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Monday Missive – Oct 18, 2021

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s hard to believe we are beyond the halfway point in the month of October. We still are not doing much as far as social interactions which makes me ponder what lies ahead. It looks as if booster Covid shots from Moderna and J&J will be recommended and approved soon at least for some.

  1. Siri tells me there are only 14 days until November 1st. 😳
  2. That means only 14 days until NaNoWriMo. I hope I’m up to pushing out 50,000 words in 30 days. Are you writing this year?
  3. In preparation, I am going to write a few more fiction pieces here on my blog. I may pull back from some of the weekly prompts. Time will tell.
  4. I decided not to participate in InkTober this year. It was a good decision. It was too much to try and do both month-long challenges back-to-back.
  5. How is your holiday shopping going? I have managed to get a good start on mine. We shop mainly for our grandchildren and they are more than willing to tell us exactly what they want with the exception of our oldest who has never given us any suggestions. He worked a summer internship over the summer and banked everything he made.
  6. The entire back of our living room is glass. Yesterday a huge hawk flew into the window. It is so upsetting when that happens. This time of year is tough because the sun shifts and the reflection of the trees in the glass gives an illusion the trees continue. Luckily he was okay, but it scared the daylights out of me.
  7. Is it me, or are some bloggers actually blogging less frequently of late?
  8. I only have two more days of physical therapy left. It’s odd just how much I think I will miss it.
  9. Our weather has been rather chilly. Temps dropped down in the high 40° F range the last two nights. It’s too early to turn the heat on, so we are bundling up a bit more and throwing some extra blankets on the bed.
  10. It’s ‘open season’ for Medicare healthcare plans. Between emails and physical mail, we are inundated. This is the time set aside to change your plan if you choose to do so and the marketing is out of control.
  11. Colin Powell passed away. I had a great deal of respect for him. Rest in Peace. You served your country well.

What’s new with you?

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Throwback Thursday #8 – Collections


Lauren leads the charge this week on Throwback Thursday Memory BlogHop and challenges us to think about the things we collected as children and on into adulthood. Click on the link to read the rules and join in the fun.

Today’s subject: Collections


I grew up in a family where money for nonessentials was rare and money rarely trickled down to the children in the family. Our disposable income usually came from collecting returnable pop bottles for the 2¢ deposit or collecting bottle caps that would serve as a way to get a free ticket to the movies.

My first collection was a collection of broken glass collected from the streams and creek beds where I lived. These simple slivers of sparkling glass were like gold to me. I have written about collections before, and my love for these broken shards of glass was part of that post. If interested, you can read more here. It is the one thing from my childhood that was lost over the years and the one thing I wish I still had. That’s how special it was to me.

I have had periods of collecting items over the years, but most collections were short-lived as I moved around and had less and less space to display anything I might collect. I still have a few collections tucked away.

The first time I met my current husband’s mother, we went on a trek to antique stores in Maine. She collected cobalt blue glass and she was in search of antique cobalt blue luncheon plates. This is where my love for cobalt blue glass originated. I have antique bottles, ornaments, antique eyeglasses with cobalt lenses, snuff bottles and miscellaneous other items. They are currently boxed away as I have no place to display them. Also boxed away is my small collection of poison bottles and perfume bottles.

Hubby and I started buying Christmas ornaments from our travels. Over the years our friends and family members have added to our collection of ornaments. They all adorn our Christmas tree every year and it brings back so many joyful memories. I have a few my sister made me and one my great aunt made which are very special to me.

I have a small collection of art supplies – paints, markers, chalks, pencils, watercolors, sketch pads, canvas, brushes, and miscellaneous, but these are consumable items so they do not hang around forever. 

When I was taking lapidary classes, I started collecting rocks and rock slabs to cut into cabochons. Sadly, the teacher and friend I had passed away and the school no longer offers classes. The equipment to cut rocks into cabochons is specialized and expensive, but I hold onto the rocks in hopes I will have the opportunity to do it again in the future. I have a connection to materials from the earth that I do not have with commercial items.


Our house is full of books – mostly hardback first editions. We downsized a lot when we moved, but we still seem to have books tucked away in every nook and cranny. Our walls are adorned with artwork we have collected during our marriage. There was a time we frequented Plein Air events and often bought paintings. They all hang on our walls and I love the emotional response I get from looking at them. I have a few favorites and they would be the last pieces I would ever part with.

 

I know as soon as I end this post I will think of other collections I have, but since these are the things that rose to the top, this is what I will feature today.

 

 

 

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One Liner Wednesday – Tech Obsolescence

 

DO NOT PERFORM A FACTORY RESET OR THE RADIO WILL BE A BRICK.

