Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Here it is almost June and this weekend our little town is expecting snow. That is so rude for all of us gardeners. At the same time it may keep me from spending money more foolishly as I have in the past. Each year I set a budget and each year I exceed the budget by at least double for my garden.
I sat around stewing about the weather this past weekend and decided that I had better re-invent myself at least one more time and get out before I am officially assigned the name of recluse. I do tend to relish my weekends and rarely leave the house which is not really that good for me. In light of that, after work on Friday I went to the Senior Center to see what was up and get a schedule of events. They were happy to see me and gave me the schedule which included the daily lunch fare. Friday night they had a bluegrass group live and the tab was two dollars! Of course I signed up immediately. I had an enormously good time, met some people, got the CD and had all of the musicians sign it. Saturday, invigorated by my bold move the night before, I got up, showered and dressed and went to yet another event at a local church. On the way there I stopped by the home of a friend who had as yet not given up on my lack of social skills. Good thing I stopped by as she was severely depressed and needed some cheering. E. was given the news that her neck had deteriorating bones and would only find out this week what could be done about it. To add icing to the cake her older brother was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I was sure glad I decided to stop by unexpectedly.
The church people were trying to raise funds by having a combo breakfast and blood pressure event. The breakfast was by donation and they had a little craft fair along with it. One of the crafts was a glass garden do-dad made of stuff we sell at garage sales like bud vases and old glass plates and punch cups. I did not need more inspiration than that so I immediately went to a local thrift store and bought the materials. I am now washing them and will soon have my little do-dad for my yard. Those things look incredibly good with the sun shining on all the facets of the glass patterns. I will post a picture when finished.
Sunday turned out to be sunny and nice so the fur people and I set abut getting cuttings from the geraniums which over wintered and various other little chores in the garden. By mid afternoon I was aches and pains from stem to stern and very happy. Just the aches from using my ill used muscles for gardening brought back happy memories from the past seasons of plant care.
Yesterday I went to the Senior Center yet again for a Tai Chi class. The class was a forty minute event and I lasted only twenty but am determined to go again on Friday. I feel as if I am emerging from a cocoon and about to spread my wings.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


The wind in Idaho is fierce this week, last week, and looks like next week too. I let Sparky/Dudley out for his morning constitutional in the back yard because it was so cold and windy I did not look forward to a walk. After waiting longer than usual I went to the back of the property to see what was keeping him. There I stood looking at what remained of the back gate to my garden and no cute little pooch. I managed to open what was left of the gate hoping my neighbors would not be too harsh upon seeing me in my jammies and robe frantically calling for my dog. Relief flooded over me as I saw (to my astonishment) my little man running as fast as he could toward our house. What a good little guy! Now I have to secure that gate until I can get some repairs done on Monday or so.
I have been thinking about the front of the house and the surprise bulbs, tulips and grape hyacinth, which come cropping up each year. I did not plant them and five years ago when I bought the house they were not there. Each year a few little things came up and I had always thought that the neighborhood squirrels planted them there because the placements were so random. I now have another theory. I think that the previous owner of the home must have dug up all the precious bulbs she could and absconded with them leaving only a few little insignificant bulbs in the ground. I think over this five year period they must have matured and are now in magnificent display. I wish I could tell that woman that her treachery only worked to some extent and that nature took over and gave me her bounty. I am so happy to see the two dozen or so tulips this year and I love the random placement. I have never been a linear gardener, I like the look of a wild/native meadow.
I will today, despite this horrid arctic wind suit up and go forth into the garden. The sun is shining so it won't be horrible. I will just have to wear my woolly hat and a heavy coat. Nothing stops a determined gardener.
