Category Archives: Challenges
Well, yesterday I called and told my friend Kay that my husband and I had decided that we would stop going to Lunch Bunch on Fridays until the coronavirus pandemic calmed down. We are in the high risk group for the virus, so we’re trying to limit contact as much as possible. This was a really hard decision because Linda, Kay, and I (plus various others) have met for lunch every Friday for almost 19 years now.
This morning I discovered that the governor of Arkansas has ordered all restaurants, bars, and gyms in Arkansas closed until further notice. (Restaurants can offer take out.) Schools will remain closed through April 17th. I also learned that we have to make an appointment if we want to enter the lobby of our bank, though the drive-thrus and ATMs will be functional. City Hall and the Police Department buildings are closed to the public, too.
I have to tell you that – as worried as I am about the virus – I’m MORE worried about the economic effects of all this, and the changes that are being made in the power of the government as we try to get through this. I hope that we are able to get a handle on testing, possible medicines and equipment that help people suffering with the illness, and protect those trying to help the ill as soon as possible.
This being said, here are things that are NOT being cancelled –
The short version is I have 5 pounds to re-lose before I’m on track again. An indulgence here, a bite there, and here I am. I would be disgusted, but I did it, knowing exactly what I was doing, and I enjoyed every bite of falling off the wagon.
Now that we’re officially into 2020, I’m starting to pay attention to my eating again and exercising.
The weather is helping in my efforts to do my exercising. The highs are in the low 50’s now so I don’t freeze my parts while doing my 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer in the garage. I take my MP3 player and earphones out, turn on the trainer, start my music, hit ‘User 1’ and ‘Start’ and I’m in the zone for the duration. My husband says I do it ‘too slowly.’ (He doesn’t do it at ALL, so I’m ignoring his opinion.) I’m doing it every day (when I’m being good) and I’m doing it in a way that doesn’t cause my joints to complain or ache, so I’m declaring a win.
In the afternoons, I am trying to do half an hour or so of Gentle Yoga stretches. My husband gave me a mat that he got for camping out a million years ago. It’s much thicker than the normal yoga mat, and I love the extra cushioning. Oddly enough, the only area in our house that is large enough for me to fully stretch in all directions is our living room. I again ignore my husband’s ‘helpful suggestions,’ doing my own routine of slowly stretching everything in all directions, breathing into each position, based on the guidance I received from Cat Kabira in the “Gentle Yoga” DVDs. I can really feel a difference if I do this every day. I feel looser, able to stretch in all directions more and more over time, lessen aches and pains due to other activities. If I’m lucky, I can do my practice without the help of our animals, who tend to want to lie down on top of me.
Since even at 72, I’m a little kid at heart, I reward my efforts with actual gold star stickers I bought on the net, putting one for each exercise on my desk calendar. It’s a bit embarrassing that I do this, but not enough to stop. I will always be motivated by gold stars…
I am doing a combination of intermittent fasting (not eating after 9 in the evening until about 1:00 or 1:30 the next afternoon) and then following my macros in the keto plan. A great website called Cronometer.com is helping me record what I’m eating as it applies to what I’m SUPPOSED to be eating for the day. My biggest problem at this point is that I tend to eat too much protein and not enough fat. I have read that eating too much protein can throw me out of ketosis. I’m working on adding more fat. I’ve tried eating an avocado each day, but I really don’t like them, so I’m trying to find other alternatives. I’ll keep reading on the net and see what else I can eat to make my eating match my macro.
Once I re-lose my 5 holiday pounds, I can hopefully get into new territory on my weight loss efforts. My best thus far is losing 43 pounds and 45 inches. My goal is another 30 lbs or so (until the BMI charts are happy with me) and whatever inches go with that. My goal is to be as healthy as I can for whatever my current age is for as long as possible. My husband and I both have health issues that improve as we follow the keto plan, so I’m hoping that 2020 is a great year for us.
I have been craving BREAD over the holidays. My husband gets freshly made rolls from the deli when we go grocery shopping. I can avoid the strawberry-dessert-cakes-and-ice-cream nightly, and I can avoid the bagels, but I’m REALLY missing rolls and sandwiches lately due to my keto diet. Because of this, I succumbed and ate turkey sandwiches at Thanksgiving and have been eating rolls. The result is I have gained 5 lbs from my lowest. UGH.
