The other day and today

Roses in our back yard
Roses in our back yard

Here was a surprise I found when I went walking in our back yard yesterday. Our one and only rose bush is in bloom. This is nice.

I’m taking a break from waterproofing the deck and cleaning the deck furniture and other outside activities. So far I’ve done about half of what I planned to do today; and I’m not sure I’ll get much further down the list. This is the third break I’ve taken since around 9:30 this morning, and each break has one thing in common. When I come into the house my nipples start to ache. I tried looking on the Internet to find a reason, but Google only has answers for women. I’m not breastfeeding, I’m not ovulating, and I don’t believe I have a yeast infection, so what is the cause. If I go back out I’ll try a different T-shirt and see if that makes a difference.

***

I went to see my doctor the other day for my quarterly visit, and to have him look over my lab results. Everything is fine. There was an interesting occurrence in the waiting area, where I was waiting. I was sitting there, playing Sudoku on my cell phone when I heard a woman telling a receptionist that she was dropping a sample of urine for her husband. The receptionist asked her to have a seat and that someone from the lab would come out and get it. An elderly woman came and sat down beside me. She said, “I’m so embarrassed sitting here with my husband’s pee,” and held up the sample container to show me the contents. I thought it looked neither too dark an amber, nor too watery, but, rather,  just right. I didn’t tell her that…I’m not a doctor.

Next I was escorted to an exam room to wait for the doctor. I looked at the same anti-smoking posters I’ve been looking at for a couple of years now, and at the coloring book pages that have been colored by young children. There were no new ones that I could detect. Then the doctor knocked on the door before he came in. And I wondered why he knocked. Did he think I might be performing an act of self-abuse? If so, he opened the door before I could have…well…you know…recovered. But, like I said, everything is fine.

Happy Anniversary to us

A peaceful scene
A peaceful scene

I took this picture northeast of Battleground. I was so quiet there, and I liked it a lot.

***

Cindy and I have been married 23 years today. It doesn’t seem that long…most days. Today we started out at the hospital, where Flo has been taken. She has been in a lot of pain (her greatest pain ever), for the past couple of days. When we got to her room she told us that she wasn’t in as much pain because she had a black button she could push for more medicine. That made her happy. After asking the nurses to roll her onto her side, and then onto her other side, she decided that she needed to press the black button again, but during her moves it was no longer within her grasp. One of the nurses told her that she would have to wait a while before pushing the button again.

I left to drive to Flo’s nursing home to get her cell phone and charger. It was a nice drive, I was able to listen to music.

When I got to the nursing home, the only person at the nursing station was a young Chinese nurse who was readying the medications to give to the residents. When she finally turned to look at me I told her that I needed to get Flo’s cell phone and charger. She smiled at me and said, “我不知道你在說什麼,圓圓的眼睛。我也不關心。走開,斑點疣子的兒子!” At least that’s what it sounded like. I went into Flo’s room, did some cursory searching, and found the items I wanted.

OK, part of that is a fib. The nurse actually spoke English, after a fashion, and said, “Don’t know where phone is. You go look. I have nurse aide help if you need.”  The other version just sounded cooler.

When I got back to the hospital, Cindy was sitting in the recliner. Jill arrived with cookies and a drink for Cindy. I settled in the settee built-in under the window. When Cindy got tired of my under-my-breath commentary on her conversation with Flo, she and Jill went for a walk, leaving me with Flo. I didn’t mind, Flo had so much pain medication in her system that she was pretty much out of it.

A few minutes later, a young nurse roused Flo enough to take her temperature and check her other vitals. Flo asked her to give her the black button, but the nurse told her that she had to wait a while longer. “It takes so long,” Flo whined. But then Flo settled back into her torpor.

We’re home now. Cindy and Jill are getting caught up on Revenge while I tend to my blog. If they are still at it when I finish this post, I’ll start a draft for tomorrow.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Stuff (a favorite word of mine)

Looks like the rain is coming
Looks like the rain is coming

I was northeast of Brookston a few days ago when I took this picture. I had thought to drive to Rolling Prairie, my home town, but since there was a prediction (70% chance of thunder storms up there) I decided to just take a long drive instead. It worked out. I took a few pictures that will be showing up here in various posts. Speaking of this blog, my mother mentioned on the phone last week that my sister told her something that I had written in “your blob, or whatever you call it.” I guess blob is probably what she would call it if she read it; but she won’t read it. She has drawn away from all things electronic as the years go by. That’s probably just as well, or I wouldn’t be able to write about her without fear of offending her.