At the refugee center we have already received some little plants of vegetables and some tools. It is unfortunate that we can't plant them for three weeks or so because it is just too cold. We are now looking for a good place to store our bounty of little plants so they will survive and do well when we are able to plant them outdoors. Among the usual veggies like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers we are blessed to have some heirloom varieties. I love to plant those because the bugs seem to like the more modern versions and leave them alone. There are also heirloom herbs! I can hardly wait!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I called D. this morning hoping that the sunny day would make her forget the significance of this day. It did not. Today is the day that T, her late husband, died six years ago at the age of fifty four. T. was a mostly happy go lucky guy. They met in high school and were married shortly after graduation. It would be difficult for anyone to get over T. because he was a rare breed of man. Almost nothing bothered him with the exception of letting go of his money LOL. He loved watching the car races and even got into a race car in Las Vegas to go around the track at over 100 mph. He also loved pottery and made some wonderful pieces, some of which I use for my still life paintings and as flower containers around the house. He also loved older women and always had a good word for them. D. liked to have a few drinks and socialize with her friends, often needing a ride home, he never complained even though he would rather stay at home and watch a movie with some popcorn. He hated any form of exercise even though D. and I tried to lure him into supposed "non exercise" activities like dancing, he never fell for it. If you wanted T. to go to any part of the world for a vacation he would go as long as it had a nude beach, seriously, the man was a part time voiyeur and smiled from ear to ear at just the thought of a nude beach. He never touched of the forbidden fruit but was eternally fascinated.
Four months before he died we went to the funeral a friend who was Jewish and therefore there was no coffin or body, just a service with happy memories, a few prayers and some music. T. said "now this is how I want my funeral to be" he was so impressed. Needless to say he got his wish to the very last and his service was attended by a few hundred people who knew and adored him, me included. The house in Las Vegas has reportedly been visited by him on occasion even by those who do not believe in the afterlife. D. and I sort of "feel" his presence and humor but have seen nothing so far. D. is now permanently living in Mesquite and her daughter C. has moved into the house with her boyfriend. The boyfriend is one who got freeked out by feeling someone was watching him when he spent time alone in the house LOL. I can only think that it is T.s way of taking care of his little girl.
I have my doubts that D. will ever have anyone else in her life, even though she has said that she would like to have a companion, there is just no substitute for a perfect match.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It is still raining. A nice steady gentle rain which the plants love. After my morning shift I went to the bead store to finish up a project which was laying around far too long. R. asked that I repair a broken necklace with a stone which needed to be wrapped in silver wire. The necklace had a couple of beads which were supposed to be complimentary to the mostly fuchsia stone but in my estimation were far too dull to do it justice. Consequently I went on an all out hunt until I found just the right color beads for the stone. Today the project is (thankfully) finished as well as one other she managed to slip in last week. I decide that I must gently and nicely reject all repair requests until my planting is over with. Birthdays are coming up which means some ladies will be eager to uncover whatever creation in beads I have in mind for them so I have to get that done too as there are six or so coming up. It is labor of love because I am addicted to the creative process no matter what form it takes.
I am feeling better these days. I am cautiously optimistic because the changes do not come by leaps and bounds. The changes come when I realize that I have done all the laundry, emptied the dishwasher, cleared the kitchen table of clutter, returned my calls and generally done most of the things I should in any given day. I am now taking 2,000 i.u. of vitamin D daily until my next checkup. I have also made it a point to be in the sun a few minutes when I can without sun block to better absorb natural vitamin D.
My high school chums have looked my up through classmates.com and we are planning a re-union ( 50 year ) for 2011 in August. This has to be met with more enthusiasm than brains because Chicago in August is brutally hot and humid. I plan to stay at the Hyatt hotel for the duration. You know how you plan your first few re-unions and stress about your appearance? I gave all that up. I will, of course, look my best but do not plan anything like a crash diet and exercise program or face lift LOL. I will go as is and meet the group head on. I don't know what is so exhillerating about this but it really does put me in a good mood for some reason. I am by no means wealthy or the head of a multy million dollar corporation nor have I won any major prizes for anything. Just an ordinary female going through the life the best way I know how. I guess, bottom line, I have come to peace with my life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This is the Perrine Bridge in the little town where I live. I did not take this magnificent photo so please do not copy it. If you would like a copy I can email a link to the site of the photographer.