This isn’t EXACTLY what I saw this morning, but close. I’m disgusted with myself, but am now doing two things –
THING ONE – I ordered – and just received two KETO bread cookbooks! One is Keto Bread and Pasta by Zara Elby, and the other is Keto Bread Machine Cookbook by Katie Simmons. I will get busy trying recipes for rolls and sandwich type bread in both of these, hoping I can come up with something that solves my bread-craving problem. I’ll share recipes with you if I find good ones.
THING TWO – I am back in the saddle again as far as doing 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer each day. I did my yoga stretches one day, but not yesterday, so I’m kind of HALF-WAY in the saddle again on the yoga.
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I AM promising myself to get fully with the program again so I can re-lose the 5 and then lose about another 30. I would really like to get to my goal weight in 2020 and then STAY there.
I am in the middle of yet another of life’s character-building exercises.
I told you about the money order a customer was going to send for a huge (for me) order of plaques.
The order was supposed to be for all five of the plaques I painted using Unicorn Spit. He said his administrative assistant messed up and sent the wrong amount in the money orders. I told him I would refuse delivery of the package and that he should send another for the correct amount. He then said he wanted to increase the order, wanting 40 (FORTY!) plaques in all, 8 of each of the five designs. We went back and forth, but I asked him to stick to the original order, and then, if he was happy, he could order more.
The money orders for too much money were delivered by FEDEX while my husband and I were out doing errands. :0( My husband was angry. I ended up taking them to the bank in order to ask them how long I would need to wait to be SURE they were good before I filled the order. She said 14 business days, and then noticed a number you could call to verify the money orders. She called, putting it on speaker phone. It was an automated system, asking for the number on the money order and then the number of the post office issuing it. She keyed them in and we were told the numbers didn’t match anything in their system – and so were fraudulent.
SO – I am pinning them up on the pegboard on the wall in front of my computer to remind myself that I do NOT need yet another character-building exercise. At least I wasn’t dumb enough to ship the plaques I had ready, or buy wood for the 35 more plaques my husband and I would have been cutting out, finishing, and putting hangers on as quickly as we could to fill the order within the time frame.
I did NOT deposit them. I am out only –
- the delight of the biggest order in my life
- the time I spent with the customer who turned out to be a rat
- the anguish of my husband getting angry over the whole thing
I am considering myself lucky that I had a big sense of ‘too good to be true’ and did what I could to make SURE it was legitimate before getting my family in financial jeopardy.
A cautionary tale…
I’m opening up a second shop on Etsy. This one will be called, “Totably Yours” and will feature large and small hand-painted, one-of-a-kind tote bags in canvas or denim. This one is called, “Flower Basket.”
This one is “Happy Penguins” and is one of my Christmas totes.
“Embrace Your Life” either reminds you or someone you care about to enjoy every moment.
And this one is a Spring bag called, “New Digs.”
I uploaded the images and descriptions yesterday. Today I’m going to try to design a banner to go across the top of the page. Then some details remain before I can open the shop.
A new venture is an exciting thing – sticking my neck out, challenging myself to overcome doubt, technical obstacles, etc. Character-building exercise with fingers crossed.
I discovered, to my horror, that about half of the data on the spreadsheets I started this year to keep up with bookkeeping and taxes had mysteriously ‘poofed.’ The data was also gone from two backups!
So, yesterday I entered the data from August and September. Today I re-entered the data from June and July, and then went through our credit card statements from January through September to check to make sure all the items from them was included on the spreadsheets.
I printed each spreadsheet, just in case gremlins enter my computer again and eat the data.
I am NOW making a backup and will make a second after I check the first to make sure nothing was lost in translation.
I wasn’t really in the mood for such a long character-building exercise….
This – on the last day of September – is DAY 28 of my daily yoga practice. My face doesn’t look nearly as blissful as this sweet lion’s face, but I AM making progress. It’s exciting to finally feel my body ‘give’ as I breathe, moving closer to the goal. Each time I start with stiff, sore parts from one end to the other. After I finish, though, I feel much looser.
This is DAY 13 of my ‘getting-serious-about-keto’ eating. I am using a carb tracking site called Cronometer.com. I filled out a short form to find out what MY macros (percentages of fat, protein and carbs) should be for the day.
