Sunday, December 28, 2008

The End of the Snow and the Beginning of New Ideas

What an unbelievable week. From feet of snow and ice - burst pipes in homes and moorages [my moorage included ] to pot luck dinners with friends, from hard to navigate roads to: TA DA - a night of warm rain and now no snow in sight! It went away that fast....

Even the spring bulbs that had started growing in our warm Fall are perky and green - that after being covered with ice and snow for the week. Now we do the fixing up and I have figured out how to replumb the kitchen without pulling up a floor board or 2 or 3 which would have to await warm weather. Got the idea from a neighbor - the crawl space between roof and ceiling!

It's hard to think outside a box and in this case the box is that most have homes here have the plumbing under the floors and therefore close to the river. It took a mention of pipes in the "attic" to joggle my brain...and it's not age related at's that we think first along lines similar to what we see on a daily basis or along familiar thought patterns.

The message is that we need to let the imagination run free and imagine what can be - not what's something I think we all need more practice doing....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do You Know What Your Med Mixtures Do To You?

More about seniors and medications...
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Older adults in the United States are popping prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements in record numbers, and in combinations that could be deadly, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

They said more than half of U.S. adults aged 57 to 85 are using five or more prescription or non-prescription drugs, and one in 25 are taking them in combinations that could cause dangerous drug interactions.

"Older adults in the United States use medicine and they use a lot of it," said Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau of the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"While medications are often beneficial, they are not always safe," she said in a telephone interview.

She noted a recent report that estimated U.S. adults over 65 make up more than 175,000 emergency department visits a year for adverse drug reactions, and commonly prescribed drugs accounted for a third of these visits.
Full article

They did not ask the question about why these people were taking so many prescription drugs but that is one that needs to be asked in a study. Do these people go to several physicians to get the medications? Do they not tell each physician what they are already taking? Or worse - does their one primary care physician not realize the interactions of all the medications that are being prescribed?

These are important questions and need to be asked... and so maybe I should get back to doing research....

After the new year I will put forth a questionnaire here [and elsewhere] for readers to respond to.

Life During a Major Snow Storm on the River

Again - thankful for friends, neighbors and local pets.....

I am thankful I have great neighbors and that river living produces lasting friendships - when the possibility of serious weather related issues is high, like this week, everyone helps out - no one gets bent out of shape about anyones stress levels...and we all watch out for each other.

Yesterday I had to go on my roof to shovel off some snow and ice and did it only when I knew neighbors were on hand to pay attention. My roof is relatively flat so as long as I stayed in the middle where my vents are I was ok - and the snow shoveling crew just kept looking up to check. We all had work to do to keep our houses from tipping to one side aspect of winter life on the below is my roof and the vents - I went back up later to do more.

Then we had a pot luck dinner at one friend's house and we all brought portions made with what we had in our own houses. Overall we had a great meal - and superb deserts.

Good friends, great neighbors and playing with all the dogs in the snow and watching the one cat that seems to be loving snow [not mine] makes life great in the midst of some pretty bad weather. My fearless cat has met her match - she does not like deep snow :D

But we will welcome the normal warmer rain days predicted for this one will say UGH more rain this year....

PS Note our high tech snow removal equipment - brooms!
[and one shared moorage snow shovel]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do You Twitter?

No it may not be what you think :D Twitter is an online way to connect in real time with short thoughts. [One is only allowed 140 characters.]

I've come to really like Twitter and I recently started a group on healthy aging.

Join Twitter, follow me and join the group - we can communicate with each other on Twitter about this process others call "old age." :D

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Arctic Winds and Burst Pipes!

For the last few days I have had frozen pipes which of course burst yesterday. So no water and no fun. I realized how much we rely on running water for our comfort. Luckily I have good friends as neighbors and one left me keys so I could take a hot shower this morning.

I filled pots with water before we shut off my main water supply and had to heat it for washing dishes and my hands. I tried to reframe all this as being on a camping trip when ones turn to wash dishes was a real treat - hot water! wow!

But that did not work as my brain kept saying "this isn't a camping trip."

The outdoor temperature rose just enough for the broken pipes to be capped and the glue to hold [I hope]. Floating homes are plumbed with cut and glue plastic piping...not hard to fix but when your hands are an inch or so above a very cold river - no fun ... the person who did the fixing is a friend's son and works with the owner of our moorage .. He's also young and he was able to reframe this as a fun puzzle as he figured out how to do the fix [ah youth :D].

I'll have him do a permanent re-plumbing this summer. That is not a winter activity.

I now have water only in my bathroom but I have water and can take a hot shower..

Hope all of you are toasty warm with both hot and cold running water - and electricity.. We really are spoiled - we don't appreciate what we have until it stops working for us!

Monday, December 15, 2008

fat fat fat - lose that belly fat

A dorky little video I made.... but it's short so you can watch....

you can go here and order the product: lynn's "store"

look for OsoLean

Drugs and Ghost Writers

From the New York Times
Wyeth’s Use of Medical Ghostwriters Questioned

Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company, paid ghostwriters to produce medical journal articles favorable to its hormone replacement therapy Prempro, according to Congressional letters seeking more information about the company’s involvement in medical ghostwriting. At least one article was published even after a federal study found the drug raised the risk of breast cancer.
Full article:

I won't belabor my anti-big pharma feelings but let's say I am not the least surprised by this. Pay someone to write nice stuff - hmmm...good idea - except this is not some Hollywood star using a ghost writer but a company whose products can [and do] KILL you...and in fact they used a ghost writer after knowing that an HRT drug increased the risk of breast cancer.

Nice people these suits at Wyeth - "profits above all" is the motto for most corporations..