Wonderful the way rain slows things down, almost like snow. I love to watch the rain, the lightning, listen to the thunder. When the rain first starts I can hear a type of music made by my gutter pipes. This little twinkling music wakes me up from a deep sleep some times. I have not really investigated to see how it makes the various notes but I just love it. I can understand how babies will sleep well in a moving vehicle because of the constant pattern of sound. The rain does that for me. Even the wind is soothing, unless it threatens to take the house with it.
I look out into the front and back yard to see the progress of the bulbs and various plants coming to life. The dark daytime skies make the colors pop out almost as if they were iridescent. I wish I could get on my knees to take pictures on level with the garden beds but I'm afraid it would take two strong men to get me up again LOL.
I saw a set of garden furniture at K Mart yesterday. Two chairs of red metal which recline and a smaller bistro type table. They looked so light and airy I wanted to plan a BBQ right away. I think I will buy four chairs and two tables so I can have more company gather when the back yard is in it's full blooming glory. Red always makes me happy.
I think about all the things which have been in the news lately. The volcano, the earthquakes, the violence and I count my blessings which, in retrospect, now seem so large. My little struggles with work (or lack of it) and my budget in the scheme of things mean nothing.
This coming weekend I will plant some Lemon Queen sunflowers. I am participating in the great sunflower project. This is the link http://www.greatsunflower.org/ so anyone interested in counting bees on their sunflowers can join. In 2009 I had so many bees once my winter squash was blooming that I could not count them. HURRAH FOR THE BEES. Yesterday at a meeting with our local Master Gardeners Club I found out more about bees and bee hive collapse. It is not the all out dire circumstance I thought it was but it once again points out the fact that we can not use pesticides with abandon and think it will solve all our problems with pests and or weeds. We all need to be more responsible. Me included. Once a year at College of Southern Idaho we get to rent a plot of land, 50x100, to use for growing whatever we wish. The cost is forty dollars and includes water and some tools. This year the refugee center has one and I paid for a plot adjoining it so we could have a space which is now 100x100 for all intents and purposes. The master gardeners are installing a drip system for our convenience and are plowing up the area for us in a couple of weeks. They are a splendid and dedicated group. The community is also coming up with donations of everything from starter plants to equipment for our use. The deal is that every refugee who helps with the garden gets to have a share of whatever we grow. They have some input in what they would like also. Hot peppers are a very desirable item for them along with tomatoes and white eggplant. I can hardly wait to make my ratatouille!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yes indeed, spring has sprung and with a vengeance. My day of rest turned out to be a day of toil in the soil. I guess most of you are experiencing the same thing. The thing that really got to me is buying plants for three large pots in front of the house and spending darn near fifty dollars. I call that rude inflation especially considering the times.
I called my guy who sprays the dormant oil for the fruit trees and asked if he forgot about me because by now the blossoms are fighting to get out of bud. He said he did not forget ( oh yes he did ) that the wind was keeping him from doing his rounds as he should. I think he went fishing. I also have a valve cover which burst from the outside sprinkling system last fall and if he doesn't come soon to fix that my entire yard may turn belly up. Not really, I can hand water, but what a nuisance.
Sparky's name has been changed to Dudley. D. said she always wanted to name a male dog Dudley, so what could I do? Anyway, I would not have named this sweet boy Sparky to begin with. so it's fine.
Our local little bead store has offered a part time job and I think I will take it. I love beading and the inter action of the people who enjoy the same hobby. They have classes to so it should be a lot of fun. I need fun.
My diet has gone to hell this past two weeks. Have no idea why. I think I listened to the wrong people about it, always a mistake, I should just trust myself and keep my mouth shut so I don't get unwanted advice, although well meant.
I had lunch with some women from my office. One of them is a chronic complainer and gets on my nerves, what to do. I hate to distance myself from her as otherwise she is very nice and kind. Besides that she is a terrific cook!
More later, gotta take the Dudley for his little walk.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I now have a new family member, Sparky, he is a one year old Shih Tzu. He came from a good home but there were many problems so it was thought best that he find a more inviting environment. Last weekend we went to Salt Lake City to attend the bead and jewelry show. Sparky and I went with friend Linda and stayed with Linda's friend Karen for two nights. It was my birthday besides and we celebrated in the time honored way of all females. We dined well and had a few drinks. We shopped here there and everywhere and one night we only had ice cream for dinner. Sparky was the only male presence and he turned out to be a real gentlemen who was welcomed back for future visits.
