Grey-Haired Coed

Friday, March 31, 2006

Fat...


Is this a new trend?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Deja Vu?

Looking through some of the pieces I have written while attending BSU, I came across this one from three years ago. It definitely seems that there is a pattern here:

Sick

I’ve been ‘under the weather’ for almost three weeks now. Just when I thought it was over, things got worse. My head aches, my ears hurt, and I have a fever. I get dizzy just looking up from the computer. My nights are spent coughing and coughing.

One of the worst features of this ‘creeping crud’ is the fact that I have lost most of my power of speech for the last five days. My husband commented on how quiet it was this past weekend. I croaked my thanks to him for his concern. When I tried to ask our dogs if they wanted to go outside, all three of the little fluff balls stopped in their tracks and stared at me. ‘Who is this squeaky-voiced woman?’

Consuming homemade chicken soup twice a day did not seem to make a difference in the coughing or the laryngitis. Neither did throat lozenges or quarts of orange juice.

I spent 30 years working with elementary children in public schools. Germs were everywhere. Children had to be shown over and over again how to use a tissue and then wash their hands after a sneeze. And for some children, boogers seemed to be a favorite snack. Snot was everywhere – on their hands, pencils, papers, books, clothing and desks. Surrounded by germs, frequent hand washing became the order of the day for me. I also took advantage of the annual flu shots given by the school nurse. Winding my way through this minefield of germs, I was hit more than once. I expected it. That was the nature of the game.

Now I am retired, attending college with adults who contain their mucous. They do NOT share it with others, at least not during class time. But germs are insidious, finding ways to travel from one person to another in spite of efforts to forestall them. And travel they did. I’m not blaming anyone. These things happen.

I finally broke down and saw my doctor. He diagnosed laryngotracheobronchitis. In other words, I was definitely ill. I can’t be sick anymore. It is Spring Break! My husband took the week off and we are going out of town for our thirty-eighth wedding anniversary!”

Don’t panic,” he handed me a prescription for Zithromax. Take two today, then one a day for four more days. This will knock out any infection.”

That was yesterday. I feel better already! Last night I slept through the night, and this morning my husband actually heard my ‘good morning, hon’. Packing the suitcases now seems to be a good idea.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bad English Major....

I just noticed that I began the last two posts with 'OK'... BAD ENGLISH MAJOR!!!

So Far, So Good...

OK, it hasn't even been 24 hours since I took the pills, cough medicine, nose spray, and used the nebulizer....but I feel a little better this morning... Geez, I hate to even say it!
I slept great, very little coughing before I fell asleep.
Could it be? Is there a light at the end of this 'flu' tunnel? One can only hope!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Give Up...

OK, I finally gave up trying to fight this 'crud' by myself. Went in to see my dr. this morning. Came home with FOUR prescriptions... The germs don't have a chance now!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Sewing Room...


Just thought I'd share a picture of my sewing room. Actually, it's also my computer room, work room, study room...
My main sewing machine (on the right), is a Pfaff 2140. It is computerized, and is also hooked up to my actual computer. This makes it possible for me to transfer embroidery designs to the machine from the internet. A really cool feature!
The other machine is an Elna 925 serger. I use it to finish seams so fabric doesn't ravel, and also to sew knit fabrics.
The cabinet above the sewing machines holds patterns, and you can see the assortment of thread on the wall racks. The spools on the right-hand side are rayon embroidery thread. Covered with a cloth (to keep off dust) are the cones of serger thread.
In the foreground is my cutting table.
A word to anyone who is planning a sewing room...pick a carpet that is a multi-colored design...this one shows all the bits of thread and lint!
To the left, out of the picture is my computer and TV. To the left of that is my desk and filing cabinet, and behind me is an ironing board and a closet with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with fabric...
And under the cutting table is a pillow where my little dog, Sony, lies waiting for me to do something interesting!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Still Dancing...

I'd like to share this piece that I wrote a while back:

Life may not be the party we hoped for,

but while we are here we might as well dance.

