Category Archives: The quest for health


Good morning Everyone!

I had to have some blood drawn for a test the other day, and so the doctor sent me over to a lab facility connected with the hospital.  When you entered the waiting room there, you went to the receptionist window at the far end of the waiting room, signed in your name and time, and you were given a number.

Since I arrived at 4:15 on a slow day, I duly received my number and sat down – to an entirely empty waiting room.  I waited for a few minutes, and the door to the lab offices opened and the tech stepped out.  Looking around the empty waiting room, she saw me.  She then looked away from me, and called out into the empty room “#79?”

I couldn’t help it – I thought it was funny.

Have a great day!


The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Good morning Everyone!

Have you ever wondered where dreams come from?  Im not talking about the “Be President/Travel the US in a RV for One Year” type of dreams, but the crazy jumble of facts and fiction that parade through our heads every night.

My husband and daughter rarely remember their dreams – although there have been one or two Saturday mornings when Kayla asked for just a few more minutes of sleep to “finish off her dream.”  What dreams my husband remembers, he controls.  He has the capability to tell his subconscious, while he’s still asleep, how he wants the dream to end.  My subconscious, however, wanders footloose and fancy-free, taking me wherever it wants to.  Maybe in part it’s rebelling against the control I place on it during the day.

I have one or two recurring dreams.  I groan every time that I have to dial a number two or three times in “real life” before it goes through, because that means that the “I need to make a phone call but I can’t ever get the phone to put in the number correctly” dream is sure to pop up in the next week.

After over 20 years, I finally figured out that the “I forgot to attend a class for an entire semester and now the exam is tomorrow” dream occurs when I am under an intense deadline.  Usually the dream includes the certainty that I have made an F in at least two subjects that semester and I am trying, in my sleep, to figure out what that does to my grade point average, can I somehow get around the F’s or will they matter and why on earth I didn’t drop the class before the drop/add deadline passed.

Most of the time, my weird dreams are simply curious to me, even the recurring ones, but I still can remember the dream I had 28 years ago when someone broke into the house and was about to kill me.  A man was pointing a rifle right in front of my face while I was lying in bed.  I woke up with a start as I heard the gun click as he pulled the trigger.  I have one truly beautiful dream I dreamed back when I was about 15 that I also remember, for a couple of reasons.  The first is that it was in color, one of the rare dreams I remember being in color.  The second is that it was set in a radiant meadow where an absolute stunning mare and her foal were grazing.  I don’t remember what happened in that dream, but the scene has stayed with me for more years than I care to count.


Photo Credit:
My horses and meadow were even prettier than these!

Scientists have been studying dreams for a while and are still speculating as to their biological function.  What they do know is that the crazy night-time peccadilloes that our subconscious engages in are essential to our health.

Indian Dream Catcher

Photo Credit:
Indian Dream Catcher

Do you have any crazy or recurring dreams?  Can you remember your dreams?  Have you every kept a dream log?  I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject!

Have a great day!


Here I Blog Again….

Good morning, everyone!

I want to lose weight.

Actually, that statement is not quite true.  What I really want is to go to bed one night and wake up the next morning about 95 pounds lighter and looking like Sophia Loren, or the actress that plays Ziva David on NCIS and stay that way while I eat as many chocolate donuts, candy and cake  as I want.

NCIS, Ziva, Cote De Pable
Cote De Pablo from NCIS

It has occurred to me, after a couple of years of studying it, that it ain’t going to happen that way.  It’s just not.  And unfortunately, I am one of those people who have to do everything “right” in order to start losing weight.  By “right” I really mean I have to follow the complete package – food, exercise, lots of water, you name it.

Where I prefer to sit!

I also am singularly unmotivated to put in the effort and time required for the full lifestyle change that losing weight and then continuing to stay at a healthy weight and have good health habits permanently (translate that to “eat right and keep exercising”) takes.  I know what I should do, but I can’t seem to translate the “should” into “want to.”

I am, however, very motivated to write.  Signing onto my blog and sharing stuff with as many of you that care to read about it is something I really enjoy.

So, I have decided to combine the “want to” with the “have to” in a new blog, “Tales from the Mom-side:  Weight Loss Adventures” located at the cleverly named www.  ( was already taken.)  The hope is that the desire to write will outweigh the lack of “want to” with weight.