***

Cindy and I went with friends to a cookout at a campground in Monticello yesterday. It was good company, good food, and fair weather. Thanks Todd and Patty. There was one bothersome (to me) thing that I noticed at the campground. When I walked up to one of the communal restrooms I found that the Men’s and (probably) the Ladies’ restrooms were open to all, and were very clean, but were not strictly handicapped accessible. There was another door to the building for people with restricted movement, but it was marked as Unisex, and the door was locked. A sign indicated that in order to use that facility, you had to go to the camp office to get a key. To me, that didn’t seem the friendliest way welcome everyone to the campground. Perhaps I’m too sensitive to these issues after working most of my life in the public sector. Or, perhaps, they haven’t been sued.

***

I was listening to Randy Newman’s Rednecks yesterday (a paean to intolerance and to people who like to feel superior), and I wondered if anyone who is younger than 50 would know who Lester Maddox was. For that matter, how many people older than 50 would remember him? He was an iconic figure in his day, but we often seem to have societal amnesia about so many people and things. I may be wrong; Lester Maddox may be no more than an answer to a trivia question. 

Cindy: Post Surgery

Not a common sight
Not a common sight

In the days of electrical and gas appliances, you don’t often see laundry hanging on a line. I believe that if I lived in the country I would hang my laundry out during good weather, but would have appliances as backups in the winter, or when it rained. Of course, if you have a basement in your home, you can hang it and let it dry down there in bad weather.

***

Cindy had a bunion removed yesterday. For good measure the surgeon removed a bone spur as well. Today she is on the couch (our couch, not one belonging to a therapist), foot propped up, sleeping through the Today show coverage of the tornado devastation in Oklahoma. The pain pills do knock her out when she isn’t drinking coffee. Note to self: stop giving her coffee.

I knew the pain she is feeling would be a problem when she kept asking the nurse in the recovery area what she could take between doses of the strong stuff. Alas, there was nothing that the doctor would authorize; no aspirin, no ibuprofen, no nothing. So, she is toughing it out between the doses every four hours of controlled substances. Poor kid.

***

Trina brought over a walker that had belonged to her Grandma Betty, for Cindy to use. It is a fancy one with wheels; with a shelf where a person can load stuff up to push (or to sit on); it has hand brakes; and I can’t get the darned thing unfolded so that Cindy can use it. I think it must have been designed by a Purdue grad, because it seems useless to me. As far as I’m concerned, it would be easier to sling Cindy over my shoulder and tote her around, than to try unfold this walker. Still, it was sweet of Trina to bring it over.

Well, that’s what is happening here. Hope you are having a good day.

A Little This and A Little That

Will they sprout?
Will they sprout?

This is cute. It looks like Cindy and her friends are trying to save money by growing their own cigarettes. I hate to tell them, but I don’t think the butts will take root. But, then, I didn’t get my education at Purdue. So what do I know about agriculture?

***

I was watching one of the Midsomer Murders a few days ago, and there in the opening credits was the name Nicholas Grace. Nicholas Grace played the Sheriff of Nottingham in the TV series Robin of Sherwood. I had seen this MM before and I didn’t remember seeing him in it. So, before I got too far into the murder and bodies began to drop, I whipped out my smart phone and searched for the cast credits. Well, there he was, playing Hugo somebody, so I watched to get a good look at him. When he came on the screen I knew why I didn’t recognize him; his voice had changed. It was lower and, while not raspy, wasn’t as clear as it was in the series. Once I took a good look at him I saw that he looked the same around his eyes. When I listened I recognized the speech patterns, but the sound of his voice had definitely changed. I wonder if people who knew me in the 70’s, but who hadn’t seen me recently, would recognize me?

***

I have been listening to a lot of Peter, Paul & Mary recently. I think I have felt compelled to listen because, first, the weather recently has reminded me of what it was like in Bloomington the first time I saw them. They were playing at a political rally. Second, it struck me yesterday that they were, primarily, an optimistic group. With few exceptions, the songs they sang gave us a view of the world where no matter how bad things might be, we could survive and make a better life. That came to me while listening to Weave Me The Sunshine, one of my favorite songs by the. If you don’t know the song, here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVuX22LO2Hg. It isn’t my favorite version, but it is good.

Outrage & Disappointment

Cindy, Mason & Trina - Mother's Day 2013
Cindy, Mason & Trina – Mother’s Day 2013

Here are Cindy and Trina bookending Mason this past Sunday. I am amazed every time I see him standing beside people who were taller than him just a year or so ago. At least that’s how long it seems to me.

***

I’ve held off on commenting on the triple scandal plaguing the White House until I’ve had time to think about the separate issues. I’m not sure I’m ready, but siting silently isn’t making me feel any better.

