Monday, November 29, 2021

Rust ~ Post No. 35

When Jane and Vince went to Death Valley, she found some rusty relics and forwarded their pictures to me. 

After all her contrubutions to my Rust posts, I just couldn't let them sit in my photos, so this is the first new Rust post, with more to come

I never paid much attention to rust before moving here, where so much was left behind by previous owners and left to rust.

Now, when see rusty objects, I wonder about their history. What were they used for, why were they were left, who owned them, what happpened?

I'm grateful Jane continues to keep an eye out for more rust on her travels. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Cookie Jar


What's Faith looking at so intently?

The cookie jar, of course. What's the cookie jar doing in my bedroom? I couldn't get it open, there's a tape around it and it's so hard to remove. I just didn't want to stand in the kitchen any longer, so I sat down on my bed. And why isn't my bed made? I only eat cookies in the morning if my blood sugars are too low. And I love to see my bed made. 

Faith is telling Samson that she was here first and should mommy happen to spill a cookie or two, they're hers. 

She's now given him the evil eye twice, but Samson is not deterred. I don't give them people cookies, just dog treats, and carrots, stuff like that, but no cookies. This little scene ended peacefully, as they always do. 

Jasmine Drove Us

 to Bakersfield, on Monday. I was scheduled for a CT scan of my chest at Kern Radiology.  

With the holiday this week, it will be awhile before I know the results. 

In order to learn the results, I need to schedule another appointment with the Nurse Practioner, henceforth (oh what a lovely oldfashioned word) the NP in this story. Except I don't think she will appear in it again. 

I will then learn if I have COPD and also if I will need to use oxygen during the day. Day and night. -- All the time. 

Something I feel she could tell me over the phone. The cancer surgeon from UCLA called me to tell me I had breast cancer. It was a Thursday, trash day, and the noisy trash truck was on our street, rumbling away. I will never forget it, but at least I didn't have to drive a long way to find out. 
Strange thing is, I have no symptoms that I notice, just a little out of breath walking uphill. But the oxygen meter on my finger during the night told the night-time story, which determined that supplemental oxygen was needed.

For the record: Yes, I smoked, both my parents smoked. On December 21st, I haven't smoked for 28 years. Unfortunately, I've inhaled a fair amount of smoke from wildfires since then.  

From Novemer to March, fog is common in the Central Valley.  Tule fog, which is a radiation fog, can be very thick with low visibility, sometimes as little as eight feet. Fortunately, this fog was just the usual smog/fog morning condition in the valley. It disappears shortly after sunrise. 

I was very lucky after we arrived at Kern Radiology. First, there was no one in line to sign in. I was given the usual sign-in forms, I never filled anything out, as soon as I signed the forms, I was called. Jasmine came with me and we walked to the room with the scanner. 

I've been in MRI and other machines where you have to stay for more than half and hour sometimes. Here, I was just partially inside the machine, the tech did a few things, said, "inhale, hold your breath," a couple of times and I was done. 
It was the fastest and easiest test I've even had done.

Pretty soon, we were going back up the mountain, where I did one tiny little backseat driving comment, which I immediatly regretted and aplogized for. It's not always an easy mountain to manuever up, with it's multitude of trucks. Those with heavy loads going at close to standstill speeds.  

Jasmine did great!

And soon we turned in on my road and were home, greeted by two happy dogs. 

I'm so grateful for Jasmine's help. It's making a huge difference in my life. 

Living here, so far from everything, I can't afford to not want to drive. Fortunately, I still enjoy it and my new car. 


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Old Oak Tree

This is a story about Google, Wikipedia and a tree from my childhood:

The other day, as I sat in bed resting, I began to think of an old oak tree in Sweden.

This tree was located on Ekero outside Stockholm. 

My great-aunt, Magda, owned a summer house on the island and we often visited her there. As a part of our visits, we usually went down to hug this large old oak. 

There were too few of us in our family to ever be able to reach all the way around it's massive trunk and join hands. Still, it was a valuable nature lesson for us kids. 

I wondered if I could find out more about this tree, so I went to Google and wrote this:  

Old oak tree on Ekero in Lake Malaren, Sweden

And up came this: 

Ekeby Oak Tree - Wikipedia

The Ekeby oak tree (SwedishEkebyhovseken) is an oak tree in Ekerö outside StockholmSweden, close to Ekebyhov Castle. It is the largest living deciduous tree in Sweden by volume.[1]

The Ekeby oak is approximately 500 years old.[2] It was declared a natural monument in 1956.[3] There are many old trees around Ekebyhov Castle; the oak, sometimes called Ekeröjätten (the Ekerö giant) stands alone in a field south of the castle, where it had no competition for space from other trees.[4] It was measured in 2008 as the largest tree by volume in Sweden.[5]

I couldn't believe it! How great to find this tree from my childhood's summer days. It was just amazing. To learn it was an ancient and important tree was even better, I had no idea. 

What in the world did we do before the internet?

The Ekeby Oak Tree

Looking at pictures of this tree, you will not realize how massive its trunk is unless there's a person in the picture.  And while the picture you get if you click on the link isn't the best, at least it does have a person at the foot of the tree.  

Monday, November 22, 2021

Advent, Health, And My Old Dog

Correction: Sandra commented that Advent starts on the 28th. I knew that, I looked at my calendar when I wrote this, and I thought it was the 28th! Which is after Thanksgiving, so this post makes no sense. But I hope you will enjoy it anyway. 