Pen, writing, blog

This new blog will be a little different from this blog.  It is going to be  more restricted in scope, really focusing on weight loss and health issues.  I probably will publish around one post a week, in which I will set forth my goal for the week, or share any useful information that I may have come up with during the week, or observations I have or whatever else about the “getting healthy” process that strikes my fancy.  It also will have a Twitter feed in the side bar, once I figure out how the heck to do that, where I will share “tweets” about temptations or observations or times when I have to make a choice related to my weekly goal.  That way, people interested in this new blog won’t get multiple posts on one day if I am having a particularly challenging day, but I still can share my thoughts with those who may be interested (and I freely admit that the pool of those interested may be a set of one – myself – but you never know).

I thought I’d start off with a really simple goal this week – eat breakfast at home every day.  By changing my customary driving breakfast of two-plain-biscuits-with-grape-jelly- and-three-chocolate-cookies-please at McDonald’s (the cookies are really for snack later) to the bagel/bread and peanut butter that I also like, I will save both money and calories.  Let’s see how I do!

All of which is very long way of saying “Here I blog again!”

Have a great day everyone!


Surgery, Storms and Sleep (or the lack thereof!)

Good morning everyone! 

I had what I guess counts as major surgery on Tuesday and I have to admit, since I’d never had any surgery or general anesthesia before, I was a little scared. 

I shouldn’t have been though.  It wasn’t too very long after I was led back to pre-op that I was given a shot of something called “Versed” which basically put me to sleep until about 20 minutes before surgery.  It really was amazing how quickly the entire pre-op room got quiet (there were maybe eight of us in curtained off little sections) as soon as each of us got our shots.   

I woke up about 20 minutes before surgery, in time to remember being wheeled on the gurney from the pre-op room and telling the man who was wheeling me into surgery that I had never seen the world from that perspective before. 

I also remember looking at the machine in the corner of the operating room that was going to help do the laparoscopic surgery robotically and telling two of the OR nurses that the machine looked like an octopus.  If I had known whether they had seen Spiderman II, I could have been more precise and told them that it looked like the arms to Dr. Ock, but I wasn’t certain they would know.  (My doctor told me later that I was right; the machine did look like an octopus!) 

As one of the nurses was working to get my feet positioned correctly, the anesthetist told me she was going to give me a shot of pure oxygen for a few seconds, so I dutifully breathed in and out, and then she gave me another mask and said that whatever I was breathing next would make me sleepy.  I remember breathing into the second mask for maybe a second.  The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room, and asking the recovery room nurse if I was being polite. 

She half laughed (I suspect if you are a nurse in a recovery room, you must sign some kind of non-disclosure agreement, since there’s no telling what comes out of the mouths of recovering patients), and asked if normally I wasn’t polite.  I tried to explain to her that I was actually very polite normally, but I wanted to be sure I was still being polite since I wasn’t exactly my normal self.  What came out was a croaked “important to be polite.”  She agreed with me that it was.

After that, I decided to stop trying to make conversation for a while until the young man came in who was going to wheel me up to my room.  (His name was Justin.)  I was a little more awake then, I think, because I can remember chatting with him about how long had he been working at the hospital and did he like it and such until the gurney reached the surgery waiting room where my husband and mom joined me as we went up to the room.  I chatted up a good number of other hospital employees while I was under the influence of whatever they had given me, but I did enjoy learning about them.  

For example, Carolyn, who took my vital signs during the day, has a daughter who is getting her master’s in social work.  Carolyn works three 12 hour shifts during the week and is off for the rest of the week which is important to her because she wants to take part in her church activities on Sunday.  She worked from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and her third trip to my room at 7:15 was her last act before leaving for the day.  My night nurse, Anna, has an 11 year old son, and knew all about the five second rule, which we discussed when I dropped one of my tablets onto the bed covers.  


Mom left about 2 on Tuesday, soon after I was in the room, to go walk the dogs and pick up Kayla from school, take her to dinner and then bring her by for a minute.  (I was in a hospital about 45 minutes from the house.)  I think Kayla was both a little scared and a little relieved to be at the hospital.  She had made me a get well card, which of course I saved, and had to know exactly what each and every tube coming out of me, or every sticker on me, was and she wanted to see my incisions. 

