Monday, September 26, 2016

Just A Health Update

The last week has been HELL... no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

My wife was sick and two weeks ago I took her to the doctor and she got an antibiotic shot, a Z-pak, an inhaler and cough syrup. One week later, she is actually worse. She gets another "different" antibiotic shot and antibiotic pills plus an x-ray. She is return 24 hrs later.  X-ray shows her lungs as clear but all indications are pointing at pneumonia. They put her in the hospital.

So, one week ago (Sept 24) they do a cat scan to validate the x-ray. Plus, they have her on an antibiotic drip in her saline solution, a daily steroid shot, another different antibiotic shot, plus a lot of of other meds.  She comes around and on Tuesday late afternoon, they release her.

During this time, I'm coming down with a hack, congestion, runny nose and... yeah, I don't feel well.

So, they gave her some antibiotic pills.  They don't want her to take them. I bought them and I'm not about to just toss them.  That's right.  I took them in conjunction with a cold/flu capsule every four hours.  Talk about coming down from that high six days later - what a headache... but I'm feeling pretty good now.  A slight hack to break up the congestion but no real phlegm - I'm good.

Of course, I have to have a blood draw during this time since I have my diabetes doctor appointment after three months to see if my new medication is helping.

When I get up in the morning, my blood sugar is running about mid-70s to low-90s.  Sometimes it will drop below 70, but only 3 times. It is running over 100 in the morning, but not that often and I know why when it is - like drinking OJ at 2 in the morning.

My A1C went down.  I was hoping for below 6.  It was 6.8 and I wasn't too thrilled until I found that my dietitian and my doctor was quite happy with that number.  Anything below 7 is considered good. Plus, my weight is now a solid 245 - I've come down 6 pounds since June's appointment.  I was lower before June but the dietitian's diet was a lot of carbs and my weight went up and up. I decided to go back to my old diet plan and my weight has dropped.  And, with me now taking Victoza, my cravings and over-eating seem to be more controlled.  I prefer small meals, light meals and about every 3 to 4 hours - so I'm getting smaller meals, but more often.  My blood sugar is doing good.

Now, back to my wife. They never really figured out what she had and decided to call it a form of pneumonia.  She is still very weak and just getting out the chair is a major accomplishment.  Like she said, "Getting out the chair is so tiring, I just want to sit back down which defeats the purpose of getting up!"  She sleeps a lot and doesn't eat too much.

I'm now the guy who cooks ALL the meals and is supposedly keeping the house clean. The chickens aren't helping - they're laying 17-20 eggs daily. WalMart is causing issues - they're selling eggs for $.65/dozen.  I've lowered the price of my brown eggs to $1 but still not selling any.  In fact, I'm having trouble giving them away!!  Last week I had 10 dozen eggs to give away.  By the time I feed the chicken, give them water, collect the eggs and get back in the house, I'm whipped. Then I need to figure out a meal and cook it.

We've been eating pretty good - having made Pork Fritters, Chicken & Broccoli, Spanish Rice, Egg/Cracker Hamburgers, Salads, Twice-baked Potatoes, Cottage Fries, Stuffed Cabbage Balls, Cheesy Cauliflowers, and Cheesy Broccoli/Chicken Rice, I even made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Homemade Tomato Soup (I mean, using tomato juice as the base and jacking it up with spices!) and other healthy from-scratch things.  So far, I haven't stooped to potato chips and/or PB&J sandwiches, but I may consider them down the road.

I'm going to get some of the freezer meals we made a month ago and use some of them. Maybe the next day or two will be Green Pepper Casserole and another day with Egg Rolls.  I'll have to see what is in the freezer.  I know there is some shrimp and I will definitely be using that!!  Maybe a roast, too.

The garden has decided to come to full harvest. I have tomatoes on 8 plants out in garden and there seems to be more red than green.  I green peppers are going crazy with a lot of peppers.  And the green beans for the last couple of months - lots and lots of flowers, but no beans.  NOW?  There are beans on those vines that would choke a horse.  I just don't have the time to get all of it done.

I attempted to start remodeling the RV just prior to my wife getting sick.  So, the RV toilet has been off for over 3 weeks.  I just need to get a couple of pieces and put it all back together - but I need to go to an RV center for the parts and that is an hour drive there and an hour drive back.  So that is going to wait until my wife and I are back to health.  Obviously we don't need it fixed right this minute since we're not traveling.  To put it back together will only take a couple of hours - I just need the time.

Until next I ramble on...

Sunday, September 18, 2016


There is a Bible verse about faith and the mustard seed. I'm not going assault you with religious beliefs or spout Biblical verses... only enough to say, sometimes it takes determination, too.

