Monday, April 14, 2014

Not hot, hot, hot!!!

I signed off my other blogs about this time last year. 


Big mistake.


One year later, and I am ready to drag myself out of depression and back up the ladder of evolution.


Since I declared that I had nothing to contribute to the Multiple Sclerosis Companion, I have lost both of my parents, have inherited more responsibility than ever for my MIL, gained weight, lost muscle and went off a tranquilizer.


Of all the above, I am happy to report that I think I have been successful in getting clean of Valium.  Of course, the flip side of that is that now I can no longer sleep through the night.  Which is why I went on it in the first place. 


It's amazing how many things I can get done between 2:00 and 6:00 in the morning.  I have pretty much finished my book and will begin again to look for publishers.  If anyone is interested in reading a time travel-romance, let me know. 


Did you know that most Americans no longer ready books?  How did that happen?


I went through my first list of publishers last year.  Did you also know that interracial romance is "hot, hot, hot!!!" right now?  I passed them all by before I realized that by the very nature of being about a person from the future, I simply eliminated the whole forbidden interracial thing.


I happen to believe that in the distant future there will be very little color distinction, and my book reflects that.  So much for "hot, hot, hot!!!"


Since romance for me includes an awful lot more interpersonal relationship than anything else, I wrote myself out of the hot, hot, hot!!! genre.  Just as well, because it's not what I am about.


So does that mean I will never publish Feathered Serpent?


Don't know.


pb
Little Pond


And check out the new skin for my health blog!  Thanks to my baby BlogSis, Digital Karen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Back with a vengeance

So I decided to go off my sedative.


Last year was one of the worst of my life.  My mother was gravely ill and failing fast.  She told me that she never wanted to return home, where my father and brothers were expecting her to cook and clean.  She had just ripped her arm open while falling from the bed.


They said she blamed it on Dad, and I know why.  Both she and I sleep on the far side of the bed, away from the door.  Both she and I need to "go" frequently in the night.  The longer trip is due to the fact that both she and I go to bed early and the other come in later.  They get the bedside closest to the door, and we wind up having to circumnavigate the bed to get to the bathroom.


Once in the hospital, they wound up placing her in a nursing home.  Auburn Life Care Center.  Mom was very well cared for there, and she and their people obviously loved each other.  Whenever she would be sent out for an emergency, she would be relieved when they returned her to Auburn.


After several trips back and forth, Mom said, "I wish I could just go to sleep and not wake up."


In September, she got her wish.  Her condition proved terminal and she refused all life support.  We all dutifully filed in to pay our last visits, and just after the last grandchild left, she died peacefully in her sleep.


Now Dad was another story altogether.  Dad was never going to die.  He did everything to stay fit and active.  Well, fit and active is one thing when you are at the top of your game.  With Early Onset Altzheimer's, he was lucid enough to know he was losing it, but unable to stop its progression.


The man at Mom's funeral was not really my Dad.  I was told that whenever he returned to normal, he would remember that Mom was dead, and begin grieving all over again.  When I came back to Little Pond, I predicted that Dad might not make it to Thanksgiving, and surely would not be alive at Christmas.


I was right.  During Thanksgiving dinner, Dad began to talk about suicide.  The boys soldiered on and kept him busy with sports and TV, but didn't supervise his outdoor activity.  Dad had a heart attack and fell down injuring himself during a walk.  Into the hospital he went, where they predicted all sorts of dire outcome.


That Sunday, right after the Patriot's game, Dad died while discussing the game with nurses.  It was exactly three months from the date of Mom's death.


It was during this time that my neuro decided to cut the Valium.  Not less valium, not fewer pills, just one month refill at a time.  Getting them from the online pharmacy became a huge problem, because they are just not very reliable.  I often went days without the drug, and a day without Valium is a very, very restless night.  I attended both funerals and all the travel in between during this sorry situation.


It is now almost four months after Dad's death.  I am still adjusting to (withdrawing from) the lack of Valium.  At first I thought all the crazy dreams would stop and I would sleep peacefully, but this was not to be.


