Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tonight was the annual 'Last Night of the Proms' concert. I didn't know of it before I came here, but it's a tradition well over 150 years old. The BBC picked up broadcasting it first on radio, then on TV, and I think that's been for a good 70 years or more.
Anyway, it's a don't-miss at our house. Consequently, I spent more time in front of the television than usual and am running late. What the hey. Sometimes you need to break with routine.
That's it from me, short and sweet. Goodnight, Sparklers, from England's green and pleasant land!
Friday, September 09, 2011
I was catching up on some blogs this morning. I generally start with Spark friends and move on to others on the site - Blog of the Day, or blogs from team members - and happened to read this one from Sami:
She always has some great inspirational photos / posters on her blog, and at the top of this one was the motto 'Nobody said it was easy.' For some reason, my eyes scanned right past that (there's this vision thing going on) to the first line, which read 'Nobody was right.'
Off on a several-second tangent.
Had she asked a question? Given a quiz? And considering all the Sparkers who read her blogs - you mean, NObody got 'it' right?
Well, duh. She was (of course) referring to the 'nobody' who said 'it was (not) easy.'
I'm not suggesting Sami had written anything confusing or unclear: this miscommunication was all down to my interpretation, or lack thereof, because I'd missed the photo.
How often do I overlook one key reference, or phrase - even a single word - that causes me to misinterpret something? How frequently do I misunderstand communication from someone else? All due to my lack of attention.
A reminder to self that 'mindfulness' applies not just to living in the moment with the five senses, but mentally - being alert, paying attention, as I read, write, listen... live.
I've spent the day practicing mindfulness. Sometimes the magic works. It's the sort of 'reminder' that makes me feel like an apprentice in the great workshop of Life. You'd think by now I'd have at least earned my journey(wo)man's card.
Doctor's appointment - scheduled the quarterly HbA1c, so that's all set. We start with an x-ray for the knee, and that's been scheduled. A reminder for the annual flu shot - check. Wrist: suspected arthritis. (Yes, well, not entirely unexpected, that.) And THIS time, instead of halting the Lisinopril altogether, he's cutting the dose in half and we'll see how that goes.
Fair enough. If - IF - I can get off of it and still maintain a 'normal' BP range, I will be delirious with joy. Doogie thinks 125 / 75 is too low. I don't see it. Is there some kind of expected increase in BP as we age? An increase that is allowed - or is genuinely of benefit? And a lack of it is a sign of something amiss? Because assuredly when I was in my 20s (and 30s) 125 / 75 was considered 'good.' Has some kind of scale or table changed of which I'm unaware?
If any of you can answer these questions (!) please tell me. I'm sure everybody can get it right, lol...
Now I've closed the circle, so - goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
...outta money, and outta patience, lol. Nothing new here, then.
I'd hoped to get to a couple of things but today has been unusually hectic around here. The early-AM grocery run (which takes longer because I do a menu, complete list, all that), another interview with a paver (estimates & samples), and a tree-trimmer, as there are several trees in the yard and seems like most of them need pruning.
Add to that the usual housework and meals - no wonder Himself retired. He's got it easy now--!
The weather finally cleared up a little this afternoon, but too late in the day to do much in the way of yardwork (or pond-mucking, which still needs more work), so if the weather's decent tomorrow I hope to make a dent in it.
And it doesn't look as tho we'll be able to come over to the States next month after all. Between the driveway costing more than we'd anticipated and the tree-trimmer on top of that, there goes our vacation fund. Ah well, better to catch up all that and have everything trim and tidy for next spring.
Oh, and I got 200 bluebell bulbs for the equivalent of about $12. Can't beat it with a stick, lol.
Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
...not necessarily in that order.
I've got an appointment on Friday with the GP. The appointment's been on the books for awhile - among other things it's time for the quarterly HbA1c - but I'm very interested in seeing what he comes up with for the BP. If it's again in the 120s / 70s, I'm thinking it might be time to discuss a GRADUAL (not like the last time!) decreasing of the dosage to taper off of it altogether.
And I'm going to bring up the knee problem. Other people I know who have knee problems of whatever kind are in general holding off on surgery. Unless something dire has gone wrong the NHS doesn't recommend them until a person is... I forget now. Older than I am, but I don't remember if it's 60+, 65+, or even 70+. At any rate, I ain't 'there' yet. But I'll see if he'll order x-rays with an eye toward referring me to the physical therapist.
I have an appointment next week for the annual eye check. I can't help it - God bless the N-H-S. Without them I wouldn't have any kind of medical service. I lost insurance in the divorce and haven't been able to find any kind of full-time work with good benefits like medical coverage. Himself had his own practice, so he was self-employed; of course, the NHS coverage applies to everyone here, though some companies have started adding 'private medical plans' to their bennie packages. I worry about that as I fear it will open the door to '...and X group is hereafter excluded from NHS coverage.' But in the meantime - everything is covered, even a pair of Rx glasses, so - GBtNHS, sez me.
I made an appointment to have my hair cut. (I would've said 'with the stylist' but I'm not sure what they're called anymore. Hair salon? Hair stylist? Cuttery? In my day they were 'beauty parlors' and the people doing hair were often referred to as 'operators.' I'm surely dating myself. Of course, I also remember when funeral 'homes' were funeral 'parlors' and 'human resources' was 'personnel.' Don't get me started.)
