Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Busy, Busy, Busy

That headline pretty much says what my life is about right at the moment.  In a few days, I will not be as busy, I hope.  I’ve been trying to plant all the flowers and all the seeds I have received in the past few weeks.  Finally got most of the seeds underground except for pumpkins and some torch flower seeds.  To be quite frank, I’ve run out of room in my yard and garden to plant much more.   My cup runneth over.  I received two really pretty hydrangea plants for Mother’s Day which have not been planted yet.  I can’t plant them where the pups can get to them.  David told me the other day they had dug up something we had planted(it looked like a stick when we planted it) and he thought it was lost, but he found it in the yard and replanted it and didn’t tell me until he noticed there were leaves coming out on it.  I can’t remember what kind of plant it is so we will have to wait and see when or if it flowers.

By the way, David has covid now.  I was really hoping we both had dodged the bullet, but he’s had a raspy throat and runny nose so he went in to the clinic at Kroger’s today and they said he had it and should stay home for at least five days and wear a mask around me since I don’t have it, yet.  Pray it doesn’t get any worse. He will be getting surgery on his shoulder sometime in the next few weeks.  Our Summer is really adding up to being fun, isn’t it?  Ha.

What keeps me sane is working in my shop on the Christmas projects for my sale on December 3rd.     I have made so many things and when I can get my pictures up again, I will show you. For some reason my computer is not cooperating with me and I can’t get my pictures onto my blog and I have a lot of them to show you.  Anyway, I spend at least three or four hours sewing and listening to talk radio and it becomes my calm and happy place.   I listen to Dan Borgino’s talk show. He’s not to everyone’s taste, but I like him.   I told David the other day I wonder what I will obsess about after I have all this sewing done and have had my sale.  There will be something, I know. Maybe I will obsess about cleaning my house.  It gets a lick and a spit once in a while.  It doesn’t really matter how often I dust, it always looks dusty and I don’t know why.  Just in the past year I’ve noticed things are dustier around here, even outside.  Our porch didn’t use to be dusty, but it is now.

I try to spend at least a half hour every day playing with the dogs.  I throw the ball so much my arm hurts at night.  You’d think I would finally have developed some muscle from all the throwing.   Lucy runs for a toy as soon as I open the door. She never wants to stop playing and if you want to see disappointment in a dog’s face, Lucy has it when I tell her we are through.   Molly has become fit as a fiddle where once she was overweight, now she is trim and muscular and loves to fetch also.  Just wish something like fetching would do that for me!

I have watched a couple of really good movies on tv.  I think they were both on Netflix.  One was  called A Walk in the Woods and starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte as two old men who tried to walk the Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia.   I never thought of Robert Redford as a comedian, but he has some pretty funny lines in the movie and Nick Nolte is hilarious as his alcoholic recovering friend he hadn’t seen in years.

Another movie which I found magical, but troubling at the same time was The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.  Louis Wain was an artist in the Victorian age who painted cats. He and his wife were some of the first people to ever keep cats inside their house at the time.   Cats were considered mousers and were kept to the barns.  He painted cats in some of the most magical settings and he became quite popular, but he did not copyright any of his work so he never made much money and died a pauper in an  insane asylum.  It sounds like a sad movie, but it really isn’t.

I find it hard to sit clear through many movies, but these two I enjoyed immensely. Right now, as I type, I have Hairspray on.   I’ve seen it before, but I love the music and it takes place in fifties so it’s right up my alley. There is a show like Dick Clark’s American Bandstand that the lead character, Tracy,  wants to get on.  I loved watching American Bandstand when I was a girl and I loved how the girls dressed and how the couples danced.  Many who appeared on that show became famous in their own right.  By the way, John Travolta plays the girl’s mother and he is hilarious.

I just wanted to stop in so you would know I’m still here.  I started an entirely different post the other day, but didn’t get it finished so maybe I will try to post that one soon.  Or I won’t. Not making any promises.  I had a nice Mother’s Day.  Went out to eat Saturday night with my daughter’s family.  Had phone calls wishing me Happy Mother’s Day and received those beautiful hydrangeas.

Hope your days are busy or not, if you prefer.  Summer is here. The temperature is climbing.  David has been in the pool already. Not me. The water has to be over 80 degrees for me to swim in it.   If the temperatures keep going up, it will be sooner rather than later.

