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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Hodge Podge

http://www.fromthissideofthepond.com/2015/02/bibbidi-bobbidi-hodgepodge.html
1. Did you watch The Oscars? How many of the Best Picture nominees have you seen? (American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash)

Do you think actors should use their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to promote their political and/or social agenda? Does that sort of speech make you more or less inclined to change the channel?

This is an easy quickie answer to all three parts of the question: Nope, none of them, don’t care. Although for the last one I suppose if I did watch some political stuff would keep my interest since I’m not familiar with any of the movies. ;)


2. Speaking of the movies... are you comfortable going to a movie alone? How about dinner in a restaurant (not fast food, but an actual restaurant)? The second half of this question was posed by Carrie who blogs over at It's Not Easy Being Queen. Thanks Carrie!

I’m fine going to the movies, a restaurant or a baseball game alone and have done the latter two on more than one occasion. The movies no, but I don’t go to the movies much anyway. I’m fine being alone; I really do like my own company. And I also make acquaintances pretty easy if I feel like talking to someone too. I consider it a treat when I take an occasional day to go out to lunch on my own.


3. What's the last home repair or home improvement project you had to pay someone to complete? In hindsight was this a project you could have done yourself?

The last big project we had someone in to do was updating the electric outlets several places to three-prong outlets after we got the new TV. Even in my more mobile days I only did basic electric wiring, so no, it’s not something we could have done.


4. Have you ever had Indian food? Like it or no? If you're a fan, what's your favorite dish? Have you ever prepared this yourself at home? Is there an Indian restaurant in your current hometown?

I tried Indian many years ago and didn’t care for it. Mom and I tried the Indian place near where I used to live. I found it too spicy-hot and too salty for my taste. The Naan was good, but I’m not a huge bread person either.


5. A song that reminds you of your parents?

Cecelia by Simon and Garfunkel; it was the song that always played when we crossed the Mackinac Bridge when we went camping. We always sang the chorus together but as an adult I was shocked that given the verses that was our family fun song when we were kids! I didn’t turn out too warped though.


6. The 26th of February is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day. What's your favorite, or one of your favorite, fairy tales? Do you have any childhood memories associated with a particular fairy tale?

Hmm, I guess Cinderella? I don’t have any particular fairytale memories from my childhood, but later in the day, or sometimes early in the morning, now I’ll ask David to “Cindy me” when I need help getting my shoes on.


7. What's a problem you solved yesterday?

Technically I guess I came up with the solution Sunday, acted on that solution Monday but it was yesterday that the solution was finalized and authorized. My doctor is sending the prescription update to increase my pain meds as I’d asked. That means I’ll take one at noon and one at bedtime and if will quell my daytime pain. YAY!


8. Insert your own random thought here.

I regained my hope for the near future and shook out of my winter doldrums when I saw this photo on the Tigers’ Instagram feed yesterday:


There WILL be spring like usual. The Boys of Summer are getting ready to bring sun and warmth with them and come home!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Monday; Yeah, Whatever.


Word art by TLC Creations

Really I’m well known as one who has always loved Mondays; the fresh new start to a week, the opportunity to make a general plan, and all plans are always “this or something better.” But this particular Monday the 4PM temperature at the airport is 08. Remember that I won’t leave the 8 all by itself like mean ol’ Mother Nature.

Yesterday was an awful day for me; lots of pain and stiffness and in general blahs. I’d remembered the doctor saying I could take an extra pill of my light narcotic during the day if I was in a lot of pain. I double checked with David who was with me that day and he confirmed that I heard the doctor right; she said I could take another one if I needed it, specifically if I was having a lot of pain getting in and out of the bathroom when the water pill was doing its thing. So I took a supplemental “analgesic narcotic.”
You know since it’s a pill I usually take at bedtime I’ve never been awake to actually feel what the pill does. Oh wow! I didn’t feel anything weird, like a recreational drug taking control away or anything, but I felt, well I felt less! My arms and shoulders were really bad because they are responsible for supporting me and dragging my lower body in many places. The pain in my arms was just dull, the pain in my shoulders almost done. My lower back pain was almost nonexistent and my legs were more comfortable than they’d been in recent memory. I called the doctor today. I asked her receptionist to leave a message asking her to change my prescription to two a day instead of one. Because it’s a narcotic, it has to be a paper prescription and can’t be called in to the pharmacy. I need it refilled but I have 6 pills left. I won’t take the extra again without her okay to keep doing it. I don’t want to run out either I have a feeling it does more to let me sleep at night than I realize! But if I am able to safely take a daytime pill it will be fantastic. For taking one yesterday afternoon and then last night. I’m just now (5PM) starting to feel pain again. I want that every day. If we could work out a three times a day weaker dosage to keep the pain at bay, it would be heavenly!

