Monday, March 31, 2014

Grumpy Old Lady Time

It's time for a grumpy old lady rant.  For the last couple of months it has been hit or miss as to whether I could get my B-12 shot that I need each month because of a medical condition I have.  The doctor's office has been unable to get enough vials of it to meed their needs.  So the last 2 months I'd taken another shot that contains some B-12, not as much as I should have, but enough to keep me going.
This weekend I tried to track down why my mail order (this is through the military) pharmacy hadn't sent me my Lipitor that my Doctor had called for back in January.  Turns out it too is out of stock and has been for more than 3 months.
These are not esoteric, seldomly used medications, in fact Lipitor is one of the most prescribed medications in the US.
The online pharmacy told me to go back to my doctor and have him send a prescription to a local pharmacy that might have the medication, so that's what I did, but I'm not happy.
Went online to find out how big a problem out of stock medications have become and this is what I found:

Drug shortages have been commonplace for years, but the problem has grown more serious at hospitals and Emergency Medical Service agencies. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 56 drug shortages were reported in 2006; by 2011, the number had climbed to 251. The FDA's list includes drugs that have "the greatest impact on public health."
I then went to look at the current list of drug shortages and it was staggering and scary.
Lots of reasons why:  fewer manufacturers, quality control, product recalls, increased demand, lack of raw materials.

I also learned that most of the quality control issues are with generic drugs-----haven't they been telling us for years that they're just as good as the name brands?

So lots of reasons for the shortages, but all I know is that the medical services and medications use to work well, expensive perhaps, but worth it.  Now it doesn't work as well and at least for us it's more expensive, I'm not a happy lady.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finally!!!!

I can finally say that spring time has come to the South.  The Azaleas and the Wisteria, as well as the Dogwood (which we don't have, we kept killing them and out of pity we stopped planting them) are in bloom and it's a joy to see them.  But not to smell them, I sneeze my head off as soon as I step outside.  In no particular order here are our plants.







Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hurray!!!!

In November my Doctor, who never bugs me much about my weight, let me know that I indeed needed to lose some weight or it was going to impact my health.  This was right after Thanksgiving.
So I looked at my diet, which was fairly healthy anyway with lots of veggies and few snacks.  I decided I could live without my Coke Zero, my Baked Lays Chips and would limit my carbohydrates.  Knowing that this wasn't going to be nearly enough and knowing that diets don't work because you can't spend your life on a diet I realized my only recourse was to increase my exercise.
I already walked 2 miles every day and did aerobics on a sporadic basis.  We decided to lengthen our daily walk and I would start doing aerobics every day using Leslie Samsone's a Mile a Day DVD.
The weight began to come off and I was pleased.  Then the daily workout became too easy so I got a pair of little 1lb. weights and used them while exercising.  That was good for a while, but then I found the workouts were again getting too easy, so instead of doing 1 mile of them I did a  11/2  a day.  Then this week  I started doing 2 of the workouts and that's equal to 2 miles.  She doesn't just work your legs.  One day works on arms, one day on stomach, one day thighs, the other 2 days are a classic walk and a speed walk.
Yesterday I hit a milestone.  I've lost 20 lbs.  That's 4 bags of sugar, 4 bags of potatoes or 4 bags of flour.  Mac asked if I felt lighter and I said no, I actually don't, but my clothes tell a different story.  I have dropped 2 pant sizes and my jeans are nearly falling off of me.  A lot of the weight came off my thighs and lower belly.
I'm proud of me.  I don't know if I'll be able to exercise this much when summer comes and it's so hot and humid here, but I've promised myself that I'll still do something every day.




Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quiet Week

Like the title says, a quiet week, not much going on.  A bit of closet arranging, trying to find space for boxes of books our daughter has sent down for us to store while she's living in Japan.  She'll be here next week to spend some time with us before she leaves.  I'm trying to be optimistic, I know what this means to her and above all else I want her to be happy.
The weather has finally cleared here, a day of rain and 2 nights of frost have made it difficult to get outside.  Today though I planted bulbs ( Dutch Iris---which probably won't grow, some Dahlias and a pot of Bleeding hearts) and cleaned out the bed where the Easter lilies are.  I have more to plant, but I'm tired, back isn't what it use to be, so that's enough for now.
I've put in this picture that Mac just finished, it will go up for sale eventually, but it's just too sweet to let go of for now.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's That Time of Year Again

No, not just March Madness or taxes, it's pollen time.  We're running more than 1,000 parts per cubic meter and that's mainly tree pollen, next the grasses kick in.  I mowed the lawn for the first time yesterday and Mac said all he could see was a yellow cloud traveling around the lawn.  I had to change clothes when I came in I was so covered.
This morning I went out to hang up laundry and the deck was just covered, so of course our shoes are too, which means the floors in the house.  It's a never ending battle.  And that doesn't even count the spores from mold outside---we've has so much rain.
I could have called this entry For Your Eyes Only, but it's not just my eyes affected, it's my sinus, my aching bones and muscles, my head.  You name a part and spores of one kind or another are probably driving it crazy.
The cat came in from outside and she's no longer just a grey striped tabby, she's now a yellow-bellied tabby.
Supposed to rain tonight and that will knock done some of the tree pollen, but it will also up the mold spores.  I need a level 4 contamination suit.