I bought far more beads than I should have (of course) and I used the excuse that if I sold something I really liked I would want one creation for myself so....best to have a backup of materials. My favorite bead this year is called White Buffalo Turquoise. It has no visible blue in it whatsoever, just the white with beige veins running through it. It is mined only in Battle Mountain, Nevada. I think those beads will make a stunning summer necklace. I will, of course, publish pictures when done.
I was hoping to make a dent in the garden and get it ready for the spring planting soon but the winds are howling out there so I have to wait. The bulbs are poking their heads out and very eager to show their colors. The squirrels have rearranged some of them, I can see that, so it will be an intersting show.
I am feeling better and now will have to take only 2,000 iu of the vitamin D daily from now on. I wish I could say that I am doing cartwheels and dancing the night away but alas..no. Sparky's need for walks has also benefitted me because we go to the college each afternoon (weather permitting) and take a little stroll around the frisbee golf course. He is such a good little lad I can hardly believe my luck. Booboo cat is sort of tolerating him although Sparky annoys her with his aggressive show of wanting to play. On the other hand, Kittyboy wants to kill him dead. Seriously. If I take Sparky in the back yard Kittyboy comes out fighting mad. I have to take a large walking stick with me to fend him off. Sparky is 12 pounds and I think Kittyboy must be pushing around 20 or so. I hope they all work things out soon.
Before signing off I have one more thing to comment on. I have had my job at the refugee center now since August of last year. The other staff members are so very nice. For my birthday they went all out and gave me an excess of gifts which was totally unexpected. I was so very touched. Life can be so unexpectedly good some times.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I received a call from Walgreen's, you know, the automated call, that I had an RX. I thought I had picked all of them up so I called. It seems I had one for some vitamin D which I did not know was prescribed. I'm guessing, because no one told me, that I am severely deficient in this because the dosage is a whopping 50,000 IU. No, I did not put too many zeroes there it really is fifty thousand. Directions said to take one per week for eight weeks. It would have really been nice if someone had told me about this and why I'm taking it.
As always I look to the Internet for some sort of info. There are a lot of things which this dosage is for but I narrowed mine down to two things. I have been extremely tired lately and my bones have been hurting. I thought it was arthritis but maybe not. I intend to take these things as prescribed and make an appointment at the end of the eight week period, unless I have some adverse reaction or other to the vitamins, could happen.
A friend of mine made the comment that perhaps it was my not being out int he sun (she said I always looked pale)that was partially the cause. In my defence I read when I was 24, ages ago, that the sun caused cancer so of course I avoided it all I could unless I was in my garden in the spring and summer and even then I wore a hat and long sleeves. I have never been a sun bather. I consider sun bathing a real bore besides being dangerous for one's health. You just try your best in this life and somehow with the best intentions whatever you do there seems to be something wrong with it in the end. I laugh at that though. I think life is a giant stage of comedy and farce. At least that has been what has gotten me through it.
I'm enclosing this picture, taken today, of my pale self. This is the real me. It gives me a giggle to have Marlena as my photo though and therefore I don't want to change it. I feel my life is way to quiet and predictable so that is the only racy thing about me is the picture. My alter ego so to speak.
I know I look quite serious in this picture but really I'm not, just concentrating on holding the camera at arms length and such.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This is Caleb. I love to paint and especially love to do portrait's. This one is a non traditional rendering of a very nice young man who worked hard on a farm in the early mornings and then attended college. He was fairly exhausted by the time he sat for me and fell asleep.


Hello All,

I watched an episode of Oprah today, a rare treat. They had Dr. Oz on the show and the featured topic was diabetes. I was motivated before to not get full blown Diabetes 2 but after watching that show I am not truly fearful of not doing the right thing here regarding diet and even (dare I say it) exercise. Don't get me wrong I like exercise I just don't like getting started again. It's sort of like a cold shower experience. I do plant to go to the senior center in our area on Mondays because they have line dancing and it's only $3.00 to go. As long as I don't have to put up with some old fart drooling on me or smelling bad I'm all for it. Seems like line dancing is the perfect thing, no partner required.