First, let me state that I’m not sure that the Benghazi issue rises to the level of scandal. Perhaps it does, but the members of Congress who are beating the drums just want to talk about and investigate talking points. To me, that just seems like they are trying to stock up on political fodder for 2016. It seems that everything does center around elections.

The IRS issue is much more important. Here we have a government entity that has been using its power to harass organizations. That is wrong, and if it isn’t illegal, it should be. I may not believe that the harassed organizations deserve tax exempt status, but that is a decision that should grow out of reviewing their application; the review shouldn’t depend on the name of the organization. I think the American people deserve to know who had the idea to harass, and who authorized the harassment. If that leads to the White House, so be it.

The Associated Press issue is also important. This seems to be a clear case of the Justice Department going on a fishing expedition in murky waters. If they had no better, clearer idea where they should be targeting their search, they should have backed off. Again, it is important to find out how far up this scandal reaches.

Let me also say that I keep hearing political “pundits” saying that it is important that the start president firing people as a means of damage control. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. It must be clear who instigated these issues and who approved them, and then get rid of guilty parties. Having seen this type of thing happen in State government, I know that rushing things usually leads to the firing of lower level people and the protection of those higher up. That is the wrong signal to send.

***

Here are two of my favorite Tweets from the last couple of days:

From Jeff Greenfield: Boy, this would be a GREAT time for Trump to expose Obama’s real birth certificate….

James Ledbetter: This would never have happened if the AP had guns.

One-year anniversary

Beautiful house back in the trees
Beautiful house back in the trees

I almost drove past this house yesterday because I couldn’t see much of it due to the trees. It is located on a gravel road southwest of Lafayette. I think it is a classy place in a beautiful location.

***

Hearkening back to yesterday’s post, you may have noticed that I did not list owning any flip-flops (you may call them shower shoes or things, though when I called them thongs when speaking to my grandson Mason, he thought I was talking about something else entirely and gave me a surprised look). I can’t wear flip-flops anymore…at least I can’t wear one on my left foot.

Today marks the first anniversary of me becoming a nine-toed sloth; as in deadly sin type of sloth, not a tree hanger. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, or have forgotten, you can get caught up by reading my posts Day 105 through Day 108, though Day 106 deals specifically with one year ago. I’m glad I made those posts, because otherwise the memories would start fading and eventually be minimal. I’m sure that if I went back and read them today I would find things that I have already forgotten. That’s the way my memory works.

***

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Dr. Deutsch’s office. He is the doctor that performed my colonoscopy. The call was to tell me that the biopsies came back negative. That means I don’t have celiac disease. That’s good. I didn’t want to add gluten-free to my diet choices.

When I looked through the paperwork I was given post-endoscopy, I saw that one of the recommendations was that I have another colonoscopy in ten years. I’m pretty sure that by the time I’m 75 I’ll be too crabby to go through it again. I was going to use the work cranky, but I’m already a crank, so crabby is probably a better fit for the future.

Shoes

This picture fits my mood
This picture fits my mood

When I took my short walk the other day, the following songs played on my MP3 player. First was Peter, Paul & Mary singing Long Chain One. This song set the right pace for me. Next was Arlo Guthrie’s Mapleview (20%) Rag. I tried to stride on every second or third note. Then came another song at just the right tempo, The Doors’ Love Her Madly. Finally there was a slower tempo that I followed to sashay up the driveway, Brewer & Shipley’s Song From Platte River. It was a good, though short, walk. I think I need to start adding more distance. Perhaps I’ll add a cul-de-sac tomorrow.

***

I had a strange dream a few nights ago. I’ve related in the past that I seldom remember any of my dreams, so it when I do remember them I tend to share them. In the dream I was in rustic bar/restaurant. The location reminded me of the place in the movie Roadhouse. I got a call from someone (I’m not sure who it was) and they told me that I had to leave immediately because of some emergency. As I was leaving the establishment I glanced back at my table and saw that I had left my shoes sitting in the floor under the table. I don’t remember removing my shoes, and I didn’t go back for them. I left the place barefooted. And then I woke up.

As I spent time the next day reflecting on the dream, and what it might mean, I started thinking about shoes. When I was single, and for a long time after I got married, I seldom owned more than three pairs of shoes at any one time. I usually owned two pair of dress shoes for work, one black pair and one brown pair. I would also own a pair of sneakers for evenings and weekends. My needs are few.

Now I own black and brown dress shoes, two or three pairs of sneaks, two pair of sandals, and one pair of Hush Puppies. When did I stray into the land of Buy-Because-It-Feels-Good? I know I bought my most recent pair of sneakers because I liked the way they looked, not because I needed them. I don’t need them. I take some solace in the fact that I feel guilty every time I wear them. I wear then a lot.