Why?


pb
Little Pond

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Heads up. Head cold time!

I should have known.  My sinuses have been stuffed up for a few days, and I couldn't drain them into a tissue.  Sneezing like crazy over nothing.


The most important sign went right over my head.  Even in bed my left foot felt pinched.   Almost as if I wore a stocking that was too small.  At the toes, especially, I had that weird feeling of having stepped on something both sharp and wet.  Or maybe cold.


A fever.  The sure sign of a fever.  The MS symptoms are coming back.


Its quite a testimonial to Copaxone that I no longer catch on as quickly.  Instead, I was puzzled, but too busy to work it out.


Now I not only have a head cold, but I also can feel the MS creeping up my left leg and causing trouble with my left arm.  I can even feel the ring around my left eye.


I have been very careful to cover my head and neck when walking Sarah, my beagle.  Otherwise I would probably have neuralgia to boot.


This time I am trying Zicam, albeit a little late.  I'm scared of the MS relapsing.


pb
Little Pond

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

One step backwards

Weeeeeellll.  I don't have the stick-to-itiveness to keep submitting my manuscript.  It may be all the rejections or it may simply be the Seasonal Affective Disorder: either way, I've had enough for now.  I have begun handing out my best chapters for feedback.  These are the ones with either dialog or action.


I need some good feedback for a while.


pb
Little Pond

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Still Dreaming...

Same as everyone else, I have joined the ranks of people hoping to lose the winter poundage gained over the holiday season.  It's not like I enjoyed myself, what with the death of both parents.  On the other hand comfort eating probably replaced riotous celebration and dining.


So I was not surprised when I had a wish fulfillment dream.


A MIDWINTER DIETER'S DREAM

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas without Mom and Dad

Mom died Sunday, September 8, 2013, mid-afternoon after a visit from grandkids.  She died with family by her side.

Dad died Sunday, December 8, 2013, early evening, after a visit from family.  The Patriots had just snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.  He was discussing it with his nurses when he happily, and unexpectedly, died suddenly and peacefully.

Coincidence?  Probably not.  None of it.

pb
Little Pond

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sleep peacefully, Mum

Relaxed, happy pose during a rare vacation trip.

At about 4:00 pm, today,--less than one hour ago!--our mother, Cecilia Rita Paquette Baker, passed on.  She was aware to the end, and died in the arms of my eldest brother, right after saying goodbye to my Sister, Dad, and my other brothers.

Cecilia was the daughter of an immigrant cobbler.  She got her GED and went to college in her 50's, after bearing and raising seven children.  She and Dad were married over 60 years.

Sleep well, Mum.  You earned it.

pb
Little Pond

Thursday, August 01, 2013

No RiverDogging

My little Sarah will never be a River Dog or a River Hound.  Sarah gets very carsick, even on short trips.  I cannot watch her be so miserable, just so I can go to the Chemung.
 
Sarah is also arthritic.
 
Only three years old, but she gave her puppyhood and some breeding years in the service of veterinary medicine.  Canine fetal research to be exact.  Poor Sarah has arthritis in both hips and limps at least as noticeably as I do.  No LOL.

We are now treating her.  I recognized the sound of toenails scraping on the sidewalk.  Sound eerily similar to the sound I make when my left foot drags, ever so slightly.

The last straw was her losing sleep this week.  Again I recognized the constant repositioning of her little body, trying to get comfortable.  To no avail.

Well, last night she slept soundly, all the way through.  She is eating with good appetite, and we have been advised to keep her weight around 22 pounds (10 kilos).  We have treat-meister Husband RJ on board this time; he is appalled by her limping.

Sarah is my companion, my little love bug.  I can promise you she will enjoy herself for the rest of her life with us.  She will visit dogs on our walk, and very occasionally, at my daughters' homes.  She gets along well with two of our cats, and gives as good as she gets from the third.

