Friday, August 13, 2010

An Excellent Blog Adventure from Africa, Physical Therapy, and Drivin' Down the Mountain with Spuds

I've been following two great blogs from Africa for some time now:

In her blog, Food, Fun & Farm Life in East Africa  Lynda blogs about her life on a very large farm in Tanzania. She's a mom, a great cook with recipes to share, and a wonderful writer with stories of interesting adventures and her no less interesting daily life. Mount Kilimanjaro is not far from where she lives and the scenery is beautiful. You'll meet the people of Tanzania, you may see some African wildlife, and of course there are cats and dogs on the farm.

Talk about wildlife! I also follow One Stoned Crow a blog from Namibia. For a heart-pounding blog adventure, check out this post for August 12, 2010, about several Elephant encounters these guys had in the Etosha National Park. There are some unbelievable pictures they took from inside their car while being charged by different Elephants, not once, but several times. There's also a lovely photo of an Elephant mother getting her baby out of the water. I'm capitalizing Elephant here, because they are so BIG and these guys are in a Corolla, for heaven's sake, that may or may not start up in time for them to make their escape.

Lynda recommended this blog a while back and I've been following it ever since. It's great fun to read in general, but this particular post will make your heart beat faster – I guarantee it:

You can also find both blogs in my sidebar.

Next an update on my not so adventuresome life:

Wednesday, I went to physical therapy and worked hard. There were several old folks like me with shoulder problems, all of them further along in their therapy and they seemed to be taking it all in stride, painful as the therapy is. So we were all moaning and groaning, but keeping up with our assigned tasks. I got a print-out of my homework that will make it easier for me to remember what to do. Then I had lunch with Suki's mom, which was lovely. And I could put the fork in my left hand and reach my mouth for the first time since May, so therapy is making a difference. (That's of course the way we eat in Sweden, knife in right hand, fork in left, and old habits die hard.)

Yesterday, I drove to Bakersfield to see my endocrinologist about my diabetes. Bakersfield is located in the San Joaquin Valley, the breadbasket of America. We are at 4,000 feet so it's a pretty steep drive down the mountain to the valley. The highway is the thoroughfare for an enormous number of trucks per day, thousands and thousands. I'm not sure how many right now, but as you drive, you do have BIG company.

I stopped on the way there and took a couple of pictures.

I find this desolate landscape fascinating.

It's about 50 miles from my house to Bakersfield and I drove it more or less with one arm/hand. My blood pressure, that is always good, was 150/73. The doctor said from stress. He also thought I babbled too much and had his nurse come in to check my blood sugars, but they were fine. I think I was just nervous about all that driving and very tired too and a bit worried about making it up that mountain and home again. My doctor changed one value on my pump and gave me a prescription for something, other than a statin, to lower my LDL. It's only 89, but they want it under 70 because of my diabetes. This would help to prevent heart attacks and strokes, which people with diabetes are at a much greater risk for than the general population. Yuck, I hate to take medicines and the statin was horrible!! But I guess I'll try this new one, it might work after all.

Going back up the mountain, you have to stay in the fast lane, because trucks with heavy loads move so slowly you risk running into them from behind if you're not careful.

Spuds kept me company in the car.

I got Spuds at Newark airport the last time I went to Sweden. I spotted Spuds in an airport store and had to have him. So I bought him and he was the best companion on my flights. He keeps me calm. I've kept him close by since my accident and I can hold him when my hand hurts in the night. He is a little beanie dog, easy to squeeze, and it helps the pain. So, since I was a bit nervous yesterday, I decided to take him along. I hope he had a good trip.


  1. Looks like you had a full day, glad your little buddy could keep you company....I have a few little stuffed animals in my you need a hint what they could be? lol
    Africa is such a fascinating continent, so full of diversity in any aspect. Would love to visit there once in my life time.

  2. Whew! You've had quite the couple of days there. Good for you for working hard on your physical therapy. I know a lot of people who didn't, and they regretted it in the end. Just give Spuds a hug whenever it hurts too much. (what a great idea, by the way, to have your own "therapy dog."

    I do hope that the new medication works for you. I understand hating to take medicines, I do too, but I take them, because I need them. But, I have been able to drop two meds that I took. Since I retired, the physical problems that I had, stress related, have disappeared.

    Off to see what the African blogs are all about.

  3. Good that you got your doctor visit out of the way! Can't say as I envy your long trip, though!

    What statin do they have you on? I take Lipitor, seems to keep my levels in check. He had me try Zocor and that stuff was a nightmare!

    If you are anything like me, a long trip alone really wears you out! I do not like driving with the semis, no way! Maybe you should rest up before you start those exercises this afternoon, LOL!

    Glad nothing was really bad, maybe you babble so much because you don't see that many people?

  4. Oh, I feel for you having to make that drive. I was always so glad I didn't have to drive, being a passenger was bad enough. Hope you are feeling much better now. Take good care of yourself. I think you deserve a treat!

  5. were u traveling the grapevine?? tis a busy place..loved reading the adventure of the elephants WOWZA! luv the travel buddy! take care

  6. How do Americans eat then? We have the knife in our right hand too here in the UK. I love your photo's, I'm still waiting for the marlboro cowboy to appear! xxx

  7. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog again ! Yes, that post of OneStonedCrow had my heart in my throat as I read it, too ... phew ! Glad to hear that your recovery is going well .... thanks for sharing those MAGNIFICENT photos with us - so beautiful. And Spuds is a cutie, too ;) Have a wonderful weekend ....

  8. It's really informative article, the information you are provided here about physical therapy bakersfield is really useful, I appreciates your efforts. Thank you for posting such a nice article....


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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