Getting back to the show. They said that extra sugar in the system is like having broken glass shards going through your veins. How's that for a visual. Then they went to a hospital where a woman who used to be nurse, but had diabetes, had some of her leg amputated. If that doesn't put the fear in you I don't think anything will but I did me. I'm on my way to Barns and Noble to see if I can snag some books on diet without a lot of scary pictures in the book. I got the message already.
My friend in Las Vegas emailed me and said that my gift to her Mother, a jar of Idaho huckleberries, was made into a pie. The pie was so good it is now her favorite flavor running neck and neck with chocolate. I could just weep!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Hello All,

I would have written more than one word in the title but it mysteriously turns to hieroglyphs for some reason.
Anyway.....Since I last wrote I have been so tired and draggy it became ridiculous. I was working four hours a day at an office, not big deal, and then I would come home and take a two and one half hour nap. No kidding. I finally got sick and tired of it (no pun intended) and went to see my health care provider, Lora, who is a very dedicated NP. I told her my story and since I have had screenings for diabetes each year I thought maybe a glucose tolerance test would be in order.
She ordered that test and some others. What an ordeal that three hour test is. I'm glad I did it though. The result is that I have a condition calle Hyperinsulinemia.
What it basically means is that my body dispenses way more insulin than it needs after each meal, especially after having carbs. I looked on the internet and discovered the condition was discovered around 1924 by a Dr. Seale Harris, Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama. The symptoms are:
Crying spells,
Delirium and Stupor.

I don't think you have to have all of those things at once but at one time or another I have to confess to having most of them.
Bottom line to this is that after having all this insulin go through your body you crash because it is not used to properly and the food is used as fat storage instead of nourishing your body. This condition effects every cell in your body.
Hyperinsulinism can lead to diabetes, heart attacks, high cholesterol, stroke, certain cancers, PMS (like we need more of that) and acne just to round it out.
I encourage everyone who reads this blog and has the symptoms to get a glucose tolerance test and see if you have this awful condition so you can get on to better health and yes, even lose weight.
Since I have been diagnosed, ten days, I have followed a low glycemic diet and taken the medication they prescribed, I have lost a pound a day. The first five days were accompanied by a lot of headaches which I think were withdrawal from carbs, I love carbs.
If you have any questions let me know and good luck with your health and be happy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Hello All and Happy New Year.
I had a more fantastic time this new years eve than ever in living memory. The only glitch was my sore knee. I had a meniscus repair and could not dance. I met lots of new people and had interesting conversation, lots of wine and a martini or two.
I also took a good look at myself in a full length mirror while naked. Gee, where did all this ugly fat come from. I guess I was either not paying attention or hiding behind my clothes. The clothes of course got progressively larger. At the risk of sounding redundant I am now going to take better care of myself.
At the beginning of my blog I did mention issues with food. I will just have to grapple with them as best I can and get on with living like a normal human being. I always had a good self image and maybe that is part of the problem. No matter how heavy I got I figured I was a really good looking person. Well guess what. The days of looking through rose colored glasses are over. I am now keeping a food diary and counting every bite which goes into my mouth. To prove how serious I am I will now post my most shameful secret. I weighed this morning at 238.8 pounds. That means I have a good hundred pounds to lose. I will settle for 25 this year of 2010 but if more comes off all the better. I bet my knee would feel a lot better too.

My friend D who lives in Las Vegas, Mesquite and Duck Creek Village (yes, all those places on a rotation basis) wants me to leave Idaho on move in with her. She has been widowed for six years and is lonesome for company other than her two dogs. I adore the hounds but I have two cats and I love my little house in Idaho. On the other hand her social life in Mesquite is par excellence! I met the people in her singles group and they have an enormous amount of fun. I could surely use some fun in my life. Growing fruit and vegetables has its limits for fun. I also have my two kitties so dogs and cats, especially cat killer dogs, do not mix. Dilemma. I also like the idea of living my own life instead of joining in on someone else's. Any comments on this?