Monday, April 28, 2008

What was that . . . ?

This morning, April 28th, I got up, headed downstairs and went to the kitchen. Outside were three of my four dogs, all looking at me through the French doors with rather sad puppy dog eyes. My DH had evidently let them out, but had gone off to other chores, and now they looked very cold and weary of all the “fresh air”--time to come in.

As I opened the door and stepped adroitly aside so as not to be run over by the horde, my attention was drawn to the skies--what was that? It was snow--only a few flakes flitting about--but what in the world . . . This is April, no time for snow, not even a few flakes!

We have been having some fairly decent temperatures. However, the extreme amount of rain has been making streams and creeks over-flow their banks, flooding fields, flooding parks, and then glutting the larger rivers like the Mississippi River turning them into muddy roiling messes.

But today, after putting up with all the wet mess, we have to put up with snowflakes. Granted, they haven’t amounted to anything (I’ve been told they did accumulate up in Minnesota, which is a very good reason NOT to live that close to Canada). However, let me say, when I’m figuring out where to put my new blueberry bushes, and whether I want to put in a new section of garden this spring, I do NOT want to see snowflakes. I’m really done with winter--really truly deeply earnestly DONE with WINTER and any sign of it.

Oh yes, and if snowflakes flitting about wasn’t insult enough, I had to put on warm clothing today before I left the house. I had already broke out my Capri pants--my short-sleeved shirts--my light-weight socks. I had put the snow scraper in the trunk of the car and had thought seriously about bringing my spare coat and my gloves back in to the house for summer storage. And they say tonight will be a hard freeze--please, enough already with the cold.

For those of you living where the trees are fully leafed out, where the flower buds are beginning to make their appearance, where you actually have flowers not just poking their stems up out of the ground, but flowers blooming, ENJOY all of it. Just the minute it gets to Iowa, I intend to drink it all in and relish every moment of it--right up until it turns humid and sticky and sultry and bugs are every where and you can’t sit outside in the evening because the mosquitoes will drain you of your life’s blood . . . Then I’ll be missing those little snowflakes I suppose.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Country Folk and the Big City

There’s a great concert going on in Chicago April 30th. It’s suppose to take place at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom--on the Lake front downtown Chicago from what I can tell on the map. It looks like an amusement park of sorts, and the event is in the ballroom at the end of the pier.

I really wanted to go. I probably had enough warning that I could have secured some pretty decent seats, up close where I most enjoy being in a concert. Money for gas and food and lodging would have added significantly to the cost of the event--but it’s a group of performers I would truly like to see LIVE. AND, it’s going to be video-taped, so eventually when I would buy the DVD, I would know that I had been there in person and witnessed the entire event. How cool!

HOWEVER, in the paper recently, as in as recent as this past weekend, there were something like 26 shootings in Chicago. And that, according to the article, is NOT unusual there in the area. They cited how many shootings there had been in the past couple weekends--all double figures. The shootings were not all in one place--they sounded over-all gang related, yet it was not only gang members that were the victims.

I understand I’m a country gal, so I’m not a big city fan--but really, why would I seek out going to a place where they have THAT kind of thing going on regularly? I know there are a lot of great events going on in Chicago--many of them I could see me wanting to take part in. BUT, why would I put myself in that kind of danger? Is there really nothing that can be done?

The article, if I remember correctly, quoted a police officer as saying there were just too many guns in the area for anything effectively being done to curtail the shootings. When I finished reading the article, my impression was: too bad about it, but we can’t do anything to really get it stopped, so this will no doubt continue, and probably escalate.

Is that acceptable? Is that attitude acceptable? I know I’m Miss Small town and Rural Girl’s poster child--but I just can’t believe big city folk would be willing to accept that kind of response considering this is where they live, work, recreate, and function daily. Is it true that NOTHING can be done?

Anyway, I’m not going to my big event. They will come somewhere else I can get to without thinking my life is at stake to see them. In this world today I understand there are always risks being out in public anywhere, even Small town U.S.A. However, there are cities that appear to be keeping their crime to a dull roar--where a person can go to an event and expect to live to tell about it. Color me old fashion, but I choose to believe the American public should expect better living conditions whether living rurally or in the big city.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


OK, it’s the same face I’ve had for a very long time--however, today I ordered new glass frames--and that is kind of like getting a new face. At least it will change my looks--kind of sort of . . .

I say kind of, because it amazes me how many times friends and family members have gotten new glass frames, and I’ve not noticed. This could be completely me, Miss Non-observant. However, I’m sure I’m not alone in this department. Am I?

Of course, there are some glasses that just draw your attention, whether they’re “new” or not. But many people I know that wear glasses really don’t try to have “outstanding” frames, but rather ones that blend in to their face, or at least don’t make a spectacle of their face (OK, I could have helped myself, but I didn’t--it was a blatant use of the word to elicit a smirk, giggle, chuckle . . .).

