Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I don't have what you could call crippling arthritis. My knees are shot, but I refuse to have replacements unless I can't walk. Why? Because I've heard too much about staph infections and blood clots... even from my orthopedist, who also told me that when you have replacements, there's a danger of infection setting in at that site at any time.
If I'm going to take all those risks, I'd better be crippled first.
I can walk with Cliff every day, although I walk slower than I used to, and going down hills hurts. I can walk for hours on a sight-seeing tour of a museum. Standing in one spot, though, as I have to do when I'm cooking a big meal, is mighty painful. I'm learning to sit down to do things I used to stand up to do. I wonder if that's why my grandma used to sit on a tall stool to peel potatoes, roll out dough, and so forth. Did she have bad knees?
I can't kneel without great pain. Of course, even if I had a knee replacement, I'd be told not to kneel. So, Dear Lord, whatever happens, You'll have to listen to me as I'm sitting on my butt.
The most painful thing of all for me is to bend over for long periods, like I have to do when picking beans in the garden, or planting seeds; I don't understand why this hurts my knees so badly, but it does. I plan to sit on an upside-down five-gallon bucket this summer when I'm harvesting my crops. If I have some crops.
Arthritis has invaded my left hand, at the base of my thumb, so now it hurts to chord my guitar. It even hurts to pick up a full glass of tea, and every once in awhile I almost drop my glass when I first pick it up. The pain isn't that extreme, mind you... just enough to remind me that I'll never be young again.
I have this pain in my left buttock that comes and goes (a genuine pain in the a**). Yep, old Arthur likes to spread the pain around.
Years ago, my Uncle Leo told me I was slumping too much, and that if I didn't make an effort to hold my shoulders back and stand up straight, I'd end up hunch-backed like Grandma.
I paid attention and made an effort to correct my bad posture. It worked, until the arthritis pain set in. I've noticed that when there's pain anywhere in one's body, it's hard to stand tall. You can't help giving to the pain. I'm sorry, Uncle Leo. It just hurts too much.
I hope this doesn't sound like a self-pitying rant, because I don't mean it that way. I enjoy life. I thank God for every day He gives me.
I'm just saying that I understand now what my mother, and others, told me back when I was young.
Enjoy your youth. If your body isn't hurting anywhere, thank the good Lord. It may not always be that way.
Pain, however, is better than the alternative. So far.
1. Hormones: tell me about 'em. I've been through the ups and downs.
2. Heidi: The first "big book" I ever read. Loved it. After that I read "The Bobbsey Twins".
3. Honda: What can I say? We love our Gold Wing!
4. Harley: Cliff says if we win the lottery, we'll have a Harley too. Just for that macho noise it makes.
5. hearing aids: A gift for those who, like Cliff, can barely hear without them.
6. happiness: means different things for different people.
7. Harlen Howard: One of my all-time favorite country music songwriters!
8. Hot tub: I love mine.
9. Hawkeye: One of the best dogs you'll ever meet; he owns my daughter's family.
10. Hank Williams: He pretty much made country music what it is today.
11. habits: Some are good, some are bad. Hank Jr. had a song about habits.
12. Hepatitis A: Cliff and I both had a case of it when we were newlyweds; mine was mild. His was severe. I gave it to him. I have no idea where I got it, but the doctor said it was probably from a rest room. Ick.
13. headaches: The only time I have headaches is when I have a fever.
Want to play along? Great! Just be sure to leave a link to your entry at Izzy 'N Emmy.
A candy bar my dad gave my mom before they were married, and twelve years before I was born. Notice she even told the story on the envelope in which it was stored. Knowing how little they were paid, five cents for a candy bar was a pretty big investment!
I wonder what they were quarantined for.
She saved two things in this envelope: a burnt match...
and a cigarette, which is now only a cigarette paper. Raymond was my dad's younger brother. I think my mom was trying to decide which brother she liked back then.
One sad evening my mom was stood up, I don't know by whom; and she was driven to write a poem.
I'm glad I got around to scanning these things today, because they're getting pretty crumbly.
These pages, though, are ones where she kept track of her wages. I don't know how they figured her time. It is obvious that Virgil often couldn't pay her in full. Click on them and you should be able to read them.
I'm going through stuff like this, deciding which should go on our family tree site. I hope you find it as interesting as I do.
It only cost around $7. Then there's the cost of the seeds to consider. Still, it won't break the bank if this experiment fails.