Eubie Blake, the famous jazz musician, said on his 100th birthday, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself!”

When I was young I was in great shape. I danced. In high school, there were ‘sock-hops’ almost every Friday night. The rock and roll music was wonderful. There were records by Elvis Presley, “Blue Suede Shoes” and Jerry Lee Lewis, “Great Balls of Fire!”. I couldn’t keep still; I had to move to that music!

During my college years, boyfriends took me dancing. There was a wonderful place on Lake Street in Minneapolis called “Mr. Lucky’s”. It was called a teen ‘night club.’ They had live bands on the weekends. One that I remember was “Joey Dee and the Peppermint Twisters”. I could dance for hours! I loved doing the ‘lindy’, the ‘twist’, and the ‘cha-cha’.

Over the years, my activities changed. My husband didn’t like to dance, so my physical activity revolved around taking care of our kids, housework, yard work and walking the dog. As my activity became less, my weight increased. . . sore subject. During my lifetime I have probably lost and gained over a ton. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I am a three-time Weight Watchers dropout. My most successful time with that organization resulted in a loss of almost 90 lbs. I looked great and felt even better. When I sat down, I could actually cross my legs! Size 9 jeans entered my life. I could move better, and felt more alive. But old habits began to creep back. Chocolate’s siren call beckoned me and I gave in. Shame on me. But all is not lost; I am on a new plan now and hope to be successful. Now both my husband and I are following a well-balanced nutrition plan because of his recently diagnosed diabetes.

Walking on our road with our dog, Bridget was a daily exercise that we both really enjoyed. I loved to watch the change in the seasons reflected in the trees and plants along the gravel road. Bridget enjoyed the fascinating smells along the way. Osteo-arthritis curtailed that pleasure. I can no longer walk very far, and must use a cane. I use a recumbent exercise bike to keep my knees limber without putting weight on them. Bridget misses the walks as much as I do, so I sit on the floor and throw a tennis ball for her to ‘fetch’. She gets some exercise and I feel a little less guilty.

As the years add up, I think of all I used to be able to do physically and wonder. Do the ‘Golden Years’ have to mean less activity for me? It’s all a matter of perspective. I can still rake leaves, as long as I remember to stop after thirty minutes and rest. No more raking until it’s so dark the leaves are virtually invisible, or until I develop blisters on both hands and carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.

Instead of doing several loads of laundry in one day, I try to spread it throughout the week, limiting the daily trips up and down the stairs. Even though my husband installed hand railings on both sides of the open stairs, it is painful to use them. Now my husband or son lift heavy things or move furniture when necessary. They no longer allow me to help with wood splitting, rock hauling, tree trimming, or brush cutting. Believe me when I say I miss being able to help with those activities.

When I was much younger, I used to watch ‘senior citizens’ and wonder why they walked so funny. I would see them in the grocery store shuffling along slightly bent over as they pushed their carts. Now I know. You walk slowly and carefully so that you don’t fall. You walk slowly so that it doesn’t hurt as much on arthritic knees and hips. You get up from a chair cautiously, making sure that your legs are working properly and will hold you upright as you begin to walk. Sitting down is done carefully, also.

I’ve adjusted to these changes in some ways, but not without fighting back. My dr. gives me cortisone injections in my knee and hip to help with the pain, and has prescribed daily doses of the miracle drug Celebrex. I will not go quietly into the world of shuffling, gray-haired people!

Inside, I still feel young. Inside, I’m still walking on the road with Bridget. Inside, I’m still dancing.

Mountains, Lilies, and Things...

'Mountains, Lilies, and Things' is one of my favorite blogs to visit. This awesome lady sees beauty all around her. Her photos are absolutely beautiful, and her text always gives you a unique perspective on her daily life and also vivid memories of her life as a child in Germany. And she's Natasjia's grandmother!!!

Word To The Wise...

Potential employers are using MySpace and Facebook, among others, to check out job applicants!
"It lets them see what you are like when you let your guard down."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Is It Spring Yet?

The snow is slowly melting.
The crows are back.
Smelled a skunk the other night.
But so far, no robins...