I had no trouble eating protein – in fact, I discovered I was eating way TOO much protein. I was staying under the 5% carbs easily, but nothing was happening. I discovered I wasn’t eating enough fat! My son helped me figure out good ways to add healthy fat to my diet. I can put a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream in my coffee, for example. I got some avocados. They are good for you and high in fat. I don’t really LIKE them, but I can eat one a day. I can eat macadamia nuts. I can put a tablespoon of olive oil in my salad…
As I plan for the day, I can ‘test’ what I would like to eat and see graphically what it does for my macros for the day. Yesterday I did well on fat by eating an avocado and having the cream in my coffee for breakfast. The macro showed me I needed to concentrate on protein the rest of the day. The carbs took care of themselves.
I’ve now lost a bit over 6 pounds this month. That’s slow, but it’s better than I HAD been doing, and the weight loss is mainly in the past 12 days of watching my macros. I’m hopeful that October will continue to show good improvement. I would like for there to be 30 pounds or so less of me one day.
I’ve told you I’m also adding 3 days a week on my elliptical trainer. It is in the garage and the temperature is FINALLY cooling off so that I can use it out there without getting heat stroke. :0)
- This has always been hard for me. Our son is really encouraging. He’s leaving soon, though, so I need to buck up and find good things even though he won’t be here. My husband asks me if I’m going to ‘yoge,’ and occasionally tells me he’s proud of me trying to exercise. He says he is ‘with me in spirit.” :0) I have the wonderful book by Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto which has provided us with several recipes we like so much they keep me busy cooking without trying more. To have my husband REQUEST meals is the ultimate compliment.
- GOLD STARS on my desk calendar. SILLY, I know, but it works for me. Right now I have the opportunity to earn 10 for this week (7 for yoga, 3 for elliptical).
- Scales – I KNOW that the experts tell you to only weigh once a week. I do it once a day, not expecting to see great things, but to remind myself that I need to watch what I’m eating and keep moving in order to get the lard off.
- Measuring Tape – Every once in a while I’ll get a nice surprise. I figure the measuring tape is objective and will give me an honest answer as to whether things are going in the right direction.
- Fit of my clothes – I’m tired of shopping where I’m hoping that they have clothes that are large enough for me. I have come down several sizes in jeans, and it feels really good to give them to someone else who will be grateful that a pair of jeans will be large enough.
TO DATE –
I have lost 43 pounds since my lardiest and there are 45 inches less of me than at my lardiest.
I look forward to the day when I am at a healthy weight for my height (I’ve given up trying to get taller), my BMI makes insurance companies sing with joy, I can buy clothes most anywhere I can afford, and I FEEL good. I want to be able to do a lot of things easily that now are off limits because of pain, stiffness, soreness, or fatigue. I don’t picture myself climbing mountains, but a good long walk with friends or one of my dogs would be nice!
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I should get an award for procrastination. I’m an EXPERT in putting off things I hate, coming up with mental and vocal excuses that are truly impressive. My biggest area has been in bookkeeping/tax records. I keep folders, but don’t do the actual putting things down or organizing until push comes to shove and time is running out.
THIS year, I decided that I would do my bookkeeping and tax records at the end of each month. It wouldn’t take a lot of time and I would be up to date, just needing to do totals on the spreadsheets before tying it with a bow for our wonderful CPA.
I have been really good (for me) on keeping up with this. I got behind, though when health issues took obvious priority, so I was going to start on August yesterday, and then dive straight into September.
When I brought up a spreadsheet, a bunch of data was gone! I looked at the other spreadsheets and found the same thing. I got out my backups and ran them. The data wasn’t there, either. :0(
SO – It looks like I’ll have to redo about 5 months of records. OH, JOY.
“No good deed goes unpunished.” (Source in question)
I will grit my teeth and try to get August done today. THEN, I’ll tackle one month at a time until everything is back and caught up. THEN – I will print a copy of each of the spreadsheets AND make a backup!
And the character-building exercises continue….
My husband mowed our lawn yesterday, so I am weed whacking (edging plus doing areas he can’t get with the riding mower) today. I’ve made some progress, but mainly am feeling inept. One of the orange ‘thingies’ that holds the spool of weed whacking line onto the whacker shattered. It is not fixable, so we’ll have to try and find a replacement for it on the net. I switched to another weed whacker that I don’t like as well. It needed line, but I can’t get this orange thingie (different style) off! Now I have had to come in and ask my husband to come out and see if he can get the whacker ready to go so I can finish that part of the job, and then I’ll use the leaf blower to clean off the concrete areas.