The instructions look simple enough. I'm using the greenhouse to start my blight-tolerant tomatoes and a carnival-mix of sweet peppers that includes purple, yellow, green, black and red varieties. Oh yes, and I had five open little pots where I put marigold seeds, just because I didn't want them to be empty.
Here it is, all water-soaked and expanded, with at least one seed in each one. Wish me luck! I'm supposed to leave it out of direct sunlight until the seeds sprout.
I'm going to leave the "followers" feature on because of the comments I received about it. I did remove a couple of other things that nobody (even me) looked at anyway. The poll, of course, will leave in a day or two.
Now to find a spring-like header to replace the dogs in the snow.
And no, I didn't remove Sitemeter. I shrunk it and made some changes, but it's still there.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm telling you in advance so that you can either put me in Bloglines or Google Reader, or else save my blog to favorites, if you wish. I'll probably wait a couple of days before I remove the widget.
I think I'm going to remove Sitemeter, too, since I have Shinystat, which gives a lot of the same information. I have to say, Sitemeter has been a huge time-waster for me. I check it far too often, and I think I'll be glad to see it gone.
Even though I'm already having second thoughts.
Cliff headed to the woods to burn calories (we're both having terrible problems with our weight), sawing down what he calls "old snags" and trimming low branches off. The dogs and I took our usual walk after the Dish guy left, and found Cliff quite busy, talking to the trees as he decided which to eliminate.
Yes, he talks to the trees. Especially if they're ugly. He's been known to call them bad names, too.
All along the walk in the museum that takes you from Independence to California, there are quotes from letters written by the travelers. The notes written at the start of the journey are hopeful and happy. By the time the people got halfway to their destination, they were scared, lonely and miserable. Many lost family members to cholera, or accidents along the trail. The time came when they had to unload much of the food and many valuable possessions to lighten their loads. I imagine all my readers know about the Donner party.
According to a family legend, a man walked home with this rocking chair after he failed at finding gold in California. It was a gift for his wife.
Cliff and I figured it was a peace offering so he wouldn't have to hear her say, "You left me to take care off all these kids and fend for myself, and now you come dragging your sorry butt in here without a dime."
And he replies, "But honey, I walked 1,000 miles with this rocking chair perched on my head just for you! That's how much I love you."
I won't say I enjoyed this museum quite as much as the World War I Museum, but it was well worth our time and admittance fee.
An older man and lady were there to admit us. I told them the name of our little town, and the man said his parents had operated the little telephone line in our town until they saw World War II was approaching; then they moved to Kansas City and found jobs. I told him how I was raised in telephone offices until I was twelve. Small world, don't you think? This complete stranger and I had two things in common: a town, and our parents' professions.
Things on our future list of things to see include a visit to the Truman Library (we've been there before, but there's so much to see) and perhaps a tour of the Community of Christ headquarters. It's been too cold to ride the motorcycle, so we've been going to these places of interest by car. Should the weather warm up, though, those two are in areas where we wouldn't mind riding the Gold Wing.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Just so you know I was there, I had Cliff take a picture of me in front of a mural.
This cracks me up. People familiar with Kansas City will have to laugh when they read that last paragraph: Westport hasn't changed a bit! Click on any of these shots to make them bigger.
Cliff's in this picture, standing up against the old depot. This was closed, probably for the winter. We peeked in the windows, though.
People not familiar with this area might find this spot of interest: It's the headquarters for the Community of Christ. I still think of them as RLDS. You can take a virtual tour HERE if you like.
I've often wished I could listen to Pandora in other rooms, while I'm doing housework. Right now, the only way I can do that is to turn up the volume on my computer, which of course makes it too loud in the computer room and not loud enough in the bedroom. Plus the fact that Pandora stops playing after a certain amount of time if you're not there to click and give it the go-ahead. Pandora wants you on the computer if you're going to use their band-width.
Thanks to my sponsor (over on the right) I had some money to spend, and I decided to use it toward the purchase of a Grace Wireless Internet Radio. I read the reviews on C-net, and they seem to be favorable.
So now I'll be able listen to Pandora without even turning the computer on! Let's face it, you can't find any stations that play Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Loudon Wainwright III, Chuck Brodsky, The Carter Family, Iris Dement, and Kasey Chambers. I don't know of anyone other than myself who even wants to listen to that combination of musicians.
That's what's so wonderful about Pandora: No matter how weird your taste in music, you can fashion a station to your liking.
