Apparently I am a Turnip

As the phlebotomist stuck a needle in me for the third time I found myself wondering who said the famous adage: “You can’t get blood from a turnip”.  (I could not find a definitive answer but maybe it’s from the bible.) And the third time was not the charm for the blood draw and thus ended a very long doctor visit.

And how did the visit start? With me being asked to sign a form stating that since this was an “annual checkup  or wellness visit” the following may not be covered:  referrals, new prescriptions, changes to current prescriptions, blah blah blah.  Um, what exactly was covered then?  Does this mean you can only get an annual check up if you are healthy?  The receptionist was stumped when I asked the question.  Apparently everyone just signs the form and hands it back, I was the first to actually read it.  I pointed out the word may and let her off the hook.  I have to trust the billing department knows all the right codes to put in.

Happily I love my doctor.  She really listens and we went through my whole list of concerns.  We talked some about menopause.  What I thought were typical crazy menopausal periods may be something more.  We discussed the joint pain in my hands and while I was thinking carpal tunnel she is leaning towards rheumatoid arthritis. So on Friday I am getting my mammogram, x-rays of my hands and a pelvic ultrasound.  And I have to go back and try to get my blood drawn again to check for hormone levels that would indicate impending menopause.  This time making sure I am well hydrated.

But guess what?  I don’t need a colonoscopy!  I do need to uh, mail some poop off and while that seems rather ew it is way better than getting knocked out and having something inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.

Now the long wait until Friday and hopefully some answers….to be continued.

(Random Yosemite photo above, chosen for it’s soothing nature!)

 

Blaming it on “The Good Witch”

I was supposed to be attending a three hour photography course this morning but upon arrival found my other two classmates standing outside the door. After waiting 15 or 20 minutes we gave up on the instructor and went our separate ways. Apparently the class was cancelled due to problems with the a/c and the instructor drafted an e-mail but forgot to send it.  These kids and their technology issues. 🙂

Since I now had a few free hours and I was so close to the mall I decided to go shopping.  This is very rare for me.  Typically I dislike the mall and I am not really a fan of clothes shopping but I had a specific goal.  I have two ancient t-shirts, one orange and one red that really needed to be replaced.  Of course I have a ton of other shirts but I needed a solid red and a solid orange.

I have read a bit about capsule wardrobes and decision fatigue but honestly I am just not interested in wearing a “uniform”  (21 years in the military will cure you of that) or only having seven or thirty-three or whatever number pieces of clothing.  I seldom have a problem deciding what to wear and I wear everything in my closet at some point in a given 365 day period.

That being said now that I am in my fifties (gasp!) I think my casual bordering on slob look could use some updating.  I have many older items that I wear but that honestly I don’t love. I have done a pretty good job over the last couple of years of purging items that didn’t fit or were badly worn but there was still some purging room in the ‘but does it make me feel good’ area.

And here is where the “Good Witch” comes into it.  Catherine Bell plays Cassie Nightingale.  I have been watching season three currently on the Hallmark Channel and catching up on seasons one and two on Netflix.  Catherine Bell is only 2 years younger than me so she is the right age to look to for fashion ideas.  And I love how serene and unflappable “Cassie” always is.  And then I realized how much I like how Cassie dresses (aside from those high heels!).  She often wears casual shirts with jeans or skinny pants.  Shirts that look comfortable, not too tight and a step up from a plain t-shirt.  So I had my shopping inspiration!

I arrived home with four new summer tops, one winter shirt (from a clearance rack) and a lightweight cardigan.  Once home I went through my summer t-shirts and pulled nine that I didn’t love.  For now they are in a bag in my closet and if at the end of the summer I haven’t missed them, out the door they go!

I love the embroidery details and it is a different color for me.

 

My new red t-shirt with lace trim, a pale pink accented with silver (hard to see) and my new orange shirt.  Not quite the shade I wanted but I love the buttons and neckline.

 

A light to medium weight simple cardigan. This will probably work as a coat for three or four months out of the year here!

 

The lace detail on the back of a new shirt for winter.  Not too heavy and a lovely silvery gray.