I will leave you to watch the kids dancing in Hairspray.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

Getting Lasered

When I was in my twenties, back in the stone age, I got Ocular histoplasmosis which is bleeding in the center of your eye.  I noticed it right after our daughter was born when I started seeing double vision on the tv.  I went to an eye doctor who told me I could have cancer of the eye. He sent me to the IU medical center in Indianapolis.

When we got there, I met with the head of the vision department, Doctor Schlagel, and he put me through all kinds of tests, the results being I had Ocular histoplasmosis.  The treatment was a shot in the eye.  When he told me that, I almost fainted, but I knew it had to be done so I manned up and took the shot.  This I would have to do several times and each time I had to go through all the tests again.  One test something, which I learned later was sulpha, was shot into my veins so they could see more things in my eye.  After having this done a couple of times, I fainted every time they did this. I was allergic to sulpha!   So they could no longer use this test.

I went for quite a long time to the center and got my shots until Doctor Schlagel told me he had done all he could do, that the bleeding in my eye was stopped, but that I would always be blind in my central vision in that eye.  I could live with that as long as I still had a good eye.  Ocular Histoplamosis  is a disease that is in many people’s bodies, but never affects them in any way.  Histoplasmosis is prevalent in the midwest, Doctor Schlagel told me.  He said just about everyone in the midwest had Histo in their bodies.  My son found that out when he was in the military and they found a spot on his lungs. He was sure he had cancer. After being tested, the doctor asked him where he was from. When he told him Indiana, the doctor knew exactly what the spot was. Histo.   He said the same thing. It was prevalent in Indiana.  I guess we are lucky!

It traveled to my eye because my body was under duress.  I had just had a baby, we were planning on moving to a strange city and to top it off, we chaperoned a youth group from our church on a trip to Arkansas to see the Passion Play there and we were going to camp with them.  I was under a lot of stress at that time.  All at once.  My body just had to react some way.

Here I am many years later, and I very rarely even think about being blind in my left eye unless I’m getting my driver’s license or someone mentions it.

But things happen when you are making other plans.  A few weeks ago I was sitting out on the swing with David looking at the sky and I saw hundreds of gnats.  I realized they weren’t gnats, but floaters in the eye.  This continued for a few days until I decided I should have it checked.  The eye doctor told me that a piece of my retina had torn loose and was floating around which is why I was seeing floaters and a dark spot occasionally.  She wanted to send me to a retina specialist in Indianapolis.  I felt like history was repeating itself.

So David and I made the trip to Indy this week. My appointment was for 2:15.   We were early and the sign on the door told people not to check in sooner than fifteen minutes before their appointment and that no one could come in but the patient.  I told David he would go in with me.  We discovered very quickly that everyone had someone else with them.  So we checked in and waited. And waited. Finally, I was called and we went back and I had a few tests then we were told to take a seat and wait for the doctor.  Well, we sat there and saw patient after patient leave. People who had come in after us were called. Four hours later, we were the last people in the waiting room and finally they called my name.  I went to another room where the doctor talked to me and told me what he was going to do.  He was going to laser the piece back onto the retina.  Okay. That sounded interesting and a little frightening, but I knew it had to be done so I manned up and did it.

The doctor and I went into a special room where the laser machine was. He had me sit up and put my chin in a cup and hold onto the bars of the machine. And did I hold onto those bars!  Having your eye lasered is like having firecrackers go off in your eye(without the noise.)   One right after the other and I could not blink because the doctor had put something on my eye so I couldn’t.  I was holding onto those bars for dear life and praying to God to give me strength and courage. Then as quick as he began, the doctor said I was all done.  Phew!  Then he said I would probably see things in purple and I did!   “Purple Rain,” I told him.  It was over. I had survived.

It was dark out by the time we left and we were one of maybe four cars left in the parking lot.  As we drove home, the lights of the city looked like Christmas lights and the moon was hanging from a star in the sky.  I could still see and for that I was thankful.

I have to go back after Christmas to be checked again. I got an early appointment so we would get home before dark.   I am so thankful there are doctors who can repair eyes so people can still see.  Years ago, this treatment I had would not have been possible.  Never take your eyes for granted and take care of them because it really is a blessing to be able to see.

Now it’s back to preparing for Christmas.  Bye.