Soon, soon, I hope....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Funny Cute...

I was bored tonight...so I checked out one of Blogger's 'Blogs of Note'.
Funny Cute looks like a place I would visit a lot! Her talent at drawing caricatures is wonderful!

Absolute Cuteness!!!

Aaron's wife, Jilb, has reached the ultimate in cute postings!! Would you believe a short video of their pet bunnies??? Be prepared to go, a-a-a-a-h-h-h!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Happy List...

I'm taking a page from Loralee's blog... and making a list of things that make me happy:
  • My family
  • My dogs
  • Sewing
  • Gardening
  • Being back in school
  • Making friends at school
  • Working on my computer
  • Blogging
  • 'Meeting' new people through blogging
  • Getting a letter from a friend
  • Listening to Minnesota Public Radio
  • Cooking for my family
  • Baking for my family
  • Getting over this flu (OK, it's not happening YET, but it will!)
  • Remembering that life is God's wonderful gift to me
  • Watching my favorite mysteries: Poirot, Midsummer Murders, Monk, House, Bones, Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe
  • There are so many more things, many more...

Froyd...

Froyd, your server is acting wierd! Can't post comments...

Enough About That...

NO MORE SICKNESS POSTS!!! I PROMISE!!!

Middle of the Night...

OK, it's 2:30 am... Went to bed early, actually fell asleep without too much coughing... then woke up a bit ago - so plugged up I couldn't breathe. So got up to look for the tissue box. Then to the fridge for a big glass of orange juice.

Don't know why I'm posting about this, guess I'm just so sick of this CRAP! Have to complain about it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Still Coughing...

Went to class this morning, did the presentation on my project: Heroes. It went well.

Told Dr. Morgan I would take Wednesday off and try to get healthy...

Coughed on and off all the way home. That's not good when you are trying to drive!

Hubby feeling much better... son is seeing a dr. tomorrow...

Aahh...spring /cough...cough...cough/

'Break' is Over...

Spring break ended, I returned to class yesterday. It was SO good to get out of the house after more than a week /cough...catch breath...cough.../ Good to get my mind working again, even if it was a bit rusty and slow!

When I got home (an hour's drive for me, folks) I had enough energy left to change my clothes, have a sweet red pepper for lunch, and then crash... Slept for almost 3 hours! Got up, let dogs out, made supper (comfort food - creamed peas, onions, mushrooms and beef on toast), visited with my husband when he came home, did some homework and then again CRASHED!

It takes this old woman a lot longer to get over an illness...

Monday, March 20, 2006

But I'm Feeling MUCH Better Now...


Does anyone remember that recurring line from the TV sitcom "Night Court"? Judge Harry's long-lost stepfather (played by John Astin) is a 'recovering' mental patient who reassures Harry that he is 'feelin much better now'. Anyway, that's MY line for today.

I actually returned to my sewing machine yesterday. It had been sitting there actually whining in the corner of my work room. 'You can work on the computer but you don't even LOOK at me?'

It felt good to put my foot to the pedal and stitch away at a project. I have made several of these tote bags. The most time-consuming part is machine-embroidering the designs to embellish the front of each one. They are all lined with an inside pocket. I use mostly re-cycled fabrics - got a deal on some heavy cotton-duck curtains!

Anyhoo, as Aspen would say.... here is the latest in a line of embellished tote bags!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Even Better...




We are ALL feeling much better!

Not 100%, but close enough so that my husband is planning to go to work tomorrow, and my son and I both hope to make it to class tomorrow!

Hip, hip, hooray!!! It will be SO nice to get out of the house again! And I promise not to cough on anyone...

Thank you to all the blogging 'angels' who sent good wishes our way!

Reflection...

As our family struggles with this current flu 'bug', I am reminded of some important truths:

  • Naps are good.
  • Chicken soup is the food of the gods.
  • A long, hot shower can help you breathe better.
  • A large glass of orange juice with ice is ambrosia.
  • A box of tissue in every room is essential.
  • Hang on to something when you cough...(so you don't fall down)
  • A wonderful pot of chili, that really 'hit the spot', made by my husband who is feeling better.
  • Good thoughts and prayers from friends are so important.
  • Time heals.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Good News and Bad News...