I read a great article last night from the Washington Post about my favorite beverage! The nation’s top nutrition panel says “drink more coffee!" Americans only average 2 cups a day of the beverage they’ve discovered to have many health benefits. The benefits way outweigh anything that could be said bad about the caffeine. Be careful about how much you add, like cream or sugar, to your coffee though!

Multitasking, yes, I still do that, means a blog I started at 4 gets posted at 8. I have some artsy stuff to chat about in the next few days and Marco says he needs to write a blog. For now, g’night!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Broken Record

That’s a record for this day in Toledo history. Actually, it’s the coldest it’s ever been in Toledo on any day in February in recorded history. In the Naniworld that’s officially called “beyond stupid-cold.” Oh my! As an adult with Raynaud’s disease as a special friend to my MS, I’m once again staying indoors. I think that’s my biggest source of wintertime blues; I’m pretty much in hibernation with a cave but no sleep! Can you imagine how grumpy a bear would be if it was in the cave all winter and weren’t asleep?

I was reading a news poll one of the TV stations from Detroit did on Facebook. The poll asked if kids should be off school because of the temperature. I was amazed, even though I shouldn’t be, t the number of comments about raising kids to be sissies and “in my day…” comments. There was even a comment that said “most parents can afford to properly dress their kids for the cold,” like the word “most” in that statement is okay!

I grew up in Metro Detroit. We most certainly did not go to school on days like yesterday or even today which is starting out at -11 and going to a high of 15. There weren’t days like that to debate. “A new record low” means it’s NEVER BEEN THIS COLD. That makes “when I was a kid we didn’t get to stay home because it was cold” make you sound like a bit of a moron. The winters are getting unpredictably worse, much worse than my generation grew up with. We are breaking records for cold temperatures in the Great Lakes region, they have no place else they can put the snow that won’t stop in New England, they are bracing for ice storms in the Carolinas and Tennessee and let’s not forget the weather that was more of a mess than predicted that shut down Atlanta last year. The climate is in a period of unrest. It doesn’t matter why you think that is, there definitely IS a change from what we’ve known as “normal.”

The meteorological unrest is happening faster than we can adjust to it. If this is what will become normal, there may be a day that there is cold weather protocol for school kids, even adults. Maybe there will be e-learning snow days and more telecommuting or maybe they’ll develop an affordable super thinsulate that can keep kids safely warm while they wait for the bus and adults free from frostbite when they scrape ice form car windows. Maybe they’ll create more effective snow removal or something that melts ice on roads in sub-freezing temperatures without beating up the roads too much. And maybe there will be seminars where states from the south can get ideas for setting up winter weather plans from the states in the north that always had snow “when I was a kid,” but that’s not today and it wasn’t yesterday. Yeesh!

Everybody be as safe and warm as you can!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Best and Worst Week

The week started with a new month and me wanting to assess January as I went into it. But starting February 1 there was plenty of present to keep me from reviewing the recent past right away.

Of course Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday. The game outshined the commercials this year! There were a few good spots, but the football was exactly what you’re supposed to see when arguably the best from each conference face off in the biggest football event of the year. As a Patriots house we were biting nails at the very end, sure that we were about to see the Sea Hawks grab the victory on a drive at the very end only to screams and exchange happy high fives as Patriot’s rookie, Malcolm Butler, intercepted what would have been the end of the game loss for his team and essentially won the game and the title for the Pats.

Add to the coolness, it’s four Super Bowl rings for Tom Brady, who was the game MVP and was awarded a new truck from Chevy in recognition of that. Brady wanted to give that truck to Butler. The huge difference in incomes of the veteran star and the undrafted rookie would have had major taxable prize/gift implications because the truck would have been taxed at Brady’s considerably higher income with an additional gift tax for transferring it to Butler. Chevy stepped up and changed the awarding of the prize directly to Butler, taxable just as a prize at his income. Three-way awesomeness!