I’ve Become Humpty Dumpty

It’s been about three years since I had my first heart episode and had all the tests that went with it ending up with a pacemaker. Before that, I was a walker. A few years ago I lost a lot of weight just walking. Didn’t change my diet or anything, just walked until I was walking five miles every day. And it was easy.  I was skinnier than I was when I got married.

Then I hurt both legs, not at the same time which made walking painful. Then the heart…. Well, it just all went downhill from there.  I’ve always been an active person, but this last year and with the Covid quarantine on top of it, I’ve been less active, let’s just say. I do manage to keep the house, play with the dogs, take care of the chickens, quilt and knit, but a lot of that is done sitting down as I tire very easily.  I really try to walk, but just a few steps and I’m winded.

Sadly, just because I’m not walking as much does not mean I stopped eating and with the quarantine and David always being hungry, we eat all the time it seems to me. I could go all day, and I do, not eating a thing, but when David is home he wants to eat.  And he is thin.

Anyway, I’m not one to stare in the mirror very often, but I caught a glimpse the other day and I did think to myself,  “I’ve turned into Humpty Dumpty.”   Regular sized howbeit, busty on top and round from the waist down.  I told David I could be a Weeble  Wobble. Remember those? Weebles Wobble and they don’t fall down. Well, the falling down I cannot guarantee, but I could wobble, I tell you.  My clothes have not changed fit or else they’ve stretched A LOT, but I haven’t gone up a size, thank goodness but you can’t go up much when you are at the top of the sizes!

Well, something must be done.  Summer is coming and I do want to go swimming and there’s a wedding coming up and I would like the bride not to be ashamed I’m her grandmother so I am going to try to trim down a bit.  Don’t know how, yet, or if I will even be successful because when you tire out easily, exercising does not come easily.

I bought a new exercise thing that I saw on TV. It was advertised by the guy who use to host The Newly Wed Game back long ago.  He’s old now, like me, and found that his balance was not very good so he, with his exercise guru, devised this platform that rocks and you have to stand on it and balance yourself. It has two poles that you hold onto while doing this.  I noticed after I had the pacemaker installed that for some reason my balance was not as good.  When the puppies would jump on me I’d practically fall down and that wasn’t good. So I got this THING and I’m trying to use it so I can gain my balance again. It also has rings attached I can lift to strengthen my arms and upper body strength which I have none.  Right now I’m doing good to do twenty arm curls.

I’m not making any promises to myself or anyone else, but I’ve got it in my mind that I will exercise and maybe get back to walking a little each day and seeing if I can remove the Humpty from my Dumpty.  David never says anything about my weight. Never has for which I am eternally grateful, because who needs a husband who tells you you are fat?   It would be like me telling him he’s getting bald.  Men don’t like to hear that, either.  But David wouldn’t say anything anyway because he’s kind and loves me.

I wish I could say I will challenge myself and tell anyone reading this how I am doing, but I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to have a before or after photo should I succeed.  But if I do happen to lose a few pounds in the coming months, I will tell you.  If all is quiet suffice it to say, I’m a complete failure at this.

I’ve bought so many exercise machines in the past.  I still use my exercise bike and I have the Cardioglide which you stand upon and swing your legs forward and backward. I love that. I have had other things that have gone by the wayside. I even had that contraption you hung yourself upside down on, but it scared me and I sold it to a guy at a garage sale I had.  Now I kind of wish I still had it. I need to stretch this body out a little longer.

If you are struggling to lose some weight, join the party.  It’s a pretty big one from what I can tell when I go out in public.  Not a whole lot of stringbeans out there.  We are a rather rounded bunch of people, we Americans.  McDonald’s has not been good to us!  Not that I eat at McDonald’s that often. Maybe once in the past year.  I find myself looking at people and thinking to myself, “Am I that fat?”  I probably am or fatter, but I tell myself, “Naaah.”

I never thought I’d talk about my weight here where anyone can read it, but hey, what’s the secret.  People can see me.  I know I’m not in tiptop shape. Not even tip shape.  But there is hope and hope springs eternal and it is Spring and Summer is coming….

Here’s to exercise and the strength to do it!  Bye.

 

Dr. Who?

I am sitting here typing, not feeling so well. Stomach is upset.  Why? Was it because I went to the doctor today or that I just ate Mexican?

I am a terrified patient.  Weeks before my doctor’s visit, I think about it and worry about it. I have to go every six months, whether I want to or not, because I am on certain medications.   Today was my six month check-up. I had worked myself into an almost panic attack state so it’s no wonder my blood pressure goes up.

