Hope is the theme of this week’s Maui Shop Girl’s Photo Post Challenge. The fence represents current challenges and the sky in the distance represents an optimistic future. Hope is a very fitting word to start off a new year, this new year in particular. In preparing this post, I have to admit, I got a little stuck on this word. If I am hopeful about the future does that mean I am not content now? Does it mean I am relying on faith rather than being proactive? Am I setting myself up for disappointment if I hope for something that is just not in the cards? Am I a weirdo having these thoughts? Probably. But for now I am going to stop thinking about it and just enjoy the view.
I thought it was about time for an update about me and my weird symptoms. I think it will help me to get some thoughts down too.
For starters my MRI brain scan came back fine. No lesions. There was one abnormal blood vessel that the technician noted by my neurologist thinks it is a structural difference and not a concern and could in no way be causing my symptoms.
The MRI images were fascinating! It was like looking at a 3D animation of my brain as she quickly scrolled through the layers of images. I think I was extra amazed because I was looking at my OWN brain! Continue reading →
I’ve been having lots of odd physical symptoms. I wrote about them here. I still don’t know what is going on but they haven’t become any more severe and I am calmer about it now. I still want to know what is causing them. I would rather not have them.
Things are bad in New Jersey and New York. I didn’t really know. I was preoccupied by my own minor Hurricane Sandy experience. On Cape Cod, school was cancelled but we didn’t even lose power. A few downed limbs and pine needles on the roads. Nothing even to clean up.
Then I started seeing the pictures on TV. People died. Damages in the $50 billion range. Neighborhoods burned down, other ones flooded, subways flooded, New York City building without power, people unable to flush their toilets, and there are mile long gas lines. When people go without these resources, problems get much worse before the get better.
If you haven’t already, please consider donating to the Red Cross. Donate now here. They also need blood donations. Enter your zip code to learn about blood donation opportunities here.
These are rose hips from the Rosa Rugosa bush which is native to eastern Asia but loves it here on Cape Cod! I posted a picture of the fuschia roses that bloom earlier in the summer here. It is sometimes confused with the Beach Plum which isnative to Cape Cod and is sweet enough to be eaten whole.
Rose hips are high in vitamin C and antioxidants and can be used to make teas and jams. If you are lucky enough to have access to some you can find a list of recipes here!
My son’s johnny had sleeping tigers and matching draw-string pants. I thought he looked adorable. He didn’t like it. Tigers are so last week!
My son’s adenoid and tonsillectomy
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of controlled, loss of control you experience with surgery. Arrival and pre-op procedures are orderly, the hospital staff is calm and professional and inside you are crumbling. What’s worse is the added feeling of betrayal, when that surgery is for your small, frightened child who has actually been looking forward to this day for the promise of toys. And you are the one marching him into the operating room and lifting him onto the operating table and holding his hand as the anesthesiologist carefully puts him to sleep and then your job is done.
I spent a ton of time yesterday in the backyard removing vines from trees. A job that has been seriously neglected for a few years and the trees are crying out for help. The main culprit is the invasive Japanese Bittersweet. It is actually very pretty in the fall with red berries and I do like the wild look in our small patch of woods and so do the birds, rabbits, and squirrels.
But it is selfish, not happy to exist in harmony with the trees and bushes. It wants to swallow those trees and bushes whole and move on to the front yard and lawn! And it’s stealthy, creeping underground and sneaking up into bushes. Then one day, all of a sudden, you notice you no longer have a tree or a bush but a mountain of vines and beneath it all are thick woody snakes twisted around and chocking the nice tree.
So I am evicting the Bittersweet. If you can’t play nice you can’t stay. Because it is so invasive and pops up everywhere around here it will take ongoing effort and dedication but I mean business. Are you listening, Bittersweet? I am determined! And I must say, I am getting great exercise, think tug-o-war! Sometimes you can pull out the big roots that grown along the ground but it takes your best strong man impression. And strong men get dirty. When you finally win, it gets in one last dirty trick by whipping some at you.
After I cleaned up I took some pictures of my friends. There was a lot of activity back there! Check it out!
This Gray Catbird stuck around a long time and let me get very close.
Do you have a bread-maker? I have had mine for a couple years and I am still amazed by it! Baking bread seems too complex for a counter-top appliance so I imagine there are little baker elves inside. I have checked at various stages through the window on top and no elves (unless they hide when they hear me coming).
I tried a few recipes from the booklet that came with the bread-maker and ones I found online. Over time my bread-making has evolved into one amalgam recipe that is yummy and healthy and now I only make that. Continue reading →