Message to users of the products? "We don't care about you at all - except for - buy buy buy our stuff - we only like your wallet."

Oh Boy - Did I Forget An Important Winter Task

Totally forgot to leave water dripping last night and now have some frozen pipes. As tonight is to be much much much colder- there may be a major problem when the temps go back above freezing :-( [it's called burst pipes]

How I forgot is beyond me - I'm the one that lived in cold New England areas lots of my adult life and know to do this !

Not sure if they are frozen inside or near the river - but I suspect it's both - and they won't defrost until it warms up and then - pipe replacement time.

So - a word of advice if it's cold near you - and you have an arctic air mass over you - leave water dripping in sinks or showers all the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Snowy Day

Watching the dogs and cats in our moorage I came to a conclusion that dogs walk the middle while cats live on the edge.

The dogs here all walk up the ramp or on the decks staying pretty centered..except that when the ramp is slippery mine uses the footholds nearer an edge...

But the cats? They walk on the very edge of the decks, the ramp and the railings....some, including mine, walk on the tubing that carry the utility wires and water to the moorage. Cats are not supposed to like water so why do they tempt fate by staying so close to edges that any off balance move has a good chance of sending them into the Columbia River?

We know they can all swim as all have come home at times head-to-paws soaking wet - but they came home :D.

Is it the nine lives and curiosity thing? Or are cats just more willing to live lives on the edges?

Thoughts to contemplate while we get snowed and iced in this week...right now the snow is coming down's that comes the sub-freezing temps making the decks a tad bit tricky - especially when the ice forms on one side and it tips...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Self Promotion :D

If you like this blog and find it useful - consider voting for me for people's health blogger by clicking on the badge to the right...and thank you

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

oopsie - here we go -

Many of us said we'd pay for our warm dry Fall... And yup - the payment is coming due this weekend. Sub freezing temps and possible snow - we may not get above freezing for several days. It's nearing the 5th anniversary of my moving into this house and the weather is duplicating that which we had 5 years ago! So I can reframe this as a 5th house anniversary gift from the weather makers :D

Spent the day moving my plants nearer to the house and grouped so they are easier to put a tarp over - and the poor plants like my nasturtiums which grew back may not make it...unless I find room inside to bring them in.

The weather here is so temperate that many of my houseplants have gotten so huge living outside most of the year that moving them in and out during very cold spells is no longer possible - I just do not have the space for them anymore.

And of course the tasks that "should-have-been-done" when it was nice out are not done...but if they were - well then that would not be me.

Reminds me of what my son said once when visiting me here - "it's neater than I thought it would be." I replied that someday it will be neat and spotless and he'd be surprised...

"But," he laughed, "then you wouldn't be my mommy."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Seniors and Children - the targeted populations!

Yesterday I went to an advocacy planning meeting - for human services in the rough financial seas ahead.

We heard from groups concerned with or represent children, seniors, the environment, disabilities, the poor and others who rely on the vast social service networks. All these groups have clients who now need services and see their client list growing by the day! In the face of that growing need - we are facing a huge budget deficit here in Oregon and I presume in all 50 sates and the District of Columbia. It is not pretty - in fact it can be depressing ugly - but we know we need to keep looking ahead and being hopeful that a new administration in D.C. will offer some hope and help - but it will not be immediate.

In bad times more people need social services.
In bad times governments cut social service funds.

That's the ongoing quagmire faced across this country right now!

Food banks are empty as people who used to donate now need the food themselves.
Lost jobs means more need food stamps.
More kids meet the requirement for free school lunch programs and those programs are either even funded or get less money now.
More seniors need help with food, medicine, emergency money for taxes and utility bills and those funds are the same as in previous years or less - with more people meeting the criteria for those funds.

Ask your state why is that the most vulnerable among us are the ones who are made more vulnerable in bad financial times? Do we not value our seniors or children? Why are they rarely or never top priority budget items?

Find out what decisions are being made in your state that affect seniors and children and call your state and federal reps and senators to make your voice heard..

And get involved with your local advocacy groups...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Aging and Resveratrol

When I first read this New York Times article about resveratrol I was intrigued. Seems resveratrol is in red wine but I had just read about it elsewhere so I looked thru my computer and found it is in one of the products I take - the one that reduces post exercise aches and pains! So I am getting resveratrol in my body daily - which is good as I don't like red wine :- )
A new insight into the reason for aging has been gained by scientists trying to understand how resveratrol, a minor ingredient of red wine, improves the health and lifespan of laboratory mice. They believe that the integrity of chromosomes is compromised as people age, and that resveratrol works by activating a protein known as sirtuin that restores the chromosomes to health.

Full article HERE

Happy December

The calendar tells me today is December 1! The weather out there tells me is Spring...My bulbs are starting to grow and if the warm weather remains I will soon have narcissus, crocuses and hyacinths... It's happened before - even back in New England so it's not a big surprise. Bulbs survive the cold/warm weather oddities but I think this year I will dig out a few and bring them in the house and see what happens.

Just wish my dog's hair would stop adapting so well :-) He's a malamute and when it gets cold he gets a winer coat and when it warms up - he sheds the winter coat...So imagine my house - a layer of undercoat on the floor. I vacuum 2x a day when he's in but as I work at home and it's not raining he stays out a lot. He does not like rain - 25 below zero and/or snow is cool with him but rain? Nah! He becomes a couch potato. And he gets brushed daily as well...he's a full time job these days :-)

Here he is the other day - note tufts around neck.

As humans we can adapt too....layer your clothing and just enjoy whatever weather your part of the world is will change - that's a given!