I got to the office and walked inside and noticed some things were different. For one thing they did not have the sheet to sign in on anymore. I also noticed that a new doctor had moved in next to mine.  An infectious diseases doctor. Oh, joy.   Just what I needed to be around.  The nice lady at the desk told me they were going completely computer. All the files were gone and her office looked almost bare.  It was like I was a new patient and had to tell them my life’s history once again so they could put it into their new system.   She asked for my social security number and I asked for a piece of paper to write it down because I did not want a waiting room full of people to hear my SS number.  She obliged and I wrote it down and she laid the paper down and for all I know it sat there all day for anyone who came to her window to see and read my SS numbers!  I told the doctor about it when I saw him and he said, “I don’t let anyone have my SS number.” And I said, “Well, why do you need mine, then?”   I really like my doctor, don’t get me wrong.  We have this back and forth that probably sounds like two old married people arguing, but I know he listens and he has made me well many times in the past decades.

So then, when I was called back into the room to see the doctor, once again the computer.  They had to put all my meds into their new system again.  I think the girl who was doing it was a trainee as there was another girl just standing there watching her.   She took my temperature and blood pressure and felt my pulse, which by then I thought was beating very rapidly. “Sixty beats!” She said, which I think is normal for a woman.   After I saw the doctor, I had to have blood work done and the girl who came in was getting things prepared and she asked me if I was afraid of needles.  I told her, “No, I have had so many needles stuck in me through the years, they don’t bother me any longer.”   Years ago when people had to get multiple polio shots, I remember being terrified of the needle. It didn’t help that my sister teased me, telling me the needle was about a foot long and the shot was very painful!

So, the girl taking my blood said and I quote,  “I am terrified of needles.”  I was slightly alarmed and said, “And you are taking blood with a needle?”  She just laughed and said she was only afraid of the needles that were being stuck into her.    She did an excellent job. I didn’t even feel anything.

Finally I got to leave and I checked out and got my date with the doctor in six months. The girl who filled out the appointment card did it very carefully, coughed on it and handed it to me.  What in the world.    I washed my hands when  got home.

Tonight we went out to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant and I ordered a beef burrito with refried beans and rice.  When it was brought out it was on three separate, loaded plates and I guess my eyes looked surprised. The waiter was a jokester and started to put David’s plate in front of me, too.  We all laughed. Ahem.  I started feeling sick after a few bites and brought most of it home with me.

It’s been a wonderful, Spring like day.  I noticed some flowers are coming up on the south side of my workshop.    I worked all afternoon going through my library in preparation to move the bookcase in my shop so I can do more painting..  So many wonderful books.  I will write about them soon.

Here’s to good doctors and the patients that keep them in business.  Bye.

10,000 Steps

Back in about 2012 I think it was, I read an article that read if people would walk 10,000 steps every day, they would be healthier. 10,000 steps is about five miles give or take a few feet.   I decided I was going to try it.  I began by walking a mile or so every day.  I had the same route I’d take every  day, over the railroad track and around the back road where there was a rock quarry.  There were always a lot of trucks I had to dodge, but I would take this route every day. Then I started to branch out, walking around our block two or three times, it being a little over a mile around our block.  Then I started walking all over. Living where we do, there is a lot of traffic and not a whole lot of walking spaces. No sidewalks.   I would find lonely roads to walk. People began to notice me and talk to me   Then they began to notice I was losing weight. When I finally hit 10,000 steps I celebrated.  After that I walked five miles pretty much every day.  Rain or shine.  Even in the snow. I did not walk when it was icy out, but I walked inside.

I really did not do this to lose weight.  I never weigh myself. NEVER.  I went that route for years obsessing about my weight and finally  decided I would rather be healthy than skinny.  But, the weight began to fall off me.  I was still eating well, but it seemed like every day I would lose a pant size.  I think some people thought there was something wrong with me, but I was perfectly healthy.  My doctor, at one of my regular visits, told me how much I had lost and I didn’t believe him.  I knew my clothes were loser, but still I never weighed myself and I never look at how much I weigh in the doctor’s office.  I was rather shocked. Even more so that I had that much to lose.     I told him I was not on a diet, I just walked.   He said to keep it up.