Friday, March 21, 2014

On Reading

I read, a lot, and that's an understatement.  I read more that 130 books last year and some were rereads.  I'm a great believer in rereading books, some I reread because I loved the story, some I reread because I hardly remember the story at all and some I reread because I read them originally when I wasn't ready to read them.  Perhaps I was too young, perhaps I was made to read them (and that's never a good idea because I'm a stubborn little soul), perhaps I just wasn't ready for the story it was telling.
Recently I ran across a Neil Gaimen quote ( I think it was on Marianne's  blog  at Let's Read) where he said:

I know exactly what he means, some books will stay with me forever, I don't need to reread them, they're part of me.  Sometimes I sit by the bookcase upstairs where I keep my forever books and pull one out, run my hand over the cover and relive the story in my mind, but sometimes I have to reread it.
 Dawn Treader had a little piece from a book that talked about someone who didn't want to reread books she'd already read, From Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen 
Once he’d asked, “Don’t you want to read? There are hundreds of books in the sitting room.”
  She had laughed and said, “I’ve read them all. I want to remember them the way they were. If I read them now, the endings will have changed.”
  He didn’t understand that, but then English hadn’t been his favourite subject.
And again, I understand, because each time I reread a book the ending changes, not in big ways perhaps, but my rereading, my deeper understanding and the new experiences I've had  change the book.
Do you reread?






Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Well it's official, spring arrived at 12:57 pm today and it is a beautiful day.  Finally nice enough and dry enough to get out in the yard and start clearing flower beds.  Had to cover myself in Avon's Skin So Soft Sun Screen and Insect Repellant, the No-Seeums are horrible already.  Can't wait to start planting and get more veggies planted.  We've been eating sugar snap peas for a couple of weeks and Mac says his broad beans are really coming along.  Need to pick up lettuce, onion and potato sets tomorrow.
So far the week has had two sides, it can't seem to decide wether it's still winter or really wants to be spring.
Last week we had quite a storm and it took off about a 25 foot branch off of one of our trees, thankfully it didn't hit anything.  And in the same week our Japanese Magnolia started blooming.  I guess it's going to be that kind of year.  We're in the 70's today, but by next week we'll be back to the 50's with lows in the 30's again.




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Taxes

While reading articles about paying taxes, yes it's that unfortunate time again, we have to pay quarterly, ( can't you hear Mac grumbling in the corner?) I ran across an interesting article.  Instead of paying all your money to the weasels in Washington you can make a tax free donation to save the salt water weasel, also known as the California Sea Otter who have been brought back from the brink of extinction.  Altogether a much classier weasel.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is a special day for my husband and me, we met on this day, a long, long time ago when I was 16 and he was 17.  So we always get each other little gifts to mark the occasion.  I got him a St. Patrick's Day tee shirt and a Bill Bryson book.
He antiqued a little wooden tray and got a minature tea set for me.
 But so you won't think I'm too "girly" he also made me a trebuchet that actually fires.  It is beyond cool.  Once I get my black powder for the cannon he gave me for Christmas I'll be armed and seriously dangerous.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy 3.14159265 Day

Numbers fascinate me, always have.  I count everything, as a child how many steps to school, how many bites to finish my dinner.  When I "met" Pi (the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, I spent hours seeing how far out I could take its decimal. Someone took it out 63,000 places, I think I managed somewhere around 24 places.
 Loved the idea that it was an irrational number, something I could definitely identify with and that it couldn't be expressed as a fraction, just a decimal.  I love turning  decimals into fractions and then  fractions into decimals, I know, I know, I was a weird kid.
Anyway Happy Pi Day------that's ∏ to you.

Phoenix Ware

Whenever we travel to England I always pick up the odd piece of porcelain, usually plates.  A few years ago I bought this art deco plate made by Thomas Forester & Sons in what I call a poppy pattern, just love the colors and the deco shape.   Forester & Sons have been making porcelain since the 1870's and their Phoenix Ware, which this is, generally dates from the 1930's.  Anyway I fell in love with this piece, but have been unable to find any more of it.


Then at Christmas Mac tracked down this little
creamer (it's from Australia) and gave it to me as a present.
Last month I found this sweet little dessert trio while shopping online, it's from England and it finally got here earlier this week.
 Now I need to find a sugar bowl and a teapot, maybe while we're in England this summer I'll find them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is This Really Good For My Brain?