But on Sunday the news wasn’t so celebratory before the game in Toledo. We had snow, tons of it, falling. I’d already made a call for Rapid, LLC., our fantastic plow guys, to come over to do clean-up Sunday night, after the snow stopped and after the game if they had the interest/opportunity to watch. Yes I know we aren’t their only customers but the snow wasn’t supposed to stop until Sunday night, so maybe they’d have some time before they had to head out. It’s a small local company; they’re leaving home to go to work, not a garage with an army of plow tanks.

We were at a Level 3 Snow Emergency, no one who wasn’t medical, street maintenance or media out on the roads. How that started and played out was the darkest part of Sunday. Mayor, D. Michael Collins, held a press conference where he said that the Level 3 would start at 3PM. While driving home after that he suffered a cardiac arrest and his SUV drove into a utility pole. Two people called 911, and with the 911 operator’s guidance, pulled him from the SUV and started resuscitation as he wasn’t responsive. I listened to the 911 recording on The Blade website; they found ID and at that time realized who it was. Mayor Collins was taken the University of Toledo Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. He died yesterday afternoon when he was taken off life support.

I feel a loss for my city because while it’s only just a little more than a year since Mayor Collins took office he faced so many challenges so well. From losing 2 firefighters, to record snowfall, cold and the snow removal crisis that accompanied that last winter to 2 days without drinkable water to start August and the call left to him when it was safe to drink from the tap again, and he handled them all with strength of character and reassuring confidence. But I think for me personally it’s also shown me how much smaller Toledo is than Detroit too. As a citizen the loss is personal too. Maybe it’s that I actually live in the city where I lived in Detroit suburbs; the mayor of the big city in the area is a choice on my election ballots. Maybe it’s that the mayor lived a block away from us. What I definitely know is that in a year he stretched the shoes in the Mayor’s office enough to make them even harder to fill in the special election that will be held in November.

Please visit The Blade to read about a great man with a personal history that built him into a great mayor. Unlike so many in politics he didn’t create problems, he solved them.

Toledo mourns loss of Mayor D. Michael Collins



In the closer personal Naniland my daily Lasix, water pill, and I have reached a tentative truce area. Simply if I don’t take it I can feel It; my legs swell, what mobility I have is compromised and I feel awful, part because with the swelling I still don’t drink enough water because rising up from the chair to go to the bathroom is painful. The anti-Lasix stance was self-destructive at best. So here is my wake-up to midafternoon ritual that’s worked well for me for the second half of this week.

Wake-up time is when my lower back and legs ache the worst. Bless David, he helps get me through morning stretching and downstairs and once he knows I’m down safely he goes back to bed because it’s usually before wake up time for him. Then I have my morning coffee and breakfast. Notice how I prioritize there? Starve me if you will, but don’t deny me my coffee! I take the Lasix after I’ve had a chance to really wake up and when it calls me to the bathroom I drink 2 Nani-gulps of water. 2 Nani-gulps usually empties a 16-oz bottle. I have no idea why, but it works. The urgency is down and the 3 times and hour bathroom trips have gone down to about 3 in 2 hours. I’m also keeping hydrated and feel a ton better during the day.



I Can Has Do Over!

I’m starting over on my reading for this year. I didn’t think the idea of having two books at a time is bad as long as I accept that the paper pages will go slower than the e-pages. The current paper page book is a hard cover. I’m slow at reading it and slow at getting into the story. That's not because I read slow. Until my first ereader in 2010 I always read slow and had to work to do that. My reading comprehension has always been great, I scored well in school, the Mensa test and thankfully I didn’t need to reread chapters to take tests in college. I just read black on white paper slow. But I read the whole Harry Potter Series, Gone With The Wind and the awful fan-fiction sequel, Scarlett in paperback or hardcover, the current book I just not captivating me. It does interest me though and books that have been slow but interesting to start in the past have often ended well for me. So, while it’s hardcover and honestly, I drop it a lot, I’m going to keep reading.