 

And then there are the shoes.  I will always be a sneaker wearing kind of girl. For years I had a pair of pale yellow LL Bean canvas sneakers.  I loved those shoes and wore them out. I finally got rid of them last year and I have been pining for a pair of yellow sneakers ever since.  And this is what I bought today:

Woodstock Van’s

How cool are these!!!!

So what do you think?  Age appropriate?  Casual yet stylish? (I am talking about the clothes, no matter what you say about the shoes I looooove them!)

Happy Summer

I have decided to take a blogging break. I am letting you know because I hate it when bloggers just disappear.  (The photos are from my hike last week.)

I love seeing  cloud shadows.

This is the last full week of school and then we are going away for two  weeks. After that we will have two full months of no schedules and no alarms. I am going to strive for the right balance of doing things with my son and letting him have his own space.

I think the flowers look like sun bonnets on the saguaro arms.

My own personal focus will be on being healthy.  Physically and mentally.  Cook from scratch, shop the farmer’s market. Let myself enjoy some down time, try a few new things, let days unfold.  I have to admit I am kind of excited about this! I have this odd feeling of impending change or growth.  I have a feeling if I sit quietly I am going to discover something new about myself.

No rain but I enjoyed the shade the clouds provided.
I didn’t see many critters which in the desert is a good thing!  Mostly ants and butterflies and this one snake.

I hope you are making wonderful plans for this next season and are able to enjoy something delightful each day.

At the top of the Babad Do’ag trail.  TTFN!  (That’s “ta-ta for now” for those that don’t speak Tigger)  🙂 

Muddling through Menopause

I have been feeling anti-computer these days.  Not sure why but in reflection I don’t think that is a bad thing.

My dream life right now? Solitude in a mountain cabin. I would take long walks along a stream or around a lake. I would sit on the porch with a mug of tea and listen to the rain. I would end the day in front of the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup and some homemade bread with butter. For a project I would take a picture of the same thing once a  day, at different times and in all sorts of weather. Maybe a tree or a spot on the lake or a flowering shrub. Whatever took my fancy.

The last six weeks have been tough physically and mentally. I have had no energy and no focus. Allergy season is at it’s peak. I have been sleeping poorly.  I had a twenty-one day period. I appear to be on the same rollercoaster as the weather! Last week we had our first 100° day, actually two of them and I took my first swim of the season. It was quite lovely until a gusty wind began and a few drops of rain fell.  Then the pool was a mess of pollen and debris.  The beginning of this week we were in the 70’s with some rain so I am back on the treadmill.  Hopefully the solar cover will keep enough heat in the pool so when the temperature boomerangs back to the upper 90’s at the end of the week we’ll be able to start swimming in earnest.

I took this picture this morning, how cool is it to have a bird of prey on your pool cover? I am thinking maybe a Hawk?

I have retreated into what I think of as survival mode. I have ditched the habit tracker and the routine. I am taking each day as it comes. You would think I would be a big slug right now but a surprising thing happened. I started doing random tasks. I have cleaned out one whole drawer of the file cabinet. I tackled the memory box project that was one of my cleaning goals for the year.  (One and two are done with a good start on six.) My son and I spent 10 minutes each night after dinner picking up his room. I am so happy to be able to walk in there again without twisting an ankle!

The missed sunset.

Sunday night we took a family walk over to Sabino Canyon hoping to get up high enough to see the sunset. Turned out it was too cloudy and we left a few minutes too late to get a really good view but it was a very pleasant walk anyway and nice to do something out of our ordinary routine.  Ditching my habit tracker and to do list has been good.

Rain to the East during our walk.

Yesterday I took a four mile hike, something I promised myself I would do at least once when the school year started. The hike merits it’s own post so stay tuned.

Today I am feeling better. I have slept well the last two nights. The hot flashes and night sweats are on vacation. I don’t know if it is hormones or the cooler weather but I will take it.  My allergies are not as bad.  I like to think the wind blew the pollen to New Mexico and the rain washed what was left out of the air.

I find I am actually looking forward to today. I will wash my car and paint my toenails lilac while watching one of the many movies I have on my DVR. And popcorn, I deserve popcorn!

I hope you have a wonderful day too!