I about drove myself crazy with this puzzle.  It was a gift from Mac at Christmas and it turned out to be gorgeous, but oh my was it hard.  Going to do a bit simpler one next.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The First Gator of Spring

He is much bigger than last year, in fact we think he may be a new alligator.  Looking at his "rotundness"  I don't think we'll ask about the first robins of spring.
He's been cruising up and down the lagoon the last few days, don't know what he's looking for.  You know what alligators eat don't you, Anything They Want.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mixed Emotions

For as long as I can remember, at least 10 years, our daughter has wanted to move to Japan.  She goes there 3 or 4 times a year and has been actively looking for a job there for quite awhile.  At Christmas she let us know that it looked like she had finally found something and  at the end of January the formal offer was made and she accepted.
Today she gave official notice to her current employer and April 1 will be her last day of work.  She'll be coming down here for about a week and then she flies off to Japan to the city of Fukuoka.   Fukuoa  is located on the southern island of Kyushu, is Japan's 6th largest city  and is approximately 7,543 miles from here and 13 hours ahead of us.  Strangely enough Atlanta is one of Fukuoka's sister cities.
She is so thrilled that she's walking on air.  After the first shock and sadness we have come to terms with this and we're happy for her. We know that where she's been and the job she's had has been very stressful and have brought her no joy.  And we're firm believers in the idea that everyone needs some joy in their life, so we're hopeful that Japan will be everything she has ever wanted it to be.  It sounds like she has an interesting job, she has friends already living there and best of all her commute won't be in  a car or on roads with crazy drivers.
Don't know if we can deal with a long flight to Japan, will have to find some where to stop off and break up the trip, but I'm sure we'll end up over there at some point.  Of course she'll have to come home for Christmas, that's not negotiable.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday's Child

                                        Monday's child is fair of face
                                        Tuesday's child is full of grace
                                        Wednesday's child is full of woe
                                        Thursday's child has far to go
                                        Friday's child is loving and giving
                                        Saturday's child works hard for a living
                                        But the child born on the Sabbath Day
                                        is bonny and blithe and good and gay

Don't ask why this little ditty got stuck in my head today I have no idea, but stuck is was.  It got me to wondering what day of the week I had been born on, so I typed in the first line, that took me to wikipedia which gave me the whole poem.  Next I googled "what day of the week was" and that led me to Days of the Week.  Turns out I was born on a Saturday, but to be honest I don't think I ever worked very hard for my living, though at times any work was too hard.

What day of the week were you born on?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Random Bits on Wednesday

My poor daughter is still waiting for the repairman to show up and fix her heater, can we all say BRRRRRR!

I made Guinness bread today, my daughter had given me the mix for Christmas because she knows I love Guinness; though I don't drink it much because every time I do it rains, particularly in England.
Anyway, the mix called for treacle or molasses, neither of which I had so I improvised, I used honey and brown sugar.  The bread is done and it is DELICIOUS!

So I've got Irish bread (that is where Guinness is from) so what am I making to go with it, a Cuban dish, black beans and rice with linguica, a Portuguese sausage.  Nice international meal.

It's raining, again, the fireplace is lit and it's sort of warm in here, if you don't sit still too long so I had better get moving.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Poor Baby

Our daughter lives in Maryland, usually a fairly temperature area, but not this year.  They have been hit with one winter storm after another and to top things off the heater in her townhouse went out yesterday.  She's waiting to hear when someone can come out and look at it.  In the mean time it was around 42º in the townhouse when she woke up this morning,  11º outside. Last night she used a space heater and a heating pad to get through the night.
 She had to go to work  today having been off yesterday because of the latest storm, so she dug her car out yesterday afternoon so it'd be ready this morning.  It was, but the trunk wasn't, the lock was frozen and it only opened enough for the trunk light to come on and she couldn't deal with that  until she got to work.  And of course her commute was from hell with 2 cars attempting to occupy the space she was already in.
She's at work now where at least it's warm and her cat is at home in a "nest" she fixed for him.  I told her that if she couldn't get the heat fixed she ought to go to a hotel for a while.  Her high today will be 31º and tonight it'll be 13º, I worry about her.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vanquished Once Again

Yes, once more the silver threads among the gold have been vanquished!  I may be wrinkled and I may sag, but I refuse to have grey/white/silver hair.  So with my Clairol in hand I returned my hair to its ashy blonde.  Is that my real color you ask--inquiring minds want to know---?  And well you may ask, my own Father asked me that one time.  No, it's not quite my own color, I was a cross between mousy brown and ashy blonde.
For a few years I dyed my hair black and that was interesting, but it wasn't me.  Since my early 20's I've been some sort of blonde and that's what I'll stay.  I can just see me in my walker, struggling over to the sink,  Clairol bottle in hand, dying my few remaining strands of hair, when I'm 96.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Starting to Look Springlike

The window in my laundry room, almost looks like spring.  Doesn't make laundry any more fun to do though.  But it's nice to be able to hang the clothes outside.
Our poor daughter is getting all kinds of snow this week, she's really fed up with it, we'll get cooler weather and rain, not too bad.
Mac is bar-b-queing ribs today so I thought I contribute potato salad in honor of the sunny day.

All Wrapped Up

Started early, finished late.  I started wrapping presents way back in November and except for a few small things due in the mail I'm fi...