The year we went to Alaska, David would stop at rest stops and parks and I would walk a mile or two before we drove on. I counted my steps diligently.   When we rode the ferry up to Alaska, I walked the deck over and over. One day it was pouring rain and only me and one other woman were out walking the deck.  I was obsessed with getting my 10,000 steps in.

Then about three years ago, I hurt my right leg. Pulled a muscle or tendon or something and I was in great pain.  It was hard for me to even walk three miles, let alone five.  I was just getting back to normal when in Fredericksburg, Texas, David and I walked up this small mountain and I tore something in the back of my left leg that hurt so badly, I just fell down where I was.  From then on, I was afraid to walk much because it hurt too much.   Then that began to heal and I was getting cocky about myself and was coming down the stairs pretty fast and got the most excruciating pain in my left leg again.  I became careful about going up and down stairs. I walked very little.  Then, this Summer, I thought I was having heart trouble  and could barely walk around in my yard without getting winded.  I had many tests done and my heart was fine. Just needed my medication adjusted.  The cardiologist told me to walk.  Soooooo.  I am slowly starting to walk again. I am doing it in my house.  I set the timer on the stove for twenty minutes and just walk.  Today I managed over two miles.   I am hoping to work up to 10,000 steps again.   Next year David and I plan a big trip out west and I want to do a lot of walking along the way.    I don’t care if I lose weight, but if it’s a side benefit, that’s okay.   I just don’t worry about my weight any more. Fat or thin,    I just want to be healthy.

So I am writing this in order that I will keep the walking up. David is getting me a treadmill for when the weather is bad.   I am going to get up to 10,000 steps again, if it kills me. Let’s hope it doesn’t.   Bye.

Through the Shadow and Back Again

Here I am at last with something to tell you about some of my health issues.  I feel like I took a slight detour with my life the last few weeks.

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It wasn’t a detour I chose to take and it was rather worrisome despite all the prayers going up for me, but think I am on the other side.  Knowing that millions of people suffer diseases all over the world much worse than anything I have ever experienced,  I feel rather silly even discussing what was going on with me.  As you read in my past post, I had a heart scare.  A scare caused by something an ER doctor told me.   I have had more pictures taken of my heart than I had taken of me during my wedding!  My heart has been very photogenic the last few weeks!

I have spent weeks thinking I might have to have surgery or a stent or something done to my heart.  Well, today was my visit to the cardiologist who pretty much told me my heart was in excellent condition, my arteries were clear, my heartbeat was strong and my lungs sounded great.  Sooooo.  All that worrying for nothing.  I still have the winded feeling so don’t know why that is continuing.  The Dr. told me to start a walking regimen.  So that is what I will do.  Plus she took me off one of my meds and halved another one.  The fewer meds I have to take, the better, I always say.  No more water pills that made me, well, make more trips to the bathroom than I would like.

Speaking of bathrooms, this arrived on our front porch this week.

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The top for our bathroom cabinet.  Finally.  Today our contractor came with his helpers and a plumber and they finished my bathroom.  So happy I can brush my teeth and wash my hands in our brand new sink.  Now I have some decorating to do.  When I get it all done, I will show you. I ordered a picture today to hang on a wall above the bathtub.  I think you will think it’s appropriate when you see it.

To keep my mind busy, I kept knitting socks.  I’m getting quite a pile of them.

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And finishing this pair.

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My grandson told me he wants to learn to knit so sometime this Summer I am going to teach him.   He wants to knit socks too!

I have been adding to my stash of yarn just like I use to do with fabric.  Honestly, I have not been near a sewing machine for months except to repair some things.

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Self striping yarn. It’s like a box of chocolates.  I don’t know which one to take out first.

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This brown and tan looks so yummy.

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Then there is this yarn.  Varigated and oh, so pretty.   I have a lot of socks planned.

Our garden is blooming  and we added more lilies to it this year. There is a place called New Creation Lilies that is in southern Indiana and they have fields of beautiful lilies.  We went down there the other day.  It was pouring rain and I almost told David to turn around and go back home because I didn’t want to make the people have to go out in the rain to dig our lilies.  You go out in the field and write down the lilies’ names you want and they dig them on the spot.  It let up raining a little so we continued on.  We walked around the fields under umbrellas. It was buy four get one free day and I very quickly picked five lilies as the rain was getting stronger again.  We sat in a barn and were kept company by an old black lab while our lilies were being dug.  Chickens walked around free range around us.  It was such a neat atmosphere.  I could have stayed there all day.  I hope to go back next year on a sunny day.