Not sure what to do about the hair. Wispy, super dry, thinning - and what there is of it tends to be wiry and coarse without being thick. Go figure. I'll debate it with the stylist (!) and see where that goes. Once again I find myself thinking about 'cut & color,' but I just know by the time I'm even a few months down that road I'll be tired of touching up gray (let's face it: white) roots, and I am leery that the thin areas will become even thinner. Eh. Oh, for the thick hair of my youth, lol.
We're still about two weeks away from the equinox but autumn is upon us. The heat has kicked on the last two nights - not a lot, not for long, but by early morning it runs for an hour or so. Plus of course the spiders trying to find a winter haven (hah, not in MY house) is another sign. There are still quite a few projects I want to get to in the yard before the weather gets too ratty, but there's also the light problem - the days truly are drawing down.
The first couple of years I was here the long days of midsummer and the long nights of midwinter were novelties. We're by no means above the Arctic Circle, but there's a major shift. Mid-June when the solstice hits we have less than seven hours of darkness; with false dawn, birds start singing around 4 AM. By mid-December, the opposite of that means we will have less than seven hours of daylight. I don't think I suffer from SAD, but that much darkness takes a toll now, and I slightly dread going into it.
I spent an hour yesterday talking to my aunt - in fact, I ran over the time that our calling plan allows (which means each minute over costs gazillion % more) so I hung up abruptly and called her back today. She's so much fun to talk to! Yesterday she gave me one name, first and last, for one of her mother's cousins and said she wasn't sure if the surname was maiden or married or whatever. Well, I found reams of information, just on the lead of that one name. Made my day, and I think hers as well, as today I had so much new stuff to tell her about.
Re yesterday's blog, spider killing, &c:
PROT358: The bathroom drains all have fairly fine 'screens' in them - but I'm not above having Himself remove a soggy bug body, so I will keep that in mind.
MOBYCARP: I can see where your daughter and I would have total understanding.
COMPASS_ROSE: Oh, he squashed it into a piece of toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet. But just hearing the thing crunch - well, it doesn't bear thinking.
BIGLITTLEWOMAN: Not only was I nekkid but I usually take my glasses off when I wash my face--!
ONEKIDSMOM: I very nearly titled this 'I don't like spiders and snakes.' Whatever happened to Jim Stafford, anyhow?
LYNMEINDERS: I sometimes think Himself is God's way of testing my patience now that the kids're gone.
For what it's worth I have dispatched puh-len-tee of insects in my time. The thing is, when I'm caught by surprise and when I don't 'have' to deal with them, I take the coward's... um, lazy... UM, easy (yeh, that'll work) way out.
More than one has been sucked right down the ol' Hoover though, lemme tell you. Probably the last thing they saw with their eight eyes was my horrified expression.
And on that note, I'm outta here. Goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Now, don't get me wrong: I don't suffer from arachnophobia. I don't go into hysterics every time I see a spider, or even a generic creepy-crawly. But the idea of bug bites and stings is horribly repellant to me (you may remember my 'Fear of Wasps' blog), and added to that is the distaste for much of what insects indoors represent - as in dirt and disease, among other things, not to mention that whole negative statement on the housekeeping.
When I'm not wearing my glasses I literally can't see my hand in front of my face. (Stay with me here - it's relevant.) Sure, I see a pinkish-pale blob, but nothing distinct. Even my fingers aren't clearly fingers, merely amorphous sausage shapes without lines or definition.
So imagine my surprise when I was drying my face this morning and came up out of the towel to be presented with this in the bathtub:
I saw it without my glasses on. How big does something have to be for me to realize it's there? Oh, I didn't see it clearly - it was farther away than my hands, and I wasn't exactly pushing forward to get closer. But I knew from the size and color against the tub wall exactly what it had to be. And hollered for Himself.
Like I said, I don't suffer from arachnophobia, but demmed if I'm going to TOUCH the things, even through the relative safety of a kleenex.
He studied it a moment, commenting "Well, it's certainly a big 'un!" then proceeded to muse if he should get a jar and capture it so he could (in his words) 'get a proper look at it.'
"Uh, yeh, but in the meantime if you would--"
"That's one of the biggest I've ever seen. You know, it's probably a female. It's a good 2-1/2 inches across, with that leg span. Maybe it's so big because it's about to lay eggs."
"Forget the entomology lesson! Would you just--"
"Technically, it wouldn't be 'entomology,' it would be 'arachnology,' since it's not an insect but an arachnid and--"
"SHUT UP AND GET THE DEMMED THING OUTTA THE BATHTUB--!!!!!"
I love the man. You know I do. And sometimes I re-e-eally struggle to remember things like the waterfall and the whippoorwill and his taking care of me when I had my feet operated on and his support when I went back to the US for six months to look after my mother.
Later when I calmed down I said "Look, I'm sorry I shouted at you. I was getting tense and I was afraid it would somehow escape the bathtub and end up who-knows-where. I have no problem with spiders and other wildlife outdoors, out where they belong. I just don't deal with them very well when they invade my living space."
"No problem," sez Himself.
"Good. It's the only reason I married you, y'know. Ha ha. Bug-hunter extraordinaire. Courage in the face of danger. I think monster spiders will always zoo me out, but I'll try to get a handle on the shouting business next time."
" 'sokay" sez he. "I expect a little hysteria now and then."
People, that's a whole different blog, but... I probably deserved it, what with the crack about his spider-killing prowess 'n' all. Even so, I think there are days when no jury in the world would convict me.
And with that, it's goodnight, Sparklers, wherever you are!
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