 

Like Yourself Day

Today you just need to be yourself and be happy about it. (No more being Tigger if that’s not you!) Celebrate being exactly who you are.

Well, that was easy. Guess I’ll put some photos in all this blank space. Because that is who I am, a woman who enjoys taking photos even though I haven’t yet mastered details like f-stop and shutter speed. Taking photos makes me happy and I like that about myself.

Saguaro cactus buds.

 

The flowers open one to three at a time and only last a day or two.

 

Our mandarine orange tree is heavy with fruit.

 

First swim of the season.  This is me being “artistic”. 

 

My birthday heirloom flower seeds mix are growing like weeds (I crack myself up!) but where are the flowers?

Celebrate a Small Victory

Today you keep a promise to yourself. Today take that first step towards something, anything. Do a few pushups, write one page of a novel, set up an art studio in a corner of your home. Eat a salad for lunch, whatever. Take one small step towards a goal TODAY. And when you go to bed tonight reflect on it, feel happy about it, maybe even make a plan for tomorrow. All goals are met one small step at a time. Today celebrate taking that first step. Hopefully the first step of many.

Cantaloupe plants!

My son always wants to try and grow vegetables or fruits. I explain how hard it is here in the desert weather, in our small yard,  blah blah blah.  This year I let him pick out some seeds and we put them in a pot.  Will they survive the heat to actually produce fruit? Maybe, maybe not. But we took the first step and my son is happy.  And I am happy too. Who knows, maybe we will be eating cantaloupe in a few months!

Use Something You have Been Saving for a Rainy Day – Day

Or maybe something you have been saving for a special occasion. Today is it, it is raining and special! Use that bubble bath, drink that bottle of wine, wear that white skirt.

Not to be a downer but you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Live for today! In the movie “Housewife, 49” set during WWII the couple are in their Morrison shelter in their home as bombs fall nearby.  The wife says “I never opened those tin pears.”  Today: eat the pears!

Do something for your self that will make you really happy. Take that rainy day fund and book that longed for trip to Paris. Treat yourself to a nice meal at a restaurant you have been longing to try. Take a nap.  Stop and smell the roses. (I mean this literally!)

Do it. No really, DO IT. No regrets. I promise.

It doesn’t have to be something big. Sometimes the smallest treats are the best. Today I am giving myself a break. I am ignoring the housework and endless to-do list. I will sit in my office and enjoy my flowers, a hoarded piece of Easter candy and begin coloring a new picture.

Saved treats for me.

 

I have been saving this picture because I really like it and am afraid of messing up. But not today. Today I am going for it.

How are you going to treat yourself today?

Scurvy Prevention Day

This is the holiday that started the whole A to Z made up holidays theme. I don’t think scurvy is around much anymore though I did see a case of it on “Doc Martin“.

Scurvy from Wikipedia:

Scurvy is a disease resulting from a lack of vitamin C.[1] Early symptoms include weakness, feeling tired, curly hair, and sore arms and legs.[1][2] Without treatment, decreased red blood cells, gum disease, and bleeding from the skin may occur.[1] As scurvy worsens there can be poor wound healing, personality changes, and finally death from infection or bleeding.[2]

Scurvy is caused by not enough vitamin C in the diet.[1] It typically takes at least a month of little to no vitamin C before symptoms occur.[1][2] In modern times, it occurs most commonly in people with mental disorders, unusual eating habits, alcoholism, and old people who live alone.

 

Curly hair??? Really?  That has got to be the strangest symptom of a disease I have ever seen. It is probably best to get a perm if you really want curly hair.

So today make sure you get your vitamin C. Shouldn’t be too hard, it is in a lot of foods.  Besides your citrus family strawberries, peppers, kale and broccoli are high in vitamin C.

Let us know what you ate to prevent scurvy today. I think I will go for some strawberries!  Tis the season.

Hello!

Men and Menopause

I once read a novel by Anne Tyler. In it a man wrote how to books and he wanted to do one to help men deal with their spouse’s menopause. Everyone thought it was a stupid idea.  I think it is a great idea!