Colonoscopy result (I know you want to know)

Cindy and Trina, 2001
Cindy and Trina, November 1991

I took this picture when we were still living on Eastland. It was taken long before Cindy and I had any grandchildren. The original photo is in color, but I’ve grayscaled some of them just to see how they would look. This isn’t bad.

***

I thought about scanning and using the photos from my colonoscopy, but I didn’t take the pictures; my innards were the model. There were no polyps or lesions in my large intestine, but since I have been vitamin B12 deficient lately, the doctor decided to worm his way into the small intestine to take a some biopsies. He thinks I may have celiac disease. I think he is probably wrong. I know that I hope he is wrong because if he is right I will be moving to a high fiber-low carb-gluten free diet. I shudder to think of what that might be like. I should know about the biopsy results in a week or so.

The doctor was running late Friday morning. In fact when he went to talk to the woman who was in line before me, Cindy and I could hear her ask him if had been out saving lives or playing golf. It was too wet to play golf, so I’m guessing he was saving lives.

The colonoscopy itself was painless. The anesthetic was so good I don’t remember the doctor entering the room. As far as I know, he could have delegated the job to a nurse…or maybe a janitor.

***

Cindy and I took Flo to see a heart specialist in Indianapolis on April 26th (I know I’m late posting about it). We took Flo’s friend, Peggy, along as well. We wanted to find out if Flo was eligible for a new, experimental, surgery. We found out that she wasn’t eligible for the test we were checking on, but that she might be eligible for an expanded study (more on that in a bit).

I had thought that this trip might yield a lot of fodder for blog posts, but now that I’m getting around to it, I only have two notes that I can decipher. 1) While we were in the waiting area at the doctor’s office, Flo noticed the fairly standard institutional tile flooring. She thought it was pretty and wanted something like it. Since she is living in a nursing home I doubt that she will be getting that particular tile pattern soon. Peggy said she liked it but wouldn’t have it because she would have to keep it shiny.

2) On the way home Cindy started to tell Peggy about this blog. Peggy didn’t know what a blog was so Cindy started to explain the concept to her. Peggy said that when people get old they go back to doing things like they were a kid again. I wasn’t sure if I should be more upset over what she said, or that she said it while I was there in the car with them.

It started with an Absorbine commercial

A farm photo
A farm photo

Darn! I originally made this post without adding a photo. I realized it immediately after I hit the publish button. Here is a photo, not my best, but at least I have one. Is that slightly OCD on my part?

***

I was watching Morning Joe this morning and an ad came on for Absorbine. I remembered Absorbine Jr. commercials from earlier years, so I wondered if Absorbine had grown up and shed the Jr., or if, rather, it was Junior’s dad who had come out of retirement. I decided I should Google that question. It has led me down a somewhat twisty path to the destination I had planned this post to be about before I saw the commercial. I hope that sentence made sense.

I went to the Wikipedia entry on the company that makes the product. It seems that the original Absorbine was/is horse liniment. Te farmers who used the product liked the result on the horses that they started using it on their own aches. The company saw this new market and repackaged the product as Absorbine Jr. for use by humans.

I am still confused, because the ads on the Internet are still calling the human product Absorbin Jr., not just Absorbine. Perhaps not everything on the Internet and on Wikipedia changes oh so quickly. Anyway, this change in name made me think of the time when Carter’s Little Liver Pills dropped the word Liver from the product name. I decided to check out the pills in Wikipedia. I didn’t get past the first paragraph where I read that the main ingredient is bisacodyl.

Wait a minute! I’ve seen that name…recently…where? Then I remembered, that bisacodyl is the main ingredient in Dulcolax. Why, you may be asking, would I know about the ingredients in Dulcolax? Am I literally, not just virtually, full of s**t? No, I am not. I know this about the ingredients because tomorrow I am getting a colonoscopy, and part of the preparation is taking four Dulcolax tablets. Believe me I looked at the package before I bought it.

Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m only getting the colonoscopy because I’m fifteen years overdue, not because there are any symptoms that caused me to worry.

I have to tell you that I am worried about the Dulcolax more than I am about drinking vile mixtures, which is also part of the prep. I once took one half of a Dulcolax tablet and ended up sitting in the bathroom for the biggest part of a day and a half. I can’t imagine what choking down four tablets at one go will do to my digestive tract. I’ve given some thought to sleeping nude in the bathtub tonight.

So, I had planned on just posting about the prep for the colonoscopy, but a TV commercial about Absorbine led me to information about Carter’s Pills which took me back to Dulcolax and ultimately the colonoscopy.