It’s really humid, cloudy, and trying to rain, so I don’t know if I can get my breath back, after glugging a bottle of water, in time to get back out there.
Fingers are crossed that it all comes together and I can finish the job.
If not, I’ll use this excuse to go play in my art room! :0)
I’m beginning to see a pattern on what provokes new anger issues after a stroke –
- the need for quick actions (such as ‘turn here!” or “stop! You’re going to hit the ____.”
- the need to decide which of two things the person wants.
As we recognize patterns, we can alter our OWN behavior. It’s better to miss the turn and have to turn around and go back, for example. (You DO have to yell ‘STOP!” to avoid hitting things, though.) It’s better to just ask if the person wants to do one thing, rather than ask which of two things is preferred. Still hoping the anger issues will fade with time, but I’m learning how to deal with things better.
I’m delighting, once again, that we have SUCH GREAT pets to enjoy.
Example – Amber, our 94-pound yellow lab, LOVES to play her version of ‘FETCH.” This entails her bringing her spit-covered whatever toy to you, trying to put it and her head into your lap. When you try to deter this, she tries to climb up into the chair with you, eyes sparkling with joy. She doesn’t want to actually GIVE you the toy. She just wants to make you stop whatever you were doing, TRY to get the toy so that she can run away with it, doing her dog version of ‘nah, nah NAH, nah, nah’ as she goes, only to run right back and repeat. If she DOES drop the toy and allow you to throw it, it’s a one-time event. Today I added to the complexity a bit, playing with TWO toys. I would throw one, she would run like a bunny and grab it, bringing it back and refusing to give it to me. I then picked up the SECOND toy. She immediately dropped the first, eager to run after the second. We may HAVE something here….
We saw a whole bunch (gaggle/skein/team/wedge/plump?) of beautiful geese on the ground on a big wide lawn of a home we pass on the way to town. There were at least 20 and they were a wonderful sight.
Our son made me laugh like a loon describing trying to talk to an obnoxious man on the Internet in a chat forum about a product with which our son is involved. As he described the boorish remarks of the man, he became more and more animated, acting out what the man was saying. As I laughed, it spurred my son on to more and more detail and funny movements and expressions. My stomach is still hurting from the laughter.
I hope that YOUR Wednesday includes something beautiful in nature, some new ideas on how to handle a problem, and laughter so hard your stomach hurts.
There is something about bright colors that lifts my spirits. I can be feeling down, see something like this image above and can literally FEEL happiness flood through me. When I was a kid in school, I wanted a 64 color box of Crayola crayons with the built-in sharpener more than anything. Somehow it never happened, so I always make SURE I have one now. I have one in my art room upstairs right now! :0)
I have never been able to create anything I really liked with the crayons, but I have found artwork since by others that simply takes my breath away. I’ll share some of what I’ve found soon.
The lesson that I get here, though, is not limiting yourself, opening yourself to new learning, new people, new experiences, new ideas, trying things you’ve never tried before, living life to the fullest and most colorful.
“LIFE IS ABOUT USING THE WHOLE BOX OF CRAYONS.” I’ll put this on my to-do list!!!!!
On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”
Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it. As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….
SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK! :0)
“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown
I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but
g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat. It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….
“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown
The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown
I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)
“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown
As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown
I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.
“Just breathe.” ~ unknown
NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!
I love raccoons. They are so CUTE! Our personal experience, though, living on top of a ridge line outside of town in Greenwood, Arkansas, is that they don’t share. They want ALL of the birdseed in ALL of the feeders, PLUS they trash the feeders!
We have a humane trap we use from time to time, when they have trashed yet another feeder, to catch them and then relocate them way to our south, further out in the country beside a stream.
Once our problem starts, it continues until we catch each one of the family separately. We put them in the same stream, hoping they’ll find their family again, but NOT come back to us!
* Jeff Jett posts wonderful pictures in an effort to preserve wildlife and their habitats. When we know who the photographer is, we give credit.
We have a driveway that is 650+ feet down to the road. It is graveled and STEEP. Happily, we don’t have any trouble getting down our driveway and up again, but some people do. It’s particularly bad when we have had the combination of lots and lots of rain and delivery trucks trying to get up and down.
We’ve been in bad shape now for several months now.
We used to have a wonderful man, Tommy Sandifer, who came and used his tractor to smooth things out for us. He became very ill and was unable to help us anymore, but his son, Eric, took over for him and helps us from time to time. Eric is extremely busy though, and bringing a tractor out to help us is time-consuming and costly for him.