I think the problem was with the eBook I started with. I was reading that one at night because I wanted to get it over with, but I seemed to have100 pages left every time I looked. Here is the “When I stopped review” that I put on Good Reads when put it in my “did not finish” file.

The Lost Code by Keith Emmerson
I know this is a "young adult" book and sometimes I like to take a break from heavier reading and enjoy some light reading. I got as far as 178/276 pages and I couldn't bear the fact that there was still 100 pages to read. This wasn't the fluff mystery I was expecting it seemed to lose another screw from the reality cap with every chapter. It was taking me forever to read because it just never made me actually want to read it so I never picked it up. Maybe I'll finish it someday but for now I'm letting my brain wake up again in the worlds of murder and political gain. :)

So starting February 1 my new goal for the year is 22 books read, 22 reviews that I’ll post here. It’s the same hard cover in the “currently reading” window at the left but new e-title.

And so the do-over begins! :)


Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's My Half Birthday!


I’ve never made it a secret that I’m not a fan of winter. In fact I’ve done a pretty good job of painting myself a an anti-fan of winter. So what’s an optimist to do to keep from falling into winter blues? Well, as a child of the summer, I celebrate my Half-Birthday! I’m not looking outside at Mother Nature’s gag-gift this year; in 6 months it will be the heart of Leo entering into the dog days of summer when even cats find shady spots if they are outdoors. (which is only acceptable if they are rural barn cats, a little safer from traffic than urban cats on the streets and cats and dogs on the farm should always have access to clean water!)

Now my half birthday isn’t celebrated as a festival and I usually just do something special for myself. I might order a pizza today; I discover a thin crust pizza with white sauce, bacon and veggies at Marcos. I add green olives and banana peppers to it for a little sour bite and it’s SO good! And it’s only 18 points for half a small. Of course since David doesn’t do pizza, it would end up being dinner tomorrow too since I can’t reheat on my own. Unless I didn’t refrigerate overnight. I like cold pizza fine but I don’t care for it chilled. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just ask David if he’d drive trough and bring me home a McLatte.

One fun thing I did for myself for my half birthday this year is a 2-page scrapbook layout. I had a kit that was a set of journal cards that I really wanted to play with for a while. According to the dates on the files, it was May last year that I got the kit Hello! by Scrumptiously. I wanted to do a pocket-page type layout and I knew I wanted to do a totally narcissistic layout about myself. I’ve said before that scrapbooking is both a loving and giving hobby and a totally selfish hobby all in one. It’s saving your, memories to share with other people but it’s also putting yourself as the keeper of history. You get to be the dictator of the future by directing the past. I actually think that’s fine as long as you aren’t blatantly lying about the resent it’s a wonderful series of family heirlooms for generations to come. I also think that selfishness manifests itself in vanity. Too many scrapbookers don’t include their own completely separate from others in the family thoughts or photographs in their books. Generations later relations and even family friends will wonder about the person who assembled the books. What did she or he look like, what were they doing? That’s just my little scrapping soapbox.

Of course, there’s plenty of me in my scrapbooks because I do think that way. I try to be vain for everyone and use flattering photos of us all so generations down the line multiple greats of nieces and nephews will marvel at what an attractive lot we were. But I want my scrapbooks to hold memories, lot of them, but I want my character and sense of humor to be in them too. I want to look back at my books and remember how much fun being me has always been. Oh yeah, and how attractive we’ve always looked too!

Also my half-birthday 2-pager uses those journal cards and prompts to put a time-capsule bubble around my brain at 48-1/2 years old. Making “right here, right now” ordinary day a time capsule page every now and then is fun too!

Credits: Hello!  by Scrumptiously and other papers from my stash

The pages are full-resolution if you want to enlarge them and read on the pages, but if you want to read what they say in simple written form, the contents of the cards are right here:

So there’s my self-indulgent answer to the winter blues. For my birthday festival I encourage everyone to have ice cream to celebrate and last year it was to buy ice cream for a kid. So if you want to celebrate my half birthday with me have a cookie. That’s nice to go with hot cocoa to shake a winter frown away. If you like the snow and ice, go enjoy it! And have a hot cocoa for me when you get in because if I was there, you know that’s where I’d be!

Find the happy, everyone!
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