I'll let you know how I like my Internet radio, once it arrives. This will be my answer to Cliff's XM radio!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I learned many songs from my parents, but there’s one song I never heard from anyone except Mother. The way she sang it, it was entitled “In A Lonely Village Churchyard”.
She told me she learned it in Arkansas during a visit to Aunt Ada’s. Now, the old folks always said “Adie” for Ada, and “Emmie” for Aunt Emma, although my grandmother Clara wasn't known as "Clarie" for some reason; at least not to my knowledge.
Mother laughed at the memory of her cousins in Arkansas lifting up various floorboards in the house to gather eggs; it seems their chickens had free run under the house.
Aunt Ada’s family had a record player of some sort, no doubt a wind-up one. I don’t know if the records were the old cylinder kind, or the discs that came later. These days I think of so many things I would ask Mother if she were around.
Here are the words to the song Mother taught me:
“In a lonely village churchyard
There I see a mossy mound.
That is where my mother’s sleeping
In the cold and silent ground.
I was young but well remember
On the night my mother died
When she saw her spirit fading,
Then she called me to her side
Saying "Darling, I must leave you;
Angel's voice will guide you on.
There'll be no one left to love you
When your mother dear is gone.
Oft I wander to that church yard
Flowers to plant with tender care
On the grave of my dear mother:
Darkness finds me weeping there,
Looking at the stars above me,
Waiting for the day to dawn.
Angels watch while I am thinking
Of the resurrection morn."
After I got on the Internet and learned about Google, I tried in vain to find the words of the song and figure out who sang it. Finally I stumbled onto similar lyrics in a collection of Carter Family songs, only it was about a dead sweetheart instead of a mother.
Now I've studied A.P. Carter quite a bit, and I know he went back into the hills collecting folk songs, then changing them just a teeny bit to make them his own. That's very likely what happened in this case.
My guess is that he wasn't very proud of Phillip and Henry. I realize fifty cents was a lot more money back then, but still.
As always, click on the will to make it larger.
Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Place, or put the answers in an entry on your journal…but either way, leave a link to your journal at Patrick's Place so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!
1. When you write a note to a friend, do you tend to write in cursive or manuscript? Very sloppy cursive
2. Think back to grade school when you learned how to write: which manuscript letter gave you the most trouble? I was never taught to print; Mrs. Eighmy, my first teacher, started us right out using cursive.
3. Did you find cursive easier than manuscript? Yes. See the answer to #2.
4. How do you type on a computer: the four-finger “professional” method, the “hunt and peck” method, or something in between? The "professional" method; I took typing classes in school. I do have to peek at the keyboard when using number keys, though.
5. Take the quiz: What’s Keyboard Key Are You?
You Are "enter"
Some people might try to say you're impulsive and rash.
You like to consider yourself decisive and committed instead.
You don't have a lot of trouble making very final decisions.
You trust your instincts, and you don't waver. You just go for it!
6. As a general rule, how often do you use the key mentioned in the answer to the previous question?
That's probably my most-used key!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Click on the image to make it larger. I'll plant more chives outside, once it's time, because there are only about five plants; that's not enough. There are only three sage plants, but if I remember correctly from my childhood, sage grows pretty big. Three plants may be plenty.
In the mail yesterday, I got a circular from Breck's, wanting to sell me something. I almost tossed the envelope in the trash without opening it, but for some reason I laid it on the table, next to the trash.
This morning I decided to see what sort of tulips anyone would be selling in the spring (I ordered tulip bulbs from them last fall).
This time they are selling astilbes, something I have not previously heard or read about.
Virtually pest-free. Loves shade.
I've been wondering what I'd plant on the north side of the house.
Yep, I ordered some.
Anybody had experience with this plant?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Haven't you talked about what you'll do if worse comes to worse?
If the company where Cliff is employed goes under, he's old enough to get social security.
Mine and his social security, added together, come to less than $2,000 per month.
There's a little bit in his 401K. Not much.
Our only major payment is the house payment, but taxes and insurance could bury us.
What would we do?
Probably sell our property and go to some old-folks, low income housing. Or maybe there would be enough cash from selling our place to buy a property in some small town. We'd keep the motorcycle. Blue might have to go. Sadie stays with us.
We have to be prepared for any occurrence. We'll survive.
I come from a long line of survivors.
Have any of you had experience with mole traps? If so, did they do the job?
