Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Newbies

Our weekend brought out these new babies.....

Momma mallard watches while the babies eat.... good camouflage among the wet grasses....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ah - what we learn as we age : - )

I've said before that it takes me longer to recoup after body stress but saying it and actually knowing it are apparently two different mind sets : - )

Last week we went from sweat shirts, long pants, shoes and socks weather to tank tops, shorts and sandals weather in a day or two!

My body had forgotten how to react quickly to this temperature change and I had some pretty good symptoms of heat exhaustion - even tho I cut back on what I was doing outside and tried to stay out of the sun as much as I could. When the temperature hit 98 and I felt chilly - I knew what was going on so I went in, turned on the TV and all my fans and read a few books while sipping water and hot tea.

This has not happened in my 4 years in the northwest but the symptoms were very familiar from my years on the east coast...

But then I tried to get back to my normal schedule on Monday - exercise and all - and the body said NO! I could not even get my heart rate up in the biking class and stopped trying. After that I decided to not push it...

I had to re-tell myself how old I am as I don't actually believe it most days and promised my body it would have a few days to recoup it's energy : - ). It agreed with that and is very happy today. [It's also back to cool and rainy.]

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Today I got an FYI from my HMO about my physical on May 1....[This does not include the blood tests that were done last week as I assume Medicare covers those in full.]

In large print it says not a bill - I was not concerned that it was - but I still had an OUCH moment when I saw the visit was assessed at $213.00. No wonder so many people who do not have health coverage do not see physicians. And when uninsured people do get seriously ill, they get taken to the emergency rooms. and that costs lots more and for the uninsured, we all wind up paying for that anyway.

So here's to Universal Coverage...Medicare for all would work....It's actually an efficient program in spite of what the Republicans would have us believe.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day - the original

My annual tribute to the original Mother's Day

How did we get away from the original intent of Howe's mother's day proclamation to a now corporate event of sell sell sell and buy buy buy? Oh and do not forget to make those intercepted phone calls....

I cry for those mommy's who have lost their children in the mad shrub's so-called war....

Let's take back mother's day when we take back our country from these #$%#&$*&(^

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

I gave in : - )

I am not one to push going to a physician or getting tests, and I am certainly not a good example to follow ... but in the past two weeks I decided to get a physical and get some testing done .... seems peer pressure works .... some friends here and there were doing this [again] and so I figured it was time to see if I had any problems as I had not seen a physician in almost two years. Besides I had just signed on with a new primary care provider and figured I might as well meet her : - )

Good news - I am healthy ..... or at least that how I interpret all those blood test results - as all were within normal ranges. So I told my friends I was normal - they laughed - so I added - physically... and they laughed louder!

Other news - there are things I continue to "forget" like getting a tetanus booster ... It's only been at least 37 or 38 years since the last one and I haven't stepped on any bad stuff in that period of time ... It was a rusty nail that got me the booster the last time!

So - I can't preach about getting checked out with any great regularity - but I do continue to preach about food-based vitamins and supplements as I am sure that is why I feel so great and am in such good shape for such an "old" lady...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Letting go of some dreams

I always had the fantasy of hiking the Appalachian trial - all of it - from Georgia to Maine. I've been on many "pieces" of the trail but the idea of the whole through-hike was a dream I had since I was in my 20's and in New York. I've read books about it and figured that "someday" I'd do the hike.

Then I went to Graduate School, then I had a child, then I was a single parent, then it got too dangerous for women to hike the trail, then I moved west and then - I gave up that dream. Do I feel bad about it? Nope. But today I was thinking of other short term or long term dreams we have - and wondered when do we let them go?

I always wanted to write. I still want to do this - and I know that I have some books in me - and that dream continues. I own a loom and once knew how to weave but the loom sits, in need of some repair after years of non-use. Will I ever weave again? or will this be another dream I let go? I'm not sure...But having hauled the loom cross-country, damn, I'll keep it a while and see if I get it fixed soon : -)

What dreams do you have that you let go? or think you might let go? Or dreams you actually realized?

Does letting go of a dream feel bad? or does it feel good? some long held dreams can become baggage if it seems they are never going to really happen....

Sunday, May 04, 2008

More issues around medications

I've said this before and will keep repeating it - BEWARE what medications you take!

Two new studies show that anticholinergics, a commonly prescribed group of drugs, may cause elderly people to "slow down" in their daily physical activities.

The two reports from researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine support findings released a few weeks ago that anticholinergic drugs -- which treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including acid reflux, Parkinson's disease and urinary incontinence -- may cause older people to lose their thinking skills more quickly than those who don't take the medicines.

Common anticholinergic medicines cited in the study included the blood pressure medication nifedipine (Adalat or Procardia), the stomach antacid ranitidine (Zantac) and the incontinence medication tolterodine (Detrol).
And if you take the above and mix it with dementia drugs you get this:
In a separate Wake Forest study, published online in April in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Sink found that older nursing home residents who took medicines for dementia along with anticholingerics for incontinence declined in function 50 percent faster than those only treated only for dementia.

"Over a year's time, the decline we observed would represent a resident going from requiring only limited assistance in an activity to being completely dependent, or from requiring only supervision to requiring extensive assistance in an activity," said Sink, an assistant professor of internal medicine-gerontology at Wake Forest.

Full article HERE

Just like the slogan don't drink and drive - there should be one "don't mix your meds"...or be very careful abut the mixing...

And remember that your friendly physician may be prescribing "stuff" based on the drug company representations - not any research.