As a very pleasant young woman helped me with my frame’s choices, her first response to the frames I liked best was that they were “too large” for my face. She said that the top of the frame covered up my eyebrows. I told her if she’d look closely at my eyebrows, that wouldn’t be considered a bad thing. I also told her I have rather outstanding peripheral vision, and that small frames tend to stay in my sight and bug me as I’m attempting to look out at the world (not at the frames). I also thought the color went well with my hair (as in marble-looking white frames matching the increasing white mixed in with my past-prime brown/auburn hair).

AMAZINGLY, the store manager and prime sales person immediately began to see my point, and could see all my points as being VERY well-thought out. At her quick concession speech, I reached for my cell phone and called my cousin, who was elsewhere in the store shopping, to come give me HER opinion!

The first words out of my cousin were: “They go really well with your hair.”

I felt that was good confirmation, as I have to say my very first thought on trying on the frames was that they went well with my hair.

NOW, how good is it that frames match one’s hair? Is it a valid selling point? Possibly not a primary one, but then again, they were large enough NOT to affect my peripheral vision (you do remember that good point, right?). And did I add that they were from the Sophia Lorenz line of designer glass frames?

I have to say, as the conversation continued to come back to the size of the frames on my face, I finally had to let the young woman know, I have worn glass frames MUCH larger than these in my life. Back in the tortoise shell plastic frame days, I looked like I was wearing massive underwater diving goggles. And during the early sixties, the “wings” on my glass frames rivaled the “wings” on my dad’s car (fins they were called on the cars--but the affect of the sweeping upturned expanded metal was pretty equivalent on both the car and on the glass frames).

Of course, during the end of the sixties, the turn in design had been in large part due to John Lennon’s “granny glasses”--which were pretty much duplicates of Benjamin Franklin’s half-glasses I think. John had pink lenses in his, other people had blue, and yellow, and purple, etc.--but they were tiny and a direct revolt against the wings of the early sixties style. I had them too--no colored lenses, but they were barely large enough to look through--which must be true as I think they were forever hanging off the end of my nose and I looked over them more than through them.

And in a week, I’ll be wearing my spiffy new Sophia Lorenz designer glass frames that go with my whitening hair. You can see some of what’s left of my eyebrows, which are also whitening. I think I’ll be very happy--with the glass frames and my new face.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back Aboard

I had been on a roll. I was looking at that big 100 mark, and thinking what I might post for my 100th blog entry. And then . . . And then the bottom seemed to drop out of my little world and voila, it’s been almost two months since my last post.

And what “bottom” dropped, you ask? Well, my doctor (my new doctor), decided to do a complete blood workup on me--and since I’d not had a complete blood workup on myself, as in NEVER, I decided to let him. So when he said “type two diabetes”, he might as well have hit me over the head with a loaded two by four. I did NOT take the news graciously.

His answer was to begin going down the “type two diabetes” hit list. There were medications to help prevent any damage to my heart. There were pills to lower cholesterol. He had already gotten me on a blood pressure pill before we even got to the blood workup. And once he had his final figures from the month of doing blood sugar daily testing (four strips a day, on rising and before and two hours after two meals) he was prepared to put me on insulin medication and/or some other diabetic medication. He had his “list” and I listened to all of it.

As soon as I got the blood workup results (a full four weeks before my next doctor’s appointment where I knew he would indeed begin giving me his roster of diabetes to-do list items), I got to work doing my research on Diabetes Type Two! I’m a teacher and a writer, and the thing I always start with is RESEARCH. I wanted to know everything I could about this named adversary--if at all possible, much more than my doctor would know, because I’d be looking at what one could do sans medication. And since my research assured me it was my eating and habits that got me into this mess, I was equally sure eating and building new habits would get me out of it.

God has blessed me with a very good doctor. He has stuck with this old broad now for two months as I have made major over-hauls on all aspects of my daily life--my eating and my exercising. He hasn’t pushed his list down my throat. Now, I do believe he may well have felt I’d be enthusiastic for a month or so, but that soon my old habits would resurface, and THEN we’d go to his list. But week after week he’s watched my weight going down. And week after week he’s watched my first blood sugar reading of the day lowering and lowering, and my daily readings lowering and lowering. To the point where he’s finally decided to let me go for two months “on my own” and then we’ll regroup for another full blood workup and see where we’re at. As it is right now, my numbers put me OUT of the Type Two range, but I’m still in the “pre-diabetic” range.

Of course, Life seems to bring things in bunches, so I’ve not been able to just concentrate on “me” and changing these quite well established daily life habits. No, I’ve had my 98 year old mom having health problems that have required quite a bit of time and travel getting her to her doctor and seeing to her specialized care. And I’ve had another close relative pass on--so was able to be with her as she passed on, and then be there for the family for her funeral and the time since as we all make our adjustments to her loss.

A number of you dear blogging buddies have sent me notes asking after my well-being, and have also expressed missing hearing from me. I cannot express my gratitude to those of you who took time to send me these thoughtful notes. I’m not sure I have much to say of import, but you’ve all blessed me by taking your precious time and reading and responding to my posts ever since I began blogging. Thank you one and all!

Hopefully I’m back and will be up and posting again regularly. I’m SO close to that 100th post--I can “see” it coming. Again, thank all of you who gave me encouragement to come back to the blogosphere. I’m so grateful for all of your support.