My husband is feeling MUCH better! That's the good news.
The bad news is that my son and I now are sick... gut-wrenching coughing, aches and pains, sleepless nights...and in the middle of all of this something happened to my right leg. Pain, pain, pain. I couldn't stand to put any weight on the foot. Out came my cane... A trip to the bathroom or just from the bed to a chair was an experience in sheer agony.
Called my massage therapist yesterday morning and she made room for me...bless her heart. She has 'magic' hands! Today I can actually negotiate from one room to another without almost passing out.
Last night I was able to sleep for short stretches of time, and this morning I think I will live...

Thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes. It's so nice to know that people care!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Some Advice...

My son told me I shouldn't post about illness or pain...so I won't.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Something Fun...

I belong to several email lists. Today the 'Daily Inbox Presents' sent me this marvelous link. Just when you thought there was absolutely nothing to do... The Ultimate site all about yo-yos! Then I 'googled' yo-yos, and found that there are all sorts of sites explaining how to do tricks with them.
Folks, I think I have WAY too much time on my hands... Now I need to buy a yo-yo...

A New Day...

Even though it's WAY too cold for March (-7 this morning), the sun is shining, my husband is feeling better and he LOOKS better! He is following drs. orders, puffing away at his nebulizer every 4 hours. I told him he reminded me of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, sitting there puffing on his 'water' pipe!
Our son found our old vaporizer and has that going in the living room, and he fixed the humidifier, too. So hopefully, Dale will be able to breathe a little easier. It's been almost a year since he quit smoking, and he wonders what this 'bug' would have been like if he were still smoking!
Spring Break is not as fun as I thought it would be... but things are looking up!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pain...

Osteoarthritis is fickle. Most days I can walk with almost no pain at all. My orthopedic surgeon has kept me mobile with the wonder drug, Celebrex, and periodic cortisone injections in my left knee and right hip. Now he is recommending 'partial knee replacement' in that knee SOON, telling me it's the least invasive surgical treatment, in and out of the hospital in one day! I told him I would get in touch with him when the snow and ice were gone... He also wants to remove a growth (cyst?) on the tendon of my right hand ring finger. This could not be done at the same time. I need that hand for my cane after the knee surgery!

Now my right knee is giving me problems... X-rays show the cartilege has deteriorated in that joint, also... Yesterday, after our anniversary lunch, we walked through the large Walmart store, picking up our 'bargain' groceries. Even with leaning on the shopping cart, the knee has been so painful today!

So, do I opt for surgery in BOTH knees? Do I give up and get a wheelchair? Right now I'm totally depressed.

Put this physical pain together with the emotional pain of watching my dear husband struggle with a horrible chest cold... Our son took him in to see the dr. today and he came home with a truckload of medication, including a small machine called a 'nebulizer', which he has to use every 4 hours. He suffers from emphysema, has had heart surgery, so when says he doesn't feel well... you know it's serious! I'm just glad he is off work this week. The dr. told him if he didn't feel better in a few days, he wanted to see him again!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Anniversary...

Today is our 41st wedding anniversary. Yes, we were married on the 13th! And it's always been a lucky number for us!
My husband has this week off . I woke up around 7 am, he'd been up earlier and had the coffee made and gone back to bed. I let my little dog out and then saw a package on the dining table...A box of Whitman chocolates and a lovely card...
I feel bad... I didn't get him anything this year! For our 40th I bought him a gold watch, and had it engraved...but nothing this year. What is wrong with me?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Just One More...



Another picture of my dad and I when he returned from WWII. I have spent so much time going through old photo albums, reviving long-ago memories...

There are hundreds of pictures of me as a child... and I know my parents were not rich by any means! Film and film developing cost money. I know that many were taken because I was their first child, and so that Mom could send copies to Dad overseas so he could see me grow, see that I was healthy and cared for. There are so many fewer pictures of my two brothers and sister...