Why and how does determination fall into the same category as faith?  Glad you asked.

I live in NW Ohio and see the miracle of the mustard seed.  I really don't believe there are that many farmers in this particular area who are raising mustard as a cash crop, so to see those fields of yellow when the mustard plant is in bloom ... all the way to the road, I might add ... is a beautiful thing to behold, even if it is weed.

But I wanted to talk about determination.

Ever planted morning glories?  I did.  Oh, about six years ago.  My wife and I thought it would be amazing to see blossoms spiraling up the trellis on each side of our front porch entrance. It would allow some shade and look gorgeous. We talked it to death and finally decided to do multi-colored rather than "discuss" (btw, that's also known as argue) which color, sky blue or purple, would be better.

So, the spring of 2009 I purchased a packet of seeds and spread a few of them on each side of the steps leading up to the porch, in front of the trellis entrance.

I'll admit, they were stunning. Beautiful parasols of sky blue, shades of lavender and purple, whites and creams, pinks, reds and even stripes or ribbons of mixed colors. They bloomed all day long and filled the trellis... and then some.

Good soil means good roots and good roots means strong plants and strong plants means vigorous growth.  Yup! Those morning glories filled the trellis and I had to string fishing line along the front of the porch for the vines to continue growing.  Otherwise it would have appeared I was attempting to grow Jack's Bean Stalk.

My front porch is twenty-four feet across the front with the four-foot wide steps in the middle. Hence, ten foot on each side.  Those morning glories grew from the raised flower beds in front of the porch, twining around the trellis and finally almost to the very ends of the porch on the mangle and tangle of fish lines I'd created.

Being retired, we tend to sit on the front porch and enjoy the cool breezes, listen to the birds fly and chirp and laugh at the antics of the hummingbirds.  The vines had seeds and I gathered as many as I coiuld, trying to make sure I got the red and blue ones.

But, all is not well nor content.  The overgrowth of morning glories - a two-foot wide trellis which now encroached to almost four-foot wide... and all the dangling vines across the top.  The view of the front yard, traffic, neighbors walking walking the country road, etc... was almost non-existent!!

"We won't be planting morning glories on these trellis next year!!"

"HUH?" I almost dropped my plastic bag of about 3 bazillion seeds.  Maybe I exaggerate a little, it was only like about two pounds of seeds.

"If you want morning glories, plant them at the end of the wall. I can't see out and I want to see."

Hm? I have an eight-foot retaining wall. Morning glories on that could be quite attractive. "Okay."

"In fact, you could tear them out now - it won't hurt my feelings at all."

Two weeks later, about the last week of September, found me ripping out the roots of the morning glory plants and trying to get the tangle of vines out of the trellis.  Needless to say, seeds were popping out of their pods and going everywhere.  I got the "most" of it out and threw the vines over the edge of the retaining wall.  The seeds could grow there next year.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2010.

Dear Diary: Today  ripped another 200+ morning glory plants out of the raised beds. I think that makes it over 1000 plants I've weeded so far this year.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2011.

Dear Diary: I can't believe I'm still pulling out morning glory plants from in front of the trellis.

Leap forward in time to Spring/Summer of 2012.

Dear Diary: Still pulling some morning glory plants out of of the raised beds. Found some blooming ones on the ground by the retaining wall.

BIG leap forward in time to Summer of 2016.

Yeah, I'm still pulling morning glory plants out of the raised bed.  So far this year, about 8 plants.  Last year, in desperation, I used RoundUp and put down three inches of mulch.  I can't believe the persistence of these seeds.  I also did RoundUp at the retaining wall and from what I can tell, those no longer grow.  Of course, this could be a "psych" year for them and they'll be back next year with a fervor to put out even more seed.

Now, the interesting thing is this.  I don't have any mustard plants in my yard, but if you are interested in a morning glory plant - I bet I might be able to find you one come next year if you decide to stop by. Just let me know you'll be coming so I don't tear it out before you get here.

Oh, and why did I want to discuss persistence?  I almost forgot.  November is coming which means National Novel Writing Month will happen.  It's also known as NaNoWriMo.  Anyway, you must write fifty thousand words in thirty days.  Now, there is persistence!  You need to write 1667 words each day as an average.  I have learned over the years - yes, I've done this for FOURTEEN years now, almost from its original inception, you must focus and have persistence... like a morning glory. Sure, you can have faith like a mustard seed, but it will take the persistence to keep you on track.  So, now is the time for you to outline your story, do your research and develop your characters.  Come November 1, you can plow into the frenzy and enjoy a month of writing a novel.

Remember, have the persistence of a morning glory.

Until next I ramble on...