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I actually got these lilies at a little grocery store.  I have divided these a few times and have them all over our garden.

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Phlox.

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Hollyhocks and larkspur.  I don’t know what that bush is called behind the larkspur.

We sat out on our back porch the other day enjoying the garden and decided to start planning a little trip we want to take for our 49th wedding anniversary.

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We got the atlas out and started dreaming.  We have been in almost all the states except Hawaii and it’s becoming harder to decide where we want to go. Next year for our 50th anniversary we are planning a long trip, but don’t know where yet and we are going to Walt Disney World with our oldest son, his girl friend and our daughter and her husband and family for nine days.  It’s going to be a busy year and we are planning now.   I’ve always thought part of the fun of taking a trip is in the planning.

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We may just go where the wind blows us.  Who knows.

I want to thank all of you who said a prayer for me during my health scare.  I believe your prayers were answered and for that I am very grateful to you and to God.

Here’s to good health, trip planning and lily fields.  Bye.

Talking Turkey

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  Ours was very nice.  It started out early with a 5K walk put on for a senior project by one of the high school students in our town.  It was a cold, but beautiful morning.  The runners and walkers met in one of the parks we have here.

DSCN9844   The park has a covered bridge.  The original bridge that was here was set on fire several years ago by vandals and the city had to find one to replace it.  I like the new bridge even better.  It looked so pretty in its Fall setting.

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The river was running swiftly that morning.  This river floods the park about every year or so.

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I went here to get my number and my shirt.  Registration included bringing at least five cans of food for Love Chapel, an organization that helps needy people. They gathered over four thousand cans of food that day.  How great is that?

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I am beginning to get a collection of 5K shirts.  I hope I can walk in a few more next year.

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Our son arrived from Cincinnati with a friend and her son.  My son was not a happy camper about the run.  But because he’s the one who talked me into doing it, he was compelled to run it.  Yes, he would run it.    I would walk it.  I don’t run if I don’t have to.

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There were around four hundred people participating in all ages and sizes and clothing choices.

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Shawna and her son walked with me.  We were bundled up against the cold.  I think I had about four layers on, but my legs still got cold.

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Some people really got into the theme of the race by dressing the part.  This man looked like he was riding a turkey.

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There were several different turkey hats.

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Even cooked turkey hats!

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Here we are completing the walk.  I think we were the last ones as everyone else was running.   See that boy behind us?  He probably walked four miles as he meandered all over while we walked the trail.

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Then we went home. Dogs were played with.  We ate a huge meal.  I have not been hungry all day today.

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We played Dizzios.  I lost as usual.  I keep telling my one grandson that one day I will beat him.  He is really good at this game.

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I love these two.  They made David and me turkey pictures.  They are so cute.

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When I looked around our table, I knew exactly what I was thankful for.  Family and friends.  What would the world be like without them?   And love.  That’s what it’s all about.  Bye.

 

Sleepy

I don’t know why, but for the last couple of weeks I have been so sleepy.  I sleep until nine or ten in the morning and by mid afternoon I am sleepy again.  Maybe it’s been this extremely cold, damp weather we have been having that chills you right to the bone.

Last night  after supper, I was so cold I got three blankets and laid on the couch with them over me and fell asleep until ten o’clock.  Stayed up for a couple of hours, went to bed and slept until almost nine thirty this morning.  My mother would tell me I am sleeping my life away.  I kind of feel that way.

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I wish I could be more like my dogs and not be ashamed I am sleeping so much.  They don’t seem to mind wasting away a whole day just snoozing.    Bonnie stays in my shop all day and doesn’t move a muscle for hours.  She doesn’t care what others might think.  Look at her, how peaceful she is.  By the way, she and Belle got new beds for my shop so now I let them in more often since they don’t get on the furniture anymore.  They are loving that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  When I am awake my hours are full.  I just finished a Bible study, have been doing some Spring cleaning and have been cutting hundreds of two inch squares for a quilt I am making. It needs over two thousand squares.  As I cut them, I sew a few together.  I want to have this quilt pieced before hot weather gets here.  I’ve been taking care of the chooks.  They are beginning to lay more regularly now.  They might be getting some new friends later this summer if my daughter gets me the Austrolorps I want.    I’m too tired to download any pictures right now, but I will be showing you  what I have been up to soon.  I made a bunny garland today.   Just need to do some hand sewing on it.  If I can get out of this sleep funk, I will take some pictures.