The funniest one to explain was the catheter; Mark handled that with her outside the room, but then she came in and looked at me and said, “So you really have your own port-o-potty with you?”  As usual, she had all of us laughing.  I told her I wouldn’t have one for long, though, and thank goodness I didn’t!

While I was … uhhh.. shall we say under the influence of whatever I was under the influence of, my body really hadn’t noticed that anything was done to it.  It wasn’t too long before I felt able to stand and walk a little bit (about 8 hours after surgery Mark, a nurse and I were strolling the halls for about two laps at 9:00 p.m.) and I was dressed and ready to leave for the house by 7 the next day. 

However, I have noticed in my clients at work and in family members, a curious fact about surgery – the pain, for some reason, is at its worst on the third day after surgery.  I am not sure whether or not Thursday, yesterday, was the third day or not. 

The surgery was Tuesday, so is the third day Thursday, as in Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, or is it Friday, as in I shouldn’t count Tuesday and then go Wednesday-Thursday-Friday?  I’m pretty sure only I could make something so simple so complicated.

I do know that yesterday was the day on which my body suddenly realized that something had gone on inside it that it didn’t really appreciate.  In revenge, it produced pain, which I controlled with medication, mostly Tylenol at least until night-time, and kept trying to get me take naps.  (I have to admit, I didn’t fight the nap thing too hard, at least until I had the dream about adopting 9 children from a children’s home that was about to lose funding for those 9 spots!)  My brain, in sympathy with the rest of my body, refused to cooperate on clear thinking, either.  I had to keep searching for words that I couldn’t quite remember.   For a writer, that is not fun!

Mark spent the night at the hospital with me, in a recliner, so he had the pleasure of being woken up about every hour and a half for something just like I was, but the nurses were very nice and just trying to do their job.  Both he and I appreciated how attentive and kind all of the staff at the hospital was. 

I think my Mom got the worst of the deal that evening, since she and a still semi-scared 9-year-0ld girl went home Tuesday night to three dogs who absolutely refused to believe that neither Mark nor I would be home that night.  I don’t know what time they all got to sleep but Tyra apparently slept by the front door for a long time, convinced we would come in at any moment, and Darwin and Mandy were certain Mom was hiding Mark and I in our bedroom. 

I do know when they woke up for the first time on Wednesday – at 4:20 a.m., when an unexpected thunderstorm came through.  All 90 pounds of Darwin sailed onto Mom’s bed, waking her up, with another 55 pounds of Mandy approaching from the side, and Kayla coming out of her room, all of them announcing that the thunder had begun!  Mom said it was the funniest thing to have Darwin’s huge Great Dane frame with his lab face staring anxiously down at her as she woke up.

Darwin, the look-out

Have a great day everyone!


The Second Rite of Spring

Good morning everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend! 

From Print Shop 2.0

Our weather here was perfect, leading us to the second rite of spring.  (The first rite of spring is described in my March 23, 2011 post, “Spring!, Butterflies and Roosters.”)  The warm air and soft breezes, laden with pollen, begin to play tricks on the mind, and sudden images of me carrying a greatly enlarged metal typewriter stick, with a weird shaped mass of metal at the end of it that resembles a cross between a rectangle and an oval begin to dance through my overheated brain.  The sudden onslaught of ads for major tournaments such as The Masters feed the delusion and present images of me using said club to make graceful hits on a small, white pocked ball that send the ball soaring away at lofty heights only to be rivaled by the greats of the game such as Annika Sorenson and Nancy Lopez.  At that point,  my common sense is swamped, so I suggest to (or agree with) Mark that we should go play a round of golf. 

Such a moment happened this weekend, and before you could say, “Verily, verily I hath failed to hit the ball yet again,” the entire family was loaded into the car with two sets of golf clubs. 