That line, upper case letters and all, was easy to pull out of the email I received from internet radio company Grace Digital. My husband bought me an internet radio about five years ago. It relied on an internet radio aggregator for it to work. Well, guess what? The aggregator (Receiva) went out of business rendering all the radios useless. Of course, in my early troubleshooting, I had already done a factory reset because I could not connect to the internet. Now I am the proud owner of a very expensive big black BRICK.


One liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by the lovely Linda Hill. Please visit Linda’s blog (to read the rules, read other one liners, and possibly join in the fun!)

 

Blog

Autumn – Pumpkins, Hayrides, and the County Fair

Photo by <Matthew_Hull> at Morguefile.com (altered)

I remember a time when autumn meant hayrides, jumping in piles of leaves, the county or state fair, and pumpkins everywhere.

Going to the fair was always inexpensive fun. A few dollars got you a few rides, a funnel cake, a corndog, and maybe even a caramel apple, or some cotton candy. It was a great place to run free and ditch your parents if you were old enough. I was a big fan of the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Himalaya rides but only considered the haunted house if someone was with me every step of the way. I was never a fan of the Ferris Wheel after getting stuck atop one at Cedar Point in Ohio.

My favorite thing to do, though was go on a hayride. We didn’t have haunted hayrides back in the day because they were on all autumn post harvest season. It was always best if you had a boyfriend to snuggle up with in the cool autumn night. Our hayrides were generally taken on the public roads throughout farm country. Now, the only ones I see advertised on on private farms or apple orchards – at least around here. I once ruined my sister’s yellow mohair (or was it angora?) sweater on a hayride. She was not too pleased let me tell you. Have you ever tried to pull hay out of a loose knit sweater?

Corn mazes have become a popular attraction as well, but I have never been to one. Our weather is still rather warm for getting lost in a corn field.

We got out of the habit of carving pumpkins or even putting them on display for decoration when we lived in Florida. The heat got to them too quickly and they soon turned  into a mushy mess. I remember when I visited Vermont one year in October and they do autumn right! Everything was decorated with apples and pumpkins and hay bales complimenting the vivid fall colors.

I always liked celebrating autumn for autumn’s sake. We focus too much on holidays I think and don’t spend enough time just enjoying the season.

Do you have any special things you enjoy as a celebration of autumn? Suddenly I am craving some mulled cider.

aging gracefully, Blog

Vertigo – What I Learned in Physical Therapy

Image by Felix Hu from Pixabay

I am approaching the end of my time in physical therapy. I pushed my doctor for a referral after fighting vertigo for three years. I have been through steroids, antihistamines, Dramamine and home baked exercises none of which worked for me for very long.

My diagnosis is BPPV, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, caused by a calcified otolith (often referred to as crystals) loose in the inner ear. After diagnosis by the therapist, the Epley maneuver is performed (which requires about ten minutes) and may be repeated up to three times.

This maneuver can trigger vertigo, which makes it feel like the entire room is spinning at a very fast speed. Some people may experience extreme nausea and may actually throw up. I liken it to being caught on an out-of-control tilt-a-whirl that does not stop.

Untreated, vertigo may recur over and over again, brought on by certain movements of the head. Treated, the symptoms disappear although they can recur in 30% of patients.

My symptoms disappeared after the second treatment, thankfully. I know it is possible they can come back, but at least I know now there is a way to treat it.

What happens after suffering with something like this is that it changes our physiological responses. For me, I slept in only one position which caused damage to my neck and shoulder. Our brain cautions us about past experiences that brought on vertigo and our body in turn, alters it normal response. As a result, there is much retraining that must take place.

Retraining consists of increasing muscle strength, improving posture, stretches, coordinated head and eye movements, and balance exercises. As a result of this retraining, my neck pain is almost gone, my shoulder pain is almost completely gone, my range of motion in my neck and shoulder has improved and my balance is getting better. I was shocked when I was asked to put my feet together, raise one knee, cross my arms across my chest and then close my eyes. As soon as I closed my eyes I could not stand. Without my other senses, my balance could not be maintained. I am doing this exercise every day (always in a corner so I can ‘catch’ myself if necessary) and often standing on a surface like a pillow which challenges our balance even more. I am improving every day. My therapist has even recommended I brush my teeth standing on one foot only.

As we grow older, we stop challenging our bodies in ways we do not even realize. We stop riding amusement park rides, no more summersaults, and no more cartwheels. In our society we don’t even walk much anymore (walking is very good for the vestibular  system).

If you suffer with vertigo or dizziness of any kind, I highly recommend seeing a physical therapist. They can determine the cause of your condition and if it is BPPV, there is an easy and effective treatment to resolve it.

Of course, I wish it could not happen again, but if it does, I know I can get treatment and get back to the business of living normally. Treat your body well. It is the only one you have.