We had some exciting news today.   Our contractor, Claude(He calls himself Bub) called us today and said he was ready to start work on our new front porch and put in some new windows.  I have told you our old porch on our hundred year old house is sinking and pulling away from the house causing cracks in the wall of our living room.  David said we had to replace the porch or the side of the house would be torn off eventually.  I don’t like that idea.  I kind of like to have walls between me and the elements.  Another winter like this one with a wall gone?   So, we are biting the bullet and getting the porch built.  It will go all along the front of our house instead of just halfway like the old one is now. It will have stone facings on the porch posts, a ceiling fan and tiffany like lights by the door. It will have low rise steps instead of the high steps it has now and railings down them so my friends and family won’t fall going up and down them.  I have seen people fall off our steps too many times.    If we have to do it, we are going to do it right and in style.

So now I have my work cut out for me.  I have dozens of flowers to move by next week.   If I don’t, I will lose them under the porch.  I guess I won’t be sleeping a lot for the next few days.

I am so ready for gardening, though.  David tilled the garden and we let the chooks in and they had a ball scratching and pecking at the newly turned soil.  I have dozens of tomato plants started and one pumpkin plant that is getting pretty big in its pot.  Hope warm weather will get here before it outgrows it.  I have flower seeds and gladiola bulbs and beans and squash, plus the rest of the pumpkin seeds to plant.  I can hardly wait to make that first trip to the nursery to buy more flower plants.  I am losing my porch flower box that David built me when the old porch goes, so I will have to plant hanging baskets now.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate and I can stay awake long enough, I may get something done.

Here’s to sleep, new porches and dreams of gardens.  Bye.

What I Find

I have been walking for several years now.  Well, I’ve been walking since I was about nine months old, but I mean I have taken up walking as a hobby.  I got up to five miles a day for a while, but this winter it has been hard to get outside and walk very far without slipping and sliding.  Now I am training for a 5K walk and am trying to walk several times a week.

I usually take a dog with me.  Belle has been walking with me since she was a pup.  She very rarely pulls or tugs on the leash, unless she sees a rabbit or a squirrel, so she is a fine companion.  We have walked hundreds of miles together. I use to walk with Bonnie, but the farthest she wants to walk now is to the car because she thinks we are going to the vet or to our daughter’s house in the woods.

Through the years I have found several things alongside the road.  When Bonnie was a pup, she found an American flag.  I brought it home and washed it and still have it.  Once I found a pair of scissors.  I found a really big knife once.  I was a ways from home and got odd looks from people as I walked down the road carrying a knife.  I found a really nice pair of pliers once that I gave to David.  I don’t know how someone lost a pair of pliers alongside the road, but they did. This is a different story, but once when I was cleaning our church and taking out the trash I found money laying all over the church parking lot.  Bills.  I gathered all that I could find and took it to the office in case someone came asking if anyone had found any money.  My daughter and I found a purse in a parking lot in a cart at a store once and we could see a big wad of money in it.  We took the purse, with the money, of course, inside to the office, but I have always wondered if the person whose purse it was, found the money in it when she picked it up.  I should have had them call her before I left the store.  Hope they were honest.

One day a couple of years ago I was walking with Belle when I saw something flying up in the sky.  I watched it come closer and closer and then it began to drop lower and I could see it was in the shape of a fish.  It kept coming down and landed in the parking lot of a business across the road.  I went to see it and saw it was a rather large shark.  It was a remote control one.  It had lost all its air.  I took it home to use one day.  I don’t throw anything away.  This past summer when we had our family reunion, we put helium in it and set it free.  I wonder who found it this time.

I found a complete set of keys laying in the street last fall.  There were probably ten or more keys on it.  I took it home and asked David if he would go over and ask at the businesses across the street if anyone had lost some keys.  There was a man who had just done a good deed for someone by returning their dog who had gotten loose and had put his keys on top of his car and had not been able to find them.  He was so happy to  have them returned.

I find change all the time.  I have a jar I put the change into and when it is full, I will take a European vacation.  Ha.