I am in the throes of menopause (okay, okay it is actually peri-menopause but you know what I mean!) and it sucks.  And while every woman has a different combination of symptoms and cures the vast majority suffer in one way or another.  And everyone I know agrees, men do not help. They can’t begin to comprehend the frustration and helplessness women feel during this phase of life.  Really it is just like being a teenager again with a lot of weight gain in bad places added in.

So this “made up holiday” is for men to educate themselves about menopause.  Read a website or two. Google “husband doesn’t understand menopause“.  Bring home or make dinner.  Be sure to understand where in the cycle your woman is.  Is this a salad and chocolate cake kind of day?  Burgers and fries?  Grilled fish and steamed veggies?  Make sure you know because you don’t want to screw it up!

She may be ranting and raving about nothing but listen to it.  You may glean a thing or two that  you can do to help her out. Turn the a/c or heat up or down.  Try extra hard not to wake her up, ever.  (Sleep is such a big deal.)  Do some little task that needs to be done and do it her way, just this once. Or maybe just give her some space.

Once the hormones settle down and she is officially in menopause she will remember all the little things you tried to do.  And she will be grateful. Really.

Too Many Books?

Can there be such a thing? Sort of,  when one doesn’t plan their library requests very well. I already had five books checked out from the library when I got an e-mail letting me know that five more books that I have been waiting for were now ready for pick-up. Oops. But being the trooper that I am I see no problem. (I even picked up another book when I picked up the five that were ready!)

Luckily it is very easy to renew books on-line and you can renew up to three times as long as no one else has requested the book.  So far no one is waiting for any of my books, whew!

So here is what is currently on my designated “books from the library shelf”:

Just finished “A Rule Against Murder” by Louise Penny.  Love this series.  It was the perfect book to read during our recent premature heat wave (90s already!) since it was set during a late June heat wave.

Currently reading “Murphy’s Law” by Rhys Bowen.  This is the first in a series.  I read one in the middle of the series that was set at Christmas at Christmas and really liked it.  So now I am starting from the beginning.

“A Family of Poems”  gathered by Caroline Kennedy with lovely art work by Jon J. Muth.  I have always wanted to be a person who reads poetry but alas I have a hard time getting into it.  I saw this book in the children’s section and thought it would be a perfect way to give poetry another chance.

My large on-deck pile:

“The Quality of Silence” Rosamund Lupton

— I am a sucker for any book set in Alaska.  I think reading about all that snow makes me feel cooler here in the desert.

“The Sound and the Fury”  William Faulkner

— No promises though I have read if you can get past the first chapter it gets easier to read. I thought it was time to try and work a classic or two into my reading life.

“Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure” Nancy Atherton

—  Another series I have been reading.  Light but I love the settings and can totally picture myself living in the little cottage in Finch.

“The Photographer’s Wife”  Suzanne Joinson

— I love it when I can learn history from entertaining fiction.  This book is set in Palestine between World Wars I and II, a place and time which I know nothing about.

“Legacy of the Dead”  Charles Todd

— Another series I am reading.  This book is near the beginning of the series (#4, published in 2000) and yet there always seems to be a waiting list at the library for these books.  Post World War I England, a murder to be solved and tea to be enjoyed.  No better combination.

“American Sniper”  Chris Kyle

— I have been wanting to see the movie since it came out but still  haven’t gotten around to it.  Now I am on the wait list for the DVD from the library but decided I want to read the book first. Typically a book provides a lot more detail than the movie.

“Die Like an Eagle” Donna Andrews

— Another “fun murder” series set in Virginia with lots of crazy people.  The kind of family I love reading about and so happy I don’t belong to.

“Yours Truly” Heather Vogel Frederick

— A children’s mystery.   I stumbled on the first book “Absolutely Truly” while waiting in the children’s section for my son to pick out some books. I read it and liked it enough to check and see what else the author had written and saw that a second “Truly” book was on order.  So I put my name on the list and the book came in much quicker than I expected.  I like the New Hampshire setting and the fact that it is a military family and a bookstore is involved.  I sort of wish they could adopt me.

“Black and Blue”  Anna Quindlen

— I have read several of her other novels and “Every Last One” still haunts me.  So I thought I would try this one.

 

So there you go, a variety of reading suggestions from “Yours Truly”.  HA HA, I should close all my posts with a book title!