Monday, July 21, 2014

My Cars are Aging Faster then Me!

In 1986 I left my job and I bought a new car. The kind of work I did came with a company car. I knew I would get another job and another company car, but until then I decided to buy a car I would keep, a convertible. The dealer tossed me the keys and told me to take a test drive. I liked the car, and bought it. I call her Beverly.

I didn’t buy air conditioning on the convertible, thinking as a young person that if it were warm I would have the top down.  In 2002 I was hot all the time. Even if I drove fast with the top down I was still hot. I really needed a car with air-conditioning.

The Mini Cooper was just being introduced and I thought it adorable. I was put on a 6-8 month waiting list. I couldn’t wait. I was going through cancer treatments and my coping skills were diminished. I needed air!  I found a Mini on line and bought the car over the phone. I call him Monty.

I think cars age about 5 years for every human year. My husband and I fall in love with our cars. Beverly’s value is more sentimental in her present condition than monetary.  Monty has lots of miles and Mini’s aren’t known for running with hundreds of thousands of miles. We are in the talking stages of selling.

I bought my cars with so much emotion that they are hard to sell. I want to hold on to that confident young woman’s buying choice of a convertible.  I want to remember my fearlessness with buying a car unseen, not test driven as my victory over cancer. I really hate that my cars are aging faster than me!

Have you ever become attached to your car? What did you do when your car became old?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Healthy Brain or Over Sharing Brain Stuff

I recently attended a seminar on the brain. It was a continuing education credit class for me. The seminar was lead by 2 brain surgeons. There were cookies and fruit passed around while we listened and looked at slides. Note to self and anyone else; unless you look at brain slides all day long, don’t be snacking!

The first doctor loved his slides. He showed surgery from different approaches to the brain: through the sinus and nose, through top of the skull and slicing through the mid skull or base of skull. Since brain surgery is not my usual choice of slide viewing my reaction was a loud internal yuk, yuk, and yuk!

I must have zoned out on the asked question because suddenly the doctor was talking about worms in the brain. Now you understand my reservations on the snacking. Well it appears a person can acquire a worm that goes into your brain from eating uncooked pork. He says sometimes the worm is still living when they remove it from the poor soul’s brain!

Another question about diagnostic testing and surgery brought the remark that he and his ilk do so many brain surgeries they can do it in their sleep. Here is where I am afraid I am over sharing. Like everyone else I would hope my brain surgeon would have his eyes open when operating on my brain even if it is to him/her, child’s play.

Brain Surgeon #2 got up and thank goodness did not have any slides. She started her talk saying summer is trauma season in the brain injury field. More accidents on the brain occur during the summer than a fantastic snow/ski season in the winter.  People are outdoors on bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, diving into water, waterskiing and generally taking too many risks without headgear protection. Many back injuries are also brain injuries. Then there is the matter of alcohol that may or may not induce some risky behavior but does increases bleeding in the brain. Not a good thing.

The brain surgeons say brain health is influenced by lifestyle and diet. They feel the brain is the Rodney Dangerfield of the body, with the heart getting all the glamour!

Take-away to have a healthy brain:
             Healthy Lifestyle, exercise and diet
             Helmets for bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs
             Don’t dive head first into a body of water that you don’t know the depth
             Don’t drink and dive, drive, waterski, or do any activities
             Cook pork thoroughly
             Don’t do Meth. It appears you can literally fry your brain on meth

I hope I didn’t gross out anyone, but the brain is interesting, don’t you think?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Projects and Tooth Fairy Pillows

Spring started with a friend mentioning to me about her chairs she reupholstered.  I was impressed with her work and asked her if she would help me do my dining room chairs. It was fun and I am really pleased how they turned out!

Then I was cruising through Goodwill and spotted a bolt of outdoor fabric. I ‘d been wanting to get new cushions for the outside chairs so why not. My sewing machine buzzed and my skills came back, sort of. Notice the first pillow in the high back chair.

Because it does look a bit like the circus is in town with all the stripes, I made another tablecloth to mix and match.

I was feeling confident on my sewing skills so when another fabric piece appeared at Goodwill I thought it perfect for cushions for the cat baskets.

Now that summer is here, I’ve put the sewing machine away for a bit. My summer project is to organize my loose recipes. I did this about 10 years ago with category tabs. I bought this notebook and plastic page protectors and if I can stop printing off recipes I find online or from, I will finish by summer’s end.

Another project waiting for cold weather and the return of the sewing machine is Tooth Fairy Pillows. I picked up some felt and fabric at a yard sale that will be darling.
The woman I bought the fabrics from asked if I was putting a handle on the pillows that go on the doorknob of the child’s room to direct the Tooth Fairy. Did the Tooth Fairy get stupid? Do you know the proper protocol for Tooth Fairy pillows?
Any one have a tooth fairy design they like? I am open for ideas!

What are your summer projects? 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Gardening Woes

I love to garden and truly miss it during the winter. Our fruits and vegetable gardens have been spectacular the last couple of years. Last year we had 13 tomato plants that yielded over 225 pounds of tomatoes. We were busy harvesting and making sauce and paste through October.

All was looking good for 2014 in the garden. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants were in cages, green beans were running up poles, and corn was on schedule to be knee high for Fourth of July.  Then Nature hit!

We got 20 minutes of hail on June 16th. In January we don’t get 20 minutes of hail! This hail came down in sheets. It was big, it was cold and the temperature dropped 15 degrees so it actually accumulated on the ground.

The shade cloth saved the lettuce crop. Who knew putting shade cloth up for your lettuce can double when hail strikes!

Our blueberries were netted but unlike the shade cloth they still got plummeted by the hail. Now I have blueberries with what looks to be age spots. The flowers have a white cast on the leaves and the flowers were blown off. The corn, the cabbage, the peppers, the tomatoes and the eggplants were stripped of leaves and buds.

I have weathered garden hazards before like deer, teenagers, firecrackers and toddlers but escaped with minor damage. This storm, which 1-mile down the road did not hit, almost caused me to cry! The cantaloupe and watermelon plants just died. The pickling cucumbers are on life support. It is times like this that I am happy I do not farm for a living!

Has nature ever devastated your garden? Do you feel my pain?