It’s been a few months since I last updated my website and wrote about what I have been doing. When I wrote my last post in June I had good intentions about keeping my website more up-to-date, but as you can tell that did not happen. I did write a quick note when Hurricane Dorian seemed to be approaching south Florida and sadly the Bahamas. Thankfully, we did not get much of an effect from Dorian. If it came a bit further west it would have been an entirely different story. I feel deep sadness for the people in the Bahamas and other areas that were tragically affected by Dorian.
As for me, I am doing fairly well healthwise. I have had some new issues with pain and high blood pressure but I am working with my doctor to try and get something resolved. The doctor I have had for the past few years got married this past March and evidently left the doctor’s office to stay home and be a mom. Nobody told me. I found out in May when I called for my monthly call to refill my prescriptions and was told she left and the doctor who is in charge of the office will now be my doctor and he wants to see me before he will write any new prescriptions for me.
I made an appointment and without going into much detail, we did not get along very well. I do not necessarily care for this doctors curt manner. After discussion and explaining my health condition to him and telling him that I am trying hard to get off my pain medication and that I have working on reducing it he agreed to refill my prescriptions. For two and a half months I seriously worked on reducing my medicines. I am able to pretty much get off some of my meds. Reducing the pills caused my body to react. Some days it worked to be on less medicine, and other days the pain was so bad I didn’t want to move or get out of bed. After much prayer and thinking about my quality of life and not functioning good in pain, I decided to stay on the dose that provides a good quality of life for me.
Several weeks ago I was opening a jar of sauce and felt something in my left hand pull. After a few weeks it still hurt really bad so I decided to go to the doctor. When I got there my blood pressure was 160 over something. I was told that was a bit high and the doctor would take it again when I was in the room with him. I met with the doctor and we still don’t exactly see eye to eye. I don’t like the cold bedside manner. When he took my blood pressure it was 180 over something and he said I need to go on blood pressure medicine because that is in the danger zone for a stroke or heart attack. For the past few years I have intermittently had high blood pressure. I told the doctor that my blood pressure has increased a lot by talking with him. I agreed to take some blood pressure medicine, not the one I tried a few years ago that gave me bad side effects.
After feeling my abdomen he said that it feels like my tumor may be a bit larger and since I have not had a CT scan for almost two years I am going to have to get one soon. Last one also showed that I have degenerative arthritis in my lumbar spine. That may also be getting worse since I have almost constant lower back pain. I didn’t think I would be writing so much about my health condition when I started this post, but when I write I let my story evolve as the thoughts are put into my head. It seems that most of my writing just comes as I start typing. I feel it is from inspiration put into my fingers. I have been writing stories and posting photos since I retired in June 2011, and it’s just evolved naturally. I am amazed when I really sit and start a new post. I pray and ask my Higher Power to let the story and what I write and share be what is supposed to be shared. Then I begin to type and time passes without me being aware of it. Sort of like being in a time warp and hours pass. Sometimes four to six hours and I don’t realize it. Other times like today might be, I write for a few hours, or maybe one hour, due to time or how I am feeling physically. Then a few days later I pick up and finish the story.
So, other than going to the gym five days a week and doing Silver Sneakers cardio and chair yoga classes, I am still cooking and baking and making almost everything from scratch. I give most of it away when I bake and people love getting homemade treats. I also freeze some of the food and especially cookies and cake so I can have snacks easily without baking and making a mess in the kitchen.
I have made lots of delicious and also interesting foods. I’ve also been experimenting with different foods and spices and making up recipes. I was at Aldi grocery store last month and they had their own brand of an electric pressure cooker, so I decided to buy it since I have heard lots of good things about a name brand of this appliance. I made some short ribs, bone broth, stew, beef in barbecue sauce cheesecake and other things in my pressure cooker and everything tastes really good and it’s fast. The short ribs took about 40 minutes rather than hours in the oven. I am still learning how to use it and adjust liquids but it’s been fun and interesting. I have made lots of different types of bread and the English Muffin Bread and Cinnamon Raisin Bread have been big hits. The other day I made carrot cake muffins with pineapple and coconut with cream cheese muffins and I gave some to a few friends and everyone absolutely loved them. In fact one of my friends wanted more and she came over the other day and we made a batch for her. She said she’s not much of a cook or baker and we had fun doing it together and she gave me some to keep for myself even though all of the ingredients were hers that she brought over.
This is the first summer and fall that I didn’t go on a trip since I retired in June 2011. I decided to stay home. It’s been different but I enjoyed it even though I missed being on the road and camping. Every few weeks I take my camper van and drive it for a half hour or so and I stop and run the generator and roof air conditioner to keep it all in good condition. The Native Rhythms Festival which is a Native American flute festival in Melbourne, Florida is the second week in November and I always try to go. I get to listen to excellent music and visit with friends there. Many of the vendors and musicians are people I have known over the many years I have gone to pow wows and flute festivals. I also help them in their booths and give them breaks when they need one, bring them food, and I volunteer at the event wherever I’m needed. The festival is next weekend and unless I know it will be raining the entire time I plan on going again this year. Two years ago it started raining the day after I got there which was not good for the event and vendors sine the crowds were not large. I sat under an umbrella most of the time listening to the music.
I have several pairs of rubber boots that I wear when I’m camping or it’s raining. One pair which comes almost to my knees is solid black, the other shorter pairs that come a little higher than my ankles have a pattern to them. One day I decided to paint a design on the black boots so I went to the craft store and bought paints in several colors. I painted a design of grass an flowers and I thought I would add to it gradually. It rained one day and I wore the boots out in the rain and some of the paint came off. I didn’t put a coating on the paint because it was still a work in progress. So, now, I get to repaint the boots and won’t wear them in the rain until I put a waterproof coating on them.
I was at a local store about six weeks ago and they had a great sale on nail polish. I went overboard and bought so many colors. I think I have enough polish and top and base coats to last for many years. They may outlast me!!! I put them in a shallow plastic container and put a piece of white tape on the top of each bottle and swiped a stripe of each color on the top so that I can see the colors without lifting each bottle.
I didn’t go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this year so I went to their website and watched the live webcam broadcasts and took pictures of my tablet so I can post some pictures here and see the balloons. I miss being there and seeing my friends and volunteering at the event, and crewing on a balloon. When I saw someone I knew being interviewed or a balloon that I knew the pilot and had their contact info I would take a picture of the screen and text it to them. I am always grateful when they write back and thank me and we say hi and it brings back memories for me. Some of them tell me they miss seeing me there.
We have had a lot of rain. It’s strange, the sun will be out and then the sky gets gray and it rains. Sometimes for a short time, sometimes for hours with wind and thunder and lightning. Then the sun might come out and the ground drys and there is no sign of rain. As I am writing this story I saw the clouds get dark and the rain and wind started. This morning was the time change and my body is adjusting because I feel hungry now and it’s a bit early for dinner… except it’s not when I add an hour for the one I lost.
So, now that I realized I am hungry and need to eat I am going to end this story. I don’t know if I will finish it and post my pictures and an album before I leave on my trip to the music festival in a few days. I need to pack and get my camper ready for my trip. I always go to my mechanic and get the fluids and tires checked before a trip, even a short trip. It doesn’t always solve issues such as my transmission going out in Mississippi two years ago. Also, other things have happened every year I travel. Thankfully, it’s always been where I can get it fixed where I am or close by… usually.
I will also write about the music festival like I have in previous years.