My set is in almost perfect condition, even though it is over a decade old.  This is because my golf outings are usually limited to the first delusional outing each spring, and then the occasional trip with Mark.   The plan was to play at a course at a nearby city which often is uncrowded.  This works well for us because not only does it let me play as best I can under scramble rules with Mark, but Kayla, who usually acts as ball spotter and retriever with an occasional turn at golf cart driver if she begs long enough and hard enough, can come with us too and get to hit once or twice on the green .  (Scramble rules are where everyone who is playing hits the ball, and then everyone gets to pick up their ball and move it to wherever the farthest ball is.)  Most of the time, I don’t even try for a tee shot, just start my play about 100 feet or so from the hole. 

However, that plan was frustrated because the course we like was hosting a tournament, so no tee times were available, which led us to Plan B, the driving range.  Mark and Kayla reached the range first, so I had the opportunity to take a picture or two  before I had to start practicing myself.


Both Mark and Kayla get ready to practice


Mark right after one of his best shots of the afternoon

Kayla giving it her best effort!


Finally, it was my turn.  I reached the driving range, placed a ball in front of me, studied it carefully, placed my club up against the ball to be sure everything was in place, pulled back once, swung my club down slowly to double-check I would hit the ball where I wanted to, and then, everything on go, I pulled the club back one more  time and gave a mighty swing – at which time all the delusions in my head popped away.  The ball still sat exactly where I had placed it.  

The “missing of the ball” is the first event in my golf season every year.  Since we were at the driving range, I then began the process of trying to hack, ….er, hit the ball in progressively better ways to try to improve my golf game. 

There are unique rules to driving range play.  The first is that you will never hit a really good shot when someone is looking.  Resign yourself to it.  I do hit maybe three or four decent shots out of the 20 to 40 golf balls available to me each session, but they are always when Mark and Kayla are looking the other way.  The second rule is one of proportions – the amount of time I will get to spend hacking…er, hitting… the ball decreases geometrically to the number of balls Kayla wants to hit.  She needs encouragement and unlike adults doesn’t understand when Mom and Dad don’t see the good shots that she hits.  The third rule at the driving range is that just at the moment you decide that this is a really stupid game, you will never get good at it and you might as well quit, you hit a truly beautiful shot that stupefies your senses back into the delusion that you will be playing better sometime soon.   

While I was hitting, I unfortunately left the camera in a place where it could be accessed by all; hence Mark ( or Kayla) caught this picture of me meditating with the ball:

Pulling the ball into position

About an hour later, we finally had hit all of the balls in the bag of range balls we had purchased, (it takes a while when two of the players need two or three shots just to hit one ball) so it was time to head home.  As we drove home, I could already feel the memory of the bad shots (or non-shots) I had slipping away from me like water and the memory of the good shots expanding.  In another couple of weeks, the delusion will have set in again, and we’ll go back for more!

From Print Shop 2.0 Professional

Have a great day everyone!


My Unintended Exercise

We spent this weekend with our friends in Augusta, and in the process I managed to get quite a workout.   Our friends/cousins have a little girl also, and the two girls love to play with each other.  They also have a 19 year old cat named Muffin.  Poor Muffin was soundly harassed by the two girls, who wanted to pick her up and play with her and love on her, all while they were shrieking at the top of their lungs, until all parents finally managed to be firm enough to get across the idea that the cat had to be LEFT ALONE!  It took a few hours to get the message across, and I expect on Monday Muffin will be hiding somewhere trying to recover from a nervous breakdown

Our friends also have a dog named Sadie, who is a beautiful little black and white dog that reminds me of a border collie, only smaller.  I went to let Sadie out of the pen to go into the house, and instead she rocketed out of her pen, took a hard left instead of going straight, and ran down one of the tallest hills I have ever seen.  My friend had to stay with the girls, so I took off after Sadie.  With the help of some friendly neighbors, I followed the trail of the dog down the hill, then with the help of another neighbor across the street at the bottom of the hill, I managed to recapture the dog.  Of course, going down was a lot easier than going back up, and this time I had the dog to haul with me also.  I have tried since to guess how far up I had to climb, and I think it is the equivalent of an eight story building stretched out over about a quarter mile.  I managed to recross the street while I was carrying the dog, but then I had to stop and rest for a minute at which time the first set of neighbors who had helped me track the dog came out and offered the use of a leash, which was very gratefully accepted.  The dog thought it was a great adventure and felt like she bonded with me through the experience.  I thought it was an awfully big hill to have to climb down and back up again, but at least the dog was okay!