We called several weeks ago, asking Eric for help again. A combination of his being too busy and our rain storms have caused lots of delays.
We were delighted to hear our driveway alarm going nuts, showing a guy on a tractor there to heal our driveway – but the BEST part was that it was our original man, Tommy, the father! It’s been over 2 years since he felt well enough to help us. My husband and I both shook his hand and told him how happy we were to see him. He said he doesn’t get out much now, but he felt well enough to come and help us this morning. He proudly showed us the new blade he got to go on the back of the tractor.
My husband and I just went down the driveway to get our mail and test the driveway fix. It is beautiful!
I’m happy our driveway is much easier to negotiate now, but I’m happier that Tommy seems to be doing well. :0)
Jeff Jett posts these wonderful photos on LinkedIn. He is an avid supporter of wildlife and wants to do what he can to help preserve wild animals and their habitats. I don’t know who took this fabulous photo, but it’s one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Great way to start the day, isn’t it?
The high temperature for the day here in Greenwood, Arkansas is forecast to be only 88 and no rain. (Fort Smith, about 9 miles from us, just had the most rain EVER for August, and the month isn’t over! The usual rainfall for the month is 2.59 inches. This month we’ve already had 11.13 inches. Needless to say, this much rain has caused many problems, and is one of the times where it is GOOD to live on top of a ridge line. (We won’t dwell on our getting our electronics fried in June due to being on top of this same ridge line.) We are hoping that the temperatures will continue to ease and that we can again enjoy being outside.
Our son is still with us, after my husband’s health scare. Thank goodness he can work from anywhere, so he is able to keep up with things he needs to do while helping us create the ‘new normal’ around here. One of the things we’re trying to do is walk around our yard after we feed our animals in the evenings. So far, our results are a bit iffy (The first night my husband opted to mow the lawn with the riding mower while our son and I walked. Last night we made it around the yard once, with my husband stopping to pull weeds or fix things every few steps.) We will continue our efforts – the goal being to get him moving, doing at least a bit of exercise each day, and hopefully enjoying the weather while we’re doing it.
While creating a ‘new normal,’ I’m redoubling my efforts to get myself as healthy as I can – and staying that way – so that I can handle whatever challenges the future brings. I’ve become lax on my exercising (this time using the excuse of my husband’s health challenge), so I’m going to start with a session of yoga today. I will try to do SOMETHING exercise-wise daily, plus try to get my husband to walk in the evenings. I’ll also try to do something for myself each day – whether it’s playing in my art room, like I did yesterday, painting a tee –
working outside in my flowers or veggies, enjoying a good book, or – like tomorrow – having my once per month massage. I’ll continue my efforts to lose the lard.
I hope you’re having a beautiful Wednesday.
We had two more doctor appointments today and finally have answers.
Last month my husband had a stroke. His speech and mobility were affected. He is stronger every day, getting better and better. Our son came back from Thailand to help us deal with this. Getting answers as to what my husband needed to prevent another have been quite an ordeal.
The short answer is that what we have been doing for the last two weeks – baby aspirin and Plavix – should be all that is needed. Neurocranial surgery is not needed. No invasive procedures are needed. We have some issues remaining that require referrals to other specialists, but the big worry is now fading away. We can concentrate on the day to day and get to our new normal now.
- Stay at the ER until you have talked to the ER doctor – no matter what. The fast referrals will come from the ER doc. If you leave, you are at the back of any line for any appointment, procedure, test, etc.
- Be the squeaky wheel. You can be polite, but keep the procedure going. Call or write the people who can make things happen. If they say someone will call, don’t depend on that. You are in charge of your healthcare. You are the one who can keep the focus on the problem, actually GET seen, GET answers, GET help.
- Don’t try to deal with life-changing things alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, neighbors, relatives.
- Be ready when someone else needs YOUR help – help in whatever way you can. It is ALL good.
- Try your best to stay calm and do the best you can where you are, with the tools you have. It’s all you can do.
We are lucky. We can do this. Such relief!
Having a health scare is just that -scary. Trying to get help for it is a character-building exercise at a time you’re under great stress. Once the initial hurdles have been jumped over, another of life’s realities rears its ugly head – you have to take charge, doing whatever is necessary to get the help needed.
