't worry about me.  It is healing nicely but ever so slowly.  I should have paid more attention to treating it and protecting it when I first injured it.   It does not pay to let things go too long, and I should know that but just didn't want to give in on something that seemed so stupid at the time. 

Anyway, there is a very unique display set up in the lobby of that hospital.   Mr. D went with me and was assigned the job of taking pictures of the unique object so I could post it in my blog yesterday.   When we came home in the afternoon, I downloaded the pictures, thought I saw them downloading, so deleted the pictures from the camera (usually I wait a couple of days to do that).   Well, guess what - the pictures never downloaded and I have already deleted them from the camera!  Dumb, Dumb, and Dumber!

We'll take pictures again next week when we're downtown so I'll have something nice to talk about next week - but it was very frustrating.

i've been reminded of two lessons: 1. Seek medical attention if something doesn't start healing in a few days.   2.  Don't delete pictures from the camera without actually looking at them, cropping, etc and saving where you want them stored.  Then delete.   We should all know to do those two things anyway - it's just common sense - "dumb, dumb, and dumber!"

Mary

P.S.  My heart goes out to all the people in the path of this latest storm - two in a row is simply not fair and both bad ones.   Hope everyone is safe.  I always worry about the many friends I have scattered across the US that I've become close to on Twitter. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

North To Alaska


Hi Friends,

That's it - we're moving to Alaska (don't I wish).   The current temperature in Anchorage is 36 degrees F - tomorrow will be 40F with rain!  They basically have no State Income Tax because of the vast oil reserves and drilling.  It's gorgeous in the summer and the air seems so much cleaner up there.   Besides, I like bears and antelope - they are better than bugs and snakes, in my viewpoint anyway. ha ha

The temperature indicated in the picture is tomorrow morning's predicted temperatures (schools already closed in a lot of areas for today and tomorrow - again).   At least my house is nice  and warm - some people don't have that luxury and my heart goes out to them.  

There is a desperate shortage of Propane Gas in our state.   Some of the winterized cottages (turned into year round homes) up north and mobile homes that use propane gas to heat with can't get any propane.   Several restaurants up in the north woods have closed because they can't get the propane to cook with.  Our Governor is working on the issue.  The price of Propane Gas in our state has skyrocketed from $1+ per gallon to $7+ per gallon.

Tomorrow we have a couple of appointments to run to.  I'm not  looking forward to driving out in it.  I always worry about the car breaking down, but it never has in all these years of driving in this kind of weather.

I know most of the US is in a deep freeze, so I'm really not complaining - much!  ha ha   I do know we need to fire Mother Nature!

Stay warm!

Mary

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Confizzled!


Hi Friends,

I apologize for the poor picture, but it was taken through the Patio Door and in a hurry so the bird wouldn't fly away.  I had been trying to get his picture for a good two weeks now.

I think Mr. Robin is confizzled (confused) - there is about 30 inches of snow on the ground (even tho the patio looks clear).   He's been coming to eat from one of the pans of bird seed I have on the patio for our feathered friends. 

A robin in Wisconsin in January is NOT NORMAL.   It's not totally rare as every winter someone sees a Robin or two or three somewhere around here.   But as old as I am, I have never had one in my backyard at this time of the year -- March yes -- January no!   I think this manbird must have ignored Mrs. Robin when she said to take off and head South two months ago!  ha ha - they'll do it every time.   (Nothing personal Mario's Dad!)

We've had SNOW every day for the past week (except for today).   Mainly just enough to have to deal with it.    We are so thankful to have Mr. J taking care of our snow removal.   This past week he was here sometimes twice a day just trying to keep on top of it.   Now Monday we plunge into the deep freeze again.

Thanks for stopping by,

Mary