Glad the cat’s not dead

I found out I am poisoning my cat. Not on purpose, but from a lack of information. For the last couple of years, ever since I bought Jerry and installed him in my house my cat has been eating pieces of Jerry’s leaves.

Jerry is a big beautiful dracaena or Dragon Tree.

Jerry the Dragon Tree

His name is in memory of the amazing musician Jerry Riopelle. What I failed to find out was that dracaena is bad for cats, in fact bad for dogs and cats.

I would hear that cat puking sound, you know that sound – it can wake you from a dead sleep – and she would puke up what looked like grass. Okay this cat doesn’t go outside and we don’t grow indoor grass so this led me to discovering she was munching Jerry!

Two days ago when she once again puked up pieces of Jerry I looked it up, low and behold:

Dracaena species plants contain saponins which may cause drooling, vomiting, weakness, incoordination and dilated pupils (cats) when ingested.”

Oh man, this was bad! Another site said it can cause seizures! What to do?

I remembered I had this plant pest spray that was not harmful to animals so I pulled it down and checked it out. It is made with Cayenne Pepper and a couple of other non-hazardous things. I thought maybe she would leave it alone just because of the taste and smell.

Cleo the cat and Millie the GSD.

I sprayed Jerry and waited. I’m happy to report Jerry and Cleo are now safe. She moved on to the Boston Fern and it got sprayed as well.

Guess it’s time to buy some indoor cat grass for my silly cat. Cleo the calico polydactyl weirdo.

Cheers!

-N

 

Checking In

Checking in on this cool, rainy morning.

Wondering about a bunch of stuff. Car needs an oil change, I’ve got tons of laundry to start, must get ready for a short road trip, have an audio book audition to prepare, a garment alteration job to start, and have to make gingerbread cookies sometime today.

All I want to do is read.

I’m an avid reader. I read electronic media as well as the good old printed and bound pieces. The pleasure of words cannot be adequately expressed. I love the feeling of holding a book, and of immersing in a story.

more books
books

These shelves of books give me pleasure to look at, to touch, and in the case of my glass book case, filled with nothing newer than a 1950 copyright, the smell of old printed tomes.

Nothing in here is newer than 1950.

I’m proud of my collection. It is special to me, and I enjoy adding new books, as well as classics. I’m a bookstore’s friend. I’ve decided that one day I will have a book sale. None from my glass cabinet or the classics like Louisa May Alcott or F. Scott Fitzgerald, but the Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark or Tom Clancy will be put out there for another book lover to discover.

After todays projects are completed, and I can feel comfortable relaxing with a glass of wine I will pick up a story. They are waiting for me.

Cheers!

-N

December Is Moving On

The morning is going easily by, it started with a morning temp of 25° – BRRR.

It’s hubby’s last of four days off before his next four on; his work shift is four 12hour days. Long work days but the four days off is nice. We enjoyed our coffee together, chatting about the day to come. We’ve moseyed through the morning, hubby went to men’s group, and then we had a walk to the mail box (we are rural so it isn’t out front.) Millie came with us which made her excessively happy.

I have a young woman coming at noon to try on a wedding dress I made alterations to, it was her late mother’s dress so I hope she is happy with the way it turned out. I had such a wonderful experience with it and hope I can get the chance to do more things like this. I have two machines: a sewing machine and a serger, and they give me the tools to do most any type of sewing I desire.

One of our Christmas traditions is that hubby is responsible for filling the stockings. He takes this job very seriously and it is always a combination of toys or gadgets with lots of candy. Also there is always a Lifesaver’s book inside. As he starts to add things I hear him chuckle as he is thinking of their reaction to what he has picked for them.

Since we will spend Christmas eve with our daughter, and he is working Christmas day I hosted a get together for my besties and their spouses last weekend. I made shepherd’s pie with ground elk instead of beef, and homemade soda bread. I can’t have beef unless it is very lean like veal. It turned out pretty good according to all who sampled it. We also did an ornament exchange which was so fun with lots of laughs. We each brought a wrapped tree ornament, then drew numbers to pick in order. We only had one trade, and all were happy with their ornament.

Covid-19 struck me in the job hunting department. I sent in a cover letter and resume to Biosphere 2 for a cashier position. However because of the virus the attendance is down so no hiring right now “but they will keep my information.” Dang virus!