Oh yeah, I added a poll over there on the right, but instead of the poll questions I get the message "Polls are currently not available, please come back later."
So I tried to remove it. No dice. It's stuck there for now, just like it is.
You folks be sure to come back and participate, if and when I ever get my poll fixed.
It actually showed up for a little bit, then *poof*, it was gone again.
OK, I went to Google and found a poll on my own, since Blogger polls haven't been working for the last several hours.
Considering Sadie is the typical "only child" and is often jealous of other dogs, these two get along pretty well. This morning they enjoyed sharing their patch of sunlight.
It must have been taken in 1991 when Pauline, her husband, and their youngest daughter visited us. That's my mom's pickup truck parked in front of the mobile home in which she lived (our renters live there now).
For years I milked by hand, but by the time this picture was taken I was using bucket milkers. Cliff built that cart for me to transport all my stuff to the barn.
I never, ever wore shoes at home. The only reason I wear shoes these days is the curse of plantar fasciitis.
Yep, that's the real me. In 1991.
Thanks for the laugh, Pauline. When Cliff gets up, he's going to love this!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
She's finally got it online. What a wonderful thing!
I've learned that my ancestors on my mother's side came from Canada and New England... and before that, Great Britain. Wow.
I'm so glad I have a cousin who has the patience to do all this work, because as much as I love knowing about my family, I'd never have been able to do it.
God bless you, Pauline, for keeping our family history alive.
I have a good family with a great history.
1. Gibson Guitar: I have one
2. Gumption: We're all going to need a double-dose of it to get through these hard times.
3. Guthrie: I listen to Woody's Library of Congress recordings pretty often; I also sometimes listen to his son, Arlo ("I don't want a pickle, just wanna ride on my motorcicle").
4. Gold Wing: That's our Honda, our freedom machine.
5. Goats: I love them. Cliff hates them.
6. Green: I can't wait till the green of spring!
7. Graveyards: I've always loved them. Enjoy a horseback ride through the local graveyard with me, riding my horse, Blue. And once I'm dead and buried? Just remember, I loved graveyards!
8. Guilt: I've often wondered, do atheists carry guilt in the same way Christians do (help me with this, Guy)? Perhaps some of them don't, but I'll bet the mothers do. One of the chief ingredients of motherhood is guilt.
9. Grace: The only thing that works to overcome guilt. At least for me. "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me."
10. George Jones: What a reprobate he is, but I love him anyhow. I wouldn't waste money to see him live again, though.
11. Grandma: Some of my best memories are of my grandma. I can still see her sitting in her rocking chair crocheting, or upstairs at the quilt frame, stitching away.
12. Guns: My son loves guns; he's downright fanatic about them! He lives in Georgia, another "G" word; but I already have 13 without using that one. Oh yeah, and his daughter, Amber, was born in Germany. I guess I could have gone on and on with the letter "G".
13. Google: How did we ever get by without it? I love me some Google!
You should be playing along with this, it's so much fun! Thanks to the blog "Izzy 'N Emmy" for keeping this going.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Shirley is a grandmother who had a big part in her granddaughter's life from the time she was born until she was in her mid-teens. Then suddenly, the granddaughter decided to live with her father instead of her mom (Shirley's daughter), and for a while she cut all ties with Mom and Grandma.
Shirley couldn't stop crying. She didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. Finally her husband said, "You're going to have to get something to do, maybe a little part-time job or a hobby to get you out of the house."
It's a long story, but Shirley decided to further her education. It was exactly the medicine her aching heart needed, and it's great to see her glow with enthusiasm when she talks about her teachers and her fellow-students. She even wrote a little book about her new experiences, a book that overflows with hope and love.
Here's what really amazes me: She's learning the Russian language (her Russian teacher is the Bigfoot expert). Have you ever looked at a page written in Russian? They have a whole different alphabet. Good grief!
So this evening I showed her one of my favorite blogs, Kansas City With The Russian Accent, and told her some things I've learned there. Sometimes Meesha links to Russian newspapers that show the translation when you hover your cursor over the print.
I do believe Shirley has finally been persuaded to hook up to the Internet.
Stand by, Meesha. I may be asking for some links to share with my friend, once she has Internet.
I don't know what it's going to be like if and when I ever go on prescription medications. It's already confusing, just dealing with Cliff's.
Ever since his open heart surgery, he's taken three prescription meds: Lipitor, Niaspan, and Metroprolol. This combination must work well, because his blood pressure stays remarkable low, with consistant readings around 112/70.
