Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Salute to the Season

A few days ago I took my morning coffee out to the deck for the first time this year. It was actually a little too chilly to be really comfortable. The deck was a terrible mess, as it hasn't had its spring cleaning yet and I had been planting petunias in my deck pots (always a messy enterprise).

I didn't sit out long. Just enough time to drink (rather quickly) my coffee.

But. . .the leaves had popped out on the trees, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, the lilacs were blooming, and the birds were singing courtship songs. Life was bursting out all over. Having coffee on the deck was my way of recognizing and savoring the season's arrival in our patch of Wyoming.

Now I'd better get off the computer, go finish dressing, and get out there to plant some more petunias!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mostly Absent

I have been mostly absent from blogging for the past couple of weeks, due to dullness. That is, I've been mentally, physically, and activity-wise dull!

There is a favorite line in a favorite movie, The Princess Bride, where two characters are trying to get help for the hero of the story because "he's been mostly dead all day." That's pretty much how I've been feeling. I've been suffering from insomnia and racked up such a sleep deficit that it was getting hard to function at all. Then my crazy blood pressure contributed to the problem. I generally have trouble getting my high pressure down to reasonable levels. But sometimes it takes a plunge and goes low. When that happens it just about knocks me out. I get lightheaded, have a heart arrythmia, and definitely don't function well mentally--my brain needs oxygen!

There have been bright spots. One of our sisters and her husband came to town on the maiden voyage with their new travel trailer. It was so good to spend time with them! Also, I did the wellness blood screening test this week and my levels in all areas have stayed steady. So, I should be OK still as far as not needing to take thyroid medication. And, before the big winds, we got a little more than an inch of rain, spread over several days of everything from hard showers to gentle mistiness. Everything turned a beautiful green. (I hope some of that lasts after the fierce winds of yesterday!)

While being so wiped out, I have been enjoying rereading a favorite series of books (some I've read myself, some I've listened to on audio books), the adventures of Amelia Peabody Emerson. These books are written by Elizabeth Peters (one of the pen names of author Barbara Mertz, as I have mentioned before). I have four books to go in the series, and I'll definitely keep reading to the end. This author is now in her mid-80s and probably will not be writing anything more about these characters, but she has certainly brought a lot of enjoyment to me over many years' time.

My good news for today is that I slept nearly eight hours last night! This was such a commonplace fact of life in my younger days that I would never have imagined it would ever be a noteworthy fact in my life. Remember, if you are old enough, when it was considered a fact that as people grow old they need less sleep? Now I know where that idea (since proven false by researchers) came from. We don't need less sleep, we just have a harder time achieving it! It's fine to tell seniors that it is important to get at least eight hours' sleep per night to maintain physical and mental health. However, being told to sleep that much, and actually sleeping that much, are two very different things! I have not been sleeping 3-5 hours per night just so I could stay up and party. I desperately wanted, needed, yearned for sleep. I tried the various "tricks" that are always recommended to help the insomniac. They did not help.

So, I am grateful for last night's real sleep!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Written from Wet and Windy Wyoming

I love sunshine. I always feel better when the sun is shining.
It's always good to see water in the rain gauge!

But today I am celebrating gray skies, rain spattered windows, cool temperatures, and even the gusty wind that is bringing those things to our part of Wyoming.

When drought has seared the prairies, when grasses green only briefly before retreating into brown dormancy, when fires race through the dry grass and sagebrush, and when every breath of breeze throws a fine dust into the air, then we long for water.

Will the rains we are now having bring enough moisture to officially break the drought? I don't know, but the thirsty ground is drinking it up and you can almost see things gaining greenness moment by moment.

So, while I look forward to the return of sunny, warm days, today I celebrate rain!

The lilacs under my kitchen window. (They are actually along the fence in our neighbor's yard, but I get to enjoy them.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Yesterday my daughter took me flower shopping to buy plants to fill my deck pots with summer flowers. This was part of my Mothers' Day gift--she had also given me a lovely bouquet of cut flowers. I do love flowers!

I have a lot of clean up to do to get the deck in shape from the winter's dirt, dust, and bird contributions. I need to shop for a few pots to replace some old pots that are cracking. I need to dig out the top few inches of soil from the pots and put in some fresh soil. Then I'll be ready to plant. In the meantime, it gives me a thrill of satisfaction just to look out to the deck and see the little petunias waiting for their new home.

So, I'd better get busy. They need out of those tiny containers!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Today was another trip to the Eye Institute in Rapid City, this time to check on whether the new medication schedule was doing the job. I was thoroughly bummed when the pressures were up in both eyes.

So now I have to try another drop once a day in addition to the three times a day one I am currently on. This new drop  will be the fourth drop we have tried. The first one quickly irritated my eyes. The second I used for several weeks and it helped keep the pressure down, but I was beginning to be allergic to it also--bright red eyes are not a great look. I hope numbers three and four in combination will do the trick. I'm supposed to go back for another check in two months.

On the way home I enjoyed watching the clouds as they moved across the sky, forming and reforming their patterns. I could see where there were rain showers falling in various areas in the distance. I hope some good showers visit us!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Before and After

The trimming of the cottonwood tree was necessary. Too many branches were overhanging the alley and even reaching across and over the fence of the neighboring yard on the other side of the alley. We have had demonstrations of what happens when one of those old limbs falls. The tree looks oddly diminished now, but will be much safer.

Before the trimming
After the trimming

Now I just anxiously await the leaves. The buds had begun to swell on all the trees and shrubs before we had that last round of snow and below-freezing cold. That really set things back. There is an artistic appeal to the bare bones of the trees, but I love the season when their heads are heavy with their green leaves and every little breeze awakens them to rustling motion.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chad in a Bucket

There is a big old cottonwood tree at the very edge of our backyard. It is at that age where it has some brittle twigs and branches that need to be removed.

A couple of years ago we had an early fall snowstorm, while the trees were still in full leaf, and a very large limb broke off, fell into the back yard, did some damage to wires, and dinged the playhouse and fence.

The City crew removed a big branch last summer because it had grown too close the the electric wires that run along the alley.

One summer we even had a small fire in the tree, caused by a squirrel that made a bad move while using the powerline to run between trees. The fire department put out the fire and the tree was not greatly damaged. A section of the powerline had to be replaced, however, and a small section of branch was removed in that operation.

There were still sections needing trimmed. Tree trimming is very expensive. Son-in-law Chad knows someone who owns a truck with a cherrypicker on it. The owner kindly loaned said truck with cherrypicker to Chad, and he has been busy both yesterday evening and today trimming the tree, or what he can reach of it.

It is a rather scary looking job to me--but I am certain that Chad is having a good time doing it!