Some health issues have come to the forefront of my life. I now need supplemental oxygen at night. No big deal, the noisy machine is in the other bedroom and I quickly got used to sleeping with little cannulas in my nostrils . 

Tomorrow, my great-niece, Jasmine, will drive me to Bakersfield for a CT scan of my chest. This will determine if I need oxygen during the day. While that would be a bummer, I know I will get used to it as well. It doesn't really matter since I'm mostly here at home.  

I also want to learn more about breathing because I believe one can improve one's ability to breathe. At least while one is at the stage I am. The only symptom I've had is a little shortness of breath walking up my hilly road here. Nothing while on flat land or in the house. But the oxygen is important, of course, so I have to work with the medical people and learn as much as I can. 

I got a good book, called Breath, by James Nestor. I will study it and work on some of the exercises included in it.  

Jasmine, has been here to help with house cleaning and special projects. So far, she emptied my pantry, got rid of expired items, cleaned the cabinet and organized the good stuff. Now I open the door, look inside and smile. Then she did a great job cleaning my floors. It's been wonderful getting help and spending time with her.

Adding to my woes, I also have an infection in my mouth, which set off my blood sugars to unimaginable highs. I thought I was OK after finishing the prescribed medicine. Now I think it's probably still there. There's always a reason for unusually high blood sugars, if you haven't splurged on a bunch of cookies or forgotten to take your insulin, then you're probably sick somewhere in your body. 

Now, about the holidays. Global warming is in full force here, it's 63 F --- 17 C here today. And 69 F is projected for later in the week. That's Swedish summer weather. At this point, there's nothing much to do, but to accept it. Normally, I would have taken out my Advent candle holder, cleaned it, put four candles in, and lit the first one, representing the first Sunday in Advent. Granted it came early this year, before Thanksgiving, even, but with this weather, I had no idea. 

Samson, who is 12 1/2 now, is slowing down. He can't walk far, he needs to rest while on our walks. We will visit the vet soon to get an evaulation. Samson and I have lived together for a long time now. We raised puppy Faith together, we mourned Errol together, and we've walked these hills together for many years. A huge sadness fills my heart when I sit and pet his  furry head. 

But he's still here, he's still totally food oriented, has a good appetite, guards, and barks the same as always. 

This has not been a fun post, I know. Since I haven't posted for awhile, I just wanted to share my health issues. But I promise, this will not be a whiny blog. 

I have a wonderful true story to share as soon as I finish writing it. It's about an ancient oak tree in Sweden. 

And I have a new inspiration for another conversation with Faith. This one about a road runner, a bird of the American Southwest, who hitched a ride with a moving van and ended up in Maine. Faith will have some opinions on that, for sure. 

As for the holidays, I guess I will have to prepare for next Sunday now. 

I'm late with this for a Sunday post, so I will schedule it for Monday morning. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Another Puzzle Done

This puzzle tells a story of a girl watching a broom and barrel maker at work, while her dog patiently waits and a horse and carriage pass by. 

I'm so happy puzzle season has arrived. I'm still only doing 300 piece puzzles. My next one is called Great Outdoors, by Ravensburger. Lots of little animals in that one. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

A Foggy Morning And A Trip To Town

On Tuesday last week, I saw a therapist. I don't know who referred me, and I was curious. As it turned out, our city or some entity thereof received a grant for the purpose of providing therapy, mental and emotional, for people with diabetes. 

This really impressed me. It seems to me that people in general  take diabetes far too lightly, like it's a nothing disease. 

All you have to do is manage it, I've heard. 

Yeah, right, ever so easy. 

Of course it isn't.

So I was happy to go and learn what this was all about. As it turned out, I really liked the therapist and could talk to her about anything I wanted, not just diabetes. I did, I talked about the recent cloud on my horizon: lung disease, oxygen, breathing. 

I even made her laugh out loud. Which made me feel good. I will see her again. Her name is Terry and I really like her.

Then I went to the post office. See the man coming out the door? He wasn't there when I started to lift my phone for the picture, so he's a mistake. But he gave me the evil eye as he approached, as if I were stalking him or something. 

I love trains and  never mind waiting for them to pass at a railroad crossing. 

I drove around for awhile, looking for trees with pretty fall colors. They don't look quite as strong and good as in previous years. Maybe it's too dry. But I found some, these are in our Albertsons parking lot. 

Many pretty trees on this street.

It was fun driving around taking pictures. I think I will give up on phone pictures and maybe get a little point and shoot camera, something light. I have a camera, but it's heavy and for me a bit complicated. I only want to take what we used to call snapshots. Quick and easy ones. 

A street view with a large tree on the corner. Our town has many beautiful, large trees everywhere. So different from the canyon. 

Before I drove back home, I decided to stop at the Dollar Tree store, where I haven't been since the pandemic began. I was curious to see if everything was still a dollar. 

It was and I stocked up on some cleaning supplies, candles, and even some cheese. Not something I would normally buy there, but I had grilled cheese in mind. I used to eat that a lot, but haven't for many years. I'm in the mood to try it again. Maybe with that Creole seasoning I'm so fond of now, sprinkled on top.

On that note, I will end this and wish you all a happy day.


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