Yesterday was a case in point. I have almost no tongue left because of biting it so many times while I was on the phone making my way through the bureaucratic maze, trying to get tests scheduled and appointments made.
I had been told we would receive calls regarding where and when we should show up for tests and referrals to various specialists. I was given a card with a phone number to call in case that didn’t happen. I was to use it if I didn’t hear anything in a week.
When I called the number on the card, I found that the ‘referral department’ doesn’t actually handle referrals – they give you phone numbers to call – one of which was the ‘scheduling department.’ It turned out that the scheduling department didn’t actually schedule the tests, they ‘authorized’ them. I received another number to call to actually schedule the tests. The finally scheduled group of added tests will help the specialists figure out what is needed and who should do it.
You get the picture.
It’s bad enough to go through the health scare. The problem is compounded when you finally realize that even though you HAVE TO go through the maze – endure the system – in order to get help, you are your own best advocate. You have to steadily, persistently, keep pushing until you actually get the needed tests scheduled, the actual appointments scheduled to see the specialists, get the results of those, the plan of attack to fix the original problem, the guidance on how to best care for the person who is sick and isn’t in a position to deal with this.
We are thankful. Our son – who lives and works in Thailand – wanted to come to help. He did and is here. He is keeping us calmer, more able to slog through the mazes, phone trees, delays, frustration, attitudes, and emotions, actually injecting some much-needed humor, as well as calm strength.
My husband and I signed up to be a host family for a 16-year-old young man from Italy this school year. We have been planning for this for some time now and August 6th the students were to arrive.
Due to a health problem in the family, we were forced to contact the coordinator and opt out. We were really disappointed, but really didn’t want our problem to ruin the year for our young man. Happily, the lady was able to find another family. We had been texting for some time. When I got the go-ahead, I contacted him and explained our situation, being able to assure him that his plans wouldn’t be changed, other than the host family. He told me he would let me know when he got here.
I figured that when he arrived, he would be swept up into lots of activity and that we would probably not hear from him. I then received a text from him, saying he would like to meet us! We arranged that he and his family would meet my husband and me at a local restaurant yesterday.
The meeting could not have been better. It was was wonderful to be able to hug him and enjoy talking with him and seeing him smile. I felt like I fell into a hole because I had to look up at him. :0) He is a really nice looking, friendly young man.
His host family is a delight. Young, energetic, already into school activities because they have two boys, 17 and 13, on football teams at the school, plus a lovely 4 or 5-year-old daughter. Our young man met another boy on the plane who lives in a different part of Italy. He is with another family here, close by! The three boys will have a blast this year. They are traveling to St. Louis today – after football pics at the school – to catch a Cardinals game. As you can tell, this is a WONDERFUL situation.
They will let us know the soccer schedule so that we can watch him play. We are making plans for a cookout at our place, and dinner at their place – with our young man cooking! – in the future.
What could have been a sad situation is now a joyful one.
I’ve just spent half an hour or so assassinating fire ants after donning my cape, goggles, gloves, and mixing 2 gallons of EIGHT bug killer in my sprayer.
These are the odious fire ants that are the bane of my existence for the past couple of years. I never really thought about them before until I happened upon them in one of my garden boxes (about 3 feet up in the air) and they swarmed all over me. biting/stinging me and causing my poor body to turn bright pink, swell up, ache, and itch all at the same time for about three days before starting to subside.
I have since looked up information, thinking that, before I set out to murder something, I should at least know if they do anything good for the environment.
According to extension.org, “Beneficial Effects of Fire Ants. Collectively, ants are beneficial insects in our environment. Their nest-building activities reduce soil compaction and help aerate the soil. Many ant species, such as imported fire ants, are omnivorous (they eat just about anything).”
I’m sorry, but the fact that also eat ME make aerating the soil a very low priority for me, particularly since we don’t need that around here.
I read a nice article by a lady who suggests that you pour a teakettle of boiling water down the hole of the mound and that will take care of the problem. That may very well be true, but I don’t think she is trying to treat a garden of veggie plants who would be upset at having boiling water poured on them or almost 8 acres of ridge line rocky soil. The EIGHT spray works well. The fact that the co-op guy in town recommended it highly, after me telling him I was planning to spray it on things I hoped to later feed to myself and my family, and that I didn’t want our pets hurt, went a long way to convince me.
There is Ant-Man from Marvel Comics and the super hero movie genre, but I don’t think he is murdering ants. I’ll just have to fill that gap.