Seeing all these pictures made me realize again how much I was loved. . . how much I was treasured. Mom spent time every morning brushing my hair into those ringlets and tying brightly colored ribbons in my hair. This was the era of Shirly Temple, after all! My great-grandmother made me dozens and dozens of lovely dresses (some of which Mom saved and I still have).

Mom told me that when I was small, it was thought that when children began walking, they should wear good, supportive, hard-soled shoes. When I began to walk Mom took me to a shoe store to buy the 'right' shoes. My feet were so small, size 00, that they didn't make that small size in hard-soles! So I learned to walk in 'soft-soled' shoes! Mom felt awful! She thought she was a 'poor' mother! But there was no other alternative. When she told me about this I reminded her that I walked 'just fine'. It was touching that even at age 82, she still felt she hadn't been a 'good mother' because of that.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Aspen, You Make Me Blush...

My dear classmate, Aspen, has boosted my confidence, made me re-evaluate my worth in blogging, and generally just made me feel really good! Thank you so much!

Everyone needs to know that they and their life experiences are worthwhile. I know that sometimes I talk too much, blog too much, comment too much..., email too much,.... but at this point in my life I need new things, new experiences, new learning, new challenges.

I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE WORLD OF GREY-HAIRED SHUFFLING OLD PEOPLE!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Moose is Loose!

I love stories like this. Poor animal, he just wanted a snack!

Accepting...

"In order to cultivate our sense of humor, we must thrive on change. We must learn to accept life and to accept ourselves...with a shrug and a smile...because it's all we've got. " - Harvey Mindess, Educator and Psychologist

I need to learn to accept myself. I'm too often trying to change me, make me better, make me more productive, more worthwhile?

I need to get over that.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring, Please Come Soon!

Soft breezes, warm days, birds singing, flowers budding... will it ever come?

The Energy Crisis...

This is the scariest piece I've read in a long time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Growth of an Icicle...


Spring in Northern Minnesota...



This is getting REAL old, folks!!!!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thanks...

Thanks to a dear friend for 'kicking' me in the butt and helping me get out of a really depressing mood. I feel like singing that old song, 'I get by with a little help from my friends'.

Sick and Tired...

I am still sick, and tired of being sick. I guess I should say I'm 'sick and tired'.
Posting the previous pictures and commenting on them has been good therapy. However, it can also be a little sad... too much remembering, too much missing people who are gone...
I need to 'look to this day', as the saying goes. I need to 'look well, therefore, to this day.'

Monday, March 06, 2006

Precious is the Word...

1945... smiling pretty for a picture to send to my daddy who is in the War...
I can actually remember sitting on the kitchen table each morning while my mother brushed my hair into those ringlets. I was three years old. Mom saved several of my dresses because my great-grandmother made them by hand.
When we adopted our daughter, I brought out those dresses. Well, when she was 9 months old they just barely fit her! I asked my mother, "How old was I when I wore these?"
"You were three."
"But they hardly fit Stacy!!!"
Mom said, "Well, you were very small. Your aunts and uncles actually thought you were going to be a dwarf. You were our first child, and we didn't know any differently."
Well, folks, I finally reached 5 foot 1/2 inches at age 20. Now at age 63, I have shrunk down to 4 foot 10 1/2 inches... maybe I am a 'little person' after all....

Nostalgia...


Working on the 'Heroes' project brought back lots of memories. It also made me miss the people I loved who are now gone...

I cherish the family who is still with me - my husband, children, brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

I thank God for each and every one of them!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More Memories...


1945, I was three years old. This is my beautiful aunt, Betty Jean, my mother's younger sister. She played the piano like a professional. She played classical music that filled the house and drifted out the windows. Chopin's 'Polonaise' was her favorite.
She was a majorette and I loved to watch her marching and twirling ahead of the high school band. I wanted to be just like her!
Sadly, she passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 22.

Project is Done...