Right after surgery, he started taking two 50 mg Metropolols daily: one in the morning, one in the evening.
About six months ago at his regular appointment, Dr. D. looked over the list of meds and said, "How would you like to take your Metropolol only once a day, with all your other pills?"
Sounded good to us, so we took the new prescription to the pharmacy and got him started on that. I didn't realize it at the time, but it's a time-release pill.
When it was time for Cliff's next appointment (he has to go every three or four months for blood work), Dr. D. was unavailable. He's had brain surgery. Cancer. I doubt he'll ever be back; he was old enough to retire anyhow (our age).
So I suggested we try the new, young doctor. I wish now I hadn't, because the nurse-practitioners there are super, and so is the other doctor, Dr. G. I don't think there would have been any mixup with them.
I asked young Dr. H. if he'd write a new prescription for Metropolol so we could get a three-month supply at one time.
From the doctor's office, I went directly to the pharmecy; that's when I noticed the "2x daily".
He must have glanced back too far on Cliff's history and given him the old 50 mg pills, right? That's what I assumed.
So, although I had the druggist file that prescription, I asked him to fill the time-release 100 mg one instead, for one month. Because one pill a day works better for us.
Yesterday, since Cliff was down to one Metropolol, we went to get a refill. Pharmicist says there's been a problem getting the timed-release ones, and they can't fill it.
"Oh well, you have another prescription on file for two a day; just give us that one, because he's totally out; he only has one left."
Seemed like a nice, simple fix. Until I got home and realized these were 100 mg, not time-release, and they were to be taken twice a day.
I've been on the phone once with the pharmacy and twice with the doctor's office, and I've finally gotten it straightened out.
Had I doled these pills out to Cliff, he would have instantly doubled the amount of Metropolol he's been taking for three years.
I can still use them, I'll just have to split them in half. And he'll be taking two doses daily again.
I sure do miss Dr. D.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I gleaned so much food for thought at the Liberty Memorial Museum, I can hardly contain myself. Cliff and I both want to return, because you just can't see everything there in one visit.
One of the guides told us that there is one single American Veteran of World War I (doughboy) still living. He was born at Bethany, Missouri, which is the area where many of my aunts and uncles lived and died.
His name is Frank Buckles, and you can read about him HERE. Last year, at age 107, he visited Liberty Memorial; he told them he'd be back this year. Isn't that amazing?
This almost looks as if Cliff is at the scene.
This will likely be my last post about the museum.
One thing that impressed me was the way every single item is labeled and named. You don't have to stand there wondering what you're looking at.
There are two movies, one at the beginning of the tour and one halfway through, that explain what was going on with the war. The second one is especially memorable, since spectators seem to be sitting above a battleground while the movie tells what's happening.
Admission to the museum was $8; for an additional $2, you get an elevator ride to the top of this tower. Cliff doesn't care for heights, but he gave in to my pleading. After spending three hours in the actual museum, it was nice to get out into the sunshine and do something a little different.
There's an inscription on the base of the tower saying something about "in honor of those who served".
I don't know why Cliff looks so grumpy, waiting at the elevator; probably he's tired of getting his mug stuck in my blog all the time. I wanted a picture of the hippie-looking guy running the elevator, but he wouldn't allow it. "I don't do pictures," he said, turning his back to me quickly.
"You'd probably put it on Myspace and get me in trouble with fourteen of my girl friends."
I told him I don't do Myspace; I blog. "See there?" he retorted. "Same thing."
Hey, the guy was not so handsome. He might have a couple of girl friends, but not fourteen. It's no great loss to my readers that I didn't get his picture.
The elevator doesn't go quite all the way to the top; there are a few steps to climb.
The view was fantastic. That's Kansas City's Union Station you see in the forground.
This looks out toward where we were parked.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Because their mess kits were made of soft aluminum, the soldiers enjoyed personalizing them in their spare time.
Real talent, I'd say.
The doughboys made these works of art from shell casings.
Cliff especially enjoyed the guns...
and the cannons.
On our way to Liberty Memorial, Cliff asked, "What started that war, anyhow?"
"I don't have the slightest idea," I told him.
Well, we both know now. And we know that in truth, World War II was only a completion, or perhaps continuation, of World War I.
I will tell you that I'm really interested in learning more about this "war to end all war". I'm going searching for a novel set in that time. Maybe an Earnest Hemmingway?