I got a good report from my vascular surgeon, and now I only have a few more follow-up visits. My incision looks good and not so noticeable. I was a bit self-conscious.

So all you fine folks are caught up on the Catalina AZ news.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

My New Dietary Plan

The discovery of the medical condition that led to my right carotid endarterectomy surgery still exists in my body. But I can adapt and adjust, to arrest it’s progress and hopefully change the status going forward. I joyfully say I am at the end of post surgery two weeks of being careful and taking it easy and tomorrow I can get back into life…full speed.

At the bottom of this post are shots of my incision over the course of two weeks.

As a self professed ocean lover 💙 when I saw the Mediterranean Diet it made sense. Since its time to adjust my eating style and exercise efforts, pretending to be living in Greece or Italy while I do it makes perfect sense. 🏃‍♀️🚶‍♀️🚴‍♀️

So here are the diet deets, with the adjustments based on my medical needs.

  • The foundation of this plan is exercise, daily whether ten minutes or an hour, just move.
  • The next level is plant based. Fruits and vegetables – lots of them raw or cooked. I have a sweet tooth so snacking on fruit is starting to feed that. I especially love grapes, apples, mango and pineapple. We have a dehydrator, and so have started making our own dried snacks. Another good snacking item are nuts. I especially love almonds. However due to my Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) it is necessary that I avoid salt. Not completely, I can use some in cooking, but reducing it, so no salted nuts. I’m incorporating beans, legumes, couscous, Quinoa, and bran into my cooking. I am changing out butter for extra virgin olive oil and it works quite well.
  • The next level is where I get my protein – and my focus is fish, chicken, turkey and not much super lean meat. Again the CAD recommends no meat like beef and pork. I also add some dairy like eggs and fat free cottage cheese. I check every thing for cholesterol, fat, and sodium numbers.
  • The top level is what I call my treats like alcohol, baked goods, etc. Those are extremely limited in consumption for me.

So now I start watching for changes in my systems, and I have already noticed some. I feel different. My scar is healing but has a ways to go, and my energy is improving. As I get familiar with some recipes I will share those with you.

I am following the works of Dr. Kim Foster and Dr. Amy Riolo for guidance and information.

An exciting side note, I am doing a wedding dress alteration! It such a wonderful thing to know I can do something I love like sewing and actually get paid. How cool is that?!?!

Cheers!

-N

SCAR 01 Dec 2020
SCAR 19 Nov 2020
SCAR 27 Nov 2020

The 3rd Verse

O HOLY NIGHT is a Christmas Hymn that isn’t really a favorite for many because its a bit hard to sing, and most people consider it a song for a soloist.

I’ve sung it quite a bit, but this morning I had Christmas music playing and this song came on. In this case the third verse was sung and it blew me away. The words are powerful and profound. Take a look and see. It takes on a new meaning, kind of like the other verses of the National Anthem do.

Verse 3:
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

Cheers!

-N

Ready for the update?

Hey gang! Here’s the news – Hubby spent the night on the side of the road, dry camping in our wee trailer, Daisy.

DAISY THE WEE TRAILER

Buddy’s wife brought him back home where buddy grabbed a few hours of sleep, then left before dawn for the two hour trip to the Willcox AZ area. The guys met up, went out to the field and got their limit! I’m quite proud. They were set up to meet at NAPA auto in Willcox to get the truck fixed and are heading home. HALLELUJAH!!

I’m feeling pretty well, not getting quite so tired. No sign of the A-Fib so the medication is working. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house – you know being normal – breathing fresh air, hearing the neighbor’s kids and barking dogs.

My neighbors have been so wonderful, checking on me and reassuring me I can call them “anytime” if I need anything. I am blessed.

So that’s the latest for me. I hope and pray that this sparse Thanksgiving season will be the  end of a spell of disconnection and separation for us humans.

Here is a gift of love to bless you as we enter this holiday season. I grew up singing the soprano and alto parts of this beautiful acappella version of Number 6:24-26

Cheers and enjoy!