My project, 'Heroes' for Web Content Writing is done!!! I've spent many, many hours on this folks! But if you take a look at it, you will see it is a total 'labor of love.'

My dad and I in 1946 on our way to a Roy Rogers movie! I was four years old.

PS - I can't get the link to go directly to my project. Just click on my name on left hand side of page, then click on 'Hypertext Project Heroes'

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Homework...


I've been doing homework all day long... My eyes are tired, my shoulders are sore, and I'm making mistakes. So... it's time to take a break!
It's been fun looking through old photgraph albums for pictures to illustrate different parts of the project. It's also been frustrating because I cannot find one particular picture I wanted to use. When my mother passed away, I 'inherited' all the family photo albums. However, others helped themselves to some of the pictures. That must be where that one went.
Why do I want that one picture so badly? Well, my project is a web site about 'Heroes'. When I was very young, Roy Rogers, the 'King of the Cowboys' was my hero. I wanted to be just like him! I wore jeans, a cowboy shirt, cowboy hat, cowboy boots, a kerchief around my neck, and 'six-guns' strapped to my waist. I know there was a picture of me dressed like that! I found one, but not the one I wanted. I had to enlarge and crop this one...
We lived on a farm at that time and I wore that outfit whenever we went into town with Mom for groceries.
One time we met my grandmother on the sidewalk with a few of her friends. The ladies were all dressed up, dresses, nylons, hats, white gloves... and grandma's friends thought I was a BOY! She was so humiliated! She called my mother that evening and told her to dress me like a girl when we came to town!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Memories...


Spent quite a bit of time today searching through old photo albums for pictures I want to include in my Hypertext Project for Web Content Writing class. I was able to find most of the ones I wanted, but a particular one is still missing. I hate when that happens. You think you know for sure where something is, and when you look - el zippo! I spent the rest of the evening scanning the pictures I did find.
Here is one that I really like. It was taken when my father returned from World War II. He had been part of a 57 man unit that fought in Germany. He was one of only four men who returned to their families.
Mom and Dad told me that I ran right into his arms. They had been afraid that I wouldn't remember him, because I was only 10 months old when he left, and he had been gone more than two years.

It's Icky Being Sick...

Another night and I can't sleep. I try to lie down, but then nose runs, I sneeze, blow, then it starts all over again... This is NO fun at all. I have bursts of energy during the day, but at night...
I have to admit it's better than having pneumonia, but not much!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back in Business...

My new monitor arrived!! A 19 inch flat screen monitor! I am so excited! And I hooked it up all by myself, thank you very much! My son ordered it for me from newegg.com. Now I can SEE things more clearly... even with trifocals. This will come in very handy working on wikis. With my old monitor all the text and images would sort of get all scrunched up. (sorry for using such technical terms, folks) Then when I would go to class and look at my stuff on THAT monitor it would look so much better. So... just had to get a larger monitor.

Now can work on my homework and know what it will look like in class.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

OK, Email's fixed...

OK, my son came home, checked my computer, turned it off, re-started it and email is now working. I'm sitting here with a big, dumb look on my face because he has told me to do that if I'm having problems.... I forgot... It doesn't always help, but it's the first thing to try. Sooo, I'll try to remember that the next time I have a glitch!

Email Died...

Now my email died... and I don't know how to fix it. My son has a late class tonight, so have to wait for him.
How can I survive four more hours without my email?

Sickety Sick and Still going...

OK, I'm not DEATHLY ill....just feeling really crappy. Soooooo, have been trying to get some things done around the house. Laundry, mopping some floors, emptying waste baskets, some homework... Now I'm sweating. Yes, sweating. Probably have a fever, haven't checked. Sometimes not knowing is the best thing.
Have the TV on, for company, and a Laurel and Hardy movie was on! I love those guys!

Sickety, Sick, Sick...

OK, who sent me the germs? I want names and I want them NOW!!!
This bug came on fast and hard! Sore throat, stiff neck, aching body, sneezing, earrache, runny nose, clogged head....YUECK! Just glad I don't have class today...