God bless my little companion.  I love her all the more.

pb
Little Pond

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sarah is settled in

Bubba and Sarah explore the run together.  These days they both enjoy the back yard, although Sarah is much more vocal about passersby.
After five months, we are happy to report that Sarah is fully house-trained.  I thought it would take longer, but she already knows that she can come to me after an accident.  In fact, she has a little dance she does to let me know that we didn't get her out soon enough.
 
When I see her dance, I grab the paper towels and sani-wipes.  This reminds me of when Ellie would get me to search for her treats after they rolled under the couch.  Only the outcome is not so pleasant.  We are great recyclers of plastic grocery bags!
 
Sarah has already trained Husband RJ to overfeed her, and as a result, she is limping a bit.  Rear passenger-side paw.  This is because we walk city sidewalks.  Unfortunately, it is going to be a long road teaching her to go to the Chemung River.
 
Sarah gets very car-sick, even on short trips.  I plan to wait for the next unbearable hot day.  I will give her dramamine and transport her to where Ellie loved to wade.  Once she sees that it is worth the trouble, she will give in.

Bonus:  after our visit/swim, she gets a bath, a massage (her favorite!) and a nap.  The nap is courtesy of the dramamine.

In the meantime, we have drastically cut back on her food and treats.  Even Husband RJ can see she is too young to be limping.

pb
Little Pond

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Hot weather hot dogs!

Ok.  It's only 88 degrees (30C) here, so we don't have a heat wave.  And Husband RJ is still cooking hot dogs for supper.  But I wanted something a little cooler:
 
HOT DAYS HOT DOGS:
 
Baby Spinach Leaves
Romaine Lettuce
Celery
Green Onions
Italian Dressing
Honey Mustad
Cheese (your choice)
One Hot Dog
 
Mix a quick salad with the greens and onions.
 
Cut hot dog lengthwise, then chop into one inch pieces.

Mix Honey Mustard and Italian Dressing to make 2 tablespoons or a tad more.  Place hot dog pieces into a small dish and douse with the dressing mix.  Microwave for no more than 45 seconds.

Pour over salad and toss again.

Enjoy.  Both hot and cool, tangy and smooth.  With your favorite cheese, this can't go wrong!

pb
Little Pond

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friendly spat

You could lose an eye like that, Little Girl!  Oh, I know that it's possible, but Sarah plays very rough.  And poor Bubba is overweight, underexercised and only too willing to mix it up with her. 
 
Actually, the two are buddies.  Sarah always wants to play, and Bubba tolerates her until he has had enough.  This is the last shot.  Before that they were fine together.
 
By the way, Bubba has at least five pounds on Sarah and can handle himself quite nicely, thank you.
 
For more adventures with Sarah, visit
 
and see her other sparring partner, Frankie.  He taught her how to wade and swim last week.
 
pb
Little Pond

Monday, May 13, 2013

Before the Frost

 Just to hedge (and rage)  against Mother Nature, we are posting these shots of Husband RJ's back yard blossoms.

Once again we are expecting a visit from Jack (A$$) Frost tonight.

With any luck the ornamental trees will survive intact, but it has been our sad experience over three decades that the wisteria is not so hardy.

When the frost nips them, we cannot expect any more blooms for a while, maybe even years.  The cascades are lovely, and we are going crazy shooting picture after picture to remind ourselves that they are  more than just a weed overtaking our property.
 
 
 
To be perfectly fair, we have to admit that the greenery beats the bombed out backyard we inherited from our predecessors.  Say a prayer for our blossoms!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Not crocuses nor snowdrops

At first look these would seem to be some sort of miniature crocus.
 Husband RJ tells me they are species tulips.




Apparently, tulips had their start in just such a humble beginning.

 













You may have seen the species roses that line the streets of the waterfront in Maine.  It seems everyone has those exquisite five-petaled roses tumbling from their fences. 

 
 

They certainly look like crocus, but they are quite tiny.
All the better to hide in private spaces tucked into corner rock gardens.