-N

Trouble Since Wednesday

Well folks, I had the surgery done (18th) and it went well. I have quite the battle scar on my right neck. I was doing fine until Saturday (21st) morning when I was transported to the emergency department with Atrial Fibrillation. My heart beat was pounding so hard, fast and slow, all over the place that I felt like my chest would explode. Blood pressure was up too. It took a couple of hours with the paramedics and ED staff to get it under control, and I was sent home with a referral for a cardiologist 😣

Today: I’m feeling better, and helped hubby a bit as he got his stuff together to go hunting for a couple of days with his buddy south of Tucson. About an hour after he left I got a call to say he was broken down on the side of the road, in a rural area.😣

So buddy’s wife is on the way to get them, and bring them home. Early tomorrow they will go back in buddy’s truck to pick up our trailer, and get our truck towed to be repaired.

Some bad news – with AFib alcohol is off the menu. 😥🍷  So I’ve been looking into the Mediterranean Diet which comes highly recommended for my health issues.

I’m ready for some joy and fun. No more stuff to deal with. I’m hoping to get busy with some writing this week while I do the recuperation thing hiding out in my house. Some precious friends are bringing me Thanksgiving dinner.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Steely Eyed Missile Man – Gene Kranz

There is a man who was extraordinarily important to the development of NASA and the logistical construction of mission control. He is probably the coolest man ever. Eugene F. “Gene” Kranz.

If there was ever a living person I would want to meet and converse with it is Gene. I’m pretty sure I have a space geek crush on him. If you haven’t read his book Failure Is Not An Option you are missing a immensely great work. The experience of following his path with the space program is interesting, exciting, in some places hilarious, and profound.

The personal insights into astronauts, engineers, directors and most importantly the families hit all the human buttons.

Gene and his early group of engineers and technicians wrote the book, literally, on missions: his perspectives on the division of duties are applicable today, his commitment and loyalty is one to admire and aim for, and the play it by the book and by the seat of your pants gives the reader a vision of what excellence looks like.

He is truly a national treasure we need to hear more about before he is gone.

Gene Kranz, you truly are a “steely eyed missile man”.

You are welcome space geeks.

Cheers!

-N

Age, Don’t Judge Me

Ok, I am not young, chronologically, I admit it. I don’t want to accept it yet there are things going on that remind me I’m not under warranty anymore. I’m paying out of pocket for repairs, and I’m at the nickel and dime stage.

The things that drive my interest, passions and dreams look different. Creativity weighs heavily on me now. Every day I want to touch that creativity in myself – it’s where I find the youth in my heart. When I think “Ooo, I would love to do that,” then the desire is tempered with “really? at my age?”

I would like nothing better than to sell everything, clear out and get a wonderful fixer-upper Victorian by the ocean or next to a mountain lake and open a B&B. But then I think about my hubby with his bad knees and back. He has no business working on fixing a place. He should be fishing.

How long would I realistically have to do this and make a living? Supplementing my social security income with a successful venture doesn’t happen quickly. This is a goal for a younger couple.

So rather than my sewing be making fabric accents for my dream B&B, or my writing be composing promotional pieces…well you understand.

One of the biggest issues for people my age is finding part time work. It doesn’t matter what “company policy” is, age discrimination is real. The thirty somethings don’t understand or want to fill their companies with people they feel can’t put in the time and effort needed. I’ve been looking, especially work from home opportunities which I’m told there is a glut of them. Uh, nope. But I will keep looking.

I will continue doing my creative thing, not giving in to the worlds attitude. Sure I would love to be thirty again. So I will be thirty in my mind. Still singing, sewing, writing, blogging, voice-over.

Cheers!

-N

Stuff Coming Up

Greetings lovelies,

I just got back from getting a pre-surgery Covid-19 test. My surgery is next week on the 18th. Consequently I have to completely quarantine until my surgery.

My surgery is one of those “it is a straightforward often performed procedure that has a good result and quick recuperation, unless you suffer a stroke or die.”

Okay.

I sit here wishing it were over. I think of things on the schedule after the 18th and think, “I hope I will be able to do it.” The big difference I have is when all these thoughts and feeling wash over me, pulling me from a confident position is I rely on my strong, unshakable faith in God.

You know, the being that created the universe and loves me. I have given him charge and control over this situation and put my confidence in his all consuming power over everything.

I believe in Him more than I believe that I’m sitting in front of this computer writing this blog.

So…I am going to quarantine, get the surgery, and on the 19th I will write a blog about it all. I promise and I know God will make it so.

Oh the surgery is a right carotid endarterectomy.

Cheers!

-N