I have seen gloves, socks and yes, even underwear on my walks.  I have picked up trash along the road.  This weekend David and I are going to go pick up a chair someone lost off a truck last fall and it’s been along our highway all winter.  We will break it up and put it in the trash.

I have been chased by dogs, asked by a couple of men if I wanted a ride, (I didn’t, of course) and have screamed as my dog tossed dead moles at me she has found along the roadside.  One time I was walking with one of my grandsons and Belle found a huge mole and began to sling it at us.  We tried getting her away from it, but she kept throwing it up in the air and we were screaming and laughing so hard some man stopped his car beside us and asked if everything was okay.

I have watched Belle fight a baby raccoon.  I have seen a skunk, a fox and a deer on my walks.  Yes, I have had some interesting walks.  One of my favorite walks is when a particular road is closed because it is flooded and the bridge is out about a mile from our house.  It’s about a two mile walk to the bridge and there is no traffic because the road is gated.   Belle can be let loose and she loves running everywhere sniffing everything and getting in the water.   It may be flooded this weekend with all the snow melt and rain we have had.  I will have to walk there to see.

Today I found a large, blue rubber ball that had probably blown out of someone’s yard because of the winds we had last night. I found it in a woods.

Take a walk today.  You never know who or what you might find.  Bye.

Finishing My Last Blog

My computer went all whacko on me last night and refused to let me post anymore pictures.  I think it was tired. So I will try to finish what I began yesterday.  What was I talking about??? Oh, yes, traditions.

One of my favorite traditions on New Year’s Day is to put up new calendars.  I didn’t get it done yesterday, but they are all up today.

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I didn’t even know there was a Susan Branch until a year or two ago.  She is an author who hand writes all her books and water colors each page.  They are beautiful.  She includes quotes and recipes and stories about her growing up which is very like how I grew up.  Since we both grew up in about the same era, that is natural.  She also produces a calendar each year and last year was the first year I bought one.

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How can you not like a calendar which has on one of the dates in January to visit your local fabric store today?  I visited one a little early already, but this made me smile.

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Each calendar page is a work of art and very interesting to read.  There are probably a few left out there, so run to your local calendar store and get this calendar.

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I have to have a labrador retriever calendar which I put in my downstairs bathroom.  This one has all puppies which really makes me want to get that lab pup this year.

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I have been buying Lang calendars for years.  This one was a gift and will hang in my dining room.  This is the one on which I write all the birthdays and anniversaries in our family.

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This Lang calendar will hang in my shop.  I love all the old timey pictures in it.  Makes me wish I had lived in those simpler times.  Especially on a farm.  With a horse.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year?  I quit doing that long ago. Too much pressure.  I have a lot of plans and things I would like to do this year.

I want to spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren.

I want to learn to play my ukelele and not be afraid to play it in front of people.

I want to make as many quilts as I can, especially the ones that will be gifts.

I want to learn how to water color like Susan Branch.  She started water colors later in her life.  She didn’t even know she had that talent until she just started one day.  Isn’t that like a lot of us?  We are afraid to start something new because we are afraid we won’t be any good at it.  So what.  At least you tried.  There are so many things we can learn if we just set our minds to it.

I want to be a good witness for Jesus Christ.  I have given this year and my family to Him and pray He will do His will in them.

I want to stay connected to old friends and family members I don’t see very often.

I want to keep raising chickens and maybe adding a few more to my little flock.

I want that lab puppy.

I want to see my grandson play his lacrosse game in Traverse City, Michigan where David and I honeymooned many years ago.  There is a road in Traverse City named after my husband’s family because only his family lived on it at one time.  I don’t know if any of his family is still living on it, but we will probably check if we get up there.

I want to see my granddaughter play her ukelele we gave her on her praise team at her school.

I want to get to Cincinnati and Chicago for personal reasons.  I want David’s brother and sister-in-law to bring their grandchildren to visit us and meet our grandchildren.

I want our new porch to be built this year as the old one is pulling away from the house and playing havoc with the walls in our living room.

I want to write more blogs to include stories about my growing up on an Indiana farm in the fifies.

I want to have Bible studies in my home and have fellowship with other Christian women.

I want to walk more, eat less, lift weights more and just take better care of my body.  Notice this is the last thing I put on my list.  Hmmmmm.

Oh, I could add a few hundred more things I would like to do this year, but I think these will keep me busy for a while.  Hope your new year is productive and creative.  Bye.